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Sager Conservation Area Trail: Easy Winter Hike With Kids

I think I have found the shortest and easiest hike to take the kids on in the winter. And bonus for me – it is just up the highway from my parent’s house. It’s Sager Conservation Area Trail in Quinte West.

Easy Winter Hike With Kids: Sager Conservation Area Trail hike #sagerconservationarea #womenwhohike #hastingscounty #getoutstayout #letsgosomewhere #exploretocreate #kidswhohike #theoutbound #thosewhostray #traveldeeper #neverstopexploring #exploreclub #conservationarea #sagerconservation #yourstodiscover #discoverON #kidswhoexplore @Kathrynanywhere

Lengthwise, it’s only half a kilometre hike in and out. For the kids, it’s pretty hard to complain that this is taking too long! Also, my mother, who just last year had emergency open heart surgery in Kingston, was able to do this winter hike with us. It’s the perfect multi-generational outing!

Sager Conservation Area Trail sign #sagerconservationarea #womenwhohike #wanderlust #getoutstayout #letsgosomewhere #exploretocreate #adventurelife #theoutbound #thosewhostray #traveldeeper #sheisnotlost #neverstopexploring #exploreclub #conservationarea #sagerconservation #yourstodiscover #discoverON

Where Is Sager Conservation Area Trail?

You’ll find Sager Conservation Area at 30 Golf Course Road, Quinte West.

The trail is south of Stirling, but north of Frankford in Ontario. To be exact, the parking lot is off of Gold Course Road, east of highway 33. Take highway 33 north from Frankford and you can either head east on Fish and Game Club Road. You can also take Oak Lake Road. Follow the conservation area signs.

Google map of location of #SagerConservationArea #ontario #canada

You will have to drive there in a vehicle. It is possible to reach this destination by bike, however I caution you against that due to narrow, twisting roadways and high speed vehicles.

Second set of stairs on the Sager Conservation Area Trail hike #sagerconservationarea #womenwhohike #wanderlust #getoutstayout #letsgosomewhere #exploretocreate #kidswhohike #theoutbound #thosewhostray #traveldeeper #sheisnotlost #neverstopexploring #exploreclub #conservationarea #sagerconservation #yourstodiscover #discoverON #kidswhoexplore

Why hike at Sager Conservation Area Trail?

It’s the weekend, it’s winter and you’re looking for something to do to pry the kids off of their Playstations or get them to put away the legos or knitting. They’re bored of the backyard or there’s nowhere left on the lawn to make snow angels.

If your kids like look out points, like mine do, this is a good place to go and see how far they can see. We always end up going on days with poor visibility though like our day at Dundas Peak and Tew’s Falls and we have to pretend what is on the horizon.

Also, there is a a covered picnic area beside the parking lot so bring snacks and hang out a little longer after the hike.

Observation Tower at Sager Conservation Area Trail hike #sagerconservationarea #womenwhohike #wanderlust #getoutstayout #letsgosomewhere #exploretocreate #kidswhohike #theoutbound #thosewhostray #traveldeeper #observationtower #neverstopexploring #exploreclub #conservationarea #sagerconservation #yourstodiscover #discoverON #kidswhoexplore

What to Expect at Sagar Conservation Area

From the parking lot, you can head over to the covered picnic area and wait for any friends who might be joining you. Or go to the trail.

If you need to “use the facilities”, there is an outhouse by the picnic area.

The trail to the 30 foot high observation tower is by a man made stairs or you can walk beside the trails if you’re not interested in working on your hamstrings and glutes. It might be easier for you if you’re not in good physical shape to stick to beside the stairs. The stairs may also potentially freeze in the right conditions, so please be aware of that possibility.

My kids on the Sager Conservation Tower #sagerconservationarea #womenwhohike #wanderlust #getoutstayout #letsgosomewhere #exploretocreate #kidswhohike #theoutbound #thosewhostray #traveldeeper #observationtower #neverstopexploring #exploreclub #conservationarea #sagerconservation #yourstodiscover #discoverON #kidswhoexplore

The area is part of a glacial feature known as Oak Lake Island. That is a series of large drumlins (hills) that formed an island in glacial Lake Iroquois.  If you were standing on the conservation tower, 20,000 years ago, there would have been 2kms of ice on top of your head.

Facing South on the Observation Tower at Sager Conservation Area Trail hike #sagerconservationarea #womenwhohike #wanderlust #getoutstayout #letsgosomewhere #exploretocreate #kidswhohike #theoutbound #thosewhostray #traveldeeper #observationtower #neverstopexploring #exploreclub #conservationarea #sagerconservation #yourstodiscover #discoverON #kidswhoexplore

The drumlin in the conservation area is one of the highest points of land in the area. The look out tower provides an amazing point to view the surrounding county side including part of the Trent River valley. On a clear day, you can see all the way into Belleville! You just might be able to see the water tower that stands beside my old high school. Bonus points if you can name the high school beside the water tower in Belleville…

