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“I Felt Like I Was Not a Good Mom”

Serena Williams is opening up about her struggles with motherhood, and shared how she has rough days or weeks. In a raw Instagram post, the tennis star wrote, “I felt like I was not a good mom.”

She also wrote that it’s “totally normal” to feel like she’s not doing enough for baby, and that some days and weeks as a mom are “rough.” She applauded moms for constantly playing the balancing act, whether they are working moms, or stay-at-home moms. Williams also shared that she has a good support system, leaning on her mom, sisters and friends when she’s having a tough time.

Thank you, Serena, for being so open and honest about your struggles as a mom. Thank you for sharing your inner-most thoughts, doubts and insecurities about motherhood with all of us. A celebrity like Serena admitting to these feelings puts the spotlight on postpartum mood disorders once again, and helps continue this important conversation.

Last week was not easy for me. Not only was I accepting some tough personal stuff, but I just was in a funk. Mostly, I felt like I was not a good mom. I read several articles that said postpartum emotions can last up to 3 years if not dealt with. I like communication best. Talking things through with my mom, my sisters, my friends let me know that my feelings are totally normal. It’s totally normal to feel like I’m not doing enough for my baby. We have all been there. I work a lot, I train, and I’m trying to be the best athlete I can be. However, that means although I have been with her every day of her life, I’m not around as much as I would like to be. Most of you moms deal with the same thing. Whether stay-at-home or working, finding that balance with kids is a true art. You are the true heroes. I’m here to say: if you are having a rough day or week–it’s ok–I am, too!!! There’s always tomm!

A post shared by Serena Williams (@serenawilliams) on

 

Last week was not easy for me. Not only was I accepting some tough personal stuff, but I just was in a funk. Mostly, I felt like I was not a good mom.

I read several articles that said postpartum emotions can last up to 3 years if not dealt with. I like communication best. Talking things through with my mom, my sisters, my friends let me know that my feelings are totally normal.

It’s totally normal to feel like I’m not doing enough for my baby.

We have all been there. I work a lot, I train, and I’m trying to be the best athlete I can be.

However, that means although I have been with her every day of her life, I’m not around as much as I would like to be. Most of you moms deal with the same thing. Whether stay-at-home or working, finding that balance with kids is a true art. You are the true heroes.

I’m here to say: if you are having a rough day or week–it’s ok–I am, too!!! There’s always tomm!

As many as one in five women will suffer from some form of depression, mood or anxiety disorder during or after pregnancy. However, many new moms don’t realize that postpartum depression can occur any time after giving birth.

If you or someone you know is having feelings of sadness, helplessness, hopelessness, and loss of interest in things you used to once enjoy, please see a medical professional.

Shop Back-to-School and Earn Aeroplan Miles

Back-to-school time is always an exciting time of the year. Much like a new calendar year, the start of a new school year brings new goals and plans.

Soon enough, back-to-school shopping will be in full swing. As a child, I would be excited to get ready for the first day of school; and now as a parent of two, it’s even more exciting. New school supplies, new clothes, a new outfit for the first day… and the excitement of a new teacher and seeing friends again.

But before I begin shopping, I take inventory first to see what the kids need. I rummage through kids’ closets first to see what still fits, and what’s been outgrown. I also check school supplies and make note of whether last year’s binders, pencil cases and backpacks have managed to hold up over the course of the previous year.

Once I’m armed with my back-to-school list, I’m ready to start shopping. And if I can earn some travel miles at the same time, I’m thrilled. As an Aeroplan member, I’m always looking for ways to earn miles on my purchases so that I can book that next vacation faster. With over 150 retailers to choose from on the Aeroplan eStore, it’s easy to earn miles.

Just in time for back-to-school season, Aeroplan Members will be able to earn 5X the miles when they shop via the Aeroplan eStore between August 6-19th.

The Aeroplan eStore features over 150 online retailers such as Apple Store Canada, Indigo.ca, Sephora, Hudson’s Bay, The Gap and Old Navy, Amazon.ca and more. Members can find special offers on a daily basis from over 10 different product categories including clothing, jewellery, books, electronics, activities, and entertainment.

