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You Know Who Understands Kids - #JackAstors

You Know Who Understands Kids – #JackAstors

2014-07-26 11.43.00

Do you like to eat out? Do you have kids? Do you still like to eat out?

Taking kids no matter the age can be a real challenge when it comes to eating food outside of the house.

We have always taken our kids to restaurants and for the most part, it goes well. There has been the occasional meltdown but for the most part, our boys can handle the situation.

The frustrating part for parents…

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It’s Just Like Riding A Bike

It’s Just Like Riding A Bike

riding-a-bike

Do you remember the first time you rode a bike for the first time without training wheels? Many of us don’t.

While I don’t remember my age, I do remember teaching myself to balance on a bike and riding without help.  I would roll down a grass hill and try to pedal without falling over. I fell over quite a bit until it clicked. Then you never forget again.

That’s where the phrase, it’s just like…

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Thank You To All Of The Fans

Thank You To All Of The Fans

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As the rain comes down on this dreary Toronto day, we at Like A Dad, want to take five minutes (that’s all we have), to give a shout out to all the fans.

As the person who does his best to fill the pages with entertaining words and photos, I get a real kick out of hearing stories of how much people enjoy the blog.

Sometimes in this social media crazed world, if there are no likes, retweets,…

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My Son’s First Toronto Blue Jays Game

My Son’s First Toronto Blue Jays Game

toronto blue jays

Well, that’s another experience checked off my dad bucket list.

On July 23rd, I took Harrison to his first Major League Baseball game and it was at the Rogers Centre to see the Toronto Blue Jays.

Seemed fitting since Harrison has been wearing a Blue Jays hat almost every day since he was two.

Ever since we moved back to Torontoin May, a baseball game was on the list of things we would do over…

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Say Song Long To Afternoon Naps

Say Song Long To Afternoon Naps

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It was a good run. No, in fact, it was an amazing run. Most parents hate us for even complaining. Yes, our Harry has finally grown out of afternoon naps. His streak ends at roughly 58 months, just short of his fifth birthday.

I remember when Cal Ripken’s consecutive games streakended at 2,362 games. That was amazing. But it did not impact my life. This no napping business, has turned my days…

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Video: Trailer For Wish I Was Here

Video: Trailer For Wish I Was Here

Now that I am a dad I easily get sucked into movies that have anything to do with fatherhood. That is just one of the things that hooked me into this trailer for Wish I Was Here. Also, it is by Zach Braff and that song used really sticks in your head.

I was a fan of Garden State many years ago. I am a fan of Braff’s odd look at life and how he writes. I am a fan that he has a scene with his…

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Meatloaf On The Big Green Egg

Meatloaf On The Big Green Egg

meatloaftop

With summer in full swing, so has the grilling of smoking of fine meats and veg. Common choices are chicken, burgers, ribs and hot dogs. But what about a classic cold weather dish on the Big Green Egg?

I am talking about meatloaf. A simple but tasty dish that everyone loves.

For most, meatloaf is one of those winter meals that falls under the category of comfort food. Well we all can use some…

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wonderland1

For those of my generation, if you grew up in Canada, you knew what Canada’s Wonderland was. Even if you have never been, you knew the commercials that showcased people having a blast riding roller coasters and eating cotton candy.

My first trip to the amusement park was over 25 years ago. I remember it because it was the first summer for the white water rafting ride and we waited over three hours to get on it. I think this is where I first learned that lines sucked.

Anyways, since moving back to Toronto, I knew the time would come that we would return, but this time as parents.

That time was this past weekend and thanks to the kind people at Canada’s Wonderland, we got to feel a bit like VIPs.

Via some other blogger friends I contacted the park to let them know we were coming and mentioned I would love to do a review.

Amazingly, they wrote back right away letting us know a package would be waiting for us with some free passes and food bracelets.

Wonderful!

We were going to go anyways but this made the day even better.

So Saturday morning, we packed up the car and hit the road to try to get there right for opening at 10 am.

Based on what we saw when we got there, so did everyone else. The park looked just like it did in my memory. The fake mountain, the roller coasters and the gigantic parking lot.

We parked and got ready to have a good time. It was hot, like really hot for 10 am. Sunscreen was a must.