Facing East 1 on the Observation Tower at Sager Conservation Area Trail hike #sagerconservationarea #womenwhohike #wanderlust #getoutstayout #letsgosomewhere #exploretocreate #kidswhohike #theoutbound #thosewhostray #traveldeeper #observationtower #neverstopexploring #exploreclub #conservationarea #sagerconservation #yourstodiscover #discoverON #kidswhoexploreFacing East 2 on the Observation Tower at Sager Conservation Area Trail hike #sagerconservationarea #womenwhohike #wanderlust #getoutstayout #letsgosomewhere #exploretocreate #kidswhohike #theoutbound #thosewhostray #traveldeeper #observationtower #neverstopexploring #exploreclub #conservationarea #sagerconservation #yourstodiscover #discoverON #kidswhoexploreFacing East 3 on the Observation Tower at Sager Conservation Area Trail hike #sagerconservationarea #womenwhohike #wanderlust #getoutstayout #letsgosomewhere #exploretocreate #kidswhohike #theoutbound #thosewhostray #traveldeeper #observationtower #neverstopexploring #exploreclub #conservationarea #sagerconservation #yourstodiscover #discoverON #kidswhoexplore

Back in the 1980’s, when we first moved there, the Belleville area was a pretty bad spot in the province for pollution. Safe to say, much of Ontario was because we didn’t know we were wrecking the environment, but I digress… Many of the conservation efforts, including reintroduction of species in the area has brought the Quinte Region back to being a place for nature lovers. Hastings County has a lot of places to hike, kayak and relax.

Selfie at Sagar Conservation Area Trail hike #sagerconservationarea #womenwhohike #wanderlust #getoutstayout #letsgosomewhere #exploretocreate #kidswhohike #theoutbound #thosewhostray #traveldeeper #observationtower #neverstopexploring #exploreclub #conservationarea #sagerconservation #yourstodiscover #discoverON #kidswhoexplore

This is a “leave no trace” area, so please take any garbage back out with you.

Cell phone reception here was decent. Every time I looked at my phone, it was still on the LTE network (l’m with Telus).

Parking is free and there is no admission to the conservation area. You will find a donation box at the base of the observation tower.

My Mom and son at Sagar Conservation Area Trail hike #sagerconservationarea #womenwhohike #wanderlust #getoutstayout #letsgosomewhere #exploretocreate #kidswhohike #theoutbound #thosewhostray #traveldeeper #observationtower #neverstopexploring #exploreclub #conservationarea #sagerconservation #yourstodiscover #discoverON #kidswhoexplore #seniorswhohike

How Hard Is This Hike?

This is an extremely easy trail. My 4 year old son ran laps around us and my 73 year old mother also hiked the Sager Conservation Area Trail and climbed the stairs up the tower with us. I’m not saying every senior citizen can do this, but if they are in reasonably decent shape, it’s not too far to do. Also, there are benches to rest on along the way.

It is nice to try and be out in nature and fresh air.

Easy Winter Hike With Kids: Sager Conservation Area Trail hike #sagerconservationarea #womenwhohike #getoutstayout #letsgosomewhere #exploretocreate #kidswhohike #theoutbound #thosewhostray #traveldeeper #neverstopexploring #exploreclub #conservationarea #sagerconservation #yourstodiscover #discoverON #kidswhoexplore #explorecanada #exploreontario @Kathrynanywhere

Watkins Glen Gorge Trail – A Fun Hike With Friends

Where am I happiest? Outside of course. Take me on a trail and I’ll love you forever and ever and ever.

Wait… except the guy I hiked the Tuckerman Ravine on Mt. Washington in New Hampshire with in my early 20’s, he’s ancient history. That hike was great though!

Photo taken by the uber-talented kevin wagar #chasingwaterfalls #momswhohike #friendswhohike #hikingday #waitwhatseries #waterfallchasers #myFLXtbex #watkinsglenstatepark #watkinsglengorgetrail #watkinsglengorge #upstateNY #fingerlakes #watkinsglen #racinghistory #upstatenewyork #iloveny #hikingmom #hikingadventures #womenwhohike #girlswhohike #sheexplores #empirestateofmind #empirestate #sheadventures #liveyouradventure #wildnewyork #hikeNewYork #choosewaterfalls #newyorkhike #senecalakearea
photo by Kevin Wagar

Prior to my registration and attendance to TBEX, which is a travel blogging conference that was held in Corning, New York in September of this year, I was honestly not very familiar with the Finger Lakes area of New York State. And I’m a little ashamed of that because it’s only a 4-5 hour drive from Toronto.

In my defence, it is a different country.

Hiking Watkins Glen State Park, New York, Gorge Trail #chasingwaterfalls #momswhohike #friendswhohike #hikingday #waitwhatseries #waterfallchasers #myFLXtbex #watkinsglenstatepark #watkinsglengorgetrail #watkinsglengorge #upstateNY #fingerlakes #watkinsglen #upstatenewyork #iloveny #hikingmom #hikingadventures #womenwhohike #girlswhohike #sheexplores #empirestateofmind #empirestate #sheadventures #liveyouradventure #wildnewyork #hikeNewYork #choosewaterfalls #newyorkhike

I can tell you that after spending a week in the area, it’s a place worth knowing. And the Fingers Lakes is a place worth revisiting. Between wineries, breweries, cute small towns, scenic lakes, a thriving arts community, a stellar local cuisine and drool worthy restaurants in Corning, you can easily create a 7-10 day itinerary and still not see it all.

