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PLAYtime (for parents AND kids!) + an Ottawa giveaway

If you are a parent, let me ask you this: When was the last time you went to see live theatre? (Do I hear *crickets*??) Yeah, I thought maybe that was the case. Because that is pretty much the case over in this household.

Actually … correct that: I DO manage to catch some wonderful theatre, but I rarely ever manage to do so with my husband. Instead, I take along a girlfriend and hubby stays home with the kids. We have just never really gotten into the swing of a regular babysitter or that “date night” thing that we’re supposed to do as a happily married couple. (Somehow, even with ignoring the marital “experts,” we’re still happily married — hee hee!)

So, when I found out that the Great Canadian Theatre Company (GCTC) was considering a new format that would allow for parents to attend a theatre show while their children were cared for, I was very happy indeed! (In fact, I think I might have said that “I’ll promote the hell out of it!” … gawd, I can be so obnoxious and excitable some times!)

That was months and months ago and since then the GCTC has contacted me to let me know that they have indeed gotten this idea of the ground, which they are calling the “Playtime Program.” Here is how they describe the program on their website:

Theatre-going parents with young children face the obstacle of childcare for the few hours they are gone to see a show. The GCTC has partnered with Kids Create to bring you the Playtime Program, an occasion for you to enjoy a matinee while your children participate in a supervised craft time in our studio theatre, located next to our main stage theatre.

At no additional cost, the Playtime Program will provide free supervision and crafts for children aged 6-12 with the purchase of adult group rate tickets ($31.25 taxes included) to our matinee.

I was surprised — but thrilled — to see that the Playtime Program is provided at no extra cost. So, I wondered what kind of care my kids would really receive … and this turned out to be even better news … 

Crafts and supervision are provided by Kids Create, a local business run by an Ottawa resident and mom with years of experience in teaching and art.

You see, it just so happens that this “Ottawa resident and mom” who runs Kids Create is a former colleague of mine! She and I used to work together at a graphic design studio here in Ottawa, and I think my children would be lucky to get to spend some time crafting with her!

I am being provided with two tickets to attend the launch of the Playtime Program, so I’ll get a chance to review it and let you know how it all pans out. But more than that, I have two tickets to give away to Coffee with Julie readers! That means that you and your friend/partner/hubby/spouse/lover/you-name-it can attend as well as your child/children.

Here are the details of the event:

Date: Saturday, April 9th
Time: 3:30 to 5:30 pm
Location: the GCTC at 1233 Wellington St. W. (at Holland)
Performance: The Middle Place, which is an award-winning piece of documentary theatre that has been created from interviews at a youth shelter

Now, let me add … if you have never ever been to the theatre before, then why not give it a try? The GCTC has produced a fantastic study guide for this play which is an excellent introduction to both theatre and the concepts that the play will address. And if you are wondering what it is like to go to a show at the GCTC, I can tell you that it is a very welcoming and comfortable place. You can just wear your average street clothes, you can buy a coffee in the lobby, and the crowd will tend to be a mix of all types and ages.

If you’d like to enter to win two tickets, plus admission for your children/child to the craft session, (1) please make sure you’re available to attend on Sat April 9th, and (2) just leave me a comment below. I’ll do the draw on Wednesday evening. Good luck!!!


  1. I have yet to get to the new GCTC (yes, I hear the crickets!) and while my children are still to young to take advantage of this program, I sure hope we will be able to in future.

    My husband actually helped to build that building!!

  2. I’m totally marking the calendar for 2014! I’m sure I can last that long before date night lol.

  3. Thanks for the article and the link to kids Create

  4. Wow! What a great idea to have child care! We’re in Halifax, I wonder if anyone has thought of doing something like this around here?

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