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London Stay-cations can be the Best Ever Family Vacation
Pray for London
Post Easter 2020
Mission Peru 2020 (A Dad’s Perspective)
BookMark - Promised Land (Second and final book in the Chosen People series) (BOOK REVIEW)
Well......If This Doesn’t Make You Smile, Then You’re Just Grumpy! (HUMOUR)
From Devastation to Innovation
Ending Exploitation Through Education
Bill Payne - A London Good Samaritan Supporting the Vulnerable at St. Joseph’s Hospitality Centre Throughout COVID
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Andrea Bocelli Sings 'Amazing Grace' In Empty Plaza In Milan (VIDEO)

Making the family vacation decision can be a challenge as usually every family member has wants and wishes. You listen to their wishes and your heart says: "We should" while your wallet says; "We can't!"

Some family members have extreme vacations on their wish list. They have been inundated by those inviting TV commercials, magazine ads and pop-ups messages every time they use their computer promoting those extremely costly destinations. Most of these are just out of reach for the average family, especially during uncertain economic times. Disney for example spends millions to produce their slick television commercials and about $450,000 every time the commercial runs to convince your family that a Disney vacation is perfect and so affordable.

Looking at a blog where Disney visitors "Chat", they talk about the costs (for a family of four) that may raise your eyebrows.
  • We stayed in a moderate hotel close to Disney. We stayed 6 nights and watched our spending. We spent $4800. It was more expensive than I had hoped for but we had a blast. We did not fly, we drove.
  • 2 adults 2 children 5 days 4 night, Disney resort with dinning plan and park hopper and Pop Century $2200, Rental Car $600 Gas $500, Extra food and drinks not on plan plus stuff you don't realize you costs another $1000 - So roughly $5500.
  • There are so many variables but personally I can do it for $4000 for my family of 4 not including airfare.

Stay-cations achieved popularity in the US during the financial crisis of 2007-2010 and also became a popular phenomenon in the UK in 2009, as a weak currency made overseas holidays significantly more expensive.

We in London (Ontario)are blessed with an abundance of activities for all ages, many of which are low or no cost. By participating in leisure activities within driving distance, sleeping in your own beds at night, your vacation costs will be a fraction of those heading for the airports or south on I95. You will be avoiding the headaches of air travel or the hassles of long road trips while supporting the local economy and having lots of fun doing it.

From the tiniest of tykes to the most temperamental teens, London has the perfect picks for every kid's personality. There are literally hundreds of activities to consider when planning your London Stay-cation. Each day can be action packed or relaxing — whatever fits your family.

Here are some just some considerations:

Great Lake Beaches near London
  • Grand Bend (Lambton): 30km of beache— so there's plenty of room. South Beach is very popular and busy. North Beach is quieter and great for families and those looking to relax. Waters are warm with sandy lake bottoms. Sensational sunsets.
  • Port Stanley You’ll delight in discovering the maritime heritage of the fishing village of Port Stanley in Elgin County, Lake Erie. This is one of Lake Erie's oldest and last remaining working harbours, where you'll see fresh fish unloaded daily from mighty fishing boats and become fascinated viewing the giant gas rigs, barges and Coast Guard tugs. Port Stanley has two different beaches for you to explore, the Main Beach with over a mile of people watching opportunities with volleyball, beach bars, and music. Looking for something a little quieter more sheltered and secluded? We'll let you in on the secret of Little Beach, our family beach of soft sand and shallow, safe waters.
  • Pinery Provincial Park, in the Sarnia - Lambton area, 8,000 years of post-glacial development have created the world's third largest active sand dune ecosystem, and one of Ontario's tallest. Its Lake Huron waterfront extends 8 kilometres with boardwalk beach access.

The London Children's Museum
Every year the London Children’s Museum provides over 100,000 children and their families the chance to make memories that last a lifetime. Children who visit will learn how the world works, who they are, and who they might become in the way that they learn best - through play! We offer 9 permanent exhibits and stimulating learning experiences that allow kids to explore their history and heritage, investigate the complexities of science and social relationships, and celebrate the beauty in art and culture. The London Children's Museum is here to help them indulge their curiosity and play their way to a life of innovation and creative discovery!

