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4 Ways to Have Family Fun this Winter It’s cold, it’s dark and we’re all back to navigating work and school, which can make winter seem a whole lot longer. But the fun doesn’t have to stop when the temps start to plummet! A winter advent calendar, full of surprises and activities that the whole family can do together could be just what you need to get through the season, and we have some great ideas! Embrace It This year when the temperature drops, make the decision to embrace winter. Instead of hibernating indoors, start exploring areas around your city that you normally wouldn’t go to. Going on day hikes and getting fresh air is a great way to get invigorated while making fun memories at the same time! Then, after your day exploring, head into the kitchen and cook up some comfort food like beef stew or chili — what’s better than that on a cold day? Get your teen involved, too, because it's very important to teach your teens how to cook. And, if you crank the music and give them a job, it is a great way to get them talking! But remember, after a day of exploring and before you start cooking, don’t forget to wash up, because let’s face it — COVID-19 isn’t over. It’s still vital to keep washing our hands, so why not use a good antibacterial hand soap? Our personal favourite is this limited-edition foaming hand wash from Dial. It's tough on bacteria, while being gentle on our hands. It comes in fun, festive packaging, so it looks nice on your kitchen (and bathroom) counter, but it also smells amazing because it comes in scents like Fireside Crackle, Ice Crystals and Midnight Toast. Dial’s limited-edition, festive body washes also come in three great scents — Glacial Breeze, Sugar Shack and Sugared Plum — making them the perfect stocking stuffer for your family this year! You can pick up all of these holiday-themed items for a limited time at Walmart or Loblaws. Crank the competition Nothing gets you more heated on a cold winter's day than a good ol' fashioned family game night! Nintendo Switch is perfect for family's game night because you can play it at home on the TV, which is great for multi-player games or, of course, you can use it in hand-held mode as well. They also just launched the Nintendo Switch OLED Model, which features a 7-inch

6 Things You Need for a Backyard Family Fun Day While the world is slowly opening up, you can still have a great day outside right in the comfort of your backyard where there are no crowds and no travel time! Here are some items you need to create your own backyard fun with the whole family. You can’t have a great day without some delicious food. To prep snacks for the day, cut up fruit and veggies and keep them fresh using the FoodSaver® Cordless Handheld Sealer and FoodSaver® Vacuum Seal Zipper Bags. Vacuum sealers can save you food, time and space – especially since this device is hand-held and compact. It will keep all your food like deli meats, cheese, fruits and veggies fresh and dry all day even if you’re tossing it into an icy cooler for your picnic. Afterward, because it’s sealed tight, any leftovers can be tossed in your fridge and freezer, and it won’t take up a lot of space! Available at all major retailers. There’s nothing better than a cool cocktail in the sun like these Matt & Steve’s ready-to-drink lightly spiced and hot & spicy caesars. They are the perfect drink to bring backyard entertainment to a new level. It’s a Canadian company and they only use quality ingredients to make all the pickled snacks that go great with Caesars like the Asparagoos and Extreme Bean. Layout all the goodies so the adults can customize their own drinks so you're out of the kitchen and into the sun where all the fun is! Obviously, sun protection is a must – especially if we’re going to be outside for hours. One of our favourites is this natural mineral sunscreen from The Green Beaver Company with SPF 40 broad-spectrum protection. It’s made in Canada and it’s part of the Thoughtful Choices at Shoppers Drug Mart lineup. Shoppers Drug Mart offers a wide assortment of beauty and personal care products that are mindful of our plant, cruelty-free and ingredient-conscious. This biodegradable sunscreen uses safe active ingredients like mineral zinc oxide to provide a barrier of protection against harmful UV rays while maintaining your skin’s moisture. If there’s one way to ruin your time outdoors, it’s when you’re burdened with the buzz of mosquitoes! Summer is short, and we want to get outside as much as possible and enjoy our time! Set up your backyard with Thermacell mosquito repellents! They’re mess-free,

