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Did you know Kingston was Canada’s first capital? Or that locals call their city the Limestone City? If you’ve never visited Kingston Ontario you’re missing out on a beautiful waterfront city with a small town feel.
I’ve lived in Kingston all my adult life and I’m still discovering its charms. Now that I have 2 daughters who love exploring with me, we get out and about as often as possible!
Here are a few of the things we love doing and seeing in Kingston. (This is not an exhaustive list – there are tons of things to see and do in and around our town!)
First Prime Minister Sir John A MacDonald and his young family lived here in the late 1840s. At the time Bellevue House was a waterfront estate, and you can visit every room in the house thanks to Parks Canada and their management of this historic home.
My girls love visiting because you can try on some turn of the century clothing and then take your tour as a Lady of the House. There is also a beautiful kitchen garden that the maids are often tending to. All the plants are heirloom and grown just as they would have been when the MacDonald’s lived there.
Bellevue House is run by Parks Canada, and if you have a discovery pass your admission is free.
Visit Queen’s Campus
If you or your kids are interested in older buildings, interesting architecture, or halls of higher learning, a walk through Queen’s Campus is highly recommended.
I went to so I’m a little biased, but the campus is absolutely beautiful. Many buildings still have their original limestone walls, and some of the newer areas have beautiful architecture. If you look closely, you can just make out the greenhouse on top of the Biosciences Complex between Arch and Barrie St!
The Rideau Canal
Kingston is the southern mouth of the Rideau Canal. The Canal connects Kingston to Ottawa through a manmade canal and locking system. The canal is a marvel of engineering considering it was constructed in the 1830s.
is the first access to the canal from the Lake Ontario/St Lawrence River end. It’s a beautiful location for a picnic or a walk. You can access the locks by foot every season, but the boating season runs from May until October.
My husband takes the girls fishing there sometimes, and I love it as a place to practice my photography!
If you’re looking for a tour to show you many of the attractions and historical places in the city, consider taking a ride on the tour trolley. offers a hop-on, hop-off option to actually go explore some attractions around downtown Kingston. If you’re shorter on time, just take the 75-minute tour and see some beautiful locations.
Kingston has 8km of waterfront trail – just a short piece of the 900km Waterfront Trust Trail that runs from Niagara to Quebec. The trail passes by many attractions and sights in Kingston including (site of some of the events in the 1976 Olympic games), the (previously a brewery, now a vibrant arts hub), and the .
Breakwater Park/Gord Edgar Downie Pier
In late summer 2018, the City of Kingston completed renovations to the popular along King St, near Queen’s campus. They added a sandy beach, cleaned up the pier for swimmers, and added a wading area to encourage families to swim in Lake Ontario. I think it’s been beautifully redone, and it’s already a popular swimming hole when the weather is nice!
Springer Market Square
Downtown Kingston has an open-air market space located just behind city hall. Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays it hosts the oldest in Ontario. Vendors come from outside the city to sell their fresh grown products – there are also bakeries, meat and egg vendors, handmade items and more. On Sundays, the square hosts an Antiques market.
During the year many events occur in . Free concerts, and movies on an inflatable big screen; community gatherings; free skating in the winter; and many other activities. On days when the square is not being used for a function, there are tables and chairs, that you may enjoy taking a seat and watching Kingston go by! (I often will take my lunch to the square and sit and people watch.)
Located in downtown Kingston is the . This museum is the original Water Works for the City of Kingston. The steam-powered pumps provided running water for the residents from 1851. The building was opened as a museum in 1973, 21 years after it had ceased operations as a Water Works.
Besides viewing the original pumps and engines used in the 1800s, the museum is an amazing place to take your kids. There are always events running, and they are very hands-on for young children. There are a lot of train aspects to this museum as well – including a train table for the little ones!
When I was a child, Old Fort Henry was a fun historic place to visit. The original fort (which has since been rebuilt) was created during the war of 1812, to defend the British territory, later Canada, from American forces.
Today it’s known only as , and it’s a museum, historical reenactment center, and a very fun place to explore. You can tour the fort itself – on your own, or with a guide – and there are many events that take place within the fort’s walls throughout the season.
While the fort does close for the winter season (Nov until May, I believe) there are other events that take place at Fort Henry.
Throughout the month of October, you can scare yourself by taking a trip through ! It’s a great Halloween season event and it’s different every year. I haven’t taken my girls yet (though I’ve been), but lots of my friends have. I’d suggest 10 and up, but of course, you know your child best!
