Summer Stuff for Kids

Things for kids in Halifax this summer.


Member Rating 4 out of 5 by grannola on July 8, 2007

Ok, it's not quite Halifax, but it's not too far, and on the way to everywhere.

Ponderosa Steak House in Truro is one of our standard places to eat while travelling. They have reasonable prices and lots of food. We don’t usually bother ordering any steak when we’re there which may be a bit odd, but we find we like the rest of the stuff so much, we just don’t need it.

Normally, we order the soup and salad buffet, and this trip was no different. The buffet has about 50 items on it and it cost $7.69 for adults, $6.99 seniors. We also get kids buffets, which are $3.99. The kids meals also come with ice cream and a drink (ice cream is $1.99 for adults, drinks about the same). The 1-year-old eats free.

They have steaks, chicken, fish, etc., and potatoes (baked, fries) that you can order that will be brought to your table. Most of the rest of the stuff is self-serve, all-you-can-eat. Most of the meals cost about $10-$15 and include the salad bar.

The salad bar has normal green salad stuff, pasta salads, pickles, rolls, 4 kinds of soup, and several ‘dessert’ options, such as cottage cheese, fruit (fresh and canned), pudding and Jell-O. Other items include chick peas, green peas, banana peppers, and corn relish. There is also a hot section with baked beans, Brussels sprouts, spaghetti, potato wedges, stuffing, rice, and nachos with cheese sauce. The kids love the Froot Loops and other crunchy bits.

The ice cream bar is do-it-yourself soft serve with about 6 different toppings, plus maraschino cherries and sprinkles.

Most of the food was good. We always have a bit of a problem with the soup. We like to start with a bowl of soup and then move to salad. We do find that the soup is often watered down as it was this visit. It’s canned soup, which is fine by us, but they definitely add too much water.

During our recent visit, the debit/credit card machine was out of order. There were signs posted on the entrances (on both the outer and inner door) to make sure people had a chance to read. You pay as you order, so there was no chance that you’d eat and then realize you couldn’t pay.

You need to pick up a tray, your silverware, drinks, etc. while looking at the menu, order and pay, then find a seat. We usually try to sit near the salad bar because we know we’ll be making many trips back and forth and because that way the bigger kids can go themselves, at least for the cold stuff.

One thing that rather surprised us this visit was the number of people there at the time. We were there from 1:30 to 2:30 and the restaurant seemed to be half full. We figured that being a bit later than ‘lunch’ time the restaurant would be empty – especially with the credit/debit machine not working.
Ponderosa Steak House
96 Robie St.
Truro, Nova Scotia, B2N 1L1
(902) 895-7837

Kids of Steel Triathlon

Member Rating 3 out of 5 by grannola on June 19, 2007

It's the Iron Man for kids...the Kids of Steel Triathlon. Kids had to swim, bike, and run different distances based on age. My 9-year-old decided to participate, he had a 50m swim, 1.5km bike ride, and 500m run.

We signed up on the Internet a month before the event almost. The race was the first week of June. If you sign up before the middle of May it was $10, from then until the night before it was $15 and the day of the race it was $20.

It sounds like a lot of dough for the privilege of getting really tired, but it wasn't so bad really. The kids all got a race t-shirt, and a goodie bag, with a swim cap, a slushie coupon, a Dairy Queen treat coupon and a colouring book. So, if you signed up for the $10 you got your money's worth. The problem was there was a $2 fee to register over the Internet. The kids also had to be a member of the Triathlon association, which cost another $3 for a day membership, or $9 for the season. We paid the $3 on the day of the race.

I call it a race, but it really wasn't so much. The kids all did their best, but no one timed them, and there were not prizes for winning. Instead all the participants got a medal. This was nice since there were about 100 kids in the group my son was in.

The biggest problem was that the parents and participants really didn't know what to do or where to be. People who were at it before told us where to put the kids' shoes for example. Because the kids got out of the pool and immediately ran to their bikes to start pedaling, it was hard to know where to put things.

The people who worked and volunteered there seemed like they were organized and knew what they were supposed to do, unfortunately, they kept it a secret from the rest of us. For example, the kids all had colours and numbers so that the organizers knew which group they were in. The events all ran very smoothly. We even had a list of the order of the groups, but we didn't have a clue when to put on a swim suit, where to park, what we were supposed to be doing or even to whom we should ask these questions.

The information we received upon payment was not very helpful, and we really didn't get much more info (except where to put the bike, more or less) when we registered that day.

Part of the confusion, I'm sure, stemmed from the fact that the Navy Triathlon was that morning, and they were crowding the lobby giving out the prizes when we were supposed to be figuring out where to go. Very confusing hearing the winners of earlier races being announced, when we were trying to find the starting line.

Canada Day Kick-Off

Member Rating 4 out of 5 by grannola on June 29, 2007

This is the third year we've gone to the Canada Day Kick-Off here in Cole Harbour. It's a really nice community event, and one of the great things is that it is always a couple of days before Canada Day, which means you don't have to miss other things.

When you arrive, there is a desk where you get a Canada Day flag and pin. As usual, we love events where we score free food. This is an excellent example. They had lots of free hot dogs and drinks. Also, of course, Canada Day birthday cake.

They had the traditional 'bouncy' for the kids. They also had face painting, balloon animals, and a colouring table. Also carrying on from past years, there was a hula hoop contest and a limbo contest.

New this year was the skateboarding area. They had several small ramps set up to do skateboard tricks. There were about four or five skateboards that the kids could try out (with helmets too!). The 9-year-old thought this was awesome.

The biggest problem we always have with this event is parking. Because the event takes place outdoors in the parking lot of the Cole Harbour Recreation Centre, there is no parking on site. The recreation department has a building on the other side of the road. That means free parking is available there. The trick is that you have to get across Cole Harbour Road.

Cole Harbour Road is 2 lanes each way with a turning lane in the middle along the stretch where the rec centre is. The crosswalks are about a block away. The problem is that the event begins while rush hour is still happening, and no one wants to walk two blocks (one to the crosswalk and one back) to get across the street.

This year the event was held on Thursday, June 28th, 6-8:30pm. The weatherman was forecasting thundershowers for the area, so that may have had something to do with the small turnout. I'm sure there were many more people last year. This meant that the kids didn't have to wait in line ups for more than a couple of minutes for any of the activities. The bouncy house even had a short line (usually the kids got on the next turn). This is awesome with small, impatient children.

Another new addition this year was the play area. Basically, the back yard. This year they had some balls, hula hoops, etc. out there for the kids to play with.

The baby loved the colouring and the balls. The 5-year-old loved the hula hoops and the short lines. The 9-year-old loved the skateboards (darn it). Another 9-year-old with us loved the balloon animals and the face paint.

All of the lines were so short, the kids got to have extra turns doing their favorite activities. And the mom's got to sit on a chair and eat a hot dog.

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