It may be cold outside, but some great chances to get your cheeks frosty and enjoy our Canadian climate are coming West Islanders' way in coming weeks. Next weekend, for instance, visitors to Ile Bizard can take in the island's authentic old-time winter celebrations at Boie de l'Ile Bizard Regional Park. A shuttle bus to take people back and forth between the borough hall in Ste. Genevieve as well as other prime gathering spots can help you save a few bucks on parking as well. The event, slated for Jan. 26 from 1 to 9 p.m., will have something for everybody.
"The activities being offered that day are a great chance for the whole family to get out and enjoy winter without having to go a long way from the city," said Montreal spokesperson Renee Pageau. "The activities will run into the evening, which will allow visitors to take part in the 'walk under the stars,' and take part in the stories being told around the campfire. It's a great way to finish the evening," she said.
What's on the agenda? An entire winter-sports tutorial, comprising demonstrations and introductions to winter sports, including snow-walking, snowshoeing, cross-country skiing, general physical conditioning and paraskiing, as well as sledding ,a primer on birds of prey, an exposition of bird photos, as well as a pile of kids' activities – air-bounce games, face painting, storytelling, a snowman-building contest and a survival workshop – participants will learn how to make a shelter in the woods and to survive in the forest. In addition, ski and snowshoe rental will be available and maple sugar on snow, hot beverages and a warm chalet for chilly participants to get warm in are all available. Bear in mind there is a charge for the food and drink. The shuttle bus taking participants to and from the event will make stops at Robert Sauve Community Centre in Ste. Genevieve (15734 de la Caserne Ave.), The Ile Bizard socio-cultural centre, (490 Mtee. de l'Eglise) and the parking lot of the St. Raphael Golf Club before moving on to the regional park. For more information, please call 514-280-8517.
Kirkland will also be holding its winter carnival in coming days, with its three-day festival spanning Jan. 31, and Feb. 1-2. The event will kick off Jan. 31 with the Amazing Survivor Factor Race XI, a reality-TV-style challenge that will see how fast participants can climb mountains, scale obstacles and other challenges in the indoor-outdoor event, slated for Meades Park at 5:30 p.m. The next day, a family bingo activity will be held at Kirkland's sports complex (16950 Hymus Blvd.) from 7 to 9:30 p.m. and Feb. 2 will bring a Family Day, to be held outside at Meades Park from 11:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. with sleigh ride, air-bounce games, outdoor games and sledding activities on tap, among others. Hot dogs, chili, maple taffy and beaver tails will also be on sale. That evening, the heat will return when the city holds a country-western festival and dinner show, featuring Kirkland country songbird Meg Rose Smith. Tickets for the meal – which will consist of fried chicken, ribs, baked beans, corn and potato salad in front of an apple-cobler dessert – are $15, $10 for those 12 and under. For more information on the event, call 514-630-2719.
Ste. Anne de Bellevue's Ecomuseum will hold their 'Zoolympiques' Feb. 2 and 3. It’s an entire weekend discovery, with a hundred species of animals from Québec on display while completing the Zoolympics' fun challenges with your friends or family. On the occasion of the 25th anniversary of the Ecomuseum zoo in 2013, see where you rank among the weekend’s champions and win one of the twenty- five 25th-anniversary prizes including a breakfast with the wolvesThe Ecomeuseum is located at 21125 Ste. Marie Rd. in Ste. Anne de Bellevue. For more information, call 514 457-9449, ext. 106.
Dollard des Ormeaux will hold their winter carnival Feb. 10 from noon to 4 p.m. Participants can take part in a snowman-building contest with supplies from the city – as well as wagon rides, fun, interactive games, skating, taffy on snow and ice sculpting are all on tap. For information, call 514-684-1012, ext. 632 or 633, or visit www.ville.ddo.qc.ca.