Saturday Outdoor Walking Tours
Meet at Museum London (front lawn) Time: 10:30 AM - 12:00 PM Free outdoor walking tours on Saturday mornings throughout the summer, weather permitting. Meet on the front lawn of Museum London. Walks take place 10:30 am - 12:00 noon. June 1, July 20 - The River Walk, June 8, July 27 - Public Art, June 15, August 3 - From Castles to Cottages, June 22, August 10 - Unsettling the Thames, June 29, August 17 - Monuments and Memorials, July 6, August 24 - Forest City Modern NEW!, July 13, August 31 - Murals

Banting House National Historic Site of Canada celebrates not only a great Canadian discovery, but the life and career of Sir Frederick Grant Banting (1891-1941). Permanent exhibitions include: London - the birthplace of insulin, Banting as the co-discoverer of insulin, artist and war hero, the Royal Visit and the Flame of Hope.

The Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum
Located in beautiful St. Mary's, ON contains an amazing 32 acre site with three wonderful ball fields and one unique museum. With over 240 events on our site last year including our famous Kids on Deck summer camp for boys and girls ages 9-15 the Hall of Fame is one tourist attraction you don't want to miss! Only 30 minutes north of London and right beside Canada's largest outdoor swimming quarry.

The Canadian Medical Hall of Fame
The only national organization dedicated to celebrating the accomplishments of Canada's medical heroes. Through educational programs, The Canadian Medical Hall of Fame encourages youth to pursue careers in medicine and the health sciences, fostering future generations of excellence.

Museum London
Southwestern Ontario's leading establishment for the collection and presentation of visual art and material culture. Through public and educational programming, special events and exhibitions, Museum London strives to promote the knowledge and enjoyment of regional art, culture and history.

The Museum of Ontario Archaeology
Dedicated to 13,000 years of the history of the occupation of Southwestern Ontario. It is located on the site of the Lawson Prehistoric Village, Canada's only on-going excavation and reconstruction of a prehistoric village. Replicated longhouses, a sweat lodge and the entrance maze bring to life the village of the Neutral Iroquoians from 500 years ago. The indoor gallery houses permanent and travelling exhibitions.

Royal Canadian Regiment Museum
Located near the intersection of Oxford St and Adelaide St in London. The Museum occupies the west wing of historic Wolseley Hall, the first building built by a Canadian government especially for the new standing Army in the late 19th century.

Elgin County Railway Museum
The Elgin County Railway Museum presents "A Day Out With Thomas" each July. In the Elgin County Railway Museum you will see locomotives, steam, diesel, and electric, cabooses including one built in 1891, model trains, an a large number of artifacts.

Orchestra London
"Astonishing" is certainly the key word for the line-up of blockbuster repertoire and stellar guest artists that will be presented in Orchestra London's season. A total of eight different series offer a range of styles from jazz to the classics, from Bach to Broadway. Orchestra London's season sets a new standard of artistic excellence and entertainment value.

Grand Theatre
On September 9, 1901 the New Grand Opera House welcomed its first patrons, who watched an opening night performance of the popular melodrama Way Down East. The building itself was beginning to show signs of age and in 1977 it underwent a $5 million renovation. It reopened in 1978 to reclaim its status as one of the most beautiful theatres in Canada.

Palace Theatre
Home to the London Community Players and Musical Theatre Productions. With a 350 seat capacity, the Palace Theatre hosts various drama, arts and educational functions throughout the year. Originally built in 1929 as a silent movie theatre, the Palace Theatre was noted as one of the finest establishments of its kind in the entire world.

Port Stanley Festival Theatre
The Port Stanley Festival Theatre is a 151 seat theatre located in the Village Hall on the North Shore of beautiful Lake Erie in Port Stanley, Ontario. Our mandate is to produce appealing summer theatre that highlights Canadian works in drama, comedy, and musical-comedy, along with other celebrated works. This year's schedule: "Back in '59" "Henry and Alice: Into the Wild", "Not In My Backyard", "Mini Putt" and "Drinking Alone".

