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Do you have a pet in your home?

After doing a little scratching around, I discovered that 35% of households in Canada own dogs, while 38% of them have a cat. According to an Ipsos Reid poll done in 2011, that equated to approximately 7.9 million cats and 5.9 million dogs residing in Canadian homes. Now while these numbers are estimates, that is still an awful lot of Canadian pets around.

Well you pet-lovers are in luck this weekend, as the London Pet Show is sniffing into London, Ontario this weekend. The folks from Purina® are taking over the Progress Building in the Western Fair District from October 18th – 20th, 2013. While you cannot bring your own pet along, you can bring your children! Or failing that, you can wander over to the East Annex Building and adopt a pet of your own to take home with you at the end of the day. The Super Adoption Days are free to enter from 9 am – 5 pm on October 19th and 20th, and there are knowledgeable staff on hand to help you find your perfect new “best friend” (or furry children as some might prefer to think of them).

As for the rest of the show, it costs $6 for adults, $4 for children (5-10 years), and those under 4 years are Free. As always at the Western Fairgrounds, parking is also Free! Hours are from 9 am – 6 pm on Friday and Saturday, and 9 am – 4 pm on Sunday. That leaves you plenty of time to take in all that the first London Pet Show has to offer, like the many exhibitors, dog shows, cat shows, and even an opportunity to get your picture taken with Toto, from the Wizard of Oz! Pictures will be taken between 10 am – 12pm and 2 pm – 4pm, plus they are free.

The Elgin County Kennel Club will be presenting an All-Breed Championship Dog Show that runs all weekend long. Expect to see over 1600 dogs from more than 100 different breeds, competing for one of several titles available.

Dogs don’t have the market on shows though. On October 19th and 20th, the Pawsitive Paws Cat Show will be on as well. There will be more than 120 kitties, with a wide variety of coats, clawing for top billings at the 12th show that the Pawsitive Paws group has put on.

I sure hope they put some space between the canine contenders and feline foes. There could be a lot of fur flying, if not…

And if that does happen, you can always grab a lint brush to remove any of the pet hair that is left behind.

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Is it Mother’s Day this weekend? Hmm, no that falls in May I’m sure. That hasn’t stopped London, Ontario from serving up a dose of fun for all the Mums out there though. From theatre to shopping extravaganzas, there’s plenty to do in the city this weekend!

Mum’s the Word This Weekend In Your Neighbourhood

First stop for all the lovely ladies is the Women’s Lifestyle Show at the London Convention Centre at 300 York St. From 9 am – 5 pm on Saturday, March 23rd and 10 am – 4 pm on Sunday, March 24th, 2013 women are invited to attend this must-see show. For just $10, you can meet Canadian authors, hear outstanding speakers (like Gail Vaz-Oxlade from ‘Til Debt do Us Part’), watch fashion shows, and pick up a few new tricks in the kitchen from regional chefs. Plus, who doesn’t like shopping, when you have 160 unique vendors to choose from. You’ll find Pampered Chef, London Mompreneurs Group, Beachcomber Hot Tubs, Avon, The Garlic Box, Make-a-Wish Southwestern Ontario, Home Instead Senior Care, and so much more! If you are one of the first 200 people in the door on either Saturday or Sunday, you will also get your very own grab bag of goodies. Think lip balms, gift certificates, snacks, recipes and more! And if you were wondering, I’m hoping that my wife takes one of her girlfriends, versus asking me to go…

Once your feet have had enough ladies, point them in the direction of the Grand Theatre for what is being described as an outrageously funny show – Mom’s the Word – For Crying Out Loud. Meet a collection of women who share stories about motherhood, from toddlers to teens and everything in between. Their stories will have you laughing, crying and nodding your head in agreement with their wit and banter. The latest installment of the Mom’s the Word plays runs from March 19th to April 6th, 2013. Tickets range in price from $25.95 to $73.45 and are selling fast, so order your tickets today! This show might be another good one to attend with your girlfriends, sisters or mothers, ladies.

Is there nothing on the go for the men of London, Ontario this weekend? Well, unless you want to shop with your women, laugh about baby barf or cry over heart-breaking statements made by trying teens, how about working on those man caves of yours while the women are away. If you knock a few things off of her honey-do list, maybe she’ll even embrace the idea of you going to the Speed and Custom Car Show over at the Western Fair District. Just don’t let her know it’s on all weekend in the Agriplex Building. That’s right, doors open at 4 pm tomorrow, March 22nd and don’t close to 10 pm. Get your fix of hot rods, classics, models, and the industry that goes with them on Saturday from 10 am – 10 pm and Sunday 10 am -4 pm. Tickets are $12 at the door and kids under 10 get in free, so maybe you could even make the event a family affair? That is a discussion for you and your loved one gents. Maybe this will convince her…

 

Have a great weekend London!

