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The Best Fathers Day Gifts

Father’s Day, the frequently neglected holiday, is coming up once again – on Sunday June 17th for the record. But rather than get him another lame tie or another gift card to Tim Horton’s, why not go the extra mile and find him a gift he’ll be excited about?

Of course, the quality of a gift depends entirely on your dad. Not everything on this list will be a perfect fit for every person out there, but we’ve given a wide variety of gift ideas to fit a variety of personalities, from the classic machismo to artistic to a bit off the beaten track.

Dads are often impossible to buy for: if they want something, they just buy it, or they’re so stuck in their old ways that anything new will go unused. So we have taken a lesser focus on the products themselves, and opted for a heavier focus on the experiences. Even though dads sometimes have trouble voicing their emotions, they love doing things with their children, especially when they’re grown up and have left the nest. Taking the time to experience something with your father can make his day much better than just getting him a card.

With that said, every business featured in this gift guide is owned and operated in London as you may have guessed. These local businesses offer some of the greatest goods and/or services that could make the perfect gift for dear old dad.

 

WHISTLING DICKS BARBER SHOP

Neighbourhood: Old East Village

760 Dundas St (map)

https://www.whistlingdicks.com/

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Whistling Dicks Barber Shop London

The gift of a trip to Whistling Dick’s Barber Shop could be a time machine back to your father’s childhood, depending on how old he is. Whistling Dick’s is replicating the feel of a 1930’s barber shop and act as a safe haven for guys to be guys. Old tunes play from their stereo as you enter and you’re hit with the rustic scents of wood and tobacco.

Despite their rugged appearance and rustic décor, Whistling Dick’s is all about pampering their clients. Just by the barbers’ appearance, you may think they look more like butchers, but their hands are nimble and will give you and your father one of the smoothest shaves you’ll ever experience with their hot straight razors. And of course they’re some of the friendliest guys you’ll meet, chatting with every patron they comes through their doors.

Whistling Dick’s aims to be more than just a barber shop though, they aim to be a social hub, a place to hang out with other guys, a clubhouse with a big old “no girls allowed” sign if you will. And with a liquor license pending approval as icing on the cake, this could be a great experience for you and your father to share. He might even become a regular and owe you for introducing him to the idea!

Even if your dad might not be in need of a haircut right this instant, Whistling Dick’s is more than just a razor, a pair of scissors, and a buzzer. At Whistling Dick’s, you’re welcome to join in a society and experience the barber shop of yesteryear.

For a more in depth look at Whistling Dick’s, including a video with the owners, head on over to our Business of the Week on them here.

 

LONDON FLOAT THERAPY

Neighbourhood: Masonville

215 Fanshawe Park Rd. (map)

http://www.londonfloattherapy.com/

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London Float

 

If your dad is more inclined to physical activity or he’s always complaining about being sore and his creaky joints, London Float Therapy could be an interesting new experience for him to try.

Featured in our Business of the Week last July, London Float is the only float clinic in the city. Float therapy promotes relaxation and healing through floating in a sensory deprivation tank. Once inside the pod, you lay in a shallow pool of salt water. The high levels of epsom salt increases the density of water, thereby counteracting the effects of Earth’s gravity and allowing you to float in complete silence and darkness.

While out of context this may sound like something out of a horror movie, float therapy is an incredible experience for most customers, allowing for both physical and mental relaxation and healing. The lack of stimulus allows muscles to release tension and begin to heal, while it coerces the mind into a meditative state. It allows for mental introspection and self-discovery as your physical sense of self almost melts away to the point where some customers weren’t sure where their body ended and the water began.

Sessions last for either 60 or 150 minutes, in either a float pod or a float room, which is more spacious for the claustrophobes out there that may still want to try, but both are the same price.

The biggest barrier may be convincing your dad to get in the pod. But if you can, this could be the perfect opportunity for him to relax his old bones and forget the stresses of his job.

For more info on London Float Therapy, check out Santa’s firsthand experience in the float pod in our Business of the Week here.

 

ANDERSON CRAFT ALES

Neighbourhood: Old East Village

1030 Elias St (map)

http://andersoncraftales.ca/

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Anderson Craft Ales

For the beer drinking dads, Anderson Craft Ales is a great gift idea. London has an abundance of breweries within the city limits, but Anderson is definitely one of our favourites. Their Old East Village brewery is also open to the public, which makes the gift more than just a six-pack of their fantastic IPA.

Their small batch, handcrafted, premium beers are incredibly popular among locals, and have spread in restaurants, bars, and LCBOs (only the IPA so far) across the province. They even won the silver medal in its category at the Canadian Brewing Awards, beating out over 200 competitors.

The taproom and tasting room overlooks their open concept brewery, so as you sip one of their excellent beers, either permanent or a seasonal brews, you can watch their process. They also have a shelf of board games for your enjoyment, as long as everyone can keep their cool during a game of Monopoly.

Don’t forget to grab a souvenir from their retail store as well. A hat, t-shirt or pint glass with Anderson’s stylishly minimal logo would accompany the case of beer your dad is taking home perfectly, and of course acts as a reminder of what an excellent gift giver you are, even after the beer has disappeared.

To sneak a peek at the brewery and get more information about their products, head over to our Business of the Week we did with them last summer, found here.

 

ILLBURY + GOOSE

Neighbourhood: Old East Village

884 Dundas St (map)

https://www.illburyandgoose.com/

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If fashion is what your dad is into, Illbury + Goose offers trendy, high quality clothing and accessories for Canadians, proudly sporting the maple leaf in their logo. Heavily inspired by the trendy shops found on Queen Street West in Toronto, Illbury + Goose puts an emphasis on high quality and locality in everything they do and every product they sell.

The clothing brand began with two Londoners, Meghan Kraft and Daniel Phillips just wanting to rep their hometown without wearing hokey, low quality souvenirs. Soon, the couple were selling locally branded clothing out of the Western Fair Farmers’ and Craft Market and then moved into their own storefront in the Old East Village.

Their line grew beyond ball caps and t-shirts quickly. They now offer outerwear and accessories such as moose hide gloves. They also have their own lines of coffee and tea, assorted cleaning products – both personal hygiene and household cleanliness – and scented soy wax candles, featuring offbeat scents like Dark + Stormy, which smells of ginger and lime like its namesake rum cocktail.

Their minimal designs allow their clothes to fit into any wardrobe without feeling out of place, while still standing out as impeccable quality. Even for the old fashioned dad that has worn the same rotation of four polo shirts and the same baseball hat every day for years, a high quality Illbury + Goose tee or hat could fit into his attire with ease.

So if you’re looking to pick up something that your dad might actually wear or an accessory he’d use, while still being on trend, Illbury + Goose is a great place to look.