Stratford Shakespeare Festival
Enjoy world class theatre in this delightful setting. Four theatres, each distinct, are host to a wide variety of plays, including popular musicals, timeless classics and contemporary works. Enjoy a stroll by the river in our beautiful parklands, wander through the boutiques, and savour a delicious meal at one of our great restaurants. 40 minute drive from London, Stratford is a great place to unwind and escape the bustle of city living.

Labatt Brewery Tours
Labatt Brewery Tours run all year round. The tour takes about 2 hours to complete and includes a full guided tour of the brewery, and samplings. The tour costs $10 per person (cash only) and everyone on the tour MUST wear closed toe, closed heel and flat footwear (running shoes preferred).

Inuit Gallery
Discover the finest Inuit and North American Aboriginal Art. Celebrating over 25 years of excellence. The gallery specializes in carvings in stone, whalebone & antler, Inuit prints, jewellery, and paintings.

Eldon House
Virtually unchanged since the last century, Eldon House is London's oldest residence and contains family heirlooms, furnishings, and priceless treasures of the Harris family as well as a beautiful 19th-century style garden. Website:
Fanshawe Pioneer Village
Fanshawe Pioneer Village is an early example of the museum type known as a "Pioneer Village," initially developed in mid-20th century Ontario by Conservation Authorities. Fanshawe Pioneer Village tells the story of rural communities in the former townships of Westminster, London, North Dorchester, Delaware, West Nissouri and Lobo in Middlesex County from 1820 to 1920 and the founding and development of the City of London up to 1840. Fanshawe Pioneer Village is an interactive museum that engages the community in the preservation and presentation of the past through living history experiences.

Boler Mountain Treetop Adventure Park & Ziplines
Boler Mountain offers a Treetop Adventure Park & Ziplines. The Adventure Park built in our natural Carolinian forest behind the ski trails offers 3 different levels of courses plus a kids' course and a zipline only course featuring 6 consecutive zips. Plus end your adventure with Southern Ontario's longest zipline that takes you from the top of the hill back to the chalet. It's a great experience for the whole family (ages 7 to 77).

Delaware Speedway
Delaware Speedway is a half-mile paved oval stock-car track, located just west of London, Ontario, Canada. For more than 55 years, Delaware Speedway has been the home to some of the finest stock car racing in Canada. Its unique natural amphitheatre-like setting allows a family or group of friends to enjoy an exciting, comfortable and affordable evening or afternoon of entertainment. Check our Online Schedule to pick a date and know what you’re going to see racing by clicking onto our race division information page.

Storybook Gardens
Storybook Gardens provides families with fun and special memories to last a lifetime. We have something for the whole family, with Old McDonald's farm, rides, games, play areas, Slippery's splash area, entertainment, face painting and beautiful gardens. A village of imagination awaits you at Storybook Gardens. Open all year round, each season offers new activities and adventures, from our summer splash pad to our winter skating trail. Storybook is a special destination for a family outing at any time of the year!

East Park
East Park is a unique multi-faceted facility centred on an 18 hole executive golf course and waterpark with picturesque picnic areas. East Park combines various activities including go karts, batting cages driving range, mini golf, indoor rock climbing, bumper cars, jungle gym and arcade games. East Park does not charge an entrance fee and parking is always free. East Park prides itself on having something for everyone and our goal is that people of all ages can play side by side.

The Tree Trunk Tour
The Tree Trunk Tour demonstrates London's love of trees and is enhancing its reputation as the "Forest City". Two carvers (Robbin Wenzoski and Neil Cox) have created sculptures that, instead of being confined to an art gallery, are right out on public streets.

Laser Quest London
Laser Quest London features the best live action laser tag and the perfect choice for Birthdays, Youth Groups, Special Events, Fundraising, and Corporate Teambuilding. Reservations are always recommended. Please call ahead to avoid any disappointments. Laser Quest London is open to accept reservations for private events outside regular business hours. Please call or see one of our Crew members at Mission Control.

Kettle Creek Conservation Authority
Kettle Creek Conservation Authority operates two campgrounds, Dalewood Conservation Area and Lake Whittaker Conservation Area. Both facilities offer serviced (15 and 30 amp) sites and unserviced sites.

Upper Thames River Conservation Authority Environmentally Significant Areas in the City of London
In the City of London, 16 natural areas are currently designated as "Environmentally Significant Areas" or ESAs.

