March Break in Mont Tremblant

I've coined a new term: Winter Rage. Move over Road Rage....Winter's taking over. Have you noticed an increase in grumpiness these past few weeks? The kids are tired of indoor recess due to wind chills, and the parents are tired of dealing with bored kids :) I'm all for bundling up and just braving the cold, but younger children make that quite a challenge!

There is light at the end of the tunnel, though, and for us it's called Mont Tremblant. We were graciously gifted a one-week stay in a cottage about 20 minutes outside of Mont Tremblant village. The plan is to drink lots of beer, sit by the roaring fire, drink more beer, and go skiing (maybe not in that order).

I wrote an article for Capital Parent Newspaper about one or two-night getaways to Tremblant. Doing my research, I could not believe the number of things there are to do there! The list is endless, and even includes "dune buggy-ing" over snow drifts. The friends we're traveling with have decided to check out dog-sledding - we're going to wait for the girls to get a bit older to try that.

Our list of must-do's include:

  • snowshoeing to the top of Mont Tremblant (adults only)
  • snow tubing (family-friendly)
  • swimming at Mont Tremblant's Aquaclub (family-friendly but PRICEY!)
  • skiing (partially family-friendly...not sure if the 2 year-old is old enough!)
  • eating a copious amount of crepes 

So I'm curious to hear - have you been to Mont Tremblant with your family? What would you include as a "must-do?"

Worth a Visit: The Loft Board Game Lounge

t's our weekly "Worth a Visit" series! Have an idea you'd like to submit? The only requirements are that it must be in the Ottawa region and kid-friendly! Email Misty at kidsinthecapital@gmail.com

EEK! I'm very excited to be introducing this "Worth a Visit" place on Kids in the Capital today. I love discovering new family-friendly places in Ottawa.

I discovered The Loft Board Game Lounge because we had our office's Christmas party there....in February. Yes, I know, it's strange to hold a Christmas party in February, but you have to admit that December is often too busy, right?

A friend at work knows the owner of The Loft, and we decided it would be a fun team-building exercise to challenge our co-workers to one of the hundreds of games they have to play.

Shelves upon shelves of games

Shelves upon shelves of games

This place is incredible. They have every game you've ever loved or hated to play. I never thought of myself as someone who loves games, but I could see a small obsession growing with this place. I can't wait to take the kids there.

If you have younger children, it might be best to check out The Loft one afternoon. I've heard evenings can get busy, especially with other bars in the area. The location is smack dab in the middle of town (14 Waller Street), and they serve meals, coffee/tea and craft beers. Even better, the staff is always willing to help sit down with guests and explain the games (thank goodness, as we chose Pandemic, probably the most complicated game of all time). Check out the website for a list of their games and more information.

This is one gem you definitely don't want to miss! Happy Gaming!!

 

Winter Market at Lansdowne

Looking for something different to do this past weekend, we decided to take a trip to Lansdowne Park and check out the new design.

 A beautiful outdoor rink at Lansdowne Park

 A beautiful outdoor rink at Lansdowne Park

We started by visiting Aberdeen Pavilion, where the Ottawa Farmer's Market hosts a winter market every Sunday from 10am - 3pm. We got sticky cinnamon buns from our favourite Ethiopian guy and fresh eggs from Bearbrook Farms.

The food and buskers were great, but the highlight was the LRT train exhibit. We got to check out the inside of the train that will be used on the new Confederation Line. The display will be there until the end of March, after which time it will move to OC Transpo headquarters.

Next, Dad and the 5 year-old did some skating on the outdoor rink behind the Pavilion, while I took the 2 year-old to check out Whole Foods. Wow, what a place!! I think I would definitely go broke if I was living near that grocery store.

The downside of the trip? A $55 parking ticket :( We didn't read the signs properly, and thought parking would be free on Sundays. Turns out it's never free, and it's only 1 hour parking, pay and display. I'm considering heading to City Hall to plead poverty and Mommy brain, and see if I can get the ticket dropped. $55 is the early payment price, after which it goes up to $75!! Seems like an outrageous amount to charge.

My advice? Park somewhere in the Glebe and go for a nice walk to get there. Doesn't seem worth it to park there and worry about moving your car every hour.

I looked longingly at the LRT train after that ticket....2023 couldn't come fast enough for those of us in the East end!

Relief in sight?

Friends, I think we might be in luck. The temperatures are rising....and yes, that means 5-10 centimetres of snow here in Ottawa tomorrow, BUT it also means -2 degrees on Sunday!! I can't tell you how excited this makes me - finally, we'll have some relief from the bitter cold.

I don't know about you, but I've been finding this winter rough. Usually I'm too busy to care much about the weather. Sure, it bothers me when I have to drive in a snowstorm or walk on treacherous ice, but most of the time I get through winter without too much grief.

Not this winter, though. The weather this year has made me afraid that we are in an eternal winter. Maybe it's a punishment from the Gods for the fact that I've let my daughters watch Frozen too many times.

This Sunday may be one of the few days we can actually enjoy winter. We can get the girls outside for a few hours, and maybe even plan a special snowshoeing or skiing trip! 

Will you be celebrating winter this weekend?

Checklist for Your Child’s Eye Health

Children’s eye health is a fundamental part of their growth and development. Unfortunately, it can be challenging for parents and teachers to recognize vision problems in children, as they often don’t know what to look for, or how to recognize behaviours that may be connected to a visual impairment. It can be equally difficult for children to communicate or recognize issues, as they may think that they see the world the way everyone does.

Despite having 20/20 vision, children can still suffer from various eye health problems, such as eye focusing, which can create frustration and lead to permanent learning consequences. According to the Ontario Association of Optometrists, one in four school-aged children has some form of vision problem.

Look out for these eye appearances and symptoms as an indication that your child has a vision problem:

Appearances:
●    One eye that looks turned in or out
●    Bumps, styes, redness, swelling, or crusting of eyelids        
●    Haziness or whitish appearance inside the pupil
●    Frequently watery eyes 
●    Excessive blinking or squinting

Symptoms:
●    Closing or covering an eye when looking at objects 
●    Losing place or using a finger to maintain place when reading 
●    Exhibiting a reading or learning problem
●    Complaining of headaches, nausea and dizziness 
●    Avoiding reading, colouring, or activities up close
●    Poor hand-eye coordination

No one can see through children’s eyes, except the children themselves. The best way to ensure your children have a bright future is by booking their eye exam with a Doctor of Optometry. Check out my past post all about my daughters’ first eye exam!

Note to Readers: I was provided this information by Eye See...Eye Learn®, a non-profit that offers a free program by participating Doctors of Optometry, helping to identify vision problems in Ontario’s young children. The program provides eye exams and complimentary eyeglasses to Junior Kindergarten children, when needed. 

For more information, visit EyeSeeEyeLearn.ca.