Watkins Glen State Park, New York, Gorge Trail. #chasingwaterfalls #momswhohike #friendswhohike #hikingday #waitwhatseries #waterfallchasers #myFLXtbex #watkinsglenstatepark #watkinsglengorgetrail #watkinsglengorge #upstateNY #fingerlakes #watkinsglen #racinghistory #upstatenewyork #iloveny #hikingmom #hikingadventures #womenwhohike #girlswhohike #sheexplores #empirestateofmind #empirestate #sheadventures #liveyouradventure #wildnewyork #hikeNewYork #chrisrudder #rudderless

Where is Watkins Glen?

Watkins Glen is an Upstate New York village in Schuyler County. When I think back about what I remember most of the village of Watkins Glen, it is the deep and proud race car history and Watkins Glen State Park. For a half day activity, hiking the Watkins Glen Gorge Trail is one of my top recommendations.

If you haven’t done this hike yet, it’s definitely worth the trek. This was my first time there and I say “first” because I did this with my friends, Kevin from the Wandering Wagars and Chris from Rudderless Travel, you may also know us from the spectacular web series, Wait What?! I know I’ll be back with my kids one day so they can experience the majestic waterfalls and scenery as well. There are some really iconic places there to take pictures! The experience of walking under the waterfalls, seeing the rock faces and formations from erosion, hold on… I won’t get ahead of myself.

Watkins Glen State Park, New York, Gorge Trail. #chasingwaterfalls #momswhohike #friendswhohike #hikingday #waitwhatseries #waterfallchasers #myFLXtbex #watkinsglenstatepark #watkinsglengorgetrail #watkinsglengorge #upstateNY #fingerlakes #watkinsglen #racinghistory #upstatenewyork #iloveny #hikingmom #hikingadventures #womenwhohike #girlswhohike #sheexplores #empirestateofmind #empirestate #sheadventures #liveyouradventure #wildnewyork #hikeNewYork #choosewaterfalls #newyorkhike #senecalakearea

Watkins Glen Gorge Trail

The trail starts at the Entrance Amphitheatre. Head up the stairs, cross the Sentry Bridge over the Entrance Falls into a section called Glen Alpha.

Watkins Glen State Park is one of the most well known in the Finger Lakes Region. Within the 2 miles of the trail, hikers can see nineteen waterfalls – 19! It’s truly amazing to see.

It took us approximately 4.5 hours to do the trail. I’d say 2.5 hours of that was dedicated to stopping to take pictures and some video clips. And moments of making fun of each other, we do that a lot.

Watkins Glen State Park, New York, Gorge Trail #sentrybridge #chasingwaterfalls #momswhohike #friendswhohike #hikingday #waitwhatseries #waterfallchasers #myFLXtbex #watkinsglenstatepark #watkinsglengorgetrail #watkinsglengorge #upstateNY #fingerlakes #watkinsglen #racinghistory #upstatenewyork #iloveny #hikingmom #hikingadventures #womenwhohike #girlswhohike #sheexplores #empirestateofmind #empirestate #sheadventures #liveyouradventure #wildnewyork #hikeNewYork #choosewaterfalls #newyorkhike #senecalakearea

The entrance is located right in the Village of Watkins Glen on Franklin Street. There is a pay parking lot on site ($8 for the vehicle). If you’re up for an additional walk, you can park on residential side streets and walk over to the park entrance.

You can hike the gorge trail to the end and then turn around and go back the way you came. Or hike the loop – you can hit the end of the gorge trail and then head up the Indian Trail. From the Indian Trail, check out the gorge from above and come back to the park entrance. The hike is approximately 2.4 miles, which equals 3.86 kilometres.

Watkins Glen State Park, New York, Gorge Trail #chasingwaterfalls #momswhohike #friendswhohike #hikingday #waitwhatseries #waterfallchasers #myFLXtbex #watkinsglenstatepark #watkinsglengorgetrail #watkinsglengorge #upstateNY #fingerlakes #watkinsglen #racinghistory #upstatenewyork #iloveny #hikingmom #hikingadventures #womenwhohike #girlswhohike #sheexplores #empirestateofmind #empirestate #sheadventures #liveyouradventure #wildnewyork #hikeNewYork #wanderingwagars

 It’s Classified as a Moderate Hike

This Gorge Trail hike as listed as a moderate hike. I found it to be quite easy as I’m in decent physical shape and I’m confident my four year old son and nine year old daughter could do this hike without issue. I would say that they have done more difficult treks with naked Barbies and Thomas the Tank Engine trains in their hands.