Covent Garden Market
Formally established in 1845, Covent Garden Market is one of London Ontario's most treasured cultural landmarks. In years past, farmers and shoppers mingled on sawdust covered floors where everything and anything was sold: meat, wild raspberries - even fire wood! Today, the Market continues to be a centre of rural and urban exchange where wholesome, farm-fresh quality can be found each day of the week - from the city's best selection of organic foods, award-winning meats, ethnic foods, and the largest assortment of cheese in Southwestern Ontario to tempting sweets, beautiful flowers, and elegant restaurants.

Clovermead Adventure Farm and Gift Shop (Aylmer)
A fun family destination that features live bee display hives, pedal go carts, farm animals, tricycle track, wagon rides, bee barrel train rides, straw bale mountain, straw jump, zip line, spider web, play zone slides, sandbox, fort, rubber duck racing, goat bridge, balance rope, fish pond, rope swings, tire climb, tetherball, trails, picnic area, misting zone for hot days. Open June to October; see website for photos, hours, events, and directions.

Golf in London
London boasts the unofficial title, "Golf Capital of North America." Visit the Course Listings section, of London Ontario Golf - comprehensive and entertaining golf web sites. There are more than 100 challenging golf courses in and around London. If you are a duffer, a family just out for some fun or a scratch golfer there are many courses that will accommodate you. Check out

Labatt Memorial Park
There is no doubt that Labatt Memorial Park in London, Ontario is Canada's favourite ballpark. It must be, as whenever a true fan of the grand old game visits the park, particularly for the first time, a smile erupts, as they look around to capture the "aura of baseball" that dominates the setting. Canada's and arguably the world's oldest continuously operating baseball park, Labatt Memorial Park, hosted its first game on May 3, 1877. The park has been owned by the City of London since 1936. A new grandstand was built for the 2001 Canada Games.

The London Majors are an independent, minor league baseball team of the, semi-pro, Inter-county Baseball League. The team was founded in 1925, and is based in London. For the 2013 schedule of home games visit the Majors' web site:

Here are a few more Summer in London- 2013 events scheduled….

Art In The Park
Springbank Park Art in the Park in Springbank Park celebrates 35 years! An eclectic collection of local artists displaying original art for sale. This takes place every Sunday through to September 29th from 11am - 4pm (weather permitting).

International Food Festival Victoria Park
This will be the 6th annual International Food Festival which features over 40 food vendors offering foods from around the world. Along with live entertainment including The Mudmen, exhibits, beer garden and amusement rides. This festival is enjoyed by 100,000 people.

OPA! Greek Festival Hellenic Centre
Come enjoy the OPA! Greek Festival, one of London's premier summer festivals, taking place on June 21st, 22nd and 23rd at the Hellenic Centre on 133 Southdale Road West. Opa! Will feature authentic Greek food, traditional dance performances, live music by "Oneiro" - one of the best Greek bands in North America - and a cooking demonstration on the evening of Sunday June 23rd by the "3 Greek Sisters" ( Admission and parking are free! For more information see:

Dominion Day at Fanshawe Pioneer Village
On the 1st of July, 1867, Canada became a self-governing colony within the British Empire. Relive the past and discover the events surrounding the first Dominion Day (now Canada Day). Join us for birthday cake and lemonade on the green or visit our Village Cafe for a buffet featuring BBQ ribs and chicken, potato salad, coleslaw and traditional rice pudding. Other events for the day will include patriotic speeches, and vintage baseball, just to name a few of the activities that bring the past to life at Fanshawe Pioneer Village!

TD Sunfest 2013
July 4 - 7 Sunfest is Canada's Premier Celebration of the Global Arts, held without admission fee in beautiful Victoria Park, London, Ontario. This unique, high profile event features over 30 top professional world music & dance and jazz ensembles based in Canada and abroad.

Victorian Teddy Bear Picnic
July 7, 2013 Fanshawe Pioneer Village All the bears are gathering for a Victorian Teddy Bear Picnic. Bring out your favourite stuffed friend for an afternoon of games in the park. Watch a puppet show and make your very own teddy bear puppet. Join Victorian Bear for a parade and enjoy a picnic of lemonade and cookies served in a china tea cup. Children and teddies alike will love many more activities throughout the Village.

