Saturday, July 2, 2011

Canada Day at Ontario Place and Harbourfront

Last year we spent Canada Day at Harbourfront. While fun, we wanted some more toddler-friendly stuff for Noah to enjoy this year. We decided to spend the day at Ontario place, and then head over to Harbourfront for dinner.

The first thing Noah did when we got to Ontario Place was to go on their new little roller coaster, "Wacky Worm". It was Noah's very first roller coaster! He went on first with Dan. I wasn't sure how he would react when actually on the ride, but when I saw his little arms raised in the air on his way up the tiny hill, I knew he was okay. By the way, this is the perfect first roller coaster to take your toddler on. It is even tamer than other mini roller coasters and thus a good stepping stone to regular kids' coasters. Even Dan didn't find it the least bit scary, so that's a good gauge.

Of course, I had to have a turn on the roller coaster with Noah too. It was definitely one of those moments I will always cherish. He's gradually leaving toddlerhood and becoming "a little boy". 

Although too scared to go in at first, Noah eventually ventured into The Atom Blaster attraction. It is an indoor area that is full of little sponge balls. You can shoot them one at a time through guns, or load a whole bunch of them into a machine that will blast them high in the air. I'm not actually sure who had more fun in this area: Noah, or Dan. Dan certainly enjoyed firing a few of the sponge balls at my head. I guess I had it coming, for one reason or another. I was so proud of Noah for going all by himself down a long tube slide! He seems to be getting quite adventurous!

We went to see Thomas the Tank Engine at the Waterfall Stage. Parents and children in the audience seemed  excited to see this show, but it really failed to deliver. There was a lot of talking from the "station master" and "Sir Topham Hat", which caused the attention of children and adults alike to wander. When Thomas did finally appear, we only saw the front of him. It was like watching a 2D Thomas, when everyone was expecting a 3D Thomas. Noah turned to me and said "Oh. Thomas not moving." Thomas didn't even talk, but just whistled, at which point the Station Master or Sir Topham Hat interpreted for him. The songs were the highlight, but even Noah, with his passion for music, lost interest and suggested we do something else. I have seen Barney a few years ago on this stage with another child I was looking after at the time, and it was excellent. Apparently Barney will perform later in July.

Although I don't have any pictures to prove it, Noah thoroughly enjoyed the water play area. (There are some pretty cool, big water slides here that I think Noah will enjoy when he is a little older.) He did go on one of the kiddie water slides. I was really surprised by his bravery, since this slide also brought him through a dark tunnel. 

The water was freezing cold, but children don't seem to feel this. He went running into fountains, getting himself drenched, and giggling and squealing the whole time. 

Later, he continued with his risk-taking behaviour by trying a mini Ferris Wheel ride. As we were going around, he kept waving one of the little Canadian flags I had the kids make at daycare, and saying "Happy Canada Day, everyone!"

He wanted to go on some of the other rides but isn't quite tall enough yet. He did enjoy the car ride, which went forwards and backwards.

Nearby there was a water ski show that looked interesting to watch, I guess just not for an almost 3-year-old.

Noah wanted to go on the Merry-Go-Round ride he had seen earlier, but by the time we returned to it, it had broken down and was out of service for the day. He was getting tired by this point, and for a while refused to accept the circumstances.

We finally persuaded him to come see an Imax movie at the Cinesphere titled "A Rainforest Adventure: Bugs!" It was a 3D movie. I didn't think Noah would wear the 3D glasses since he had refused to do so for the 3D Sesame Street movie in Busch Gardens a couple of months ago. On this day, however, he decided to give it a try, and wore them for most of the movie. It was a pretty good movie and kept him engaged. I winced during the few scenes which showed one insect attacking and eating another insect because of the innocent eyes in the audience watching the horror. I know, it sounds like I am exaggerating, but when you see a bug eating another in 3D, and on a gigantic screen, it is very much like watching a slasher flick. Luckily, Noah is made of tough stuff and took it very well.

On our walk from Ontario Place to Harbourfront, (which took about 45 minutes), Noah had a short snooze in the stroller. He was understandably feeling a little crusty with such a short nap after a long day in the sun and heat. At Il Fornello he kept saying "Anyway, let's go home now!" We told him we wanted to see the band, and thought he'd be excited about it. At first he responded by restating his desire to go home, and specified that we should do so by taking the bus and the subway. But, luckily for us, he changed his tune long enough for us to see Luke Doucet's entire set. It was a great show.

Here he is (Noah, not Luke), deliriously rocking out to the music.

Soon after this, though, he continued to suggest we go home, so we finally had to oblige him. He really was such a trooper. What a fantastic, beautiful day it was to kick off the summer! Happy Canada Day, everyone!

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