By Car, Travel

13 Lessons Learned Camping with Kids and Dogs

13 Lessons Learned Camping with Kids & Dogs

Last July we got a new (to us) trailer and made many wonderful memories camping in the last half of the summer and into the fall.  As the snow has begun to melt, we are all longing for the warmer weather and the chance to get the trailer back out of storage so we can go on some new adventures.  Continue reading “13 Lessons Learned Camping with Kids and Dogs”

Everyday Life, Two Legged Fun

Indoor Toddler Fun in Edmonton


As the weather is slowly starting to turn cold on us, I thought I would compile a list of all the fun indoor play places the kids and I frequent throughout the winter months.  I find I start to go stir crazy if I am trapped in the house with the kids, so it is nice to have so many options open to us.  Please click the link titles for more information.

Cafe’O’Play – Edmonton and Sherwood Park 

  • An indoor play place and coffee house – what’s not to love??  I get to sit and relax with a delicious latte while the kids crawl through the plastic playhouses and slides, ride around the track in a cozy coupe or pretend to be little engineers at the train table.  Everything is secured and enclosed so it is easy to let the kids lose and not be stressed about them wandering off.

The Toy Hutch

  • This indoor inflatable park offers a little of everything between the giant inflatable slide, train table and climbing structures.  They have also offered special event days in the past where they have brought in a petting zoo for the kids.  It can be quite noisy with the inflatables going, but it is a clean, fun space for the kids.  Located in West Edmonton.


Inflatable Fun Fun Place and Café

  • A new inflatable place on the southside, Inflatable Fun offers a clean secure play area complete with bouncy castles, plasma bikes and a really fun clubhouse upstairs.  The café area offers delicious homemade sandwiches, coffee and baked goods if you are looking for a quick snack or lunch.

John Janzen Nature Centre Tegler Discovery Zone

  • The nature centre has an incredible indoor playground complete with slides, tunnels, beaver den and a giant bee hive.  The kids and I all enjoy climbing through the tunnels and pretending to be the actual animals in the dens.

Treehouse Indoor Playground

  • This is on our to try list.  They have opened fairly recently and I have heard good things about this indoor playground.  It looks fairly large and includes all the typical plastic slides and tunnels for the big kids as well as a toddler’s area.

West Edmonton Mall Toddler Time

Before Camden turned 3, we used to visit West Edmonton Mall quite frequently to take advantage of the free admission for him.  There are several attractions throughout the mall which leads to quite a few options to keep the kids entertained.  For those 3 and above, the mall attractions do offer Toddler Time Monday – Thursday 12pm-3pm at a rate of $12 per child and their adult chaperone.


  • Galaxyland – WEM’s indoor amusement park offers a range of rides that are suitable for toddlers.  Camden really enjoys riding around on the motorcycle and car tracks,  I was able to enjoy the hot air balloon ferris wheel and train with him last winter while Keira enjoyed the views strapped on me in the baby carrier.
  • Galaxy Kids Playpark – There is a small admission for this indoor playground located within Galaxyland, but it offers a wide range of climbing structures, slides and ball pits.  There is both a young kids area and more challenging equipment for the bigger kids.
  • Sea Life Caverns – Located right by the Sea Lion tank, the sea life caverns are a bit of a hidden treasure within the mall.  Climb down the stairs and you are surrounded by manta rays, sharks, giant sea turtles and penguins.  I love aquariums so this is one of my favorite places to take the kids.  Adults do have to pay an admission fee.
  • World Water Park – The waterpark is also an option, although I haven`t been brave enough to take the kids on my own yet.  I think this will also have to be on our to-do list for this winter because Camden has gone to the waterpark once before and seemed to really enjoy himself.


Millwoods Town Centre Mall Playground

  • A decent option if you are looking for something is to head to Millwoods Town Centre Mall and let them play on the playground right by the food court.  It is a fairly simple playground, but it is a good option to allow me to get a bit of shopping in (Target, Dollarama, Shoppers Drug Mart, Safeway) and let the kids burn off some energy.


  • Once your kids hit a certain height, you are able to drop them off with the caregivers at Smaland in IKEA for up to an hour while you shop.  There are slides, a ball pit, movies, coloring and activities to keep them entertained while you get to enjoy some child free time.  While there, I also like to hit up the IKEA café for an inexpensive meatball lunch.  Kids eat free on Tuesdays!



  • Once in a while we will take an outing to Chapters bookstore so the kids can play with the train table and I can grab a latte from Starbucks.  It is usually fairly quiet and relaxed and just one more way to help pass the long winter days.

Telus World of Science

  • The Telus World of Science has a great kids Discoveryland Gallery with a play airport (complete with xray machine), water area and giant piano.  I also highly recommend you check out one of the shows in the 360 degree domed Margaret Zeidler theater (included with admission).  The kids and I have seen both “In my Backyard” and “One World, One Sky: Big Bird’s Adventure” (ages 2-6) and it is a fun and unique experience.
  • If you are a Harry Potter fan, the new Harry Potter exhibit opens November 23rd.

Terwillegar Recreation Centre

  • Our closest recreation centre offers both an indoor playground and a nice saltwater pool for the kids.  This fall Camden is taking a class at the rec centre on Thursday mornings so I can see Keira and I spending a lot of time at the playground since she still gets in for free!  (2 and under)

Capital City Gymnastics Open Gym

  • I love visiting gymnastic centres for drop-in hours.  The entire floor is padded so the kids can’t get hurt and there are all kinds of new things for them to jump on and climb over.  Capital City Gymnatics just opened a brand new facility this Summer and I am eager to check it out in the upcoming weeks.

So there you have a glimpse of how we plan to spend the next several months.  I realize there are things I may have missed, so if you have suggestions or know a fun spot we might enjoy, please share in the comments below!

Doll House, Our First House

Up in the Clouds – Keira’s Hot Air Balloon Nursery


Now that they are making good progress on our new house, my husband has suggesting it is time I start thinking about what I want to do with the kids new rooms.  It doesn’t seem that long ago since I worked on my little girl’s nursery and I think I will just reuse most of the décor items in her room until she is ready to be moved up to a big girl bed.

For her nursery, I chose a hot air balloon theme.  I wanted something bright and girly and it seemed like an easy theme to pull off with a few simple DIY projects.


I started with a bright bedding set and we added stripes of blue and pink paint around the room.  The blue stripe served as a sky-like background for simple 3D clouds I cut out of poster board and glues together using rubber cement.


For the air balloons, I simply attached paper lanterns onto dollar store wooden baskets using ribbon and hot glue.  Each balloon was finished off with the addition of a cute animal in the basket and hung from the ceiling.


We ended up using the crib and furniture from my son’s nursery, but I did find her a special pink chair.


I carried the balloon theme through onto some wall art I hung by the chair in basic white Ikea frames.


I am very happy with the finished space and will be a little sad to leave this house after spending so much time doing each of the kids nurseries.  I love the pink, green and blue color scheme and I am pretty sure there will be a similar color palette once I do design her a new room.