How to Train Your Child to Engage in Dragon-related Fun

As a dedicated parent, I am frequently called upon to do things I normally wouldn’t.

I’ve seen Planes 2 in the theatre. I’ve attended a Harry Potter-themed birthday party. I’ve spent way too much time in a post-apocalyptic purple playground where children run around like it’s Lord of the Flies, shoot plastic balls at each other and coldly step right over the weaker, smaller children who’ve fallen in battle.

So when I was invited to attend the Vikings Training Academy last Sunday in Centennial Park to celebrate the release of How to Train Your Dragon 2 on Blu-ray and DVD on Dragons Day 12 November, I took one look at my little miracle, who happens to be obsessed with that franchise, and knew I had to go.

HTTYD Pack Shot

This is what the movie looks like in a box!

Because Centennial Park has approximately 3,000 entrances and is filled with thousands of runners and bicyclists aggressively trying to be the best they can be, we got lost and arrived late for the viking training. If the goal was to become a viking – and it was – my son was off to a bad start.


These other kids were training to be a viking. Hard.

He could have jumped in to participate with the other children, but the boy was frozen with fear. At this rate, he’ll NEVER be a viking, I thought.

And even when the training session had ended, he refused to take a picture with the people in the dragon or viking suits.

Then it was time for viking shield painting. The boy LOVES to paint. Loves. It. Surely he would perk up and throw himself in there!

Nope. Disaster.

I practically had to force him to paint this one circle:


I know, I know. You’re loving the pink bit. But that was all me.

Then he was done and ready to go.

So we left and saw a different kind of show with its own versions of dragons and vikings: A hipster brunch cafe diner type of place.

cronuts sign

You better believe they were now selling cronuts…

There were beards and super food-filled banana breads aplenty!

For some reason, my son insisted the helmet join us, which I allowed, though I stopped short of ordering it the $50 muffin.

Look at how much brunch space this helmet is taking up!!

Look at how much brunch space this helmet is taking up!!

“Nice helmet,” the waitress said as we exited.

There’s nothing NICE about this helmet, I wanted to scream hysterically. It was forged mightily in Nordic steel, a badge commemorating the bravery required to fight and train dragons! A badge of honour!

And after minimal training, limping through some shield painting and a inviting a helmet to brunch, I have to wonder… has my four-year-old son earned that honour? Have any of us?

I suppose we’ll never know…



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