Get ready to break out of those winter doldrums Londoners. There are two fabulous events going on in London, Ontario this weekend that I have to tell you about. Get out of the house and go check out the Lifestyle Home Show and take in a bite to eat at Londonlicious!

The 20th Annual Lifestyle Home Show will be held at the Western Fair District this weekend. The show is back for another fabulous year, from January 25-27, 2013. Doors will be open 12-9 pm on Friday, 10 am – 8 pm on Saturday and 11 am – 5 pm on Sunday. Tickets cost $10 for adults, $8 for seniors and is free for children aged 12 and under. There are over 350 vendors scheduled to be there with a wide variety of products and services for your home. If you are thinking about building, renovating or decorating this year, you have to head down to the show. There are contests to enter and prizes to be won, but the best part will be all the ideas you get as you wander around through all the buildings. That’s right, the show will be held in the Progress Building, Special Events Building, West Annex, Canada Building, as well as in the link and East Annex. That’s a lot of floor to cover, so be sure to wear your walking shoes. Don’t worry if your feet get tired though, as you can always stop to take in one of the many workshops running all weekend long.

When you have had enough of the Lifestyle Home Show, your next stop should be for dinner. And Londonlicious has some serious good eats that you need to consider. If you didn’t make it to last year’s event, let me tell you how this gastronomical extravaganza works. Londonlicious is a celebration of food in London, Ontario that over 35 restaurants are participating in. For anywhere from $15-$35, you can get a three-course meal at any one of the local participating restaurants. Select from your chosen restaurant’s prix-fixe menu and be ready to be swept away. Your taste buds will be in heaven! Whether it be for lunch or dinner, contact the restaurant, make a reservation and enjoy.

Wondering what restaurant to consider? Why not try Aroma Restaurant, Blackfriar’s Bistro, CHE Resto Bar, Delta Armouries, Garlic’s of London, Kettle Creek Inn or the Runt Club? If you want a view, try The River Room inside Museum London. If you want entertainment, head to Top of the Fair for harness racing while you dine (plus its conveniently located in the Western Fair District as well!). The historic Windjammer Inn is situated a short drive away in lovely Port Stanley. If you have ever wanted to dine in a manor or mansion, reservations at either the Windermere Café or Villa Cornelia Restaurant should fit the bill. There are restaurants ranging from pizza to upscale dining, and ethnic fare to pub grub. Grab a deal at your favourite restaurant or maybe even discover a new favourite place to eat! Londonlicious runs from January 17th – February 3rd, 2013. Make your reservation today!

Well, I hate to break it to you, but this sunshine isn’t going to last. The slightly balmy weather is here to stay though and is only going to get warmer this weekend. Fabulous, you think? Well, except that the warmer temperatures are supposed to bring an awful lot of rain. Which will probably result in a fairly brown and muddy world in London, Ontario. Not so fabulous in my books.

Looks like I’ll be looking for some inside activities to keep me busy this weekend. I have just the thing for the 19+ crowd; The 8th Annual London Wine and Food Show! Running from January 10-12 at the Western Fair district, this year’s event is certain to be another great success. Hours are 5-10:30pm on Thursday and Friday, and 12-10:30pm on Saturday. Tickets cost $10 in advance or $12 at the door. If you are wondering what that gets you, the answer is plenty! Tonight is opening night and the red carpet is getting rolled out for you and Food Networks star, Chef Corbin. Friday is Ladies Night and you will also be treated to a fashion show from local designers. There will be a full lineup of activities on Saturday, with wine tastings, cheese sampling, cooking demonstrations and more.

 

Build a Budget Workshop

How about something slightly different? Would you be interested in learning about the City of London’s 2013 budget? How about being able to give a little feedback on what it looks like? On Saturday, January 12th, 2012 you get your chance as the city is hosting a Build a Budget Workshop. From 9am to 3pm at the Top of the Hall Cafe (12th floor) in City Hall, you will get an opportunity to have your say on this year’s budget. There will be stations set up where you can ask questions and provide feedback on what you would like to see with the 2013 budget. While you need to register for this event, it is free and open to members of the public. Sessions are from 9-11 am and 1-3 pm and cover topics such as ‘Budget Basics’, ‘Comment Corner’, ‘Ask the City Treasurer’, ‘Priority Pole’ and ‘Your Voice’. There will even be a Twitter wall, where tweets will be shown featuring the hashtag #LdnBudget13, for all the tweeters out there. Welcome to the 21st century London!

