Good morning, good afternoon or good evening! I hope you’re all having a fantastic day filled with positive vibes and excitement for the future. The past week was a busy one, with events continuing to happen across Ottawa, and despite a lack of large-scale festivals, there was still lots to do around town. I saw an uptick in website clicks this past week, and it appears that people are starting to look for more events to take in, so that’s a good sign (or a bad sign, I guess, depending on what perspective you’ve got). I guess people are really starting to feel a bit cooped up! There are a lot of events happening in and around town this week, with exciting activities every day. Have a look at the events calendar for details on everything I have found going on!
This coming week marks the start of the spooky season in and around town. Autumn has officially started as of Monday, and with fall comes a host of great annual events with exciting opportunities for people of all ages.
Pumpkinferno – Upper Canada Village
First, I want to highlight Pumpkinferno, which takes place at Upper Canada Village. Each year, this amazing family-friendly event displays over 7,000 handcrafted, lit-up pumpkins. There are always incredible designs, with multiple themes throughout the tour. These are not your typical neighbour’s Halloween Jack-o-lanterns.
Ticket’s for Pumpkinferno are available exclusively through their website by clicking here and are an affordable $16 per person, while children under 4 being free. The entire experience is estimated to take approximately 40 minutes, but you are free to visit and tour at your own pace. There is a restaurant onsite called Harvest Barn, which requires reservations this year due to COVID-19, and Beavertails are also available for sale…it doesn’t get much better than that!
Pumpkinferno opens on Friday September 25th and runs right through until October 31st. This is an amazing event that I highly recommend checking out!
It’s back with a vengeance again this year! Saunders Farm is Ottawa’s premier Halloween venue, hosting thousands of people each year. If you’ve never been, this truly is the most fun you’ll have in the fall in Ottawa, and is well-worth the short drive out to Munster Hamlet. There are two distinct events that run pretty much daily at Saunders; the Haunting Season, a more kid-friendly event during the day, and Fright Night, which will scare the crap out of you at night. As per their website, it’s:
“The Safest Place To Be Scared This Fall.”
Starting with the daytime program, Haunting season is designed for family friendly activities with corn mazes, jumping pillows, pumpkin hayrides and play structures for kids who are both big and small! Tickets start at only $20 for a two-hour tour. Throw in a stop at the restaurant for lunch, visit the gift shop, and you’ve got a full day’s outing for the family. What better way to spend a day outdoors?
“For over 28 years, Haunting Season at Saunders Farm has been a Canadian family tradition. With lots of outdoor open-air attractions, including pumpkins, puppet shows, a parade, 4 Hedge Mazes, and so much more, it’s a spook-tacular experience for the whole family!
This year, our daytime attractions will include our famous Mazes, Jumbo Jumpers (jumping pillows), Haunted and Pumpkin Hayride, The Coven, and our super fun play structures.”
The Night-time program is a very different story. You’re not going to find too many young children at this one. I took my daughter there when she was about eight and she lasted all of three minutes and didn’t even get out of the first room of the first haunted house! When you initially enter, you inform the staff of your level of desired ‘scariness’ so that they can tailor the experience for you (although I’m not sure if that is still the case). If you enjoy being scared, it is a truly incredible event! I saw this quote on their website:
“I have never been so terrified! I thought I’d be up for some giggles and a couple of laughs, and ended up literally screaming and running…” – Jenn D
This year at Frightfest, there are three main attractions: The Haunted Hayride, The Coven, and The Shambles. Information will be posted on these soon on the Saunders Farm Website.
Both the Haunting Season daytime events, and Frightfest night events have been modified this year due to COVID-19 regulations. Tours are at limited capacity to enforce physical distancing guidelines, so I’d recommend getting your tickets in advance. These events both sell out most days in a typical year, so I’m sure that with this year’s reduced capacity, they will sell out as well.
One World Bazaar
This year, you will find the ‘One’ World Bazaar opening up this week in Manotick Station. This annual event brings together an amazing array of handcrafted goods from around the world. I drive by their location most days and I’ve seen a steady flow of items being brought in and prepared for the bazaar, so I’m excited to see what they’ve got this year. The grand opening for the inaugural season of the One World Bazaar is this Thursday, September 24th.
The One World Bazaar, previously the ‘Third’ World Bazaar, modified their name this year to respect the changing times. I really love the vision that the owners have; they personally work with the artists and select a variety of goods from all over the world. Their core values are strong both economically and ecologically as they ensure their producers are paid a fair living wage to support their families; they also make a concerted effort to respect the environment and reduce waste through the reduction of packaging and plastic where possible.
That’s not all! One World Bazaar is not just a for-profit marketplace, in 2019, they raised money for a host of charities including Doctors Without Borders, raising over $4000, which was matched by the owners. They also supported Shepherds of Good Hope, filling 31 shopping carts, and Habitat for Humanity, donating $400 for housing in Trinidad. I highly recommend that you get out to see their amazing products! You can check out their Instagram page for examples of some of the amazing products that you can find there! This year, the bazaar opens on September 24th and runs through the second week of November.
Bits and Bytes
This is my random story and features section. These topics don’t necessarily have anything to do with Ottawa. This could include stories about current news issues, sports, funny videos, and/or perhaps just random things that I’ve discovered over the previous week. I hope you enjoy!
National Mimosa Day
I find this to be funny concept. Not just National Mimosa Day specifically, but National anything day, or International anything day. Particularly for drink days, who determines what day is dedicated to a specific drink? Throughout the year in Ottawa we’ve got National Caesar day, National Mimosa day, National Sangria Day, and National Margarita Day (I’m sure I’ve missed some). I assume that these have been created willy-nilly by event planners, restaurant owners and BIAs….but who knows? Through the power of google, I’ve learned that there is an unofficial “National Mimosa Day” on May 16th that seems to be somewhat universally recognized, but without wasting too much time diving into the details, I don’t know why it’s on this date specifically. So, why not have a second one this week in the Byward Market? Ottawa Pub Crawls is hosting this event on Saturday, the 26th and the tour features the best mimosas from five different restaurants. Should be a fun time! The big question is, though, when’s my Rye and Ginger day?!
As I’ve mentioned in previous newsletters, I have implemented a morning routine, inspired by advice given in the self-help books and podcasts that I have been checking out recently. Part of that routine is going for a morning walk with the Covert Baby. On this walk, I listen to a variety of podcasts, but one in particular is called “The Mindset Mentor” by Rob Dial. It has taught me a lot about how to think about things differently, and how to create successes out of what might otherwise be interpreted as failures. In one of this week’s podcasts, Rob talks about fear, and how you can master your fear by recognizing it and testing it. Early in the podcast, he makes two really interesting claims. I haven’t personally looked into these for verification, so I’m taking his word on them. The first is that a human is only born with two fears, the fear of falling and the fear of loud noises. Every other fear is learned. On top of that, only 15% of the average person’s fears are actually realized, so all of these things that we’re afraid of happening actually have a very, very small chance of doing so.
The point he’s making is that fear is the number one thing that holds us back from success. Fear alone can determine if we achieve our life’s goals. If we can conquer our fears, or push through them, we have a greater chance of success. A person will succeed or fail based on how they react to their fears. This seems like common sense, but when you start to think about examples that each and every one of us encounters in life, it truly is fear that holds us back from accomplishing the things that we want to achieve!
This Podcast by Rob Dial is great, and I recommend giving it a listen. I have found that after a few weeks, some of the topics can be a bit repetitive, but I think that it’s still useful; the message is important and it doesn’t hurt to reaffirm the advice he has to give. You can find his podcast on any podcast player.