Boston: Fun & Games

The past two nights we’ve been watching baseball. Monday’s Homerun Derby and last night’s MLB All-Star game are annual events as well as part of our family traditions.

Last month while in Boston we didn’t attend a Red Sox game, but we did take a tour of Fenway Park.

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The Fenway tour isn’t exclusively for baseball fans. The guides are actually storytellers who include tales about the personalities behind the stadium. Tales of team owners, politicians, sportscasters and players.

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The tour takes place in the grandstands, in the highly sought after seats atop the famous green wall and in the press box with the tour concluding in the stadium’s museum. A great experience for baseball fans as well as those who just want a peek inside the iconic stadium without being subjected to nine innings of baseball.

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Fenway isn’t the only place Bostonians are playing games. One evening we went to Knight Moves a game cafe. It’s nowhere as impressive as Snakes and Lattes in Toronto, but we enjoyed playing Forbidden Dessert and a card game called Exploding Kittens. Nothing says fun like exploding kittens.

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Of course there’s opportunities to pose next to symbols of Boston like Larry Bird’s shoes. And what can be more fun than colorfully painted pianos that appear in the most unexpected places just waiting for someone to sit down and play a little ditty.

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Boston: a good place for some fun and games (so long as it doesn’t involve the Patriots)!

 

 

Toronto: Fun, Games and Food

Upon entering Snakes & Lattes, billed as North America’s premiere board game cafe, I was immediately struck by the extensive library of games lining the walls waiting to be played. There were certainly familiar ones, like Agricola pictured in the window below, however, most were new to me.

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As we headed to our table, we passed game playing customers enjoying a variety of games chosen from the cafe’s extensive selection. I couldn’t help but smile seeing a group playing Mysterium employing their best seance skills to investigate clues to unlock a mystery.

Once seated, we were greeted by a staff member who explained that our $5.00 per person admission enabled us to stay as long as we wanted playing games from their library. In addition, we could order food and drinks…but that was not required. Game gurus were also available to recommend and/or teach games.

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We let Jonathan, our family game guru, do the honors of choosing and teaching us a game. His selection of Cinque Terre was a good one. It had us competing to sell the most valuable produce to the five villages of Cinque Terre.

Ready for dinner, we only stayed to play one game. We ordered some drinks at Snakes & Lattes, but we aren’t accustomed to mixing food and games.

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Our second night, we took in a show at The Second City, Toronto’s famous comedy club. Tickets to the show were a Mother’s Day gift from Meghan and Jonathan, and our “VIP” seats on the rail were close enough for a good view of all of the action on stage while insuring we wouldn’t be included in any of the skits…a good move! The Best of Second City show provided nearly two hours of fun watching the casts’ comedy sketches and unscripted improvisations. What a fun night of laughs!

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This trip was not one of fancy meals. Instead we concentrated on good, standard fare, but with stops at a couple of famous eateries. That means breakfast at Tim Horton’s. How can you go to Canada without eating a donut at one of the country’s 4,413 locations?  So how was the donut? Good, but not something I have to have again. Of course, I’m not really a big donut fan.

Fresh baked goods at St. Lawrence Market was our other breakfast choice. Much more to my taste, and the bagels were terrific.

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Pizza at Pizzaiolo Gourmet Pizza, hamburgers, fries, and delicious milk shakes at The Works, fish, salads, and appetizers at Firkin on Bloor satisfied our taste buds in Toronto. But buffalo wings from Anchor Bar in Buffalo was another must. Credited with inventing buffalo wings, a favorite; and with a restaurant located in the Buffalo Airport, how could we resist? We didn’t. Ate wings before boarding our flight home.

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While our dining experiences won’t be all that memorable, we highly recommend Snake & Lattes and The Second City for fun and games in Toronto.

Tips: More Fun and Games

Hockey Hall of Fame

Toronto Maple Leafs (NHL)

Toronto Raptors (NBA)

Toronto Blue Jays (MBL)

Massey Hall and Roy Thomson Hall – two of Canada’s most renowned concert halls