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February 9 to 15, 2012

This week in Ottawa:

Winterlude! You’ll find my Best of Winterlude picks here, and the official Winterlude site here.

Valentine’s Day is on Tuesday, and Koba Entertainment and The Backyardigans are offering free Valentine’s Day e-cards for kids! The card includes a picture of The Backyardigans and a personalized message. Just send a Valentine’s message to the backyardigans at info(at)thebackyardigansontour.com and your child’s message will be sent to them on Valentine’s Day. B.G. and Bonhomme have both sent emails to The Backyardigans and are anxiously awaiting their reply!



  • It’s Valentine’s Date Night at the North Grenville Municipal Centre on Friday, and they’re showing Like Crazy (PG13) – these movies are usually Almost Frugal but the Municipal Centre is showing them for free until the new projector arrives;
  • Brantwood Park’s Valentine Skate takes place on Friday;
  • Catch the University of Ottawa Orchestra in concert at Saint Bridig’s Centre for the Arts on Friday (Almost Frugal).


  • Saturday is Hockey Day in Ottawa! Celebrate by joining in the fun at one of the City’s 237 outdoor hockey rinks;
  • Children between the ages of 2-1/2 and 4 can join Billings Estate’s Preschool Playdate, taking place on Saturday from 11 am to noon. This week’s theme is Seasons (Almost Frugal – register by calling 613-247-4830);
  • The Vanier Winter Carnival takes place on Saturday;
  • The Shenkman Arts Centre’s Fête Frisson takes place on Saturday from 9 am to 1 pm – enjoy free skating, snow painting and ice carving, and the free OYP Theatre School’s OYPCapades show at 11 am;
  • Lowes is offering a Kids Build and Grow Clinic on Saturday (build a Valentine card creator). Register by calling 613-830-6370 for the Orleans store or 613-836-3971 for the Kanata store;
  • Kids can also build a keepsake box during the Home Depot’s Kids Do-It-Yourself workshop on Saturday (online registration required);
  • At 1pm, kids of all ages can make Valentine’s cards using the ancient art of quilling at the Vanier Museoparc.


  • Celebrate Valentine’s Day by joining the February Fling at Fairfields (3080 Richmond Road) from 1 to 4 pm.

All weekend:

  • The Beaver Cup 4 on 4 Pond Hockey Festival takes place on the Rideau Canal Friday through Sunday, and includes the 2nd Annual Media and Celebrity Pond Hockey Game at 1 pm on Sunday;
  • If you’re looking for indoor Winterlude fun, head over to the Currency Museum and check out Wintermuse on Saturday and Sunday;
  • Animal Tracking on Snowshoes, a free guided tour through Gatineau Park (snowshoes included!) takes place on Saturday and Sunday;
  • Kids can write Valentines for veterans in the lobby of the War Museum on Saturday and Sunday.

Valentine’s Day Tuesday:

  • Spend a romantic evening stargazing at the Museum of Science and Technology;
  • Join the Friends of Library and Archives Canada for a Valentine’s Day special presentation, From Love to Lust (For Grown-Ups – online registration required); 
  • Find more frugal Valentine’s fun in this guest post I wrote for Local Tourist Ottawa last year – though Amélie isn’t playing at the Bytowne this year, Casablanca is playing at 6:50 pm on Valentine’s Day.

More fun:

  • Catch a movie at Rainbow Cinemas at the St. Laurent Centre – this week’s family-friendly showings include The Muppets, Hugo, Happy Feet Two and Puss In Boots (Almost Frugal); and
  • Find more suggestions in the monthly calendar for February and in my Year-round Activities listings.

My latest contest is up – you could win four tickets to see Richard Scarry’s Busytown Busy! Details can be found on the Frugal Fun Ottawa contest page.

Happy Hockey Day, happy Valentine’s Day, and have a great week!

  • http://ottawamommyproject.wordpress.com Heather

    My 3.5 year old son and I went to the February Fling yesterday at the Fairfields location of the Nepean Museum. We had a fabulous time! The building itself is the old farm home of the Bell family that farmed in the area starting in the mid 1800′s (near Bayshore Mall).

    There were about 7 kids there in total, ranging in age from 2 up to about 8. The organizer had some great valentine crafts organized and while we were working on our creations she was giving us little bits of history on the house and the Bell family. The kids and parents were sitting at a large table on the second floor of the house. There were lots of supplies available for the children – paper, felt, scissors, markers, crayons, leads, and loads of objects for decorating the valentines (googly eyes, dots, glitter and so much more!)

    We had such a nice time that we are headed back again in April and June for more activites! Everything is free, but they encourage a $1 donation to the museum which really, is a small price to pay for a lovely afternoon in a beautiful old house.

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