Earn miles by shopping through Aeroplan’s eStore in one central location. Here are the benefits from shopping via the eStore:

  • Earn at least 1 Aeroplan Mile for every $1 spent
  • Earn twice when using your Aeroplan-affiliated financial card
  • Easy and secure shopping that allows you to earn miles with every purchase
  • Often times there are promotions where members earn more (3X, 4X, 5X and Aeroplan Status members earn even more!)

 

Aeroplan gives you options to control your travel. You’ll be able to select airline seats, accommodations, car rentals, destination activities, and travel packages all in one place, from either your mobile device or online.

And with 5X the miles site wide between August 6-19th for back to school, you can reach your travel plans faster!

Happy Shopping!

Shop Back-to-School and Earn Aeroplan Miles

Disclosure: I am an Aeroplan brand partner and receive perks. As always, the opinions expressed herein are my own.

 

 

Gluten Free Lemon Blueberry Loaf Cake

Blueberries are in season! In fact, fresh blueberries from British Columbia are available from July through until September in the produce section. I picked up a 2 litre container from Sobeys for only $4! After washing half the container and freezing, I saved the other half for this delicious blueberry loaf; and with a tangy and sweet flavour, blueberries are a perfect fruit to pair with lemon.

So here is a sweet and tangy lemon blueberry poppy seed loaf that happens to be gluten AND dairy free!

Lemon Blueberry Poppy Seed Loaf

Lemon Blueberry Poppy Seed Loaf – Gluten and Dairy Free | amotherworld

Ingredients

½ cup grapeseed oil

1 cup coconut palm sugar

Juice of 1 large lemon

Zest of one large lemon

2 eggs

½ cup almond milk  (or regular milk if you’re not dairy free)

2 cups gluten free flour (3/4 cups almond flour, ½ cup sorghum flour, ½ cup brown rice flour, ¼ cup tapioca flour) + 1/8th teaspoon xanthan gum  (or 2 cups flour if you’re not gluten-free)

2 teaspoons baking powder

¼ teaspoon sea salt

1 cup blueberries

¼ cup poppy seeds (optional)

Glaze:

½ cup icing sugar

2-3 tablespoons lemon juice

Method:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a loaf pan with parchment paper.

Zest lemon and set aside; then juice lemon in a small separate bowl and set aside. In a bowl, mix flours, xanthan gum, baking powder and sea salt together; set aside.

In a stand mixer, blend oil, sugar and lemon zest. Add eggs and mix; then add almond milk and lemon juice and mix until blended.

In two parts, add gluten free flour mix until blended. Remove from stand mixer, and fold in blueberries and poppy seeds.

Pour into parchment-paper-lined loaf pan, and bake for 1 hour.

Once cooled, remove loaf from pan. In a small bowl, mix icing sugar with lemon juice with a fork. Drizzle on top of loaf. Enjoy!

Lemon Blueberry Loaf cake

Lemon Blueberry Poppy Seed Loaf Cake gluten and dairy free | amotherworld

Life as a Mom of Boys

I have two boys, and a husband which means I’m the only female in the house.  My life as a mom of boys – a boy mom – is one I didn’t expect, but have embraced wholeheartedly.

When my boys were little, I would hear the question, “Are you going to keep trying for a girl?”  At the time, my boys were both under 2 1/2, so the answer was a simple no. But along with that decision came the letting go of the visions of braiding a daughter’s hair, painting each other’s nails, and shopping for clothes.

I adore my boys, even though my house seethes with testosterone. Turn the channel to Animal Planet and watch two male lions interact; they battle for supremacy of their pride. They’ll roll around on the floor, and physically fight to win. Grunting is the preferred form of communication at times, and steak and potatoes the meal of choice.

My heart has unwillingly been conditioned to manage blood pressure fluctuations when dealing with wipe-outs on concrete, body-checking in hockey, and bodies flying off high playground structures. Even with a tween and teen, discussions surrounding bodily functions are still abundant, and even more creative.  Try not to laugh about who has the loudest fart or the longest burp!

I don’t have to analyze what they’re saying, or read between the lines because boys say what they mean. And while sometimes their choice of language is pepper-in-the-mouth worthy, I appreciate their frankness. While they’re too blunt when pointing out the dimples on my legs, or the grey hairs popping out of my scalp, they also praise me for being “fit for my age”, and looking great in my new body-conscious dress.