It’s a moderate hike because of the amount of stone stairs that you are required to climb through the gorge – there’s a lot. I didn’t count them, but they were the thorns of my friend Chris’s existence that day. The terrain isn’t exactly even either. If you are not wearing the right shoes, the trail could be slippery as there is water everywhere.

Indian Trail is classified as an easy hike.

Watkins Glen State Park, New York, Gorge Trail #chasingwaterfalls #momswhohike #friendswhohike #hikingday #waitwhatseries #waterfallchasers #myFLXtbex #watkinsglenstatepark #watkinsglengorgetrail #watkinsglengorge #upstateNY #fingerlakes #watkinsglen #racinghistory #upstatenewyork #iloveny #hikingmom #hikingadventures #womenwhohike #girlswhohike #sheexplores #empirestateofmind #empirestate #sheadventures #liveyouradventure #wildnewyork #hikeNewYork #choosewaterfalls #newyorkhike #senecalakearea #kathrynanywhere

Bring A Change Of Clothes

Do not expect to stay dry on this hike. If you have non-cotton clothing suitable for the outdoors to wear that keeps moisture away from your skin, that is best to wear. Clothing like that can be purchased at MEC. Also prAna has clothing for outdoor adventurers that I love as well.

https://www.prana.com/
Have a change of clothes and shoes in your waterproof backpack or in the car so you’re not travelling anywhere after with wet underwear and socks.

Yes, I’m telling you this as a Mom. And as a decent human being who knows how awful it is to sit in wet underwear.

Watkins Glen State Park, New York, Gorge Trail #chasingwaterfalls #momswhohike #friendswhohike #hikingday #waitwhatseries #waterfallchasers #myFLXtbex #watkinsglenstatepark #watkinsglengorgetrail #watkinsglengorge #upstateNY #fingerlakes #watkinsglen #racinghistory #upstatenewyork #iloveny #hikingmom #hikingadventures #womenwhohike #girlswhohike #sheexplores #empirestateofmind #empirestate #sheadventures #liveyouradventure #wildnewyork #hikeNewYork #choosewaterfalls #newyorkhike #senecalakearea

When Is The Best Time To Go?

The Gorge Trail is heavily trafficked. We arrived there on a Friday, second week of September, close to noon and I wish in hindsight that we had gone earlier in the day to avoid the crowds. Unfortunately, we were all out the night before partaking in some libations with friends, so…. I’ve never been one to wake up early to see sunrises, but I’ve heard being here as early to dawn as you can is something to behold.

Due to the crowds, we waited to get the right picture and that often meant waiting for quite a few people to walk through at their pace.

Watkins Glen State Park, New York, Gorge Trail #chasingwaterfalls #momswhohike #friendswhohike #hikingday #waitwhatseries #waterfallchasers #myFLXtbex #watkinsglenstatepark #watkinsglengorgetrail #watkinsglengorge #upstateNY #fingerlakes #watkinsglen #racinghistory #upstatenewyork #iloveny #hikingmom #hikingadventures #womenwhohike #girlswhohike #sheexplores #empirestateofmind #empirestate #sheadventures #liveyouradventure #wildnewyork #hikeNewYork #choosewaterfalls #newyorkhike #senecalakearea

It looks like you could dip your feet in the water here, but please note that swimming is not permitted in the gorge.

If you do this hike early in the morning you might find it less populated and if you do have an emergency, you need to make sure you have mobile phone service to call for help.

Important to note: we did have cell phone service through the Gorge Trail and Indian Trail loop. We all had Roam Mobility SIM cards in our phones which worked well in the larger population areas, but in some of the small towns and rural roads we passed through, our service was spotty. It’s fun to disconnect, but not when you want or need to have the service.

The Most Iconic and Picturesque Shot

Watkins Glen State Park, New York, Gorge Trail #chasingwaterfalls #momswhohike #friendswhohike #hikingday #waitwhatseries #waterfallchasers #myFLXtbex #watkinsglenstatepark #watkinsglengorgetrail #watkinsglengorge #upstateNY #fingerlakes #watkinsglen #racinghistory #upstatenewyork #iloveny #hikingmom #hikingadventures #womenwhohike #girlswhohike #sheexplores #empirestateofmind #empirestate #sheadventures #liveyouradventure #wildnewyork #hikeNewYork #choosewaterfalls #newyorkhike #senecalakearea

Here it is, it is THE PICTURE everyone must get when going into Watkins Glen Gorge Trail.

I’m including a ton of pictures in this post as I am hoping to inspire others with the awesomeness that is Watkins Glen State Park so they can get out and see it for themselves. The pictures of this gorgeous hiking trail do not do it justice at all. There are so many layers of erosion that you can touch and examine, there is moss and new tree growth everywhere. It’s quite amazing.

