Things to do with kids

Our Visit to Centreville!

With summer in full swing, we are always looking for different places to take the kids to that are outdoors. Something that gives us a little exercise, but is also fun at the same time! So, a few weeks ago we decided to take the kids to Centreville on Centre Island!

This is our second time visiting Centreville at Centre Island. We took my son when he was younger, and now that my daughter is a perfect age, we decided it would be a great time to go again, so they both can enjoy it together.

What I love about going there is the experience for the kids. It’s like a mini trip for them. Since Centreville is on an island in Toronto, you need to take a ferry to get there. The kids loved that part! They got so excited to go on a boat- it’s such a scenic ride. The ferry ride is only 7 minutes, but to them it’s like an adventure, lol. For ferry schedules and fares click HERE. Once we got off the boat it was just a short walk to Centreville.

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There is no admission fee to enter the amusement park, you just have to pay for the rides.  There are 3 types of all day ride passes you can buy- under 4 feet tall, over 4 feet tall, or a family pass. You can buy a season pass if you plan on coming back more than once.  If you or your child do not plan on going on more than 5-6 rides, the individual tickets are the way to go. If you buy online it’s cheaper too!

 

Bumble Bees Ride

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Twirling Teacups

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Merry go round

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Ferris Wheel

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Bumper Boats

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Swan ride

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Another thing I love about Centreville is that it’s a perfect size. The distance between most of the rides are steps from one another, which worked out great for the kids. My husband would watch my son on one ride, while I took my daughter on another ride, which was right next to each other.

Fire Engines

Log Flume Ride

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 Bumper CarsReview on Centreville in Toronto on Livin' Life with Style

Kiddie Boat

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Touring Cars

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Leapin’ Lily Pad

We spent a lot of time at this splash pad as well, so definitely bring bathing suits for the kids. It was a pretty hot day, so it was a great way for the kids to cool down.

I also recommend stopping by Far Enough Farm as well. They have over 40 different species of farmyard animals and exotic birds.

 

Pony Express

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I think the kids (and us too!) favourite ride is the Centreville Train. It’s awesome because it gives you a tour of the whole park including “Far Enough Farm”. You also go over 2 bridges with water underneath, and through a dark tunnel. I think we went on it 4 times during our visit, the kids just loved it!

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If you want to take a break from the rides, they also have a bunch of games you can play too! Both the kids won some games, and were so excited to each take home a stuffed animal.

 

There are many different places to purchase food while at the park. From pizza, hot dogs, fries, ice cream and much more. They also have a gift shop if you want to purchase a souvenir.

 

We ventured over to the pier this time around and we loved it! We regret not making time to go last year, because it was beautiful. Heading to the pier you pass some gorgeous fountains, gardens, and grassy areas for a picnic, or just to sit and relax on a bench. We walked along the beach together and the kids loved playing in the sand. They just didn’t want to leave!

If you are thinking about visiting Toronto, or have plans to come here soon, going to Centre Island is a must see! You also get the best view of the City too!

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To purchase tickets for Centreville, find out the hours, or read more information on what Centre Island has to offer, visit their website HERE

 

Disclaimer: Thanks so much to Centreville for partnering with me on this post. 

Our Visit to Mote Aquarium in Sarasota

When we were on our family vacation in Naples, Florida early this month, we decided to take the kids on a day trip to Sarasota.  My in-laws have a condo in Naples, so we are very lucky we get to go every year. Since we go for a longer period of time, ( around 2 1/2 weeks) we always like to take the kids somewhere for a day or two to see something different. Last year we took the kids to Disney. This year, we decided to go to Sarasota.

First on our list when we got to Sarasota, was to visit to the Mote Aquarium! If you are traveling with children, this place is a must see!

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We started at the ” Creatures from the Reef” exhibit, where we got to see so many colourful creatures that live in the Florida Reefs. Everything from french angelfish, to coral reefs, to jellyfish!

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The “Florida Bay Habitats” exhibit I actually found very interesting. I learned that about 70% of the fish in tropical, and subtropical waters (like in Southwest Florida) are either born, or grow up in rivers that meet the sea. In this exhibit, we got to see cowfish, filefish, puffers, and striped burr fish.  They also had a “Grassflats” exhibit where we saw how animals such as the horseshoe crab, sea stars, and sea urchins hide, and live within seagrass blades.

 

My son’s favourite exhibit of course was ” Shark Zone.” He just loves sharks! They have a 135,000 gallon Shark Habitat which you can view from above, or below filled with sharks, Florida game fish, and the world’s largest grouper species- the goliath grouper! We probably spent most of our time at this exhibit. Our son just didn’t want to leave. He just wanted to sit, and watch the sharks swim all day.

On Monday, Wednesday, and Friday they have a special narrated training session that takes place at 11 am. It allows you to learn how they care for some of the ocean’s top predators, and the training methods they use to keep the sharks healthy. Also, just on Wednesday’s during the narrated training session for an added fee, you can help FEED THE SHARKS! (click here for more details)

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Mote Aquarium

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Connected to the “Shark Zone” exhibit, was the Ray Tray touch pool where you can touch, and feel Stingrays! My daughter loved this section!! The pool was nice and low for her to get her hand out and touch the stingrays on her own. I think we all had a really fun time at this exhibit. It was pretty neat to do.  The stingrays were so soft, and gentle.

Mote Aquarium on Sarasota Review

 

 

Also connected to the “Shark Zone” was this ” touch & feel” station. Kids we able to put their hands in the water to feel some creatures that are found in the ocean. They were able to feel the sand, starfish, shells etc.

 

 

The “Sea Turtles” exhibit is located in another building, but its walking distance from the main building.  We actually were there just in time for the daily presentation where we got to learn about the Sea Turtles, and watch them get fed. One of the turtles they fed was named Squirt 2. He was found floating in a Florida river after being struck by a boat propeller, and wounded. Because of his injury, Florida wildlife deemed him non-returnable, which allowed Mote to display him, and provide long-term care to him.

 

Once we got to the “Manatee” exhibit, we were lucky enough to see them being fed as well. The 2 Manatees named Hugh & Buffett, eat 72-84 heads of romaine lettuce every single day!

Mote Aquarium on Sarasota Review

 

Finally the last 2 exhibits we saw during our visit to Mote Aquarium were the Gators, Crocs, Caimans, and the Otters. It was so fun to watch the otters. They were so active. They would take turns going down a slide, and then playing around in the water. There were 3 otters in total named Jane, Pippi & Huck.

Besides the “Shark Encounter” experience, they have many others such as “Breakfast with the Sharks”, “Seahorse Lab Tour”, “Morning Rounds” etc. For a complete list of all the experiences, check out their website here.

                    There is so much to see, and do at Mote Aquarium. I definitely recommend visiting if you’re ever planning a trip to Sarasota!

 

Disclaimer: Thanks so much to Mote Aquarium for partnering with me on this post. 

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