Warm up with the NAC Orchestra Family Adventures Series!

Looking for some entertaining (and educational) activities to enjoy with your child this March? Check out the remaining two performances in the Family Adventures with the NAC Orchestra series. Geared to kids aged 5 and over, this fun and interactive series introduces children to the joy of orchestral music.  Each performance is accessible in either English or French,  lasts approximately one hour and features the NAC Orchestra with special guests who bring the music to life! Be sure to arrive 45 minutes early to participate in hands on pre-concert activities. Tickets start at $15 for kids and $20 for adults.

Upcoming Family Adventures events include: 

Freestylin’ Like Mozart
March 2 - 3, 2019 at 2:30 PM
Did you know that musical geniuses like Bach, Mozart, and Beethoven freestyled on the keyboard in improv competitions against other composers, fueled by suggestions from the audience?  Join us for an exciting and interactive concert experience that puts together comedy theatre Second City and the NAC Orchestra to demo musical improv and hear some of the classical masterpieces that came out of it! For more information or to purchase tickets for Freestylin’ Like Mozart visit https://nac-cna.ca/en/event/18699

Orchestra From Planet X
March 30 - 31, 2019 at 2:30 PM
An unwitting conductor only wants to trace the influences of the New World on European orchestral tradition when two aliens descend on Southam Hall with ideas of their own! With ideas and inventions for influencing "Earth Music" these mischievous extraterrestrials turn what should have been a straight forward orchestra program into a sci-fi musical thriller. For more information or to purchase tickets for Orchestra from Planet X visit https://nac-cna.ca/en/event/18700

**GIVEAWAY! We’re giving away four tickets to the March 30th performance of Orchestra From Planet X! To enter, simply leave a comment on this Facebook Post letting us know who you will take with you to this sci-fi musical! Draw will take place Friday, March 15th.

This blog post has been sponsored by the National Arts Centre Orchestra. All opinions are our own.

Halloween Activities for families

We’re so lucky to have museums, farms and malls in the Ottawa region who love to celebrate Halloween as much as our kids do! Here’s this year’s list of Halloween activities for families in Ottawa.

Halloween Activities for families in Ottawa.png

Trick or Treat with the Mayor
When: Saturday, October 27th from 4 to 7 pm
Where: Ottawa City Hall, 110 Laurier Avenue West

Costumed characters, dancing and trick or treating with the mayor! is a fun event for kids of all ages. Details of this year’s event have yet to be released (probably due to the upcoming municipal election)

A Barnyard Halloween
When: October 27 and 28, 2018
Where: Canadian Agriculture and Food Museum
Fees: Included with Museum admission

Families are encouraged to come in costume and take part in a costume parade, pumpkin decorating, a candy making demonstration, a science ‘spooktacular,’ tour the spooky barn, and much more!

The Original Haunted Walk – Halloween Season
When: Nightly until November 3rd
Where: Various locations in Ottawa

Great for older children and adults, The Haunted Walks are best known for their tours and stories of ghosts and haunted places and Halloween is the perfect time to experience one of these walks! For more information: http://hauntedwalk.com/ottawa-tours/ 

Saunders Farm – Haunting Season
When: Saturdays and Sundays between September 22nd and October 31st
Where: Saunders Farm, Munster, ON
Admission: General Day Admission is $20.25 + HST (kids 2 and under are free); General night (Fright Fest) admission from $20 +HST

Scarier at night and as a not-as-scary experience during the day, Saunders Farm offers families the ultimate in Halloween thrills and chills!  The Day Haunting Season is fine for kids as the more scarier attractions are closed and the jumping pillows and main play area is open. There is also a pumpkin patch hay ride available for young visitors.

The Fright Fest (Night) at Saunders Farm is good for children ages 12 and up. For more information visit: http://saundersfarm.com/

Acres of Terror
When: Now until October 31st
Where: Cannamore Orchards, 1480 County Road 32, Crysler

Family-friendly during the day, and a lot scarier at night, Cannamore Orchards Halloween fun includes their infamous Spooky Wagon Ride, The Spooky Village, Kid’s Spooky House, The Fog Maze, The House of Terror, and much more!

