fbpx

Family Travel

Your Picky Teen Will Love These 5 Gifts  By Rachel Naud   Tweens and teens can be the toughest people to shop for. Buy something cringey and cute, and you get the eye rolls! But don’t worry, we’ve got a few gift ideas that are sure to please your pickiest people!   For the Film Fanatic Teen Love going to the movies over the holidays? Make teens' stockings more memorable by giving them Cineplex gift cards that they can use either with their parents or with their friends. Spend $50 or more on Cineplex gift cards (either the plastic card or online) and you'll receive a holiday gift bundle with more than $60 worth of coupons for things like free admission, free popcorn, discounted food, free movie ticket upgrades, and more! With this holiday bundle, your teen can also play games, eat, and be entertained at The Rec Room with friends!  The offer is on now and runs until Dec. 31! You can pick it up in theatres, at cineplex.com, or at The Rec Room or therecroom.com   For the Fashionista Teen These stylish Joe Fresh Knits & Jewelry from Shoppers Drug Mart will appeal to any fashionista on your gift list. Changing up your winter wardrobe is always fun, and this season, Ombre All Day is the theme of this stylish and cozy hat and scarf. These cute toques and mittens will make you smile - especially this pom-pom toque! With everything from bracelets and necklaces to earrings, Joe Fresh jewelry has everything your teen could need to celebrate the holidays in style.    For the Skincare-Savvy Teen Everyone wants to look and feel their best—especially our teens—and this Proactiv system will help them put their best face forward this holiday season. It’s an easy 3-step system—you just cleanse, tone and treat! Dermatologists developed the original Proactiv system to treat existing acne and help prevent future breakouts, which is also important. And to make it even easier, you can unlock exclusive savings when you purchase the 3-step system as a subscription including a free gift. To get more info and to buy the system, visit getproactiv.ca.   For the Glamorous Teen Make the perfect holiday-glam look for the glamorous teen on your list with COVERGIRL Exhibitionist Stretch & Strengthen Mascara! It's formulated with Peptides, Biotin and Pro-Vitamin B5 for a lash extension effect that lifts, stretches, and adds volume all day long! With its wavy bristles and wavy design, the brush reaches every lash from

6 Spooky Halloween Activities Around Toronto by Arianne Granada   October is filled with fun and frights! So, if you are a parent wanting to bring your teens out on Halloween, there are plenty of options to choose from. We've rounded up the best ways to celebrate this spooky season in Toronto. From scary rides to haunted tours, we've got something for every type of horror fan out there!   Halloween Haunt in Canada's Wonderland In Canada's Wonderland, you can face your fears and experience Halloween in all its glory. Be amazed by the horrors, thrills, and monster encounters that await you in Halloween Haunt. Get ready for some of the scariest mazes and haunted attractions. Also, the live entertainment will give you an unforgettable experience, and if that’s not enough, check out some of their dark rides!     Legends of Horror in Casa Loma With the spooky season upon us, Casa Loma is offering two exciting events for you and your teen. In Legends of Horror, Casa Loma's grounds will be transformed into an immersive theatrical experience. Taking the form of a parade theatre presentation, the audience will walk through a trail of 2 km beginning in Casa Loma's lower gardens and winding through the castle's tunnels and darkest spaces that have never been open to the public before.     The castle's winding gardens transform into a storybook setting through theatrically designed sets, lighting, projections and professional actors. You will walk through their impressive sets in gardens and chambers beneath the castle, seeing different characters as you move to the next scene. The audience is immersed in the story, making you a part of the set. In collaboration with Secret City Adventures, Zombie Apocalypse is a new immersive experience. in Casa Loma. One of Toronto's biggest zombie-themed haunted houses, you will enter the world of the fictional pharmaceutical company, Biolux, with their new wonder drug, the Biolux Serum, which turns subjects into contagious zombies. Inside their Biolux showrooms, you'll discover gruesome secrets and experiments made by their scientists. You can also explore their survivor camps where you'll find those struggling to battle against the zombie apocalypse.   Ghost Walks Exhibition Place Join Exhibition Place's Ghost Walks if you like the idea of ghost walks but don't want to go alone. Together with After Dark Tours' Steve Collie, you'll walk through a haunted past on these two-hour tours. Exhibition Place harbours a few well-guarded secrets only known to staff who work the late shift. Historically, the grounds hosted

