Monthly Archives: January 2013

Embrace the Chills and Thrills of the Lowville Winter Games | Adventure #5

The Lowville Winter Games were back in action on Sunday and the weather couldn’t have been better for this annual celebration of outdoor fun. With snow on the ground and sun in the sky, Burlington residents came out in large numbers to savour the season.

I had come on a mission to meet the famous Bur Bear and was surprised to find him looking quite a bit more refined than the scruffy old bear that first debuted in 1984.

Meeting Bur Bear - mascot of the Lowville Winter Games Upon arrival, we decided to walk the grounds for an initial survey of all the activities. We passed by the Zorbs course and the gyroscope — both proving popular with long lines of anxious kids.

Kids at the Lowville Winter Games want to try the GyroscopeWe didn’t get far before Jr Burlington begged to participate in a fishing game and then moved on to a Salmon Run obstacle course where he had to safely carry “fish eggs” in his apron through a fishway (traffic cones) and hop upstream (through hoola hoops) to safely lay the eggs in a nest.

Fish Eggs Obstacle Course An indicator of the day’s popularity was that the BBQ was sold out by 2:00. “We’re running to the store to restock for the second time today,” a volunteer from the Lowville United Church told me.

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Luckily for Mr Burlington, the Gorilla Cheese truck was across the way serving up yummy, cheesy goodness. I had their Original sandwich and I can see how it has made them famous.

Got me a Gorilla Cheese sandwich right here in Burlington We continued through

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the park to discover the old school house. We knew from the busy sled parking area that there must be big things happening inside. Indeed, Momstown Burlington was hosting a kids craft area featuring Bur Bear bookmarks. A free family photo booth allowed families to capture the fun of the day with wacky wear and goofy poses!

Sled ParkingBut for Junior Burlington, as always, a nature exhibit was the highlight. He was captivated by the owls on display from the Mountsberg Raptor Centre.

Posing with a Great Horned Owl from Mountsberg Raptor CentreThere were many other fun moments too… sliding in snowpants on a frozen stream, tossing snowballs through the heads of (wooden) hockey players, dashing across the hay bale play zone, enjoying a free cup of hot chocolate, and pausing to warm up fingers and toes at one of the crackling fires scattered throughout the park.

We never did make it on the horse drawn wagon ride… or to the log sawing contest… or through the Zorbs course… or down the tobogganing hill. These things will have to wait until next year.

What winter games would you like to see offered next year?

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Roll Your Car UP Burlington's Mysterious Magnetic Hill | Adventure #4

If you’ve ever been to Moncton before, you know what a “Magnetic Hill” is. As one of Moncton’s top tourist attractions, 20mg cialis reviews three generations of Canadians have marveled at the magic of Magnetic Hill as they seem to coast upwards to the top.

Did you know that Burlington has a Magnetic Hill too? But, whereas Moncton has bought up 350 acres around their famous elevation so that they can charge admission, the Burlington allegra-d 24 hour canadian pharmacy hill sits in relative obscurity on city owned King Road. Many veterans of the Moncton canadian pharmacy alinia attraction even believe that Burlington’s version is more powerful with the force of our ‘magnet’ being quite a bit stronger — making for a surprisingly quick ascent.

Do you want to try Magnetic Hill for yourself? It’s easy to do! Just point your GPS or Google Maps to get you to Bayview Park on King Road and I’ll help you the rest of the way. Just follow the 5 steps outlined below and watch our video at the bottom of this post.

Entrance sign to Bayview Park in Burlington, Ontario

  1. There are two parking lots at Bayview Park. Find the northern entrance to the
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    “Leash Free” area.

