Town Centre Park and Lafarge Lake in Coquitlam

Location: 1299 Pinetree Way, Coquitlam, BC

Parking available: yes

Probably one of the biggest parks in Tricities, Town Centre Park and Lafarge Lake in Coquitlam together are definitely a good option to spend time outdoor with the family.

There is a generous playground, with sand pits, water/ spray park for the summer, the playground offers a large variety of play stations for different age groups. My daughter is now 20 months, and every time we go there she wants to climb up to the big kids slide, but none of the options given is something she can use, as she still too young to climb something other than stairs; so you get to the point that they were designed a certain way, so that kids of certain age to not access them.

The challenging part is that sometimes it can get pretty busy, popular place so expect it to be full from time to time. Especially during summer, when the water park is open, it really feels busy, crowded, everyone trying to find a spot in the shade.

My daughter started walking only in August, close to the end of the season so we didn’t spend too much time at the water parks, but we tried it a few times and it is quite fun for kids and adults as well. Who wouldn’t want to cool off a bit when the temperature reaches 30 degrees!!! We ended up leaving the place soaking wet, and learned our lesson for the next time and mommy made sure we had the right equipment with us.

Apart from that, we enjoy nice long walks in the park, watching the ducks, avoiding feeding them; what is odd about it is that there is a big sign saying not to feed them, and yet a lot of the passers-by feed them.

You can jog, run, enjoy a picnic, good weather and a mountains or urban scenery!

Plenty of parking and washroom available, so go check it out and I will see you around!

I hope you enjoyed this post!

If you have any comments, please feel free to add them. If you like this post and would like to be notified by email about similar articles, don’t forget to subscribe.

Also, share your experience if you happen to visit this location!

Sorina

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Panorama Park in Deep Cove

Location: Panorama Dr, North Vancouver, BC V7G 1L2

Parking available: yes limited; the area is full of tourists, and parking is not easy to find. Street parking available as well.

The first time we went to Deep Cove was to have the doughnuts, the famous doughnuts, I didn’t really imagine the potential there is, but the area is gorgeous and it is worth visiting, with or without doughnuts.

Walking around, after having the doughnuts, we run into this little playground, full of kids. It was amazing, the children were amazing, playing around, so Astrid jumped in and gave it a try. A slide, some climbing structures, actually quite a few and wood chips everywhere. A bit rusty here and there, but it did the job. The kid was happy, well entertained, so objective achieved.

The area is famous for beautiful hiking trails, so you can do that if you want.  We did that the first time we went there, we didn’t have any children back then, now with the little ones, it is a bit of a challenge but we will do it again when they’re older. The view was gorgeous. Even if you don’t hike, the whole area is nice. Also, you can choose to rent a kayak, lots of people were doing that when we went last time, and the weather was nice and it was worth it.

Washrooms are available close-by and like I mentioned parking can be a pain, yet don’t get discouraged.

I hope you enjoyed this post and like always, happy playing around!

If you have any comments, please feel free to add them. If you like this post and would like to be notified by email about similar articles, don’t forget to subscribe.

Also, share your experience if you happen to visit this location!

Sorina

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Lions Park in Port Coquitlam

Location: 2300 Lions Way, Port Coquitlam, BC

Parking available: yes

Another park worth checking out is Lions park in Port Coquitlam. No matter the age of your toddler, there is something to do for sure. The play structures offer a variety of options designed for children of all ages, interests and abilities. From swings to climbing structures, slides, water park and a generous sand pit, this park has it all. There is a rubberized surface too and a colourful theme that kids enjoy. They can try zip line and run around the generous playground area.

Located next to the Coquitlam River, you and your baby/ toddler can enjoy  a walk in the park along the river, go up to Dairy Queen on Shaughnessy Street for an ice cream and head back to the park, at least that is what we do most of the time. There is a lot forested space, if you enjoy that and you can even sun tan in the summer.

Washroom available and a covered picnic shelter that you can rent. I find that it has an easy access, there are a lot of shops around if you want to do your groceries.

