a peek inside the fishbowl

07 Dec, 2012

ROCK AND ROLL. It’s another Ottawa giveaway!

Posted by andrea tomkins in: Easy ways to make kids happy|Fishbowl patrons|Giveaways and product reviews

Thanks for your entries! We have our winners!

I recently had the pleasure of attending a sneak preview of the newly renovated Vale Earth Gallery at the Canadian Museum of Nature. I was thrilled to have the opportunity to check it out. Not only is the Museum a longtime patron of mine, but we are big fans here at Casa Fishbowl.

The Vale Gallery (pronounced Vall-eh by the way, I always thought it rhymed with SHALE or HAIL) has always been one of our favourite places to visit. With rocks, minerals, and precious gems aplenty, my kids have taken to referring to it as the World’s Best Rock Collection. With just cause. There is major kid appeal here (I mean really, what kid hasn’t come home with a pocketful of rocks??) but grownups will surely ooh and ahh over the amazing collections. There is plenty of sparkle, and lots of learning.

Here are just a few of the things families can explore together. You can:

  • build a volcano
  • create an earthquake
  • check out the Sedimentator, Magmanator and the Metamorphicator – they are really neat. Cool magma to make granite! Cook a rock to create a new one!
  • watch a mineral grow
  • explore a limestone cave with stalactites, stalagmites, and trickling water.

I’m afraid my photos won’t do the new gallery much justice. I was so focused on the specimens I forgot to take a step back and see the big picture. (I hate to say it, but they’re a bit of a show stealer…)

Display at the Museum of Nature


pyrite! a.k.a. Fool's Gold

It is truly awesome to see how nature can create something so gorgeous… the colours! The symmetry! And the TIME involved. It boggles my mind.

Anyway I have good news for you. I was given extra tickets to give away to some Fishbowl readers. Interested? Please read the necessary nitty gritty:

  • This giveaway is for TWO double passes to the Museum. Each pass is for TWO admissions to the Museum, including Vale Earth as well as Nature Unleashed but does not include admission to the 3D movies.
  • In order for your entry to qualify, please leave a comment below telling me WHEN you last went to the museum and what you saw. Was it last week? Last month? Never? (If that’s the case, why haven’t you been??) OR you can also take the space to brag about your rock collection. Your choice.
  • This giveaway is void in Quebec, sorry.
  • If you can’t post your comment for whatever reason you can email it to me for posting at andrea at quietfish dot com. Please note, I cannot be responsible if your entry is misdirected or gets stuck in my Spam folder!
  • One entry per person please! We want lots of people to have the opportunity to win.
  • Did you know that the Museum of Nature is on Facebook and Twitter too? If you want advance notice of cool things happening there, contests, and other great insider scoop I strongly suggest you follow them.

That’s it! I will draw two names using Random.org at noon EST on Friday December 14, 2012 and mail the passes to the winners.

For those who don’t win you should be aware that children 3-12 get in for half price until December 24, 2012. This includes Nature Unleashed and 3D movies too. Kids two and under always get in for free.

What’s more, if you buy or renew your membership right now you get an extra month for free. That’s 13 months of fun for the price of 12! But you only have until January 6 to take advantage of this deal.

Thank you to our friends at the Museum of Nature for this great family-friendly giveaway! Now over to you!

33 Responses to "ROCK AND ROLL. It’s another Ottawa giveaway!"

1 | Nora B from Kanata

December 7th, 2012 at 12:13 pm


The last time I was at the Museum of Nature? It was back in the mid-to-late-eighties for a Christmas party when I worked at Crawley’s Animation. I don’t know if they still do special events like that but it was a beautiful venue. The last time I went there to actually see an exhibit? So long ago I can’t even remember! I’d really like to go again soon!

2 | Jackie

December 7th, 2012 at 12:28 pm


We last went about 6 months ago. My favourite is the rock and mineral gallery followed closely by the bird gallery. We always try to make time for my inlaws to go when they visit us, I think its one of the best destinations for tourists. The architecture is so wonderful too.

3 | Angela wallace

December 7th, 2012 at 1:13 pm


I was last at the Museum of Nature about 2 years ago. The dinosaurs are always a favourite with my kids!