  2. From the Leash Free area, head north on King Road
  3. You will see the crest of two small hills ahead of you. Drive to the second one. This is Magnetic Hill.
  4. Drive to the bottom of the hill and look for signs what happens when you take viagra on your left marking the hydro right-of-way (pictured below). Drive past this marker and turn around.
  5. Now go south (towards the lake) on King Road and stop at the hydro right-of-way. Put your car in neutral and coast up the hill!
Burlington, Ontario Magnetic Hill hydro right-of-way

The Hydro Right of Way marking the bottom of Magnetic Hill

We recorded this adventure so you can see what it’s all canadian pharmacy tramadol about before going out to astound your family and friends.

Whenever we have visitors in town, we enjoy taking them out to Magnetic Hill so they too can experience their car slowly rolling up the slope and inching it’s way to the top. Although we know that it’s all an optical illusion, it’s fun to play into the fact that it’s a real scientific phenomenon.

If you go out to try Magnetic Hill, please report back here how it worked for you!

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Get Smart at a Library Special Speaker Event | Adventure #3

When people think of the library, they tend to think only of a building full of books. I’m often surprised at how many of my friends and neighbours don’t realize the range of special events programming our library offers throughout the year. From babies to seniors and everyone in between, the Burlington Public Library has programs for everyone — most of which

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are completely free!

Each season, a 12-page BPL Guide is distributed that lists well over 100 programs and classes across six branches throughout the city. The first thing I do with a new schedule is leaf through it in search of the featured speaker line-up for that quarter.

Meeting Jackie PrimeAs I browsed the Winter schedule, I spotted a program that I knew would be a must-see. “The Gibbons of Thailand” promised an evening with anthropologist Jackie Prime talking about “the magnificent gibbons, how they can help us understand the human condition, and what we can do to help save them from extinction.” As it happens, 6-year old Jr Burlington is a budding scientist who soaks up, synthesizes and retains any information about nature (especially animals and dinosaurs). I knew he would love this! The program was accompanied by a symbol noting that it was suitable for “all ages and abilities” so I added this one to our January adventure calendar.

Burlington Public LibraryJackie began her presentation with a photo of M.M. Robinson High School. She asked the question, “How does an ordinary teenager from Burlington end up living alone on the opposite side of the globe, spending years in the forests of Thailand as the only foreign researcher in one of the country’s largest protected rainforests?”

Jackie was a student at Burlington's M.M. Robinson High School

Her story that followed was one of dedication, perseverance in the face of obstacles, and accepting unexpected challenges with spirit and determination. It was a story of relying on the kindness of strangers, learning the local language fast and, trying to make new friends in order to survive so far away from home. Amusingly, it was also a story of the “soap opera” social lives that gibbons lead! Ultimately, Jackie discovered a lot about gibbons, but even more about the basic intrinsic value of what it means to be human.

A large audience was out to hear Jackie's talk

Jackie explained to us that Anthropology is about the similarities and differences that connect us and make us a part of this world, but also about what makes us unique as a

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species and as individuals within our species. “It is this variety that makes life so beautiful, mysterious and wonderful.”

And that’s what was fantastic about Jackie’s talk. Accompanying her explanation of primates and her stories of adventure was a broader, inspirational message about making a difference in the world and following your dreams. It is this message, as summarized in the illustration below, that I took home with me (it’s now even posted on my wall).

YOU are a part of this world

Courtesy of the Jackie Prime Project (

Jackie is truly passionate about sharing this message and has developed the Jackie Prime Project to “promote compassionate knowledge of the world and our place within it.” Visit her website to learn more about the mission of the project and to view photos and videos of the gibbons of Thailand that we now know so much more about because of her work.

Keep watching the seasonal library programming guides for special speakers that are of interest to you and your family. You just might find someone who will influence your path in life as Jackie did mine (and, I believe, my son’s as well).

When was the last time you visited the library for something other than books?

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Rediscover the Fun of a Public Skate Date | Adventure #2

Public skating at the local arena is a Canadian tradition almost as treasured as hockey itself.

Tim Hortons has realized this and uses it as an opportunity to give back to the community. During the recent winter break, Tim Hortons presented 65 free holiday skating sessions here in Burlington and over 1800 free skates in 140 towns and cities from British Columbia to Prince Edward Island. Toques off to Tim’s!

