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It’s the weekend before Halloween. That means that ghosts and goblins will be alive and well across the city attending eerie events and creepy costume parties galore. Did you get invited to Dave’s Devil Dance? Me neither, but I know of a few other places you can go to scare the wits out of yourself. Or have a laugh with your family Frankensteins.

Halloween Hyjinxs In Your Neighbourhood This Weekend

Halloween in the Village:

Wortley Village; October 26 from 4-7 pm. Parade at 7 pm.

The 3rd Annual Halloween in the Village will be held on Saturday, October 26th, 2013. There will be food, drinks, BBQ, Sweet Treats and more! Don’t miss the crafts and games for the kids. And of course join the parade! Make sure to dress up in your most creative costumes for this family fun event. There will be prizes for best costume, group and non-motorized float.

Haunted Mansion:

Grosvenor Lodge (1017 Western Rd); October 25-27 from 7-9 pm. Cost $5 per person

Are you up for an exorcism? Do you feel brave enough to walk with the undead at one of London, Ontario’s oldest homes? The folks from Heritage London Foundation are betting that you’ll be scared witless when you encounter the ghosts, ghouls and witches coven that have taken over Grosvenor Lodge this Halloween. So what do you think? Will you cast your money in the devil’s hat to prove your bravery, or run screaming from the Haunted Mansion this fall?

Beware Count Dracula’s Farm at Fanshawe Pioneer Village this fall

Haunted Village Hayrides:

Fanshawe Pioneer Village (1424 Clarke Rd); October 24-27, 29, 30. Performances at 7 pm, 8 pm, 9 pm on Thursday and Sunday, 7 pm, 8 pm, 9 pm, 10 pm on Friday and Saturday. Cost $11 per person. Not recommended for children under 8 years.

We’ve all heard of Count Dracula. You may know that he resided in Transylvania, where he terrorized the locals mercilessly. Well, it would seem that the Old Country is too Oldschool for Drac, so he’s headed to Middlesex county to lie low and take on the personae of a simple farmer. But his bloodthirsty ways haven’t been left behind and the poor peasants around these parts are in danger! Jump aboard the Haunted Village Hayride this Fall at Pioneer Village for Jason Rip’s latest spooky play. If you DARE!

Storybook Gardens Storyspook Village:

Storybook Gardens (1958 Storybook Lane); October 24, 27-30 from 6-8 pm. Cost $12 per child (children under 2 free)

Bring your flashlight and a costume for spooky fun for the younger set. Enter through the haunted castle. Trick or treat around Storyspook Village and spy 20 costumed storybook characters. Dance at the Fairy Scary Dance Party. Listen to tales of the deep dark ocean at the Pirate’s creepy ship. Take a ride on the spotlight train. Discover other spooky nooks and corners around the grounds of Storyspook Village. Don’t forget your treat bags!

Storybook Gardens Trick or Treat Spooktacular

The Storyspook Village isn’t the only fun to be had at Storybook Gardens this Halloween. Head to Storybook Gardens on October 25-26 between 6-8:30 pm for even more Spooktacular fun. There will be a camp fire, roasting of ghost droppings over the fire, scary story time, spooky crafts, a puppet show and more. You must pre-register for the event through Spectrum. Cost is $13, children under 2 free.

Who needs Dave anyway, when there is this much spooky fun to be had in London, Ontario this weekend?!

Today is the last day of school for London and area children. In a few short hours, the kids will be released from school for the summer. Do you have your vacations booked? Is your car packed for the cottage? Are you ready to celebrate the Nation’s birthday this weekend? That’s right, not only do the kids get to celebrate the end of school, but summer is going to be ushered in with Canada Day celebrations this weekend!

I realize that not everyone has a cottage to escape to, or even much vacation time to draw on over the summer. There is always plenty to do around London and area though, and this weekend is no different. You can still celebrate Canada’s birthday and not necessarily have to spend a small fortune to do it. Why not look at these options;

Canada Day Fun In Your Neighbourhood

Canada Day celebrations in Summerside

Start the celebrations off early in the neighbourhood of Summerside. On Saturday, June 29th, the Summerside Optimist Club is sponsoring Canada Day festivities from 3-6 pm at Meadowgate Park. There will be inflatable bouncers, a kids dash, face painting, a maze, a BBQ by M&M, plus lots of other games and activities. Once the sun goes down, the sky will be lit up by fireworks. Glow sticks and snacks will be available to purchase as well. All profits go to further activities in Summerside, so make sure to get out and celebrate in your city.

Eldon House is getting in on the patriotic action as well. London’s oldest residence will be hosting free events in the garden between 12-5 pm. That includes live music, the chance to watch artists create en plein air, the opportunity to take in a game of croquet, Canada Day crafts for the kids, a puppet show, and even cake at 3 pm. Tours of the house are by donation.

The celebrations don’t stop there though. Between 6:30 – 10:30 pm a fundraising barbeque will be held. Tickets are $50. Dinner is served at 8 pm. There will be live entertainment, tours of the house, a silent auction, plus of course one of the best views of the fireworks being held at the Forks.