In the winter they host – an amazing light show and immersive experience around the walls of the fort. There are rave reviews about this event every year – and they often extend the season well into February. (It’s normally an end of November to early January experience.)
This is one of my all-time favorite things to do in Kingston. Ottawa and Toronto. is a tour company that shares ghost stories of historic Kingston on a 90-minute walking tour. The Kingston tours were so popular they have expanded this business to
Emma and I took the original Haunted Walk a few summers ago. You can read about our adventure on my blog. We have also taken their , and Patrick (my husband) and I toured the above mentioned Fort Henry on a tour. During the Halloween season, they also offer tours during Fort Fright. I have yet to take on this tour, but it’s on my bucket list for sure!
Have you spent time in Kingston, Ontario? Do you have a favorite attraction or place to visit that I didn’t mention? Share it with us so we can be sure to check out all the amazing things to do in Kingston!
Author Bio: Jessica lives and works in Kingston, ON and is very passionate about her city. She and her 2 daughters spend a lot of time downtown soaking in the culture and history of this vibrant city. Jessica also runs her own blog, , where she shares her life as a busy working mom.
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If Québec is La Belle Province, then Québec City must take the title of “La Plus Belle Ville” in addition to being known as “La Vieille Capitale”.
Those who long for a taste of Europe, and bemoan Canada’s general lack of venerable history, will be delighted with the sights and sounds of this gem of a city. While the number of attractions extends far beyond this list, I’m sharing some of the top things to do in Quebec City:
The ferry running between Québec City and Lévis has more to it than meets the eye. The 12-minute crossing not only provides stunning views of Château Frontenac and Cap-Diamant, but it is also a convenient way to avoid parking in the City! Park instead in Lévis and get your sightseeing off to a great start by taking the ferry across the river.
Rue du Trésor
Blink and you might easily miss this hidden attraction. This narrow alley is the spot to be for exceptionally high quality, local art. Open year-round, the Rue du Trésor is located between the Holy Trinity Anglican Cathedral and the Notre-Dame Basilica. The open-air art gallery was started by 2 art students, and is still going strong today!
This list would not be complete without including the anchor of Québec City – Château Frontenac. You don’t need to be a guest at the Fairmont to enjoy everything that the Château has to offer. You can join a guided tour, or simply browse the lobby and the artifacts housed there – some over 400 years old! In the summertime, you can visit the archeological site underneath and learn more about the Château’s history.
At the foot of the towering Château, you’ll find the picturesque neighbourhood of Petit-Champlain. The history of this area goes back as far as the city does – dating from 1608. Walk the cobblestone streets to discover unique shopping and tasty eats. Much of the original housing and architecture is still intact, transporting visitors to old-world Europe without ever leaving Canadian soil.
If, like myself, you are unfamiliar with the term funicular, allow me to enlighten you. The Cambridge Dictionary defines it as “a special type of railway that travels up and down steep slopes, with the carriages being pulled by a strong metal rope”
The Funicular in Québec City runs 210 feet from Rue de la Champlain in the Petit-Champlain district, up to the Dufferin Boardwalk in front of the Château Frontenac. Originally built in 1879, the current Funicular is open year round, offering visitors spectacular views while saving them the hike up the escarpment.
Check out some great, unforgettable winter activities to enjoy in Quebec City as well.
This National Historic Site might seem like an activity only history buffs will enjoy, but you’d be surprised how much fun it is for the whole family! From musket demonstrations to the mystery of the talking walls, kids and grown-ups alike will enjoy the Fortifications. Take a guided tour, or explore on your own to learn how all of the walls, gates, cannons, and towers protected the original colony.
It would be impossible to name every single amazing place to eat in Québec City, it really is an article unto itself. Suffice to say, whether you’re looking for an amazing patio with a view, a unique historical local, or simply a taste extravaganza, you will find what you are looking for. Some favorites include Pub L’Oncle Antoine, Le Cochon Dingue, and Le Petit Château.
Just outside of the city is where you’ll find the Montmorency Falls. Higher than Niagara Falls, this stunning natural wonder is open year-round. Not only can you enjoy the scenery by cable car, but there is also a via ferrata (a cliffside hiking path), and a zip-line for the more adventurous visitors. Go at night to see it all lit up!
Learn all about military history at Citadelle de Quebec and les Plaines d’Abraham. 30 years in the making, the Citadelle de Québec is the largest British fortress in North America. Finally opened in 1850, it is still an active garrison, home to the Royal 22 Regiment. Visitors can experience the changing of the guard, the beating of the retreat, take a guided tour of the Citadelle and Museum, and even take a nighttime lantern tour!
