We're Off To See The Wizard: with a Live Orchestra

I often catch myself humming, “We’re off to see the Wizard…” and now I can hum it along with hundreds of others at the NAC this March! Celebrate the 80th anniversary of the Academy Award-winning classic, the Wizard of Oz, by setting out on an adventure with Dorothy, the Scarecrow, Lion and Tin Man as they dance down the Yellow Brick Road to the magical land of Oz. This NAC Orchestra Pops presentation lets you experience this brilliant technicolour movie classic on the big screen live with the NAC Orchestra, conducted by Jack Everly. 

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The brilliant music of Harold Arlen and E.Y. Harburg combined with Judy Garland’s iconic Dorothy will have everyone in your family singing along to favourites like We’re off to see the Wizard and Over the Rainbow. Marvel at the whimsically colourful world: from the ghoulishly green Wicked Witch of the West to the glittering Glinda the Good Witch and resplendent ruby red slippers. 

Whether you’re introducing your kids to this beloved classic or reliving your own childhood memories, this production of the Wizard of Oz is not to be missed!

The Wizard of Oz with Live Orchestra is only playing March 28 to 30th, 2019 at the National Arts Centre. Tickets start at $29 - making it affordable fun for the whole family!

For more information or to purchase tickets visit the NAC website.

High Tea at the Fairmont Chateau Laurier

When I think of high tea, I think of the small triangular sandwiches, scones and squares my grandmother would serve my mother and I when I was a child and we would go over to her house for afternoon tea.

My grandmother passed away many years ago and with her went the tradition of afternoon tea in fancy tea cups served with bite-sized delicacies. I longed to recreate those memories with my own daughter, and although I had heard of high tea at the Chateau Laurier, I found myself waiting for the perfect excuse to indulge in the experience.

Every afternoon, High Tea (also known as Afternoon Tea) is served at Zoe’s Lounge, located in the Fairmont Chateau Laurier. Zoe’s recently underwent a beautiful renovation maintaining its unique architectural element, including the gorgeous chandeliers, antique crown moldings and impressive marble bar. The lounge is bright, cheerful and the staff are very welcoming.

My daughter was not only impressed by the lounge’s big windows overlooking the street (prime seating if you’re lucky enough to get a seat there), but also by the tall ceilings.

High Tea at the Fairmont Chateau Laurier

My daughter didn’t know what to expect at High Tea, but was in awe of the three-tiered serving tray filled with scones, desserts and dainty sandwiches. Not a tea lover, she was very impressed with their hot chocolate as well.

Although the menu changes seasonally, the menu generally features unique gourmet pastries, open and closed-faced sandwiches and delicious English scones served with homemade Fairmont Chateau Laurier jam. And of course, there is also a wide variety of tea to choose from. You can view the current menu here.

What I loved about our day was the attention to detail our server gave us. He asked if we were celebrating anything special, which we were - my mom’s birthday. He wished her a happy birthday, which I thought that was very nice, but he then surprised her at the end of our tea by singing “Happy Birthday” and brought her a special birthday plate with extra treats. Needless to say, my mom loved it!

Celebrating a birthday at high tea Chateau Laurier

Zoe’s Lounge at the Fairmont Chateau Laurier makes afternoon tea everything I remember it to be and more. Classy, delicious and all about spending time sipping tea (or sparkling wine or champagne - or hot chocolate!) surrounded by those you love. I look forward to recreating the same afternoon again this year for my own birthday.

High Tea at the Chateau Laurier

Hours:  Monday to Friday from 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. and Saturday & Sunday from 11:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m

Cost:  $52 per person * 62 on holidays and 1:00 pm weekend seatings. Children’s (or little Prince & Princess) tea, $28.  Reserve at least 24 hours ahead (sooner during the summer and holidays).  613-241-1414.

Kid Friendly? Absolutely! Their menu even has a kid’s section, but they can easily just pick off your tray depending how hungry you are.

Location: 1 Rideau Street, inside the Château Laurier

Tubing at Mount Pakenham

KITC would like to welcome back guest blogger, Stephen Johnson. Stephen Johnson is an Ottawa writer who loves to write about family travel.  During the summer, you will most likely find him and his family at a local fair or festival. During the winter, a beach in Mexico is a likely bet.  

One of my favourite activities as a kid was to go sliding down our local hill. Growing up in Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan, the hill was more like a bump compared to Ottawa standards but I still a great time. When I saw Mount Pakenham had tubing along with downhill skiing, I thought it would be a perfect opportunity to introduce our son, David and my wife, Sandy to the activity.  

We set out to Pakenham on the Sunday of Family Day weekend. The weather (for once) was perfect for outdoor sports. Arriving at the mountain, the first thing that struck us was the beauty of the place. Set in the Ottawa Valley, Pakenham has a family feel that might be lost at larger, more expensive ski resorts. As previously mentioned, being from Saskatchewan, downhill skiing is not my go-to winter sport so we opted for the tubing and snowshoeing option.  