It also features a section of the Traboulay Poco Trail, which you can enjoy from Gates Park.

We are heading there this afternoon! See you there!

I hope you enjoyed this post and like always, happy playing!

If you have any comments, please feel free to add them. If you like this post and would like to be notified by email about similar articles, don’t forget to subscribe.

Also, share your experience if you happen to visit this location!

Sorina

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Bear in the area

This bear thing is new to me. Where I am from, we didn’t really have any around. Originally I am from a small town in Romania with absolutely no bear activity.
That sounds like danger. And it’s what we go through during the summer season when the bears start to wonder around. We have two little parks aka forests nearby and a simply walk in the park can turn into a saying hi to a bear (Mundy park and Riverview Forest).
This sign is everywhere and when you need to stroll with your baby daily, it becomes something you need to pay attention to. My mom is visiting from abroad and she takes Astrid out for walks daily. And the other day, when I happened to be with them, a man on his bike stopped and told us there was a bear 50 m behind us – we were on a sidewalk next to Mundy park, so we hurried to avoid the area and put some distance between us and the bear. We walked fast down the street and disappeared on one of the streets, getting as far as possible from there.

But what do you do when you meet the bear? What would have my mom done, as she doesn’t even speak English, therefore wouldn’t have understood the man telling her to watch out? Exactly. Now, apparently when you run into a bear, first thing to NOT do is run. Stay or walk backwards slowly, trying to appear big in front of the bear.

So here is my 2nd story, which this time involves an actual bear and answered my above mentioned question. One Saturday morning we went to Alouette park, which is close to Mundy park and we took Astrid for a swing. Me, 40 weeks pregnant and ready to pop, I was sitting on a bench, the only bench that park has and notice a bear crossing the street and coming towards my bench. It was obviously looking for food, sniffing around. And what do i do? Scream at my husband to grab our daughter and leave the park. At the same time, I start running, or more of a fast pacing, I couldn’t really run, given the advance pregnancy status I was in and join my husband in leaving the park.

We left the stroller behind and took a detour, came back, took the stroller and headed home. And that was it. So my immediate reaction was to run, despite the warning.

And that answers my question.

Check these articles below. More on what actions to take:

https://www.portcoquitlam.ca/city-services/pets-wildlife/bear-safety/

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-columbia/how-to-survive-a-black-bear-encounter-1.2718756

Be bear aware!

Sorina

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Keswick Park in Burnaby

Location: 9452 Cardston Ct, Burnaby, BC V3N 4R6

Parking available: there is parking available on the street

I know, I said Tricities, and yet I crossed the border and ended up in Burnaby. Just kidding. Close to Lougheed mall, where we go often, as it is close to our place in Coquitlam, you can find Keswick Park, a spray park and outdoor playground, with a lot to offer for kids of different age groups.

Several slides that appeal to kids of different ages, tunnels, climbing structures, lots of room to run around, swings, all there for your little one to enjoy. The place is great overall, worth stopping by for sure, if you’re in the area. There is a sand pit and wood chips available, as you’ve noticed, my daughter simply loves playing with the wood chips, even when it’s wet.

The playground is next to a tiny hiking zone, if interested, I remember one time i actually took the stroller on those paths, which turned out quite a workout. I only had one baby back then, but still, not a very wise decision.

If you enjoy basketball, there is a court available too. With decent amount of seating area, washrooms, green space and a generous playground, a picnic is a good option too. It is very close to the main road and the Lougheed Skytrain, which makes it pretty noisy, but still a nice urban park to consider taking your little one.

I hope you enjoyed this post and like always, happy playing!

If you have any comments, please feel free to add them. If you like this post and would like to be notified by email about similar articles, don’t forget to subscribe.

Also, share your experience if you happen to visit this location!

