Celebrating 5 Years

Family Staycation in Stratford

Think­ing about a Stay­ca­tion? Con­sider a trip to Stratford.

The fun and friendly town has much to offer beyond the the­atre, so this long week­end plan for a full day of adventures.

The city is small, so you should con­sider park­ing 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 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.

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

The Three Musketeers | On the Stage
Michael Blake (left) as The Comte de Rochefort and Luke Humphrey as D’Artagnan in The Three Mus­ke­teers. Photo by Cylla von Tiedemann.

This sea­son The Three Mus­ke­teers is per­fect for the whole fam­ily. Unfor­tu­nately it isn’t sched­uled for the long week­end. How­ever Fid­dler on the Roof, and Blithe Spirit play Sat­ur­day after­noon at 2pm.

The com­plete week­end sched­ule is here.

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

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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