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activities for kids

Things to Do With Kids in Halifax

Things to do With Kids in Halifax

Things to do With Kids in Halifax: see Theodore!

Things to do With Kids in Halifax: See Theodore!
Kids’ reactions are always priceless when they stroll down Cable Wharf and see the giant smiling tugboat in the big red hat. Theodore Too is a loving life-sized re-creation of the eponymous Theodore Tugboat of PBS fame. Hop on board for a tour that lets your kids live the Big Harbour adventures they’ve seen so many times on television.
• Theodore Too Big Harbour Tours, Murphy’s Cable Wharf,1751 Lower Water St., 902-492-8847, theodoretugboat.ca
Map and reviews (more…)

Weekend Roundup: Best Bets for April 27 to 29

Friday, April 27
The biannual Ottawa International Writers Festival takes place this weekend and will feature world-renowned writers speaking about their experiences in the field of history, science, fiction, poetry, and more. Some of the big-name draws include Giller Prize-winning author Vincent Lam and CBC correspondent Nahlah Ayed.

In an event that will showcase young Canadian performers, Handel’s opera Giulio Cesare tells the story of seduction and politics. The semi-staged production, put on by Thirteen Strings, is the highlight of the orchestra’s season.

Ana Miura plays at the first-ever Ottawa Grassroots Festival

Saturday, April 28
Folk music takes centre stage at the first-ever Ottawa Grassroots Festival. The event features local talent and includes Ottawa artists such as The Bytown Ukulele Group and Ana Miura.

(more…)

Babies, Babies Everywhere: What’s New at Canada’s Zoos and Aquariums this Year

By SHANNON KELLY

The Calgary Zoo's new Penguin Plunge exhibit (Photo: Sergei Belski/Calgary Zoo)

Spring may be the best time of year at zoos: it’s when many of the babies (baby animals, that is) are born or are newly on display, the weather is warming up and many zoos (and aquariums) are unveiling new attractions in anticipation of the busy summer season. (more…)

Picture Perfect Public Art in Ottawa

You don’t have to be inside a gallery to appreciate art. This city is filled with unique public art pieces and commemorations that offer fun photo ops. Get ready to strike a pose! By Misa Kobayashi.

From left: "The Living Room" at City Hall, photo credit National Capital Commission. "Maman" at the National Gallery of Canada, photo credit Louise Bourgeois Trust.

THE LIVING ROOM
This piece of work, from architecture design firm Urban Keios, inverts public and private space by situating everyday objects and activities in public view. The fun colours and shapes, as well as its surprising placement outdoors, make this an entertaining stop for families. The piece encourages public interaction, so whether you’re reading, resting, conversing, or playing, the audience becomes part of the art.
Where: Ottawa City Hall, Laurier Avenue (more…)

Hot Attraction: Zip Lining at Camp Fortune

Camp Fortune Aerial Experience

Not for the faint of heart, the exhilarating Camp Fortune Aerial Experience zip lining park offers up a range of adrenalin-pumping obstacles that you complete while walking through the tree tops (we’re talking rope bridges, walkways, and giant zip lines!). Try the first-timer “Explorer” course, the advanced “Amazone,” or the children’s park for young daredevils. And you know what they say: the family that zip lines together… Check it out before the course closes for the season on Nov. 6.

Hot Date: Elmo’s Healthy Heroes

July 29 – 31

Dance, sing, and clap along with your little one as they learn about the importance of healthy eating habits, exercise, and hygiene from their favourite Sesame Street characters including Big Bird, Oscar the Grouch, Elmo and more. Elmo’s Healthy Heroes, a Broadway-like production, weaves in these lessons while following a quest to restore Super Grover’s powers. Jubilee Auditorium, call Ticketmaster, 1-855-985-5000.

Winterlude: For Foodies and Families and Everyone In Between

It doesn’t get better than this annual outdoor festival that brings the city to life. Taking place from Feb. 4 to 21, these are just a few highlights from the jam-packed, fun-filled celebration that offers something for everyone.

After dusk is the perfect time to go skating on the Rideau Canal. Photo credit: Ottawa Tourism.

FOR COUPLES
There’s nothing more romantic than taking a moonlit skate with your loved one. Whether you’re a seasoned skater or just starting out, it’s all about good old-fashioned fun on the Rideau Canal Skateway. This UNESCO World Heritage Site is 7.8 kilometres long, making it the largest naturally frozen skating rink in the world. Bring your own skates or rent a pair at the locations at Mackenzie King Bridge, Fifth Avenue, or Dows Lake Pavilion. After you’ve finished gliding arm-in-arm up and down the skateway, be sure to warm up with a steaming cup of hot chocolate and a delicious Canadian treat, the BeaverTail, as you enjoy the pretty winter scenery.

