a peek inside the fishbowl

17 Dec, 2012

The 2nd annual Fishbowl Patron Gift Guide!

Posted by andrea tomkins in: Easy ways to make kids happy|Fishbowl patrons|Oh! Things!

Are you one of the people who gets their shopping done months early? Or are you like me, with lists of stuff yet to find? I figure most people are probably still looking for a  present or two for the very special people on their lists. That’s why it’s my pleasure to give you a few extra gift ideas from the fabulous Fishbowl patrons.

Alicat Art Studio

Wouldn’t you love to see an original painting under the tree? I would. (HINT HINT**)

You should really go see her work in person at the Pop-Up Gallery. But hurry, the gallery will be gone after December 22!

National Arts Centre (NAC!)

  • NAC Variety Pack – Mix and match from all NAC shows to create the perfect tailor-made package for the arts & entertainment lover on your list. Get four shows starting at $89! (Some restrictions apply.)
  • Tickets to see Royal Wood in concert He’s a talented songwriter & pianist! The perfect gift for your SIL or a girl’s night out. (Prices vary.)
  • NAC Gift Card – Want to leave the gift open-ended? The NAC gift card can be used for tickets, at Le Café or in the parking garage. It’s the ultimate flex-gift and you can buy them online too!

Tag Along Toys

Eep. I love this Loopdedoo Bracelet Maker – For kids 8+ ($39.99)


Baby Stella Doll – For kids 12 months and over ($29.99)


The Perplexus Twist – For ages 6+ ($29.99)


Saunders Farm

  • 2013 Annual Pass – The pass gives you unlimited visits to Saunders from June 1 to October 31 PLUS other great discounts.
  • Saunders Farm gift cards – If you purchase a Saunders Farm gift card before December 25, 2012 you will receive a $50 gift card for $40. That’s a 20% savings on the perfect Christmas gift for family and friends this holiday season!

4Cats Art Studio

  • 4Cats is hosting Shop Till You Drop workshops on December 22 and 23. (Consider it a PRE-Christmas present!) Drop off the kids while you enjoy the neighborhood shops, or maybe a quiet cup of coffee. After all, you might really need one.
  • A gift certificate or a surprise registration for a January workshop would also make a great gift for the creative kid you know.

Museum of Nature

Buy a Canadian Museum of Nature membership and get an extra month free (until January 6, 2013). Single adult memberships are $75 and family memberships are only $99!

  • Hot off the press: The Natural History of Canadian Mammals by Donna Naughton. This definitive guide to the 215 mammals of Canada recently received a glowing review in the National Post. It includes award-winning photographs and beautiful illustrations. Available in the Museum’s Nature Boutique.
  • Give that special someone in your life some unique and beautiful jewellery. Products from Bejewel and Arivka are available in the Nature Boutique. There are some cute ornaments in the boutque too!
  • Shop online for great educational toys and books for kids in the Museum’s online product catalogue at nature.ca.

Ottawa School of Speech and Drama

  • All the world’s a stage, and all the men and women merely players. So how about giving the gift of a workshop for children, youth, or adults?


  • Globe and Mail’s Rob Carrick recently shared this great advice: “Start a habit of deleting one present for your young kids, grandchildren, nieces or nephews every holiday season and substituting an RESP contribution. The past year has seen a big increase in the attention given to young adults and the challenges of high tuition fees and a weak job market. Now, it’s time for families to take action by putting more money in registered education savings plans.” Little known fact: you CAN “gift” an RESP! A parent or legal guardian must sign the application but anyone can open an individual RESP for a child (even one that isn’t related). You can contribute to almost any already existing plan. Even a modest $25/year will see some growth over time.

Solace Interiors

  • Do you have a friend or family member that, well, needs a little help getting their space from drab to fab? Consider a gift certificate for a Solace Interiors Service, including organizing, colour consultations, space planning and whole room makeovers. Everyone can use a little Solace!



  • Give the gift of unlimited fun for a year with a VIP membership. Please note it’s only available in limited quantities
  • Gift cards are also available… and make a great little stocking stuffer.

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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 offspring: Emma (24) and Sarah (22). 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.

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