Celebrating 5 Years

Our Long Weekend in Stratford

This long week­end we’re stay­ing close to home. We’re tak­ing a trip to Stratford.

The fun and friendly town has much to offer beyond the the­atre, so this long week­end I’ve planned a lot of adventures.

There are many fam­ily friendly B&Bs in Strat­ford. Here’s a story I wrote about the Bed and Break­fast Asso­ci­a­tion. They’re the orga­ni­za­tion that assures all mem­bers offer a top qual­ity visit.

Avery's Inn Next Door, visit, famil, luxury suite

Avery’s Inn Next Door

This week­end we’re stay­ing at Avery’s Inn Next Door. They’re a new sup­porter of this site. As you know, I only run a few ads, and I always spend some time with these local busi­nesses before work­ing with them.

Avery’s Inn Next Door is a lux­u­ri­ous new bou­tique inn. Each room comes with mini-fridge, microwave and cof­fee maker. We’re stay­ing in The Gingko Suite.

Avery Inn next Door, stratford inn, luxury suite

The Gingko Suite

A fold out couch is avail­able, so I guess you know where Cole will sleep.


In the mid­dle of the night he’ll prob­a­bly sneak into bed with us and I’ll end up on the fold out couch.

If you don’t have plans to escape this week­end, but would like to get away, here are some thing to con­sider about a visit to Stratford.

Park the Car and Walk Around

The city is small, so you can basi­cally park the car. You can walk or rent bikes.

Half day bike rentals are avail­able at my favourite local bike shop, Totally Spoked. It’s a fam­ily friendly store run by folks who care about the world.

This photo is a load of bikes donated by Strat­ford & area res­i­dents being sent to Bicy­cles for Human­ity, who are send­ing the bikes to Namim­bia, Africa.

If you’d pre­fer to get on the water, you can rent a pad­dle boat, canoe or kayak from Avon Boat Rentals.

Splash Pad
The Strat­ford Lions Water Park and Deep Pool is con­ve­niently located at 15 William St., just off Huron. The 25-meter, 6 lane deep pool offers adult swims and a splash pad for the kids that includes a spray water fea­tures includ­ing gey­sers, water umbrella, dump­ing buck­ets and rain showers.

Check the sched­ule for fam­ily swim, and lap swim times.

Splash pad

Next it’s toy shop­ping.

Our favourite toy store is Fam­ily and Com­pany, a old fash­ioned shop, with wood floors, and over­stocked shelves fea­tur­ing every type of toy imag­in­able!
If you can’t find some­thing, just ask the staff will, they’re really helpful.

Favourite Places to get Pic­nic Food

Now that you‘ve had some fun and built up an appetite, get ready to head to the lazy curves of the Avon river for a pic­nic. There you’ll find plenty of pic­nic benches by the river and lots of shade. But before head­ing to the river pick up some food in town.

You can get deli­cious food-to-go at these restaurants:

1) County Food Co. Chef Janet Ash­worth stud­ied at the Culi­nary Insti­tute of Amer­ica in New York. She has a great selec­tion of foods ready for you to take out. Plus, the staff is really help­ful for folks like me with food aller­gies.

County Food Co. will pack all your food in an ice bucket and pro­vide you with a handy map of the best pic­nic spots in town.

2) York St. Kitchen is con­ve­niently located just down the street from County Food Co. mak­ing it easy to com­pare. Many of the actors at the Fes­ti­val fre­quent York St. Kitchen, for their excel­lent sand­wiches, so keep your cam­era handy.

3) Boomers Gourmet Fries, was fea­tured on The Food Newtork’s “You Gotta Eat Here.” Boomers has the best fries, burg­ers and more. The teens will love the “Jer­sey Shore” burger.

Strat­ford is known for the majes­tic swans that swim the Avon.
Keep an eye on your food, or the swans enjoy might enjoy your pic­nic before you do.

Now it’s time for a show.

Nat­u­rally we always plan our trip around a show. Our son saw his first Strat­ford Fes­ti­val per­for­mance, Peter Pan, at age three. Then at age four, he saw Camelot with his friends who were six and nine years old.

Alice-through-the-looking-glass, promo code

Don’t worry about the lit­tle ones get­ting bored, the shows are so lively, and well pro­duced, the kids will sit still.

This sea­son Alice Through the look­ing Glass is per­fect for the whole fam­ily. It’s at the Avon The­atre — Sat­ur­day, August 2, at 2:00 PM.

It’s a dou­ble fea­ture for our fam­ily Sat­ur­day. After “Alice Through the Look­ing Glass” we’re see­ing the 8pm per­for­mance of Crazy For You.

The per­for­mance runs 2 hours and 42 min­utes, so it’ll be a late night for Cole, but I’ve seen Crazy For You and I know the danc­ing, music, com­edy and cos­tumes will keep him watch­ing all night.

The com­plete week­end sched­ule is here.

Slow Food Market

Sun­day I’m look­ing for­ward to vis­it­ing with some of the local farm­ers and food ven­dors at The Strat­ford Slow Food Mar­ket.
SlowFoodHeadered These are some tasty gar­lic scapes. I posted a recipe for Sautéed Gar­lic Scapes on the blog post from my last visit to the Slow Food Market.

New Play Care Day Care
The Fes­ti­val is run­ning a new child-care ser­vice for chil­dren ages 4 to 10, on Sat­ur­days and Sun­days from 11:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.

The fee is just $15 per child and that includes lunch.

Check the Festival‘s Fam­ily Expe­ri­ence page for money sav­ing coupons and more, includ­ing details on an offer for up to four $36 youth tick­ets with each reg­u­larly priced adult ticket to any performance.

The Strat­ford Fes­ti­val offers a few cool activ­i­ties, includ­ing a behind the scenes tour of the cos­tume and props ware­house, which runs one hour and costs $8.00 for adults and $6.00 for kids.

The Biebs Launched His Career Here

What kid doesn‘t think of Justin Bieber when they think of Strat­ford?
At age 12 Bieber played gui­tar on the stairs of the Avon The­atre. His busk­ing earned him enough money to take his mom on a trip to Dis­ney­land. It was their first ever hol­i­day.

In June 2012 Bieber did a secret per­for­mance on the steps of the Avon The­atre. He sur­prised peo­ple on the street by busk­ing, and then quickly dashed away in his SUV before the crowds got too big. Check HERE for video of the impromptu performance.

Check out this cool map of Justin Bieber’s favourite places in Strat­ford. His favourite restau­rant for break­fast is Fea­tures, a clas­sic, old fash­ioned diner renown for it’s over-sized ‘Paul Bun­yan’ breakfast.

Thanks to The Local-Come-Lately blog, and The Strat­ford Shake­speare Fes­ti­val for photos.

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Be sure to check my Deals and Dis­counts archive for last minute Strat­ford Fes­ti­val Promo codes that can save you money.

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