Watkins Glen State Park, New York, Gorge Trail #chasingwaterfalls #momswhohike #friendswhohike #hikingday #waitwhatseries #waterfallchasers #myFLXtbex #watkinsglenstatepark #watkinsglengorgetrail #watkinsglengorge #upstateNY #fingerlakes #watkinsglen #racinghistory #upstatenewyork #iloveny #hikingmom #hikingadventures #womenwhohike #girlswhohike #sheexplores #empirestateofmind #empirestate #sheadventures #liveyouradventure #wildnewyork #hikeNewYork #choosewaterfalls #newyorkhike #senecalakearea

I’d like to thank my friends Kevin and Chris for spending the day out there with me. It’s amazing that we survived that week of road tripping there, wine tour, the few days at the conference, eating almost every breakfast, lunch and dinner together, the day of hiking and then driving home. And we’re still friends.

What was awesome about being with them is I actually got pictures of myself that aren’t just selfies! Well, I took some of those too, but they also took pictures of me. They substituted as the perfect Instagram husbands for the day, hahahaha.

Watkins Glen State Park, New York, Gorge Trail #chasingwaterfalls #momswhohike #friendswhohike #hikingday #waitwhatseries #waterfallchasers #myFLXtbex #watkinsglenstatepark #watkinsglengorgetrail #watkinsglengorge #upstateNY #fingerlakes #watkinsglen #racinghistory #upstatenewyork #iloveny #hikingmom #hikingadventures #womenwhohike #girlswhohike #sheexplores #empirestateofmind #empirestate #sheadventures #liveyouradventure #wildnewyork #hikeNewYork #choosewaterfalls #newyorkhike #senecalakearea #Kathynanywhere
photo by Kevin Wagar

The Places You Will Go

I read to my kids a lot and a fall back story that I reach for is “The Places You Will Go”. It contains one of my favourite Dr. Suess quotes:
“You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself in any direction you choose. You’re on your own, and you know what you know. And you are the guy who’ll decide where to go.”

That way. I’m just going to keep going that way.

Watkins Glen State Park, New York, Gorge Trail #chasingwaterfalls #momswhohike #friendswhohike #hikingday #waitwhatseries #waterfallchasers #myFLXtbex #watkinsglenstatepark #watkinsglengorgetrail #watkinsglengorge #upstateNY #fingerlakes #watkinsglen #racinghistory #upstatenewyork #iloveny #hikingmom #hikingadventures #womenwhohike #girlswhohike #sheexplores #empirestateofmind #empirestate #sheadventures #liveyouradventure #wildnewyork #hikeNewYork #choosewaterfalls #newyorkhike #senecalakearea

This hike is a seasonal one and the park closed in November. It will reopen in April. Definitely not a place you’ve want to be sliding around when it’s frozen, it would be pretty dangerous.

Travelling to Watkins Glen and want to stay in the area? Check out some accommodation options:


Booking.com

 

What is the most epic hike you’ve been on? I’ve seen some great waterfalls and blazed some amazing trails around the world, but I have to honestly say that my favourite people and places are within a five hour drive of my home in Toronto.

Watkins Glen State Park, New York, Gorge Trail #chasingwaterfalls #momswhohike #friendswhohike #hikingday #waitwhatseries #waterfallchasers #myFLXtbex #watkinsglenstatepark #watkinsglengorgetrail #watkinsglengorge #upstateNY #fingerlakes #watkinsglen #hikingmom #hikingadventures #womenwhohike #girlswhohike #liveyouradventure #wildnewyork #hikeNewYork #choosewaterfalls #newyorkhike #senecalakearea

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The Ultimate Holiday Wish List For The Traveling Kid

To make the life of last minute shoppers for children easier, I created The Ultimate Holiday Wish List For The Traveling Kid to help guide those fathers, siblings and extended family who don’t know what to get their little ones!

When I was a child, Christmas was the most happiest time of the year! We could look forward to having two straight weeks off of school, unscheduled days and unlimited playtime in the backyard, trips to Florida to visit my Grandparents (and subsequently to Magic Kingdom in Walt Disney World), visits with cousins and other family members and of course, Santa coming to visit.

Sure, I traveled with my parents back then. It wasn’t like what I do with my kids now. With my parents, we camped in a tent and then a pop up trailer. We drove long and far. I whined in the back seat about how long the trip was. My sister and I fought and yelled. My Mom and Dad would yell at us from the front seat. I had a walkman I sometimes listened too, but it wasn’t enough. I stared out the window for hours on end. Those were the simple, good old days.

My kids now are flown from here to there. Car rides, but only limited to 3-4 hours a day, by their request. Pampered they are. They don’t know “boredom” the way I knew boredom.

Full disclosure – I’m always been more impressed by an experience over something material. There are material items that my children have accumulated over the past year and truly or will love. And I have created for you, based on my tried and true purchases, a list of amazing gifts for the adventure seeking kid who has it all.

The Ultimate Holiday Wish List For The Traveling Kid

 

FITKICKS

FitKids Girls Pink, FitKids Boys Grey #fitkickslife #fitkicks #shoe #watershoe #comfortableshoe #beachesmoms #beachshoe #fitkickscanada #comfyshoeI’ve raved about my pair of FITKICKS that I received as a gift at Beaches Resort’s Social Media On The Sand Conferene on my Instagram feed and of course in the Ultimate Holiday Wish List For The Traveling Mom, so it seems logical that I obtain a pair for each of my children. And they are indeed under the tree for them this year! One each. Cannot wait for us to be at Beaches Turks and Caicos Resort together ALL WEARING THEM!

