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PHOTO BY SARA MCCONNELL

MARCH 2015 | FREE | CapitalParent.ca | Ottawa’s Parenting Toolbox

TIME TO TRAVEL March Break getaways to Tremblant, exploring area sugar shacks, and more!

Mothercraft Ottawa Kindergarten Program • Licensed program follows Ministry of Education KINDERGARTEN CURRICULUM • 1:10 teacher child ratio with a maximum class size of 20 • Hot lunches and nutritious snacks provided • Daily French lessons • Before and after school program included • Exciting field trips, dance, drama and more! • Centrally located at 475 Evered Avenue in Westboro

Full and part time child care from 18 months up also availalbe For information/registration call 613-728-1839 or info@mothercraft.com Open House on March 12/15 6:30-8:30 pm – come see the difference!


From The Editor

ANDREA TOMKINS andrea@capitalparent.ca

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editor ’s

My family has had some memorable March Break getaways. We have traded an Ottawa winter for a sunny destination, travelled to Montreal and Toronto, and gone winter camping in a yurt at Silver Lake. This month, Misty Pratt’s piece about MontTremblant on page 7 might inspire your next getaway. On the flip side, a staycation can be just as good for the soul – and much cheaper too! Most years we just stay home and plan some activities around town. March Break is the perfect time to arrange sleepovers, playdates, movie marathons, and pajama parties. It’s amazing how simple it can be to orchestrate some Ottawa-area fun. I encourage you to consider kicking it up a notch and taking the lead of Sara McConnell, our cover photographer this month. Incorporating public transit – like the O-train – into your local March Break destination will definitely make any local adventure extra exciting for the kids. Lynn Jatania (page 3) suggests taking in a hockey game (let’s just hope your experience is a bit easier) and Katharine Fletcher has the scoop on some sweeter outings on page 5. Some of the activities my family has enjoyed over March Break includes trips to many of Ottawa’s fabulous museums, cheap movies at Rainbow Cinema, and special excursions to the grocery store. YES, really! A trip to the grocery store can become an adventure when the kids are given the shopping lists. Regardless of what we do or where we go, one of our favourite March Break traditions as a family is to kick it off with a giant stack of books from the Ottawa Public Library. Don’t forget to check out some great recommendations from the experts on Page 9! Have a wonderful March Break!

Cover Story Who’s on the cover? It’s Ben McConnell (9). In the age of Pinterest, blogs, Instagram, I find it’s sometimes hard not to get caught up in what the notion of what an ideal family activity looks like. My children offer me daily reminders that simple and spontaneous outings can be the most memorable, and our trip on the O-Train was the perfect example of this. One Saturday morning we found ourselves with nothing on the calendar. Tim Hortons in hand, we headed down the giant staircase at the Carling Station where the kids marvelled over the ticket machine and the size of the nearby tunnel. Once on the train they switched seats at every stop and watched the driver through the glass doors. Our afternoon adventure was peaceful, and the perfect chance to re-connect after a busy week.  It reminded me how important these ordinary photos are, because these are the memories I cherish the most.   - Sara McConnell, photographer saramcconnell.ca

faves

PUBLISHER Mark Sutcliffe mark@greatriver.ca

> Drink up We’re big fans of SIGG water bottles, and they’re a must when we travel. They are nearly indestructible, BPA and  phthalate  free, and completely recyclable at the end of their long life. The new 2015 line includes fantastic designs for young thrill-seekers, adventurers, and dreamers. Choosing one might prove to be a challenge, and a bit of a personality test! Available at retailers across Ottawa and online at mysigg. com.