But there’s also a softer side to these boys too, of course. My boys love to cuddle, kiss and hug their mama, and curl up on the couch or crawl into my bed. They still like to play with my hair, and bury their face into my shoulder. They come to their mama to talk about their joys and fears, thoughts and emotions, their dreams and ambitions.  As we look toward the future, I know we will walk together hand in hand.

Most of all, their love is immense and intense. They’ve captured my heart and soul.

Life as a Mom of Boys | amotherworld.com

5 Reasons to Take the Family to Fern Resort

Just an hour and a half drive north of Toronto, Fern Resort is a quick escape from the city’s bustle where families can drop everything and head to for a weekend or week to kick back and relax. Why take the family to Fern Resort?

Fern Resort is Ontario’s all-inclusive resort, welcoming families and friends for more than 123 years. The resort is owned by the Downing family, and now in its 4th generation of family operation. So the family is committed to providing families a fun family vacation right on the shores of Lake Couchiching.

As the resort is all-inclusive, you don’t have to lug up food, a barbecue, or activities for the kids. Fern provides it all including things to do and three meals a day.

Here are 5 Reasons to Take the Family to Fern Resort.

5 Reasons to Take the Family to Fern Resort

5 Reasons to take the Family to Fern Resort in Ontario ~ amotherworld

The Vibe

The historic charm of Fern Resort is evident around the property. Our room beside the main inn had a balcony overlooking the pool and lake, and had a fireplace. Though the room was a bit dated, it was comfortable for the four of us.

Fern resort felt familiar when I visited, reminding me of the 1987 film Dirty Dancing! The set-up, the activities such as dance lessons, and the evening entertainment reminded me of the “Kellerman Resort” where Baby and Johnny fell in love. The property itself also hasn’t been updated, so the feel of the place will take you back a few decades – but that’s part of Fern’s charm.

There are Jacuzzi units and Edgewater Cottages for couples and families that overlook Lake Couchiching, with Goat, Heron and Garnet Islands. There are also three-room larger cottage-style units for larger families which feature two bedrooms and a living room on the main floor, and an outdoor deck.

5 Reasons to Take the Family to Fern Resort Welcome

Fern Resort Ontario Main Inn Fireside Fern Resort Ontario Fireside Fern Resort Ontario Hearthside 5 Reasons to Take the Family to Fern Resort Main Building

The Lake

Close to two kilometres of Fern waterfront makes much fun to be had on, in and around Lake Couchiching. We enjoyed lounging by the lake, and by the pool overlooking the lake. Watching the sunset was also a treat. For those who are more adventurous, they can explore the lake with a pedal boat, or go water skiing.

Fern Resort Ontario docks Fern Resort Ontario lake dockside Fern Resort Ontario lake view Fern Resort Ontario lake view Fern Resort Ontario Swings by the Lake Fern Resort Ontario view from edge of lake Fern Resort Ontario beachside Fern Resort Ontario View of the lake

The Pools

You could probably spend most of the day by the two pools, both overlooking the lake; one has a small water slide, and the other a diving board. There is also a wading pool, and two hot tubs. There are plenty of lounge chairs, an outdoor bar, and

Fern Resort pool lake view

5 Reasons to Visit Fern Resort - the Pools Fern Resort Pools

The All-Inclusive

The hallmark of a stay at Fern is the dining experience. You’ll have the same table each time you visit the dining room for breakfast, lunch and dinner, where the menus change on a rotating basis, offering plenty of choice for every palate. The resort was able to accommodate my gluten and soy restrictions too.

For lunch, you have the option of dining at Heritage, or attending their BBQ lunch by the pool and lake. We opted to eat outdoors and enjoy the view.  The outdoor lunch had stations serving all your BBQ faves, including sausages and hot dogs, burgers and veggies burgers,  deli sandwiches (gluten free bread too), French fries and onion rings, pizza, a salad bar, and the popular taco bar and poutine station.  There’s also a dessert bar where you can enjoy ice cream, sundaes, jumbo freezies, and other baked goods like butter tarts.

