Trick or Treat to a Wicked Beat!

Looking for something fun and different to do this Halloween season? On October 27th and 28th at 2:30pm the National Arts Centre will be hosting a fun bilingual family event called Trick or Treat to a Wicked Beat! A great way for the entire family to sing and dance in the Halloween season!

Dress up and join Samara the Witch, dancers and the NAC Orchestra as they perform spooky classics like The Sorcerer’s Apprentice, Danse Macabre, The Witch’s Dance and many more. 

Trick or Treat to a Wicked Beat is part of the Family Adventures with the NAC Orchestra series. Geared to kids aged 5+ this fun and interactive series introduces children to the wonders of orchestral music. Each bilingual performance lasts one hour and features the NAC Orchestra and special guests! Be sure to arrive 45 minutes early to participate in hands on pre-concert activities!

For more information and to purchase tickets, visit the NAC official website. And be sure to learn more about the Family Adventures series and upcoming performances.

Canada Day 2018 in Canada’s Capital Region

Looking for information on the official Canada Day 2018 festivities? Canada Day celebrations start June 30th at Major’s Hill Park and on July 1st at three official sites: Parliament Hill and Major’s Hill Park in Ottawa, and the Canadian Museum of History in Gatineau.

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Parliament Hill

Known as the place to see on Canada Day, this year won’t disappoint with Canadian musical performances, a musical workshop, fun-filled activities, and more! Guests can enjoy Canada day on the Hill starting at 8 a.m.

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Hosted by Lisa Charleyboy and Marième, the Canada Day Noon Show will include remarks from dignitaries, a fly past by the Canadian Forces Snowbirds and performances by Canadian artists: Arkells, Lights, Brigitte Boisjoli, Iskwé, Jean-Marc Couture, Rose Cousins, Martina Ortiz Luis and Queen Ka.

At 5:30 p.m., there will be an aerial show by the Canadian Forces Snowbirds.

The Canada Day Evening Show will feature artists: Arkells, Lights, Brigitte Boisjoli, Iskwé, Jean-Marc Couture, Ruth B, Klô Pelgag, The Dead South, Rose Cousins, Elijah Woods x Jamie Fine, DJ Shub and Boogát.

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The evening will end with a dazzling 15-minute President’s Choice pyro-musical show at 10 p.m.

New this year on the Hill: the main entrance to the Hill is at the Supreme Court of Canada (corner of Wellington and Kent). To ensure a quick security screening process, only pack light and bring your Canada Day essentials, such as a hat, sunscreen and a reusable water bottle.

Major’s Hill Park

Canada Day celebrations start Saturday, June 30th on Major's Hill Park with all day activities for the whole family, including circus performances, games and a community culinary experience.

Kids can enjoy a ride around the park aboard a VIA Rail Miniature Train or get a unique musical ride aboard a bicycle made out of recycled material. 

You can also cheer on top Canadian artists at the Art Battle Canada live painting tournament (11 to 11:30 am) that celebrates creativity, courage and community in the visual arts. Their masterpiece is created before your eyes in only 20 minutes as you vote to help decide the winner!

Then enjoy local musical talent, including: Elijah Woods x Jamie Fine; MEGAPHONO Showcase featuring LeFLOFRANCO, SeiiizMikk and Jah’kota; and in the evening, Andréanne A. Malette and River Town Saints.

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Then, on Canada Day itself, the activities and performances continue!

Jump up to 30 feet in the air on the Jumpaï (“jump high”). It's made up of four separate trampolines. Adults and kids over 36 inches tall can do an unlimited number of jumps—a mix of trapeze, bungee and acrobatics with a guaranteed wow factor!

There will also be performances by Charlotte Cardin, the Noubi Trio, The Beaches, Logan Staats, Jacobus and La Bronze, and so much more!

Canadian Museum of History

Head to the Canadian Museum of History on July 1st and enjoy free family-friendly programming and activities and then stay well into the evening to watch the pyro-musical show as it lights up the night sky over Ottawa–Gatineau.

