Jack Frost is Nipping at my EVERYTHING!

Well guys- it’s time to get serious. January is upon us, and my snowpants have officially come out of hiding. Am I the only one who’s recently started thinking “Would it be so terrible if my dog were trained to go on a mat indoors?” Short answer- Yes; Long answer- I just don’t wanna go outside!!

The kids are in a similar predicament, but staying home wears thin, n’est-ce pas? So we’ve compiled a list of some of our fave winter activities in this great city of ours. As much as we love the sledding, skating, snow-man building –  winter is long. It’s time to get creative!

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Babe, Pig in the City;

Word around the Cocoa Heater here at Fab is that the place to be this month is the Agricultural Museum where the birth of a brand new set of piglets looms imminent! The Animal Barns are nicely heated as well, providing respite from the brisk wind.  They’re open daily from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and admission is by donation only until February 28, 2013.

Passport to Fun;

The Children’s Museum within the Museum of Civilization is a non-stop hive of activity! Worldly crafts and an educational play are just some of the benefits. Letting your little guy run his silly’s out while your fingers remain comfortably attached to your body is another. My favourite thing to do is pick up a Passport at the entry and make sure each page has a stamp. They have Free Admission every Thursday from 4-8pm, but keep in mind that from  January 7 to January 11, 2013 they will be closed for the Museum Annual Maintenance.

Alight with laughter;

There are only a few more days to check out Alight at Night at the Upper Canada Village. This activity has become a yearly tradition in my household, and has proven fodder for amazing family photos! Their final night this season is January 5th, 2012 and you can check the exhibition out from 5pm to 9pm. Admission is $13 for adults, $10 for youth and seniors and FREE for any child under the age of 5. Admission also includes both a wagon AND train ride, as well as Mom & Dad’s parking. There’s a canteen on site, but bring yourself a thermos of hot chocolate and avoid the lineups!

Civic Pride;

A big thanks should also go out to the City of Ottawa for their comprehensive list of workshops and activities that parents and children alike will enjoy! Don’t worry about signing up for a full-on series of classes, join in for some fun on special occasions! Coming up at the Nepean Sportsplex on February 10th take your 3-5 year olds to the Sweethearts Workshop from 9:30-10:30am. For $20 your little one can create all sorts of great crafts for the Sweethearts on their list this Valentine’s Day!

Or maybe Dad n’ Me Woodworking is more your speed? Visit the Nepean Sportsplex with your 3-5 year olds on January 26th from 9:30-11am to create a special project that you get to take home! Visit ottawa.ca for more great workshops.

Cool Science – Let’s get Nerdy!;

On February 16th be sure to stop by the Science and Technology Museum for Cool Science Saturday. With experiments happening both inside and out, your family will learn how COOL it is to be COLD! Running from 9am to 5pm admission is very fair, running only $28 for a family pass that allows 2 adults and 3 children. Learn more at; http://www.sciencetech.technomuses.ca

Sticking close to home?;

-Why not turn your backyard into an ever-changing bird sanctuary? Our fave feeders are from Prudent Baby , but a simple search of Pinterest should prove fruitful! 

-Create an outdoor obstacle course filled with jumps, tunnels and hills! The shoveling to create it will keep YOU warm, and the hours of running around it will be a treat for the tikes.

-Have you every hosted a shovel race in your driveway? While I know this is, admittedly, a touch selfish, it always goes down a treat! Use food colouring from your kitchen to divide up the lanes and have your little guys go to town! Winner gets first crack at the marshmallows for their hot chocolate!

Late Night Feeding? Late Night READING!

I have to say that around Fab we keep strange working hours! It’s not entirely odd to send an email at 3am and receive a response quickly from one of our feeding Mama’s that are up and about. Taking a note from my sister, who found her eReader indispensable, I thought it was time to share some of the best and the brightest of Mommy Reading (in my humble opinion!) Whether you’re planning a pregnancy, whiling away hours of difficult pregnancy-sleeping in this heat, or nursing your wee one- these blogs will prove an interesting distraction!

Doodlemum  – 38 year old Angie Stevens takes a look at the lighter side with delightful line-drawings and masterful shading. Imagine a typical day in your life drawn artfully for you to enjoy. I think I love this blog as much as my Mom enjoyed For Better or For Worse.

Pregnant Chicken – Toronto Mom Amy Morrison runs this blog-  it’s equal parts helpful info (see Hospital Bags – What to Pack) and hilarious (check out Pregnant on St. Paddy’s Day?). Her wry sense of humour cracks me up, but do make sure you mind the swearing!

Apartment Therapy – Family Section Having recently purchased my first home with the Handsome Husband, I have to say that this website has become my lifeblood. Well, this website and Pinterest as I need somewhere to keep track of all that I love on Apartment Therapy! Check out the family section for great ideas on décor, party planning and photography projects to keep track of small to big moments!

Babble – This has got to be the number-one “Read it on my iPad whilst I nurse at 3am” website. Need an answer to the ultimate “Am I a normal parent if I ….” or want to read some celebrity gossip that doesn’t include a healthy dose of who’s spilling out of what club at what hour? This is the spot. They cover recipes, hot topics, troubleshooting and more. Looking for a great article to start on? How about “I want to eat your baby! Why do women say that?” by Joe Donatelli

And finally, Pinterest – We here at Fab have started our own Pinterest! Staff have been obsessively pinning on their own personal sites, so we thought why not share awesome ideas, great products and adorable Littles with our Fab Friends?? We’re always looking for new pins, so add us and we’ll scope out your great taste!