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THE WEEKENDER: Family fun, fashionable shows, a monster party to ward off cabin fever, plus Black History poetry and life drawing

The Funatorium Explorium is all about hands-on fun for parents and kids to play together. You’ll have a chance to rock climb and joust, as well as meet Star Wars characters, princesses, and superheroes. At the stage, watch amazing performances from science to magic (including Ottawa’s own Eric Leclerc). Check the schedule for the show times of feature  presentation Free The Children. Saturday, Feb. 18 to Monday, Feb. 20. $19.99 or $75 for a family of four. Age 4+ appropriate. CE Centre, 4899 Uplands Dr. www.funatoriumexplorium.com

Last fall, Simon Ekrelius wowed audiences with his avant-garde designs. What will raise eyebrows at this year's Ottawa Fashion Week?

Local and international designers fill the city this week for Ottawa Fashion Week. For the first time in partnership with Winterlude, OFW showcases the latest trends and continues to be an outlet for arts in the community such as photography, music, and film as well as fashion. Friday Feb. 17 to Sunday Feb. 19, 4 p.m. to 10 p.m., $45, $90 three-day pass. The Westin Ottawa, 11 Colonel By Dr.. http://ottawafashionweek.ca/

The February installment of this quirky series offers participants a chance to make their very own cuddly plush monster — the perfect way to beat cabin fever! Cover charge includes all materials, as well as solid beats from the Spins crew, courtesy DJ Pelletier and Meterman. Special guests include Hobo and Sweetcheeks (of Promdemonium, Kitchen Party fame). Friday, Feb. 17. 8 p.m. $8. James Street Pub, 390 Bank St. www.spinsandneedles.com (more…)