Top Chef Canada's Contestants on Cooking Up Their Careers If life in quarantine has you flipping channels in a neverending search to find something suitable to watch with your teen, you can now put the remote safely down for at least an hour a week. Food Network Canada's Top Chef Canada Season 8 has just started wherein 12 chefs from every corner of the country compete in the most prestigious cooking competition in the country, battling it out for the biggest prize in Top Chef Canada history and the coveted title of Canada’s Top Chef. Yes, they're in for a wild ride but we wanted to talk to the competitors about their lives BEFORE Top Chef. They were open and honest about their journeys that led them to the kitchen (they weren't all as smooth as butter), the importance of family support (one contestant's father STILL won't tell people his son is a chef) and their advice for teens looking to start a life in the kitchen. Adrian Forte When did you know you wanted to be a chef? I was always cooking as a teenager, but I decided to pursue cooking professionally the summer before Grade 12. I had realized I wasn’t going to be a professional athlete and I was already extremely passionate about all things food. I enjoyed being in the kitchen, so I thought to myself, “why wouldn’t I want to do this all the time?” What did your family say when you chose a career in the culinary arts, which can mean a lot of long nights and tough work? I come from a whole bloodline of chefs. My mother, grandmother, aunts and uncles all spent some time in the kitchen. My grandmother had seven children and it was a rite of passage in our household for every one of her kids to learn the craft. The tradition has been passed down for generations, so when I decided to pursue cooking professionally, my entire family was ecstatic about my career choice and they continue to support me. What do you wish you knew back then that you know now? Nothing. I believe life is a lesson and experience is the teacher (it’s sort of my mantra). I’ve always learned from my failures and mistakes, and I apply what I’ve learned to the next situation, endeavor or business venture. I’m a firm believer in trial by fire or sink or swim. Trials and tribulations develop

One Train, One Tween, One Unforgettable Trip By Rachel Naud “We’re doing WHAT?” That was my 11-year-old son’s reaction when I told him instead of flying home, we were going to take the Via train from Winnipeg to Toronto. “Well…. how long is THAT going to take?” he asked with a facial expression, I like to call the “tween tick.” It’s when he looks half-pissed and mostly confused. “Two nights, two-and-a-half days(ish),” I said tipping my hand from side to side. “MOM, actually?!” “Yes, it will be fun!” “But there’s wi-fi, right?!” I wasn’t ready to drop that no-tech bomb, yet. Instead, I gently tickled under his chin and said, “don’t worry, you’ll like it.” The train The journey from Winnipeg to Toronto takes approximately one full day, 13 hours and 59 minutes on The Canadian. We opted for a sleeper car for two, which during the day contains two spacious seats, a big window and a private bathroom and sink with electrical outlets. During the evening, the seats disappear, and the attendant pulls out the bunk beds, which are hidden in the walls until turn-down service at night. With sleeper car status, comes the ability to walk about the trains, soak in the panoramic scenery in the dome car, play some games and grab a snack in the lounge and, of course, indulge in the fine cuisine that is served up in the dining car every breakfast, lunch and dinner. The experience You’ll want to stock up on books, download movies on your iPad and save your favourite tunes on your phone because the wi-fi is basically non-existent. And I don’t say this with any disdain. In fact, I was pleasantly pleased that my son couldn’t log on to his video games or Netflix account, and instead had to soak in the real travel experience. Instead of battling it out on Fortnite or having his face glued to his screen watching 100 consecutive episodes of Bob’s Burgers,  he (gasped!) Looked. Out. The. Window. He pointed to the cool scenery, let his mind wonder and started conversations about the topography and geography of Canada. During meals, he sat with complete strangers and heard about their stories of being farmers, as Americans seeing Canada for the first time and even met a young English man from London travelling the country to meet up with a friend. All different faces with different backgrounds, but my 11-year-son managed to come up with common ground with each of

8 Alternative Summer Camps Your Kids Will Love! By Jonquil Jardine Summer is coming up and parents are searching for the perfect summer camp experience for their kids. Traditional summer camps include hiking, leadership activities and games. But have you thought about circus, virtual reality or computer camp? They do exist and we’ve found a roundup of alternative camps your curious kid will love! Toronto, Ontario V4Lab Ages 12-16 years old This summer program is designed for students that like design, tech, science and engineering. Canada’s economy is continuing to grow and it’s important for youth to be exposed to various types of technologies. This two-week program covers Augmented Reality, Arduino as well as team-building activities. Additionally, all programs offered at V4Lab are taught by instructors in the industry! https://www.ryerson.ca/v4lab/program/ Toronto, Ontario NOT Sports Camp Ages 8-16 (Different camps for various ages) Let’s face it, not every child is into traditional sports offered at camps. Imagine a camp that offers Harry Potter’s favourite sport, Quidditch? Well NOT Sports Camp does along with other non-traditional games such as KIN-Ball, inner tube water polo, Capture the Flag and much more. Also, the camp is held mainly outdoors at University of Toronto’s Back Campus Fields which overlooks the city! https://kpe.utoronto.ca/summer-camp-not-sports Toronto, Ontario(with locations in Ottawa and Chicago!) GTA Photography Classes Ages 12-17 Is your child interested in photography? If so, they will love what GTA Photography has to offer! Your teen will have the chance to learn photography with the help of Instructors already in the industry. https://gtaphotographyclasses.com/kids-teens/ Elora, Ontario Summer Circus Camp at the Elora Centre for the Arts Ages 6-12 The Elora Centre for the Arts offers a week-long summer camp which focuses on acrobatics, juggling, clowning and much more. This program is for those that love endless possibilities! https://eloracentreforthearts.ca/event/summer-circus-camp/ Richmond Hill, Ontario The Steam Project Ages JK-Grade 8 (Different camps for various ages) The Steam Project is the camp you wish existed when you were a child. Unlike traditional summer camps, The Steam Project camp teaches Art, Technology, Mathematics and much more using a hands-on approach. Additionally, they have creative programs such as their “Tinker” summer program, which allow kids to design and create their own toys! https://www.thesteamproject.ca/a-different-camp Vancouver, British Columbia Windsure Adventure Watersports – Windsurfing Camps 12+ Does your child love the water? Well, we have the perfect camp for you! Windsure Adventure Watersports offers windsurfing camps that can combined with skimboarding, sailing and kayaking. Additionally, all classes include the use of a complete sailboard, wetsuit and life jacket