Sorina

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Simply loving the wood chips

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Lougheed mall indoor playground in Burnaby

Program: free indoor playground

Location: 106- 9855 Austin Ave, Burnaby, BC V3J 1N4

When: daily, depending on the mall hours

Parking available: yes

Lougheed Mall offers two indoor playgrounds, one for 1-5 year olds, and one for 5-12 year olds. We’ve only checked out the first one, as my daughter is 18 months, but we’ve watched kids play in the other one and it definitely looks like a lot of fun. The children can enjoy a lot of climbing structures and slides, and the whole playground encourages the children to move a lot, have a lot of coordination and strength.

The playground for the little ones is not very spacious, it is actually quite small, compared to the Coquitlam indoor playground, and it has built-in wall games and a few climbing options. But it will do the trick on a rainy day for sure.

The main focus is on the older children playground. Most of the children go there, it looks like fun, more than the other one, but until we’re older, I guess we can enjoy this one.

Just like pretty much all indoor playgrounds, your child and yourself will need to wear socks at all times. If you don’t have a pair, you can buy one from the vending machine next to the playground, $1 per pair.

I hope you enjoyed this post and like always, happy playing!

If you have any comments, please feel free to add them. If you like this post and would like to be notified by email about similar articles, don’t forget to subscribe.

Also, share your experience if you happen to visit this location!

Sorina

Zumba at Lougheed Mall in Burnaby

Program: Zumba for Mom and Babies

Location: Lougheed Mall 106- 9855 Austin Ave, Burnaby, BC V3J 1N4

Cost: free

Parking: yes

Mommies everywhere, this is a very good workout option! I did it during my first mat leave and I am going now again, during my second mat leave with my son.

The Zumba for mom and babies class is held in front of London Drugs at Lougheed Mall every Monday at 11am and Friday at 10am. It used to be only on Fridays, so I guess it became quite popular and they increased the frequency.

From personal experience,  I can tell you it is a great program, where you get to dance, sweat and get a good workout, not to mention get to socialize and meet moms, who are also looking to meet other moms. I got to meet one of my best mom friends at Zumba and we are in touch all the time.

If your little one is napping, even better, you get to enjoy 45 minutes of pretty intense workout. Water included and at the end you also get a stamp, every time you go; once you have 10 stamps, you will receive a $10 gift card to spend in selected stores throughout the mall.

Of course, since you’re in the mall, why not take advantage and do your shopping, have lunch or check the indoor playgrounds! Pretty convenient!

They have covered parking, which is pretty handy when it’s rainy, or snowy, but last time I went the access was blocked and it looked like they’re starting to work on a new buildings project. The area is being developed quite rapidly lately, lots of cranes around. That can only mean one thing, new construction sites.

I hope you enjoyed this post and like always, happy working out!

If you have any comments, please feel free to add them. If you like this post and would like to be notified by email about similar articles, don’t forget to subscribe.

Also, share your experience if you happen to visit this location!

Sorina

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Tri City Family Place in Port Coquitlam

Program: Tri City Family Place drop-in

Location: 2062 Manning Avenue Port Coquitlam, BC V3B 1L6

Cost: donation

When: Wednesday – Saturday 9:00-13:00 am

Parking available: yes

Tri City Family Place in Port Coquitlam is yet another parent participation drop-in you can check out with your little one. With a family-oriented feel when you walk in, this drop in is an indoor playground, offering several interesting options, varying from drawing to building blocks, a little slide, play dough and lots and lots of toys to choose from for children 0-5 years old.

Washrooms are available and so is parking. Not a very spacious playroom inside, but enough to keep your little one busy on a rainy day for sure. Take off your shoes and you’re ready to play. Some snack is provided, and the offer is based on donation, just like the cost of the actual drop-in.

Also, moms can enjoy a good chat and a good coffee while they’re there and what can be better now that the rainy season is coming. Last time we went, there weren’t a lot of kids, so not very crowded, which was nice. Apparently the season has just started, which means it will get busier with time. The children varied in age and my daughter was the youngest I think.

Clean, quiet, well-lit, this place is definitely a good alternative to check out.

You can find more information on the program here.

