Category Archives: Activities for Kids

Cumberland Heritage Village Museum: Village of Lights!

Last weekend we finally got a chance to check out the Cumberland Heritage Village Museum – what a gem! Their village of lights is on for the final weekend THIS weekend, and I really urge you to get out there with your kids!

We debated having an early dinner and then heading to the museum around 5:30pm (it’s open from 3pm – 8pm so that you can experience the beautiful lights when it’s dark out). But given that it was a Saturday and we expected the museum to be busy, we headed there for 3:30 pm. By the time we left at about 5:45 pm the place was packed!

We started off at the giant sled and reindeer, just as the sun was setting.

Village of Lights

My girls have no interest in Santa Clause, but he’s there in one of the buildings if your children want to see him! Instead of Santa, we chose the sleigh ride with these beautiful horses.

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To warm up, we snuck into the old schoolhouse where staff were handing out gingerbread cookies, icing and sprinkles for the kids to decorate.

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Hot chocolate and a roaring bonfire finished out the night.

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We stayed for two hours, and still hadn’t finished looking in all the buildings. There is TONS to do and see. If you’d rather not purchase drinks or snacks (they do have a little snack bar – be warned, the hot chocolate was deadly sweet), I saw one family bravely eating a picnic dinner outside!

And bonus, that I didn’t even realize – small dogs are allowed on leash! So we could have brought my little pug, but I think she might have been cozier sleeping at home :)

You need to HURRY to catch this wonderful outing – this Friday, Saturday and Sunday is the last weekend for the Village of Lights!

Have you been to the Village of Lights?

Charlie Brown’s True Meaning of Christmas Brought to Life in the Living Nativity

Remember when Peanuts’ Linus took the stage in the classic holiday special, A Charlie Brown Christmas, and explained “what Christmas is all about” to Charlie Brown? His monologue described the Nativity; the very first Christmas according to Christian tradition.

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On December 12 and 13, you’re invited to “Step Into Christmas” to experience the Nativity with a tour of “Bethlehem” as Linus described in the words of Luke 2 of the Christian holy book, The Bible. Here’s a sample of what you’ll experience on the tour:

• See haggling merchants and their wares in the market place
• Chat with the Innkeeper, but don’t expect to get a room – it’s super busy in Bethlehem tonight!
• Meet the shepherds, pet their woolly sheep and donkeys, and hear about their amazing encounter with angels.
• Experience the wonder and simplicity of the stable – first-hand!

Volunteers have been working since August to bring the Nativity to life: hand-sewing costumes for the 41 actors; gathering props; and constructing the town site. This has all been accomplished through donations and the personal investment of members of Redeemer Alliance Church, who will also be performing as part of “Step Into Christmas”.

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Why this labour of love?

Says Coordinator Heather Lamarre, “We want the community to not just have a concept of the first Christmas, but to truly experience the gift that it was to us all”.

And “Step Into Christmas” is, indeed, a gift: the 30-minute open air tours are FREE, as are the hot chocolate and sweet treats that will be offered afterwards inside the cozy warmth of the church building. Pay it forward by bringing a donation for the Ottawa Food Bank.

You’ll find “Bethlehem” at Redeemer Alliance Church at 4825 Innes Road from 6:30-8:30pm on Friday and Saturday, December 12 and 13.  Thirty-minute tours start every 15 minutes.

Celebrating the Nativity is a tradition observed by Christians during the holiday season. What traditions do you celebrate?

Curvy Board: Waldorf-inspired toys

If you’ve read any of my previous posts, you’ll know that my dear husband has spent this last year as a stay-at-home dad, taking care of our girls and working towards an electrical apprenticeship. But what I may not have mentioned is that he is also a very talented woodworker. He’s recently had some requests from friends to create several Waldorf-inspired toys – toys that are made from natural materials, aimed to inspire imagination, active play and are aesthetically pleasing (we all know how nice a handmade doll is compared to a hard plastic doll!)

One toy that’s been requested is a curvy board (or Waldorf Rocker Board). This is a piece of wood that’s been bent (actually, it’s many layers of plywood glued together), and can be used for balancing, rocking, sliding, and climbing. We’ve already found another use for it as a puppet theatre:

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But of course, climbing is always fun:

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It’s hard to find toys that children will use again and again, and even harder to find something that’s eco friendly! The curvy board seems to fit these criteria, and I’m really excited hubby has gotten into making toys – it feels like we have Santa in the house! :)

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Tom’s currently taking orders for curvy boards ($120 each), and you can contact him via his Facebook Page.

Tell me, what’s the one toy your kids play with all the time?