This is where it all began. Now a restored 1700’s public square, Place-Royale is where Samuel de Champlain built his first settlement in 1608. Amazingly, you can still see the outlines of the original structure on the ground! The Nôtre-Dame-des-Victoires church is the oldest stone church in North America, dating from 1688. Visitors can also take in the Fresque des Québécois, which shows the amazing history of Québec. If you only do one thing in Québec, make sure Place-Royale is it!
Whether for a girl’s weekend away, a family vacation or a trip with your special someone, a visit to Québec City will impress young and old, artists, history buffs and gastronomists alike!
This post was written by…
Heather van Mil from Life, Love and the Pursuit of Play
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One of the questions most newbies to cloth diapering have is “Oh no, how in the world do you TRAVEL with these things?”
I’m here to tell you, IT IS DOABLE! While there is nothing wrong with switching to disposables during your trip (I have done that as well when we were going to a place that didn’t have a washer and dryer!) if you’re committed to keeping those little tushies in cloth, here are some tips to help you out.
To which I earn a small commission, at zero cost to you!
My first words of advice are to ALWAYS pack more diapers and wipes than you think you’ll need. Seriously. You don’t want to be stuck without a clean one, and inevitably, the day you think you can get away with packing light will be the day your little one has 3 blowouts before lunchtime! (Ask me how I know this… )
So how many cloth diapers do you need? Breastfed newborns soil about 8-12 diapers per day, or generally, about every time they nurse. Once they start solids, the frequency of changing decreases somewhat to 6-8 per day. Older babies (like 8-12 months) have digestive systems that are “settling in” so to speak, and they need maybe 4-6 changes per day. Toddlers need even fewer, especially if they’re sleeping through the night. Remember these are just averages. My youngest was a pooper, and we had to change him even more frequently, while my oldest (maybe because we had to supplement with a little formula), caused us to CELEBRATE when he actually pooped. It was a lot easier keeping my oldest in cloth diapers than my youngest for sure.
If you’re using cloth wipes as well, you’ll need 1-3 for each change. Always bring extra. Always. Bring. Extra.
So, take that amount of diapers above and multiply by the number of days between washing. When I was at home, I generally washed diapers every 3 days, but when traveling, it was every 2 ON THE DOT, especially when staying with friends/family. My mom was not exactly THRILLED with the idea of us using her washing machine for poopy diapers, but came around to it once I showed her how little poop actually goes in the washing machine! (basically, you put any poop solids into the toilet and just flush them away!) Also, a note to put here is that exclusively breastfed babies have poop that is water soluble, so those diapers don’t even need to be scraped off or anything. They generally don’t smell bad either.
Also remember that depending on the type of diapers you use, you may have to adjust as well. I found that for us, the most efficient way to cloth diaper was to use a PUL cover with either one thick or two thin prefolds as the insert (We had a special system for overnight including a waterproof cover, a wraparound cloth diaper (like Kushies), one thick insert, one thin insert, and a cloth liner or two). This way, when the diaper was just wet, I could simply replace the prefolds and keep the cover on until we had a big number two or a soak-through (small number twos don’t necessarily require you to get a new cover). This worked because I could pack fewer covers. If you’re using All-in-One diapers, you’ll have to change the whole thing every time, and that gets a little bulky to pack. The upside to these is that they are SO MUCH SIMPLER. Both types have their place and really, it depends on you and your baby’s preference.
Remember to always pack a couple of extras. Seriously. I cannot stress this enough.
As far as detergents, make sure you keep in mind the liquid restrictions for flying. If you use a liquid detergent, make sure it’s put in your checked luggage and it’s double or triple contained in some sort of plastic bag so it doesn’t leak all over the contents of your suitcase. Personally, I use powdered detergent for cloth diapers (It’s always better to use detergent made for cloth diapers since regular detergents don’t always get them clean enough and can also reduce the life of your cloth diapers). It takes up less room and while I still would put it in the checked luggage, if you put it in your carry on, limit it to a 12-ounce container or less and be prepared to put it in a separate bin for the extra screening.
On that note, any stains that refuse to come out in the wash (which are less likely with an all natural detergent like Nellie’s but can still happen), bleach them in the sun. That’s seriously all you need to do. Hang them outside in the middle of the day and let mother nature do the rest.