6 Gadgets Your Teen Will Love for Back to School   With all kinds of new tech coming out every year, your teen is bound to want something or the other and if it helps them get ahead at school – even better! Whether they are just listening to music on the go or writing essays, this list has everything they need for a successful school year. Airpods Revolutionizing the way students use headphones, Airpods are wireless and connect to iPhones, iPads, Apple Watches, and Macs seamlessly. $219 at Apple.ca iPad Pro More powerful than most PC laptops and are extremely easy to use. The Apple Pencil feels natural and responsive on the iPad Pro with the Smart Keyboard connecting easily for typing notes, essays and emails. Starts at $869 at Apple.ca Wireless Speaker This Outdoor Technology BuckShot 2.0 Wireless Speaker from MEC comes with a rubber-bar mount that allows you to mount to your bike handle bars or dune buggy role cages. It also has a built-in speakerphone so your teen can take calls on the go! $49 at Mountain Equipment Co-op. Fujifilm Wireless Square Mobile Printer With Polaroids and photography being all the rage among teens, this gadget is perfect. Snap pictures with your phone or a compatible Fujifilm camera and this wireless printer will print immediately. It’s completely portable and comes with a rechargeable battery. $249 at Best Buy Tablet Stand With full 210 degrees rotation, this tablet stand is perfect for writing essays, watching movies, or simply having a safe place to store the device. $23.99 at Amazon.ca Reading Book Light For a book that your teen just can’t put down, or late-night study sessions, this travel-size book light is perfect. Comes with a sturdy, bendy arm that clips to any hardcover or paperback. $10.95 at Indigo.

6 Decor Items for Their Dorm Make your teen’s dorm room feel like home with these fun finds sure to liven up their new space! From sprays to water clocks, we have handpicked a diverse list just in time for back to school! Room Spray This will become an instant favourite for your teen. Refreshes any dorm room with the sweet scent of fall. $7.50 at Bath and Body Works Neon Lights A wonderfully bright addition to any study space – choose from a cat, a heart and a cupcake design. These neon light decorations feature modern LED technology for a warm steady glow. $22 at Indigo stores Calendar Chalkboard Perfect for organizing the week, your teen is sure to appreciate having this in their dorm room. Includes rose gold clips at the top for mounting notes. $34 at Urban Outfitters Water Clock For the teen majoring in environmental studies! This clock uses water to run and batteries and electricity are never needed – only tap water. $33.80 at Amazon.ca Floor Pillow These are essential for gatherings with friends or late-night study sessions. Comes in an assortment of fabrics and colours. $59 at Urban Outfitters Lap Desk Whether your teen likes to lounge on the bed or the floor, this lap desk is perfect for laptops or notebooks. $24 at Indigo stores.

Top 7 things to do with kids in Montreal this summer Have kids and want to travel to Montreal? From toddlers to teens, Montreal is filled with activities that are actually fun for the whole family. Photo Credit: Claude Robidoux/VIA 1. Take the train. There’s nothing easier than rolling into the VIA station, grabbing your bags and walking to one of the many fantastic hotels in the downtown core. The kids will love the train experience and you’ll love the me-time to read, listen to music or catch up on some much-needed sleep. 2. Old Port. Tuck into shops, have a drink on a patio, rent a bike, quadricycle or pedal boat, learn to Segway or Hoverboard or zip line across the water. 3. La Grande Roue de Montreal. This highlight of the city gives you a panoramic, breathtaking view from 60 metres high in the air. Day or night, this is a magical experience. 4. SOS Labyrinthe. This unique indoor treasure hunt located in the Old Port is fun for all ages — and great on a rainy afternoon. Find your way through a 2-km maze to the four longshoremen’s treasures, get your card stamped and get out as fast as you can. 5. Biosphere. You can’t miss the white dome that is Biosphere, located on Ile Sainte-Helene. Built for Expo 67, it now hosts exhibitions and scientific events that highlight the ways we live as eco-citizens. Kids will love the interactive displays, games, videos, nature tours and more. 6. Botanical Gardens. With more than 22,000 plant species, 10 greenhouses, and 30 thematic gardens, you’ll feel as though you’ve been transported to far-off lands while getting that much-needed break from the bustle of the city. 7. Voiles en Voiles. This outdoor park, situated steps from the zip line and Ferris wheel, features aerial courses all aboard two massive ships — and a whole host of bouncy castles that’ll have the kids amused for hours. The ships are fun for adults too — or the perfect excuse for you to sit and read a book for a bit.  By Chantel Guertin

