Taking your Canada Day weekend down a notch

Canada Day is just days away and here in the capital there are countless exciting things to do to celebrate Canada 150.

We’ve talked a lot about the things you can do and the places you can go, but today I’m going to talk about the other option – the “do less” option.

I find it really hard sometimes not to want to do ALL THE THINGS - o create as many beautiful memories as possible, and to  ensure that my kids are getting to do the fun things that all the other kids are “obviously” doing (based on what Facebook is telling me, anyway).

But here’s the thing I also know – my kids don’t like to be GO GO GO, and neither do my husband and I. In fact, I’d bet there are many of us who are much happier staying home more often than not.

So this Canada Day I’m embracing the “do less stuff” idea. Here are 5 ways that YOU can do less this long weekend, while still embracing the spirit of the holiday.

1)   Check out the Ottawa Public Library

Take a family trip to the library and stock up on books about Canada. The library’s website lists all the different kinds of books you can find. You can browse the stacks or reserve some ahead of time.  

Then cuddle up on the coach and talk about the history of our country and the history of the indigenous people who have been here much longer than 150 years.

2)   Canadian TV and movie marathon

There is a long standing tradition for Canada Day in the capital - it must rain and be kind of miserable. Be prepared to spend the day inside in full Canada Day spirit by watching some classic Canadian TV and movies.

Here are a few ideas:

This is my favourite Heritage Minute ever.

And my favourite CFB movie.

Do you have any favourites from childhood? Leave a comment so we can go check them out too!

3)   Head to the lake

My favourite long weekend activity is to head out of town and away from the crowds. We’re lucky because we have a cottage to go to, but even if you don’t, you can grab a day pass at many of the provincial campgrounds.  Spend time swimming at one of the park’s beaches, or put the word out – does someone in your circle of friends have a cottage or trailer you could visit?  A lot of trailer parks have fun Canada Day celebrations!

4)   Informal potluck

Invite some friends over, buy some sparklers, pick up some pre-made Canada Day themed cupcakes or cookies at the store and just chill. No big decorations, no heading down to the fireworks, no elaborate crafts and need to cook and bake - just enjoy each other’s company.

A bonus activity if you have a projector on hand is to set up an outdoor movie once it gets dark – you just need a white sheet and a flat surface for projection.

5)   Just go with the flow

This can be especially hard for people who like to plan ahead of time, but I like to leave long weekends unplanned and then see what we want to do. Maybe go for a walk, go out for ice cream, chat with your neighbours, go geocaching, or visit a local park. The less pressure you put on a day, the more amazing it can turn out to be.

Whether you go big or you go small, I hope you have a fabulous long weekend. The Kids in the Capital team will be hitting all options, with one going downtown, one leaving town and one chilling at home.

We can’t wait to hear what you’ll be up to!

This post is part of The Whole Family Happiness Project, in partnership with Social Currents and the Low Carbon Economy Narrative Initiative. The Whole Family Happiness Project poses the question, “What is the connection between our individual purpose, our family happiness, and the happiness of the world around us?”

To learn more or get involved, visit Whole Family Happiness on Facebook. #wholefamilyhappiness