Sunday, March 28, 2010

Sunday Excursions - Five Arch Bridge in Pakenham

If you have a grade 3 student they may be working on building a model bridge for a school project right now.  My son is doing an arch bridge.  On googling "arch + bridge + Ottawa" we found that North America's only operating five-arch stone bridge is in Pakenham so we went to see it.   

There are parking spots on both sides of the bridge and you can go right down to the water - though be careful - the water is fast and there are undertows so watch your kids!  If you stop on the east side of the bridge (pictured here) there is a plaque with the details of bridge construction (and reconstruction).  On the western side there are picnic benches.  The town itself hosts some small galleries (the Pakenham Studio Tour just happened to be on this weekend as well), several picturesque and historical churches, a General Store complete with fabulous smelling bakery and a restaurant with an enticing sign that reads "warm beer, bad food, come join us" (or something close).  In June, July or August stop by Cedar Hill Berry Farm to pick strawberries, raspberries or corn.  The town is also very close to Mt. Pakenham for skiing and Fulton's Sugarbush for when the snow is down or the sap is running.

Kitchissippi sites for City Wide Sports (activities and camps)

City of Ottawa City Wide Sports programs have several locations within the Kitchissippi boundaries.  Registration started on March 11, 2010 through the City (online, in person at the facility in question or via 613-580-2588 with family PIN and client barcode.
  • Skipping Club at Broadview Avenue Public School for girls aged 7-12 who want to learn new tricks and put on a show at the end of the season; Friday, March 26-May 28 from 6-7 pm
  • Can-Bike kids teaches bike handling and traffic safety to those between the ages of 9 and 13 at Fisher Park, 250 Holland Ave., on Saturdays from May 29 to June 19 from 9 to noon for a cost of $79.
  • A variety of summer camps - Burst of Energy (July 26-30, Aug 3-6, 9-13 and 16-20, ages 7-12), Lacrosse-Pro Star, (July 5-8, ages 5-9 and 10-14), Rope Skipping and Sports Just for Girls (July 19-23, 7-12) and Tennis 'n' Sports Just for Girls (July 12-16, 7-12) will run out of J.A. Dulude Arena at 941 Clyde.
  • Skating lessons at Tom Brown arena (limited spots) - for more information call 613-580-2596. 

Friday, March 26, 2010

Kids on the Street

A neighbour stopped me this week to tell me that I could be fined for allowing my children to play in the street.  I checked out her story and this is what I found.....

The tension between protecting - or over-protecting - our children (and our neighbours, I suppose!) on the one hand (which by-laws and child protection agencies encourage) and, on the other, providing them with a healthy lifestyle and some element of independence and responsibility for self (advocated by child psychologists) continues.

Some things to consider if your children do play on the street:
  • are your children safe?
  • how heavy is traffic?  is it a through street? are there particular times when traffic is heavier (rush hour or garbage pick-up for example)
  • are you supervising your children?  how much supervision is adequate?
  • do your children know what to do when a car comes?
  • are there parked cars or anything else that can be damaged?
  • do your children have a boundary safely away from the corner of the street?
  • are your children polite to neighbours and pedestrians?
  • do your children play nicely with other neighbourhood children?
  • how loud are your children and how long are they playing outside (we all have our tolerance limits after all!)
  • are they playing outside a house with very young children who may be sleeping?

Thursday, March 11, 2010

The Cupcake Calendar

Lunar, solar, gregorian - there are many types of calendars, but did you know about the CUPCAKE CALENDAR?  They don't teach it in schools but it's easy to learn (though constantly changing).  It runs on a monthly basis and revolves around the cupcake schedule at the Candy Store on Richmond Road.  Try making it a decadent Saturday tea party with your little ones!  Cupcakes can be pre-ordered by contacting the store.

If you're more inclined to do your own baking and create your own flavours, get your kids involved in setting up your own family c\upcake calendar and make the anticipation of those saturday afternoons as scrumptious as the cupcakes themselves.

For the cupcake calendar itself visit  Cupcakes include such decadent flavours as carrot with walnuts and pineapple, black & white belgian dark chocolate, key lime pie, chocolate raspberry and chocolate oreo.