EDITOR Andrea Tomkins andrea@capitalparent.ca twitter.com/capitalparent CONTRIBUTORS Katharine Fletcher • Lynn Jatania • Marcia MacQuarrie • Sara McConnell • Misty Pratt COPY EDITOR Bhavana Gopinath CREATIVE DIRECTOR Tanya Connolly-Holmes 613-238-1818 ext. 253 creative@greatriver.ca DESIGN & PRODUCTION

>Car games

Regan van Dusen

This hangman game by Melissa and Doug (6+) features flippable letter and body tiles, as well as whiteboard space to showcase the word in play. Turn to page 10 for another classic game that’s great for the car. $17.99 at Mrs. Tiggy Winkles.

regan@greatriver.ca

> Domo arigato

CAPITALPARENT is published by

We’re smitten with these unique handcrafted wooden (and magnetic!) building blocks by Tegu. They are made from eco-friendly, sustainably-sourced hardwoods, and so wonderfully creative. This nine piece Magbot set is part of the Futura series. It can be combined with other sets in the Tegu family for hours of fun. Available at toy stores and online at tegu.com.

Giveaway Alert!

Jamie Dean jamie@greatriver.ca ADVERTISING Alison Stewart 613-238-1818 ext. 226 alison@obj.ca

CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER Mark Sutcliffe PRESIDENT Michael Curran V.P. SALES Don Mersereau don@greatriver.ca FINANCE Jackie Whalen 613-238-1818 ext. 250 jackie@greatriver.ca 250 CITY CENTRE DR. SUITE 500, Ottawa, ON K1R 6K7

We are giving away two SIGG bottles to two lucky Capital Parent readers To enter – and see which designs we’re giving away – head on over to capitalparent.ca. We’ll draw the winners on March 6.

capitalparent.ca Capital Parent Newspaper is a monthly publication. 15,000 copies of each issue are printed and distributed across Ottawa, wherever families are found.

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THIRD TIME’S THE CHARM

Our very own Hockey Night in Canada BY LYNN JATANIA

A

s a family who lives in our nation’s capital, I feel like it’s our duty to raise our kids to be hockey lovers. It’s our true national game (apologies to lacrosse lovers) and part of our Canadian identity, and I’m pretty sure I saw on Rick Mercer one time that the phrase “go Sens go” is in the national anthem somewhere. I mean, if you can’t trust Rick Mercer, then it’s over, isn’t it? So even if you hate the cold (like me), and even if you can’t skate to save your life (like me), and even if the only two hockey player names you know are Wayne Gretzky and Daniel Alfredsson (also me), then you can still count yourself as a hockey lover

if you take your kids to one Ottawa 67s game per year. YOU CAN SO. Last month we took our kids for their annual hockey game outing, this time at the new arena at TD Place, which seemed like a smaller ice surface than expected, but maybe it just looked that way because the players all appeared to be literal giants masquerading as humans. The kids had a great time, counting down the penalties, cheering loudly for our team, cheering even louder for the pee wee players who came out at halftime. I think they learned a bit about the strategies involved, and became fans of a few key players. Meanwhile, here’s what a hockey game looks like if you’re a parent. Or maybe it’s

“Take all three kids on second snack run. Spend entire time waiting in hot dog line, only to discover when we get at the front that they actually wanted popcorn. SILLY MOMMY.”

MARCH 23RD TO 29TH

just me. 2:00 – Frantically circle for downtown parking for a half hour. Sprint with kids to their seats while carrying a sherpa’s worth of supplies in the world’s biggest backpack. 2:05 – Stand and cradle backpack for O Canada. Shush the kids asking if “Des plus brillants exploits” means “go Sens go.” (Answer: probably.) 2:06 – Struggle to sit in seat while wearing massive winter coat, holding everyone else’s coat on lap, and straddling the world’s biggest backpack at feet. Explain that we are here to see the 67s, not the Sens. Explain that they don’t wear red. 2:08 – Blow up thundersticks. Immediately regret blowing up thundersticks. 2:10 – Hand out lovingly prepared snacks from backpack. 2:11 – Squirm out of seat, leave coat pile behind. Head out to search for better snacks. 2:20 – Return with better snacks. Continued on page 4

