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If you’re reading this in the first half of 2020, the vast majority of our local Kawarthas Northumberland attractions and regional experiences are closed to help control the spread of COVID-19. You may have to wait awhile yet to experience these destinations firsthand, but the good news is many of our favourite places have developed new online projects or resurfaced off old favourites to tide you over. Here are a few great ways to step away from the news cycle for a moment and explore these fascinating virtual experiences.

“Our Heroes!” – Art Gallery of Peterborough

The Art Gallery of Peterborough’s regularly scheduled programming may be cancelled, but the gallery’s still sharing creative and community-minded artwork through their “Our Heroes!” project. The goal of this initiative is to “thank all of our first responders, medical professionals, City services, and all the citizens of Peterborough who work to keep our shelves stocked and the community running.” The gallery has asked children to make and share artwork that expresses gratitude, be it painting, drawing, or sculpture. “Our Heroes!” has been a success and was featured on CBC Radio Morning. You can find more info about the project here, including info on how to submit, or jump straight to the Facebook photo album. Note that submissions are only accepted digitally – no physical artworks change hands.

#CCMfromhome: Canoe Cut Outs from the Canadian Canoe Museum

The Canadian Canoe Museum’s canoe cutouts are a longstanding favourite with kids visiting the museum. Now you can print the design out and make your own miniature Ojibway bark canoe, Sanikiluarmiut kayak, or Nuu-chah-nulth dugout canoe at home. These models are based on actual canoe and kayak designs, and with some diligent crayon colouring, can even be made waterproof. Click here to download the printable PDFs. The Canadian Canoe Museum is encouraging participants to share their work on social media by tagging @cndncanoemuseum and using the hashtag #CCMfromhome.

Virtual Exhibits at the Olde Gaol Museum

Lindsay’s Olde Gaol Museum has a history dating all the way back to 1863. This impressive heritage building is well worth visiting in person when it’s safe to do so again, but in the meantime, check out their collection of virtual exhibits. The selection ranges from lighthearted letter collections and tributes to the moustaches of yesteryear, to a profoundly personal account of the outbreak of scarlet fever in Ontario in 1940. If this period of self-isolation has you thinking locally more than ever, the virtual collection provides a fascinating window into Kawartha Lakes’ past.

Online Content from Westben Centre for Connection & Creativity through Music

Ok, there’s no denying that Westben’s gorgeous timber-framed barn is usually part of the attraction. But you can still get a taste of their creative stylings by visiting their Sunshine Ahead page. Featuring videos of past performances, illuminating conversations on the stories behind the music, and kid-friendly content like vocal warmups and colouring exercises, chances are you’ll find something there to lift your spirits until the venue’s open again.

Facebook Live Storytime – Cavan Monaghan Libraries

As many parents attempting to work from home from will tell you, keeping kids stimulated and engaged can be one of the hardest parts of self-isolation. If you’re in need of fresh ideas for the young ones, check out Cavan Mongahan Libraries’ Facebook page. Their sweet-natured storytelling sessions will give you a much-needed break, and the other resources they post might just catch your adult interest too.

#ArtAtHomeChallenge – Art Gallery of Northumberland

This one’s especially nice if you’re looking to balance screentime with hands-on pursuits. The Art Gallery of Northumberland regularly posts simple challenges to help get the creative juices flowing. Open-ended examples include “Create a piece using unconventional colours in any medium” and “Draw a contour line drawing of an object in your home.” If you need more inspiration, you can also check out their weekly video shorts featuring art from the permanent collection.

Animal Meetups with Haute Goat

Haute Goat’s mission is to share the energizing and therapeutic benefits of spending time with animals. Goats, alpacas, puppies and more feature in their regular Facebook Live videos and provide a welcome break from the international headlines. Birthday coming up? Let Haute Goat know in the comments and you’ll get a personalized shoutout.

Activities for Home Learning from Lang Pioneer Village

This remarkably immersive living museum is closed until at least June 30th, but you can still get into the pioneer spirit with Lang’s homespun crafts and activities. Bonus points if you can pull off their “Dressing Like a Victorian Child” ideas with things from the closet.

Fitness Classes with FLEX Fitness (Lindsay)

If you’re looking for other ways to nourish your body and soul, Lindsay’s FLEX Fitness is offering live virtual fitness classes. View the schedule and find out how to stream here: https://www.facebook.com/flexfitnesskawartha/

Meditation and Yoga with Sarovara Yoga (Bobcaygeon)

Ally Boothroyd of Sarovara Yoga is now offering meditation resources as well as posting yoga classes – get the info at https://www.facebook.com/AllyBoothroydYoga/.

Past Productions by The Theatre on King

The Theatre on King has developed a reputation in Peterborough for producing surprising, edgy, and innovative theatre. It won’t replace a visit to the venue, but you can view some of their old productions over on YouTube.

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