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Long Weekend Roundup: Best Bets for October 5 to 8

Friday, October 5

Check out nearly 4,000 (artificial) pumpkins at Upper Canada Village during Pumpkinferno.

This weekend marks the grand opening of Pumpkinferno at Upper Canada Village. This month-long extravaganza will feature nearly 4,000 artificial pumpkins that have been hand-carved by students from the Cornwall area. The polyurethane carvings come in 14 sizes, each cast from the mold of a real pumpkin. Guests are invited to wander through 28 different themed exhibits, and marvel at the impressive displays of artistic talent. Some of the scenes, which are designed to represent various elements of the village, consist of roughly 200 individual pumpkins!

Ottawa’s biggest bake sale returns to Billings Bridge Shopping Centre this Friday for its 12th annual event. Featuring goodies donated by local church groups and bakeries, the Just Bake It! fundraiser will benefit the Christmas Exchange Program. This family-friendly event will offer a cake decorating demonstration, a best-tasting pumpkin pie contest, face painting, and the chance to win a $500 Billings Bridge gift card. It’s also the perfect opportunity to stock up on yummy treats for Thanksgiving.

Ever since its debut at Toronto’s Tarragon Theatre in 2007, Daniel MacIvor’s How it Works has been winning over audiences and critics alike. Set in Halifax, the family drama centres on a cop and his ex-wife as they attempt to deal with their drug-addicted daughter. Under the direction of Stewart Matthews, the four-person play will be running at The Gladstone from October 5 to 20. And, thanks to an impressive Indiegogo fundraising campaign, the theatre will be giving away 82 tickets to at-risk youth in the community.

Saturday, October 6

Margaret Watkins, The Kitchen Sink, c. 1919. Palladium print, 21.3 x 16.4 cm
National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa. Purchased 1984 with the assistance of a grant from the Government of Canada under the terms of the Cultural Property Export and Import Act.

Margaret Watkins: Domestic Symphonies,” which recently opened at The National Gallery of Canada, features an assortment of prints, drawings and photos by the late Modernist photographer. Known for her ability to turn everyday objects into beautiful works of art, Hamilton-born Watkins rose to fame in the 1920s while working as a commercial advertiser in New York City. This will be the first-ever retrospective of her work.

What better way to celebrate Thanksgiving weekend than with a family day trip to the country? Log Cabin Apple Orchard in Osgoode has an incredible selection of seasonal goodies ready to be picked. Stock up on all your fall baking essentials (Cortland and McIntosh apples are currently in season); hop on and enjoy a free hayride; and choose the perfect pumpkin for this year’s jack-o-lantern. Got a hankering for something sweet? Stop by Yazmin’s Bakery: this on-site shop offers a delicious spread of hot apple cider and freshly made pies, cakes, and candy apples.

For the second weekend in a row, the O-Town Hoedown — Ottawa’s alt-country musical celebration — will be taking over Irene’s Pub and The Rainbow Bistro. Hosted by local musician Lefty McRighty, the annual concert series is a mixed bag of bluegrass, country, rockabilly, folk-rock, and everything in between. There will be a number of exceptional local acts on the bill this year, including Old Whiskey Road, Jack Pine & The Fire, Mabaleka Brothers and James Leclaire.

Sunday, October 7

The Third World Bazaar in Manotick Station will begin its 2012 season this weekend. Fresh off a buying trip that saw them travelling to Bali, Java, Bangkok, Chaing Mai, Hanoi, Kerala and Delhi, the Bakker family has returned with a grand assortment of unique, fairly traded merchandise that’s now ready to be sold! Whether you’re looking for art, furniture or musical instruments, you’re sure to find something that piques your interest at the Bazaar. This year, they’ve also paired up with a number of charities: Guests can buy coffee in support of Habitat for Humanity; donate non-perishables to the Shepherds of Good Hope; or purchase a pumpkin to raise money for Médecins Sans Frontières / Doctors Without Borders.

A still from “Flight of the Butterflies,” which begins October 5 at IMAX.

Follow hundreds of millions of monarch butterflies as they make their annual migration from Canada to Mexico in Flight of the Butterflies 3D at IMAXThough the monarch weighs in at less than a penny, it makes one of the longest migrations on earth across a continent to a place it has never known. The film offers breathtaking cinematography, amazing 3D imagery, and a fascinating look at one of nature’s most mysterious and captivating phenomenons.

The Ottawa Fall Colours Run is taking place this Sunday in Cumberland Heritage Village. With several race lengths to choose from (they range from one kilometre children’s runs to a 42.2 kilometre marathon), the event promises to be fun for the whole family. Participants are encouraged to move along at their own pace and take in the exceptional scenery that surrounds this historic community. However, there will be prizes for the top three finishers, so be prepared for a little friendly competition! Complimentary T-shirts, snacks and Gatorade will also be made available to all runners.

Monday, October 8

Help celebrate the fall harvest (and the long weekend!) by checking out the Harvesting Energy exhibit at the Canada Agriculture Museum. Learn how energy is harvested (wind power and bioenergy demonstrations will be held throughout the day); make your own apple cider; attend a grain elevator demonstration; and get to know some rare breeds of Canadian poultry. Top if all off with a ride on the Tally-Ho Wagon. Pulled by the museum’s Clydesdale horses, Ted and Merrill, the activity is always a huge hit with the kids.

In addition to being on the big screen (see IMAX listing above), butterflies are taking over the greenhouses of Carleton University’s Biology Department. It’s the final day of their Annual Biology Butterfly Show, a spectacular display of roughly 1,300 butterflies! Arriving in five separate shipments over the course of the 10-day exhibit, the show will feature 41 species from around the world. Wear some colourful clothes (butterflies love to land on bright things!), and don’t forget your camera — there are sure to be some amazing photo opportunities.

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