4 | Joy

December 7th, 2012 at 1:19 pm


We last went to the Museum of Nature… probably 2 years ago. I remember enjoying the bird exhibit, and paintings by Michelle Valberg. Admittedly, we don’t make it down very often, but would love to go again. My daughter doesn’t like the dinosaurs – too scary – but i think would really love the Vale Gallery. :)

5 | jason

December 7th, 2012 at 1:19 pm


It’s been about a year since I’ve been, though a neighbour has been kind enough to take my daughter a couple times since while I’ve been at work. Her favourite, during our visit, was the live creepy crawly creatures in the basement!

6 | Carolyn

December 7th, 2012 at 1:25 pm


We were last there about 2 months ago for a free day to coincide with day cares. It was child mayhem so we didn’t stay long but we visited our kids’ favorites – the bird hospital, looking for frogs and gross bugs in the basement and seeing the mammals. Would love to see the new exhibits finally!

7 | Elizabeth

December 7th, 2012 at 1:30 pm


We went on the last weekend of the Whales Tohora! exhibition, so September? We couldn’t go see any rocks or minerals on that date, which was disappointing. We’re that weird family that thinks large rocks make perfect living room decorations, and find ways to mount rocks on the walls as art. I think we need to see this gallery!

8 | binki

December 7th, 2012 at 1:36 pm


I was there a few months ago for the Nature Unleashed exhibit. Best section is the birds, which is fantastic. But I like rocks, so I’ll take those tickets. Thanks.

9 | Mel

December 7th, 2012 at 1:55 pm


we had our daughter’s birthday party there in June. It was expensive but worth it — she had a great time (and I think the other kids did too!). we’d love to go again!

10 | KL

December 7th, 2012 at 2:12 pm


We haven’t been in a year. My 5 yr old would love the rocks and all of that. She saw an episode of Finding Stuff Out that was all about volcanos and she would love to see more of that I’m sure.

11 | Heather

December 7th, 2012 at 3:38 pm


Love to go ! Finding activities for my 5 yr old daughter and 15 month boys can be tricky. Perhaps this would suit all three !

12 | Brenda A

December 7th, 2012 at 4:24 pm


We enjoyed Tohora in the summer. Playing inside a whale heart was a lot of fun for me (ahem, I mean the kids). It’s time we go back and explore some more. Perhaps a closer look into the Vall-Eh!

13 | Mary @ Parenthood

December 7th, 2012 at 6:08 pm


September? We’ve hardly been to any museums in the last six weeks, which is very unusual for our family (there was a point this year when we were going to at least one a week and sometimes more than one even in the same day!)

I’m excited about the revamped exhibit; would be awesome to get a chance to go.

14 | Krista R

December 7th, 2012 at 6:31 pm


It’s been about 2 years…definitely time to go back! The birds were a big hit with my kids.

15 | Sarah McCormack

December 7th, 2012 at 9:12 pm


we haven’t been to the museum for ages. i think we were a bit tentative to visit during all the reno’s and then always want to avoid the busy times.
i do , however, have an 11 year old son who has a passion for rocks/minerals and would love to see this exhibit!

16 | Carla

December 7th, 2012 at 9:16 pm


I think the last time we went was before the inauguration, we saw a lot of things, but we were quite interested in the dinosaurs, it was fun. Would love to go back!

17 | Valerie

December 8th, 2012 at 9:04 am


A friend and I took our kids this summer to see the whale exhibit from New Zealand – awesome! I especially loved the huge heart that you could crawl inside.

My kids went yesterday (p/t interview day). My 10 yr old really liked creating the earthquake and says she’d love to go again. :)

18 | Rob

December 8th, 2012 at 9:28 am


It’s been years since I’ve been to the museum. Interesting that I was just thinking that my youngest daughter hasn’t been to a museum (outside of a school trip) in as long as I can remember. And yet, I have fond memories of going as a child.

That’s it, I’m taking her before Christmas!

19 | Carly

December 8th, 2012 at 9:56 am


Very cool!! We last went to the Museum of Nature at the very tail end of summer, to see the Whales of Tohora exhibit before it closed. We’ve been numerous times over the years, but the kids have never seen the entire museum because of time and energy – on their part.

So we’ve never been to the Vale Gallery, but it’s been on my list for a long time. Next time we go, whether we’re gifted with passes or not, my goal is try and convince the Big Boy to skip the dinos (this one time) and hit Vale instead.

20 | Cathy C

December 8th, 2012 at 1:59 pm


I have not been in years But the Museum of Nature (or Wholly Mammouth Museum as we call was where my husband and I went on our first date – now 24 yrs or so later here I am. We used to go all the time when the Kids Festival plays were there and then we would go all around the Museum. Lovely place Lovely memories

21 | Danielle

December 8th, 2012 at 7:48 pm


Yet another thing in the region I have never done. It is kind of embarrassing – pretty much every time you post something cool, I think “why haven’t we been there yet?”

