Hello friends. I have some exciting news to share on the blog today:
I’ve made the 2019 Vancouver Mom Top 30 Bloggers.
To say I’m thrilled is an understatement.
For the last 10 years, VancouverMom.ca has conducted its Top 30 mom blogger search. In 2017, when I was in the early stages of developing and launching Mouse House Mom, the Top 30 list was announced and I remember reading each of the profiles and being inspired to carve out my little niche on the web. Two years later, I’m truly honoured to be included as one of the VMTop30.
I’ve always wanted my blog to reach others, build connections, and motivate someone to try something new. Without this blog I wouldn’t have connected with other mom’s that also love running, going to Disney Parks, and mommin’ it up with their kiddos.
My Weekend Festivals and Local Fun blog posts are my favourite part of Wednesdays and today I’m sharing about (1) RecycleFest and (2) Ice Cream.
Weekend Festival: RecycleFest at Trout Lake Park on Saturday, July 22
Local Fun: Go for ice cream as a family!
While completely different activities for you to participate in this weekend, both are fantastically family oriented.
RecycleFest is a local festival taking place at Trout Lake Park (Vancouver) on Saturday, July 22 from 10am to 3pm. The main purpose of this family-fun event is to drop off any of old or unwanted small appliances and power tools so they can be recycled properly. However, this good-for-the-earth event is also good for families as it features:
Hot dog BBQ (good if you miss National Hot Dog Day on July 19).
Games and prizes.
RecycleFest caught my eye because it starts in the morning, meaning you could check it out before toddler nap-time.
I also like that it supports a cause I believe in. I’m already teaching my toddler how to recycle. She knows we separate our waste and she takes yogurt containers to our blue bin for me.
Another perk of RecycleFest is that it fulfills a need. I seem to replace my hairdryer every couple years and I have a stack that I need to recycle – finally an easy opportunity to get these unwanted hairdryers out of my house.
I apologize, if you read my Summer Bucket List Check In post then you’ll know I still haven’t gone out for ice cream this summer. If you get your ice cream in a cone then there’s no container to waste and you can keep with the reduce, reuse, recycle theme.
This weekend is going to be a great long weekend with Canada Day falling on Saturday. I’m getting excited to wear my red and white and celebrate Canada’s 150th birthday.
This week, I’m highlighting Canada Day at Canada Place and for local fun, the Langley Canada Day JRBQ at Willoughby Community Park. There is no shortage of listings and directories online to view all of the Canada Day events from Vancouver to the valley. CTV has a comprehensive event listing here, which even has an interactive map.
Canada Day at Canada Place
This is a 2 day festival (Saturday and Sunday) taking place in the heart of downtown in Jack Poole Plaza and surrounding streets. Lots of info can be found online and I won’t reiterate it. However, I should emphasize that the “Kids Zone” hours are 1 PM to 4:40 PM on Saturday, whereas the main celebration begins at 9:45 AM with a Welcome Ceremony and concludes with fireworks 13 hours later.
Below are my 3 tips to make Canada Day at Canada Place a success:
Take public transit because parking is difficult and expensive.
If you are on the North Shore take the Seabus and if you are in the suburbs take Skytrain (and/or the bus to the Skytrain)
Bring snacks if you have little ones or if you hate line ups.
Vancouver is expensive and a few snacks thrown into a knapsack will go a long way. My go to snacks are: crackers, bananas, apples, and cucumber slices. If I’m desperate I bring pouches for my 2 year old. Food trucks, while tasty, are never cheap.
It could also be a long day away from home as festivities are planned from morning until the fireworks late in the evening. Pace yourself!
Take a time out.
I like to take a pause in Coal Harbour and sit on the grass. If you take the steps west of Jack Pool Plaza and walk the seawall you’ll come to a grassy area where you can chill out. This is where we’ve eaten dinner on Canada Day before. Most noteworthy was when we stopped at Save On Foods near Olympic Village Station, bought a roast chicken dinner and hopped on the Canada Line down to Canada Place. A $12 dinner with a million dollar view!
Langley Canada Day JRBQ
This Saturday you can celebrate Canada Day without having to travel far. I was sold when I heard the Kids Zone would have inflatables, trains, and crafts. For more info check out this map of the festivities.
This event takes place at Willoughby Community Park. It begins at 11 AM and goes until 6 PM.
Happy Birthday Canada!
I hope you have an extra special Canada Day this year.
Every Wednesday I’ll be updating you on some local fun from Langley to Vancouver, BC. I live in Langley and I’m finding it a great place for my little family. We always find lots of fun on the weekends without having to drive far. This weekends highlighted festival is: Italian Day on the Drive. Local fun this weekend are the spray parks in the Township of Langley.
Italian Day on the Drive
This Sunday, June 11, is a favourite festival of ours: Italian Day on the Drive [Commercial Drive, Vancouver, BC]. I’ll admit that since having our daughter in 2015 we haven’t made it to Italian Day on the Drive. While there are four different stages all featuring entertainment, the main draw for attending is to eat.
This event is always crowded so I’d suggest using a baby carrier instead of a stroller. Think crowded like Disneyland crowds, but without the convenience of stroller parking. Since the weather isn’t supposed to be sunny and hot this may help ease the crowds.
Below are my three must do things for Italian Day on the Drive in Vancouver in chronological order. Hours are 12pm to 8pm.
1. Take Public Transit to Commercial Drive, Vancouver
Arrive via Skytrain. It will be less than 1 hour from Carvolth Exchange in Langley and shorter from Surrey Skytrain stations. You’ll want to exit at Commercial Drive station and walk north up Commercial Drive. The event starts at N. Grandview Highway and goes up Commercial to Venables. Most of the fun will be up between 3rd Avenue and Charles Street.
2. Get a BBQ’d Italian Sausage from the First Ravioli Store
This is located at 3rd Avenue (SE corner). Throughout the year we buy fresh pasta from First Ravioli Store, but at Italian Day on the Drive we always stop here for a delicious BBQ’d Italian sausage in a bun. My husband loves that they have marinated eggplant in their condiments selection, which we now copy at home for our upscale hot dog nights!
3. Espresso and Pizza from Abruzzo Cafe
Six blocks up from the First Ravioli Store you’ll have covered a lot of ground and probably watched a performance or two on the stages. This is where you go for an espresso and a slice of pizza. You won’t be disappointed and your kids will love the pizza! Rest your legs at a table – there’s a back room with additional seating for watching televised soccer games. Now you’ll be ready to conquer the Drive back to the Skytrain station.
Be sure to check out the Spray Parks in the Township of Langley. Since the two Township of Langley outdoor pools have yet to open up the spray parks are a great place to cool off. And unlike outdoor pools, they are free! Spray parks are running daily from 10am to 8:30pm when the forecasted temperature is 18 degrees Celsius or higher for that day. The Township of Langley has five spray parks to choose from, with the Willoughby Community Park being my favourite. You can find out more at my Local: Langley page.