The Weekender: Gigantic sand castles, international babies, and four other ways to enjoy the long weekend

The Weekender: Gigantic sand castles, international babies, and four other ways to enjoy the long weekend

For all those sleepless parents out there who are still in that enraptured-with-their-little-bundle-of-joy state. How about a matinee “date night” at the Bytowne. On the bill: Babies. There’s no dialogue, no subtitles. Babies is actually a way-cool documentary. The camera follows four babies —Ponijao from Namibia, Mari from Tokyo, Bayar from Mongolia, and Hattie from the United States — from birth to first steps. Some baby experiences are universal; some so very different. July 2 (5 p.m.), July 3, (5:10 p.m.), and July 4, 2 p.m.). $10. 325 Rideau St., 613-789-FILM.

See masters from around the world make sculptures out of sand at Wonders of Sand. Photo courtesy Ville de Gatineau.

More than 300 tonnes of sand are shipped in for this massive sand sculpting competition that draws artists from around the world. Feast your eyes on more than 40 gigantic sculptures, or grab your kids and try your hand at the family competition. Free boat loans, swimming, and face painting are also on the bill. July 3 and 4. $7; children 11 and under free. Lac-Beauchamp Park, 745 Maloney Blvd. E, Gatineau, 819-771-3389.

Don’t follow the trends. Set them. In style. Lafrenière & Pai Gallery opens a month-long exhibition showcasing the works of five star jewellery design students from Nova Scotia College of Art and Design and École de Joaillerie de Montréal. Get ready to be blown away. And to buy! On July 4, the designers will be at the gallery from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. July 4 (12 p.m. to 5 p.m.). 13 Murray St., 613-241-2767.

Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream comes to a park near you this summer as A Company of Fools launches its annual outdoor theatre series. Enjoy a raucous performance that incorporates puppetry, vaudeville, and slapstick comedy, all from the comfort of your lawn chair. Don’t forget the bug spray! 7 p.m. on July 2 (Strathcona Park, Sandy Hill) and July 3 (Central Park, the Glebe). Pass-the-hat ($10 suggested). 613-863-PLAY (7529).

Sacha’s Dance Studio, which aims to “explore the adventurous side of dance,” is kicking things off with Night Market, a bazaar-style event filled with crafty vendors, tasty treats, tight beats, and — you guessed it — dancing. Always wanted to try contemporary dance but didn’t know where to start? The studio is offering free lessons July 3-9. 7 p.m. on July 3, 346 Richmond Rd. (second floor). Suggested cover $5. 613-899-0324.

Crafty types take over the second floor of the ByWard Market Square building for the first-ever Capital Craft Market. You’ll find stunning silver cuffs by Annie Lespérance, hip felted decor pieces from C Comme Ça, sweet, vintage-inspired dresses from Montreal label Simone’s Rose, and many more. For those who love unique, handmade treasures, this event is a must. July 1-3, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. ByWard Market Square.