a peek inside the fishbowl

08 Oct, 2009

Exotic butterflies in Ottawa? You betcha!

Posted by andrea tomkins in: - Ottawa for kids|Easy ways to make kids happy

If you’ve been reading along here at the Fishbowl for any length of time you’ll know that I really enjoy our family traditions: summertime camping adventures, feeding the birdsmaking our own pizza for movie night, birthday cakes and breakfast in bed, half-birthday celebrations … I could go on and on.

Kids love family traditions. They really do. They thrive on routine and they feel comfort and love in these routines too. Kids will even try to make traditions where there aren’t any (“can we get into the bathtub with all of our clothes on again mummy?”) so be careful. Take it from me!

In today’s SavvyMom I offered up a few easy things to do if you’re looking to adopt a couple new Thanksgiving-related traditions outside the house. (G’wan and read it here.)

One of the things I wrote about was the butterfly exhibit at Carleton University. I wrote about it here last year as well. If you’re looking for something the whole family will enjoy, this is it. (That is, unless you suffer from severe insectophobia, in which case I don’t think this is quite the thing for you.)

I’ve seen every kind of person, from babies in strollers to elderly seniors, having a wonderful time and making great memories. This is the stuff traditions are made of.

I had the opportunity to check out the butterflies again recently, but this time as a volunteer for Sarah’s class trip, which she declared was the The Best School Trip EVER.

I asked her what the highlights were:

  • Taking the bus (we took the city bus to the O-train, and the O-train to Carleton.)
  • Taking the train (“We crossed a bridge over the river and went THROUGH A VERY DARK TUNNEL WHICH WENT UNDER THE LAKE!”)
  • Holding a butterfly in her hand
  • Having a butterfly land in her hair (where it remained until it was blown off à la big bad wolf). Check it out:

Butterfly as hair clip

She was quite pleased! No insectophobes here!

Anyway, yes, it was fun for me too. Happily, I didn’t lose any kids – or bus tickets – and I even managed to snap a few photos:

Butterfly exhibit at Carleton University

Butterfly exhibit at Carleton University

Butterfly exhibit at Carleton University

Butterfly exhibit at Carleton University

Butterfly exhibit at Carleton University

Butterfly Exhibit at Carleton University

After we looked at the butterflies we ate our lunch outdoors nearby. The kids welcomed the opportunity to let off some steam and they chased each other around the grass, laughing and shrieking like only 8-year olds know how to do.

My highlight? Removing a huge wet clump of burrs out a little boy’s hair. I never did get the story straight, and am still not sure if he rolled into the burrs himself or if someone launched them at him. Oh well.  Just another day at school, right?

2 Responses to "Exotic butterflies in Ottawa? You betcha!"

1 | Sharon

October 9th, 2009 at 7:26 am


I so want to take Nathan. But with him being home sick all week I’m not sure I will get the chance before it closes on Monday. I haven’t even gone and I’m there on campus all the time.
I wanted to experiance this with Nathan.
Glad your girls enjoyed. It looks amazing!

2 | Hilary

October 9th, 2009 at 10:33 am


This is kinda funny – I saw you walking back from this school trip the other day. I was home for a visit in Ottawa and was waiting to turn left at Churchill and Scott as the group crossed. I thought, hmmm that looks like that neat Andrea who writes the fishbowl blog (even though I’ve seen like one photo of you – I’m good with faces.) Then I saw Sarah and I knew it was you – can’t miss that awesome hair! Looks like a neat trip.

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The Obligatory Blurb

My name is Andrea and I live in the Westboro area of Ottawa with my husband Mark and our dog Piper who is kind of a big deal on Instagram. We also have two human daughters: Emma (20) and Sarah (18). During the day I work as a writer at The Royal Ottawa Mental Health Centre. I am a longtime Ottawa blogger and I've occupied this little corner of the WWW since 1999. The Fishbowl is my whiteboard, water cooler, and journal, all rolled into one. I'm passionate about healthy living, arts and culture, family travel, great gear, good food, and sharing the best of Ottawa for families. I also love vegetables, photography, gadgets, and great design.

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