#ReToy -ing is the hottest new trend

By SAFFRON QUIST

SPONSORED BY: Fun Bugs Indoor Playground

It was recently my kiddo’s birthday. I always cringe when I watch the pile of garbage hit the curb after a kid’s -or any- party. I’m often the crazy lady picking through trash bags rescuing as much as I can from the dump.

At our house, I try to do the max: compostable single-use plates that actually go in a compost bin, we usually don’t do disposable decor or balloons (this year was an exception because we had an old stash squirreled away), and in previous years we’ve asked for RESP contributions instead of gifts. Even Solla’s dress is second (actually third) hand!

Buuuuut… kids hit a certain age where RESP contributions totally suck and toys become an expectation.

Kid’s toys are SO HARD on our garbage crisis! The amount of plastic, wood, metal, batteries, dyes, scents… required to create the toy itself -and then the packaging (oh and sometimes we carry it out in a plastic bag) makes me want to barf and cry at the same time -similar to when I drink too much tequila and with the same level of regret.

Every time a new toy is created, there’s an enormous use of resources and then waste created in manufacturing, shipping, and merchandising. Just think of what it takes alone to keep the lights on at Toys R Us (sorry Toys R Us). And then the toy breaks or the batteries die, and we toss it… eventually eating it in our seafood dinner.

According to Huffington Post the toy industry in the US accounted for over $18 billion in sales in 2017. That a lot of F-ING toys!

So, in my under-qualified opinion, I think we’re doing our kiddos a huge favour by teaching them mindfulness. Where these things come from, where they end up, and the global affect that it has. Also, that presents are not the most important part of the party.

ReToy-ing is the hottest new trend! We know because we’re starting it! #retoy

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This year, I asked our friends to go through their kid’s toys and wrap up something they were no longer playing with -or purchase something used. Let’s face it, there’s a heap of stuff in your house that you (or grandma) think is super rad but your kiddo is totally over.

I can say with certainty, that Solla did not miss that toxic plastic smell or the copious amounts of packaging that comes off brand new stuff. And she scored some amazing things!.. probably even better things than had our friends hit up Walmart.

So we challenge you to give the planet a giant hug, fuel your kid with knowledge, and join us in the retoy movement. Especially with Christmas right around the corner! Use the hashtag #retoy and tag us on social media @dotheokanagan!


Some great places to find used toys, books and clothing:


For more go green ideas, hit up -GreenOkanagan.com!-


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Do the IPE like a Pro

By DTO STAFF

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Give me an I. Give me a P. Give me an E. What’s that spell? Long weekend!

The IPE - which is short for Interior Provincial Exhibition - is an end-of-summer tradition in the North Okanagan. Celebrating its 120th season this year, this annual fair in Armstrong is an homage of all things country. Highlights include an agricultural fair, a giant midway with rides and arcade games, food trucks, live music, a rodeo, and a parade.


WHEN: The even runs from Wednesday Aug. 28 to Sept. 1, 7;30 am - 10 pm (gates close at 9 p.m., though).

WHERE: Conveniently located in downtown Armstrong at the IPE Fairgrounds, 3010 Wood Avenue, Armstrong (see map at the bottom of this post).

ADMISSION:

  • Seniors (85+) - Free

  • Adult Daily $18.00 | 3-Day Pass $45.00 | 5-Day Pass $75.00 <br>

  • Students (13-18) & Seniors (60+) Seniors Daily $14.00 | 3-Day Pass | $35.00 | 5-Day Pass $48.00 | Senior's Day Wed & Thurs $12.00

  • Children (6-12) Daily $8.00 | 3-Day Pass $15.00 | 5-Day Pass $25.00

  • Family Passes (2 adults and 4 children 12 & under) Daily $40.00 | 3-Day Pass $90.00 | 5-Day Pass $150.00

  • Handicapped Daily $13.00 Attendant Free

  • Ride Bracelets $45.00

  • Parking Day Rate $10.00 | Overnight $25.00


USEFUL TIPS:

  • IT’S HUGE!

    • Coming with little kids? Consider bringing a stroller or a carrier, and extra snacks and water.

    • Wear comfortable shoes, and dress for the weather.

  • BRING WIPES

    • You’re going to be petting animals and eating fair food, so pack an extra pack of wipes in your bag!

  • PARKING

    • … can be hard to find. If the fair parking seems packed, there are side streets that may have free parking spots. Many residents will also offer their driveway spots up for less than the cost of on-site parking. Prepare for a bit of walk, though.

  • BRING CASH

    • Admission at the front gate is cash, as are most food trucks, drink stands, and market stalls. There are ATMs around, but bring cash ahead of time to save on bank fees (and scrambling to find an ATM).

  • WASPS

    • There are lots. If you’re allergic, please take note.