FOR FOODIES
Ottawa’s exciting food scene takes centre stage during Taste of Winterlude. Until Feb. 21, some of the capital’s best restaurants are offering exclusive fine dining experiences, wine pairings, and other culinary delights. Try the “Great White North Beer Dinner and Tasting” on Feb. 8 and enjoy a four-course dinner paired with — what else — premium Canadian beers. There is also the “Savour Ottawa Walkabout Winter Feast” on Feb. 8, during which guests will travel from restaurant to restaurant for a food and wine pairing. A chocolate-making seminar and “Winter Fare & Flair” dinner and fashion show are also on the menu. Activities range from free to $300.

An ice sculpture from the Roger's Crystal Garden. Photo credit: NCC/CCN.

FOR ARTISTS
Artists and art lovers alike will fall in love with the Rogers Crystal Garden, where blocks of ice are transformed into masterpieces. Take a stroll through this winter wonderland where the theme is “Harmony by Contrast.” From Feb. 4 to 6, teams from Canada, Holland, China, and other countries will compete to see who can design the best ice sculpture. There will also be a One-Block Challenge on Feb. 4, to be completed in two hours or less using a single piece of ice, and an Ice Carving Championship on Feb. 12, where pro carvers go head to head in an “ice-off.” Afterwards, these majestic structures remain on display in Confederation Park until the end of Winterlude.

FOR ATHLETES
Sporty types can get their fill of all things athletic during Winterlude. For those who adore the cold, the Winterman on Feb. 20 is a must. This day of exciting outdoor races kicks off at the Canadian War Museum and includes full and half marathons, marathon relays, and 3, 5, and 10K runs. On Feb. 5, don’t miss the Winterlude Triathlon that’s taking place, with stretches of skating, skiing, and running, or the annual (and hilarious) Bedzzz Race that sees teams face off using a bed on wheels as their vehicle of choice.

Kids have a blast on the slides in the Sunlife Snowflake Kingdom. Photo credit: NCC/CCN.

FOR FAMILIES
Hold on to your hats at the Sunlife Snowflake Kingdom! Kids (and those who are kids at heart) will have a blast shooting down more than 20 snow slides in this frozen playground, located in Jacques-Cartier Park. Check out the brand new winter obstacle course and other games like kite-flying races, snow soccer, and extreme wall climbing. You can even try your hand, or rather your feet, at kicksledding, a much-loved Scandinavian activity. Be sure to wear snow pants so you can spend as much time as possible in this icy paradise.

For a complete line-up of events, locations, and other detailed information, check out www.winterlude.gc.ca or contact the Capital Infocentre at 613-239-5000.

Hot Dates: Larger Than Life

Opening on January 15, A T. Rex Named Sue is, quite literally, the biggest exhibit to ever come to the Museum of Natural History on Summer Street. About 13 metres long and almost four metres high at the hip, Sue is the largest, most complete, and best-preserved tyrannosaurus rex ever discovered. A dramatic, life-sized skeleton cast is the centrepiece of this exciting exhibition, which also includes videos and interactive displays. The exhibit continues until May.

Hot Date: Mickey Mouse Comes to Ottawa

Disney Live: Mickey's Rockin' Road Show comes to Ottawa on Jan. 8

Jan. 8. The gang’s back together for Mickey’s Rockin’ Road Show, a live performance with all your fave Disney characters. Join Mickey, Minnie, Donald, and Goofy as they hit the highway in search of today’s top talent. As with most road trips, the crew gets into some crazy shenanigans, but things get really fun when they encounter a few familiar faces.

Calgary Kids: Cultural Activities

How to get your kids away from the TV with fun and educational programs around Calgary

By Elena Redd

If your children watch television, play video games, surf the ‘Net or use cell phones, they’re immersed in what industry insiders call 360-degree marketing. According to the Media Awareness Network, children in Canada see 3,000 commercial messages every day—stamped on toys, slipped into movies, even plastered in school hallways. The idea these commercials send is simple: you are what you buy.

While you can’t remove your children from the modern age, you can enroll them in programs that sell a very different idea: you are what you know. We’ve scoured the city and found six programs that give children hands-on experience with art, music, literature, theatre and nature—with no commercial messages. (more…)