If you can’t make it, but would still welcome the opportunity to offer your input on the 2013 budget, there will be a public participation meeting held at 4 pm on January 14th at the Council Chambers. Time to step up and make your voice heard Londoners!

 

Or you could stay home and work on some of your new year’s resolutions – like that clear the clutter one? It’s always worthwhile to dedicate time to the upkeep and maintenance of your home folks. This weekend might be the perfect time to purge and organize! Just a suggestion. Have a great weekend Londoners!

3, 2, 1…
Happy New Year!

That’s right, we have reached the tail end of 2012. December 21st, be darned. We won’t see the end of the world, just the end of the year in a few day’s time. And what are your plans to ring in the New Year this year; noise makers with friends or family at home? Will you be heading out to one of London’s hot spots to sing out the countdown with a crowd? Or does 2012 end when you tuck yourself into bed at 9 pm and the new year begin with the sun rising the next day? Whatever you have planned, I hope you enjoy every last-minute of 2012 and cherish the new year to come.

If you are still undecided about how to ring in the new year and set on heading out to do something, why not consider these options right here in London, Ontario;

RINGING IN THE NEW YEAR IN LONDON

I am always a fan of free events, so let’s start with a Rockin New Year’s Eve at Victoria Park. Activities begin at 5 pm with free skating until 8 pm. Hot chocolate and coffee will also be available from 5 pm to midnight. Get the party started with hats, party favours and balloon creations between 6 to 9 pm. Children’s entertainment kicks off at 7:15 pm with My Perfect Princess Party, followed by Cassandra Hodgins at 8 pm. To add a little pizzazz to the evening for the younger set, who might not make it til midnight, fireworks will be lit at 9 pm (weather permitting).

That isn’t the end of the evening for all by a long shot though. At 9:15 pm, U-Turn takes the stage, followed by Spirit of the West at 10:40 pm. Any adults that show up after the kids head to bed won’t be disappointed at missing the earlier fireworks, as there will be more fire in the sky at midnight once the countdown reaches the pinnacle of 2013. I’m sure it will be an evening to remember for all who attend, so keep it in mind for your new year’s gathering!

 

New Year's at Noon

New Year’s at Noon

If your little ones couldn’t possible make it to midnight and 9 pm is stretching their bounds as well, don’t let them get bent out of shape that they will miss out on all the fun. How does New Year’s at Noon at the Children’s Museum sound? Pretty good for the youngest set, I’d bet. There will be live entertainment, dancing, face painting, noise makers, hats and a balloon drop at noon to ring in the New Year for kids and their families. There is a $3 surcharge on top of normal entrance fees. Also note that the museum will close at 2 pm on December 31st, so get your playing in early!

 

If you are into the bar scene, December 31st has to be the best night to get out all year. Every bar imaginable will have some kind of festivities going on. The London Music Club will be rocking with Yuri Pool (of the McCartney years) and the LMC All-Star Band, plus buffet, champagne toast and dancing the night away. Jump on a party bus at Jim Bob Ray’s and go on a club crawl for a New Year’s Eve Extravaganza! With no cover or line-ups and entrance to four of London’s hottest clubs, you are guaranteed a fabulous New Year’s party. Another New Year’s Eve 2013 Club Crawl starts at the London Tap House and takes in Lavish Nightclub and Up On Carling. Forget your car keys and jump on the bus for all the fun you can handle.

Yuk Yuk's Logo.

Even the Hilton Hotel is getting in on the New Year’s action. They are teaming up with Fresh FM for their 8th Annual New Year’s bash, including a chocolate lover’s dessert and coffee bar, plus party favours of course. Doors open at 8:30 and the party goes late! For those looking to grab a bite to eat beforehand, you can take in their New Year’s Eve buffet (think seafood, beef, pork, salmon, salad, fruit, and more) at 5pm for $39.95. Don’t forget the annual New Year’s parties at the Western Fair District. If you are lucky enough to have bought your tickets early to the 60s/70s Dance party or Top of the Fair Dinner and Live Racing, good for you, as they are now sold out, but for those that aren’t as organized, you can still buy tickets to the Yuk Yuk’s Dinner and Show, Family Skate, Buckin in the New Year Rodeo or Live Music at the OLG Slots. That’s a whole lot of fun to choose from and all at one great venue.

 

Wherever you end up, I hope that you have a fabulous time ringing in 2013. Happy New Year!

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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