WEEKENDER: Extremely short plays, a cool craft fair, the Tulip Fest kick off, and six more events for the first weekend of May
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WEEKENDER: Extremely short plays, a cool craft fair, the Tulip Fest kick off, and six more events for the first weekend of May

Sarah's Card Company is just one of the artisans at Handmade Harvest.

It’s time to get your craft on in Almonte this weekend. This nifty event showcases the local independent craft community and offers a place for emerging crafters of all ages to strut their stuff. Wares on offer include cuddly toys for tots, cool home décor, handmade cards, pretty jewellery pieces, and tons more. And please note, Mother’s Day is coming up, so if you want to secure your status as the golden child, why not get mom something unique a whole week in advance? No more street corner flower bouquets for you! $2, kids under 12 free. Saturday, May 5, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Almonte Agricultural Hall, 195 Water Street, Almonte, www.handmadeharvest.com.

Check out Grammy and JUNO award-winning songwriter Dan Hill in an intimate solo gig at the National Arts Centre. The multi-talented Canadian has written songs recorded by a huge number of artists, including Britney Spears and Rod Stewart. $40. Thursday, May 3, and Friday, May 4. Doors open at 7 p.m. National Arts Centre, 53 Elgin St., www.nac-cna.ca.

What happens when writers are challenged to tell a compelling story in less than 10 minutes, using fewer than four characters, and barely any props? The Extremely Short Play Festival! With 11 different plays about everything from the Halifax Explosion to Socrates meeting Sid Vicious in heaven (yeah, you read that right), there’s bound to be something for everyone. $30, students and seniors $25. Thursday, May 3, until Saturday, May 12. 8 p.m., with 2 p.m. matinees on weekends. Arts Court Theatre, 2 Daly Ave., www.artscourt.ca.

This Ottawa favourite will be celebrating its 60th anniversary this year. Marvel at millions of tulips in bloom at the world’s largest festival of this kind. Music in the street and a treasure hunt definitely make it kid-friendly, plus there will be opening night parties in the ByWard Market with the theme “embrace,” based off the festival’s new logo. Begins Friday, May 4, and runs until Monday, May 21. Events are held all over the city, notably in the ByWard Market, Little Italy, and Chinatown. www.tulipfestival.ca.

A bargain-hunter’s dream awaits in this charming town, just over an hour’s drive away. Peruse dozens of garage sales all within walking distance at this giant community garage sale. And if garage sales aren’t your thing, hit the sidewalk sales at the local shops. Saturday, May 5 at 8 a.m., until Sunday, May 6 at 5p.m. www.realmerrickville.ca.

Before the brilliant sunshine of summer starts, it’s important to take great care of your skin. After all, to quote an old joke, “your epidermis is showing.” The organization Save Your Skin is hosting the Melanoma Patient Information Symposium (quite a mouthful) this weekend to give people the chance to talk about their experiences and hear from experts. Did you know melanoma rates are rising faster than any other form of cancer? You’ll know so much more if you go to this. Registration by donation. Saturday, May 5. 10 a.m. University of Ottawa, Desmarais Building, 55 Laurier Ave., www.saveyourskin.ca.

A piece from "Nature Into Sculpture."

Sculptures by 41 local artists will be on display at the Canadian Museum of Nature starting this weekend. Works by the National Capital Network of Sculptors were created using all different media and techniques, but the same source of inspiration — nature. On Sunday, May 6, visitors will be able to chat with the artists themselves from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. Museum admission $12, students and seniors $10, children $8. No extra charge for this exhibit. Exhibit runs from Saturday, May 5, to Sunday, May 13. Canadian Museum of Nature, 240 McLeod St., www.nature.ca.

Not quite as scandalous as its name suggests, North America’s biggest clothing swap, Take Off Your Clothes, is coming to Ottawa. Everyone has clothes in their closet they never wear, so why not trade them in for something else? (Cut off jean shorts? A vintage dress? Jeggings?) Browse through a selection of clothes, shoes, and accessories, enjoy a fashion show of recyclable wear, and grab a complimentary glass of wine! $10 in advance, $12 at the door. Sunday, May 6, starts at noon. Mambo Restaurante Nuevo Latino, 77 Clarence St., www.theswapteam.org/happenings/take-off-your-clothes-ottawa.

Get some exercise and support a great cause at the same time. Hike along the streets of Ottawa South to raise money for the Hospice at May Court. This is the tenth year participants will gather pledges and hike to raise funds and awareness of hospice palliative care, all while enjoying great entertainment. The day includes live music, games for kids, face painting, a silent auction, belly dancers, and the highlight, of course . . . homemade cookies. (Yes, there will be cookies.) $25. The Hospice at May Court, 114 Cameron Ave., www.hospicemaycourt.com.