Retails from $24.99 Canadian for children’s sizes.

To shop for FITKICKS in Canada: https://www.fitkickscanada.com/

To shop for FITKICKS in the USA: https://fitkicks.com/

 

PERPLEXUS ROOKIE

The Perplexus by Spin Master will keep your kids quiet and challenged throughout any car or plane ride for at least 20 minutes before they either give up and hand if off to their sibling or they solve it and start all over again! Genius! No one will ask for a solid chunk of time “Are we there yet” or “how much farther”!

Encased in a clear plastic sphere is a maze so intricate and awesome that only a true puzzle master can solve it… In case you were wondering I have one for each child. Amazon Prime this and you’ll have it by Christmas!

 

ERGOPOUCH WINTER ONESIE

Sleeping Bag or Sleep Suit Bag and is specially designed for kids aged one to five years #winteronesie #ergopouch #pouchlife #designedforsleep #layersergoPouch was founded in Australia in 2009 by… a MOM! Maybe it’s the mother in me, but I much prefer to purchase and trust items made and designed by other Moms because I feel like we have a real handle on functionality, durability and quality.

We were gifted this ergoPouch Winter Onesie to test and my son loves it. He’s 4 and wearing the size 5. I love that late night washroom sessions are quick and easy due to the three way zipper. He’s never been one to like sleeping with blankets, so this keeps him warm with the fold over cuffs and mitts. We will be taking this winter camping with us in February.

Sleeping Bag or Sleep Suit Bag and is specially designed for kids aged one to five years #winteronesie #ergopouch #pouchlife #designedforsleep #layers #trianglepops #midnightarrows

Comes in 3 different designs that are fairly gender neutral. My son is wearing the triangle pops in the picture shown here. His sword is not included in the purchase (he just wouldn’t out it down)!

Retails from $44.99 USD. Ships internationally. 

For more information and to shop online visit www.ergopouch.com.

 

 

 

pediped FOOTWEAR

#pedipedoutlet #babyshoes #kidsshoes #shoesforbaby #babywalkingshoes #boyshoes #girlshoes #childrensfootwear #kidstyle #kidsfashion #fallgiveaway #toddler #bigkid #fall #fallseason #boots #fallshoesIf you know me, you know I’m a stickler for footwear. I don’t like cheap footwear and I certainly I don’t like footwear that’s of poor quality. I will always seek out and pay for good shoes for myself and my children. My son has been running around in a pair of pediped Flex Dani black and white all over the place and he’s not stopping anytime soon! They’re durable, no scuff marks, no visible wear and tear and that’s really important to me.

 

 

#pedipedoutlet #babyshoes #kidsshoes #shoesforbaby #babywalkingshoes #boyshoes #girlshoes #childrensfootwear #kidstyle #kidsfashion #fallgiveaway #toddler #bigkid #fall #fallseason #boots #fallshoes

 

While my son cannot articulate how they fit him just yet aside from saying “good”, pediped® footwear has been awarded the American Podiatric Medical Association Seal of Acceptance for the promotion of healthy foot development. pediped® has received numerous industry awards and accolades including recognition from Earnshaw’s, the premier media resource serving the children’s market.

For more information and to buy online visit www.pediped.com

 

National Geographic Kids Weird But True books

National Geographic Kids Weird But True! Canada, being read at bedtime #natgeokids #weirdbuttrue #weirdcanada #canadafacts #keepitwerid

National Geographic Kids has come up with a fun 10 volume series called “Weird But True”. For those curious kids out there who love knowing random facts or comedic things that they can blurt our over the dinner table at Christmas to all relatives (but are G rated facts), these are the perfect gift.

The world is a really whacky place and where else can you find it all in a collectible series PLUS there are also bonus Canadian editions, Christmas additions and USA editions in addition to the 10 volume series? Some of Volumes 1-10 are available on Amazon for shipping by Christmas. Check your local Indigo, Chapters or other retail shops for the Canada and Christmas editions!

 

A TRIP TO BEACHES RESORTS

My kids are still kind of young-ish so perhaps they don’t know better… yet, but to them, hands down, the best vacations ever have been to Beaches Resorts. Nope, not camping, not glamping, not hiking, not to Newfoundland, not even to SeaWorld. They have much preferred their weeks at Beaches Turks and Caicos Resort as well as their time at Beaches Negril Resort. So much so, we are heading back to Turks and Caicos to Beaches Resort in just over a month!

So do yourself a favour, check out a Beaches Resort for your next family all-inclusive vacation. There’s so much there to offer for all family members, not just the kids!


all inclusive caribbean

HOW ABOUT SOME STOCKING STUFFERS?

What traveling kid holiday wish list would be complete without some stocking stuffer ideas! Here you go shoppers – travel games for the car, train or airplane, the complete set of Harry Potter Films, and books for your little one!

Happy travels!

