a peek inside the fishbowl

06 Dec, 2013

The 3rd annual Fishbowl Patron Gift Guide

Posted by andrea tomkins in: Fishbowl patrons|Oh! Things!|Ottawa

Having older kids means we now put out presents early.

Hello Fishies! This is the third year I’ve posted the Fishbowl Patron Gift Guide. I do it for a couple of reasons: (a) to show my patrons a bit of extra love. They are all people who are so passionate about what they do, and they help make Ottawa a wonderful place to live. I want to support them in any way I can. And (b) I do it for you too, dear readers. I know many of you appreciate ideas for things you can tuck under the tree, so please read on snd help me support these amazing local businesses. Even a click will do the trick. :)


National Arts Centre (NAC)

  • Tickets to see Canadian R & B powerhouse Jully Black in the NAC’s intimate Fourth Stage—a perfect evening out for a date night or a girls’ night out!
  • Get engaged with the funny and touching play Kim’s Convenience, a story of love and intergenerational conflict centered around a family-run convenience store
  • NAC gift card: leave the gift open-ended! NAC gift cards are redeemable at the Box Office as well as at le café and you can easily purchase online here.

Saunders Farm

  • 2014 Annual Pass – Nab one before December 31, 2014 for a discounted price! You’ll also  receive TWO (2) BRING-A-FRIEND passes for use anytime during the Summer or October Seasons (a bonus value of $33-$56). ENTER CODE: holiday2013
  • Buy a $50 Gift Certificate for just $40.  (Gift Certificates can only be redeemed at the Farm.)

*Offers CANNOT be combined.  Kids 2 and under are no charge.

Saunders Farm 2014 Annual Pass holders receive:

  • Unlimited visits to our Farm during regular open hours between June 2 through October 31, 2014
  •  10% off birthday party packages
  • $20 off summer Farm Camp
  • 10% off in the Farm Shop and at the Farmers Table restaurant
  • special invitations to exclusive events throughout the season.

Canadian Museum of Nature

  • Buy a Canadian Museum of Nature membership for the nature-lover on your list. Single adult memberships are $75* and family memberships are only $99*!  Get free 3D movie tickets for everyone included on the membership when you buy between now and December 19, 2013. *plus tax
  • The Natural History of Canadian Mammals by Donna Naughton. This award-winning guide to the 215 mammals of Canada includes beautiful photographs and illustrations. Available in the Museum’s Nature Boutique.
  • Looking for a variety of unique, quality items for everyone on your list? Visit the Museum’s Nature Boutique. New this season are rotating MOVA globes that are powered only by the warmth of ambient light. Choose from a selection of beautiful, hand-crafted jewellery, or pick up some darling plush toys as stocking stuffings.


Na Coille Studio

  • Cutting boards! They are made from offcuts of local wood and they come in different sizes and varieties of wood. They make a gorgeous addition to a kitchen work space, whether you use them as cutting boards or for serving. You can find them at terra20.
  • Other items of Na Coille’s might not fit under the tree but they’re awesome just the same. You can get a peek at some of his work right here.

Canadian Museum of Civilization

  • Museum membership is a great gift for the family! It’s only $89 for two parents and all the children in the immediate family. Did you know they have a grandparents membership too? It’s also $89 and it’s for grandma and grandpa and all the grandkids. No parents allowed! :)


  • S’well glitter bottles – Gourmet water bottles that give part of proceeds to Water Aid. Keeps bevvys cold for 24 hrs or hot for 12. New arrivals are glittery!
  • Canadiana Mittens – terra20 branded, made in Canada of upcycled materials
  • House of Marley watches –  (Not online, but awesome nonetheless) These watches are made of organic, upcycled and FSC materials. There’s a special promotion going on right now! If you buy a watch you will receive a pair of ear buds as a gift with purchase.

Ottawa Gymnastics Centre

  • The gift of a private lesson – if you’re looking to improve a specific skill, or achieve personal goals, a one-on-one session with a certified coach might be the perfect thing.
  • The gift of a group party! We’ve had a few there ourselves. Wouldn’t it neat to invite a bunch of friends over?

The Village Quire

  • Uniq Boutiq products – Locally made and amazing in every way. The Vintage Ruler sells out every year there’s some special wall art that makes a great family gift.
  • Ottawa 1938 – Created by a local history buff, this line features a 2014 calendar ($25.00) and set of notecards (12 for $39.95). The images are photos taken in 1938 here in Ottawa. A great gift for the history buff on your list or for a grandparent who wants a walk down memory lane.
  • Candles make great hostess gifts! Sometimes a little something is all you need. Village Quire carries locally crafted, soy-based candles, in the sweetest package ever. From $13.95

Mrs. Tiggy Winkle’s

  • Alex Hair Chalk Salon, $13.99 – Show off your true colours with the Hair Chalk Salon! Add temporary streaks of colour using the different coloured chalk pens on your hair. Includes 5 washable chalk pens, 24 beads, beading tool, comb, hair elastics and easy instructions. Ages 8+
  • JUMPAROO Air Pogo Jumper, $29.99 – This will have kids hopping the moment they lay eyes on it! It’s as fun and easy as the 80’s version! Grip the ball with your feet and start bouncing. Jump, spin, hop, leap across the room or down the sidewalk. The rugged, inflatable ball nestles inside a tough polymer platform, and can be used indoors and out. Ages 6+
  • MINECRAFT Beginner’s Handbook, $14.99 – You’re alone in a mysterious new world, full of hidden dangers. You have only minutes to find food and shelter before darkness falls and the monsters come looking for you, what do you do? The official Minecraft Beginner’s Handbook might just save your life. Learn how to find resources, make a shelter, craft tools, armour and weapons, and protect yourself from monsters. With tips from Minecraft experts, as well as developer Jeb and creator Notch himself, it’s the definitive guide to surviving your first few days in Minecraft. Ages 9+

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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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