Toddler Halloween Haunt
When: Tuesday, October 31st from 10:00 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Where: Diefenbunker: Canada’s Cold War Museum, Carp
Admission: By donation for parents, grandparents, or caregivers with kids. Kids under 5 are free.

A perfect Halloween Day activity for young kids. Kids and adults can come dressed up in their favourite costume and discover spooky (and cute) ghosts and monsters throughout the museum to collect treats.

Incident at the Bunker: A Zombie Adventure

If you have children aged 12 years and older, this 60 to 75 minute Halloween-themed tour is sure to be memorable! After 20 years a terrifying secret has been revealed and guests will be led on an interactive adventure to see what it’s all about. This unique underground experience is in conjunction with Haunted Walks. For more information: http://diefenbunker.ca/incident-at-the-bunker-a-zombie-adventure/

Halloween Fun At Hugli's Blueberry Ranch
When: On now until October 28th
Where: Hugli's Blueberry Ranch, 2139 Greenwood Rd., Pembroke, ON
Admission: $13.28+HST for Kids and Adults

A corn maze (which is haunted at night), haunted house, wagon rides, magic shows, and more, this makes for a fun fall drive through the Ottawa Valley and is fun for all ages!

Fairy Tale Frightfest
When: Saturday, October 21 from 10 am to 4 pm
Where: Billings Estate National Historic Site
Admission: Cost: $6.50/adult, $10.75/pair, $17.25/family

Characters from well known stories will take over Billings Estate! Come dressed in your costume and explore Ottawa-inspired fairy tale realms. Complete fun Halloween activities, or tricks, to enjoy a delicious treat. *Please dress appropriately for weather conditions; activities will take place both indoors and outdoors.

Halloween Hijinks
When: Sunday, October 28th 10 am to 4 pm
Where: Cumberland Heritage Village
Admission: Cost: $19.25 families; $7.50 adults; $5.50 seniors and students. Children under 5 are free. Memberships are welcome.

Before trick-or-treating became the norm, Halloween was the night all the pranksters came out to play. Follow the clues to help Cumberland Museum identify who’s been causing mischief! Wear your costume and enjoy a few yummy treats along the way.

Haunted Horaceville
When: Sunday, October 21 from 7 pm to 9 pm
Where: Pinhey's Point Historic Site, Dunrobin, ON
Admission: Cost: $10.65 per person (Ages 15 and up)

Bring your friends and gather around the fire at Pinhey’s Point for a live storytelling program that will truly take history beyond the ordinary. These ghostly tales will leave you unsettled, a familiar feeling to early settlers during Hallow’een. A lantern-lit tour of the house and grounds will add to the atmosphere and hot apple cider will be served for a seasonal treat.

Watson’s Mill Children’s Halloween Party
When: Saturday, October 27th, 1 t 4 p.m.
Where: Watson’s Mill, Manotick
Admission: Free

A children’s Halloween Party with fun Halloween games and crafts. A great way to see this historic mill and celebrate Halloween!

When: Various dates from now until October 28th
Where: Upper Canada Village
Admission: Adult (13-64) $16.00, Senior (65+)$16.00, Youth (5-12)$12.00, Child (4 or under) FREE

Visit Upper Canada Village and discover a selection of all-new pumpkin-carved displays as well as fan-favourites! This event is for all-ages and includes 7,000 handcrafted pumpkins all lit at night along a kilometer long path in a picturesque 19th-century backdrop.

Family-Friendly Activities for Canada Day in Ottawa

Canada Day in Ottawa
photo courtesy of connie paris

photo courtesy of connie paris

It's #Canada151 this year and we have everything you need to know to plan a memorable Canada Day with your family. 

