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Medieval Times

Get Set for Summer: Family Time

SUMMER IS SYNONYMOUS WITH FAMILIES AND THERE’S NO SHORTAGE OF THINGS TO DO AND SEE IN THE CITY.

LeviathanJuly7-2 copy

Take your family for a ride the Leviathan at Canada’s Wonderland this summer.

The Toronto Zoo is always a hit with kids of all ages. Home to more than 5,000 animals from more than 450 species, there’s an extra special reason for a visit: the arrival of eight new animals, including two giant panda cubs named Jia Panpan and Jia Yueyue, four white lion cubs, an Indian rhino calf, and Juno the polar bear cub. Ripley’s Aquarium of Canada is likewise a popular destination for families to explore nine different galleries featuring more than 13,500 sea creatures such as jellyfish, octopus, pufferfish, stingrays and more.

Would-be architects and designers can let their imaginations run wild at Legoland Discovery Centre, where they can build their own race cars and test its aerodynamics, or be inspired by a recreation of Toronto’s landmarks completely in the brick form. Ever wonder what happened with Emmett and his friends after The Lego Movie? There’s a new 4D movie exclusively that catches up with Wyldstyle, Unkitty and MetalBeard. Learning and play go hand-in-hand at the Ontario Science Centre through its interactive exhibits on astronomy, geology, nature, human anatomy, technology, music and more. Currently, a special travelling exhibit, The Science of Ripley’s Believe It or Not! is on display with experiments, challenges and touchable specimens that delve into the oddities associated with Ripleys, from how illusions work to how to swallow a sword safely.

Getting to Centreville Amusement Park is part of the fun; the picturesque ferry ride over to the Toronto Islands is bound to get everyone in the mood for a day of rides like bumper boats, twirling tea cups, and the log flume. The attraction, which celebrates its 50th anniversary this year, also boasts a petting farm with the likes of an alpaca, llama, pygmy goat, and a mini donkey and pony. Thrill seekers love the rides at Canada’s Wonderland, which counts the country’s tallest and fastest roller coast, Leviathan, among its 200-plus attractions. There are more tame rides at Planet Snoopy and Kidzville for wee ones, plus a 20-acre waterpark. New this year are two interactive rides: Flying Eagles for little ones and Skyhawk for adults, who can make 360 degree turns from 135 feet up in the air.

EAT Combine an activity with a meal at Medieval Times Dinner & Tournament, as knights on horseback joust before King Don Carlos and Princess Catalina in an epic battle. The King’s favourite meal—chicken, potatoes, corn, and tomato soup—is served as guests watch the clash between the East and West sides.

The scope of Pickle Barrels menu is enough to make it a family-favourite—there are several hundred items on the menu ranging from grilled cheese and chicken fajitas to pasta and French toast—ensuring that even the fussiest of eaters can be appeased. Step back in time at The Old Spaghetti Factory, which is chock-full of vintage details including a 100-year-old carousel and even a streetcar that you can dine in. The fare is classically Italian with offerings like lasagna, ravioli and spaghetti with meatballs. More upscale Italian fare can be found at Terroni—and a more fitting environment for older kids—with crispy, thin crust pizzas, panini sandwiches and pastas; there’s also a patio for al fresco dining at their original Queen West location.—Linda Luong Luck

Get excited for summer with these other action-packed itineraries:

Get Set for Summer: Cheer on the Hometown Team

Get Set for Summer: Culture Vultures

 

Medieval Times Toronto Mounts a New Knights’ Tale

Medieval Times Toronto

Medieval Times in Toronto features an all-new evening of old-fashioned chivalry

ON NOW Toronto’s ever-popular dinner-and-jousting attraction, Medieval Times, invites knights and maidens of all ages to experience its newly revamped production. Featuring 11th-century pageantry, action-packed combat and a much-anticipated performance by a rider-less Andalusian stallion, the show, dubbed a “siege on the senses” and a “knight to remember,” will have audiences cheering huzzah louder than ever before. Exhibition Place, $40.95 to $63.95; call 1-888-935-6878 or click here for showtimes and to buy.  —Anna Marszalek

Staff Picks: 10 Best Bets for March Break

The Royal Ontario Museum is always a popular venue during March Break (photo by Michele Nastasi)

The kids’ annual spring holiday week is just around the corner. If you’re still wondering how to keep them occupied, well, wonder no more. There’s lots of family fun to be had right here in Toronto. Check out our 10 picks for cool—and often educational—activities after the jump! (more…)

30 Things We Love About Toronto This October

3. Medieval Times

1. The wonder of liquid nitrogen ice cream from Colborne Lane prepared tableside.

2. Catching a live performance by the iconic Liza—with a z—Minnelli on October 28.

3. Jousting knights on horseback at Medieval Times.

4. Seeing the city on two wheels with the rental of Bixi Bikes; return them to many conveniently located docking stations in the downtown core.

