Year of Epic – June 16/17

The school year is winding down and I’m starting to think about our Summer of Awesome plans. I’ll be posting my list of summer activities soon, which includes both scheduled events like shows and festivals, and do-anytime events like museums and beaches.

One of the things that is on my list every year, and yet we never do it, is strawberry picking. The season always arrives and then goes before I’m even aware of it. This year the season is even earlier than usual because of the unusually warm weather we had back in March. Some pick-your-own places are already open, so I wanted to mention it here in case it’s on your own Summer of Awesome list. I hope to be heading out to Dekok’s Berry Farm soon, as it is already open; there’s also Shouldice’s three locations and Proulx Farm which will be opening soon.

Now, let’s talk Year of Epic. Here’s the activities for Ottawa for next weekend, June 16/17 (activities for this coming weekend, June 9/10, are here).

Saturday, June 16 marks opening day for Ottawa’s Beaches. At the moment we are experiencing some unusually rainy and cool weather here in Ottawa, let’s hope everything suns up a bit by next weekend.

Saturday is family day at the Festival Franco-Ontarien. There will be unusually creative face painting, circus acts and buskers, and an interactive music show at 10:30 a.m. Everything takes place at Major’s Hill Park between 9:30 a.m. and 1 p.m.; cost is $10 per person, children under 12 free. (Also, I assume it is all in French.)

Saturday is also the Caravibe Beach Festival out at Petrie Island in Orleans, starting at noon. There will be a parade and street party; tons of food and music; and bouncy castles and climbers for the kids. It’s basically a huge party celebrating Carribean culture, which makes it virtually impossible to not have fun. Children under 12 are free; adults are $15.

The June 16/17 weekend is the second weekend for the Italian Festival in Little Italy (along Preston Street north of Carling). Last weekend I didn’t mention it because there weren’t too many kid activities, but this weekend there are two events of interest. First, on the Sunday, there’s a bike race, and after years of being forced to watch the Tour de France around here, our kids actually enjoy a good bike race. It’s called the Preston Street Crit and I believe there are some kid races too. Second, on both the Saturday and the Sunday it’s the Ottawa Ferrari Festival, where you can go and see lots and lots of Ferraris. Luigi would be in heaven.

The Fringe Festival starts on June 14, and this year they are having two weekend drama camps for kids to help parents who would like to attend the show. The first camp is on Saturday, June 16 and the next is the following Saturday. It’s for ages 5 to 10; you can pre-register or drop-in register (if space remains) from 1 to 1:30 p.m. The kids will create an original play between 1:30 and 5 p.m., then perform it for their returning parents. The cost is $10 per child (or free if you have a Fringe pass).

Whew, my wrists are cramping up! Time for the speed round.

Saturday: Sporty kids might want to check out the Baxter All Terrain Kids Triathalon (for ages 4 through 19), or the Junior Athletic Competition hosted by Max Keeping at St. Patrick’s School (registration required). For the less sporty, June 16 is also the date of MegaFort at the War Museum, where kids are invited to build a massive fort all day long using Lego and Duplo (included with museum admission). Fort-building continues on the Sunday, as well.

Sunday: It’s Father’s Day! Celebrate with the Father’s Day Antique Car Show at Billings Estate (included with museum admission) or the Missiles and Gadgets Show at the Diefenbuker. There’s also the War of 1812 Celebration at the Goulbourn Museum, featuring games and reenactments, or the June Jive at Fairfields (Nepean Museum), featuring music, dancing, and instrument making. Lastly for Sunday, June 17, it’s the last Kinderconcert of the year at the NAC – All Aboard to Planet Alloy, a sweet and short little concert for very young children with both English and French presentations.

Upcoming and requiring tickets:
June 20-23 – PSY Circus/dance show at NAC (older kids)
June 22-24 – Singalong Grease at the Bytown Theatre

Have a great weekend!

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