 

ROCK THE PARK

Neighbourhood: Downtown London

Harris Park (map)

https://www.rockthepark.ca/

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For the music-loving dad, tickets to London’s outdoor music festival, Rock the Park, would be a great pick for a gift. Rock the Park is a yearly festival hosted in Downtown London’s Harris Park. Depending on his taste, you could get him a ticket to any of the four themed nights of Rock the Park:

July 11th is “FM96 Presents” for the modern rocker;

July 12th is “Mixtape Rewind” for those who want a blast from the rock and pop past;

July 13th is “Bring Back the 90’s” for lovers of 90’s RnB;

July 14th is “FM96 Presents” for the modern rocker that doesn’t have Wednesday evening free.

The lineups at Rock the Park are always impressive and diverse, bringing in a variety of demographics. From 80’s sweetheart Cyndi Lauper to emo punks Three Days Grace to hip hop legend Coolio, at least one of the nights is more than likely fit your dad’s style.

Just to make the gift a little more sweet and feel like you’re doing a bit of extra good with your gift, part of the proceeds from Rock the Park go towards four charities: the Make-a-Wish Southwestern Ontario, Big Brothers Big Sisters of London & Area, the Brandon Prust Foundation, and Western Football.

There are a few things to keep in mind when it comes to Rock the Park. Firstly, general admission is standing room only and lawn chairs are not permitted due to limited space in the park. So if your father’s knees and back just aren’t what they used to be, it might be in your best interest to grab one of the VIP reserved tables. Secondly, it’s an outdoor event that will be happening rain or shine, so check the forecast ahead of time. Wear your rubber boats and bring an umbrella if necessary. Thirdly, Rock the Park usually does sell out, so be sure to jump on your tickets quick, especially if you want to gift them to your dad on Father’s Day.

Rock the Park is a wonderful gift that you and your father can experience together or as an entire family, so grab your tickets now!

 

BARACOA TOBACCONIST CIGAR SHOP

Neighbourhood: Old South

173 Wharncliffe Rd. (map)

http://www.baracoacigars.com/

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Baracoa

Whether your dad is a cigar aficionado or only partakes occasionally, a cigar or cigar accessory always makes for a fantastic gift. Baracoa is London’s premiere cigar shop, with a massive and varied selection of cigars for your gifting needs.

They have cigars from a variety of countries. Of course, the usual suspects such as Cuba and Nicaragua, but also lesser known tobacco producers like Italy and Mexico. While the prospect of entering a cigar shop may seem intimidating for the inexperienced, the guys at Baracoa, led by owner Dave Sorge, are incredibly knowledgeable and more than happy to help you make your selection.

If your dad already has his own assortment of cigars and doesn’t need any more, Baracoa has accessories that will make your dad’s day. Cutters, lighters, and punchers are popular gifts that don’t break the bank. If you’ve got a slightly bigger budget or can split the price across a few siblings, a humidor would make an excellent present to help him maintain and expand his at-home collection.

They even have an in-house engraver, so after you pick your gift, you can get it personalized with your father’s initials, name, or maybe even a meaningful phrase or an inside joke between the two of you if it’s short enough to fit.

Cigars are a commonly seen as a sign of celebration, and there’s no better to way to celebrate your dad this Father’s Day than heading to Baracoa for his gift.

To learn a bit more from the owner himself, check out our Business of the Week featurette on Baracoa here.

 

Experiencing
Richmond Row

Whether you’re looking for a night on the town, a quick bite to eat, some light (or maybe not so light) shopping, or some combination of it all, there’s no better district to look in London than Richmond Row. This strip of London’s Richmond Street, from Oxford Street to York Street, sports nearly 300 businesses, big and small, most locally owned, to fill a Londoner’s day out and about. From greasy spoons to fine dining, athletic apparel to prom dresses, and theatres to good old Mother Nature, Richmond Row offers it all.

Despite being just one of the streets in the downtown core, Richmond Row remains the most prominent and stands out with its own identity. With Western University just down the street, Richmond has become a hotspot for trendy, unique businesses that are able to flourish with the influx of young adults to the area. However, this doesn’t mean that only students are going to enjoy Richmond Row. All demographics – age, budget, and even dietary restrictions – will find something to enjoy on the Row.

Depending on the type of activities you’re looking for and the amount of cash you’re planning to spend, your day on Richmond Row could vary wildly. Since Richmond Row offers such an eclectic mix, the following features have been divided into categories based on the goods and services offered, and within those categories broken down by how much the average outing would cost: low end for the more budget friendly options, perfect for a student budget or a frugal spender, and high end for going all out, whether it be a special occasion or simply treating yourself to the finer things in life.

FOOD

Low End: Prince Albert’s Diner

 

For the classic diner feel, there’s no better place on Richmond than Prince Al’s, as Londoners will often call it. It’ll catch your eye on the Row from far off with the building’s bright yellow siding, and the décor inside matches that bold statement, as does their food.

The restaurant offers classic diner fare, such as burgers and milkshakes, with twists including their famous Wally Burger – a classic beef patty topped with bacon and covered in creamy peanut butter which earned them a featured spot on the Food Network’s You Gotta Eat Here. They also offer a variety of other appetizing additions such as sandwiches, burritos, and pierogis. For good measure, they also do offer a few vegetarian options mixed into their menu.

It’s important to keep in mind that Prince Al’s is a popular London staple with limited seating. So you might be fighting to get a seat, especially on evenings when the London Knights are playing, but it’s well worth the wait.

 

 

High End: Bertoldi’s Trattoria

 

Bertoldi’s is a locally-run, rustic restaurant, serving up Italian classics in the tradition of their grandparents: fresh and local ingredients creating delicacies from scratch. They boast that all of their pastas and sauces are made daily on site, and most definitely never frozen. And their recipes aren’t the only thing that are up to Italian standards, in the center of the restaurant sits their fiery forno, a massive oven imported from Naples, baking authentic Italian breads and pizzas all day every day.

From pizza to pasta, Bertoldi’s is embroiled in tradition, and for good reason: if it isn’t broken, why fix it? But for those thinking Italian food is just pasta with red sauce, Bertoldi’s can open your eyes to a whole new world of Italian delights. You could go for the carb heavy and cheesy meals and there’s definitely no shame in that, they’re classics for a reason, or get something fresh and light. No matter what, you’ll be leaving satisfied.

 

DESSERT

Low End: Haven’s Creamery

 

Haven’s is a new addition to Richmond Row that Londoners have definitely taken a liking to, based on the near constant line out the door since the temperature has warmed up. With a selection of handmade flavours, both classic and innovative, and fresh waffle cones made before your very eyes, there’s no doubt that Haven’s product is high quality.

But of course, the most important thing when it comes to ice cream is always the taste. Haven’s ice cream is rich, creamy, and smooth, no matter what flavour you get. Getting a double scoop allows you to mix and match complimenting flavours such as carrot cake and maple pecan, a truly fantastic combo for a summer sunset.