Tim Hortons Free Holiday Skate at Appleby Ice Centre

While free holiday skating is over for the season, Public Skating continues in arenas across Burlington (and the nation). Check out the City of Burlington Recreational Skating calendar to see when skates are scheduled at an arena near you. Admission is just $2.89 each (plus tax) — a big bargain as far as family outings go.

What kid doesn’t love to watch the Zamboni whip around the rink wishing they could be the one at the steering wheel?

Zamboni cleaning the ice at the Appleby Ice Centre in Burlington

Growing up, my parents would drop off my brother and I at the local arena for Public Skating. Looking back, it was one of our first chances to experience independence meeting up with friends outside of school. We’d take a few laps around the rink, buy some candy and a coke from the snack bar and chat it up in one of two private penalty boxes.

It’s great to see that teens and tots (and adults too) still enjoy a great skate date.

Public Skating with friends is an activity for all ages in Burlington

Will is getting to be a pretty good skater but sometimes starts off a bit wobbly. He regained his confidence with one of the available skate aids. (As an aside, the Santa inflatable seen in the background below must be a sly nod to the fact that Santa arrives in Burlington by helicopter to welcome the holiday season!)

Skating is fun at Appleby Arena in Burlington, Ontario

Baby Burlington can’t skate yet but loved watching the action as Marianne and I took turns on the ice.

Just watching the action at the Appleby Ice Centre is fun

For many skaters and hockey players, a Tim Hortons post-party is a must! That’s how we decided to end this adventure and we weren’t alone — three other families had just come from skating too!

An after-skate donut at Tim Hortons was a popular ideaWhen was the last time you went Public Skating?

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13 Ways to Celebrate the New Year in Burlington | Adventure #1

A new adventure begins! Or, rather, a journey of 100 different adventures in Burlington over the coming year. Appropriately enough, our first event was the annual New Year’s Day Celebration at Tansley Woods Community Centre.

Presented by the City of Burlington Events team, this party has become an annual tradition for our family. And this year’s edition was the best yet!

In celebration of the new year, 2013, here are 13 highlights from the day:

Fun in the Tansley Woods New Year's Celebration photo booth

  1. Door prizes for everyone! Upon arrival, kids got to choose from a variety of party favours branded with the New Year’s event logo.
  2. A fun photo booth provided attendees the opportunity to show their silly side. A free 4×6 instant print and digital download were given to participants.
  3. Spaced Out! presented by Fizzical Fizzicks was one of two science shows that, for us, were the highlight of the day. Both presentations were entertaining and educational for adults and kids alike — an impressive feat. Spaced Out! surprised me with its depiction of how big our sun is (represented by a huge inflatable) compared to Earth (represented by a tiny ball).
    Spaced Out! as presented at the City of Burlington New Year's Celebration
  4. Dr. Dee Enay from Mad Science helped us “crank up our craniums” by demonstrating scientific concepts with plungers and toilet paper!
    Dr. Dee Enay impresses with bathroom science at Tansley Woods Community Centre
  5. A kid-sized hovercraft was created using a leaf blower. Will was thrilled to be selected from the audience to go for a ride. At the end of the good doctor’s presentation, she offered to give every child in the audience a brief whirl (an offer that was accepted by dozens of kids)!
    Gliding around on a hover craft at Tansley Woods on New Year's Day
  6. Face painting
  7. Balloon animals
  8. Wii gaming lounge
  9. Mini golf putt putt challenge
  10. Soccer skills workshop
  11. Alien slime station
  12. Crafts, and
  13. Free swimming — the biggest treat of all — thanks to Tender Choice Foods.
    New Year, New Smiles at the City of Burlington celebration inside Tansley Woods

Hats off to the Burlington Events staff for planning activities for every member of the family to enjoy.

Here’s to you in 2013 Burlington! And here’s to 99 more funtastic adventures to be had in Burlington this new year.

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