We headed over to the tubing hill and picked up our inner tubes. There was not a lift taking us to the top of the hill but it was not an overly long walk and the pathway was well-maintained. Once we reached the top of the hill there were two possible runs open. David enthusiastically hopped in his inner tube and asked the staff attendant to give him the full spin option. We watched David speed down the hill with a smile on his face for the entire ride. Sandy and I romantically rode together holding each other’s inner tubes. We opted for the gentler push which still provided an exciting ride.

Tubing at Mount Pakenham

For the next go-around, David wanted to take a ride with me. On our climb to the top, he proposed doing the maximum spin-o-rama. By the time we reached the top of the hill, I was able to negotiate him down to the mild spin. Whatever way, we had a lot of fun. We took another three or four trips down the hill and had a blast.

Once done with tubing, we were able to borrow snowshoes and check out the trails. We took a scenic walk through the forest and were able to take short diversions off-trail because of our snowshoes.  

Snowshoeing at Mount Pakenham

After about a half hour exploring, we had worked up an appetite and headed back to the main lodge area. We opted for the cafeteria inside the lodge which offered comfort food like soup and sandwich, poutine and hamburgers. They also had lighter fare including salads. We enjoyed our meal in the convivial company of fellow tubers and skiers. The resort also has a lounge and bar that is open to families before a certain time. There was also an outdoor canteen that offered food as well.

We ended our time at the ski resort soaking in the sunshine and admiring the skiers racing down the mountain.

Skiing at Mount Pakenham

If you have time, the village of Pakenham is worth a stop. The Pakenham General Store was originally built in 1840 and has some of the tastiest cinnamon buns I have ever tasted. It is also worth to check out the five span bridge which was originally constructed in 1903 and is built completely out of stone.

Special thanks to Mount Pakenham for providing David and his family with tubing and snowshoe passes for the purpose of this article; all views are his own.


10 March Break Activities in Ottawa

March Break is just around the corner! If you plan on sticking around the National Capital Region this March Break, then you’re probably wondering what there is to do to keep the kids busy, entertained and happy.

With that in mind, here are 10 March Break Activities in Ottawa:

March break Activities in Ottawa

1)   Visit a Sugar Bush

Over the March Break, you won't have to wait until the weekend to visit a Sugar Bush. The Log Farm in Nepean is open March 12th to the 16th from 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and includes a bonfire and wagon rides! Visitors will not only see how the pioneers would have collected maple syrup, but also learn how maple syrup is made using modern wood fired equipment.

2)   Try Downhill Skiing, Winter Tubing or Snowshoeing! 

March break is a prime time to take the kids downhill skiing or enrol them in downhill ski lessons. But if you aren’t skiers, hills such as Mount PakenhamEdelweiss and Domaine de l’Anne-Gardien offer winter tubing too! And ski hills, such as Calabogie also offer snowshoeing (including rentals). Fun in the snow for all ages and abilities!

Downhill skiing

3)   Visit a Museum

Ottawa has many great museums that appeal to a a variety of interests. Whether you want to teach kids about farming and agriculture at the Canadian Agriculture and Food Museum or learn about dinosaurs or Canada's Arctic at the Canadian Museum of Nature, there are plenty of things for kids of all ages to see and do at a local museum.

This year the Canadian Museum of Nature has a special Butterflies in Flight exhibit that is only on until April 28th. March Break is a great time to go check it out (tip: it's really busy, so make sure you book your time slot ahead of time).

For younger kids the Children’s Museum at the Museum of History is always a hit! 

From March 2nd to the 17th, the Canadian Space and Aviation Museum is offering programming where kids will learn all about “Your Place in Aerospace!” Each day, the museum will focus on different careers in the aviation and space industry. See many of the behind-the-scenes jobs that ensure the aerospace industry runs smoothly - all available for children of any age!

And we can't forget - the Canadian Science and Technology Museum’s March Break has a plethora of fun-filled activities, experiments, and demonstrations that are sure to keep visitors of all ages engaged. Visit their top-notch interactive exhibitions, get up close with demonstrations in the galleries, or head to the big demo stage for supercool experiments. Don’t forget to try the special engineering challenge in Exploratek!

Exploring a museum is a great way to spend a couple of hours or an entire day!

4)   Take a Haunted Walk (for older kids)

Older kids, who are also fans of a good ghost story, may appreciate the fun and mystery of Ottawa’s Haunted Walk. They run every night from downtown Ottawa and are definitely a memorable way to spend an evening as a family. There are usually a couple of different tour types to choose from and each offer a unique way of seeing our city!

5)   Go Cross Country Skiing

 March Break is usually a goot time to check out the groomed cross country ski trails in Gatineau Park or the new multi-use Sir John A. MacDonald trail. If you don’t own skis you can usually rent them from places such as Mountain Equipment Co-op and Fresh Air Experience. 