If even a double scoop doesn’t satisfy you or you know you’ll be getting another craving later in the night, head over to their freezer and grab a pint or a litre of your favourite flavour to take home and pretend that you’re going to share it with your friends and family.

For the dairy averse, Haven’s also offers a few fruity flavours of sorbet, currently their feature is cantaloupe mango. So don’t let lactose intolerance stand in your way of enjoying these handmade frozen treats.

Haven’s is a welcome new face on Richmond Row, serving up quality frozen desserts just in time for the summer months.

 

 

High End: Chil Frozen Yogurt Bar

 

Admittedly, going to Chil doesn’t need to be expensive. But since you pay by weight, it’s entirely possible to go way overboard and end up with a pricey cup of fro-yo on your hands, which is why Chil is ending up in the “high end” category.

Chil is slightly hidden off the corner of Hymen Street, behind the Running Room, but if you’ve spent any time on Richmond Row, you’ve definitely seen their aggressive marketing, as there seems to be a near constant flow of Chil coupons placed strategically along the street and in Victoria Park. With a coupon in hand, heading over to Chil and hanging out on their sidewalk patio is a great way to end off an evening out.

Like a kid in a candy store, Chil allows customers to serve themselves, offering a plethora of frozen yogurt flavours, including vegan options, alongside over 125 toppings for you to create the perfect Frankenstein’s monster of a dessert.

Chil is the Choose Your Own Adventure of the fro-yo industry, and the only limit to your dessert is your own creativity. And the size of the cups they give you… but they never said you can’t get two if you’re so inclined.

 

ENTERTAINMENT

Low End: Victoria Park

 

Despite being in the heart of downtown, the Forest City still delivers on greenery. With a whopping cost of completely free, your cheapest option for entertaining yourself is Victoria Park. Bring a book and read in the shade or bring a friend and a frisbee for some catch, nothing beats a sunny afternoon in a park. With eighteen acres, you can stake your claim on a patch of grass and enjoy your time with a leisure activity of your choosing. Victoria Park is also a fantastic spot for picnics, but don’t feed the squirrels. They are notoriously greedy.

If you’re lucky enough to (or make a plan to) catch Victoria Park on the right day, you could also find yourself at one of the many festivals hosted there throughout the summer such as Sun Fest or Rib Fest. Although the products aren’t free and you won’t find much space to sit, walking through the stands is definitely worth your while. You can smell or even taste great food, hear local bands, and experience local art. There are also great activities for any children in your life. Victoria Park’s festivals are a major attraction during the summer months.

 

 

High End: Grand Theatre

 

The Grand Theatre is, as the name implies, a grand experience. With two performance venues in the building, as well as two lounges, there is often a variety of options for your viewing pleasure. Catching a show on the Spriet Stage is akin to that of a traditional opera theatre, with incredible high ceilings and gorgeous balconies. Their second stage, the McManus Stage, allows for a more intimate performance, with a smaller crowd and various configurations such as “in the round,” where the stage is in the center of the room surrounded by the audience, allowing for a 360 degree performance.

With upcoming events such as Imagine: The Music of John Lennon, a show dedicated to remembering the musical innovator, and Jeans ‘N Classics, a rock symphony with five separate shows dedicated to exploring different bands, the Grand Theatre is something to keep your eye on. They are constantly announcing new and amazing touring shows and original productions, but tickets tend to go fast, so you’ll have to snatch yours up quick.

 

NIGHTLIFE

Low End: Jack’s

 

No matter what night of the week you’re looking to head out on, Jack’s is going to have a deal for you. Mondays are Dollar Beer Night, Tuesday is Tequila Tuesday, Thursday has $2.50 jaeger bombs, and so on and so forth. Turning up, as the kids call it nowadays, is no longer something that is guaranteed to ruin your bank account at Jack’s with daily deals and modestly priced food. Of course, that means that during the post-secondary school year, the joint is typically full of students, so enter at your own risk.

If that prospect doesn’t intimidate you, you can expect current jams bumping, a dancefloor that always seems to be slightly overpopulated, and drinks flowing all the while. It may not be everyone’s taste, but if your criteria for whether you want to go somewhere is mostly based on the price of drinks, Jack’s is your place.

 

 

High End: The Poacher’s Arms

 

Where Jack’s is very much a student hotspot, the Poacher’s Arms tends to attract a different crowd. They also have daily specials for each day of the week along with events: Monday is Comedy Night paired with half price poutine and discounted Coors and whiskey sours, Wednesday is an Open Mic with $10 nachos and a couple bucks knocked off Molson Mini Jugs and Tom Collins.

The Poacher’s Arms is much more of a classic pub than it is a common North American bar. Laidback but traditional, there is a heavier emphasis on quality over quantity without any holier-than- thou disposition. The Poacher’s Arms is a perfect spot for grabbing a couple of beers or classic cocktails and having a good chat with pals or other patrons, without the issue of having to scream over deafening bangers.

 

 

In conclusion Richmond Row is generally considered to be one of the most interesting places to be in

London, and there’s no question as to why that is. Whether you’re a student, a young family of four, or on the verge of retirement, Richmond Row’s eclectic mix of opportunities makes it the perfect place to spend your day on the town. Richmond Row is one of the most densely packed streets in London, filled to the brim with locally owned and operated restaurants and shops to support your city, as well as larger chains for a touch of familiarity. The possibilities for your afternoon or evening are endless.

The Best Places to Take Your Kids on a Rainy Day in London

Children are undoubtedly the most enthusiastic people out there. They have a zest for life, innate curiosity that takes them to places adults would never dream of going, and their energy levels are quite high. Especially when they sneak that extra cookie when their parent or babysitter isn’t looking. We’ve all been there.

As parents, it can sometimes be difficult to get creative and give kids new places to explore and things to do. Luckily, in addition to London having some of the greatest trails and parks in the province, there are some fantastic places to pack the kids in the car and take for an afternoon of fun. They’ll leave with amazing memories, low energy and a feeling of satisfaction. And you’ll love seeing the smiles on their faces as they play in these clean, safe and fun environments.

Neighbourhood: Old East Village 
100 Kellogg Lane (map)
http://www.thefactorylondon.ca/

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The old Kellogg Cereal Plant opened its doors 1913 in the Old East Village and became an essential part of London’s economy and culture up until 2014. Since then, it has repurposed itself into a space called 100 Kellogg.

This historic building will be the new home to various companies in different sectors; industrial, recreational, food and services, retail and more. This is an exciting time for the Old East Village as it has undergone an impressive overhaul in the past few years. No doubt the addition of businesses to 100 Kellogg will only improve the appeal of the up and coming neighbourhood.

A very significant portion of the building will be revived as the much-anticipated Factory London. Set to open in the spring of 2018, this will take the cake as not only Canada’s largest, but North America’s largest indoor adventure park! It will feature various activities to engage, entertain and push boundaries for kids and adults alike.