I hope you enjoyed this post and like always, happy playing around!

You can find some pictures below.

If you have any comments, please feel free to add them. If you like this post and would like to be notified by email about similar articles, don’t forget to subscribe.

Also, share your experience if you happen to visit this location!

Sorina

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Toys toys toys

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Gotta check your pulse once in a while.

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Conquering the slide!

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And toys toys toys

 

Mackin Park in Coquitlam

Location: 1046 Brunette Ave, Coquitlam, BC V3K 1E7

Parking available: yes

New location, new park, this time we checked out Park Mackin in Mallardville, for the first time. Situated in Lower Coquitlam and next to Place des Arts, this little park offers a range of amenities, including a water play area, children’s playground, tennis courts, youth skate/social area, field house, two grass play fields, four ball diamonds, and the City’s only cricket pitch and cage.

The children’ playground has swings, slides, climbing structures, that appeal to different age groups. You can play or walk around, there is definitely something to do. Situated in the heart of a French area in Coquitlam, this is where you can go to the Festival du Bois, which happens every year, this year being 28th Edition. I am not sure if the location is the same every year, the last 3 years this was the one.

 

Also, while in the area, you can check Place des Arts and Mackin House. Place des Arts offers lots of activities, for all age groups, while Mackin House is actually a museum, part of the Coquitlam Heritage, both interesting and worth checking.

This last weekend it was actually a celebration of the francophone community, 105 years more precisely- FÊTE DE MAILLARDVILLE. Unfortunately, I missed it but for sure I will give it a try next time. It made me remember the time when we used to live in Montreal, Quebec. Allow some nostalgia from time to time, right?

 

For more information on the park, click here.

I hope you enjoyed this post and like always, happy playing around!

If you have any comments, please feel free to add them. If you like this post and would like to be notified by email about similar articles, don’t forget to subscribe.

Also, share your experience if you happen to visit this location!

Sorina

Time for Gym at Hyde Creek Rec Centre Port Coquitlam

Program: Time for Gym

Location: Hyde Creek Rec Centre

Cost: $3/each drop in fee , $5/2 children

When: Friday 9:30-11:30 am

Parking available: yes

Tricities area is full of drop-ins, this time at Hyde Creek Rec Centre in Port Coquitlam. Very similar to the Wilson Centre programs, this one is focused on movement and running around as well. They have a huge gym, specially adjusted to satisfy a toddler’s needs for running around and get those red cheeks out. The program is for children with ages between 0 and 6 years old. For more info, please click here.

Your little one will be able to choose from a number of stations, including, soccer, floor hockey, bowling and other active stations, a small ball pit, and fun ride on toys. They can check the climbing structures and slides available too.

It is a drop-in program, $3 per child, $5 if you have two, which you pay at the reception.

The location is easy to access and there is plenty of space for your stroller inside if you need to bring one, in my case Astrid walked and I brought Jamie in his car seat, he is still spending lots of time sleeping. We will use a baby carrier as of next time, but while my mom is with us, we can split tasks, one is watching Astrid, the other one Jamie. Good to have someone around, right?

There is seating area available on the side as well. You can catch your breath a while your little one keeps playing, or you and him/her can enjoy a snack.

Everything and everyone is on the move, kids are running around, a lot of action going on, so watch out for your little one, other kids may run into him/her very easily. It’s been a fun place to check out and for sure we will go there again.

That is all from here for now. Hope you enjoyed this post!

Happy playing around!

If you have any comments, please feel free to add them. If you like this post and would like to be notified by email about similar articles, don’t forget to subscribe.

Also, share your experience if you happen to visit this location!

Sorina

Como Lake Park in Coquitlam

Location: 700 Gatensbury street Coquitlam, BC

Parking available: yes

Cute and toddler approved, definitely one of the most popular parks in Coquitlam! This park is recently renovated as well, and it’s part of the many nice and well-designed parks in Coquitlam and Tricities area. All brand new, kids up to 12 years can play on the rubberized surface and enjoy the diversity of options in this easy to access park on Gatensbury street.