Okay, so once you arrive at your destination, the cloth diaper issue really isn’t so bad. The stressful part can be the actual TRAVELING, especially if you’re flying or using public transportation. If you’re travelling by car, the cloth diapers are a little less of an issue because you can just rinse them off and put them in a waterproof soiled diaper bag and be done with it. You can pull over and change at a rest stop or even on the side of the road and no one cares. I’ve done this and it wasn’t that bad at all. Now, if you’re using a method of transportation where people are packed in like sardines, that puts a whole other wrench in things. Honestly, my personal recommendation for flying or taking a train/bus/cruise/etc is to just use disposables for the duration of transit so you’re not fiddling with soiled diapers with a crowd of people around. It’s just easier and less of a hassle for everyone.
That being said, it’s also totally doable if you do it right. Remember to always bring more cloth diapers than you think you’ll need. Also, bring a couple of changes of clothes for both you and your baby. The last thing you want is to be stuck on an airplane after a nasty blowout without a change of clothes or an extra diaper! If you’ll be using cloth diapers, make sure to change right before boarding. Also, have a really good, smell-proof receptacle/wetbag/large zip-top bag to put the diapers in for the trip so your companions aren’t giving you the evil eye the whole time.
So, things you’ll need to have on hand for traveling with cloth diapers:
- Enough diapers and wipes for your kid, depending on age, frequency of washing, and the poop/pee habits of your little one.
- EXTRA DIAPERS AND WIPES! Don’t be left empty handed (or bare-bottomed!)
- Extra changes of clothes for you and your kid.
- Wet bag/diaper pail/somewhere to put soiled diapers and wipes
- Something to scrape sticky poop off the diapers
- Detergent (go with powdered, made specifically for cloth diapers)
- Don’t forget all the other things too like a changing blanket, diaper cream, etc.
- EXTRA DIAPERS AND WIPES! I seriously cannot stress this enough!
Finally, the last piece of advice I have is to “strip” all of your diapers right before travelling to make sure they are as absorbent as possible. If you’re brand new to cloth diapering, stripping your cloth diapers is essential. Just wash all the diapers and wipes with the original blue DAWN soap (1 teaspoon for HE machines and 1 tablespoon for other machines) in the hottest water possible. It’s also prudent to add a ½ cup of bleach. Do the rinse cycle 2-4 more times (with no detergent) until you see ZERO soap suds.
If you’re dead set against bleach like we were, you can use 1 Tablespoon Hydrogen Peroxide and 1 teaspoon lemon juice instead. We also added some essential oil like Thieves or Lavender.
There you have it. Travelling with cloth diapers can be a little scary, but it’s absolutely doable if you commit to it. Just remember to always have extra diapers and wipes on hand!
This post was written by…
Rachelle from Mamma Writes Reviews
A note from Tapped Out Travellers… while we have asked Rachelle to write this amazing guide for cloth diapering while travelling, we did use cloth diapers once upon a time in our travels. It has been so long since Baby Girl was in cloth diapers (she outgrew our supply and we choose not to purchase bigger sizes) that we felt it prudent to get first-hand information from a more recent cloth diaper user. The cogs are turning and everything she has pointed out I can remember we have used.
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Dubai has transformed into one of the most family-friendly holiday destinations in the last decade. Several places in Dubai are brimming with activity zones for kids; Adventure parks, water parks, indoor play areas, gaming zones, and much more. These are just some of the areas that have seen tremendous growth in the last decade or so. ‘Family friendly’ is the new strategy for Dubai as a city to attract holiday goers. Many places are open to family fun in the summer, some may be a little heavy on the pocket, and some offer unbelievable deals. We have listed some of the best places in Dubai to cool off your heels and relax.
– Shivam Khandelwal from Dhow Cruise in Dubai
Water Parks – Beat the heat
Water parks are a hot favourite in the hot summer season. Some of the popular ones are Aquaventure and Wild Wadi. Admission to Aquaventure and Wild Wadi feature in holiday budgets combo package across several hotels in Dubai. Aquaventure, spread across 40 acres, boasts of an incredible variety of rides and slides that includes the 100ft-high Ziggurat along with the recently opened Tower of Poseidon zip-line circuit. Atlantis the Palm has the most spectacular range of activities for kids, besides the Aquaventure, leading into The Lost chambers that has more than 65,000 aquatic creatures permitting visitors to feed fishes. On the other hand, Wild Wadi has 30 rides, including Flow Rider surf simulators and Jumeirah Sceirah fast rides located near the Jumeirah Beach Hotel, and Burj Al Arab, operated by Jumeirah International.
The Legoland Water Park
This Park features more than 40 fantastic rides, several attractions for family, and interactive play areas for kids. If your kids love LEGOS, they will surely enjoy this park featuring a giant Legos. A lego version of the iconic Burj Khalifa, where you can witness the gorgeous Dubai skyline. Open to both adults and kids, parents can inspire their kids with the magic of Legos; this will be the perfect gift for your little ones next Christmas.
