By Andrew Coppolino - Keep the chilly blast and miserable rain at bay with some comfort food – warming dishes from a host of rich food cultures that will be sure to soothe the body and the soul in the face of blustery autumn cold.
Yes, it’s inevitable. As much as every kid looks forward to summer break, it doesn’t take long until they’ve run out of ideas to keep themselves happy and busy.
Have no fear! Here are 10 ideas to help keep the kids entertained all summer long: BONUS – they’re fun for parents and guardians too! Oh, and by the way – you’re welcome.
WHAT: Players features indoor golf simulators that make it feel like you and your kids are on some of the world’s most famous golf courses! If your child isn’t into golf, no problem! Players also has Multi-Sport Simulators with 13 different games including baseball, football, soccer, hockey, lacrosse, cricket – and even Zombie Dodgeball!
BONUS: Players is an indoor facility, so it’s perfect for those rainy summer days (or days where it’s too hot to play outside). And, parents can either join in the fun, or sit back and relax with a beverage while the kids try to make par!
WHAT: Relish offers cooking classes throughout the year at their studio in Kitchener. During the summer months, they hold special classes and cooking camps with kids in mind! Their Teen Summer Series features French-inspired menus (Poulet Roti and Creme Brûlée anyone?). There’s also Bakeshop Fundamentals for Tweens where kids learn essential baking skills – and they get to take some of their baking home to share with the family!
BONUS: The kids learn great life skills, AND you can get them to practice cooking the recipes they’ve learned when they’re at home (which means a night off from making supper for you)!
WHAT: It’s all things LEGO at Toy Building Zone! Kids can put their creative skills to the test in the Play Zone, which is stocked with thousands of LEGO and DUPLO bricks. There’s even a race track to test out their LEGO built cars! Don’t forget to get an insta-worthy picture of the kids with the LEGO sculptures and mosaics you’ll find there too!
BONUS: Toy Building Zone also hosts Parties, so get a group together for some LEGO themed fun.
WHAT: The kids (and mom and dad!) can cool down while getting some exercise at Cambridge Ice Centre, where it’s winter all year round! There are lots of Public Skating times: for the little ones, check out the special Parent and Tot skate on Wednesday mornings. Plus, you can join them on Tuesdays for $3.00 admission for all ages. Ask about their Skate Through Summer Passport and the new Summer Skating Membership Program.
BONUS: Cambridge Ice Centre is located by the food court at Cambridge Centre mall – making it convenient to add some shopping or a movie at Galaxy Cinemas to your day out!
WHAT: Flag Raiders is an adventure anyone can enjoy, from beginners to seasoned players. There are indoor and outdoor facilities, so suit up and get ready for some fun! Flag Raiders also offers low-impact paintball, Nerf battles, birthday parties and more.
BONUS: Check out Flag Raiders Food Bank Fridays during the summer: bring a donation for the Food Bank, and get free entry to the indoor park!
WHAT: Working in conjunction with Waterloo Central Railway, Elmira Wagon Rides provides a free shuttle from the train station location in Elmira to the downtown core. Jump on board for a little ‘country fun’ as the tractor chauffeurs you into Elmira’s downtown core for some shopping, exploration, and plenty of small town charm!
BONUS: While you’re in Elmira, check out Kitchen Kuttings and introduce the kids to regional favourites like summer sausage and cheese curds! You can also grab a bite to eat at Kitchen Kutting’s new Café!
WHAT: Bowling, laser tag, a HUGE arcade, play structure and more: can you say “Happy, exhausted kids”?? You’ll find all that and more at Kingpin Cambridge! There’s also a Kingpin in Kitchener; just choose which location you’re taking the kids to, and they’ll be set for a full day of fun!
BONUS: Both Kingpin locations offer the Kids Bowl FREE program all summer long! Register your kids and they get 2 free games of bowling every day – great for them, and easy on your wallet!
WHAT: “I scream, you scream, we all scream for Ice Cream!” Hot summer days are the perfect time to enjoy a cool, sweet cone of your favourite flavour of ice cream! Created locally, Four All offers flavours like Chocolate Milk, MadCat Espresso, and Lavendar Honey! You can find Four All at Graffiti Market, the Four All Ice Cream Factory, or its new pop-up location in downtown Kitchener!
BONUS: Four All offers frozen treats “for all”, including those with dietary restrictions and food sensitivities. Check out their amazing dairy-free and vegan options!
WHAT: Spray pads are a summer staple for a many families! In Preston, their spray pad is located in beautiful Central Park, Cambridge. A fun – and free! – way to cool down on a hot summer day. When you’re done, head to Preston’s main street to try the great restaurants, or do a little shopping.
BONUS: There are lots of other spray pads located throughout Waterloo Region. Let the kids use this map to choose their next spray pad adventure!
WHAT: Ok parents – this one is just for you (because you deserve something special after making sure the kids had fun all day!) Enjoy your favourite hot or cold beverage at Red Circle Coffee Co. at Catalyst137. Each coffee is created using high quality, thoughtfully sourced beans and a state-of-the-art roaster – you’ll enjoy a great cup of coffee every time!
BONUS: Choose something to go with your freshly crafted beverage from Red Circle’s bakery (where all the treats are created on-site). You can even sit back and relax with your treats on Red Circle Coffee’s summer patio –the Big Kid in you will love it!