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editor@capitalparent.ca

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Continued from page 3 2:21 – Squirm out of seat to search for napkins and possibly a mop. 2:25 – Miss end of first period while on knees, wiping spilled lemonade from under seats. 2:26 – Wave at cute pee wee players taking the ice while heading up the stairs to take youngest to the bathroom. 2:30 – Return first kid to seat. Take second kid to the bathroom. 2:35 – Return second kid to seat. Take third kid to bathroom. 2:45 – Second period begins. Notice that while camera is turned to the far end of the rink, we are just noticeable in the far bottom corner of the Jumbotron. Spend next five minutes waving frantically every time the camera turns our way. Wonder if hair really looks like that. 2:50 – Engage in spirited debate with youngest on whether player number 18 and player number 81 are, in fact, the same person. (Memo to self: increase at-home math practice.) 2:53 – At middle kid’s insistence, spend next eight minutes staring at scrolling ad screen rather than watching game, so we won’t miss the super cute red panda ad when it goes by. 3:01 – Hey, red pandas are cute! 3:05 – End of second period. Take all three kids on second snack run. Spend entire time waiting in hot dog line, only to

discover when we get at the front that they actually wanted popcorn. SILLY MOMMY. 3:18 – Remove thundersticks from all children using them as light sabers. Add six thundersticks to pile of coats on lap. 3:20 – Third period begins. Miss face-off while looking for tissues. 3:25 – Find tissues only to discover kid has already used scarf. 3:40 – Receive 37th piece of garbage from small folk who believe there is a magic incinerator in the backpack. Add garbage to growing pile under seat; notice garbage pile now prevents seat from lowering. Sigh,

squirm out from under pile of coats and thundersticks, to do a garbage run. 3:45 – Watch final five minutes of hockey game. Attempt to explain rules of body checking in a way that does not give anyone any ideas. “They are sort of giving them a gentle tap – just softly holding the other guy down for a moment – a lot like a big hug.” 3:55 – Game over! I’d like to tell you whether we won or lost, but I was too busy handing out coats and trying to remember where we parked. Oh the good ol’ hockey game – it’s the best game you can name!

This summer let your creativity run wild! Explore painting, sculpture, drawing and printmaking while making lasting memories. A five-day camp filled with art, games and fun in the sun!

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Photo by Kate Settle Collecting tree sap is the first step to making maple syrup.

Demystifying maple: What makes tree sap so delicious? BY KATHARINE FLETCHER

I

n early March, when spring is tantalizingly close, don’t we all long for a taste of maple taffy and a visit to a maple sugar bush? It’s not only our kids who can’t wait to sample this oh-so-Canadian, homegrown treat. All of us enjoy visiting the sucreries, crunching through snowy woodland trails either in our boots, on snowshoes – or on a horse-drawn wagon. Part of the fun is learning how tree sap is collected, from which maple syrup, butter and sugar is made. What are the best conditions for gathering the syrup? I turned to Shirley Fulton-Deugo, fourth-generation maple producer who operates Fulton’s Pancake House and Sugar Bush in Pakenham. Despite being the fourth generation owner, Shirley considers herself its steward. I asked her what conditions Mother Nature needs to provide in order for the sap to run. “The liquid part of sap is from the rain water that the tree has absorbed. It contains all the goodness from the tree and soil. The sugar content is sunlight working with the chlorophyll in the leaves in the summer. “Then in late February, March and/or April we need approximately -5ºC at night and +5ºC in the daytime for the sap to ‘run.’ You can feel and smell when the sap is running! The fresh, crisp but warm air makes you unzip your layers of winter. Your tummy feels some butterflies, excited for longer days, spring jackets – and rubber instead of snow boots!” Gathering sap is done in two ways. The traditional method is with spigots tapped into the tree trunk. The sap drips into buckets, which are collected by horse and wagon or, by tractor and wagon. This old fashioned method is very labourintensive. Imagine going out to collect sap from buckets from more than a thousand trees! It’s important not to let the sap overflow the bucket.