#natgeokids #weirdbuttrue #beachesMoms #beachesresorts #fitkickslife #winteronesie #ergopouch #pouchlife #designedforsleep #layers #pedipedoutlet #babyshoes #kidsshoes #shoesforbaby #babywalkingshoes #boyshoes #girlshoes #childrensfootwear #kidstyle #kidsfashion

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Sambucol Cold and Flu Giveaway

Earlier this year, I was introduced to a “new to Canada” remedy for cold and flu symptoms –  Sambucol Canada.

Sambucol is the original extract from a fruit called black elderberry. Black elderberries originate in Europe and North America, however it is cautioned that you do not consume the black elderberry raw, rather stick to the extracts in sambucol elderberry syrup. Elderberries are full of antioxidants that help keep immune systems strong.

My introduction to Sambucol was the first time I learned about elderberry syrup and the antioxidant properties that black elderberry has. I had done some sniffing around online in the past about elderberry and the benefits of use for treatment and had found it listed under assistance with weight-loss, cold, flu, fever, burns, bladder and urinary tract infections and to combat inflammation to name a few. It’s been used in many cultures around the world for hundreds of years.

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The Science Behind Sambucol

According to the Sambucol.ca website:

Studies have shown that elderberries are unusually rich in the phytochemicals known as flavonoids. Among all fruits, elderberries are the most concentrated source of anthocyanins, a class of flavonoids that act as powerful antioxidants to maintain the immune system and protect the body’s cells from harm. These anthocyanins are found in the purple pigment of black elderberries. Research has shown that the anthocyanins in black elderberry can boost the production of cytokines, the proteins that act as messengers within the immune system, and thereby help boost your body’s immunity to fight off viruses.

With the holiday season coming up and our annual vacation with friends to the Caribbean in January, I don’t want to take any chances with my kids going down sick. Especially since I was already caught earlier this year in my own parenting fail of being unprepared on the road with my kids. I’m now stocked up with Sambucol cold and flu products for both the kids and myself to help ensure that we recover twice as fast on the off chance that we pick up a flu strain other than what is being vaccinated against or we catch a cold from too much sweaty, outdoor play or kissing relatives at Christmas.

Who doesn’t want to recover twice as fast from colds and the flu? Do you want to give it a try? Enter the giveaway below!

To learn more please about the whole Sambucol family of remedies, please visit these links

Website: http://sambucol.ca

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/SambucolCanada

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/sambucolcanada

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Disclaimer – Yes, I did receive complimentary product of Sambucol Cold and Flu to test and sample and attempt to keep my kids and I well through this cold and flu season!

This means I can offer you a chance to win a prize pack too! Enter the raffle for a Sambucol cold and flu giveaway of the items shown above! Approximate retail value of product = $100. Complete all actions for more entries and a greater chance at winning!

Please note, giveaway open to Canadian residents only!

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When You Shouldn’t “Go” There Because Sometimes Life Isn’t Fair

“How come there is five years between them? You just didn’t want another back then?”
 
I had just laid down in the dentist chair, the hygienist was completely oblivious to what she was saying. She had just asked the ages of my children. My nine year old daughter was in another room getting a cavity filled. My four year old son sitting in the chair to my left, watching something on YouTube on my phone so I could keep him under control long enough to have a quick scaling and polish.
 
“Well”, I started with, “Sometimes life isn’t fair” I said, trying to keep the conversation about this as short as possible. The hygienist herself is a Mom and I thought that was all I needed to say.
 
“I don’t get what that means” she said.
 
Ah fuck.
 
“Okay, well it means life sucks sometimes.” Please be all I needed to say, please be it. My god, don’t even…
 
“Tell me about it, I’m a single Mom, but I think you’ll regret that age gap”.
 
There’s a point sometimes where I want to just leave things alone. There’s also a point where I feel the need to shut someone’s mouth because they clearly don’t get it. Did she read back in my medical form past five years ago when she asked if there had been any changes to my health? Did she not see that there was another pregnancy and that baby is not here? Or that the age of my younger child didn’t add up to the age that should have been sitting there?
 
“I don’t and won’t regret that age gap because it wasn’t up to me”.
When You Shouldn't Go There, holding my boy's hand #pregnancyloss #miscarriage #uncomfortable #hardtalk #miscarriageawareness #miscarriagesurvivor #miscarriagesucks #angel

Sometimes Life Isn’t Fair

This was definitely not the first time I’ve had someone who has known me for a hot minute make reference to the years of birth of my children – 2009 and 2014. It’s not their business of course, but people are nosy about why I waited so long. Really, five years is not long, it’s not like eight or nine years, that’s kind of long, but proper financial planning really if you are hoping your kids will go to medical or law school. I did shut one person down once harshly with, “a baby died inside me”. It’s not a great conversation starter, so it’s never my lead.
 
I don’t get upset anymore as much as I get annoyed by insensitivity. Where in the manual of womanhood did it ever become okay to poke around and ask questions or make assumptions about people’s personal lives? I’m not sure my eyes can roll any harder at the ignorance.
 