5 Ways to Have Philly Fun With Your Teen By Rosalind Stefanac   If you’re looking for a walkable American city filled with history, fantastic food and fun, Philadelphia will not disappoint. With some of the most historic sites in U.S. history—and plenty of places to “hang”— Philly proved to be a perfect blend of learning and adventure for a recent weekend with my teenage son.   Where to stay   Stay downtown for easy walking access to a multitude of parks and free historic sites, such as the Liberty Bell, Independence Hall (where the U.S. Constitution was created), and the infamous Rocky (Balboa) steps and statue (more on that below). We loved the atmosphere at the iconic Notary Hotel, which is located in Philadelphia’s former city hall — a building that dates back to 1926—and features all the modern amenities, including a 24-hour gym and a fully stocked tuck shop for late-night snacking. It’s also a block away from the Reading Terminal Market, a food bazaar sure to please every appetite.   What to eat   You can’t not try a Philly cheesesteak in Philadelphia. We walked the aisles of the Reading Terminal Market to find these delicious sandwiches topped with thinly sliced steak, caramelized onion, and melted provolone cheese. With more than 80 other merchants there, we also filled up on soft pretzels, tacos, cannolis, cookies and donuts made fresh before our eyes. Open at 8 a.m., the market is a great place for breakfast too. For a memorable dinner, a Mexican-inspired feast at the funky Condesa was also a big hit with my teen (and me).   What to do   #1: Philly fun at Franklin Square As one of the city’s original open space squares, it centres around a 180-year-old fountain and classic carousel and hosts a variety of events throughout the year. While there we explored the Philadelphia Lantern Festival with more than 30 brilliant displays illuminated by tens of thousands of LED lights and plenty of cool photo ops. #2: Take a segway tour Philly offers some fantastic tours by foot, bike, bus and boat, but we opted to see the city’s most iconic spots via Segway with Philly Tour Hub. Following a brief training session, this mode of transport proved to be an exhilarating way to tour a variety of Philly neighbourhoods. If you’ve never ridden a Segway before, go for the shorter, 60-minute tour to avoid sore legs from all that balancing. #3: Channel the champ Burn off some steam by running

What's a Good First Car for Teens? by Arianne Granada   One of the scariest moments for parents is when their teen gets their first car. The teen years are exciting, but they can also be worrisome for parents as teens are more prone to taking risks. Teens are likely to be more accident-prone due to inexperience, immaturity, and peer pressure. Because of this, many parents may find themselves hesitant or even afraid of letting their teens drive a car without adult supervision. These are natural reactions—but that doesn’t mean you have to surrender trusting them with their first car completely! Parents can help their teens avoid these pitfalls by providing a safe environment for them behind the wheel. If you're looking for a reliable good first car for your teen, we have a roundup of beginner-friendly cars and their remarkable features you and your teen will love.     Mazda3 / Mazda3 Sport Cost: Starting from $23,281 Why your teen will love it: If you're looking for a good first car that offers great bang for your buck, The Mazda3 or Mazda3 Sport is one of our top choices. It exemplifies Mazda’s premium design aesthetic and even won Canadian Car of the Year back in 2020 and 2021. You can get it with a manual transmission, giving young drivers a chance to still learn how to drive manual. DID YOU KNOW: Some studies show manual vehicles are less likely to be stolen—so it’s a natural deterrent for theft! Why you’ll love it: The Mazda3 is designed to keep your teen safe on the road. It has advanced safety features like Rear Cross Traffic Alert and Advanced Blind Spot Monitoring. This helps improve visibility and lets your teen know when there is danger nearby.     2022 Hyundai Elantra Cost: Starting from $20,553.35 Why your teen will love it: Your teen will love it because it has a 2.0 Litre tank with great engine power, technology and fuel efficiency in an affordable price range. Why you will love it: If you are looking for a car with a decent price tag, also fuel savings and quality, the 2022 Hyundai Elantra is your car! It will not only offer you a smooth ride but also keep fuel consumption to a minimum.     2022 Mazda MX-5 Cost: Starting from $33,300 Why your teen will love it: A custom Bose sound system for the Mazda MX-5 is the perfect way to make your teen's car their own. The headrest speakers and subwoofer allow them to experience the premium sound system to