Dominion Day at Fanshawe Pioneer Village

If you want even more historic fun to ring in Canada’s 146th birthday, why not head out to Fanshawe Pioneer Village for their Dominion Day celebrations. You can watch a vintage baseball game, listen to patriotic speeches, enjoy birthday cake and lemonade on the green or a barbeque buffet in the Village Cafe. Admission is $7, with children under 3 free. Buffet prices are $13.50 for adults and $6 for children under 12.

Of course the City of London always pulls out all the stops with their Canada Day celebrations down at Harris Park. The free event features a First Nations gathering, exhibits honouring Canada’s Heroes, vendors and community exhibits, birthday cake, and plenty of live entertainment. Celebrations start at noon and run through til fireworks light up the sky after dark. In fact, here’s a preview of what to expect this Canada Day.

Have a great weekend and don’t forget to turn your alarm clocks off for the summer! 

This weekend is the unofficial start of summer. Mother Nature even seems to be willing to cooperate, as the forecast is calling for sun and temperatures in the low 20s all weekend long. As it is Victoria Day on Monday, that means for the first long weekend of the summer! I for one can’t wait. So get ready to have a great weekend, as there is plenty to do in London, Ontario this weekend.

Victoria Day Weekend In Your Neighbourhood

For starters, City of London splash pads will be back in business starting on Saturday, May 18th. Just in time for the long weekend Londoners! Hours run daily from 9 am – 9 pm. There are twelve public splash pads to enjoy, as noted here;

  • Bonaventure Meadows – 141 Bonaventure Drive (next to Bonaventure Meadows Public School) – Note: Open restricted hours during school hours
  • Rowntree Park – on Whetter Avenue off Wellington Road
  • Kiwanis Park – off Hale Street
  • Fork of the Thames – off Riverside Drive and King Street
  • West Lions Park – on Granville Avenue beside Kinsmen Recreation Centre
  • Lambeth Centennial Park – on Beattie Avenue across from the Lambeth Arena
  • Jesse Davidson Park – off Monte Vista Crescent or Ensign Crescent
  • Gibbons Spray Pad – in Gibbons Park
  • Southeast Optimist Park – on Deveron Crescent
  • Oakridge – Valetta Street by Oakridge Arena and pool at top of hill
  • Ed Blake Park – near Huron and Barker Streets
  • Medway Park – beside Medway Arena and the Canada Games Aquatic Centre


Grab your bathing suits (and swimmers for babies – no diapers cloth or disposable diapers allowed) and get ready to get wet! Note that there is no standing water, as the splash pads are all sensor activated. There is also no supervision at any of the sites.

 

The splash pad at Storybook Gardens will also officially open this weekend. For the remainder of May, hours are Monday to Friday from 10 am – 4 pm and weekends 10 am – 5 pm (including holiday Monday on the 20th). Prices for the 2013 year are Adults $7.50, Children (2-17) $6.50, Families (2 adults & 2 children) $25, Seniors (65+) $6.50, Infants (under 2 years) free. If you know that you’ll be heading there often enough, you might even want to consider purchasing a seasons pass for $35. It is good for one full year from date of purchase, so that you can enjoy the park in winter or summer. Plus it enables you to get 10% off any purchases in the Treasure Chest Gift Shop, at the Village Square Cafe concession stand, and for select programs.

 

Fireworks over Lake Ontario in Toronto on Vict...

It just wouldn’t be a long weekend without fireworks! If you are looking for sparkling skies and a big bang or two, head out to Fanshawe Conservation Area on Monday, May 20th. Fireworks displays begin at dusk, but there is plenty more to do there before then. There are 20 km of trails for hiking and biking, plus 8.5 km dedicated exclusively to hikers. You can go fishing or boating on Fanshawe Lake. Or bring along a tent or trailer and enjoy the park all weekend for a camping trip (note there is an alcohol ban in place for the May long weekend). While you are there you can also head over to Fanshawe Pioneer Village, as it officially re-opens for their 54th season on Saturday May 18th. They will be stepping back in time on May 20th to celebrate her majesty Queen Victoria herself with historical games, speeches and a vintage baseball game. Entrance to the Pioneer Village is $7 with children under 3 free. To get into Fanshawe Conservation Area, you just need to pay $12 for a vehicle day pass.

Happy Victoria Day Weekend Canada!

We have been leading up to it all month. Ghosts and goblins are now perched on front lawns all over the city. Spiderwebs decorate trees and shrubs around every corner. Crooked tombstones mark where fiends have fallen, but beware the zombies that are trying to escape their earthly bonds…

This weekend the Halloween frenzy will be at its height around town. While young trick-or-treaters will still have a few days to wait for the official All Hallow’s Eve on October 31st, the weekend is shaping up to be full of frights all over the place. These are but a few of the scary settings you can check out;

