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Old 04-30-2013, 12:14 PM   #1
Gina-Gina-Bo-Bina
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OT - Bingemans & African Lion Safari

So.....we are looking for a weekend getaway for our family of three. We have done Toronto and Niagara Falls to death, and our beloved Great Wolf Lodge is super expensive for the dates we are looking at (end of June).

We have found a great rate for a package that includes admission to both Bingemans water park and the African Lion Safari. We have never been to either.

For my Ontario friends who have experienced these attractions, are they worth a weekend in Cambridge? DS will enjoy shopping at the local mall as well (Fairview, I think?) as it has a Hollister (which we don't have here at home).

We could get two nights accomodations in a one bedroom suite, a free hot breakfast buffet both mornings, and admission tickets for both attractions for all three of us for a grand total of $508 with tax. That's a cheap weekend away in my book (assuming, of course, that the attractions are worth a visit). And Cambridge is only about 3 hours from home, barring any pesky traffic tie ups in Toronto.
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Jan. 2009....onsite at POR: all 4 Disney Parks
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Aug. 2012...Westgate Lakes Resort & Spa: Aquatica, Discovery Cove, and more
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Aug. 2013....Sheraton Vistana Resort: Blizzard Beach, Typhoon Lagoon, Cocoa Beach & more! **August 2013 Trip Report: http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=3167818

Aug. 2014.....SVR, SW, DC, AQ, TL, Daytona & MORE! PTR in progress: http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?p=51863899
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Old 04-30-2013, 12:42 PM   #2
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For a weekend-Kitchener, Cambridge, St. Jacobs (nice Farmers Market on Saturday mornings) is great. Bingeman's is great if the weather is good-limited indoor stuff-it's mostly water park. African Lion Safari is kind of fun but also depends on how ole your kids are and the weather.

Cambridge has a great outlet mall too Fairview is nice but expensive as is Conestoga Mall in Waterloo.
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Old 04-30-2013, 05:44 PM   #3
kuhltiffany
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Fairview Mall is in Kitchener, not Cambridge. African Lion Safari has a nice water play area, so be sure to bring your child's swimsuit. Check the height restrictions at Bingeman's, depending on the height of your child they may not be able to enjoy all the slides....
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Old 04-30-2013, 07:15 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kuhltiffany View Post
Fairview Mall is in Kitchener, not Cambridge. African Lion Safari has a nice water play area, so be sure to bring your child's swimsuit. Check the height restrictions at Bingeman's, depending on the height of your child they may not be able to enjoy all the slides....
The kiddo is 17, so the African Lion Safari water play area is most definitely out, while the slides at Bingemans won't be problem .

I will mapquest it, but I don't think its that lengthy of a drive from the hotel to the Fairview Mall. Kitchener and Cambridge are so close together (or at least it seems to me) that I always have a hard time figuring out where one ends and the other begins .
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Gina and her two guys ...conquering awesome Orlando, one offsite attraction at a time!

Jan. 2009....onsite at POR: all 4 Disney Parks
Jan. 2012....offsite on I-Drive: Universal Studios, IOA, SeaWorld, & Discovery Cove
Aug. 2012...Westgate Lakes Resort & Spa: Aquatica, Discovery Cove, and more
Dec. 2012...onsite at SW! Christmas week at SeaWorld, Aquatica, Gatorland, airboats, & holiday fun
**Christmas 2012 Trip Report: http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=3041415
Aug. 2013....Sheraton Vistana Resort: Blizzard Beach, Typhoon Lagoon, Cocoa Beach & more! **August 2013 Trip Report: http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=3167818

Aug. 2014.....SVR, SW, DC, AQ, TL, Daytona & MORE! PTR in progress: http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?p=51863899
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Old 04-30-2013, 07:52 PM   #5
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We went on a day trip to African Lion Safari last labour day weekend- we had not been in several years and we still loved it. We took the bus around through the safari and it was great. The only thing we had a problem with was there was no shade for some of the shows and it was so hot and sunny there was no way we could just sit in the full sun to watch a show so we missed the elephant show and I think another one-some people seemed to know to bring umbrellas. Overall though we had a great day- took a picnic lunch. Our two youngest were able to go in the water park but it was crazy busy and no place for the rest of us to sit so you are not missing anything there really! I've not been to Bingeman's but my two older kids have and enjoyed it........there is mini golf (but mini golf in Ontario is never like Florida.....)
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Old 04-30-2013, 08:44 PM   #6
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Perfect! You're right Kitchener and Cambridge are very close together, but Cambridge is sort of spread out, so it depends on which end of Cambridge you're staying at.

