The task of adding culture to your kids’ lives inhabits a small, dark corner of your brain, somewhere behind feeding, clothing, sleeping, tantrum management, and learning things. The hope is that between finger-painting and TVO, you may develop an art connoisseur by osmosis yet.
Enter Culture Days, a not-so-little national initiative where Canada’s arts and culture communities offer free, cool, and often rare-access events to Joe Public over the course of a weekend every Fall. Every Province and Territory participates meaning there’s something for everyone, everywhere.
This year it’s happening Friday, September 30 to Sunday, October 2 with over 8,000 activities to choose from across the country.
So here’s 5 ways to get your kids cultured while they’re busy having fun, without breaking a sweat or the bank:
1. Everything is free.
Budget aside, you’ve got this. Did I mention everything is free?
2. Channel their inner Rockstar.
The kids can try a music, dance, instrument, drama, or art class – without commitment. Classes and workshops are available at Canada’s National Ballet School in Toronto, and the Manitoba Theatre for Young People in Winnipeg among many others. They can even try a bunch of instruments at once in Fort McMurray. We’ll call this “Ode to I Quit”.
3. Go where no kid has gone before
Get your children into places they can’t go at all or that aren’t always kid-friendly. Up on the stage and in the costume vault at the Shaw Festival; in the DJ booth at a radio station; or creating sanctioned graffiti in a public space, sans arrest, just to name a few.
4. Roam the globe without leaving your neighborhood
An unprecedented number of opportunities for exposure to a vast range of cultures, customs, and traditions are part of the line-up. Join a traditional Indigenous pow-wow ceremony, or be transported to Kenya; try your hand at steel-pan or take in the thrill that is Japanese drumming. Embedded lessons of diversity and inclusion come along for the ride. Boom.
5. Spark their minds and imaginations
Renowned child development experts are behind many of the activities and venues offering children’s programming. The Winnipeg Children’s Museum, Vancouver Art Gallery, the Ottawa Museum Network, and the public library systems across Canada are just a sample. Everything is designed with your child in mind so despite their best efforts they’re bound to learn something.
Visit www.culturedays.ca to learn more and search for activities happening near you and by type. While you’re at it make a handy schedule for the weekend. Make some space on the fridge and have fun!