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Sunday, February 8, 2015

Weekend is for lovers and families

  One-Tank Trip for Feb. 7/15

   (c) By Jim Fox

   It’s a double whammy – Valentine’s and Family Day activities – falling on the same weekend.
   “The timing is perfect with “endless possibilities” of things to do, said Vanessa Somarriba of Tourism Toronto, who offers some recommendations:
    - Toronto Zoo presents “food and fun” while learning the art of romance in the animal kingdom, Feb. 13 and 14 from 6:15 p.m. to 9 p.m. The weekend has half-price children’s admission to visit animal parents and babies available by presenting a printed downloadable coupon from the website.  torontozoo.com

“Dangerous Cove” at Ripley’s Aquarium of Canada for Valentine’s dinner and family Stingray Experience.
   - Ripley’s Aquarium of Canada presents a Valentine’s Day three-course dinner for two with a bottle of wine, entertainment and souvenir photo ($250).
   The Stingray Experience goes behind-the-scenes and there’s an in-water experience, souvenirs and photos. ($150, adults; $140, children) ripleysaquariumofcanada.com
   - Harbourfront Centre has the Play Zone – “an imagination playground that encourages learning, social development, movement and fun.” Build a snow fort and skate outdoors. harbourfrontcentre.com
   - Second City presents the Mainstage Revue, a wild collection of sketches, songs, characters and improvisations, and Big Bad Wolf (versus Lord Underwearface von Schtinker), an interactive musical romp for families. secondcity.com
   - City of Toronto has a website listing family offerings from baking at Fort York’s historic kitchen to making a Canadian flag to take home at the Historic Zion Schoolhouse and a Black History month exhibit at Mackenzie House. toronto.ca
   - Family Day Extravaganza on Feb. 16 at the Mississauga Convention Centre from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. features shows and activities including the SuperDogs, reptiles, bouncy castles, crafts, games, puppet shows, characters and face painting. familydaymississauga.com
   - CN Tower, where love is always in the air at 360 The Restaurant and Horizons Restaurant, has Valentine’s Day fine dining with a sky-high view of the city.
   There’s a $99 weekend Family Pass for the Look Out and Glass Floor observation levels, the ride, movie, three restaurants and more. cntower.ca

A youngster enjoys a “winter warmup” of hot chocolate during Family Day fun on the Toronto Waterfront.
   Sweet treats
   - Distillery District offers a 30-minute Segway spin tour for two and a Soma chocolate gift basket with hot-chocolate mixer, strawberry chocolate bar, reverse candy apple balls and truffles on Valentine’s Day. $99 plus tax per couple. segwayofontario.com
   - Kensington Market has the Valentine’s Food Tour at 11:30 a.m. on Feb. 13, 14, and 15. There will be “select tastings with a romantic flair.” Included are artisanal breads and specialty cheeses, charcuterie, gourmet sandwiches and pastries. savourtoronto.com
Learn how to decorate cupcakes on Family Day at Le Dolci in Toronto. (Jim Fox photo)
   - Le Dolci features PEI Chef Dave Mottershall hosting a five-course meal with wine for chocolate lovers on Feb.14 ($160 a couple) and cupcake decorating on Feb. 16. ledolci.com
   - Casa Loma, Toronto’s famous castle, has a Valentine’s “meal to remember” ($120 a couple) and family weekend interactive sports and cultural activities. casaloma.org

   Staying over
  Sheraton Centre Toronto has been undergoing a $90-million renovation
   - Sheraton Centre Toronto has weekend activities, along with a salute to the 50th anniversary of the Canadian flag, an indoor/outdoor pool, arts and crafts, cookie decorating, pizza making and a kitchen tour and it’s across the street from the Nathan Phillips Square skating rink.
   The BnB Restaurant serves a festive platter for two on Valentine’s with a heart-shaped burger and bun sliders accompanied by heart-shaped potato wedges and wine. sheraton.com/tospecials
   - Eaton Chelsea Hotel has the Family Fun Zone, free meals for kids to age six and half price from seven to 11, along with “treasure-hunting pirates,” dance, music and costumes. chelseatoronto.com
   - Westin Harbour Castle’s Family Getaway provides an overnight with breakfast, valet parking and a Kids Club amenity. Toronto details: SeeTorontoNow.com; 1-800-499-2514

   On the waterfront
   The Toronto Waterfront BIA holds a free Family Day of fun on Feb. 16 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Woofjocks Canine All Stars perform dog sports at PawsWay on the Toronto Waterfront.
   There will be the Woofjocks Canine All Stars with dog sports, magic shows by clowns Pockets and Bilboa and pet-themed face painting, at PawsWay; and tours of the Museum of Inuit Art.
   Free pizza is served at Bar Milano in Queen’s Quay Terminal and bring along an insulated travel mug for free hot chocolate and beverages at numerous locations, said publicist Peter Ashworth. waterfrontbia.com

   Get out of town
   - Ontario provincial parks with Family Day weekend events include Algonquin, Killarney, Bronte Creek, Pinery and MacGregor Point.
   There’s a hike and wolf howl at Algonquin, Killarney stargazing, skating and crafts at Bronte, wildlife events at Pinery and a Snofest at MacGregor. ontarioparks.com/winter


Jim Fox can be reached at onetanktrips@hotmail.com
For more One-Tank Trips: http://1tanktrips.blogspot.ca 

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