I love summer. I always have. As a child, I remember the air always smelling different during summer vacation – cleaner, fresher, full of possibilities. Now with three young boys of my own, I get to relive that experience through their eyes. Over the August long weekend, my oldest and youngest were part of the Ontario Lacrosse Provincial Championships held every year in Durham Region which is also part of Ontario’s Central Counties. Every year, the schedule calls for two games in one day with a long break in between. And every year, we take that time to do something new and fun.
This year, we went to the Bowmanville Zoo, where I happened to know four lion cubs were born in the late spring. The zoo is offering Lion Cub Encounters where you can get up close and personal. I didn’t tell the boys (we had four with us because a friend tagged along) that I had arranged for them to meet one of the cubs. The boys toured the zoo, loving the new baby giraffes that have become part of their zoo family, feeding the goats and camels and sitting enthralled at one of the half hour animal performances. After the performance was finished, they were itching to get out and explore some more, but I told them to hold tight. Once the theatre was cleared, Congo the cub bounded into the ring and the boys were invited to come play with the energetic ball of fur. It really was a once in a lifetime experience and as a parent I will remember the look of sheer joy on their faces as they petted, played and held the small cat.
The Bowmanville Zoo is offering this incredible experience throughout the summer and you can book your encounter online here. Now, I’m not saying it was the adrenaline rush and endorphins from this experience that caused it, but Gavin was on fire for the late afternoon game, scoring four goals and getting three assists to lead the team to a decisive victory.
Central Counties believes in the magic of summer school vacation and has made it easier on your wallet by partnering with many of the top attractions in the region to provide you with admission discounts. The Kids Road Trip allows you to plan an itinerary with your kids, print it off and print off coupons to save you money on your travels. It’s a great app which I encourage you to explore.
Next time you are outside, take a deep breath and try to remember the smell of summer vacation.
Have a great day!
Chuck is the Executive Director of Ontario’s Central Counties. Between driving his kids to lacrosse and hockey tournaments, he can be found exploring and building memories with his family of five in Central Counties.