Parliament Hill

On Canada Day, dress up in red and white and join thousands of other Canadians in downtown Ottawa on Parliament Hill.  It’s the place where Canada Day festivities officially kick off (usually with the raising of the flag at 9 a.m. and the Changing of the Guard at 9:30 a.m.) and it’s the place to be if you want to listen to dignitaries and ceremonies commemorating Canada Day (this usually takes place from about noon to 1:30 p.m.).

If live musical entertainment is what you’re looking for, visit Major's Hill Park but return to the Hill in the evening as live bands countdown the fireworks display that typically goes off around 10 p.m.

Major’s Hill Park

Photo courtesy of Jenn Beyak

Photo courtesy of Jenn Beyak

photo courtesy of cynthia mar

photo courtesy of cynthia mar

Major’s Hill Park is the hubbub of family-friendly Canada Day activities in Ottawa’s downtown core. Visit the park for face painting, live musical and cultural performances, pop up shops, exhibitions, and so much more. This year the Tim Horton's stage will feature rising Canadian artists Elijah Woods and Jamie Fine! At the end of the day, this is a great spot to watch the spectacular display of Canada Day fireworks over the Ottawa River.

The National Arts Centre

The National Arts Centre (NAC) opens its doors from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Canada Day offering various free activities, including music and dance performances, as well as kids crafts! If you’re hungry, join us for burgers and hot dogs at our Canada Day BBQ from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Jazz Festival – Confederation Park

Photo courtesy of jenn beyak

Photo courtesy of jenn beyak

Located right across from City Hall, Confederation Park on Canada Day is home to food trucks, activities and is your ticket to some of the world's most recognized jazz artists, presented by the TD Ottawa Jazz Festival. If your family enjoys good music, Confederation Park is a must-stop on Canada Day and the entire weekend!

Mackenzie-King Estate

Mackenzie-King Estate is in the heart of Gatineau Park and makes for great photos any time of year. If your family loves the outdoors, take a walk through the wooded paths or gardens, visit historical ruins from the early 1900s or enjoy a cup of tea at the Mackenzie King Café and Tearoom. 

Photo courtesy of Olivia Lamarre.

Photo courtesy of Olivia Lamarre.

Ottawa Champions Baseball Game

Take your kids to a ball game! The Ottawa Champions have a game at 1:30 p.m. on Canada Day. Enjoy ball game food, cheer on the local team and sing with the mascot! Seats prices are economical and it’s fun for the entire family, regardless of age (or whether or not they like baseball).

Scotiabank Canada Day Road Races

If you and your family love to run join Run Ottawa for the Scotiabank Canada Day Road Races at Walter Baker Park as part of the official Kanata Canada Day celebrations. There will be fun and friendly running events, including 5K, 10K, 1.5K Fun Run for kids aged 5 to 11 and a 100 Meter Tow Trot for kids ages 4 and under. A fun and healthy way to start Canada Day!

Visit a Museum!

Most museums in Ottawa have free admission to their general exhibitions all day July 1st and many have special events taking place just for Canada Day! This includes the National Gallery of Canada, the Canadian War Museum, the Canada Space and Aviation museum, as well as the following museums:

Photo courtesy of Lida Wellman.

Photo courtesy of Lida Wellman.

Canada Aviation and Science Museum

Over 20 organizations and special guests will be celebrating Canada Day at the Canada Aviation and Science Museum, and many visiting aircrafts will be flying in for Museum visitors. There may even be a chance to speak to the pilots! Admission is free all day on July 1, but donations are welcome.

Canadian Museum of History

On July 1st, the Canadian Museum of History will host a variety of indoor and outdoor activities with guest, Parks Canada. Get free airbrush tattoos, play trivia, and join General Patente for board and chain reaction games.

Bytown Museum

Located on the Lower Locks of the Rideau Canal, the Bytown Museum is a great little museum that also has ice cream, freshly squeezed lemonade, souvenirs, and more available in their café and boutique. Admission is free on Canada Day.