On a good day, it may need collecting twice! Ti-Mousse is the owner-operator of Cabane à sucre Chez Ti-Mousse in Papineauville (northeast of Ottawa, near Montebello). He has 1,800 buckets on 1,200 trees and gathers sap in the traditional way. “Our two horses do a lot of work,” says Ti-Mousse. “They haul wagons with a big bucket and we empty the pails into it – we do use tractors too. But, our visitors just love to see the horses working the bush. It gives them a sense of the way we all used to do things.” The modern way is less romantic and far more functional as the trees are tapped and the sap is collected in plastic tubing. It snakes through the maple bush, transporting all liquid into the sugar shack for boiling. “We need 40 litres of maple sap to produce one litre of syrup,” said Ti Mousse. Of course, all trees contain sap. This is how the tree feeds itself, so it should come as no surprise that other trees could also be tapped. When I was in Winnipeg last year, I met a father and son team who produce birch syrup at Rocky Lake Birchworks. It is delectable – although more expensive. And it’s no wonder! It takes a lot more birch sap to make a little bit of syrup. This year, why not venture to a sugar bush, try some tire-sur-neige (taffy on snow) – and see how sap is collected in the bush?

CLASSES + CAMPS

NATURE NOTES

SUMMER CAMPS Summer camps are fun when you explore your creative side! REGISTRATION BEGINS MARCH 4TH March Break Camps

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CAMPS PROVIDED BY THE RESIDENT PROGRAMMING PARTNERS

OUR FAVOURITE SUGAR SHACKS: CABANE À SUCRE CHEZ TI-MOUSSE (CHEZTIMOUSSE.COM) FULTON’S PANCAKE HOUSE & SUGAR BUSH (FULTONS.CA) MUSÉOPARK’S VANIER MAPLE FESTIVAL (MUSEOPARC.CA) PROULX MAPLE & BERRY FARM (PROULXBERRYFARM.COM) STANLEY’S OLDE MAPLE LANE FARM (STANLEYSFARM.COM) MARCH 2015 5


Gee-Gees sPORTs CamPs aRe a sTeP abOve The ResT fOR mORe infORmaTiOn visiT

6 MARCH 2015 | c a p i t a l p a r e n t . c a |

J A convenient downtown location J Free before and after childcare J Morning snack and daily lunches included J High-quality sports instruction from

Gee-Gees athletes and coaches J Recreational swim sessions J Bilingual camp setting

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ACTIVE FAMILIES

Tremblant: Family fun for everyone BY MISTY PRATT

A

popular getaway for folks living in Ottawa, Mont-Tremblant in Quebec is an easy two hour drive north-east to the Laurentian Mountains.

Previously known as Saint-Jovite, the current municipality with city status was formed in 2000 and encompasses the Mont-Tremblant ski resort. The area is ideal for families looking for a quick and easy getaway. Marie Seabrook has been visiting MontTremblant with her family for 15 years. “It really bonds the family together,” she says. “There’s skiing during the day, but you’re also spending time together at night.” Children can hit the slopes at very young ages, and Burton’s Riglet Park is a safe and fun bunny hill for children ages 3-6. Not all parents are interested in taking young children downhill skiing, and if that’s the case, there are endless activities to pass the time. Snowshoe trails are open on the hill, as well as snow tubing runs in town and at the resort. Families can enjoy dog sledding, sleigh rides and dune buggy tours. The pedestrian village at the base of the mountain is a hub of activity, with a theatre, Aquaclub, family games and activities, and a craft centre for children. Continued on page 8

Skiing may be the first thing that comes to mind if you’re considering a trip to Tremblant, but it definitely isn’t the only thing to do there! This resort is incredibly family friendly, and there’s something for everyone.

GETTING THERE Direct flights are available with Porter Airlines and Air Canada. Driving directions are available at tremblant.ca.