Our Top Picks: 5 Summertime Essentials by Rachel Naud   How do you plan on spending your summer? Whether you’re staying close to home, exploring the great outdoors or hosting some summer barbecues, we have some items that will help you survive the year’s hottest season.   Magic Mixies Magic Cauldron If you want to put the magic back into summer for your kids, the Magic Mixies Magic Cauldron is the perfect activity for them. It’s all about potion-making so your kids can take turns being magicians at family barbecues and backyard parties. Let your little star wow the crowd! The toy comes with a spell book, all the magic ingredients and a special wand to mix the potion and make a cute furry friend that comes out of a cloud of real mist — which will be an element of surprise for everyone! The Magic Mixie comes with different modes of play, reacts to your touch and responds to your wand. It even comes with 50+ sounds and reactions so your kids can play with magic over and over again! Beyond Burger Barbecue burger night is definitely a crowd favourite. Just in time for summer BBQ season, Beyond Meat has launched an even juicier version of its game-changing line called Beyond Burger. Available in grocery stores and restaurants across Canada, the Beyond Burger has the meat-like taste, flavour and texture of a real burger. Beyond Burger is made with simple, plant-based ingredients, containing no cholesterol, GMOs, soy or gluten, offering a tasty, better-for-you plant-based protein option perfect for your summer BBQ. It’s such an easy way to incorporate plant-based protein into barbecue night! Coleman Canada If you're hitting the great outdoors, you'll want to invest in some high-quality gear that will last and bring memories for years to come. When it comes to camping equipment, Coleman Canada is a camper’s go-to. They have everything you need to make the most out of summer—whether you’re camping, day-tripping or staycationing in the yard! They're definitely on top of our summertime essentials checklist. Sportflex Backpack Soft Cooler The Sportflex Backpack Soft Cooler has a 4-way stretch pocket at the front to offer maximum storage and easy access to phones, keys and snacks. It comes with padded adjustable shoulder straps and breathable mesh for comfortable carrying. One of its best features is it's insulated to keep food and drinks cold for up to 24 hours. Contigo Tumblers It's important to stay hydrated throughout the day, which makes these re-fillable water bottles

6 Reasons to Visit Mexico’s Marvellous Yucatán State By Rosalind Stefanac   A recent trip to Yucatán State proved that there's so much more to Mexico than sandy beaches and ocean views. In fact, venturing inland on the southeastern Yucatán peninsula revealed so many historic gems, along with scenic retreats that offered a blissful escape from crowds and the hustle of everyday life. In planning your next adventure down south with your tween, teen or solo, here are six reasons to put Yucatán on your radar:     Cenotes are so cool These nature-made, deep-water wells (or sinkholes), surrounded by rock formations, date back thousands of years. They're filled with fresh water fed by rain and underground currents. Most of Mexico’s more than 6,000 cenotes can be found in the Yucatán peninsula. At the Zazil Tunich in Valladolid, you descend 20 metres down into a cavern to reach the cenote where you can swim in the refreshing waters (average temperature 75-degrees Fahrenheit). Here you can opt for a guided tour that includes a traditional Mayan purification ceremony. It’s magical!   It’s Taco Tuesday every day!   All that swimming in cenotes is sure to spark your appetite. Luckily Yucatán is home to some of the best tacos on the planet — at least in my opinion. Be sure to try the cochinita pibil (shredded pork shoulder or loin), a popular taco filling in the region. They usually serve it with lettuce, pickled red onion, tomatoes, avocado and habanero chilli. At the Kinich in Isamal, you can even watch the staff hand-roll fresh tortillas before your very eyes. It doesn’t get fresher than this.   You can be one with nature (literally)   At the high-end Oriundo Luxury Nature Villas, which opened this June in Valladolid, every detail in the guest rooms has been designed to harmonize with the surrounding jungle. Not only are the materials all natural but you’ll find trees growing throughout the indoor space, and plenty of windows overlooking the lush green foliage. If you’re on a tighter budget, the area has plenty of haciendas with accommodations surrounded by lovely outdoor spaces ideal for nature exploring.   The architecture is awesome   In Merida, Yucatán’s pedestrian-friendly capital city, you'll find colonial history evident in most of the colourful and lovingly restored mansions, many of which are open to tourists. I took a guided tour of the stunning El Minaret, which was built in 1908, and is also known as the watchtower of Merida’s centre. Aim to be there