Canada Science and Technology Museum

Rain or shine, kids and adults alike will have fun exploring the newly renovated Canada Science and Technology Museum. There is always something to see and  Canada Day is a great day to check out their fantastic new special exhibition, The Art of Brick

Canada Agriculture and Food Museum

In addition to the animal barns and incredible play structure, the Canada Agriculture and Food Museum will offer visitors the chance to learn about Canadian agriculture and learn about different Canadian breeds of livestock. There will be games, a craft, ice cream making and tasting, as well samples of the Canadian classic: Nanaimo bars.

Canadian Museum of Nature

If you haven’t been to the Canadian Museum of Nature in awhile, Canada Day is the perfect chance to do so for free. Visit dinosaurs, mammals, minerals and sea life, the Canada Good Arctic Gallery and their new special exhibition Brain: The Inside Story.

Photo courtesy of Lida Wellman.

Photo courtesy of Lida Wellman.

Celebrate Canada Day in Your Community!

If you are looking to avoid the huge crowds of Canadians in downtown Ottawa, but still want to celebrate Canada Day with others, there are plenty of community events across Ottawa, including:


Sponsored by Mattamy Homes, join your Barrhaven neighbours at Clarke Fields, 93 Houlahan for a midway, food trucks, live music, amazing fireworks and much, much more! For more information: http://www.canadadaybarrhaven.ca/


Celebrate Canada Day at the Diefenbunker from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.!  This year they are excited to offer Little Ray’s Reptiles, reptile show from 11:00 to 12:00. There will be lizards, snakes, spiders and more! They will also have a BBQ with hot dogs and veggie dogs. As well as frozen treats and drinks for an affordable price! For more information: https://diefenbunker.ca/events/event/happy-canada-day


Canada Day at Petrie Island is BACK, and East end residents are excited! Hosted by the Kiwanis Club of Orleans, the beach opens at 11am, and party-goers can expect games, children's activities, entertainment and so much more! For more information: http://www.orleanskiwanis.ca/CanadaDay/


Canada Day in Kanata take place at Walter Baker Park in Kanata and includes live entertainment, a large family fun zone, live bands and more. Crowds of over 30,000 are known to attend this popular west Ottawa Canada Day celebration! Fireworks start around 10 p.m. For more information visit: http://www.canadadayinkanata.com/

photo courtesy of cynthia mar

photo courtesy of cynthia mar


Celebrate Canada Day in Osgoode Village at the Osgoode Community Centre starting at 2 pm on July 1st. Events include a parade, entertainment, kids activities, and fireworks! For information: http://www.osgoodevillage.com/?page_id=743

Riverside South

Join the community of Riverside South at Claudette Cain Park as they celebrate Canada Day with family-friendly activities for all ages and of course, a fireworks show to finish off the day! Stay tuned to the website for information: http://riversidesouth.org/calendar/canada-day/


Hosted on the grounds of Sttitsville’s Sacred Heart Highschool, Stittville’s family-friendly Canada Day celebration gets bigger and better every year with activities and fun for the whole family including fireworks! For more information: http://www.stittsvilleva.com/canadaday/

How to get around on Canada Day



Regardless of where or how you decide to celebrate Canada Day in Ottawa, OC Transpo offers free transit all day long and after the fireworks. STO offers free transit after 10 p.m. Check out their website for more information and remember to leave lots of time for travel and to have fun – Canada Day with kids make for some great memories.

How does your family traditionally celebrate Canada Day? Leave a comment and let me know!

Olympic themed crafts and activities for kids

The Winter Olympics are set to start on February 9th, which means our newsfeeds and televisions will once again be filled with stories of elite athletes from all over the world competing in everything from figure skating, curling, skiing, and more!

Olympic themed crafts and activities for kids

We love watching the Olympics in our house. I find the Olympics bring with it a natural excitement and a strong sense of national pride. It’s also a great opportunity to teach kids about sports and activities they may not otherwise be familiar with, such as bobsledding and luge.