Moreover, the park is next to Como Lake, you can enjoy a stroll in the park once your little one is done playing in the playground. You can enjoy walking, fishing all thru summer and the rest of the year as well. Lots of seating and picnic areas too. For sure a good option to consider!

Last winter the lake was actually opened for skating, no wonder given all the snow and low temperatures. Unfortunately and fortunately, due to the fact that I was pregnant with my son, I wasn’t able to skate, for obvious reasons.

Washrooms and parking available.

We visited the park on a rainy day and got to check the playground when everything was wet. Because my daughter is born in March, she is not all used to the rain, she was too young to realize what rain was before, so this summer is the first time she’s actually starting going to playgrounds, walking and exploring everything and this time was the first time she’d seen the park and playground wet. A lot of first times to enjoy, right?

A bit slippery, but it didn’t stop her from trying them out. With the right clothing, your toddler will have a great time.

For more on the park, click here.

I hope you enjoyed this post and like always, happy playing!

If you have any comments, please feel free to add them. If you like this post and would like to be notified by email about similar articles, don’t forget to subscribe.

Also, share your experience if you happen to visit this location!

Sorina

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Tree-tots at Pinetree Community Centre in Coquitlam

Program: Tree-tots

Location: Pinetree Community Centre

Cost: $2 drop in fee

When: Tuesdays and Thursdays 9:15-11:15 am

Parking available: yes, $1.25 / hour

Tuesday the same week we headed towards a new location and this time at Pinetree Community centre. We had been there the previous year, but for a spinning class held by Fit4Two, but about that in a different post.

Pinetree Community Centre is located at 1260 Pinetree Way,

Coquitlam, BC V3B 7Z4. Tree tots is the name of the program they have available on Tuesdays and Thursdays and it is a drop-in for $2, which you pay at the reception when you walk in. The location is next to Douglas College and Pinetree Secondary School, therefore you will notice a lot of people coming and going around, everything seems pretty noisy and crowded, and very downtown let’s say. It is also next to Lafarge Lake and Town Centre park, if you feel like connecting multiple activities in the summer time. Not sure about the rainy season. Here is the link if you need to know more.

There is limited pay-parking in front, $1.25 per hour. The pay machines inside are pretty slow, so make sure to take that into account when you get there. This first time we went, the program was held in room #3, which is right on the right side when you enter the building. I assume it is there all the time. It looked to me that it wasn’t the final location, but who knows. We will go there again for sure and will find out.

Now coming back to the program, the kick-off day on Tuesday didn’t promise much when we walked in. The room is not very big, apparently they allow 20 kids + 20 adults only, and they didn’t have a lot of toys and hence options. My daughter was a bit disappointed. But shortly after, Lisa, the lady in charge, told us the program wasn’t supposed to start until 2 days later, so that explained the set up. More to follow at the next session. Since Astrid, my daughter, was the youngest, and not a lot of the toys they had there matched her age, the coordinator brought some other toys that might appeal to her, which was nice and appreciated. She introduced herself, told us about the program and helped create an engaging atmosphere while we were there.

All that considered, probably next time, more people should show up. I mentioned that the maximum capacity anticipated would be 20 kids and 20 adults. We were only 5 adults and 4 kids this time. Honestly, I don’t really see much space left after 20 + 20 in there, but again, I only went once. I couldn’t really capture the full potential of the room.

The program is all free-play, no story time or circle time if that is what you are looking for.

There is washroom available, the main play area is well lit, clean, with a space to leave your luggage and some chairs if you need one to breastfeed, like in my case, with my son.

This time I am adding some pictures. This is what you see when you walk in, clean, well-lit room.

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Astrid enjoying a huge truck she had found.

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Huge LEGO available. I found out they make a lot of noise when they crash.

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An IKEA type of kitchen is always a good source of inspiration. Let’s cook some veggies!

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Discovering dinosaurs

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Trucks again. You can see a painting station at the back. Painting sunflowers is for sure fun.