The Factory has acquired 160,000 sq feet of space in the building and plans to turn every square foot into endless fun for the whole family.

Likely the most anticipated part of The Factory is the high ropes course. It is mapped out by two 75 ft towers connected by a zip line with about 100 obstacles in between. These obstacles will challenge and entertain people of different skill levels. Feeling bold and brave? Take the plunge off the 70ft drop! There will always be plenty of adrenaline pumping activities for the whole family at The Factory.

Not feeling the ropes course? The 20,000 square feet dedicated to trampolines might be up your alley! From rotating arms and jousting pits to warrior courses, the trampoline zone will both entertain and challenge participants.

Little kids are certainly not forgotten about at The Factory. There is a large space dedicated just to them. They are free to roam upon the climbing zones, crawl through the tubes, zoom down the slides and putter about in the soft play area. An impressive feature of The Factory is the addition of wristbands for every person. This means parents can allow their children to roam free without ever worrying about where they are. Maximises the fun everyone can have!

Of course, it wouldn’t be an adventure park without an arcade! They have dedicated over 4,000 square feet of immersive arcade entertainment into the building. People of all ages can enjoy these games in competition with friends, or attempt to beat the high scores! The best part is these are redemption games which allow you to hand in your tickets for an awesome prize at the end of your session.

From virtual reality and escape rooms to go-karting and laser tag, The Factory will impress kids and adults alike. Although the finishing touches are still being made (as of April 2018), we do not doubt that this will become an instant hit for the whole family!

Neighbourhood: Westmount
3198 Wonderland Road South (map)
http://www.adventuresonwonderland.ca/

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Adventure’s on Wonderland is London’s largest indoor playground explicitly geared for kids aged twelve and under. Its name pays homage to the children’s adventure fiction that’s as wildly animated as this indoor playground. The play on words also alludes to the location of the facility which falls on Wonderland Road South just past Southdale Road W. While it is outside of the city centre, its proximity to major arteries in London allows easy access from anywhere in the city.

There are various zones in Adventures on Wonderland that cater to different ages and interests. The facility is home to London’s most extensive soft play structure. Here, children can challenge themselves in the obstacle course, make their way through the multi-level tunnels, take a dive and get lost in the ball bins and zoom down the slides! They can even channel their inner spider-monkey with the web climb. There are four levels of fun in this jungle climber and kids are guaranteed to find something that’ll entertain them.

The wee ones who aren’t quite agile enough to tackle the soft play structure are not forgotten. Children aged 5 and under have access to Wee One’s Adventure World. This designated area is ideal for the curious toddler who loves to explore. They can safely enjoy slides, interactive toys, games, a submarine to play in and a separate ball-bin.

Toddler’s also have designated access to the Play Village. Here, they can let their imagination run wild in a next-level game of house!

What’s better than a classic game of tag? Laser tag of course! Children who stand 40″ and taller can access the Laser Tag Adventure Maze! Here they can engage in friendly competition, get some exercise running around and zap their friends one by one.

No children’s facility would be complete without a designated zone for gaming. Adventure’s on Wonderland offers various games such as air hockey, sports and video options and redemption games that allow the kids to win prizes when they’re all played out!

Adventure’s on Wonderland has become the go to destination for field-trips and family fun afternoons.

Neighbourhood: Oxford Park
720 Proudfoot Lane (map)
http://fleetwayfun.com/

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Fleetway is one of those classic London destinations that every kid grew up going to for birthdays and field trips. Glow-bowling followed by a sweet treat at Dairy Queen? Can’t get any better than that. Or so we thought.

While the classic London destination stuck in our minds as an awesome childhood memory, it was impossible to ignore its ageing interiors and atmosphere. It soon became an outdated and unassuming spot for bowling and billiards. Since its recent renovations, it’s become one of the most entertaining and fun destinations for kids again!

Fleetway boasts a full 44 lanes of bowling, with ten-pin and five-pin options. Their state of the art machinery and extreme lighting elevates the experience. If you want to impress your kids, make sure you go to glow-bowling, they will be extra entertained by the black light effects and it’ll make the experience even better!

One of the newer additions to Fleetway is their 7,000 square foot miniature golf course! It is a full 18-holes of glow in the dark fictional characters such as pirates and fun landscapes. Perfect for a carefree date night or an afternoon out with the kids.

Fleetway’s brand new Kid’s Play Centre is a must-visit for those with children 12 and under. This playground offers five levels of fun for kids including slides, tubes, punching bags, trolley glides, toddler area and way more.

The Playdium Lite Games Room at Fleetway adds to the fun as kids and adults alike can enjoy. Filled with state of the art games and redemption prizes, kids will leave with a prize. A bonus is the game’s cards never expire once they have been purchased – simply swipe your card and the game will begin!

Fleetway wouldn’t be Fleetway without its classic Billiards Room. The large room is home to fourteen Boston Pool Tables that are kept in mint condition. Novices and experts alike will enjoy practicing their skills on the professional surfaces.

We can’t fail to mention that this Fleetway still has the beloved Dairy Queen attached to it. This was a family tradition for many when Fleetway was in its early years – and it still is now! Kids will love grabbing a Blizzard after wearing themselves out on the Play Structure or playing a few rounds of bowling.

Neighbourhood: Downtown
21 Wharnchiffe Road South (map)
https://www.londonchildrensmuseum.ca/

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Although the London Children’s Museum has lost its lustre and shine over the years, kids who visit don’t notice the outdated nature of the facility and will always have a good time. Parents will notice that the museum might be the same as when they went there as a kid, but the fond memories of the museum probably haven’t faded and it’s fun to provide your children with those same awesome memories!

This is a place children can go and unleash their inner curiosity and inquisitive nature. What sets the Children’s Museum apart from other indoor facilities is its focus on teaching rather than just entertaining. From day camps to fun afternoons, children are bound to leave learning more every time!

With ten exhibits covering different topics, there is a wide variety of things for children to do. They can learn about different dinosaurs in the dino exhibit, dig for them in the sandpit and dress up like them in the caves.

Sifton Street is an immersive child-sized neighbourhood where kids can play the ultimate game of house. They can climb up 3-storey buildings, shop in the grocery store and pretend they are real-life neighbours. This exhibit, in particular, brings children together and provides interactions and immersive experiences they may not otherwise have had.

The Science exhibit teaches children about the simple things all around us. They can learn how to plant a plant, explore the necessity of recycling and learn what it takes for a meal to be nutritious. This exhibit will surely stimulate all the children’s senses and make science fun!

Kids are like sponges and absorb so much of what they see. It is refreshing for parents to take their kids to places where their kids can actually learn and take important facts home with them. While it’s awesome to let the kids run off steam for an afternoon, the Children’s Museum has continued to be a London staple because of its educational aspects! We are looking forward to the impending move and improvement of the Children’s Museum. It has captivated its patrons for years now, and it will only get better with future plans!