For dinner, kids can eat from the buffet at 5:30, while dinner begins at 6:00 p.m. in the dining room. Kids also have the option of eating from the breakfast buffet, or ordering from our table.

I had the pizza one night with the gluten-free crust which was pretty good. My husband had the steak, while the boys enjoyed burgers. The gluten-free peach pie was an unfortunate miss; but my family loved the peanut butter pie.

The service in the main dining room was a bit slow for dinner, and a few things we asked for didn’t end up making it to the table. But overall the dining experience was pretty good.

Fern Resort Ontario BBQ Lunch Fern Resort Ontario Breakfast Fern Resort Ontario Burger Gluten Free Pizza at Fern Resort _ amotherworld Fern Resort Ontario Peanut Butter Pie Fern Resort Ontario's All-Inclusive - Steak Dinner

The Activities

There are many activities for all ages. What I appreciated was the resort had a schedule they’d hand out the evening before at dinner so we were able to plan what to do the following day. The activities list is impressive:

  • Two outdoor pools, hot tubs, steam room
  • Water sports including pedal boats, kayaks, canoes, SUP, sail boat, waterskiing (extra fee)
  • Fishing
  • Road hockey
  • Beach volleyball
  • Basketball courts
  • High ropes, rock climbing, low ropes
  • Golf
  • Tennis
  • Pickle ball
  • Batting cage
  • Archery
  • Axe throwing
  • Paint Ball
  • Mini putt
  • Horseshoes
  • Bocce ball
  • Yoga
  • Indoor pool
  • Fitness centre
  • Children’s Play village
  • Evening entertainment
  • Spa
  • Pool table
  • Video games
  • Ping pong

There are many activities to choose from, so you’ll never hear “I’m bored” from the kids. Parents are able to drop the kids off with their age group, and have some time alone to enjoy the spa or pool – bonus! The recreation staff guides kids through age-appropriate activity programs.

5 Reasons to Visit Fern Resort - activities Ping Pong match at Fern Resort Reasons to Visit Fern Resort - Pedal Boats Fern Resort Orillia Ontario Hammocks Fern Resort Ontario's All-Inclusive Fishing Fishing at Fern Resort Fern Resort Ontario Bikes

Fern Resort Ontario Entertainment comedian Fern Resort Ontario entertainment Mega Magic

Helpful Tips

If you plan on visiting Fern, bring a lanyard to carry your room keys, as they are actual keys and not card keys. It would’ve been helpful to have somewhere for the boys to keep a key around their neck.

Alcohol is not included in the all-inclusive, so bring your own liquor to keep in your room, or you can go into downtown Orillia (5 minute drive) to pick some up.

Pack some bug spray, especially if you plan to sit by the lake at night.

Don’t bother packing towels; the front desk provides you with towels for the pool or lake!

Love that the resort offers coffee all day in the lobby, as well as water stations throughout the resort. With all the activity, you best keep hydrated!

Bring yoga and/or athletic wear if you plan on taking an outdoor yoga class, or use the fitness room.

Fern Resort Ontario lake view at dusk

Fern Resort Ontario campfire 5 Reasons to Take the Family to Fern Resort - Sunset

Disclosure: We received a complimentary visit at Fern Resort, in exchange for our honest review.  As always, the opinions expressed herein are my own.

Avalon Organics Skin and Body Products (Giveaway)

Not often do you come across a great line of organic hair and body products that not only smell amazing, but also fulfill on their promise. Natural skin care products are not only better for your body, but also better for our furry friends (no animal testing). They’re also better for the environment – think of all the chemicals going down our drains into the water system.

Avalon Organics® is devoted to honouring our health as well as the Earth with their pro-organic philosophy. All of their products contain at least 70% organic content, and are formulated without Parabens, harsh preservatives, synthetic fragrances, artificial colours, phthalates or potentially harmful sulfates. Avalon products are made with 100% vegetarian, science-based nutrients and natural botanicals, and are never tested on animals.

