The Weekender: drum heads, Hammerheads, and four other ways to enjoy Thanksgiving weekend

The Weekender: drum heads, Hammerheads, and four other ways to enjoy Thanksgiving weekend

Walk off that turkey dinner with a weekend hike in Gatineau Park during this celebration of all things autumnal. Explore more than 90 kilometres of trails that host cute critters and pretty fall leaves. Plus, the kids will enjoy activities at the Visitor Centre where they can learn about all the hidden treasures the park has to offer. They’ll be having so much fun they won’t even realize they’re taking part in “Quality Family Time.” Until Oct. 17. Gatineau Park Visitor Centre (33 Scott Rd., Chelsea, Quebec), 819-827-2020.

Dave Norris by A. James Brummel

It’s being dubbed as a 20-piece band performance and a portrait exhibit, and it’s definitely a creative way to give used drumheads a second life. Head to Head brings musical and visual art talent from across the city to Shanghai Restaurant, which means there will also be plenty of good food, drink, and drag between sets. The event is the brainchild of local portrait artist A. James Brummel, and it goes a little something like this: Brummel presents a series of portraits of local professional musicians (done on drum skins); some of these musicians will attend the Head to Head vernissage and treat all to a taste of their musical skills. Confused? Trying to picture a 20-piece band, some used drumheads, and an audience of Ottawa art fans squished into the Shanghai? So are we, but there’s only one way to find out. Oct. 7. Shanghai Restaurant, 657 Somerset St. W., 613233-4001.

In celebration of the international mail system and the holiday that salutes it on Oct. 9, head over to the Canadian Postal Museum. While you’re there, check out the latest exhibit “Philatelic Treasures from Liechtenstein.” Philatelists (those who study stamps and postal history) will be keen on this showcase of first-day covers and postcards from the German-speaking principality. Afterwards, go ahead and write that letter to grandma. Exhibition runs until February 2011. $12, seniors and students $10, children (three to 12) $8, families $30. Canadian Postal Museum (within the Museum of Civilization), 100 rue Laurier, Gatineau, 819-776-8200.

If your idea of giving thanks is raising your hands and kicking up your heels in a celebration of funkiness, then head over to The Elmdale and party with The Hammerheads this Saturday. The local eight-member band always puts on a solid show that gets the crowd grooving with classic covers and original tunes. Plus, it’s continuous jam, so you never have to stop moving.  The sound blends funk with the best of reggae, rock, dance-hall, and jazz, and it’s guaranteed to make you feel funkadelic. $10. Oct. 9. The Elmdale Tavern, 1084 Wellington St. W.

Coffeehouse legend Sneezy Waters drops by Irene’s Pub for the weekend, performing sets on Saturday and Sunday nights (Oct. 9 and 10). The Sunday show also features the talents of The Dusty Drifters, who will open and close the show. Party late; it’s a long weekend. Advance tickets $20. 885 Bank St., 613-230-4474.

It’s a fall tradition. Head to Peggy and Dick Bakker’s giant country barn near Manotick to load up on global gifts, jewellery, clothing, carpets (check out the Afghan kilim rugs), and home decor items. The Bakkers travel the world, purchasing directly from producers in Africa, Southeast Asia, and Central America. This year, they added India and Morocco to their list of countries. Opening weekend runs Friday to Monday (Oct. 9 to 12) from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. The bazaar continues from Friday to Sunday until Nov. 21.