Cross Country skiing

6)   Skate as a family at the Sens Rink of Dreams and Rideau Hall

Weather-permitting, the Sens Rink of Dreams at Ottawa City Hall is open daily from 6 am to 11 pm and unlike many other public skating rinks there is also a heated changing facility. If you don’t own skates (or you just discovered your kids have outgrown theirs) you can rent skates right on site (during designated times).

Rideau Hall also has a public outdoor skating rink which is open until March 25th, weather-permitting. 

7)   Slide or Dive into a City of Ottawa pool

The City of Ottawa offers a wide range of public swimming schedules during the March Break and have locations all over the city that offer everything from standard swimming, to slides to waves! The great news is that it isn’t expensive, in fact kids 2 and under are free!

8)   Sign up for a program at the Ottawa Public Library

Every year the Ottawa Public Library offers free programs for school age children and teens as part of their March Break. Program themes and length vary depending on the library, but past programs have included programs about science, technology, arts and more!

9)   Paint Pottery

If your kids love to be creative bring them to a ceramic painting place in Ottawa. There are several including Pottery Playhouse in Stittsville and The Mud Oven on Bank Street. Kids can paint something as simple as a plate or mug and make it their own – or get a head start on birthday gifts for family and friends. It’s a lot of fun and the mess is left behind!

Painting Pottery

10)  Try Bowling

If you’re anything like me the last time you went bowling was on the Nintendo Wii. Bowling is great exercise and a fun way to play together as family. Ottawa has several bowling lanes to choose from including Walkley Bowling Lanes and Orleans Bowling Centre. Merivale Bowling Lanes even has glow in the dark bowling!

How do you plan on spending your March Break this year? What are some of your favourite family acitivities? 

 

 

More than Taekwon-Do with Masterful Master Phil

Kids in the Capital is pleased to welcome back Antonia Cetin to the blog. Antonia is an educator and the author of You’ve Got This, Mom! A Mother’s Guide to Surviving and Thriving in Today’s Modern World. This blog post originally appeared on her website: antoniacetin.com.

When I signed up my 13 year old son for Taekwon-Do lessons at Black Belt Excellence Martial Arts Academy in Kanata, I did not realize that I was signing us up for life and parent coaching, too. Not only is Master Phil a seventh degree Black Belt, who passes on the passion for his discipline to his students, he is also a master teacher. He teaches students respect, motivation and belief in themselves and he teaches parents and teachers how to relate to their children.

When Master Phil meets his students, he doesn’t try to make friends and to be like them. He is authentic and he is very clear about his role and the student role, very politely demonstrating respect. Right from the start, he looks students in the eye, introduces himself, and asks questions. At first, his questions are closed questions so the student has to answer yes or no. When the student responds, Master Phil instructs them to answer with a “Yes, Sir.” or a “No, Sir.” He welcomes them to his dojang (martial arts academy), and talks about the importance of respect verifying the student has understood by simply asking, “Do you understand?” Another closed question. When the student answers, Master Phil reminds the student to answer with “Sir.” With the third question, Master Phil assumes the student knows, and just waits for the appropriate response. From the start, with a few very simple questions, without any fuss, he has established expectations for respect and discipline.

Master Phil also understands the importance of creating rapport with parents and demonstrates respect towards the parents to his students. From the start, students get the message that everybody is there for the same goals: supporting that student. And everybody  understands that they need to work together to achieve those goals. Greeting students and parents alike when they arrive, Master Phil creates community. He thanks the parents for taking the time to drive their kids to the lesson, and commends the students on their dedication to practicing. With a few simple comments, he creates a bond and demonstrates to his students how to be respectful as well as boosting their confidence and motivating them.

When Master Phil gives feedback to his students, he goes beyond the generic and questionable “Good job.” He seeks to acknowledge who they are and what they can do: You listened well; You were focused; You worked hard; I can see how dedicated you are; Your practice is paying off. This specific feedback focusing on what they do, motivates students because they know someone has noticed what they can do and, as a result, they want to improve. Then, when Master Phil tells them what they need to work on, they know they are getting honest and helpful advice and not criticism. When he addresses his students as “Future yellow belt”, or “Future green stripe” he is telling them that they can achieve the next step, that they are on the right track, and that he sees it. They want to work harder because Master Phil believes in them and knows they are capable.

If you decide to sign up your children for Taekwon-Do lessons with Master Phil at Black Belt Excellence Martial Arts Academy in Kanata, know that you are signing up for so much more.  Master Phil demonstrates and teaches students respect, dedication, and authenticity. And, he teaches the observant parent how to achieve compliance from children and young adults, how to foster a respectful relationship while staying in the teacher/parent/adult role and how to motivate and encourage them. Masterful, Master Phil!