Surprise Trip to The Shaw Festival!

Both my kids birthday’s are so close together- like 3 weeks apart to be exact. Every year I always have a hard time trying to decide what to get them for their birthdays. They get so many toys from family and friends, so I always like to get them something different, and a bit more special. So this year, we decided to surprise them with tickets to see The Magician’s Nephew at the Shaw Festival in Niagara-on-the-Lake.  We thought it would be a fun day trip that would make a memorable experience for them, and something that we could all enjoy together as a family to celebrate their birthdays.

We kept the whole thing a surprise until the day of. We got the kids up early, put them in the car, and told them we were taking them on a little road trip to somewhere fun for their birthdays. They were so excited, and loved the suspense!



Once we arrived at the Shaw Festival to pick up our tickets for the show, we told the kids everything we had planned for the day. They were so thrilled! My son LOVES plays, he has been to a few over the years for school trips, and always enjoys them.

Prior to the show we attended a fun hands-on workshop, and helped create The Magician’s Nephew. It was a 1 hr interactive workshop where the kids got to build a keepsake prop, create a soundscape, learn a song from the show, and discover what a Dream Detective is. They even got their own Dream Detective badge which they were super excited about!

The cost of the workshop was only $5 with the purchase of a show ticket. It was held at the Court House on Queen Street, which was walking distance to the theatre, so it was very convenient. I highly recommend attending this workshop, it was so much fun for the kids. For an extra $5, it’s totally worth it. Plus, by attending the workshop, and learning one of the songs in the show, the kids felt extra special singing the songs in the show – unlike the others in the audience.

You can even participate in a Backstage Tour as well for only $5 more with purchase of a show ticket. That’s something I am definitely interested in doing next time.

The Magician’s Nephew Workshop at the Shaw Festival Theatre

The Magician’s Nephew Workshop at the Shaw Festival Theatre  The Magician’s Nephew Workshop at the Shaw Festival Theatre

The Magician’s Nephew Workshop at the Shaw Festival Theatre

The Magician’s Nephew Workshop at the Shaw Festival Theatre

Review on Livin' Life with Style -The Magician’s Nephew Workshop


Once the workshop was over, we walked back to the Shaw Festival for some lunch at their Cafe. They had a selection of sandwiches, salads, soups, and desserts to choose from. It was nice to sit outside on their patio, relax, and enjoy a bite to eat before the show.

They also have a 15 minute intermission half way through the show, and the cafe was open for that as well if you wanted a snack, or something else to eat later on.




When we walked into the beautiful theatre and took our seats, I looked around and could see there wasn’t a bad seat in the house. The stage is wider than the rows of seats, so it looked like everyone had a great view of the performance.

The Magician’s Nephew was such a good play. It’s all about a young boy, and his friend, who sneak into his odd uncle’s study and discover these rings that can transport them into another world. So, when the Uncle catches them, he decides to test the rings out on the kids, instead of using guinea pigs. Along the way, they awake a sorcerer that is very powerful, who tries to destroy the earth. You’ll have to go see the play to find out how it ends, as I don’t want to give everything away!

 A perfect show for families to enjoy. It was so creative, and the acting was amazing! We loved all the costumes, props, and how they interacted with the audience as well.

Review on Livin' Life with Style- The Shaw Festival Theatre

The Magician’s Nephew at the Shaw Festival- Review on Livin' Life with Style

The Magician’s Nephew at the Shaw Festival- Review on Livin' Life with Style

After the show, we stayed in Niagara-on-the-Lake, and took the kids out for dinner. It was such a gorgeous night! We got to eat outside on a patio, walked the streets, and did a little shopping afterwards.

I can’t wait to take the kids back to The Shaw Festival to see another show. They had so much fun, and it’s a great memory for all of us to remember.

I was even thinking next time, we could bring both sets of grandparents, so they could enjoy the show with the kids as well.


The Magician’s Nephew is playing until Oct 13. To book a show, or for more information on The Shaw Festival, visit their website here.