I picked up our package, we headed in and after a quick check of bags, we had made it.

Just to paint the picture, it was myself, my wife, our four-year old and 21 month old. We were also there with my brother-in-law and his lady friend.

To the park!

Well, after a second application of sunscreen. Like I  said, it was hot.

My first reaction to seeing the park was classic parent brain. It was already crowded and loud. I will say the longer we stayed the better it got. But it was hard to get going with the people, heat, noise and growing impatience of the eager kids.

Due to the age of our kids, we were not going on the BAT. We headed right on over to Planet Snoopy and the kiddie section of the park.

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First stop was the train and then the plan was the swan boats.

These two rides were perfect for our little guys. They had a lot of fun and were real troopers with the long line ups.

After a sweaty swan ride, we were all hungry and tired. We needed a break. It was then that we found my favourite part of the whole day.

The International Marketplace.

It was indoors, there were no lines and it was air-conditioned. Throw in the word buffet and I was ready to stay there all day.

Even if we did not have the free bracelets, this place was worth it.

We all got to eat what we wanted. Harrison had plain taco shells, pizza and ice cream. Who cares right? It was his day.

The food was what you would expect from a buffet. The mac and cheese was actually the best part. So cheesy.

We drank, we ate, we cooled off and we refueled for more fun.

Another nice surprise was after lunch, we went back to Planet Snoopy and it was pretty empty. That really charged us up for fun.

Harrison went on bumper cars, Charlie rode some tea pots and we all had smiles on our face.

We took turns going on rides with the kids. I went on a spinning helicopter and Katie went on a race car.

The joy in the kid’s faces made the day.

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My sour view of the busy park had faded and I was having fun.

Isn’t it funny how you start to have the most fun just before it is time to leave?

It was at this point after 2 pm and for our two nap friendly kids, we were entering potential cranky time.

The boys got some treats from the gift shop and we were on our way back to the car. That was quite the long walk with a kid on your shoulders.

We found the car, we found our way out of the parking lot and we made it home in one piece (tired and sweaty), but one piece.

What a fun day. The last time I was at Canada’s Wonderland I was a kid. Now I am taking my kids there.

I don’t think we will become season pass holders any time soon, but it was fun for a day in July. We will go back. We will try out new things. We will continue to watch our kids have a blast.

Again, thank to Canada’s Wonderland for making us feel like VIPs, it was a nice bonus.

Here are my final pointers for parents bringing their little kids:

  • Pack a solid bag of drinks, snacks and diapers (if you need them).
  • Don’t forget sunscreen.
  • Take cash. At least $20 for parking as it goes faster.
  • Go early, yes it is busy but you get to park close.
  • Consider premium parking.
  • Take advantage of the stroller only lines.
  • Have a map at all times.
  • Don’t be that parent, holding up lines and ride to take 34 photos with your new DSLR.
  • Hats!
  • Learn where the bathrooms are.
  • Pay the money and do the buffet.
  • Stroll past the mountain a lot, the mist is refreshing.
  • Plan on being there at least five hours. Those lines don’t go away.

For more information on the park, what rides are there and any other detail you want, go to their official website.

Feel free to mention Like A Dad. You won’t get a discount but you might get a hug.

More photos for you to enjoy.

My First Trip To Canada’s Wonderland As A Parent For those of my generation, if you grew up in Canada, you knew what Canada’s Wonderland…

Why Parents Should Make Time For Play

Why Parents Should Make Time For Play

This is a guest post by David Reeves.

Playtime is the highlight of almost every child’s day, which is why parents should make time for play.

Even wild animals seem to crave a break in the day for play. We see birds chasing each other through the trees and think, “I wish I could do that!”

Yet when our own children beg us for time to play, or to play with them, there are often so many other things…

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Bath Time Has Become A Real Game Of Thrones

Bath Time Has Become A Real Game Of Thrones

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Since we started bathing the boys together, there has always been a give and take when it comes to everything involved. What toys are played with, what nights are hair wash nights, who does each and most recently there has been a new development.

Forget ruling the seven kingdoms, the most coveted title these days is who gets to sit at the front of the bath. The front of the bath is where the…

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