Bricklin International Owner's Club Meet
July 13, 2013 The Bricklin International Owner's Club is holding our annual Meet in London at the Ivey Spencer Leadership Centre. On Saturday July 13, the public is invited to see our fantastic collection of Bricklin SV1 sports coupes. The Bricklin was manufactured in St. John New Brunswick from 1974 to 1976. The car has revolutionary powered gull wing doors, an all acrylic finish and a timeless style that still turns heads 39 years later! Come see over 75 Bricklins from stock to modified to custom.

Home County presents its 40th Anniversary Festival
July 19 - 21, 2013 in downtown London's beautiful Victoria Park. Hear some of Canada's finest songwriters sharing the stories behind their songs on three afternoon workshop stages, and sit back and enjoy the evening main-stage concerts at the Kiwanis Memorial Bandshell.

London Licious
July 19 - 21 Get a baby sitter and call a cab… for tonight we live it up! London Licious has been celebrating gourmet gastronomy with locally owned and operated restaurants for 7 years. It is the only festival in London that invites you to live it up in one of your favourite restaurants and try some new ones. At Licious Festivals, we have worked hard to ensure you'll have a great experience and travel the world in culinary style. With over 35 restaurants participating, each with its own unique, delicious fixed-menu options to offer, you won't leave unsatisfied!

Rock The Park - 10th Anniversary
July 25 - 27 OMAC Mortgages presents Rock The Park - 10th Anniversary! Performers for Thursday, July 25 include The Tragically Hip, The Trews, and Greg Ball and The Dry County Rebels. Performers for Friday, July 26: Journey, Whitesnake, Platinum Blonde, and Helix. Performers for Saturday, July 27: Styx, Coney Hatch, and others TBA. This annual event is a Bethanys Hope Fundraiser. Tickets available through Centennial Hall Box Office.

Ribfest London
August 1 - 5 Ribfest London festival is the first Ribfest in Canada, featuring 10 Rib Teams battling it out for awards and bragging rights. Enjoy the exhibits, tons of food choices and two beer gardens featuring Robin Hawkins, The Salads, and Bobnoxious. This festival is enjoyed by 200,000 people

Festa Italiana
August 23 - 25 Festa Italiana is one of London, Ontario’s liveliest festivals. It is a three-day celebration of Italian culture, food, music and dance. The sights, sounds and tastes of the culture of Italy are enjoyed the heart of London's beautiful Covent Garden Market making it a true "Taste of Italy in Downtown London".

Fall Fest
August 30 - September 2 at Victoria Park. At the end of the festival season, Fall fest marks the end of the harvest and the beginning of the fall season. It features live music of all popular tastes, beer garden, carnival rides, and exhibitors. It also features free activities including pumpkin carving contest, giant straw maze, and a scarecrow making area.

Budweiser Gardens
Budweiser Gardens is a sports-entertainment centre, in London - the largest such centre in southwestern Ontario. Until 2012, it was known as the John Labatt Centre, usually referred to as the "JLC". Budweiser Gardens was opened in October of 2002 with a seating capacity of 9,090 for hockey events and ice events and over 10,000 for concerts, family shows and other events. The facility has 1,100 premium club seats, 38 private luxury suites and 5 Group Sales Suites.

The following is the list of events scheduled from July through September at Budweiser Gardens:
  • Alice in Chains - Jul. 11
  • Pearl Jam - Jul. 16
  • KISS - Jul. 27
  • Matchbox Twenty & Goo Goo Dolls - Aug. 25
  • 2013 Rookie Tournament – Sep. 05 – 08
    • Pittsburgh Penguins vs. Ottawa Senators
    • Blackhawks vs. Toronto Maple Leafs - Sep. 05
    • Ottawa Senators vs. Chicago Blackhawks - Sep. 07
    • Toronto Maple Leafs vs. Pittsburgh Penguins - Sep. 07
    • Chicago Blackhawks vs. Pittsburgh Penguins
    • Toronto Maple Leafs vs. Ottawa Senators
So much to do in and around the Forest City! Start planning your 2013 London Stay-cation now!