Checking out the Diefenbunker with kids

Diefenbunker with kidsI wasn't sure if the Diefenbunker would be a great place to bring my kids (5 and 8), but after a few of my friends had taken their children and assured me there was lots for them to do, we headed out to Carp to check it out for ourselves. The kids had a blast and my only complaint is that there is so much awesome information to be read and learned and 5 and 8 year-olds don't want to stop and read everything. I'll need to head back one day without them.

The more I learn about the Diefenbunker, the more amazed I am at all the cool stuff they have there and the fun activities they plan within the museum.

I made a short video (my first of this kind) on our trip out there.  Have a look and let me know what you think.  And leave a comment letting my know if you've been to the Diefenbunker with your kids and how they liked it!

Mother’s day in and around the Capital

by Jenny After spending a lovely morning at the Billings Estate museum Easter weekend, we knew, as a family, that it was a place we wanted to visit again. Centrally located on a gorgeous property, the museum was a perfect venue for my kids, 3 and 5. The staff was welcoming, friendly and had really thought of everything. There was a chocolate Easter egg hunt (complete with a nut-free option for my eldest), face painting, a giant hopscotch board, an egg basket sewing session and all-natural egg dyeing. We went around from station to station, my kids keeping track to make sure we didn’t miss a one. The Easter Bunny was also on hand for pictures and encouragement on the egg hunt.

While this Sunday is my day (to sleep in a bit, I hope), I can’t wait to get out and explore another one of the great museums in Ottawa. Here are some of the special Mother’s day events they have going on this Sunday, May 13. Take note of the mini-manis & chocolate offerings at the Deifenbunker! Mother’s Day Tea at Billings Estate What better place to celebrate Mother’s Day than on the idyllic lawns of Billings Estate National Historic Site? Enjoy a Victorian tea service in the garden, stroll through the grounds, and explore the new Victorian medicine exhibit in Ottawa’s oldest wood-framed building. Tours, crafts and live music will take place from 10a.m to 4p.m. There will also be a flower and plant exchange from 11a.m. to 1p.m. Mother’s Day at the Diefenbunker :  A celebration of the women who served in the Diefenbunker.  A special women's history tour will be given every hour in English, featuring clips from the Diefenbunker's oral history project. Mothers can relax at the mini-manicure station as children craft. Mini-manicures will be offered to mothers and children from 12-3. A colourful display by Ottawa’s own Cold War artist, Marcia Lea, will surely be a thing to see! And what’s a women’s day out without chocolate? Of course, the Diefenbunker will be partnering up with local and surrounding chocolatiers and bakers to offer fabulously themed desserts. Program runs from 11am-2pm.

Cumberland Heritage Village Museum - Famous Funnies-Family Cartooning Workshop It’s the good guys versus the bad guys as the super heroes take over a family cartooning lesson led by our professional artist! Families can discover early cartoon super heroes like Superman and characters like Little Orphan Annie. Young visitors can dress in their favourite character costumes. Program runs from 1pm to 3pm. Cost: Regular admission applies plus $10 workshop fee.

What are your plans this Mother’s day? Any special requests or are you just looking forward to a day with your family?

Jenny is mom to 5 (and ¾) year old Ryan and 3 year old Jaime. A communications specialist with a love for food, wine and outdoor fun, you can find Jenny on twitter @jblatts or in the Kids in the Capital Facebook group.

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I spy

by Alanna It all started out with a surprise birthday invitation. Three pages all stamped with offical CSIS letter head and stamps. Very intriguing. My boy was invited to a birthday party at "The Diefenbunker" For those of you who aren't familiar with the place, it was built during the "Cold War" by John Deifenbaker, the Prime Minister at the time. It was a top secret building that would house all the important government officials in the event of a nuclear attack. The building is now used as a museum that chronicals an important time period in Canadian history. Also, a fabulous venue for a Spy birthday party for a bunch of 6-9 year olds. I was very curious how this would play out (and had never been to the Deifenbunker) so I tagged along.

We were met at the main entrance by our guide who promtly ran the kids through Basic Training exercises, and then we were ushered into the building that where our mission would take place. The children were suited up, picked "secret agent" names and were told about how to be stelth like and super quiet. We were on the lookout for Agent X. We were guided through rooms which were still set-up as they would have been. The children were able to get hands on with the equipment, looking in drawers and touch things they have never seen before (you know, like a typewritter).

The children took their mission very seriously. Ducking and dodging to keep out of sight from the secret agent. The guide played it up too. A party is 12 children for $140.00. You will need to supply the cake and you can bring food. There is also a pizza delivery option that was not mentioned to the birthday mom, but you may want to ask. Also, two things you should know is that for the younger children it can be a little scary, especially when they first walk in

2. there is a lot of walking. 4 floors up and down. Be prepared in comfortable shoes. Finally, there is no pre-party set-up. You may want to leave the loot bags in the car and give them out when you leave. You will have to carry things around for a while.

Definately a fun event for, those spy loving kids who are up for a little adventure. Have a great time.

The two and a half hour event was well received by the children. They all were talking about having their next party there and who they would invite. It was fabulous for children who have great imagination.

Alanna is a mother of two beauties, Nora age 3 (aka coconut) and Avery 5 (aka polka dot). Former ECE turned mother, party planner and blogger.  Never a dull moment around this house.