Ottawa: The Savvy Guide to March
Spring isn’t quite here yet, but we plan on spending this month making sure we will be ready for it. From rain gear to Easter eggs, here’s our guide to getting the most out of March.
Take inventory for spring
Why? Your kids are still traipsing around in winter boots and snowsuits (and for the love of all that is good please don’t lose the last pair of mittens). But it’s anybody’s guess how much they’ve sprouted over the winter and you don’t want to be stuck with tight rainboots and three-quarter length jacket sleeves on the first spring day. Take stock of what you have, what fits, what’s worn and what’s needed now and you’ll truly be ready for those first warm days.
To Family Fun Fest at St. Patrick’s Basilica in Nepean on March 12 from 1-3:30 pm
Why? It’s part of the Ottawa Irish Festival, which is on all that week, but Saturday is dedicated to family fun. Head to the Basilica for live entertainment by Bri the CowGuy, games, raffles, food and more.
The Baby Box Canada
Why? Expectant parents can register to receive a free box full of goodies for their newborns. Inspired by the Finnish tradition of providing newborn essentials to every baby, the Baby Box Canada sends clothing, blankets, toys and products donated by private companies to those who sign up. Distribution is limited to residents of Ontario for now, but they are expanding ASAP, so be sure to get your name on the list.
Living room basketball
Why? It’s March Madness season and the kids are bouncing off the walls at this time of year anyway, so you might as well give them something to aim for. All you need is a small basket or bin set on an armchair and a soft ball (or even a pair of rolled up socks!). Over-the-door basketball hoops are cheap and easy to come by, too. Then let your mini ballers practice their swish shots while cheering on their favourite teams.
The Art of the Possible by Edward Keenan
Why? With the last federal election still fresh in our minds and the US presidential election picking up steam, this is the perfect time for older kids to learn just how politics work. Toronto Star columnist (and the husband of one of our SavvyStorytellers), Edward Keenan, has teamed up with Owl Kids on this excellent introduction to democratic politics for 10 to 14 year olds. It will inspire engagement and critical thinking in your young activist-in-the-making.
Why? The adult colouring craze shows no sign of slowing down. With this app, however, you won’t need to lug around an actual colouring book and rainbow of pencil crayons. Decompress by creating beautifully coloured creations wherever you happen to be. Better yet, give it to your kids to play with at a restaurant while you sip a glass of wine. (It’s available on Android, iOS, and Amazon.)
Marks & Spencer
Why? Anglophiles can delight because Marks & Spencer now has a dedicated Canadian website that offers easier returns and free shipping on orders of $50 or more. Browse the site and fall in love with teeny dungarees, crisp school uniforms and lovely crockery. Sadly, for those of us with ’80s mall nostalgia, there are no biscuits or other food stuff on the Canadian site.
Plan your garden
Why? If you want to make the most of our too-short, Canadian growing season, then you have to plan ahead. That means getting your orders in now for any herbs and veggies you hope to grow from seed. We love Cubits Seed Co. for rare and heirloom edibles that are worth the labour of growing yourself. The extra industrious may want to build new raised garden beds and plot out what will grow where. At the very least, a pot of fresh basil is lovely to keep on the window sill.
Why? Easter falls at the end of March this year which means it may take you by surprise. So make sure to set aside an afternoon for decorating Easter eggs sooner rather than later. We love this turkey baster hack for blowing out egg shells and this is a wonderful roundup of beautiful egg decorating ideas. Of course, if sweet treats are more your speed, these candy-filled Easter egg cookies are a big crowd pleaser.
Raise money and awareness for Colon Cancer Canada by purchasing a Wendy Bear
Why? Because March is Colon Cancer Awareness Month, and proceeds from sales of Wendy help terminally ill colon cancer patients. The cuddly stuffie makes a great just-because or shower gift for your favourite munchkin.