22 | Vernon

December 9th, 2012 at 3:54 pm


I last went to this museum when it repoened after the renovations. Love the whales.

23 | Mommy Marshall

December 10th, 2012 at 3:27 am


This would be a great prize to win for my family. I was at the museum about a month ago for my Grade 2 daughter’s school field trip and we saw everything!!! Quickly, albeit, but we didn’t miss anything. The kids loved the dinosaurs, and the bird hospital, oh and the hurricane simulator was pretty cool to. I must say seeing the million dollar coin was a highlight for me. My two daughters loooove rocks, so we’d love to go to this exhibit, but I’m also thinking this might be something to do on Wednesday while our teachers are on strike!

24 | Anna

December 10th, 2012 at 12:46 pm


Love Museum of Nature! The renovation turned it into a world-class facility. Last time we went to see Whales Tahora in summer. Earth gallery is amazing-lots of pretty rocks and minerals.

25 | Patricia S

December 10th, 2012 at 7:18 pm


We were last there about 2 months ago. My girls always LOVE the dinosaur exhibit, but they also loved the recently redone kids area.

26 | Shannon

December 10th, 2012 at 9:40 pm


I last went to the Museum of Nature when it was called the “Museum of Man” — many, many years ago in much more politically incorrect times. Would live to see how it has changed. Hope the beautiful totem pole is still there.

27 | Siobhan

December 12th, 2012 at 4:27 am


We haven’t been yet! We moved to Ottawa just 4 months ago and have been to a couple of other museums but the Museum of Nature is waiting for the “right” day. We have 4 and 5 year old boys who love rocks almost as much as their geography teacher mother! Have been lingering on your blog for a while since we moved to Westboro and I found you through google. First comment though- sorry it’s a self-serving one! :)

28 | K

December 12th, 2012 at 3:24 pm


Well, I tried to take my kids but the line up was out the door so we bailed. And before that… I have no idea. It must have been a school field trip in the late 80s or early 90s.

But I did go to a wedding there about a year ago.

Great giveaway!

29 | Debbie

December 12th, 2012 at 3:55 pm


I think we went a few months ago – I think the whale exhibit was on. We try to get to the museum once or twice a year. We love it!

30 | solemom

December 12th, 2012 at 3:57 pm


I last went to the Museum of Nature in late August and saw the Whales Ahora exhibit, with my whale-crazed son.
We love the Museum of Nature, and try to go at least 2x a year.

31 | Tiana

December 12th, 2012 at 6:44 pm


I last took the kids to the museum to see whales tahora!

32 | andrea

December 14th, 2012 at 12:31 pm


Comments are closed to new entries. Winners coming right up!

33 | andrea

December 14th, 2012 at 12:43 pm


Woot! We have winners:

Commenter #23 – Mommy Marshall
and commenter #13 – Mary @ Parenthood

I will be contacting you both by email this afternoon!

comment form:


Me and my pet projects

Ottawa Bucket list

Subscribe via email

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

  • Rachel: Thank you for this tip!
  • A Mud Room Confession - MKDB: […] It’s ok for today cause I’m feeling kinda passionate about mud rooms since Andrea at A Peak Inside the Fish Bowl has been promot
  • M3gan movie: Mistakes were made! M3GAN is routed by Gerard Johnstone (Housebound); the movie script is by Akela Cooper (that composed Deadly and also therefore i
  • Will: Don't be afraid to be a prude. The world needs more prudes, not less. Don't let others shake you for caring about how your children dress and what the
  • Dean Prentice: Enjoyed reading your stories, having recently visited Silent lake and taking some time to take in the view from the memorial bench I too wondered who
  • Jennifer Jilks: Good for you! that's how I started jogging. We lived in North Gower, though, and I thought I'd work up to running around the block. It was 7 km, as we
  • Sally Dowe Marchand: Be careful. Running can become addictive and that’s how it starts. One block at a time. I understand the huff and puff. Some mornings I set my watch

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 offspring: Emma (23) and Sarah (21). 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, travel, great gear, good food, and sharing the best of Ottawa. I also love vegetables, photography, gadgets, and great design.

If you'd like to contact me, please use this form. If you're so inclined, you can read more about me here. Thank you for visiting!


Connect with me at these places too!

All hail the mighty Twitter