Canada Day Fireworks

During the day, activities include Hinterland's Who's Who where guests can find out about Canadian wildlife and meet a few wild critters in person; a nature-art workshop with Mélodie Coutou, La Ressourcière, where guests are invited to co-create a forest made from the interbreeding of different tree species; free airbrush tattoos, games and much more!

Canada Day celebrations in Canada’s Capital Region are made possible thanks to official sponsors President’s Choice, Manulife and Tim Hortons, as well as the valuable support of more than 500 dedicated volunteers.

To stay up to date regarding any changes or cancellations to the Canada Day schedule, click here.

This Canada Day post was sponsored by Canadian Heritage/Patrimoine canadien. 

What to do in Ottawa for Father’s Day

On Sunday, June 17th celebrate fatherhood, paternal bonds, and all the father figures in your life with quality dad time. To help you plan ahead here is a list of things to do and see in Ottawa on Father's Day.

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Billings Estate National Historic Site - Vintage Car Show

Check out the antique cars on display from local exhibitors and don’t miss out on viewing the Billings’ 1959 Cadillac Sedan de Ville! Enjoy a guided tour of the museum and explore our latest exhibition — City in Motion. Kids can take up our scavenger hunt challenge and our compass building activity is sure to be fun for the whole family! Cash BBQ and snacks will be available for purchase. Cost: $6.50 single; $10.75 pair; $17.25 family

Fairfields Heritage House - Father's Day BBQ: From Grain to Grass

Bring the family to the Fairfields heritage House for therr Father’s Day community BBQ! Explore the history of beer and how it is made. Taste wort (unfermented beer), learn about the various kiln levels of barley, and smell different strains of hops. Brian Gunther, a silver and bronze medal winner in Beau’s 2017 brewing competition, will share his knowledge on beer production. Cost: $6.50 single; $10.75 pair; $17.25 family.

Cumberland Heritage Museum: 'Pop' Culture

Explore all things ‘pop’ culture at the museum this Father’s Day! Learn to dance the Charleston and the Foxtrot, print your own newspaper advertisement, and more! Cost: $7.50 adults, $5.50 seniors and students, $19.25 families (2 adults + children), children 5 and under are free. 

Pinhey's Point Historic Site: Settler Survival

Head to Ottawa's far west end this Father's Day and find out if you have what it takes to survive the ‘Ottawa Trail’?. Take up the challenge, gather your provisions, and navigate scenarios that will recreate some of the historical challenges and turns of fortune faced by early settlers like Hamnett Pinhey as they made their new homes in the Ottawa region. Cost: Cost: $6.50 single; $10.75 pair; $17.25 family

Canadian Museum of Nature Father's Day Brunch

For the price of Museum admission plus the cost of brunch for each guest, you can treat the dads in your life to delectable breakfast fare, followed by a tour around the museum’s galleries. Don't forget - the Museum's new special exhibition Brain: The Inside Story will also be open! For more information and to book your spot, click here!

Ottawa Fringe Festival

On from June 14th to the 24th is Ottawa's Fringe Festival - a unique festival that brings artists and the audiences together. Find out if this is something your dad might enjoy here: http://ottawafringe.com

2018 FCA Ottawa Ferrari Festival

This annual festival takes place over Father's Day weekend and is a must for any Ferrari fan! Take a look at 75 Ferraris and keep your eyes out for the HRH Prince Emanuele Filiberto di Savoia of the Italian Royal Family during the festival. 

Italian Week Festival

Father's Day lands on one of the last days of Ottawa's Italian Week. Head down to Preston Street and Little Italy for celebrations, great food and more!

Carivibe

Ottawa’s biggest Caribbean beach festival is back on Petrie Island from June 15th to the 17th. Join thousands of people of all ages enjoying non-stop entertainment and plenty of Caribbean cuisine.

Ottawa Beer Festival

Celebrate Father's Day on Friday, June 15th or Saturday, June 16th at Aberdeen Pavilion, Lansdowne. Share a craft beer with your dad or learn about beer at Beer School. There is also the National Capital Home Brew Competition, fantastic food and music.