African Lion Safari is sort-of in the middle of no-where, so plan or eating there (not that great) or bringing you're own. It's got lots of neat shows, and yes, bringing an umbrella for shade is a great trick!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gina-Gina-Bo-Bina View Post
The kiddo is 17, so the African Lion Safari water play area is most definitely out, while the slides at Bingemans won't be problem .

I will mapquest it, but I don't think its that lengthy of a drive from the hotel to the Fairview Mall. Kitchener and Cambridge are so close together (or at least it seems to me) that I always have a hard time figuring out where one ends and the other begins .
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Old 04-30-2013, 08:50 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kuhltiffany View Post
Perfect! You're right Kitchener and Cambridge are very close together, but Cambridge is sort of spread out, so it depends on which end of Cambridge you're staying at.
I think we have narrowed it down to the Homewood Suites by Hilton:

http://homewoodsuites3.hilton.com/en...BHW/index.html

We are happiest when we have a separate bedroom.........a well rested family has much more fun together .

I also remember something about a Lindt chocolate outlet in Cambridge.......I wonder if its still there? I am sure we stumbled upon it a couple of years ago.
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Gina and her two guys ...conquering awesome Orlando, one offsite attraction at a time!

Jan. 2009....onsite at POR: all 4 Disney Parks
Jan. 2012....offsite on I-Drive: Universal Studios, IOA, SeaWorld, & Discovery Cove
Aug. 2012...Westgate Lakes Resort & Spa: Aquatica, Discovery Cove, and more
Dec. 2012...onsite at SW! Christmas week at SeaWorld, Aquatica, Gatorland, airboats, & holiday fun
**Christmas 2012 Trip Report: http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=3041415
Aug. 2013....Sheraton Vistana Resort: Blizzard Beach, Typhoon Lagoon, Cocoa Beach & more! **August 2013 Trip Report: http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=3167818

Aug. 2014.....SVR, SW, DC, AQ, TL, Daytona & MORE! PTR in progress: http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?p=51863899
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Old 04-30-2013, 09:08 PM   #8
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Weather is key. The last time we went to African Lion Safari it was May 24 weekend and it was too cold for the monkeys to be out. Your post is making me want to go back. Plus I've been telling my girls forever I would take them to Chucky Cheese.
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Old 04-30-2013, 09:24 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gina-Gina-Bo-Bina View Post
I think we have narrowed it down to the Homewood Suites by Hilton:

http://homewoodsuites3.hilton.com/en...BHW/index.html

We are happiest when we have a separate bedroom.........a well rested family has much more fun together .

I also remember something about a Lindt chocolate outlet in Cambridge.......I wonder if its still there? I am sure we stumbled upon it a couple of years ago.


I believe it's still there....next to the Costco in Cambridge.....
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Old 04-30-2013, 09:35 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gina-Gina-Bo-Bina View Post
I think we have narrowed it down to the Homewood Suites by Hilton:

http://homewoodsuites3.hilton.com/en...BHW/index.html

We are happiest when we have a separate bedroom.........a well rested family has much more fun together .

I also remember something about a Lindt chocolate outlet in Cambridge.......I wonder if its still there? I am sure we stumbled upon it a couple of years ago.
Gina, that is what we did when we did this exact same trip. We stayed at the homewood suites for 3 nights, but went during the week, and even ate our suppers there as they include light fair during the week. One night it was stuffed peppers, rice, and salad fixings. But eh, it was our cheapest vacay ever. Loved it.
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Old 05-01-2013, 05:26 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by formill View Post
We went on a day trip to African Lion Safari last labour day weekend- we had not been in several years and we still loved it. We took the bus around through the safari and it was great.
We will definitely take the bus as well.....DH would have a stroke if something happened to his beloved Journey, and you know Murphy's Law . That peace of mind is well worth the $5 per person!

Quote:
Originally Posted by lizabu View Post
Weather is key. The last time we went to African Lion Safari it was May 24 weekend and it was too cold for the monkeys to be out. Your post is making me want to go back. Plus I've been telling my girls forever I would take them to Chucky Cheese.
I have put my order into Mother Nature for blue skies and pleasant temperatures (not too hot or humid, please ). We are looking at going the Canada Day long weekend (the Friday/Saturday/Sunday/Monday, staying the Friday night in Toronto on the way there) so the weather should hopefully be nice and warm by then. The crowds....well....that might be a different story . But we survived Orlando on Christmas week so hopefully Cambridge on Canada Day weekend will seem mild in comparison .

