KidsFest 2016


It is well and truly summer here. I’ve been spring cleaning and flinging doors open and filling our home with lilacs and fresh air. I found a secondhand kids balance bike for Olive and whipped up some homemade streamers for it and she’s been rocking around our neighbourhood every chance she gets. We’ve been ending every day exhausted, filthy, and with a few more freckles than the day before.

I’ve always loved fall, but in terms of parenting a small child, spring and summer are IT. As soon as the weather gets warm enough, our entire life shifts outdoors and everything just gets easier. We eat in the backyard and don’t have to clean up the cesspool of crumbs and dropped bites, our laundry goes on the line and I don’t have to spend hours each week in a dingy laundry room, her toys get replaced by sticks and dirt and rocks and bugs and trees and I don’t have to clean any of it up at the end of the day!

So basically, I’m in my glory. We’re basking, basking in it these days.

One of the things that saved me from going stir crazy this past winter was finding interesting excursions to bring Olive along to, to break up the winter doldrums. We made trips to the library, made great use of our science centre membership, and I also partnered with Arts Commons to bring her to several of their shows. They were our saving grace during those snowy, dreary months. The anticipation of looking forward to them and the buzz of re-living them afterwards (my chipmunk voice is on POINT) truly kept us going until the snowsuits came off. Now, Calgary’s focus seems to be mirroring my own and excitement is shifting to the great outdoors, especially for KidsFest 2016.

KidsFest (the Calgary International Children’s Festival) has been going on for thirty years now. It’s three days of shows and activities all specifically geared towards kids, and this year they’ve totally beefed up their outdoor programming. The lineup for outdoor activities reads like a wish list from every kid ever: bubble land, an inflatable maze, a barn dance, a retro playground, bug busters, costume design workshops and stilt walkers.


Olive’s brain is going to explode!

The outdoor activities are only the tip of the iceberg, too. They have a ton of live shows lined up, including Splash ‘N Boots, Doctor Kaboom (I have no idea who that is but he looks insane so obvs kids will love him), Bollywood Workshops, and Fred Penner (omg, do you remember Fred Penner?!)

Olive and I will definitely be heading down to join in the outdoor activities and catching a Splash ‘N Boots show, too. Join us? The Calgary KidsFest runs May 25-28, tickets and festival info is found here. You can also follow them on Twitter for a chance to win tickets and get daily updates on events and activities!

Olive is already so excited, each time I take her to something like this I’m reminded how important it is. I feel so passionately that this is one of those experiences that will stay with kids forever. The day they jumped through a bouncy maze. The day they blew the biggest bubble. The day they saw their favourite shows come to life. This is childhood, the kind not bought and sold in toy stores.

See you there!

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  • Reply Valerie May 6, 2016 at 11:06 AM

    Fred Penner is still doing shows? How old is he now?

    • Reply sweetmadeleine May 6, 2016 at 11:17 AM

      Right? I looked it up and he’s 69. Crazy!

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