Here are some of my personal favourites:

Avalon Organics Lavender Nourishing Shampoo & Conditioner

The shampoo contains Lavender Essential Oil, Wheat Protein, Aloe and Vitamins nourish and moisturize normal to dry hair for soft, smooth, shiny results. The conditioner contains the same ingredients plus nourishing Jojoba Oil, Vitamin E,to condition and nourish each hair strand for smooth, healthy-looking results.

I look for products with a high organic content, essential oils for scent, and botanicals. My hair is prone to dryness, but my hair feels silky after using the conditioner. I love that the shampoo and conditioner smells of lavender with a hint of citrus; washing your hair never smelled so good! The essential oils are a treat as well when you’re taking a shower; breathing in the lavender scent is truly relaxing.

Avalon Organics Lavender Bath and Shower Gel

This bath and shower gel has a natural blend of lavender oil, aloe, wheat protein and non-drying botanical cleansers to gently purify and replenish the skin. Plus the soothing aroma of lavender calms the mind and body.

Avalon Organics Lavender Hand & Body Lotion

Plant lipids and oils naturally restore your skin’s lipid balance, so even extra dry, undernourished skin is replenished with long-lasting lotion.  The lavender essential oil, aloe, vitamin E & beta-glucan deliver moisture and helps hydrate the skin. This lotion absorbs nicely without leaving a film, and the scent is heavenly.

Avalon Organics Vitamin C Renewal Crème

This age-defying cream helps deeply rehydrate and rebuild the skin’s support structure. Antioxidant-rich Vitamin C, Lemon Bioflavonoids, and White Tea soothe oxidative stress and help fight the visible signs of photo-aging. Collagen and elastin growth is stimulated so the skin becomes smoother and more supple as the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles fades. This crème has a smooth texture, a lovely orangey scent, and is absorbed quickly.

Find out more about the Avalon Organics line of products here.

WIN an AVALON ORGANICS PRIZE PACK | amotherworld.com

Enter to Win

Want to win some Avalon Organics products? One lucky reader will win a prize pack! Fill in the Rafflecopter below to enter.

 

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Aeroplan Offer on Amazon Prime Day 2018

When I’m not traveling, I’m dreaming of my next trip and researching destinations. As an Aeroplan  member, I’m always looking for ways to earn miles on my purchases so that I can book that next vacation faster. And with over 150 retailers to choose from on the Aeroplan eStore, it’s easy to earn miles.

With my Aeroplan Miles, I’ve booked several flights including a recent flight to Los Angeles for the Mom 2.0 Summit!

Amazon Prime Day is quickly approaching, it begins on July 16th at 3:00 p.m. EDT for 36 hours of epic deals! Shopping with Amazon.ca helps Aeroplan members earn even more miles on their purchases and reach their travel plans even faster.

Here’s what Aeroplan Members can earn on Amazon Prime Day:

  • Members can earn 5x the miles on Amazon Prime Day starting July 16 – 18th when shopping via the Aeroplan eStore — no need to be an Amazon Prime member.
  • Amazon Prime Day has special offers for Prime members only. The basic benefits of being a Prime member are :
  1. FREE two-day shipping
  2. Access to Prime Video
  3. Access to Prime Music… And special deals on Prime Day! Over 100,000 deals across nearly all of its categories, including TVs, toys and electronics.

Earn miles by shopping through Aeroplan’s eStore, which has over 150 top brand-name online retailers in one central location. Here are the benefits from shopping via the eStore:

  • Earn at least 1 Aeroplan Mile for every $1 spent
  • Earn twice when using your Aeroplan-affiliated financial card
  • Easy and secure shopping that allows you to earn miles with every purchase
  • Often times there are promotions where members earn more (3X, 4X, 5X and Aeroplan Status members earn even more)

 

Aeroplan gives you options to control your travel. You’ll be able to select airline seats, accommodations, car rentals, destination activities, and travel packages all in one place, from either your mobile device or online. You’ll also have the power to reach your travel plans faster – with more partners, you can easily collect more miles.

Make the most of Amazon Prime Day to help get you closer to your next vacation!

 

 

Delicious Lobster Lo-Mein Recipe

This delicious recipe is featured in Matt Dean Pettit’s newest book, The Great Shellfish Cookbook, a copy of which I received. The Great Shellfish Cookbook features over 100 delicious, vibrant, and healthy recipes for all kinds of shellfish. Enjoy!