  • SAVE ON BOTTLED WATER

    • We at DTO are all about reducing single-use plastic, and luckily there are water-filling stations throughout the fair grounds. Bring a reusable bottle, and stay hydrated!

  • IT GETS CROWDED

    • Weekends, especially afternoon onwards, are busy. Keep that in mind if crowds aren’t your jam, get there early.

MAP OF THE FAIR GROUNDS:

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WHERE IS THE IPE?

 

Local Alcohol That Pairs Well With Back-to-School

By DTO Team

SPONSORED BY BIRCH HILL STUDIO

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We made it!

Week one of back-to-school is In. The. Bag. If you had illusions of pulling out meticulously-organized freezer meals for school lunches, and instead threw six cheese strings in a bag - you’re not alone. If your kid had to remind you for three straight days that he needed indoor shoes - you’re not alone. If you dropped your child off at school wearing the exact same clothes you wore to bed the previous night, then you are my twin, and come find me so we can high-five.

The first week back can be madness, but there’s nothing more rewarding on a Friday evening post-bedtime than pouring a glass of something … refreshing. But, what pairs best with I’m-watching-Netflix-on-a-pile-of-dirty-clothes? Or, I-was-late-for-pick-up-four-times-this-week? Read on. And treat yourself, dear back-to-school parent. *clink*


BROKEN LADDER CIDER

Pairs well with cold Annie’s (white cheddar, obvs, because orange cheddar tastes like poison), which your children didn’t finish, so you might as well eat it - amiright? With its crisp, sweet finish and easy-to-hold can, Broken Ladder cider is also the perfect end-of-the-first-week-of-back-to-school drink for parents who only lost 25% of their minds this week.

 
Made in Kelowna. Light, crisp and delicious. Using only local apples, no other ingredients, it’s basically like having a salad for dinner. At only 5.2% alcohol you get the motion of drinking without becoming totally wasted (right away).

Made in Kelowna. Light, crisp and delicious. Using only local apples, no other ingredients, it’s basically like having a salad for dinner. At only 5.2% alcohol you get the motion of drinking without becoming totally wasted (right away).

 

BENCH 1775 VIOGNIER

Pairs well with a dinner of cold cereal with a side of guilt. Cold cereal because you didn’t actually get the back-to-school grocery shopping, and guilt because your kid was late for the first day of school because you couldn’t find your car keys or your wallet. Kick back, throw your feet up on top of that pile of laundry teetering aggressively on your living room ottoman, turn on Netflix, and enjoy a cold, crisp glass of Viognier.

Made in Naramata. To date, this juicy fella has the highest score in our  Battle of the Okanagan 2019 wine competition!  Hovering somewhere around 14% alcohol, you can drink the entire bottle and feel good about supporting your local wine makers. #shoplocal

Made in Naramata. To date, this juicy fella has the highest score in our Battle of the Okanagan 2019 wine competition! Hovering somewhere around 14% alcohol, you can drink the entire bottle and feel good about supporting your local wine makers. #shoplocal


BNA BREWING EARL PALE

Yuuuummm. This beer pairs well with absolutely nothing, because it’s so dang good. But on a Friday after the first week of school, we recommend pairing this delicious local masterpiece with the Dairy Queen you convinced your spouse to go out and get for you because the salad you had for dinner just isn’t cutting it. Ideal for parents who plan on staying up til midnight next Tuesday to finish their child’s “About My Family” collage, vowing that this is the last time you do your kid’s work for them.

 
Made in Kelowna. Contemporary Pale Ale showcasing the citrus &amp; spice qualities of the hops. The addition of Earl Grey tea complements these flavours and smooths the finish. High five,  BNA ! We love this beer.

Made in Kelowna. Contemporary Pale Ale showcasing the citrus & spice qualities of the hops. The addition of Earl Grey tea complements these flavours and smooths the finish. High five, BNA! We love this beer.

 

PERSEUS WINERY CAB MERLOT

This delicious red (one Kristen’s faves) pairs well with an evening devoted to getting grass stains out of brand-new leggings, and foolishly hot glue gunning Girl Guide badges on a sash because you can’t be bothered to find the sewing kit. This rich, medium-bodied wine features notes of black cherry with hints of cocoa, with a spicy finish. (Full disclosure - that last part came straight from the website. Kristen’s tasting notes are usually something like: “winey” or “tastes like grapes” or “yes, pour me some more”).

Made in Pentiction. A rich, but medium-bodied red wine that is made to drink over the next 5 years.  Perseus  wines continue to delight the Kelowna portion of the DTO team .

Made in Pentiction. A rich, but medium-bodied red wine that is made to drink over the next 5 years. Perseus wines continue to delight the Kelowna portion of the DTO team .