Mother’s Day Brunch Ideas in Ottawa

Sunday, May 13th 2018 is Mother’s Day! To help you plan ahead, we're listing some go-to Mother's Day brunch spots in Ottawa. We'll post more information about each as it becomes available, but in the meantime, simply click on the highlighted name to be redirected to their website and plan ahead!

If you have one you would like to add, leave a comment and let us know.

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Mother's Day Brunches at Museums

Numerous museums and historic spots in Ottawa host brunches or teas for Mother’s Day, including:

Billings Estate National Historic Site
The Fairfield’s Heritage House

Be sure to check out the City of Ottawa website for more details on these unique events. They usually run from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Mother’s Day.

Canadian Museum of Nature
For the price of Museum admission plus the cost of brunch for each guest, you can treat the special moms in your life to delectable breakfast fare, followed by a tour around the museum’s galleries. For more information and to book your spot, click here!

Local Restaurants

Aquatopia Water Garden Conservatory - Ottawa West
Bathe in warm spring sunlight surrounded by tropical water garden oasis and floral centrepieces!

Brookstreet Hotel – Kanata
Have brunch in the hotel’s ballroom with live music by Lucas Haneman or book at Perspectives and be accompanied by the musical talents of Pablo Samuel Castro.

Lago - Dows Lake Pavillion
Hosted upstairs in the Riviera Ballroom and the Veranda at Lago Custom Events! Mimosas and brunch!

NEXT - Stittsville
Known for their gourmet brunches, this Mother's Day brunch is not to be missed!

Le Café - National Arts Centre (NAC)
The famous brunch at the NAC gets creative for Mother’s Day with some innovative Canadian cuisine presented buffet style. There’s also a second buffet at dinner time. Details, menus and reservations available here.

The Herb Garden - Almonte
Brunch will be held Sunday, May 13th with catering is provided by the Mixing Bowl. 

Les Fougères – Chelsea, Quebec
Take a short road trip to this charming spot in Chelsea, Quebec. Order the three-or four-course special Mother’s Day table d’hote for a tour through some of Quebec’s amazing cuisine! 

Stoneface Dolly’s – Preston Street
Named after an actual mom, Stoneface Dolly’s offers patrons a home-style brunch that perfect for families! 

Fraser Café – New Edinburgh
Fresh food at reasonable prices, this is a gem of a spot to bring mom for Mother’s Day – but don’t wait too long to book, it will book up quickly!

Gezellig - Westboro
Treat mom to mother's day brunch at Gezellig on Saturday, May 12th and Sunday, May 13th

The Tea Party Café – Glebe or Byward Market
Make your mom feel like royalty with this special treat later in the afternoon! They offer delicious vegetarian dishes and home baked treats that are baked in-house, daily!

Easy Valentine Craft for Kids

Every year my daughter brings home creative homemade Valentines from other kids and I often think two things 1) Where do parents find the time to help their kids make these and 2) I should help my daughter do something like that next year.

So, this year, my daughter mentioned she wanted to make butterfly pencil holders for her classmates. She insisted it’s easy – and frugal (I think that’s my word for 2018), and she was right!

Butterfly Pencil Holder Valentine

What you need:

-       Construction paper - choose whatever colours of construction paper you want (my daughter is partial to blue).
-       Scissors
-       Pencils (you can get some really nice Valentine’s Day ones at the Dollar Store or, as my daughter chose, glittery ones that are good for any time of year.
-       Markers, stickers, pipe cleaner, etc. for decorating

Easy Butterfly Valentine for kids

Instructions

Fold the paper in half and then along the crease draw a butterfly wing shape (you may be able to fit two in one 8.5x11” sheet of construction paper. Cut along the line, careful not to cut along the crease.

Once the butterfly shape is cut out, make a 1” slit near the top and bottom along the crease to slip the pencil through.

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Decorate the butterflies using whatever materials you have on hand: pipe cleaners, googly eyes, markers or stickers.

Stick the pencil through the slits and voila! Valentine done!

Butterfly Valentine pencil holder for kids

Do your kids make their own Valentines every year? If so, we’d love to hear what you create and how! Leave a comment and let us know.