2015 SUMMER DRAMA CAMPS A MIDSUMMER NIGHT’S DREAM, JULY 6-24 * LEGALLY BLONDE - AUGUST JOIN US FOR SALAMANDER THEATRE’S SUMMER DRAMA CAMPS AGES 10-18 * REGISTRATION OPENS FEBRUARY 16, 2015 TO REGISTER EMAIL ABARLOW@SALAMANDERTHEATRE.CA PHONE 613-569-5629

MARCH 2015 7


OPEN March 1st to April 12th Weekend Farm hours 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Brunch 9:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. Weekdays: ON RESERVATION ONLY

ONTARIO MARCH BREAK WEEK 9 a.m. - 4 p.m. NO RESERVATION REQUIRED

There’s a lot more to Tremblant than just skiing. Did you know you can snowshoe to the summit? PHOTO BY ANDREA TOMKINS

OPEN EASTER LONG WEEKEND 9 a.m. - 3 p.m. with special activities RESERVATIONS RECOMMENDED

Visiting Tremblant

ProulxBerryFarm.com • 613.833.2417

1865 O’Toole rd., Cumberland(Ottawa) K4C1N2

Pancake Brunch • Horse Drawn Rides Taffy on the Snow • Petting Farm Hertige Sugarshack • Gift & Maple Shoppe

Continued from page 7 March break is being celebrated with a “Play” theme this year, and the new TAM-TAM zone (ages 3-12) is a trail enhanced with games and obstacles. Cross-country ski trails at Domaine Saint-Bernard meander through 25 kilometres of land surrounding Mont Tremblant. Seabrook’s family stays in the village of Mont Tremblant, a 15-minute drive from the ski hill. In addition to outdoor activities, there is much to explore in the village and surrounding towns. Local artisan shops selling handmade goods and outlets are bound to satisfy the shopping itch, and the town is full of kid-friendly restaurants. “My daughter insists that we have to go eat crepes at Creperie Catherine every time we’re there!” says Seabrook. Not a fan of winter? Mont-Tremblant is an all-season resort, bustling with activity throughout the year. In the summer families can enjoy hiking, swimming, biking, bird shows, a jazz festival and car races at Circuit Mont Tremblant. With something for everyone in the family, visitors are sure to return year after year

Tips

• For close access to the ski hill, there are 13 onsite resort hotels and resort lodging. However, many families choose to rent a hotel or condo in the village of Mont-Tremblant. • A quick search reveals hundreds of options for condos, cottages and bed and breakfasts in the areas surrounding Mont Tremblant. Confused about where to stay? Talk to friends or acquaintances, as many people have recommendations. If you’re booking through a service such as Airbnb (airbnb.ca) don’t forget to check the vendor ratings beforehand. • Reliable transportation is necessary to get to and from the ski hill and pedestrian village. If you’re staying in town, don’t forget to plan for the added time it takes to drive to the hill. • There are flash sales throughout the year on lift tickets and resort packages, so it’s a good idea to get on the mailing list and follow the resort on Facebook for regular updates. Don’t forget to plan for hidden costs. Some activities both on and off the resort will cost extra. • For parents who want to ski alone for a couple of hours, the ski hill has a daycare drop-in centre.

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top

5 best

ParENtiNg BloGs

books

F 1

rom constructing snow forts outside, to curling up inside with a great story, Laura Cordukes and Feng Xing of Content Services of the Ottawa Public Library share some books to enjoy over March Break. Winnie in Space, by Valérie Thomas Ages 4-7 Winnie the Witch and Wilbur, her cat, take an amazing journey to outer space. When their rocket is eaten by space rabbits, what will they do? Discover interplanetary life with Winnie or through the Library’s Space Odyssey March Break activities.

2

Creative Creatures, by Donna Wilson Ages 8-12 This is a lovely craft book full of creative and stylish ideas. It has clear step-by-step instructions that guide children through each craft activity. The book is unique in that the projects are introduced and explained by lovable knitted characters.

Leroy Ninker Saddles Up, by Kate DiCamillo Ages 7-9

3

Leroy dreams of being a cowboy. He’s got the boots, the hat, the lasso, and the lingo; all he needs is the horse. When he buys Maybelline, Leroy’s adventures have just begun. This is another warm tale from a master storyteller and it is very enjoyable.