Where do you take your kids on a rainy afternoon? We’d love to hear about any other hidden gems in the city that are safe, affordable and fun! Let us know on any of our social media accounts linked below. Don’t forget to comment, like and share!

Neighbourhood: Argyle
2469 Avaition Lane (map)
http://www.locomotiveespresso.com/

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For those with tiny tots looking for a safe space to take their kids for the afternoon, Play Away is the perfect spot. The only downfall to this indoor play centre is its location. It is located east of Fanshawe College right by the London International Airport.

While this is a pretty far drive in comparison to other play areas, it’s a no-frills facility that dedicates itself to being clean and providing kids with a ton of fun! They even offer deals for those who are flying in and out of the city. They market it as a perfect spot to let kids tire themselves out so they can sleep on a long flight. For anyone who’s dealt with a crying kid on a flight, they’ll understand how important it is for them to fall asleep in the air.

Play Away is a socks-only facility that doesn’t allow outside food and drinks. Kids will find no shortage of fun on the 3-storey play structure and indoor jumping pillow. There is a safe racetrack and a designated area for toddlers. This ensures no children get hurt and are always safe while at play! A soft block area and fitness and dancing studio are also available for kids to utilise.

Various party packages are offered at Play Away. They even offer party packages that can host up to 90 people! While they will only cater food for 30 people, the option is there to pre-order food for up to 90 guests. These are your classic birthdays that allow the kids to run around and enjoy each other’s company.

A unique party they offer is their private waffle party which includes waffles, whipped cream and toppings for the kids and is available on the weekends from 8am-10am. With some parties at Play Away, parents get to take home a GoPro birthday video where the guest of honour is the star of the show! This is a modern take on the classic birthday party video cameras we have stashed in our storage rooms.

The Best Tacos
in London

What’s trendier than tacos these days? Besides sushi burritos and pizza of course, not a whole lot! And there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that. From food trucks to pop-up shops, hole-in-the-wall’s, fast-food chains and locally owned family restaurants, authentic Mexican eateries and modern fusion taco spots are all the rage right now, and this trend shows no signs of slowing down.

London has recently seen a wave of new restaurants that’ll surely satisfy any hankering for a taco, and among the prevailing taco trend the locally owned, authentic eateries have seen an influx of foodies wanting to get their paws on the tastiest (and most authentic) tacos in town!

Read on to discover the best taco joints in the city, from authentic Latin cuisine to new and trendy spots, the Forest City has a ton to offer.

Neighbourhood: Downtown London
611 Richmond St. (map)
https://www.dostacos.ca/

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If you’re looking for a cheap, quick and reliable option, then Dos Tacos is the place for you! Dos Tacos is reminiscent of a classic taco spot that offers up the benchmarks, with a few twists. They’ve garnered an awesome reputation for themselves, with a premier location on the famous Richmond Row. Dos Tacos is the go-to spot for after the bar grub and weekday lunches.

The menu isn’t as extensive as others on this list, but for a quick service restaurant the options are diverse. They have five taco flavours – shrimp, chicken, cod, steak and sweet potato. Arguably the best part about Dos Tacos is the customizable menu options. Once you’ve chosen your flavour combo, you then decide if you want it in a taco, loaded on fries or in a salad. They have tasty salad dressings made in-house such as jalapeno lime and honey chipotle. We also can’t fail to mention their out of this world salsas that range from mild (red guajillo chili), to medium (green tomatillo and jalapeno) and up to hot (yellow habanero and pineapple). Dos Tacos has quickly become the local watering hole for western students and young professionals alike. Next time you have a hankering for a taco or loaded up fries, check them out and you won’t be disappointed.

We interviewed the guys down at Dos Tacos for one of our #BusinessOfTheWeek segments! If you haven’t checked it out, click HERE to watch! You can find out a bit more about where they came from and what their tasty tacos are all about. Our personal favourite is the Cod Father, a lip-smacking mix of delicious, lightly fried cod, always fresh pico de gallo, cabbage, salsa and their to-die-for guacamole!

Neighbourhood: Downtown London
580 Talbot St. (map)
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The Wolf brothers have done it again with their latest restaurant venture, Los Lobos. Riding fresh off the success of their previous restaurant, Wolf of Wortley, these brothers have provided London with an Instagram-worthy hot spot that’s not lacking in ambience or flavour.

They’ve taken the classic Mexican Day of the Dead theme and went full throttle. The restaurant is decked out with murals of skulls and vibrant decor reminiscent of badass Mexican nights and celebrations. While the decor is impressive, the food they’re serving up is even better. They have a multitude of appetisers including cauliflower queso and a variety of dips. Each taco is reasonably priced at $5, and the options are quite varied.

From the classics like lightly fried cod and pork carnitas to beef cheek, sweet potato, blackened cod, shrimp and scallops, the toppings are fresh, and the flavours are explosive! Pro tip: even if you’re a die-hard carnivore try the cauliflower taco and you won’t be disappointed. With perfectly fried nachos and radishes for garnish, the guacamole is a go-to at Los Lobos as a shareable appetizer. Always satisfying and fresh!

No Mexican restaurant would be complete without an extensive margarita list, and Los Lobos offers some innovative twists on this classic cocktail. If you’re feeling adventurous, we recommend the pineapple jalapeno and strawberry cumin margaritas! They’ll leave you feeling refreshed on the outside and warm on the inside, perfect to wash down those delicious tacos.

Neighbourhood: Old East Village
784 Dundas St. (map)
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Tacos are best when they’re done in authenticity. With the catch phrase, ‘keep it authentic,’ True Taco is a Salvadorian and Mexican restaurant located in the beloved Old East Village of London, Ontario. A family run hole-in-the-wall, True Taco has dedicated themselves to providing Londoners with authentic Latin food made with loyalty to the original cuisine. The atmosphere of the restaurant is welcoming and they do take-out, catering and regular dine-in service.

The soft corn tortillas come with your choice of chorizo, beef barbacoa, beef tongue, bean or veggie mix and are topped with onions, cilantro, lime and homemade sauce. The tacos fillings are perfectly spiced and juicy, leaving the drippings down your hand as you eat them – always a sign of a good taco! Next time you’re in the OEV don’t forget to drop in and grab yourself a quick bite to eat from one of London’s best kept secrets – True Taco!

Neighbourhood: Oxford Park
30 Wharncliffe Rd. (map)
http://underthevolcano.ca/

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Colourful Mexican décor and tasty Mexican food, this cheery family-friendly restaurant has become a hub for families and friends who want a casual spot with delicious and satisfying Mexican style grub. Located on Wharncliffe Road just past Riverside, Under the Volcano has been serving up classic Mexican entrees that are packed with flavour. Always fresh and delicious, the menu is seriously extensive with a ton of options including gluten, vegan and vegetarian items which Is always a win-win in our books! Not to mention, the portion sizes are huge, so you’ll never leave feeling hungry.