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bonnie40 View Post
I believe it's still there....next to the Costco in Cambridge.....
Hmmmm.........maybe I should get that membership that I've always been saying would be nice to have?

Quote:
Originally Posted by greenclan67 View Post
Gina, that is what we did when we did this exact same trip. We stayed at the homewood suites for 3 nights, but went during the week, and even ate our suppers there as they include light fair during the week. One night it was stuffed peppers, rice, and salad fixings. But eh, it was our cheapest vacay ever. Loved it.
Since you have some personal experience there, what did you think of the hotel? The rooms? The breakfast? The pool and staff? Tripadvisor rates it pretty highly, so I'm not too worried. How long ago did you stay there?
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Gina and her two guys ...conquering awesome Orlando, one offsite attraction at a time!

Jan. 2009....onsite at POR: all 4 Disney Parks
Jan. 2012....offsite on I-Drive: Universal Studios, IOA, SeaWorld, & Discovery Cove
Aug. 2012...Westgate Lakes Resort & Spa: Aquatica, Discovery Cove, and more
Dec. 2012...onsite at SW! Christmas week at SeaWorld, Aquatica, Gatorland, airboats, & holiday fun
**Christmas 2012 Trip Report: http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=3041415
Aug. 2013....Sheraton Vistana Resort: Blizzard Beach, Typhoon Lagoon, Cocoa Beach & more! **August 2013 Trip Report: http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=3167818

Aug. 2014.....SVR, SW, DC, AQ, TL, Daytona & MORE! PTR in progress: http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?p=51863899
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Old 05-01-2013, 08:51 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gina-Gina-Bo-Bina View Post
We will definitely take the bus as well.....DH would have a stroke if something happened to his beloved Journey, and you know Murphy's Law . That peace of mind is well worth the $5 per person!



I have put my order into Mother Nature for blue skies and pleasant temperatures (not too hot or humid, please ). We are looking at going the Canada Day long weekend (the Friday/Saturday/Sunday/Monday, staying the Friday night in Toronto on the way there) so the weather should hopefully be nice and warm by then. The crowds....well....that might be a different story . But we survived Orlando on Christmas week so hopefully Cambridge on Canada Day weekend will seem mild in comparison .



Hmmmm.........maybe I should get that membership that I've always been saying would be nice to have?



Since you have some personal experience there, what did you think of the hotel? The rooms? The breakfast? The pool and staff? Tripadvisor rates it pretty highly, so I'm not too worried. How long ago did you stay there?
Hi Gina, We stayed there a Sun, Mon, Tues, And were supposed to check out on Weds morning and decided to stay an extra night, because we were enjoying ourselves so much. The pool is nothing to write home about, but it was fine. I just like outdoor pools so much better. Not a fan of indoor pools. Breakfast was wonderful, and staff were attentive. We had no problems, and often talked about doing it again. You won't be disappointed. We liked Bingemans as well. I would like to camp and try their icopods sometime. Enjoy.
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Old 05-01-2013, 10:17 AM   #13
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Hi Gina, We stayed there a Sun, Mon, Tues, And were supposed to check out on Weds morning and decided to stay an extra night, because we were enjoying ourselves so much. The pool is nothing to write home about, but it was fine. I just like outdoor pools so much better. Not a fan of indoor pools. Breakfast was wonderful, and staff were attentive. We had no problems, and often talked about doing it again. You won't be disappointed. We liked Bingemans as well. I would like to camp and try their icopods sometime. Enjoy.
That's awesome! I think I will go ahead and book the package this afternoon. The boys were very receptive when I mentioned it to them last evening, and it will be a nice beginning-of-summer getaway while we await our big trip to Orlando which doesn't roll around until the last week of August.
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Gina and her two guys ...conquering awesome Orlando, one offsite attraction at a time!

Jan. 2009....onsite at POR: all 4 Disney Parks
Jan. 2012....offsite on I-Drive: Universal Studios, IOA, SeaWorld, & Discovery Cove
Aug. 2012...Westgate Lakes Resort & Spa: Aquatica, Discovery Cove, and more
Dec. 2012...onsite at SW! Christmas week at SeaWorld, Aquatica, Gatorland, airboats, & holiday fun
**Christmas 2012 Trip Report: http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=3041415
Aug. 2013....Sheraton Vistana Resort: Blizzard Beach, Typhoon Lagoon, Cocoa Beach & more! **August 2013 Trip Report: http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=3167818

Aug. 2014.....SVR, SW, DC, AQ, TL, Daytona & MORE! PTR in progress: http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?p=51863899
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