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08 Dec, Thursday
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Montreal Families

I Spy Montreal Parents: Tara Hale, Pincourt

Ever wonder how other parents keep their munchkins entertained all winter?
Or whether you’re missing out on family-friendly hotspots or activities in other Montreal neighbourhoods?
Me too.
That’s why I’m starting a series of interviews with parents in various areas of Montreal. Let’s learn where they hang out.

Limeade Crayon Roll-Up, by Tara Hale

Limeade Crayon Roll-Up, by Tara Hale

Today, we meet Pincourt resident Tara Hale. Tara caught my eye because she runs an Etsy.com shop called Boutique Karma, where she sells crayon roll-ups, among other items. These are great to keep in the car, to take to restaurants or on trips. They’re also handmade, unique and environmentally friendly gifts.

Butterfly Garden Crayon Roll-up, rolled up.

Butterfly Garden Crayon Roll-up, rolled up.

What’s up, Tara?
I’m a full-time of mom of two toddlers. While they are sleeping I run a small Etsy business (Boutique Karma), where I create and sell home decor items as well as children’s crayon roll-ups.

What area of Montreal do you live in?
I live in Pincourt, just west of the island of Montreal. It is a great location to raise a family – close to everything, with quiet streets. I actually grew up here and, after a few years of living in the West Island, we came back.

Butterfly Garden Crayon Roll-up, by Tara Hale

Butterfly Garden Crayon Roll-up, by Tara Hale

What ages are your children?
My daughter is 3 and my son is 1 1/2. They are fabulous and keep me very busy.

Since you can sew, will you be making your kids’ Halloween costumes? (No pressure!): I would love to say that I’m making my children’s halloween costumes, but sadly I must admit that purchasing is less expensive, maybe as they get older and can appreciate it. My son is dressing up as a cute dragon, thanks to Old Navy, and my daughter wishes (sadly) to reprise the pumpkin costume from last year (BORING). If she changes her mind at the last minute I may have to make something – I’d love to make a Max costume from Where the Wild Things Are.

What’s one of your favourite fall/winter weekend destinations or activities?
We love taking them apple and pumpkin picking every fall at Quinn Farm in NDIP (Notre Dame d’Ile Perrot). It is local and always a favorite with my daughter. It is a great local business that we like to support.
We also like taking them to Zig Zag Zoo in Vaudreuil. It is a huge indoor park which really lets the kids run and play. I love the security of it – they give you wrist bands to identify you with your child and double check when you leave. Gives me a little peace of mind that no one is going to run off with my child.
Also, there is the Ecomuseum in Ste. Anne de Bellevue- my daughter LOVES the otter and could spend hours just watching him swim.

Do you have a favourite family spot or resource in your neighbourhood?
We have a great Moms and Tots group here at the Omnicentre (a community centre) in Pincourt. It allows the children to play and moms to have some grownup interaction. It is free, too! There isn’t much free stuff out there anymore. It is really fun and the moms even get together once a month to go out for dinner (without the children). As a stay-at-home mom this connection is very important.
There is also a place in Pointe Claire village called Belles Mamans which offers a lot of classes for mom’s with babies, play group, etc.

Is there a service/resource/activity for children/families that you wish there were more of in Montreal?

I am a HUGE coffee fan – so I wish there were more coffee shops with a small play area for the kids to play. With child friendly (peanut free) snacks of course. Otherwise, I think Montreal is very well-rounded, with lots to offer young families.

I second that: More parent-friendly coffee shops, please! Who’s with me?

Great to meet you, Tara.

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