OKANAGAN SPIRITS BOURBON

This drink will punch you right in the taste buds, in all the best ways. Pairs well with the pizza and cinnamon stix you secretly ordered after the kids were in bed. (Hot tip: Bury that pizza box under a pile of older recycling, so your kids don’t see it the next morning and ask questions you are not prepared to answer). Pour over ice with a little maple syrup and you’ve got yourself a big-girl (or guy) drink.

Made in Vernon. At 40% alcohol, this magic liquid is like psychological noise-cancelling ear phones.

Made in Vernon. At 40% alcohol, this magic liquid is like psychological noise-cancelling ear phones.

What’s your drink of choice? Tell us in the comment box below!


Check out all things Back to School including great local products and deals 👇

Kindergarten Shopping Guide

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The back-to-school is a big deal for kids and parents alike, regardless of what grade is coming up. But for first-timer, it’s an extra special - and daunting - few weeks. We know, because DTO’s oldest kid checked Kindergarten off her to-do list last year. And with first grade just around the corner, she’s helped us compile a list of must-haves for first-timer kids and their parents.


1. BENTO BOX LUNCH KIT

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We love bento-style lunch boxes! They let you pack a variety of foods for lunch, adding variety and fun to school meal time. Plus, most products on the market these days are leak-proof!

Shop local: Scallywags Kids

Scallywags Kids on the Pandosy strip is one of our favourite kids’ shops in Kelowna, and it always has a great selection of products, including the amazing OmieBox. The divided tray lets you serve your entire meal in one place, with insulated side compartments to keep fruit & veggies cool, and a vacuum-insulated bowl for warm entrees. Plus it’s easy for little hands to open.

Elsewhere: Can’t make it to Scallywags? You can also find leak-proof bento boxes in Kelowna at Superstore, the Independent, Indigo, Justice, TJs, Baby and Me, and Chicken Little.


2. THE ULTIMATE BACKPACK

 
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Parkland backpacks are made from 100% recycled plastic water bottles, plus they come in a ton of super cool patterns. And they come in two sizes, so your kindergartner will be carrying a bag that actually fits.

Shop local: Baby and Me

Baby and Me has these amazing backpacks, and tons of other amazing back-to-school accessories. It’s one of our favourite kids’ shops in Kelowna, conveniently located right on Harvey.

Elsewhere: We’ve seen these awesome backpacks locally at several Orchard Park Mall (Kelowna) stores, including Indigo, Bentley, and SportChek, as well as at Scallywags Kids on the Pandosy strip.


3. RECESS-PROOF OUTERWEAR

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Recess happens rain or shine, and if your kid doesn’t have good quality outwear, they are going to be miserable. We love Hatley. With adorable patterns and great quality product, it’s worth the splurge.

Shop local: Baby Station

Have you discovered Baby Station? Located in Kelowna in the plaza near Staples, it has a great selection of outerwear, dining gear, and baby and toddler accessories - including Hatley gear for back-to-school!

Elsewhere: Check out Baby and Me, Scallywags Kids, Carter’s, Joe and MEC for great rain gear.


5. EASY-OPEN THERMOS

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Send your little to kindergarten with a warm lunch with a steel Skip Hop thermos. They are cute, easy to open and close, and they come with a spork that attaches to the outside.

Shop local: TJ’s The Kiddies Store

Your one-stop baby and kid dining stop. TJ’s The Kiddies Store - near Banks and Baron - has it all (and not just dining gear, might I add). Grab an insulated thermos, and then shop around for other great lunchtime products.

Elsewhere: You can also find Skip Hop thermoses at Baby and Me and Carter’s. Superstore also has a great selection of kid-friendly thermoses.


5. ACCESSORIES YOU’RE WILLING TO LOSE (d’oh!)

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We became well acquainted with the lost and found department this year. Invest in multiple pairs of mitts and toques, and visit your local second-hand store to pick affordable gently-used gear without sacrificing quality.

Shop local: Little Plum Children’s Boutique

We love Little Plum Children’s Boutique! This consignment store in downtown Vernon features an amazing selection of high-quality, gently-used items for babies and kids (and mamas, too!).

Elsewhere: If you can’t make it to Little Plum, we also love Once Upon a Child and Play-it-again Sports in Kelowna (both are near Costco) for great second-hand outerwear. Once Upon a Child also sells mitten clips, which have become a life saver in keeping mittens from a lonely playground demise. You can also find mitten clips at Carter’s/Osh Kosh.


6. FIRST DAY OF SCHOOL SIGN

 
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You may have noticed that these signs dominate your Facebook feed on the first week of school, and with good reason - they’re a super cool way to document your child’s first day of school each year.

Shop local: Memory Blocks

We love Lake Country-based Memory Blocks, and they happen to make two different versions of the chalkboard back-to-school sign. Check out their signs here, and get yours in time for school!