World-class Malls – A complete family destination
The Dubai Mall houses an indoor aquarium featuring several exotic sea creatures. It offers an excellent opportunity to walk through the glass tunnel with giant sharks, sea turtles, and other marine life swimming in your neighborhood. Once in a lifetime experience for all kinds of visitors and tourists. The Sega Republic at the mall is a computer-game theme park with more than 170 rides and games. There are several world-class malls in Dubai offering a classic experience like never before. Be it shopping or a family holiday, the malls in Dubai are equipped with everything you would ever need.
This famous attraction has been around for a while at the Mall of the Emirates. They have a quite a few fun things to experience like the snow bullet, ski slope, snowboarding, and chairlift, Avalanche Café for some hot chocolate, the ski school, and a close encounter with the snow residing penguins. It’s a great way to cool down in the sweltering heat for the entire family.
The Theme Parks – An entertainment powerhouse
The Kid Zania at Dubai Mall is a great way to put your kid’s exploration and creative skills to test. A Miniature version of the professional world where kids get to choose their profession and enact their roles. From doctors to construction workers or chefs to engineers & so on, giving their parents a break for a few hours to aimlessly stroll around.
IMG Worlds of Adventure
An Extravagant Marvel theme park, currently the biggest one in the World, is placed near the Global Village (A must-visit entertainment hub during the shopping festival). Explore the four themed zones named IMG boulevard, Zones Marvel, Cartoon Network, and the Lost Valley. Spread lavishly over 1.5 million square feet and temperature-controlled, it takes an entire day to explore every corner of the park. The food court is somewhat pricey and outside food is not allowed so make sure you are prepared to shell out a little more for food. Some of must-try rides and attractions include The Haunted Hotel for the strong headed ones only; Ben 10 Hero time with a 10 min 5D cinema experience; Mojo Jojo’s Robot Rampage the Powerpuff girls inspired ride loops and spins; Predator a rollercoaster through the dinosaur valleys with a 90 degree drop, Velociraptor Rollercoaster 0-100km in 2.5 seconds with a T-Rex chasing after you, etc.
Green Planet the indoor Bio-dome
A replica of the Tropical forest that attracts visitors with the incredible beauty of the tropical forest. The Bio-dome boasts plenty of the flora and fauna inhabiting the tropical forest. The beauty of this site lies in its enclosed ecosystem. The most massive indoor and life-sustaining model ever created by man in the world. More than 3,000 plants and animals inhabit the Green Planet. Unique to this recreation is the educational centre adapted to raise awareness of how incredible nature is and how important it is to maintain the balance in ecosystems. Definitely an excellent way to educate the entire family about the consequences of upsetting the natural balance of our planet.
The latest addition to Dubai’s fun-filled adventure site list. The centre is a vast indoor fun place embedded with trampolines all across from wall to wall, ensured safe to bounce around with extra padding. Indulge in games like dodgeball, slam dunk, free jump and the big bag. Parents have a dedicated zone to sit back and relax while kids take their time to explore the place.
Modhesh is the summer mascot of Dubai. World trade centre hosts a family-centric event called the Modhesh World with loads of entertainment, games and rides, educational activities to keep the little ones busy. This event stretches across eight weeks to allow residents and summer visitors to enjoy new experiences every year. One of the key highlight of Dubai Summer Surprises. You can leave your little ones in the monitored enclosure and explore the rest of the site with your older kids and friends. The venues also feature many dining outlets and food trucks serving a variety of cuisines and have dedicated lounges for families to relax.
Dubai has its ways of entertaining visitors and residents through the winters & also excels at embracing its summers and have myriad of options to enjoy their time otherwise. Families can engage in fun-filled, educational and entertaining activities any time of the year with plenty to see and plenty to do.
Dhow Cruise Dubai Dinner with Family
Dubai is amongst one of the best places to visit as your holiday destination. After visiting different fabulous places in Dubai, one could hardly resist going to Dhow cruise marina dinner with your family. If you have never had the experience of Dhow cruise creek dinner and your gut feeling is that it’s just a floating restaurant, it is for sure you are on the wrong track.
Dinner at Dhow Cruise Marina is not just a casual dinner which you will be provided at any other restaurant. It would be an evening that you will remember throughout your life. As you enter a traditional wooden Arabian boat, you could see the beauty of Arabian culture. At Dhow Cruise creek dinner you can not only enjoy the delicious food of international standard but also music, belly dancing and a great view of Dubai.
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