5. Serpentine sculptures handmade by Native Canadian artists from Eskimo Art Gallery. (more…)

Weekend Roundup, May 7 to 9

Treat yourself this Mother’s Day as Toronto presents a spectacularly packed weekend of fine dining, entertainment and games.

Friday: Treat yourself to vegetarian delights at Fresh

Friday, May 7
You’re guaranteed a quality lunch or dinner at Fresh, where wholesome meals and organic, natural ingredients are taken seriously. Make it a vegan night with a veggie burger swathed in thai peanut sauce or a grilled whole-wheat wrap filled with black beans, avocado, cilantro and alfalfa sprouts. Check out their menu and tell us you don’t want to go—we dare you.

Brandish your courage, for an evening of chivalry, knights and fair maidens is set to unfold at Medieval Times. Dig into ribs or a hearty tomato bisque soup while cheering on a jousting tournament. Right now there’s extra incentive to experience this rousing show—book online and your seats are just $39.95.

Mingle with a sophisticated crowd on the Century Room dance floor. Enjoy the well-decorated interior or get some fresh air on the patio. 10:30 p.m. to 2 a.m.

Saturday: Swing it '60s-style at Jersey Boys (photo by Joan Marcus)

Saturday, May 8
Oh, what a night you’ll have at a crowd-pleasing performance of Jersey Boys.  This long enduring favourite sets the story of Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons to the group’s numerous hit songs, brought to life by actors with an uncanny resemblance to the real-life original boy band. Saturday offers a 2 p.m. matinee and an evening show at 8 p.m.

Take a sip or two at the Salut Wine and Food Festival, where you can sample the vintages from top international wineries (French vin is prominently featured this year) and taste food from fine Toronto restaurants.

Set your sights on hot and spicy peanut chicken for dinner at Szechuan, Szechuan, a longstanding Financial District restaurant specializing in the spicy side of Chinese cuisine.

Sunday: See Mamma Mia's dancing queens (photo by Carol Rosegg)

Sunday, May 9
Start the day with a casual Mother’s Day brunch at friendly Cora’s, an extremely popular breakfast and brunch chain from Quebec. Savour a raspberry crepe with your choice of nutella or custard, or spring for a meat lover’s special of bacon, eggs and sausages.

Take a chance on Mamma Mia, the popular musical-comedy based on the classic songs of ABBA. Sway to the music while Sophie’s quest to find her true father unfolds on the very eve of her wedding day.

Grab a bite to eat and stock up on game credits at theme restaurant Dave & Busters. Race a car, throw a basketball or win a round in the Deal or No Deal game.

March Break Manual

School’s Out, springs a tease and the babes need boredom-busting adventures. Where Toronto offers a dozen ideas to keep the kids—and your entire family—happy during March Break.
By Naya Valdellon

The gang from High School Musical head back to class in a stage production (photo by Joseph Hammond)

TIPS FOR TWO HOURS

Ice Breakers
MARCH 3 TO 7 See your favourite Disney characters come to life with Disney on Ice Presents Let’s Celebrate!. The magical, action-packed skating party features a Halloween haunt with the Disney villains, a royal ball with princesses like Cinderella and Belle, and a winter wonderland with Mickey and Minnie Mouse.

Monstrous Fun
OPENS MARCH 8 Youngsters—and the young at heart—can both enjoy The Monster Under the Bed, presented by Lorraine Kimsa Theatre for Young People. Penned by Kevin Dyer and directed by Nina Lee Aquino, the comedy dramatizes the fears and fantasies of a young boy named Ben who swaps lives with the scary creature hiding beneath his mattress.

Teenage Drama
MARCH 17 TO 21 Real high school, with its intrigues and cliques, is no song-and-dance number. But the Disney phenomenon High School Musical 2 makes us remember how fun it could be. A new 70-minute stage version has Troy, Gabriella, Chad and the rest of the gang landing summer jobs and singing original songs from the movie, including “You Are the Music in Me.”

Middle Ages for All Ages
ON NOW Get whisked away to the 11th century as the royal guests of King Philippe and Princess Leonore at Medieval Times. Walk through a majestic castle, feast on a four-course banquet with your bare hands and cheer for your knight in shining armor at an authentic jousting tournament.

(more…)