HORRIFIC HALLOWEEN HAUNTS

For the second year in a row, Wortley Village will come alive after dark with the Halloween in the Village 2012. After the scarily successful first Halloween Parade, the Graceful Dead volunteers have decided to do it again, bigger and eviler than last year’s festivities. Get your ghastly get-up on and head down to the Normal School at the corner of Wortley and Elmwood Ave on Saturday, October 27, 2012 for the Carnival at 4 pm. There will be crafts, games, music and food vendors to fill up the tummies of your fiendish family. The parade starts at 6:30 pm at the corner of Wortley and Duchess, but judging for best costumes will be held at 5:30 pm, so make sure you strut your sinister selves on by the judges (one of whom is the notable Natalie Lovie of Fresh FM). Wondering what you will be judged on? Here are the categories;

Scariest Float
Most Humorous float
Best Float
Best Child’s costume
Most Creative costume
Most Spookiest costume
Best Group Costume
Best Puppet costume
Best Pet Costume
Best Teen Costume

The evening is sure to be a freaky and fun affair, well worth clanging your chains at. You will be in the company of other such notables like the Forest City Derby Girls (women’s roller derby team), the London Rogues (Star Wars Fan Club) and YOU!

Other Halloween Happenings around London;

  • Haunted Mansion Tour at Grosvenor Lodge: 1017 Western Rd, London, ON, October 27-29, 2012 from 7-9 pm, cost $5 per person
  • Trick, Treats  & Trumpets – Orchestra London Cushion Concerts: October 27, 2012 at 10 am & 11:30 am (30 minute concerts) at the London Public Library, Byron Branch (1295 Commissioners Rd W) featuring Shawn Spicer and his trumpet. Wear your costume. Appropriate for children 6 and under. Cost is $8 per person.
  • A Haunting We Will Go at Fanshawe Pioneer Village: 1424 Clark Rd, London, ON, October 27, 2012 from 12-4:30 pm, cost $5 per person
  • Halloween in SummersideSummerside Optimist Club: 3155 Meadowgate Blvd, London, ON, October 27, 2012 starting at 5 pm, children’s activities & parade, cost is Free
  • Hilton Halloween Street Party at Hilton Place: Circle intersection of Hilton & Whitney Ave, London, ON, October 27, 2012 from 1-3 pm
  • Fright Night at the Westminster Optimist Centre: 650 Osgoode Dr, London, ON, October 30, 2012 from 6-8 pm, Haunted House & Gross-Out zone,  cost $2 per person
Jack-o-lantern

Jack-o-lantern (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

BOO!!!!

Time to get Creepy London! October ushers in a whole host of spooky events that are sure to please the brave and fearless among us. There are plenty of family friendly excursions, but for those that want a more sinister setting, get your spook on for these local events that are sure to please anyone’s scary side.

CREEPY LONDON CAPERS

Can you believe it? It’s time for the Lost Soul Stroll already! Starting this Friday, the 8th season of a bone-chilling stroll through downtown London, Ontario will set out from 207 King St. Be prepared to get scared out of your wits, as John Radcliffe (Ontario’s first professional hangman) and Johannah Donnelly (matriarch of the Donnelly family) share chilling tales of murder, disaster and intrigue. Tickets cost $25 this year and always sell out fast, so be sure to order yours soon. The stroll will be held October 5 & 6, 11-13, 18-20, 23-27, with the last night held on the 30th. All shows start at 8pm and take approximately 90 minutes to complete. Rain or Shine, it’s a fun evening for those brave enough to attend!

Fanshawe Pioneer Village is getting in on the chilling action as well. This year they are presenting Haunted Village Hayrides with a nautical twist. Performers will take you back in time to May 24th, 1881, to the Thames River, right here in London. On that fateful day, the double-deck stern-wheeler,  the Victoria, set out from Springbank Park after a day of fun and frivolity for its passengers. The  day ended in anything, but happiness though. In association with Mystery Unlimited, the actors will present to you the demise of the Victoria and the repercussions for the passengers on board. Performances cost $11 and are held at 7, 8 and 9pm on Thursday and Sunday night shows. On Friday and Saturday, an extra show is held at 10pm. If you are strong enough to watch “Ship of Death: The Wreck of the Victoria“, tickets are available for October 12 & 13, 19-21, and 25-28. Can you handle the tragedy that will unfold?

2012 Belmont Corn Maze

Just south of London, there are more creepy events in the works at the Belmont Corn Maze (46614 Crossley-Hunter Line). Starting after dark on Saturday October 13, 2012, the maze will be visited by some spooky spectres intent on scaring you silly. I’ve heard tell that goblins lurk in the normally fun maze after the sun sets. The cackle of witches is unmistakable in the Autumn breeze. Quite possibly the most frightening sound might be the distant sound of screams though, that draw ever nearer, as you wind your way through cornstalks in the dark between 7 and 10pm on October 13, 19, 20, 26, 27 (rain date Nov 2). It just might be the last $12 you wish you hadn’t spent, as you run screaming for your life…

(Family friendly tours through the 12 acre corn maze run during the day too, for those not daring enough to face the depths of their fears after dark.)

Oh, and have a happy Thanksgiving too!

Welcome to In Your Neighbourhood!

Allow me to introduce myself. The name is Jim. You want to know more? Well, check out my "About Me" page! Don't forget to take a peek at my "Local London Listings" while you are here too! I update it regularly. Enjoy your visit and drop me a line to let me know you were in the neighbourhood!

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