Spadina Avenue is the site not only of Toronto’s Chinatown, but also of countless late-night meals I’ve had over the years. On any random night, you’ll see some of Toronto’s best cooks and chefs dining in the small, packed restaurants that line the street. I love getting to know the staff at these restaurants, including my favorite, Rol San, and asking them questions about their cuisine. Some of the best advice I’ve received over the years is to let the flavors bind together. Fresh garlic, ginger, and green onions, plus any other Asian spices you may like to add, create a great base for almost any sauce.

Ingredients:

2 live lobsters (11/2 lb/680 g each)
1/2 cup (125 mL) cornstarch 6 green onions
1/4 cup (60 mL) canola oil 4 cloves garlic, finely diced
1 Tbsp (15 mL) minced peeled fresh ginger
1 tsp (5 mL) Chinese five-spice

1 cup (250 mL) vegetable stock
1/4 cup (60 mL) soy sauce 1/4 cup (60 mL) rice wine 1 Tbsp (15 mL) fish sauce
1 tsp (5 mL) granulated sugar

1 package (17 1/2 oz/500 g) lo-mein noodles, cooked as per package’s instructions
1 cup (250 mL) fresh bean sprouts

Method:

1. Prepare an ice bath in a bucket or the sink.

2. To cook the lobsters, in a very large saucepan over high heat, bring 6 quarts (6 L) of salted, cold water to a boil. Using tongs, submerge the lobsters, head first, in the boiling water, and cook, covered, for approximately 8 to 10 minutes, or until they turn bright red. Using tongs again, remove the lobsters from the water and place them in the ice bath for 5 to 10 minutes to stop the cooking process. Then, using a large chef’s knife or kitchen shears, carefully crack and break down the shells and remove as much meat as possible. Roughly chop the meat and place it in a large bowl. Add the cornstarch and mix to coat the lobster pieces.

3. Finely chop four of the green onions and place them in a small bowl. Chop the remaining two green onions and place them in a separate small bowl. 4. In a large, deep saucepan or wok, heat the canola oil over medium-high heat. Add the four finely chopped green onions, garlic, ginger, and Chinese five-spice. Cook, stirring constantly, for 1 to 2 minutes, until fragrant.

5. Add the coated lobster pieces to the saucepan and stir to mix all the ingredients together. Turn down the heat to medium-low, cover, and cook for 3 to 4 minutes, stirring once or twice.

6. In a medium-size mixing bowl, combine the vegetable stock, soy sauce, rice wine, fish sauce, and sugar. Mix well. Add the sauce to the saucepan, mix to combine, and cook for 1 to 2 minutes, or until heated through. Add the remaining two green onions and the bean sprouts. Stir well.

7. Place the cooked lo-mein noodles on a large serving platter and top with the hot lobster mixture. Serve immediately. Serves two to four.

Pick up a copy of  The Great Shellfish Cookbook here.

Spadina Special Cantonese Lobster Lo-Mein

Celebration Canada at Canada’s Wonderland All July

Celebrate Canada Day all month at Canada’s Wonderland! Canada’s Wonderland is hosting a month-long birthday celebration (June 30 – July 31) featuring a spectacular fireworks display on July 1, West Coast Lumberjacks, Cirque Canadien, the Craz-E-Crew Stunt Team, live music, authentic Canadian food, street performers and more!

Canada's Wonderland Celebration Canada - amotherworld

The West Coast Lumberjacks

Internationally recognized for their daredevil skills, the West Coast Lumberjacks will entertain guests of all ages while competing in Log Rolling, Tree Climbing, Axe Throwing and more.

The West Coast Lumberjacks at Canada's Wonderland

Cirque Canadien

Prepare to be mesmerized by a magical display of acrobatics, mystique and athleticism as the performers of Cirque Canadien bring you on a journey through the seasons of Canada.

Due to the popularity of this show, it’s best to arrive 15-30 minutes early as seating is limited, and available on a first-come, first-served basis.  Cool off inside Wonderland Theatre as it’s indoors and air conditioned.

