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Photo provided by Amanda Armstrong

Weekend Roundup: Quoi faire?

By Amanda Armstrong on October 1, 2020

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October is upon us! The most beautiful month of the year has arrived and the trees are ablaze with golden yellows, rusty oranges, and fiery reds. While this weekend’s forecast isn’t calling for 30-degree weather like the weekend past, it is a great opportunity to layer up in those comfy fall sweaters and scarves and get outdoors.

All Weekend

If you are looking for some incredible vantage points of the stunning fall colours this weekend, head to Gatineau Park and trek up King Mountain Trail or Wolf Trail. Remember that, during Fall Rhapsody, the park is at its busiest. Be sure to head out early (plan to arrive just after noon, when the parkways reopen), or later in the day to avoid peak busy times. You can also check out some of the lesser trafficked areas of the park, which can be found on the Fall Rhapsody website, while still being surrounded by picturesque views.

If a trip to Gatineau Park has you nervous about the likelihood of crowds, there are several NCC trails in and around town that are likely to be less busy. There are some great options for fall hikes that can be found in the 613 Geotours: Alternatives to Gatineau Park for leafy views and that’s not all of them; check out Jack Pine Trail, Pine Grove Trail, Mud Lake, or Stony Swamp and you are sure to be impressed. 

There is one more great opportunity to witness the beautiful fall colours, only an hour’s drive from the city, at Calabogie Peaks Resort. Fall Colours Chairlift Rides offers you the unique opportunity to ride the chairlift up the mountain and back down again, or you can hop off at the top and make your way back on foot. Be sure to bring along your camera, as you are certain to happen upon some stunning views. 

Fall wouldn’t be complete without a trip to an apple orchard and some time spent in the kitchen making apple crisp. There are several orchards open: Mountain Orchards is boasting six different kinds of apples available for picking, Log Cabin Orchard is offering 50 per cent off their apples, and AppleStock Orchard is awaiting your arrival. While all of the orchards leave plenty of room for social distancing, they’ve implemented further precautions to help keep everyone safe, so be sure to check their websites ahead of time and pack a mask, just in case. 

If you are looking for a quick trip out of the city, Saunders Farm has some great activities happening day and night. During the day you can visit the farm and tour their mazes, pumpkin patch, hayrides, and their new outdoor market. At night you can roast marshmallows and hotdogs over a campfire all your own. For those of us who like to be scared, FrightFest is still a thing this Halloween season.The folks at Saunders Farm are taking safety seriously and are only open to two to 10 per cent capacity, visits are limited to two hours, and tickets must be reserved ahead of time.

Cannamore Orchard’s Acres of Terror is back again this year and prepared to scare. Those not keen on being frightened can visit during the day for a milder dose of terror, while those who appreciate a good fright should head out in the dark of the night for their Spooky Wagon Ride, House of Terror, Spooky Village, and Fog Maze. In order to ensure everyone’s safety, tickets must be purchased in advance and masks must be worn throughout your visit.

This weekend marks the opening weekend of the Museum of Nature’s newest exhibit, Planet Ice: Mystery of the Ice Ages. “Produced by the Canadian Museum of Nature, this world-premiere exhibition features more than 120 real specimens, amazing models and artifacts!” The Museum requires tickets to be purchased online ahead of time to ensure that physical distancing is maintained throughout their exhibits. 

The Ottawa School of Art (OSA) is holding another Online Art Auction, which wraps up at the end of next weekend. Spend some time this weekend looking through their gallery and see if something strikes your fancy. If you find something you really like, place a bid and chance your luck at being the highest bidder. Not only will you get to take home a beautiful piece of art, but you will help support both the artist and the school, who will share the proceeds of the auction 60/40.

This weekend also marks the opening of a new exhibit at the School of the Photographic Arts: Ottawa (SPAO). I don’t know how to connect to you features works by artists Alyssa Enriquez and Elizabeth Ramer Griffin, created during their residencies at SPAO in the midst of a global pandemic. Unlike in years past, there will be no opening reception, but you can check out the exhibit anytime the school is open.

Friday

While it may be a little chilly, grab your yoga mats, layer up, and head to Britannia Beach this Friday for another edition of Hatha Yoga with Singing Bowls at the Beach. Sarah Anne of Bliss Yoga Ottawa will be teaching a hatha yoga class with musical accompaniment by Joshua Kumar. There will be a guided relaxation and savasana sound bath following the class.

For those of us who really miss Fringe, we’ve some great news for you. Friday night is opening night for Lost Baggage Musical Theatre’s newest musical, Something About New York. This virtual musical, which will be livestreamed from Rice Hall at Orpheus House, is a melding of two other Lost Baggage musicals, The Drunk Text and Chaz’s Lush Life. For those of you unable to make Friday’s show, don’t fret: There are two other showings taking place this Sunday afternoon and evening. 

Saturday

Painting in the Park at Woodroffe Park takes place this Saturday. Be a part of painting the murals that are to go up on the field house.You don’t have to be an experienced artist to participate, as all murals will have paint-by-number instructions for their completion. Murals will be spread out to allow for physical distancing and the area will be sanitized between groups. You can sign up for a time slot to paint with folks from your bubble here

Snag yourself some sweet vintage streetwear this Saturday at Fly Mart’s “Sweater Weather” Outdoor Market. Don your mask and stroll the market, being held behind Top of the World and in the Clocktower’s parking lot on Bank Street, just south of the highway.

What is better than Dominion City beers? Dominion City beers AND Coconut Lagoon curry! A match made in heaven touches down on Earth this Saturday at the Coconut Lagoon x DCBC Pop-Up Drive-Thru. Place your order ahead of time online, make a stop by the brewery, and pop your trunk; they’ll load everything in for you and you are good to go off and enjoy an evening of delicious eats and drinks. Best of all, the funds raised from your purchases help support Food for Thought, who provide meals to those who would otherwise not be able to prepare food for themselves. 

Sunday

By now you all have likely heard the seriously sad news that Cinqhole has had to close its doors for good as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. To help recoup some of their costs, Cinqhole has launched a Farewell Fundraiser which can be donated to online. This Sunday, the fine folks at Black Squirrel Books will be hosting a Surprise Sunday Sale outside Cinqhole, with surprise boxes of 15 to 25 books going for $10 and all the proceeds donated to Cinqhole. Come say goodbye to this great Ottawa venue and pick up some new reading material at the same time, all in support of a good cause.

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