Disclaimer: Thanks so much to The Shaw Festival for Sponsoring this post. All thoughts, and opinions are my own. Photos of the play courtesy of Shaw.

Spending the day with Crush on Niagara Wine Tours + Giveaway!

Crush Wine Tours- Niagara Falls

A few weeks ago my husband & I spent the weekend in Niagara-on-the-lake for our 9th wedding anniversary. We love going to Niagara-on-lake, it’s so beautiful, and we love visiting all the wineries when we’re there.

For our first day, we decided to book a wine tour with Crush on Niagara Wine Tours. They offered complementary pick up from our hotel which was great. They gave us a time we needed to be outside, and the driver arrived right on time to pick us up. There were 3 other couples with us in the van, and we got along great with them throughout the day.

Crush Wine Tours offers many tours, but we choose the Breaking Bread & Building Brix Tour. This tour was a full day- 10:15am- 4:30pm. We got to visit 6 wineries, had a behind the scenes tour at one of the wineries, lunch, and we got to blend, and bottle our own wine to take home!



Our first stop was at Jackson Triggs Niagara Estate at 10:30am. We got a 45 min behind the scenes tour on the whole process on how they make their wine. During the tour, at each station we got to taste different wines, and ask any questions we had. Most wineries don’t allow you to just walk in their vineyard, unless it was part of a tour you are on.  At Jackson Triggs Niagara Estate, they had a small vineyard at the front of their building where you could. Our driver told us they are the only winery where you could go into their vineyard, and taste of some grapes without having to take a tour, so that was kind of neat.

Before leaving, we got to go into the tasting room to taste some more wine, and were also given a $5 card to use on any bottle of wine we choose to buy.

Jackson Triggs Niagara Estate

Jackson Triggs Niagara Estate- Wine Tour


Next we went to Inniskillin Wines, which is a sister company of Jackson Triggs. As soon as we arrived, we had a table outside waiting for us for lunch. We couldn’t of had a better day for our tour- it was so gorgeous outside. We got to choose from a pulled pork sandwich, or a caprese  sandwich with salad for lunch, and a glass of wine (white or red). For dessert, we got a brownie ice cream sandwich paired with some ice wine.

Inniskillin Wines- Niagara-on-the-lake

Lunch at Inniskillin Wines- Niagara-on-the-lake


At 1:30pm, we went to Between The Lines, which is Niagara’s smallest winery. The winery is owned by 2 brothers. We got our own private tasting room where we got to taste 4 different kinds of wine, and also learn a bit more about the winery.

From there, we went to Riverview Estate Winery at 2:30pm. We got another private wine tasting, which included a variety of cheeses that we could pair each wine with.

Around 3:30 we stopped at Caroline Cellars. I love this winery! They have some of my favourite wines here! Not only did we get to taste 4 different kinds of wine, but we also got to blend and bottle our own!! It was soooo much fun, and was definitely the top reason why I decided to go with this particular tour.

Caroline Cellars- Niagara-on-the-lake

Crush Wine Tours - Bottling Wine


Finally our last stop was Konzelmann Estate Winery at 4:30pm. This winery has a gorgeous view of not only lake Ontario, but of the Toronto skyline. We had a great tasting here as well, and some time to walk around and enjoy the beautiful view.

Konzelmann Estate Winery- Niagara-on-the-lake

If you’re looking to book a wine tour at Niagara-on-the-lake, check out the wine tours Crush on Niagara Wine Tours has to offer. I definitely recommend the one we went on, we had such a great time!


 I am giving away a wine tour for 2 valued at $99 each! It’s called the Building Brix’s Tours

To enter this giveaway, comment on this blog post whether you like white, or red wine, and who you would bring with you.

Bonus entries for following me on Instagram and/or Twitter!

Giveaway starts Monday, September 18 and runs until Sunday, September 24th. One winner will be picked randomly, and the winner will be announced on Monday, September 25th. Giveaway is open to Canadian residents only. Tour date is for Sunday, October 8th. Gratuities for the tour guide is not included. Good Luck!



**Thanks so much to Crush on Niagara Wine Tours for partnering with me on this post.


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