I don’t know, maybe if you just haven’t been through it, it doesn’t even cross your mind. I mean, 1 in 4 pregnancies end in a miscarriage, so that could be like 75% of the population of women maybe haven’t had to hear “I can’t find the heartbeat”. That’s clearly not the correct number, but you catch my drift?
 
But for the rest of us, seriously. Don’t go there. Even if you are well meaning, you have no idea what can of worms you are about to pop open.
 

Toronto Happy Place – Can You Buy Happiness?

They say you can’t put a price on happiness. I say, that yes you can and the regular price of admission to Toronto Happy Place for a family is absolutely ludicrous for the experience.

This way to Happy? #happyplaceTORONTO #happyplace #wearehappyplace #captureyiourhappy #harbourfrontcentre #champagnepapi #confetti #confettionthefloor #thingstodointoronto #sadtruth

What is Toronto Happy Place?

Happy Place is a pop up installation with larger than life installations like rubber duck rooms with a bathtub and an upside down bedroom, famous for celebrity Instagram pictures. It was first conceived and executed in Los Angeles, then visited the awesome city of Chicago and now it’s hanging out in Toronto until January 1, 2019.

This way to Happy? #happyplaceTORONTO #happyplace #wearehappyplace #captureyiourhappy #harbourfrontcentre #rubberducks #confetti #confettionthefloor #thingstodointoronto #sadtruth #upsidedown

The pop up is occupying the space in the Harbourfront Centre that previously housed Purina PawsWay.

The admission cost is $42.49 per person ages 5 and up. For us, we purchased tickets and it cost us a total of $127.47 – that is 2 adults and one child aged 9. My son, who is 4, was free. I didn’t blink spending that amount of money, after all I am a seasoned Torontonian (used to everything costing too much), but my kid’s father gave me a stink eye when I told him what I paid.

This way to Happy? #happyplaceTORONTO #happyplace #wearehappyplace #captureyiourhappy #harbourfrontcentre #champagnepapi #confetti #confettionthefloor #thingstodointoronto #sadtruth #momandson #myboy

Right upfront, I saw a lot of social media coverage – pictures and videos from those who had attended the media preview for Happy Place and then subsequent early attendees and IT LOOKED SO FUN! Everyone is smiling in all these fun photos and videos all over Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. I bought tickets online as soon as I could, timed for a Saturday morning, first entry slot.

I'm never happy until there is confetti on the floor #happyplaceTORONTO #happyplace #wearehappyplace #captureyiourhappy #harbourfrontcentre #champagnepapi #confetti #confettionthefloor #thingstodointoronto

Now here’s what is obviously different about the media preview from the regular folks who show up:

  • The media/influencers didn’t have to wait in line to enter each immersive experience
  • They likely weren’t timed by staff to move on
  • They didn’t have to worry about oblivious people not moving out of their pictures
  • My guess is they didn’t have to pay for coat check ($3 per coat) after the cost of the ticket

This way to Happy? #happyplaceTORONTO #happyplace #wearehappyplace #captureyiourhappy #harbourfrontcentre #champagnepapi #confetti #confettionthefloor #thingstodointoronto #sadtruth #momanddaughter #mygirl

Make no bones about it, I have great pics of the family here. However, what I didn’t comprehend before going was this is that this is a place solely for taking pictures in what seems to be really fun situations that we could only dream of! I mean, flying confetti? Yes please! Upside down room? Only at Happy Place!

This way to Happy? #happyplaceTORONTO #happyplace #wearehappyplace #captureyiourhappy #harbourfrontcentre #champagnepapi #confetti #confettionthefloor #thingstodointoronto #sadtruth #Siblings #brotherandsister

Worth The Price Of Admission?

I don’t think so. The experience is fun for the young kids, my son 4 year old son loved it. My nine year old daughter is swift enough to catch on that all there was to do was take pictures. She joked that we were only there to fill my Instagram feed. Ouch.

This way to Happy? #happyplaceTORONTO #happyplace #wearehappyplace #captureyiourhappy #harbourfrontcentre #champagnepapi #confetti #confettionthefloor #thingstodointoronto #sadtruth #ballpit

It takes approximately 1.5 hours to go through and take pictures in all the different multi-sensory immersive rooms. If you are only looking to smile and pose for Instagram pictures to flood your feed, pay the price and go. I’ll be posting pictures on social media for sure because I now have them. In regard to going, my recommendation is to try and find a groupon if it exists or a discount code. I just think the cost of admission is way too high, even for a Toronto experience now that I have done it. I know for a fact, we can jump in ball pits at kid’s activity centres and at birthday parties.

This way to Happy? #happyplaceTORONTO #happyplace #wearehappyplace #captureyiourhappy #harbourfrontcentre #champagnepapi #confetti #confettionthefloor #thingstodointoronto #sadtruth #rainbowbutterfly

If you’re looking for something more to do in Toronto next weekend, save your money and check out my friend Chris’s 48 Hour Toronto Itinerary.

Thinking of spending some time in my awesome city?

 

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