Ottawa Fairs

My tips for going to Maker Faire with a 12 month old


Yesterday, my daughter and I braved the crowds and went to the Mini Maker Faire at the Museum of Science and Technology. I had never been to a Maker Faire, but have always wanted to. Now that I’ve been, I have a few tips for those that plan on going to future Maker Faire’s with a 12 month old:

  • Bringing a stroller is a dumb idea. There’s no room for it. Not only did I not bring my SUV stroller, I thought I was being smart and brought my umbrella stroller. Nope. Not smart. Next time, if you have one, put the baby in a carrier. That should make life a lot little easier.
  • Go on Sunday. We went on Saturday and it was soo busy. I’m not sure if the crowds would be as crazy today as they were yesterday, my gut is telling me no (if you went to MakerFaire today, please let me know what you thought).
  • Eat before going. If you get hangry like me, you’ll have way more patience dealing with large crowds if you’ve had something to eat.
  • Bring cash. I didn’t bring any and I wish I did. On one table, I saw that they had cool Maker Faire pins you could buy with robots on them. If I had change on me, I would have considered getting one.

Did you go to Maker Faire this weekend? Do you have any tips? What did you think of it?

Here’s my 2014 review here if you haven’t already read it.


MakerFaire Ottawa 2014 (Review)

Jenny and daughter

Today was Maker Faire day in Ottawa. Actually, the fair is on all weekend, but today is the day that we had a chance to go. I remember hearing about Maker Faire YEARS ago. In 2008, I was really involved in the “craft” scene. I was a busy knitting, embroidering, glue gunning machine. In my research looking for other people and blogs for people doing cool stuff, I came across the Craft: website. Maker Faire was associated with this magazine, so I got to know about Maker Faire at the same time. All I can remember is that at one of the big Maker Faire festivals, someone made a life size mousetrap*!

Here are some cool booths that caught my eye:

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These guys at 3D Ponics make some great tools to help grow plans indoors. It’s hard to explain everything in detail, but basically they’ve created a hydroponic system with tools that they’ve made from a 3D printer. If you go to their website (3D Ponics), they give a great explanation on their current project. Recently, they did a kickstarter and they achieved their goal and then some (way to go guys!).  This keychain/bottle opener came from this booth. Check out the website for more information.

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Ian Langohr is from Montreal and he is extremely talented. This guy makes amazing over-sized foam mascot heads. I was lucky enough to try on the zombie cat head and I was totally blown away by the quality and detail of his masks. If you didn’t have a chance to visit @makerfaireott yet, you’ve got to go, just to see this. Out of all the business card images I could choose from, I chose this one because I thought the image looked like Jim Watson, the Mayor of Ottawa (sorry Jim).

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These guys are my heroes. I just want to hang out with these guys and play with Lego’s all day. The group ParLUGment was at the MakerFaire today and what they had on display was very impressive. They had little cities, very creative bookends and hill side mansions all on display made out of Lego. In our household, we’re just working on making cool stuff with Duplo, but I hope to get up to your speed in a few years.

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Saving the best for last? Yup, pretty much. I didn’t grab a business card or speak to anyone at this booth because IT WAS TOO BUSY. However, we did manage to get a quick photo op with our daughter with the R2-D2 that made it’s TV debut last week. It’s totally amazing how someone watches a movie and says “hey, that R2-D2 is so cool, I want to make one”. It just blows my mind. If you’re a big Star Wars fan and are interested in following an Ottawa-tonian build an R2 from scratch, join his Facebook page here. 

Other cool things I saw at the museum today: A bunch of giant cameras, computers, typewrites that are now an all-in-one device like the iPhone.

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Did you go to MakerFaire Ottawa today? What did you think? See anything cool?

Don’t forget to add us to Instagram to see more pictures from our trip to MakerFaire Ottawa.

* I just Googled this trying to find the article and just found out that at the 2014 Detroit Maker Fair, they had another life size mousetrap! The video is below is from 2007 at MakerFaire Austin.}

R2-D2 in Ottawa’s MakerFaire and Legendary: A Marvel Deck Building Game

Today, I found out that a friend of mine, has a husband, who is in the process of making a original R2-D2 and today his R2’s head was featured on Ottawa’s CTV Morning Live! Check out the interview here:

August 15, 2014 – CTV Morning Live: Makers2

I have to say, I’m pretty impressed. Not only am I impressed that someone is building one of these from scratch, but also that it will be a beeping talking wiggling machine! That’s really impressive.

Star Wars Fans! I have a question for you. Was the original R2-D2 in the Star Wars movies talking and beeping the way this one does in the video above or was it all movie magic?

Not only was the head  R2-D2 featured on TV this morning, it will also be at the Ottawa Mini MakerFaire this weekend at the Museum of Science and Technology.

What is a MakerFaire? It is a “celebration of the DIY sprit”. It a fair of people who make some pretty cool s*ht. There will be robot makers, engineers, knitters, woodworkers.. It sounds really cool. Tickets to the fair are free with admission to the museum ($12/adults).

Not only did I learn about the work that goes into building an R2-D2 and about Ottawa’s Mini MakerFaire today, I also learned about deck building card games. Today, I was taught how to play  Legendary: A Marvel Deck Building Game. At first, I thought it was super complicated and difficult to understand, but by the end of the first round, I got it and it actually looks like a lot of fun. I still don’t think I’m ready to be a ‘hero’, but I’m really enjoying the concept of the game and can totally see why this game is so popular. Now to convince my husband to try playing Avengers with me to practice.

Do you play Legendary? Are you going to MakerFaire? Did you see R2-D2 on TV this morning? What are you doing this weekend?


Ottawa Fair Guide 2014

Here is a list of Ottawa’s fairs that are coming to a town near you.

August 2014

Arnprior Fair (August 7-10)

Navan Fair (August 7-10)

Merrickville Fair (August 8-10)

The Capital Fair (August 15 to 24)

Shawville Fair (August 28-September 1)

Perth Fair (August 29 – September 1)

September 2014

Renfrew Fair (September 3-7)

Russell Fair (September 4-7)

Richmond Fair (September 18-21)

Carp Fair (September 25-28)

October 2014

Metcalfe Fair (October 2-5)