Snow Play, by Birgitta Ralston Ages 10-13

4

There are more than 20 gorgeous projects in this book, from simple ornaments to complex snow lanterns. With a bit of inspiration – as well as their own imagination – children can build unforgettable snow projects while there’s still snow on the ground.

Finding Ruby Starling, by Karen Rivers Ages 10-13

5

Ruth Quayle and Ruby Starling discover that they are twins, separated at birth and now living in different countries. How could this ever have happened? The girls first reach out to each other digitally, but then make the dramatic decision to meet in person.

we LOve

Ottawa Road Trips BY LYNN JATANIA

S

ome blogs are a labour of love, and you can see the true affection for travel that lives behind the amazing library of adventures showcased over at Ottawa Road Trips (ottawaroadtrips.com). Your dedicated host, Laura Paquet, is a freelance travel writer who is passionate about destinations near and (not too) far, and her zest for exploration will have you booking a getaway in no time. Laura has a real knack for finding the outof-the-way treasures – the places that are a little off the beaten path that you’d never find yourself. Did you know that there’s a Barbie Museum in Stittsville, and not one but two separate chocolate museums on the Outaouais side of the river? Have you heard of the Butter Tart Trail, a lovely driving excursion north of Toronto with plenty of treats along the way? Did you know that if you time it right, you can sail on a historic tall ship right out of Brockville harbour? We sure didn’t – and Laura’s infectious enthusiasm has us wanting to try them all. There’s everything from local area day trips to weekend journeys to far-flung adventures, all with Laura’s personal experience and recommendations attached. We’ll be using her list of five day-trip beaches as a guide to our summer plans, and we’re absolutely enchanted with the idea of driving the A.Y. Jackson trail to see the actual locations that he painted. When the holidays roll around, her gift ideas for travel bugs – everything from ski passes, to campground reservations, to firing a vintage cannon at Fort Wellington – will be tops on our list. With the honest voice of an enthusiastic and practical traveller, Laura leads you to the gems that you might otherwise overlook. Near or far, it won’t be long until we’re hitting the road ourselves.

Notable Quote Did you know that Group of Seven painter A.Y. Jackson moved to Ottawa in his 70s and spent part of his later years capturing Ottawa Valley landscapes on canvas? Me neither, until I spent a very pleasant day exploring part of the A.Y. Jackson Trail west of Ottawa. Kathy Haycock and John Almstedt, two artists from Lake Clear, launched the selfdriving route in 2012. They had a lot of research material at hand, as Haycock’s father and one of Almstedt’s friends often painted with Jackson and kept notes on the places they stopped. Almstedt and Haycock loved the local landscape of forested hills, rocky outcrops and small lakes, but they suspected visitors passing through rarely ventured off Highway 60 and other main roads. “Part of the idea of the [trail] is to encourage people to explore,” Haycock says. The extensive trail — which meanders from Springtown (near Calabogie) to a spot on the Opeongo River on the east side of Algonquin Park — features 11 locations in the Ottawa, Bonnechere and Madawaska valleys that Jackson painted or sketched in the 1950s and 1960s. On the website, you can see Jackson’s images of several sites, juxtaposed with photos of those places today. Sometimes, the differences are surprising.

Read the rest of this post - and more - at Ottawa Road Trips (ottawaroadtrips.com). Looking for other great blogs to read? Check out our growing list at capitalparent.ca.

VISIT ONE OF OUR MANY OTTAWA LOCATIONS 809 Bank Street

(in the Glebe shopping district)

s e i t r a p y a d h t r i We do b !! s p m a c g n i z a and am 613-482-4029

www.ottawa.madscience.org

m rs t i ggyw ink le s . c a

613-234-3836 Bayshore Shopping Centre 100 Bayshore Drive 613-721-0549 Rideau Shopping Centre 50 Rideau Street 613-230-8081 Place D’Orleans 110 Place D’Orleans Blvd 613-834-8988 315 Richmond Road

(in the Westboro shopping district)

613-761-6055

MARCH 2015 9


FAMILY FUN Meet Adam with daughters Ava (8), Breyah (6) and Surrey (5). They’re doing a great job staying warm and stylish despite the frigid Ottawa temperatures!

