Year of Epic

[Scene: Breakfast at the Turtlehead’s. Kids in PJs discover a box of chocolate cookies on the kitchen island.]

Kid A: Cookies! Can I have a cookie?

Mom: Um, no.

Kid B: Aw, why not?

Mom: Um, because it’s an empty box.

Kid C: Why?

Mom: Um, I ate them all last night.


Mom: I’m afraid so.

Kid B: Why?

Mom: Well, I was feeling a little sad, and sometimes chocolate cookies can make you feel better.

Kid C: Exactly how many cookies does it take to make you feel better?

Mom: Sometimes, kids, it takes THE WHOLE BOX.

[And scene.]

Anyway, I can’t commit to posting about what’s happening in Ottawa every single week, but I now present to you a periodic feature.

The Year Of Epic. Epic, like a cheetah. Man. In which, we will explore cool stuff for families to do around the Ottawa region. Epic, dude.

It’s a little short notice, but if I still had my old job, here’s what I’d tell you to check out this very weekend.

It’s the opening weekend of the Tulip Festival. Details are still kind of sketchy, but the main events are split between the Byward Market, Little Italy (Preston Street north of Dow’s Lake), and Chinatown (Somerset between Bronson and Preston). The popular International Pavillion is somewhere in Little Italy. There will be buskers and other entertainment events in the streets at these three locations; a selection of street bands will also play starting next weekend. You can also pick up a Tulip Festival passport (available “everywhere,” like, thanks for the detail there), and use the passport as your guide to the Great Tulip Treasure Hunt – featuring an array of awesome prizes.

The Shenkman Arts Centre (245 Centrum Boulevard) presents Stories Alive! on Sunday, May 6, at 2 p.m. Students and storytellers from the OYP Drama School recreate stories from books with puppets, songs, and skits. It’s free and good for all ages.

On Sunday, take the family for a bike ride as part of the CN Cycle for CHEO. You can also inline skate, or just walk the route with your kids. At the end of the course is a Family Fun Zone, featuring a petting zoo, bouncers, entertainers, and a BBQ. The cost is $40 per adult, and $20 per child, and registration and the starting line are at the Canadian War Museum.

Sunday is also opening day for the Ottawa Farmers’ Market, which is moving to a new home this year since Landsdowne Park is under construction. The new site is Brewer Park, near Carleton University – along Sloan Avenue just south of Sunnyside. There will be early produce, meat, cheese, and maple syrup available, plus a variety of food concessions (yum) and arts and crafts stalls.

On Saturday, we will definitely be taking part in Free Comic Book Day – visit The Silver Snail, Myths Legends and Heroes, or either location of The Comic Book Shoppe to choose from a selection of free comics. If you’re lucky, you might spot a few superheros and Star Wars characters wandering around, too.

Watson’s Mill in Manotick is having its official summer season opening on Saturday. There will be milling demonstrations and a used book sale, and a family BBQ at lunchtime.

Lastly, if you’re at the Canada Aviation and Space Museum this weekend, be sure to check out the Ottawa Children’s Choir performance on Sunday at 2 p.m. They’ll be performing a selection of songs written by Ottawa composer James K. Wright.