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.

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.

 

Paying Fun Forward with Saunders Farm

Located in Ottawa’s far west end, Saunders Farm is best known for their memorable Haunting Season activities and challengingly fun Summer Mazes. Their mission is to create a space that provides fun, food, and memories for everyone, which they accomplish through opening their doors to tens of thousands of guests each year.

Saunders Farm is my family’s summer and fall go-to destination. Between April and September is Mazes Season (Saunders Farm has the world’s largest collection of mazes and labyrinths). During this time Saunders also hosts memorable birthday parties, Farm Camps, Farm Dinners, and corporate and team building events. 

In October, Saunders Farm turns to Haunting Season and Fright Fest - daytime is family-friendly and evening is... not for the faint at heart and is perfect for those who love a good scare!

Things to do

During summer and fall, kids (and adults) can be found playing on Saunders Farm's unique play structures and tree houses, sliding down the big witch mountain slide, jumping on the jumbo jumpers, getting lost in the numerous mazes or racing the pedal carts. It's outdoor fun for the entire family! Oh, and they sell delicious homemade fudge onsite that is irresistible!

Give the gift of Saunders Farm this Christmas

Annual Pass Sale (and Paying it Forward)

This year, Saunders Farm is once again offering their Play it Forward annual pass sale. For each 2018 annual pass sold in the month of December, they will donate a pass to less fortunate families in our community. Annual passes are on sale for $49 + HST!

What's included with an Annual Pass?

  • Unlimited Access to their Summer Mazes Season, Haunting Season, and FrightFest.
  • Bring-a-Friend Pass to be used anytime. Must be accompanied by Pass holder.
  • Exclusive invitations to special events held on the Farm throughout the year. You're part of a ridiculously amazing club... woohoo!
  • 10% off Birthday Party packages 
  • $20 off 1 Summer Farm Camp registration
  • 10% off purchases in the Farm Shop

Holiday gift cards

Saunders Farm also offers $25 gift cards (available for only $20) and $50 gift cards (available for only $40). Saunders Farm gift cards make the perfect gift for friends or family, stocking stuffer, or teacher gift. Gift cards will are available year-round, but the sale price is only for the month of December!

WIN an Annual Pass!

We love everything Saunders Farm has to offer local families, which is why we're giving away an ANNUAL PASS! The winner will receive an Annual Pass that is good for the Summer and Haunting Season, and the good news is that you don't have to wait until spring to learn more about Saunders Farm. You can follow their fun all year round online:

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/saundersfarmfun/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/SaundersFarmFans
Twitter: https://www.twitter.com/saundersfarm  

To enter

To enter the giveaway visit our Facebook Page and on the thread pinned to the top of our page tell us one activity mentioned in this post that you’d like to do at Saunders Farm! Hurry though - the giveaway ends Friday, December 8th at midnight!

10 Gift Ideas For Kids – That Are NOT Toys

I don’t know about your house, but my house has way too many stuffed animals hiding in beds and in closets, as well as un-played with plastic toys and small knick-knacky toys hiding under furniture. Every Christmas I try and come up with non-toy gifts that I know my daughter, as well as other kids we buy gifts for, will love. With that in mind, here are some fun gift ideas for kids – that are not toys!

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1)   Magazine Subscriptions

Whether the child is a nature-lover, crafty kid or likes quick facts, magazines such as Highlight, WILD Kids Magazine, Chirp and OWL are perfect for kids. They are quick reads, full of colourful pictures, and usually have many facts and puzzles.

2)   Books

Whether they are early, emerging or advanced readers, books make great gifts for kids of all ages! And if you’re unsure what kinds of books a child may want, a gift card for a local bookstore works just as well. AND if the child is not a reader – what about a notebook and artistic pencils or pencil crayons? Or a fact or joke book?

3)   Science Kits

Local stores such as Tag Along Toys offer many fun and educational science kits for kids of all ages! From creating candy to making your own soap, building a volcano to making batteries out of potatoes, science kids are always a hit for the inquisitive kid who likes to learn how things are made and how things work.

4)   Museum passes

Ottawa is lucky to have so many fun and engaging museums! Whether you decide on a 3-in-1 museum pass, a pass to the Canadian Museum of History or the Canadian Museum of Nature, you are giving kids a gift that will keep on giving (and a place to see and things to do all year long!).

5)   Movie passes or a movie date

If the kids in your life love movies, why not give them a gift card to the movie theatre! This time of year, Cineplex Odeon has a great deal on $40 gift certificates that includes coupons for lots of free stuff, such as popcorn! You could also create a coupon that promises them a movie date (complete with popcorn, of course).

6)   Sleeping bag or an “overnight bag”

If you’re a grandparent, aunt, uncle or Godparent, the gift of a sleeping bag or overnight bag filled with everything kids need to make a sleepover comfortable and fun is usually unexpected – and knowing that it comes with a sleepover with their favourite people makes it fun and something to look forward to long after it is unwrapped! You can have a lot of fun building this gift by including travel games, travel towels, treats, etc.

7)   Blanket or pillow with a picture on it

Think about what your kids love to do, who they adore or if you have pets – think of how incredible it would be for them to have a blanket or pillow to cuddle with that on it! Photo blankets and photo pillows are a unique, personal gift that can be purchased from the comfort of your home computer and is sure to be a hit for kids of all ages. 

8)   A butterfly or bat House kit

If your kid is a nature lover then these kits that can be found at Lee Valley Tools or Home Depot are sure to be a hit. They can spend the winter building and decorating them as well as researching and thinking of a good place to put them come spring.

9)   Fun socks or pajamas

It’s a well-known fact that many kids don’t get excited when they receive clothes as gifts, so why not put a spin on it and find some funky socks or pajamas! One year we bought my daughter knee-high narwhal socks that continue to be a hit (holes and all).

10)  Kitchen tools

I am all about getting kids involved in the kitchen, so why not invest in some kid-safe kitchen tools so they can help you bake and cook! You can even make copies of some of their favourite recipes and create their very own personalized cookbook!

What not-toy gifts do you enjoy giving the kids in your life? We’d love to know!