Do other cities have as much stuff to do on any given weekend as Ottawa? I think not. Here’s what’s epic like a cheetah this weekend.
On Friday, the Victoria Day Festival opens in Queen Juliana Park, corner of Carling and Preston. There’s midway rides, a petting zoo, buskers and musicians. Next weekend, on the 21st, the festival is the site of the official Victoria Day Fireworks.
And speaking of fairs, the Kanata Spring Fair (i.e. the midway ride/games/cotton candy thing your kids are always begging to go to) is currently set up at the Kanata Centrum, and if you hurry, you can enter the Ottawa Start contest to win passes for this weekend. Or don’t. Because I totally want to win! Forget I said anything.
Also on Friday, come meet and get an autograph from baseball legend Jose Canseco. from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. at the Hazeldean Mall in Kanata. That’s leading up to the Home Runs for Autism event which takes place on Saturday starting at 2 p.m. at the Ottawa Stadium (home of the Ottawa Fat Cats). Jose will be competing in a home run derby versus local baseball fan Evan Malamud, then there will be an all-star baseball game featuring local celebs and athletes, and a silent auction. Tickets are $12 (free for kids under 6) and are available on the website.
Saturday is the first day of the very first ever Ottawa Comicon. I’m not sure if we will be going despite the fact that Boba Fett, Lou Ferigno, and (swoon) WILLIAM FREAKIN’ SHATNER will be there. My kids are just a little young for comics yet. But lots of other families I know want to go to there. So they are. I hear tickets for Saturday are just about sold out so if you’d like to go, act now – Saturday passes are $25 and Sunday passes are $20, available on the website.
If you’re up for a walk downtown on Saturday, Chinatown Remixed is on all along Somerset Street West, from 1:30 pm to 5 p.m. It’s a display of various artists and musicians in the street. And if the street entertainments are not enough, check out Andrea’s post about a day with kids in Chinatown because it is AWESOME. Oh sorry, EPIC.
Saturday at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m., at Centrepointe Theatre in Nepean, Les Petits Ballets presents Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. It’s a school performance, but unlike the recitals of my youth which involved waiting through three hours of amateur dancing to I’m A Little Teapot just so you could see your own kid for two minutes, this is a full ballet production featuring gorgeous costumes, sets, and original choreography. Professional dancers play the lead roles and older students of the ballet school play supporting roles. If you have a young dancer who isn’t quite ready to sit through the epic that is The Nutcracker, this is a great alternative, as it’s less expensive and only 1 1/2 hours long (plus a short intermission). Tickets are $20 adults, $17 children.
Also on Saturday: opening day at Carp Farmers’ Market, and the first 200 moms get a gift of free soap.
Sunday is Mother’s Day! The Tulip Festival is having a Mad Hatter Tea Party which is in the Market next to The Bay on George Street (apparently – the Tulip Festival website SUCKS, it is the worst ever for finding information about where and when, GAH). It starts at 10 a.m. and runs to 5 p.m. You can make your own Mad Hatter hat, play games, watch buskers, and then sit down for tea in front of Alice in Wonderland playing on the big screen. We went last year and it was a lot of fun – it’s all free except for the snacks part (or, if you have a billion allergies like us, bring your own snacks).
The MEC is hosting Bikefest Ottawa on Sunday, where you can attend a breakfast brunch, then go for a nice bike ride with the whole family either through the downtown core or around Gatineau Park – all for free. Back at home base (Lebreton Flats) there will be free bike repairs, tune ups, and helmet checks, or you can pay a small fee for a workshop which will teach you how to fix your bike yourself. It doesn’t cost much but space is limited, so please visit the website to register if you want to ride.