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WEEKENDER: Four things to do on this Christmas Break


Eric Patrick Godfrey in “First Winter”, an NFB film, 1982. Directed by John Smith.

Pangalactic-eggnog? (FREE!)
Zaphod’s owner, Eugene Haslom understands what it’s like to have nowhere to go on Christmas Day. On one Christmas in the 1980s, Haslom was living alone, in squalor-like conditions in an apartment — which is a depressing way to spend the holiday day. So he decided, “since it was (his) club, (he) could open up Zaphod’s and just have some quiet drinks and listen to some tunes by (himself)self. Loud!” But then, something magical happened:
“There was a knock on the front door. A regular customer dropped by. I let him in. Then another came. And another. And it wasn’t just people who were alone that came. Friends who had already eaten Christmas dinner came to offer best wishes. Friends brought out-of-town friends, and relatives. And people started calling more friends. I didn’t feel so alone anymore. And soon, we had a party happening.”
And so, not only did an angel get its wings every time the DJ dropped a kick-ass beat, but it also sparked off a tradition of the club being open on Christmas Day. And so, if you’re feeling alone, or just plain squirrely from too much family, or looking for a way to hang out with friends, then head on down to Zaphod’s. Doors open at 10 p.m. Free admission.
Zaphod’s is at 27 York St.

A Pioneer Winter
For a harsh look at what winter might have been like in the early 1800s in the Ottawa Valley, check out the National Film Boards’ 1981 classic, First Winter, about two children, who’s father is away logging, and their mother dies of sickness leaving them to survive the winter, alone. It’s brutal to say the least.
For a more positive view, however, of how early settlers dealt with winter, take the family on boxing day or thereafter to the Agriculture Museum to experience a Winter Frolic on the Farm: get ready to do some hands-on work such as milking, pumping water, and wool carding (the process of brushing wool fibres to create a continuous web that can be laid out flat into batts, rolled into rovings, or split into spinning rolls). Afterwards, escape the cold by heading into the humble, cozy pioneer homestead. Relax by a fire and make an old-fashioned craft to take home, while a guide talks about the tools, props, and artifacts on. There are even costumes to wear.
The Pioneer experience is on from Boxing Day ‘till Jan. 4, during museum hours. It’s part of the price of regular admission. More info, visit here.
Agriculture Museum is at 861 Prince of Wales Dr.

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GIANT Arctic Floor Map at Nature Museum. Photo: Jessica Finn/Canadian Geographic

Arctic Walkabout
I know what you’re thinking, that sounds absurd — absurdly cold that is. Unless by walking across the Arctic you mean a giant, gym-size interactive floor map of the North — a new installation at the Museum of Nature. Launching on Boxing Day, the map is intended to not only help kids understand the geography of the North, but the map’s activities also teach them about the region’s natural diversity: plants, animals, fossils and minerals — real specimens can also be examined. It will be part of the Museum’s Holiday programming from Boxing Day until Jan. 4. NOTE: the map is ONLY available in afternoons. More info about the museum, visit here.
The Museum is at 240 McLeod St.

Wise Ladies
Just the other day, a friend/former colleague wondered (as many have) if printed material still had a place in this digital era — well, The Sages seem to think so. A collection of mostly (if, all) women artists, creating in a variety of mediums, are launching their zine on Sunday, December 28 at Raw Sugar Café. The zine will feature work by Danica Olders, Shaya Ishaq, Olivia Johnston, Magida El-Kassis, Meaghan Isaacs, and DJ Lamb Rabbit. The event will include drinks, music (by Lamb Rabbit), and a free copy of the zine. Starts at 7 p.m. and goes until 10 p.m.
Raw Sugar is at 692 Somerset St. W.