5 Creative Ways To Spend Time With Mom For Mother’s Day Although one day a year really isn’t enough to honour the person that gave birth to you and raised you, Mother’s Day is a great way to show mom how much you appreciate her. It turns out that finding the best gift for mom is easier than you think! Here are 5 ways to add some laughter, sweetness, and love to your Mother’s Day celebration.   1. Cook for Mom  There truly is nothing like a home-cooked meal by mom and it is time to return the favour. Cook your mom her favourite meal, buy her favourite wine or cocktail and even have siblings or partners act as hostesses and waiters. Give her a 5-star dining experience at home, one she will never forget.  2. Play games to celebrate If food isn’t her thing, then why not liven up the party with some games to keep the crowd engaged and make cherished memories. Ideas like karaoke, mad libs, and bingo are always fun. We all know mom deserves a break from daily chores. You can create your own game like the “Give mom a break” game that you can create for the day. Let mom be the centre of attention by offering to do all household chores. This can be a wonderful way of showing gratitude while mom puts her feet up on her special day. 3. Something sweet for mom Who doesn’t love ice cream, especially from your favourite brand? Skip the flower store and head straight to dessert with the new Tall Stack Cake from Baskin-Robbins Canada. Customize with mom’s favourite cake and ice cream flavour topped with a special message to let her know how much she means to you. 4. Watch a movie together A budget-friendly way to stay in and avoid crowds is to let Mom cuddle up on the couch in her pyjamas! Yes, we're talking about streaming a movie! We all know that the best Mother's Day gift is quality time, so make plans to catch up and then press play on the TV with some of her favourite movie treats.  5. Get pampered At some point on Mother's Day, mom may want some time alone or a chance for a little rest and relaxation. A few ideas include a 60-minute massage to help her unwind, or by bringing her to the hair salon and treating her to a cute new cut and blowout or taking her

6 Spring Budget-Friendly Activities Your Teen will Love By Jessica Pinzón Spring is a great time to get outside and explore! We featured several spring events to enjoy in a recent article. But, finding new activities and events can be challenging if you're on a budget. The good news? There are plenty of things to do in and around Toronto that won't break the bank that you and your teen will enjoy. We featured 6 FREE activities you can enjoy around your neighbourhood. 1) Cherry Blossom Trees Perfect for their Instagram feeds and TikTok videos, your teen will love seeking out the sakura trees, more commonly known as cherry blossom trees. This year, you can see them in different traditional parks in Toronto and the GTA.When: Late April and May Where: High Park, Broadacres Park, Centennial Park, John P. Robarts Library at the University of Toronto, Toronto Island Park and Trinity Bellwoods Park. More information: https://www.toronto.ca/explore-enjoy/festivals-events/cherry-blossoms/ 2) Street by The Beltway The Beltway's new exhibition brings exciting activities to the streets of Toronto with free art installations, performances, conversations and events. When: From May 26th Where: Under Toronto's Gardiner Expressway and the surrounding area.  More information: https://the-bentway.prezly.com/this-summer-the-bentway-takes-on-the-street  3) Pedestrian Sundays at Kensington Market Pedestrian Sundays return to the market streets of Kensington Market with outdoor events, open patios and fun for the whole family. When: From May 29th Where: Kensington Market More information: https://kensingtonmarket.to/festivals/  4) Free Don Valley Guided Walks It’s one of the best times to enjoy nature, share with family and participate in the cultural activities in Don River Valley Park. When: During the whole spring Where: Don River Valley Park More information: https://www.evergreen.ca/evergreen-brick-works/active-living/don-valley-guided-walks/ 5) 36 questions that lead to loving Toronto A new interactive exhibition at the Myseum of Toronto invites us to fall in love again with our city through an interactive and fun journey of 36 questions. When: Wednesdays to Saturdays from 12 - 6 pm Where: Myseum of Toronto 401 Richmond Street West, Studio LL01 More information: http://www.myseumoftoronto.com/programming/36-questions-that-lead-to-loving-toronto/ 6) Other outdoor activities If you and your teenager love outdoor adventures, here are 3 exciting activities to enjoy outdoors: Visit Scarborough Bluffs, discover waterfalls such as Devil's Punchbowl and Webster's Falls at Hamilton or go canoeing in the National Urban Park. When: During the whole spring Where: Toronto and GTA More information about spring outdoorsy budget-friendly activities: https://www.toronto.ca/explore-enjoy/parks-gardens-beaches/scarborough-bluffs/  https://tourismhamilton.com/hamilton-waterfalls-guide  https://www.pc.gc.ca/en/pn-np/on/rouge/visit