Their tacos come in either hard or soft shells, with a ton of options for fillings. Seasoned taco beef, medium spiced pulled pork, spiced chipotle steak, spicy cayenne beef, grilled chicken breast, mixed veggies, black bean, spinach and mushroom and jump shrimp. All the tacos are topped with lettuce, cheese, tomato and sour cream and come with your choice of two sides.

These tacos are the kind that’ll remind you of your childhood and how excited you’d get when your mom told you it was taco night! Next time you’re feelin’ like enjoying dinner in a vibrant and family-friendly atmosphere, definitely check out Under the Volcano. They do take-out express too! Take-out, vegan and vegetarian options are always a win in our books.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          

Neighbourhood: Glen Cairn
772 Hamilton Rd. (map)
http://www.lonuestrolatinrestaurant.com/

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Do you value authenticity in your tacos? Do you prefer a hole-in-the-wall that serves up food you can tell was made with love and originality? Then Lo Nuestro Latin Restaurant is the place for you! A small eatery located on Hamilton Road in east London, Lo Nuestro has been serving up tasty and satisfying Latin cuisine since its opening. Their dedication to authenticity is shown in their meals that pay homage to Latin, Salvadorian and Mexican cuisine.

Lo Nuestro is a quaint, no frills eatery that is less concerned about the atmosphere, and more concerned about the food. For authentic Mexican tacos that don’t disguise the fillings with a ton of sauces or extraingredients. These tacos are filled with spiced meat, tomatoes, onions and cilantro. Leaving the flavours to speak for themselves – we highly recommend testing out the beef tongue tacos, you won’t be disappointed!

Village North
Tricar

In the past two decades, the Masonville area of London (main intersection of Richmond Street North and Fanshawe Park Road) has seen a significant, and impressive, influx of commercial and residential developments. These developments have both expanded London’s boundaries and amplified the economy, adding numerous jobs and opportunities for expansion in different sectors. Masonville is booming and has established itself as a commercial hub for the Forest City. With commercial developments growing at the rapid rate they are, and residential developments expanding at a pace faster than we can blink, it comes as no surprise that Tricar planted their roots in this end of town.

The intersection of Sunningdale and Richmond used to feel so north to Londoners that they thought of the area as out of town and so out of the way that it was often referred to as the country. It’s the same way we now refer to those living in Ilderton or Komoka as living out in the country. It’s not that far away, but it’s definitely not convenient to get to if you reside in the downtown area, especially with no car.

Since the days of being the country, Sunningdale and Richmond has transformed from an area with nothing more than desolate farmland and an expensive members-only golf course and some well-hidden neighbourhoods to a thriving commercial hub. This area, while seemingly exclusive in its expensive nature, is as inviting as it is prosperous to our Forest City and its economy. The intersection has seen numerous residential developments in recent years. The area is now full of different housing such as single-detached homes of various sizes as well as a sprinkling of attached and detached townhouses. The near future will see the development of a commercial hub known as Richmond Village. This space will be home to various businesses such as food and retails stores and medical offices. The transformation of Sunningdale and Richmond happened so fast, it is incredible to see the developments in this end of the city.

Behold the production of Tricar’s latest and greatest development, Village North. Winner of Project of the Year award at the London Home Builder’s Association Awards (LHBA), this condominium is impressive in all the right ways. The demand for high-rise living is so great in London that the plans for this building were actually put in motion a full year prior to the original timeline. Tricar has been churning out some impressive high-rise condominiums throughout London in recent years and shows no signs of slowing down. The success of the Renaissance Towers in the downtown core was tremendous and enforced plans to erect Azure Tower, yet another luxury condominium centrally located and built by Tricar.

Village North stands 14 storeys tall and once complete, will house a whopping 154 condominium suites. Construction has been underway for a while now and the building is pretty much complete and three of the floorplans are already sold out!

There are a total of nine distinct floorplans, all offering an exceptionally modern and elegant appearance, while upholding the well-known high-quality that Tricar is known to execute. There are three 1-bedroom plus den suites, and six 3-bedroom plus den suites available. These suits range in square footage, bathroom options, layout and price points. Unequalled Style, Uncompromised Lifestyle is the motto for this luxurious condominium and will no doubt become synonymous with the already opulent and sought-after lifestyle of living in Masonville.

Village North, while tucked away from the hustle and bustle of the city, is conveniently close to every amenity one may need. It’s one block away from Richmond Street which is one of the most significant arteries in the city. A drive south down Richmond Street will bring you to Masonville Commercial District within five minutes, and the downtown core within ten to twenty minutes depending on the time of day. Residents can also make their way west down Sunningdale Road and quickly arrive at another fast-growing commercial hub for the north end of the city, Hyde Park Commercial District. The location doesn’t come without its perks. Although the area of the city is up and coming, and has seen an influx of residential development, the vast farmland and beautiful countryside feel is still present. Residents who score top-floor suites in this building will without a doubt cherish the stunning views from their balcony. While amenities are just a short drive away, the building itself doesn’t come without its perks and assets to live a healthy lifestyle in the comfort of your own building!

Within Village North is ClubNorth is a 11,750 square foot floor dedicated to personal amenities that will allow you to simultaneously entertain guests and achieve the healthy lifestyle you’ve always dreamed of having! The building offers its residents an indoor pool that’s so stunning they’ll never want to leave. The indoor aspect allows guests to enjoy it year-round without worrying about weather, bugs, trees and leaves interfering in their swim session.

In addition to a swimming pool, there is a full fitness centre with men and women’s change rooms. ClubNorth also has a billiards room with a full working bar. A state of the art golf simulator allows residents to practice their game from the comfort of their building! A movie theatre is implemented into ClubNorth, allowing residents to book at their leisure and watch a movie in huge, luxury, even better than movie-theatre style seats. No luxury condominium would be complete without a beautiful lounge area perfect for studying or cosying up in with a good book by the fireplace. The outdoor lounge area is complete with fire pits, barbecues and furniture, making it the perfect place to host guests. Large parties can be entertained in the fully working, state of the art kitchen complete with a large dining table. The aesthetic and attention to detail in ClubNorth is synonymous with the luxurious lifestyle Village North is attempting to provide for its guests. This amenity building is beautiful and impressive, and definitely a deal sealer for those looking to make the move to a luxury condominium. 

The construction site was split into three separate phases – two residential towers and the aforementioned amenity building, ClubNorth. The units in the building start at 1,100 square feet and range up to 1,800 square feet. The entire tower is undeniably aesthetically pleasing and the décor of the main foyer and ClubNorth is classic in its style yet possesses an updated and modern flair. The suites are spacious and all contain gorgeous and large windows, allowing as much natural light in as possible, and incredible views. As far as pricing goes, the units in the completed tower will start at $250k and cost up to as much as $950k with penthouses starting at $600k.