Cirque Canadien Canada's Wonderland Cirque Canadien Canada's Wonderland

The Flying Frontenacs

Don’t miss the Flying Frontenacs as they stunt dive off a 70ft (21m) platform and showcase their athleticism on trampolines with incredible flips, turns, and dives.

Craz-E-Crew Stunt Crew

Don’t miss the spectacular air-time stunts as these high flying Canadian athletes perform extreme half-pipe tricks overlooking Arthur’s Baye. Performances begin July 16 through the 31st.

Celebration Plaza

A Canadian celebration isn’t complete without indulging in some of Canada’s best fare!

Enjoy Shrimp Mac n’ Cheese, Ontario BBQ chicken, Great Canadian Pizza, Maple Sugar and Butter Corn on the Cob, Peameal Bacon sliders, and of course, Poutine! But you must try the dessert of all Canadian desserts – a Deep Fried Blueberry Butter Tart topped with Bacon Ice Cream! Food tents are open from 1:00p.m. to 7:00 p.m. daily!

Canada Day Cupcakes Canada's Wonderland

Of course, you’ll enjoy Canada Wonderland’s fireworks at 10:00 p.m. on Canada Day!

Celebration Canada is included with Park Admission.  Find out more here.

 

On stage Cirque Canadien Canada's Wonderland

Disclosure: I am a brand partner with Canada’s Wonderland. As always, the opinions expressed herein are my own!

10 Things to Do in San Diego

San Diego is one of the most popular family vacation destinations in the United States, let alone California! And it’s no wonder; there are plenty of things to do in San Diego so just be sure to plan enough time during your visit to see and do as many as you possibly can!

10 Things to do in San Diego

1. Belmont Park

A few minutes by foot, Belmont Park is San Diego’s iconic beachfront amusement park on Mission Beach. It’s the quintessential Southern California beach boardwalk experience. Kids will love the rides including the Giant Dipper Roller Coaster, a wooden roller coaster built in 1925, which is a National Historic Landmark. Walk along the boardwalk, bring a picnic or just find a spot on the beach and people-watch!

Top Vacation Spot: Fun Family Vibe in San Diego - Belmont Park Giant Dipper roller coaster San Diego is a Fun Destination for the Family - Belmont Park ride Top Vacation Spot: Fun Family Vibe in San Diego - Belmont Park San Diego is a Fun Destination for the Family - Belmont Park boardwalk

2. San Diego Botanic Garden

For nature lovers, the San Diego Botanic Garden in nearby Encinitas is a stunning sanctuary. There are 37 acres of garden trails, restful vistas, ponds and waterfalls, flowering trees, majestic palms and the nation’s largest bamboo collection. Thanks to San Diego’s mild climate, plants from all over the world thrive here. The garden’s diverse topography provides a variety of microclimates including a tropical rainforest. The Hamilton Children’s Garden is especially wonderful for children, with a giant treehouse and creative spaces to explore.

Top Vacation Spot: Fun Family Vibe in San Diego - Botanic Garden waterfall San Diego is a Fun Destination for the Family - San Diego Botanic Garden San Diego is a Fun Destination for the Family - Botanic Garden Top Vacation Spot: Fun Family Vibe in San Diego- Botanic Garden Hamilton's Children Garden

 

 

3. Balboa Park – San Diego Zoo

Balboa Park is a vast urban cultural park with open space areas, natural vegetation zones, green belts, gardens, and walking paths. It also contains museums, several theaters, and the world-famous San Diego Zoo. San Diego Zoo has thousands of animals, dozens of elaborate and extensive exhibit areas, gardens, and animal-themed events. Set aside a morning or afternoon if not a full day to enjoy the exhibit.

The Children’s Zoo is more popular for kids as it has a petting zoo, animal feedings, naked mole-rats, spider monkeys, and other exciting animals. When you get tired of walking, hop on the double-decker guided tour buses which are free with the day pass. Another fun way to explore the zoo is via the Skyfari Arial Tram, which takes you from one end of the zoo clear out to the other, offering excellent views of the zoo.

