Victoria Day long weekend is within our sight! It's the traditional kick-off to cottage, camping and stay-cation season and whether you plan on piling the kids in the car for the first road-trip of the year, or sticking a little closer to home, it's a good idea to be prepared with some long-weekend essentials to help you make the most of that precious extra day.
1. Lucky Bums Kids' Muir Sleeping Bag
This cute and affordable sleeping bag is available in pink or green and loaded with cool features such as a built in pillow and iPod pocket. It comes with a matching stuff sack. It's good for indoor and outdoor sleeping—stays warm to about 4 degrees celsius—so whether it's a sleepover the besties house or car camping with the fam, your lucky bums will sleep in cosy style.
2. Thermos Stainless Steel Travel Mug and Sippy Cup
Here's an essential item worth investing in. A quality stainless steel mug will keep hot bevvies hot (coffee is a clearly a road-trip must) cold drinks cold and be easy to keep clean and bacteria-free when you're away from home with no access to the dishwasher. Get a good set for the entire family, toddlers included, and you'll be set to stay fuelled and hydrated all season long.
3. Coleman Sport Quad Chair
If you don't already have a set of folding sport-chairs in the trunk, now's the time. Not only are they perfect for camping, beach-time, picnics and soccer games/sporting events... you can also use them for extra seating in the backyard when hosting a crowd, or for chilling at the local park or wading pools while the kids play. These Coleman chairs come with carrying cases and in three fun colours—purple, orange and blue. They can support up to 350 lbs.
4. YogaRat SportLite Beach & Pool Towels
These lightweight, super absorbent beach and pool towels will change your life. Sound dramatic? I'm serious! These towels cost a little more than your average beach towel but they are so worth it, particularly if you need to pack them in the car for cottage or camping excursions. They fold up really small but more importantly they are super fast-drying! No more dragging soggy, sandy towels to the beach with you. Plus, they're the best ever for swimming lessons. Also available in blanket size!
5.Stearns Basic Puddle Jumpers
If your long weekend adventures involve time spent on the water (any water—pools, lakes, oceans) you'll need to be diligent about keeping a keen eye on the kids. We cottage on the shores of beautiful Lake Huron, which can get quite rough at times, and I can't enjoy my beach-time without putting Puddle Jumpers on my kids. Way better than plastic inflatable water wings, these fabric covered jumpers go over the arms and across the chest and snap at the back, allowing kids to float without their heads going under. Both my kids hate wearing full life jackets (which of course are non-negotiable when boating/canoeing) but will gladly wear their jumpers for hours. We even take them along on our annual trip to Mexico. Good for kids between 30 - 50lbs.
6. Waterproof BlueTooth Speaker
Gone are the days of carving out space in the car for a portable boombox. These days your entire music library fits in your pocket, but you still need a way to blast your fave party or beach tunes without worrying that you'll get sand or water on your phone. Enter, the waterproof bluetooth speaker. This TaoTronics version, which we blogged about recently, is the perfect size and price! With 10-hours of wireless playtime your outdoor party can last all day—or night!
7. Picnic Time Party Cube & Umbrella
Speaking of outdoor parties—have you guys seen this thing yet? The best. It's a cooler on a steel-framed folding stand (keeps sand out!) that you can attach a pole umbrella (sold separately but SO cute) through, making the perfect beach or picnic party station! The insulated cooler measures 16 by 15 by 13 inches, and can hold 72 cans. Not much more needs to be said about that!
8. Crayola Sunny Day Art Tub
For those days when your kids have had it with exploring nature, this Crayola tub comes stuffed with fun and creative outdoor art supplies. Bubbles, chalk and neon sidewalk paint will help encourage the kids to stay outside when they are itching to go back to their screens! The kit comes in its own plastic bin, which makes it perfect for travelling but is also great for stashing at home in the garage.
What did we miss? Everyone has their long weekend essentials list... tell us your favourite must-haves in the comments below.