While there are many options to choose from with interiors and floorplans, there is a base standard that Tricar implemented to every suite in the building. The following are the base features and many suites will allow for residents to opt for upgrades:

  • High ceilings
  • Premium flooring such as plush carpeting and wide plank laminate hardwood flooring (residents can choose their color)
  • 80-inch designer two-panel interior doors
  • Enormous extra-deep balconies built with tempered glass and aluminum railings. These balconies are one of the most exciting features of the building as they allow residents to take in the nature surrounding Village North.
  • California textured ceilings
  • Crown molding and 5.5-inch baseboards
  • Wire-shelving in closets.
  • High-efficiency, state-of-the-art appliances.
  • Thermal windows.
  • Programmable thermostat and humidistat.

Tricar is committed to providing cities with the most luxurious and state-of-the-art residential buildings. One of their greatest commitments, however, is to improve the efficiency of each building with the latest in green technology. Village North is ahead of its time with numerous green initiatives in place to ensure the success of the infrastructure of the building, eliminating waste of non-renewable resources and diminishing possible costs for residents in the future. Tricar has implemented thermal windows. These improve heat retention in the winter while enhancing cooling during the warmer months. A green heating and cooling system is implemented into the building. This system provides a centralized gas-fired boiler and chilled-water cooling system. Together these minimize energy consumption while maximizing performance.  Every light-fixture in the building is energy-efficient. Low VOC (volatile organic compounds) washable paint and low VOC spray-foam and air barrier insulation was used in the construction of Village North. These are ecologically reliable and the use of them improves the overall air quality in every room of the building. Transparent china toilets are elegant in their style, and low flow ensuring improved efficiency of water usage in every suite.

Living a green life is not only a perk of the future of living, but a necessity. By purchasing a home that has been built with a green state of mind is not only allowing residents to save money in the future, but helping improve the nature of the world as we know it. It is imperative that residents seek out a future home that will decrease the use of non-renewable resources and look to energy efficient ways of living.

There’s no doubt that the implementation of a second luxury condominium within a 2-block radius of the Richmond and Sunningdale intersection is a nod to the major development that has happened in the north end of the city in the past decade or two. The lavish nature of the condo directly relates to the vibe of the area it’s located in, and will no doubt become a sought after building to live in. Village North is setting itself up to be in the same league as the Renaissance and Azure Towers that Tricar recently built in the downtown core. What are your thoughts on the substantial growth the north end of the city has undergone? Are you supportive of the city growing out, or would you prefer to see the city growing up in the future? Village North will no doubt attract a multitude of new residents to the area, whether it’s retirees looking to downsize or a young professional snagging a swanky penthouse, the options are endless in this beautiful new luxury condominium apartment.

 

The Best Bowling Alleys
in London

The premise of bowling has been around for centuries, and it’s become a pastime that everybody from all walks of life can enjoy. Whether you’re a six-year-old going to a birthday party with your classmates, or a sixty-five-year-old joining a tenpin league on Tuesdays and Thursdays, bowling is always a great time. Luckily for Londoners, the Forest City is home to some great bowling alleys. These classic London establishments have planted their roots as reputable businesses providing Londoners with incredible memories since their opening. Read on to learn about the best places to bowl in London, Ontario!

Neighbourhood: Oxford Park
720 Proudfoot Lane (map)
http://fleetwayfun.com/

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Fleetway is a classic London destination that since its opening has solidified itself as a reputable bowling alley of choice amongst kids and adults alike! The major appeal comes with their undeniably fun glow-bowling and the fact that Dairy Queen is attached to it. The family traditions that have formed at Fleetway have become engrained in many Londoners childhood memories.

While the classic London destination stuck in our minds as an awesome childhood memory, it was impossible to ignore its ageing interiors and atmosphere. It soon became an outdated and unassuming spot for bowling and billiards. Since its recent renovations though, it has once again become one of the most entertaining and fun destinations for both kids and adults!

The facility offers 44 lanes of bowling, with ten-pin and five-pin options. Their state of the art machinery and extreme lighting elevates the bowling experience. If you want to impress your kids, make sure you go to glow-bowling, they will be extra entertained by the black light effects and it’ll make the experience even better!

One of the newer additions to Fleetway is their 7,000 square foot miniature golf course! It is a full 18-holes of glow in the dark, fictional characters such as pirates, and fun landscapes. Perfect for a carefree date night or an afternoon out with the kids.

Fleetway’s brand new Kid’s Play Centre is a must-visit for those with children 12 and under. This playground offers five levels of fun for kids including slides, tubes, punching bags, trolley glides, a toddler area and way more.

Fleetway wouldn’t be Fleetway without its classic Billiards Room. The large room is home to fourteen Boston Pool Tables that are kept in mint condition. Novices and experts alike will enjoy practicing their skills on the professional surfaces.

The Fleetway experience wouldn’t be the same without a stop at attached Dairy Queen!  This became a tradition amongst families in early years, and still is today. There’s nothing better than grabbing a well-deserved blizzard after a few rounds of bowling on a Saturday afternoon.

Fleetway, in all its glory, is the perfect destination for date-night or just fun with a group of friends. It’s kid-proof in all the right ways, but offers up entertainment that’s perfect for adults only! 

Deals and Pricing:

Glow Bowling: Fridays 8:00pm – 1:00 am // Saturdays 3:30pm-6:30pm and 9:00pm – 1:00am

Shoe Rental Rates: Adults (13+) $3.75 per person // Kids (12 and under) $2.75 per person

Days:

Monday – Friday: $25.00 per lane per hour until 5:00pm

Saturday and Sunday: $29.00 per lane per hour until 5:00 pm

Nights:

Monday – Thursday: $29.00 per lane per hour from 5:00 pm – 11:00pm

Friday – Saturday: $34.99 per lane per hour from 5:00 pm – 1:00 am

Specials:

Tuesday & Sunday: $21.00 per lane per hour from 5:00pm – 11:00 pm

Neighbourhood: Westmount & Carling
141 Pine Valley Blvd. & 777 Adelaide St. North (map)
http://palasad.com/

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In a time where arcade-like bars that boast billiards and bowling alleys are becoming an increasingly trending business to get into, it’s hard to ignore the fact that London has been home to such an establishment for over twenty years!

Palasad has been providing Londoners with endless fun and entertainment since owner and founder Rob Szabo made his dream a reality. He felt that bringing billiards and bowling together in a cool and comfortable atmosphere complete with delicious food and snazzy drinks would be an asset to the London community.

There’s no doubt he was right as since Palasad’s opening back in 1994, almost 24 years later they have two locations and have established themselves as the go-to destination for events with people form all walks of life. Whether you’re a kid wanting to play at the arcade, a couple going on a date or an office looking for a place to host a work party, Palasad is able to cover every event!

Bowling, billiards, laser tag, ping pong and karaoke are all offered at both Palasad locations. Both venues boast an inviting and comfortable atmosphere complete with a life-size bowling pin for a mascot. London-based community events will often have the life-size bowling pin walking around, greeting children and handing out free-play cards for Palasad, further establishing the brand as a mainstay in the London community.