If you watch the Olympics in your house, the following activities and craft ideas make help you make them even more fun:

Homemade Olympic Medals

1)    Make your own Olympic medals

Making Olympic medals is an easy and fun activity for kids of all ages. A few years ago, I helped a local Sparks group make these medals. We used a simple salt dough recipe to create ours, similar to this one from Living Well Mom: Salt Dough Olympic Medals. However, instead of stars, we used a smaller circular lid and had the kids create their own Olympic rings (they used marker to colour them in once they were out of the oven and completely cooled).

2)    Make your own Olympic torch

If you plan on watching the opening or closing ceremony with your kids then they need an Olympic torch! Making a torch is simple. The only supplies you need are brown construction paper as well as red, orange and yellow tissue paper (for the flames). You will also need scissors and glue (or tape). Momstown.ca shares an easy torch craft here.

3)    Visit CBC Kids Olympics online

CBC has created a fantastic Olympic website for kids that includes everything from a Mascot colouring book, quizzes, facts to instructions on how to make your own table-top curling rink. They also have a section that teaches kids all about Korean food and other interesting things about the 2018 Olympic games. It’s a must-visit website during the Olympics.

Olympic Activities for kids

4)    Make Olympic bracelets

My daughter loves this Origami Olympic Bracelets craft – and it’s so easy! You can make them the colours of the Olympic rings or show your national pride and make them the colours of the Canadian flag!

5)    Host an Olympic-themed celebration or mini-Olympics

Now that you have all these fun Olympic-themed activities, why not host a super fan Olympic-themed get together for kids!? They can make their own torches, make Olympic inspired bracelets, participate in a torch relay, play table-top curling, compete in age-appropriate Olympic trivia (anything from what do hockey players wear on their feet during a game to what is the name of Canada’s torchbearers) and cheer on their favourite athlete competing that day.

There are many ways to celebrate the Olympics - and our athletes! Go Canada Go!

How do you get into the Olympic spirit? Share your ideas by leaving a comment.



Ottawa Remembrance Day Ceremonies

Remembrance Day falls on a Sunday this year, which means it's a great opportunity to find a ceremony or parade to attend as a family. There are also events taking place before Remembrance Day. Here is a list of Remembrance Day events and ceremonies in Ottawa:

Remembrance Day Ceremonies and Parades.png

Virtual Poppy Drop on Parliament Hill

On Parliament Hill from now until November 11th over 100,000 falling poppies will be projected onto the Peace Tower and Centre Block. The virtual Poppy Drop is presented by the Royal Canadian Legion. There is one poppy for each of Canada’s fallen.

Ceremonies on November 11, 2018

  • Beechwood Cemetery - 10:30 a.m. to noon. Taking place at the National Military Cemetery on the grounds of Beechwood Cemetery, this ceremony honours all those who have fallen in the service of Canada and all Canadian Forces members interred at the cemetery. There will also be a performance by the children’s choir.

  • Bells Corners – 10:30 to 12:30 a.m., Royal Canadian Legion (Bells Corners Branch 593).

  • Eastview/Vanier – 1:30 to 3 p.m., Royal Canadian Legion (Eastview Branch 462), north on Cyr Avenue between the Royal Canadian Legion (294 Cyr Avenue) and Montreal Road, east on Montreal Road between Cyr Avenue and Hannah Street, and north on Hannah Street between Montreal Road and Marier Avenue, and to the Vanier Cenotaph for the ceremonial service. Following the service, the parade participants will return to the Royal Canadian Legion going south on Hannah Street between Marier Avenue and Montreal Road, south on Cody Avenue between Montreal Road and Jeanne Mance Street, west on Jeanne Mance Street between Cody Avenue and Savard Avenue, and north on Savard Avenue between Jeanne Mance Street and Racine Robert Funeral Home.

  • Kanata – 10:15 a.m. to 11 a.m., Royal Canadian Legion (Kanata Branch 638), east on The Parkway between Earl of March High School (4 Parkway) and Teron Road, south on Teron Road between The Parkway and Colchester Square, Colchester Square, and west on Campeau Drive between Colchester Square and the John Mlacak Centre.