San Diego is a Fun Destination for the Family San Diego Zoo Tour Bus San Diego is a Fun Destination for the Family San Diego Zoo Top Vacation Spot: Fun Family Vibe in San Diego - San Diego Zoo San Diego is a Fun Destination for the Family San Diego Zoo Gondola San Diego is a Fun Destination for the Family San Diego Zoo Peacock

Cabrillo National Monument

For a little history lesson, take the kids to Cabrillo National Monument on Point Loma, which commemorates Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo’s discovery of San Diego in 1542. Cabrillo was the first European to set foot on the U.S. West Coast. You’ll love the picturesque views of the harbour and downtown skyline. Explore the Old Point Loma Lighthouse and tidepools in one of the best protected intertidal ecosystems in Southern California.

Cabrillo National Monument San Diego Top Vacation Spot: Fun Family Vibe in San Diego - Cabrillo National Monument San Diego

Top Vacation Spot Fun Family Vibe in San Diego - Cabrillo National Monument

 San Diego Speed Boat Adventure

Forget the tour bus – take a tour boat! For the adventurous family, and to see the bay by boat, you must go on a San Diego Speed Boat Adventure. Take the wheel and be the captain of your very own speed boat as a tour guide introduces you to the sights and beauty of San Diego Bay. Be prepared though, it will be a bumpy ride as you go full throttle following the other speed boats. The guide will give an entertaining tour narration through two-way communication systems mounted in each boat.

San Diego Fun Family Destination Speed Boat Adventures Top U.S. Vacation Spot - Fun Family Vibe in San Diego - Speed Boat Adventures San Diego Fun Family Destination Speed Boat Adventures San Diego Fun Family Destination Speed Boat Adventures

 Birch Aquarium at Scripps

The Birch Aquarium at Scripps in La Jolla features more than 60 tanks of colorful marine life, including coral reefs, colourful fish, sharks, jellyfish and octopus. An interactive museum showcases research discoveries on climate, earth and ocean science.  There’s also a tide pool area where kids can touch tide-pool animals.

Birch Aquarium at Scripps San Diego - crab San Diego Fun for the Family - Birch Aquarium at Scripps San Diego Birch Aquarium at Scripps jellyfish San Diego fun for the family - Birch Aquarium at Scripps

La Jolla Cove and Shores

While you’re in San Diego, you must check out La Jolla Cove and its shores. You could spend an afternoon exploring the 6,000 acres of ocean floor and tidelands, the cove and surrounding beaches teem with marine life, including sea lions, bright orange Garibaldi fish (California’s state fish), pelicans and more. The cove is also famous for its seven sea caves.  I found a coffee shop right along the coast and enjoyed an afternoon cup of java overlooking the cove – perfection!

San Diego is a Fun Destination for the Family - La Jolla Cove San Diego is a Fun Destination for the Family - La Jolla shores San Diego is a Fun Destination for the Family - La Jolla shores Top U.S. Vacation Spot - Fun Family Vibe in San Diego - La Jolla shores

San Diego is a Fun Destination for the Family --La Jolla cove

8. Hotel del Coronado

The famous Hotel del Coronado is a grand beachfront resort with a spa, a fitness center, outdoor pools and multiple dining options. In 1958, Hotel del Coronado made Hollywood history when it became the setting for director Billy Wilder’s classic comedy, Some Like It Hot, starring Marilyn Monroe, Tony Curtis, and Jack Lemmon. You don’t have to be a guest to walk the hotel’s grounds, and take photos of this iconic resort.

Hotel del Coronado in San Diego Hotel del Coronado in San Diego

9. The Gaslamp Quarter

The Gaslamp Quarter is a historical neighborhood full of entertainment and night life venues. It hosts many festivals and events including Mardi Gras in the Gaslamp, Street Scene Music Festival, Taste of Gaslamp and ShamROCK, a St. Patrick’s Day event. Petco Park, home of the San Diego Padres is located one block away in downtown San Diego’s East Village.

Gaslamp Quarter San Diego

Gaslamp district in San Diego

Petco Stadium San Diego

10. The USS Midway Museum

For museum lovers, the USS Midway Museum is a must-see. It consists of the aircraft carrier the USS Midway, the longest-serving American aircraft carrier of the 20th century, having played host to 225,000 sailors over the course of its life.

San Diego USS Midway Museum

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