Both locations are equally fun but boast different decor and atmosphere. The north location is the tried and true original, flaunting a more casual vibe with retro decor, while the south location is more modern and upscale. There is an exciting renovation happening at the north location, so Londoners look out for the sparkling new Palasad north as we know it won’t disappoint, and will surely give Rec Room a run for its money. Both locations offer the most delicious wood-oven pizza that has become a favourite amongst those residing in the Forest City.

Palasad North has ten bowling lanes and ten pool tables and the South location has twenty lanes and six pool tables. Rather than bowling pins being secured on the lane by a magnet, they are attached to strings. This reduces lane issues and makes for a smoother bowling experience!

Pricing and Deals on bowling at both locations:

Shoe Rental: $3.99 per adult // $3.49 per child

Monday: $2.00 per game + shoe rental

Bowling is priced per person, with lane time based on group size. 
1 person = 20 minutes 
2 people = 40 minutes 
3 people = 60 minutes 
4 people = 80 minutes 
5 people = 100 minutes 
6 people = 120 minutes

Tuesday:

  • All day / All night 11am-midnight 
  • $7/person 
  • Shoe Rental Included

Wednesday & Thursday:

  • Before 5pm $10/person 
  • After 5pm $14/person 
  • Shoe Rental Included

Friday:

  • Before 5pm $10/person 
  • After 5pm $16/person 
  • Shoe Rental Included

Saturday:

  • All day / All night 11am-11pm
  • $16/person 
  • Shoe Rental Included

Sunday:

  • Before 5pm $16/person 
  • After 5pm $14/person 
  • Shoe Rental Included

 

Neighbourhood: Argyle Park
2086 Dundas Street (map)
http://www.bowleramaroyale.com/

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If you’re a Londoner who is serious about bowling, then chances are you’ve been a regular for years, (or you’re at least familiar with) the classic of all bowling spots in the Forest City, Bowlerama Royale! Located at the east end of Dundas Street just west of Clarke Road, Bowlerama Royale is the tried and true, ultra-vintage yet consistently reliable bowling alley that will never disappoint.

The venue itself began as a bowling alley, Town Bowl, and went on to serve its purpose as a recreational facility hosting bowling alleys and roller skating rinks through the years. After a brief stint as a furniture store, the site returned to its roots as Bowlerama Royale. This is a destination that will bring back memories for Londoners as a place they either bowled or roller skated at in their younger years.

The facility needed much updating which was fulfilled when the new owners, Mark and Brenda came on board in 2011. Mark Decman has done professional bowling in the past, and is well known in the bowling world. He competed in the TSN championship and is auditioning for Team Canada. This in and of itself is a reason to check out Bowlerama Royale!

The bowling community is tight-knit and ranges from kids to adults. Bowlerama is home to many bowling leagues that run throughout the year. These leagues are open to people with all skill levels from beginner to competitive. Bowlerama hosts end of season banquets with prizes and offers discounted open bowling practice rates and shoe rentals for league bowlers. There is a Bowlerama Royale Youth Program which offers opportunity for scholarships and tournaments.

Bowlerama itself is an awesome place to go for a fun night out or to join a community of like-minded people who love to have fun. A unique aspect of Bowlerama is its bowling pro shop. The pro shop provides any avid bowler with every accessory they may need. From custom drilled bowling balls (who even knew there was such a thing?!) to customized individual training for people of all skill levels, the staff at Bowlerama will welcome you with a energetic attitude that will no doubt teach you something you didn’t already know about bowling!

The venue boasts 32 lanes of ten-pin bowling. If you and your friends are looking for a fun night of bowling, the building is licensed so you can get drinks while you bowl making it the perfect spot to go on a Friday or Saturday night (or any night of the week, really!). The area is 27,000 square feet and is perfect to host events such as parties, fundraisers, field trips and much more.

Pricing and Deals:

Shoe Rental: $2.75 for juniors // $3.75 for adults

Daytime:

Monday – Friday: Juniors & Seniors bowl for $4.00 per person per game // Adults $4.50 per person per game // OR daytime by the hour $21.00 per lane

Nightime:

Monday – Thursday: $26.00 per hour per lane after 6:00 pm

Friday and Saturday: $31.00 per hour per lane after 6:00 pm

Deals:

Monday: Cosmic Bowling // 9:00pm-11:00pm special game rate of $2.20 per game

Tuesday – Thursday: 9:00pm-11:00pm $15.90 per person including shoe rental for all-you-can-bowl

Wednesdays: Red Pin Bowling! Red pins are placed between the pins and if you bowl a strike on the head pin you get your bowling for free from 9:00pm-11: 00 pm

Thursdays: All you can bowl for $15.00

Weekends: Cosmic Bowling all weekend long!

Group rates are offered depending on how large the group is. Check them out or give them a call to see what kind of discount they’ll provide you and your party!

Neighbourhood: Fairmont
972 Hamilton Rd. (map)
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While tenpin bowling seems to be the game of choice for many, we can’t forget about the five-pin option. Whether you’re a five-year-old who can’t yet hold up a tenpin bowling ball or a 55-year-old who loves the difficulty of aiming the small ball at those pins situated pretty far from each other, five-pin should most definitely be your game of choice! Invented in the early twentieth century for those who deemed ten pin bowling too strenuous, five-pin bowling made its mark and is here to stay! There is a bowling alley in London dedicated to five-pin bowling. This bowling alley is called Fairmont Lanes.

This small and unembellished alley is located just west of Highbury Avenue North and Hamilton Road. Fairmont Lanes offers a combination of that classic bowling alley vibe, and a pleasant family-oriented atmosphere thus providing patrons with a sense of familiarity and nostalgia from those afternoons spent at the bowling alleys as a child. Especially those memories of being enthusiastic about bowling, yet not quite strong enough be like the adults and tackle those daunting yet alluring ten-pin lanes.

Fairmont Lanes has been around for 52 years and has cemented itself as one of London’s most steadfast establishments. Let’s be honest, bowling alleys normally aren’t recognized for their state-of-the-art equipment and flashy technology. What makes a bowling alley great is their loyalty to the game itself. Fairmont Lanes has stayed true to its devotion to bowling in its half-century run and has created an incredibly tight-knit community of bowlers from all walks of life!

Most of Fairmont Lanes revenue comes from bowling leagues which are primarily hosted during the week. They offer open bowling, but that’s mostly on the weekends. Their facility houses full twelve lanes and has a liquor license! While this is a smaller business than the others on this list, the quaint atmosphere brings people closer together, which is exactly why it’s such a great destination for bowling leagues!

Deals and Prices:

Free Bowling: Adults $4.75 per game // Kids $4.00 per game

Hour Rentals: $36.00 per lane (up to 5 people)

 
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