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Movies in the Park

DTO Staff

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It’s back! The Interior Savings Moonlight Movie Tour! Grab your friends and family (and a sweater and a blanket), and head to the park for a movie under the stars. Here's everything you’ll need to know:

Admission
By donation. Suggestion of $3 per person, or $10 per family, with all proceeds going back into the community to help support programs and services focused on youth and mental wellness.

Time
Festivities begin at 7 pm with the opening of the concession stand, and activities for the whole family. The movie begins at dusk.

What You Should Bring
Bring some cash for admission and for the tasty snacks you'll be able to purchase at the concession stand. With anticipated cooler temperatures in the evening, you'll want to pack some warm clothes. Blankets and pillows are always a nice touch, and some people bring low beach chairs, or wagons for the kids.

Interior Savings Moonlight Movie Tour listings:

Mon. August 12 - Okanagan Falls

Movie Smallfoot

Venue Kenyon Park, 5332 Cedar St, Okanagan Falls

Partner Okanagan Boys & Girls Clubs

Tues. August 13 - Lake Country

Movie The Lego Movie 2: the Second Part

Venue Beasley Park, 3450 Woodsdale Rd

Partner Okanagan Boys & Girls Clubs

Wed. August 14 - West Kelowna

Movie How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World

Venue Webber Rd Community Centre, 2829 Inverness Rd

Partner Okanagan Boys & Girls Clubs

Thurs. August 15 - Kelowna

Movie Smallfoot

Venue City Park, 1600 Abbott St

Partner Okanagan Boys & Girls Clubs

August 16 - Vernon

Movie How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World

Venue DND Fields, 2950 - 15 Ave (Hwy 97)

Partner Okanagan Boys & Girls Clubs

August 19 - Chase

Movie How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World

Venue Chase Secondary School, 420 Cottonwood St

Partner Chase Minor Hockey

August 20 - Kamloops

Movie How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World

Venue Riverside Park, 100 Lorne St

Partner Canadian Mental Health Association - Kamloops

August 21 - Clearwater

Movie Spiderman: Into the Spiderverse

Venue Clearwater Secondary School, 440 Murtle Cres

Partner Okanagan Boys & Girls Clubs

August 22 - Barriere

Movie Smallfoot

Venue North Thompson Fall Fair Grounds, 4856 Dunn Lake Rd

Partner Barriere Smoke Eaters

August 23 - Lillooet

Movie How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World

Venue Lillooet District Rec Centre, 930 Main St

Partner Lillooet District Minor Hockey Association


Psst, you might also be interested in:


7 Cool Things to Do In the North Okanagan This Summer

By DTO STAFF


Add the Interior Provincial Fair to your list of must-do activities in the North OKV this summer.

Add the Interior Provincial Fair to your list of must-do activities in the North OKV this summer.

We love the North Okanagan! It’s where you go to slow down and unwind, and it also has its fair share of pretty amazing sites and attractions. Here are seven awesome North Okanagan spots we think you should check out this summer. Scroll down for a free PDF of this page, so you can keep this list handy all summer long!

  1. Starlight Drive-In

    Head to Enderby to watch a movie (or two) under the stars! More info

  2. Atlantis Waterslides

    Beat the heat with water park fun for the whole family, just north of Vernon. More info

  3. Summer Tubing at Silverstar

    Who needs snow? Grab your sunscreen and the slopes at Silverstar this summer. More info

  4. Raptors at Allan Brooks

    Get up close and personal with birds of prey at Allan Brooks Nature Centre in Vernon. Raptors are early July, only, but venue has cool stuff happening all summer More info

  5. Planet Bee

    You’ll be buzzing after visiting Planet Bee honey farm in Vernon. More info

  6. Caravan Farm Theatre

    An amazing and unique outdoor theatre experience in Armstrong. Tickets available! More info

  7. Interior Provincial Fair

    The best way to wrap up the summer is with a trip to the historic IPE in Armstrong! More info


 
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Grab your free instant download here 👇

7 Cool Things in Vernon PDF


North OKV on the blog …


 
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Cool Party Idea: Memory Blocks Party Kits

If you need a fun and unique and activity to keep kids busy for a birthday party — and one that doubles as a take-home party favour, to boot — this is it! Memory Blocks, a Lake Country-based business specializing in custom gifts and decor, sells awesome party kits that we gave it a try for our most recent kid birthday!

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All About Big White for Non-Skiing Family Fun

Love the mountains? Not up for skiing or boarding? Well, there are tons of amazing things to do at Big White that don’t include riding a gondola up into the clouds and barrelling back down the slopes. Here are 9 super fun non-skiing things to do at Big White, and what you need to know ahead of time.

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