SEND US YOUR PICS We’d like to see your BEST family photos and selfies! Submit your favourites and you might see one or two in a future issue. For more details go to capitalparent.ca

We are all “travelers in the

family snap

wilderness of this world, and the best we can find in our travels is an honest friend. ”

CaleNdaR

March Break MARCH 14-22

Wednesday, March 18: Settler Survival (1818-1830) Barnyard

Spring is the launch of a brand new season at the Canada Agriculture and Food Museum! Visitors big and small can take part in a wide variety of demonstrations including butter making and the science of maple taffy. Discover the science behind transforming maple sap into syrup and syrup into taffy, taste a sample, and take in a variety of maple sugaring equipment and historical photos that will be on display in the classroom. Free with admission. For more information go to cafmuseum.techno-science.ca.

Be a time-travelling settler at the Nepean Museum MARCH 16-20

Sign the kids up for March Break Programs at the Nepean Museum; for one day or all five. Each day will take participants on a different journey through time.

Monday, March 16: A Wooded Wilderness (1810-1811)

Kids will investigate and read maps, examine helpful and dangerous animals and plants, and build a log cabin out of Lincoln logs and pretzel sticks!

Tuesday, March 17: Settled Soldiers (1812-1818)

Kids will draw inspiration from the exhibition, War Craft: Art and Memorabilia from the Great War, to create their own toy or household item from recycled materials, as the soldiers and veterans would have made. 10 MARCH 2015 | C a p i t a l P a r e n t . c a |

Kids will learn to identify poisonous, edible and medicinal plants. Through hands-on experiments, they’ll discover how to dehydrate food and make preserves.

Thursday, March 19: Pioneer Pastimes (1830s-1850s) Kids will broaden their winter sports skills with snowshoeing and ice hockey, then warm up inside with more games and activities such as curling, charades, marbles, and jacks.

Friday, March 20: Building Boom (1850s -1870s)

Through hands-on discovery of museum artefacts, kids will investigate the various roles of settlers in the community by exploring buildings like stables, lumber mills, blacksmith shops, and post offices. From their experience, kids will write a postcard to a settler offering advice from the future to help make their work easier. This series of March Break programming is intended for children age 5-7 and is $6/child per day. For more information go to nepeanmuseum.ca.

Maple Sugar Weekend at the Muséoparc Vanier MARCH 28-29

Visit this unique maple sugar bush in Vanier. It’s the only urban sugar shack in North America. Drop by for a pancake breakfast over the March 28-29 Maple Sugar Weekend and a host of activities including lumberjack competitions, dogsled rides, and sleigh rides. The season runs between March 23-29. For more information go to museoparc.ca.

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EXPLORE TRAVEL PLANE TRAIN CAR

- Robert Louis Stevenson

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Y P I A A R E T I

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E P S T E N D A N

X I E X P L O R E

HOLIDAY VACATION SUITCASE JOURNEY MAP

Top toy picks BY MARCIA MACQUARRIE, EDITOR, THE NOISE ON TOYS

Family getaways are great fun, and Melissa & Doug’s paperless travel games help make getting there a lot less tedious. Memory (5+) was the favourite. Flipping the elasticized doors fascinated our testers, adding extra appeal to this line-up of classic games. Seven double-sided game cards ensure a good variety of game challenges, plus it’s super easy to create your own custom card-stock challenges. Travel Bingo (not pictured) helps focus attention on the passing scenery, and includes game boards for two players. Pro tip: if you’ve got a full car, purchase extra sets so everyone can play! We love that there are different cards for when you’re driving around the city, or travelling a country road. These are wonderful boredom busters, and parents love that there are no small pieces to lose.

For more information on these and other great travel toys – or to apply to our playtesting program – visit thenoiseontoys.com.

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Capital Parent | March 2015  

For smart & savvy moms & dads!

Capital Parent | March 2015  

For smart & savvy moms & dads!