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What else?

That is it for now. Hope you found this article useful.

Happy playing around!

If you have any comments, please feel free to add them. If you like this post and would like to be notified by email about similar articles, don’t forget to subscribe.

Also, share your experience if you happen to visit this location!

Sorina

Peek-a-boo at Recreational Centre in Port Coquitlam

Program: Peek-a-boo and Play-mania

Location: Port Coquitlam Recreational Centre Mabbett room

Cost: $3/ each drop in fee, $5/2 children

When: Monday 10-12 am

Parking available: yes and free

Last week of unofficial summer vacation for my daughter- I say unofficial, as she is on vacation full time, not registered to any daycare program. Having had my second child just a month ago, we haven’t really been able to check the local toddler programs in Tricities, therefore now, equipped with two babies, not just one, we start to wander around and check all the community centres around and see what they have to offer.

First and foremost, I made sure I have all the recent brochures and activities guides, online or hardcopies. Good enough, we found lots of options now starting September. As of this year, apparently they don’t distribute the guides by mail anymore, they can only be found online, or if you really want a hardcopy, you will need to check with your local community centre or library. I got mine for Coquitlam from the Central Public Library by the way.

My intention here is to just give a short review of the kids friendly places we visit, add in some pictures and hopefully other moms will feel inspired in making their decisions.

The first one on my list is Port Coquitlam Recreation Centre or REC Centre. Full address is 2150 Wilson Avenue Port Coquitlam, BC  V3C 6J5. And in case you find it strange that the entire location is surrounded by a construction site, do not worry, the centre is fully functional inside and they have parking available as well. The centre is under renovation for the following 3 years it seems. Here is the link in case you want to know more about the location or whether you want to check more about the program.

The program they have available on Mondays from 10- 12 am is called Peek-a-boo and it’s located in a very large and generous location, with a lot of options for the kids, aged 1-6 years. You will find everything from open gym time with mats to run around, balls, ride in cars and wagons, drawing/ painting stations, craft area

It is a drop-in program, $3 per child, $5 if you have two. You pay at the reception, where there are also volunteers helping around, probably due to the construction going on.

The coordinator, a very nice lady, introduced herself and told us what we can do and how the program runs. Basically, free play for an hour and a half, and story time at the end. The free play time can include craft, drawing, a lot of movement if they want to, my daughter decided she wanted to try out all the kids ride in cars and bicycles they had. There were a few and separated from the rest of the activities, this way you wouldn’t disturb the others. Trying may be a bit too much for her, she is only 18-months old, mommy helped her ride them and even try one herself.

There is washroom available, the main play area is well lit, clean, with a space to leave your luggage and lots of chairs if you need one to breastfeed, like in my case, with my son.

One thing I didn’t like was that although the room was large and suitable for kids play, getting there from the main hall in the centre was a bit challenging. There are some stairs that separate the spaces and you can’t really get the stroller with you. You need to leave it outside, before you take the stairs, which for me can be a bit challenging if I were alone. This time I had my mom with me, helping me with the kids, but on my own, dragging two babies and the diaper bag, backpack in my case, would have been a bit too much.

All in all good place to bring your child if walking. I wouldn’t recommend the place for crawlers, although with a bit of creativity, you can find things to do.

Some pictures below.

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The stairs I mentioned earlier, again not very stroller friendly, unless you have some help.

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Look at me mom, I have this little car and I am going to place it on the slide. Watch this

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Perfect place to draw, hidden from everyone. Someone may copy my idea you see.

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Lots of tables and sitting area, usually here there are crafting sessions organized as well.

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The princess in the tower. The tower with a slide of course.

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Some toys are pretty cool, I decided to try some myself.

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Mommy, I think it’s nap time.

That is all from here for now. Hope you enjoyed it!

Happy playing around!

If you have any comments, please feel free to add them. If you like this post and would like to be notified by email about similar articles, don’t forget to subscribe.

Also, share your experience if you happen to visit this location!

Sorina