10 Spring Events to Enjoy with Your Teen in Toronto By Jessica Pinzón   Spring is here, and Toronto is full of fun events for families and friends. Whether you live in the city or planning a visit, there's no shortage of fun to be had in Toronto with your teen! We hand-picked a list of 10 spring events you and your teen will not want to miss.    1. Robert Lepage’s The Library at Night Located at the Lighthouse ArtSpace at Yonge Street, Robert Lepage's The Library at Night is an immersive virtual reality sensory experience that will introduce you to the most iconic and mythical libraries throughout history.  Open now until May 29  Age Restrictions: 14+ Buy your tickets here Basic ticket: $39.99 VIP ticket: $59.99 Location: Lighthouse ArtSpace Toronto(Toronto Star Building) 1 Yonge Street   2. Harry Potter and the Cursed Child Based on a new original story by J.K. Rowling: Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, this epic play comes to Toronto to bring a magical and fun adventure for everyone—teens and adults, alike. The story of this play takes place 19 years after the main events of the Harry Potter books/films. Age Restrictions: 8+ Premiere date: May 31, 2022 Buy your tickets here Tickets from $69 Location: CAA Ed Mirvish Theatre 244 Victoria St, Toronto   3. Canada’s Wonderland Canada's Wonderland kicks off its 2022 season with fun-filled programming, a large water park and lots of activities for the whole family, including 17 exciting roller coasters. Age Restrictions: All ages Opening day: April 30 Buy your tickets here Tickets from $39.99 Location: 1 Canada's Wonderland Drive, Vaughan   4. Activate Game Centre Activate is a new arcade-style gaming center in Burlington and Scarborough with 11 interactive rooms and an extensive active gaming installation. You can play in groups of three to five people, challenging you physically and mentally.  Age Restrictions: 12+ Book a date here Location: 2030 Appleby Line, Burlington 1980 Eglinton Avenue East Toronto, Scarborough     5. Toronto Blue Jays Game The Toronto Blue Jays 2022 season kicks off with exciting games for the whole family. The new Major League Baseball season starts this coming April 8. Age Restrictions: All ages Buy your tickets here Location: Rogers Centre     6. Toronto Comic Arts Festival Celebrate the 20th anniversary of the Toronto Comic Arts Festival from June 17-19 with an amazing schedule that includes in-person and virtual events. Age Restrictions: All ages Buy your tickets here Location: Toronto Reference Library, 789 Yonge Street     7. Superfresh - New Asian Night Market A huge Asian market with food and beverages from different corners of Asia will open at the Annex Food Hall at Bloor Street West in

3 Reasons to give the gift of Merrill House If you’ve made your list and checked it twice, a little time away could be the perfect gift for a loved one or — let’s face it — you! After almost two years of vacations to Las Living Room or to St. Porch, a little getaway can go a long way this holiday season. Don’t want to hop a plane? No problem. We have a destination that’s only a few hours’ drive from Toronto that will make you feel like you’re a world away — Merrill House. By Rachel Naud Where Located in picturesque Prince Edward County, Merrill House is situated in Picton, Ontario, just a two-and-a-half-hour drive from Toronto. 3 Reasons Why It Makes a Great Gift:   The Design Built in 1878 for Judge Edwards Merrill, The Merrill House is steeped in history and culture. Today, owner and creative director Jordan Martin de Rosales has managed to preserve the authenticity of the property while creating a mix of old and new to create the ultimate destination. Having studied Luxury Brand Management in London, living in Zimbabwe and working for hotel groups in London and Dubai, Martin de Rosales brings his world travels and design aesthetics to the two-acre property and its 14 individually themed guest rooms. For instance, the Owner’s Suite serves up the ultimate accommodation on Merrill’s top floor with sweeping views across Picton, while the Future Room reimagines what the interiors of the future will look like. Throughout the hotel, design elements include wallpaper by William Morris, murals by Fine and Dandy Co, objets d’art by British luxury label House of Hackney and furniture by Spanish designer, Houtique. The property also features a bespoke Indian marquee, complete with a ceiling with hundreds of hand-stitched stars, designed by Martin de Rosales to house Merrill weddings and events. Merill House is also home to art exhibitions including The Indigenous Peoples on the Bay of Quinte, a collaboration with Rebecca Maracle, a fourth generation feathersmith from the Mohawk community. The Amenities For the ultimate experience, The Merrill House offers a mix of amenities — both free and paid — to create the ultimate getaway. Free amenities include: Welcome Photograph: Capture your first Merrill House moments with an old-fashioned Polaroid Pillow-Scenting Service: Test scent domes at check-in and determine the perfect scent for your night’s sleep Gourmet Breakfast: Room rates include a complimentary gourmet breakfast by breakfast Chef Lili Sullivan Indoor and Outdoor Fireplaces: To