4 Reasons To Take Your Teen To Clear Lake, Manitoba Families looking to experience a quintessential Canadian beach town need look no further than Wasagaming in Riding Mountain National Park in Manitoba. As soon as you enter the log cabin-looking gates of the provincial park, you will be transported to a place that’s packed with adventure, wildlife, amazing food and scenery that will leave an imprint on your memory for years to come. Surrounded by lush forest, Wasagaming, otherwise known as Clear Lake, is located about three hours northwest of Winnipeg. During the summer, the hotspot is bustling with vacationers — young and old. If you’re looking to impress your tween and teen with a family getaway they won’t soon forget, don’t miss out on these four things to do and see in Clear Lake. The Lakehouse Before you begin exploring the area, stake your basecamp at The Lakehouse. Located in the heart of the main stretch of Wasagaming, just steps away from the beach, this boutique hotel is not only the perfect place to stay, but it also serves as a hotbed for entertainment. Whether they are staying there or not, the main lobby is bustling with vacationers lined up at the ice cream, coffee and smoothie bar. The adjoining lounge, fitted with sink-into chocolate leather lounge chairs, a cozy fireplace and reclaimed wood bar and tables, is the ideal setting for the lodge’s trivia, boozy bingo and live music nights. In the back of the resort, where you access the hotel rooms, is two hot tubs, barbecue stations, and sitting/lounging areas, all underneath a canopy of twinkle lights, that look nothing less than magical on a warm summer’s night. The rooms are comfortable and contemporary with reclaimed wood headboards, brightly coloured furniture and convenient amenities every family needs, such as a microwave and fridge. Don’t leave without picking up a Lakehouse souvenir — the stylish logo is printed on everything from candles and coffee cups to T-shirts and sweaters. Clear Lake Marina You can’t help but be drawn to the crystal clear waters of Clear Lake. It’s the perfect place to swim, water ski, wake-board, canoe, and paddleboard. To soak in the scenery from a whole new perspective, head to the Clear Lake Marina where you can rent everything from a motorboat to a paddle boat or take the family on a dinner or sunset cruise on the Martese. Not only will your teen capture some

Are you stuck on what to get Dad for Father’s Day? Picking that perfect gift for him can be tricky — especially if you really want to surprise him with something special. Whether he loves to grill or take on weekend projects, we put together a list of gift ideas every Dad will love, all available at RONA. FOR THE MASTER GRILLER He will love grilling his favourites on this Broil King Signet™ 320 Propane Gas BBQ. It fires up with a simple touch of the Sure-Lite™ quick start button and with its three Dual-Tube (TM) dual tube stainless steel burners, it delivers 40,000 BTU heat efficiently and evenly. While he’s out there grilling, let Dad keep quenched at arm’s reach with this Master Forge modular outdoor kitchen fridge.  This gorgeous fridge, punctuated with stainless steel, comes with a granite top, which can be used as a counter surface or cutting board, as well as adding a touch of elegance to this modular unit.   He can prepare the food and wash up with this unit comprised of a large-sized sink with premium faucet, two 12,000-BTU side element burners, and one 12,000-BTU cast iron burner with griddle. Enjoy the durability and elegance of the black granite countertop. It’s also equipped with a slide-out tank tray (tank not included) and two drawers for storage. Includes a cutting board and cover. For some extra work space, this corner unit is made of black steel. Its black granite top will add to your countertop space, while its lower allows you to store an extra propane tank (tank not included). To round out his outdoor kitchen, this Master Forge(TM) quarter-round corner table is an attractive and practical component of an exterior kitchen. The table adapts to each module to create a more flexible configuration.   FOR THE DAD WHO MAKES THE CUT This Remington® gas lawn mower is a great combination of efficiency and power. The durable 159 cc PowerMore OHV engine delivers great performance, while the 21" cutting deck lets him cut more in a single pass, with an option of rear bag, mulch or side discharge clippings to suit his preference. The loop with indent handle offers comfort and control, making it easier to care for Dad to care for his lawn this season.   FOR THE WEEKEND WARRIOR This lightweight Karcher "K2" Compact Electric Pressure Washer has the range to gently clean delicate paint jobs or blast away hardened dirt and grime. Its upright and compact body is