  • Manotick/South Carleton – 10:15 a.m. to noon, Royal Canadian Legion (South Carleton Branch 314), east on Beaverwood Road from the Royal Canadian Legion to Manotick Main Street, north on Manotick Main Street from Beaverwood Road to Clapp Lane, east on Clapp Lane from Manotick Main Street, and to the Manotick Cenotaph for the ceremonial service. Then, south on Dickinson Street from the Manotick Cenotaph and Mill Street, west on Mill Street from Dickinson Street and Manotick Main Street, south on Manotick Main Street from Mill Street and Beaverwood Road, west on Beaverwood Road from Manotick Main Street and the Royal Canadian Legion (Branch 314)

  • National War Memorial – 7:30 a.m. to 1 p.m., Royal Canadian Legion, Dominion Command. The following street closures will be in effect:
    Rideau/Wellington Street between Sussex/Colonel By Drive and Bank Street, Queen Street between O’Connor Street and Elgin Street, Elgin Street between Wellington Street and Albert Street, Metcalfe Street between Wellington Street and Albert Street, and O’Connor Street between Wellington Street and Queen Street.

  • Navan – 10:30 a.m. to noon, Colonial Road between Delson Drive and Fairgreen Avenue, and to the Navan Cenotaph for the ceremonial service.

  • Orléans – 10:30 to 11 a.m., Royal Canadian Legion (Branch 632), Vimont Court and Taylor Creek Boulevard between Vimont Court and the Royal Canadian Legion at 800 Taylor Creek Boulevard, and to the Orleans Cenotaph for the ceremonial service.

  • Osgoode – 10:45 a.m. to noon, Royal Canadian Legion (Osgoode Branch 589), Victoria Street between Eighth Line Road and Louise Street, and to the ceremonial service at the Osgoode Cenotaph in front of the Municipal Building.

  • Richmond – 10:45 a.m. to noon, Royal Canadian Legion (Richmond Branch 625), Perth Street between the Richmond Shopping Plaza and the Richmond Memorial Park for the ceremonial service.

  • Stittsville – 1:45 to 2:45 p.m., Royal Canadian Legion (Stittsville and District Branch 618), north on Stittsville Main Street between the Royal Canadian Legion, (1480 Stittsville Main Street) and Warner-Colpitts Lane, and west on Warner-Colpitts Lane between Stittsville Main Street and the Stittsville Cenotaph for the ceremonial service. The parade participants will return to the Royal Canadian Legion going east on Mulkins Street between the Stittsville Cenotaph and Stittsville Main Street, and south on Stittsville Main Street between Mulkins Street and the Royal Canadian Legion, Stittsville Branch 618.

  • Strathcona – 10:15 a.m. to 11:30 a.m., Sunday, November 5, Royal Canadian Legion (Strathcona Branch 595), Main Street between Immaculata High School (140 Main Street) parking lot and St. Paul University (223 Main Street) parking lot for the ceremonial service.

  • West Carleton – 1 to 2 p.m., Saturday, November 4, Royal Canadian Legion (West Carleton Branch 616), Constance Bay Road between McConnell Lane and Allbirch Road, and Allbirch Road between Constance Bay Road, and to the Royal Canadian Legion for the ceremonial service.

  • Westboro – 1:30 to 3 p.m., Royal Canadian Legion (Westboro Branch 480), north on Winston Avenue between the Royal Canadian Legion and Madison Avenue, east on Madison Avenue between Winston Avenue and Churchill Avenue, south on Churchill Avenue between Madison Avenue and Richmond Road, and west on Richmond Road between Churchill Avenue and Broadview Avenue to the Westboro Cenotaph. Wreath laying and ceremonial service at Westboro Cenotaph from 2:30 p.m. The parade participants will return east on Richmond Road between Broadview Avenue and the Royal Canadian Legion (Westboro Branch 480).