If you are looking for a fun, free AND educational activity to do with your kids this Friday or Saturday, may I suggest swinging by Rideau Hall and visiting Frontier College’s Summer Reading Tent?
My kids and I went recently to check it out and we all had a blast.
Volunteers from Frontier College, Canada’s oldest national literacy organization, are on hand every Friday and Saturday from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. until August 23 to read and do various other fun literacy activities under the (delightful) shade of a large Reading Tent on the grounds of Rideau Hall.
As a former Frontier College volunteer, I was excited to learn about the program, launched in 2012 by their Excellencies the Right Honourable David Johnston, Governor General of Canada, and Mrs. Sharon Johnston, and eager to bring my children to check it out.
The Reading Tent was just as I remembered my Frontier College experiences: eager, friendly, trained volunteers who are simply keen to read with kids and share their love of literacy.
My eldest – four and a half – bonded immediately with one of the volunteers, and quickly settled down to a series of books with her. Meanwhile my youngest – just under two – pulled up a chair and coloured away happily while another volunteer read to her. Every now and then she graced him with an acknowledgement or babble of excitement at one of the photos.
The former volunteer in me knows how much that’s appreciated – so I was pretty thrilled that my youngest decided to kindly acknowledge his efforts.
All around us, other volunteers were doing the same with other kids and there was a happy, creative and fun buzz in the air.
Some parents chose to read with their kids as well, while others sat at the nearby picnic tables and took a load off while their kids were happily entertained. I made a note to bring a friend next time we visit so as to have someone to catch up and relax with while my kids read.
Finally, the Reading Tent is just one of the activities you can do during your visit. While we were there, my kids also played at the nearby play structure on the grounds; wandered through the gardens; enjoyed watching the Ceremonial Guard; and were delighted by the totem pole, fountain, flowers and various others finds. We even saw a fox.
We had free, nearby street parking, easy access to water fountains, and a beautiful FREE afternoon out as a family.
I encourage you to check it out! We’ll certainly be back.
For more information, you can visit Rideau Hall’s activity’s web page; email email@example.com or call 613-991-4422 or 1-866-842-4422 (toll-free).