Sprint to the finish

We just finished visiting nine splash pads in four hours. Four hours, I tell ya. (And there were some cool ones.)

Our little trooper is singing Laurie Berkner songs in the back as we drive home from Nepean and downtown Ottawa.

“What’s your favourite song?” I ask, after she’s requested “Goodnight” for the fourth time in a row.

“This one.”

“Why do you like it so much?”

“Because it says, ‘little kid,’ and I’m a little kid.”

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Goodnight: 100th splash pad party

“We’re not playing here for long. We’re going to the last one to have a party.”

It’s best to forewarn our little girl before we get to the splashpad that she won’t get a chance to play on the play structures. We’ve already had a busy day hitting nine splashpads and everyone is feeling a little tired.

But, we’re only two splash pads away from completing our summer goal, so we’re making a final push in the evening to visit the last two splash pads on our list.

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No archery. Seriously

The highlight of today’s splash padding adventure has got to be the signage at Kiwanis Park splash pad.

At the front of the park, it gives you a list of things you cannot do.

Please don’t be tempted to bring your bow and arrow to Kiwanis Park. Target practice is forbidden in this tiny urban park.

(It’s not expressly forbidden at any other city park we’ve visited so I guess you’re good to go at those ones. We’re not sure about this, so you’d better check.)

1. Kiwanis Park Splash Pad

The splash pad at Kiwanis Park is part of the wading pool.

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Getting muddy at the water playground

Our three year old daughter wants to do the last twenty or so splash pads all in one day.

(We told her we’d go to her favourite restaurant  to celebrate the 100th splash pad that we visit. Hopefully by the end of August, although Mommy is pretty optimistic that we’ll do it sooner.)

Twenty splash pads in one day seems a little excessive. How about five?

1. Bluegrass Park Splash Pad

The water park at Bluegrass park was pretty popular when we checked it out this morning, Tim Hortons in hand.

I really like those posts that create an umbrealla of water – especially when they’re short and at kid-level. It kinda looks like a jellyfish.

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Four more splash pads: unexpected gems and a brand new splash pad not on the city of Ottawa list

To be perfectly honest, we weren’t sure if we’d like the Party Day DVD that we borrowed from the library, but after listening to the 5-track bonus CD for the umpteenth time, you just can’t help yourself humming to the catchy tunes.

“It’s like toddler crack,” quipped Mommy, as we headed out towards three splash pads in the middle of town.

We’re really becoming Canadian Laurie Berkner groupies this summer. When we head down to the States to hear her play solo in October, we should make a giant sign: We Love You Laurie!

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Playing at the park

We decided to roll out for one more splash pad tonight. Not a whirl wind tour like earlier today, but just hanging out at one water park.

Just one.

Our little monkey was disappointed we didn’t get to spend more time on the slides, so we did just that in Beacon Hill.

Beacon Hill / Eastvale Park Splash Pad

They’ve painted the City of Ottawa swirl on the splash pad at Beacon Hill / Eastvale Park. It actually looks kinda cool when you’re standing on the adjacent play structure.

  • The splash pad here has three ground fountains – one of them goes higher than the tree line.
  • There are also two elephant water cannons – you can be on team blue or team red.
  • The start button is on the fire hydrant (which is yellow – most splash pad hydrants seem to be red.)

This is a nice park. There’s a gazebo beside the splash pad and the play structure beside the water park is a lot of fun for little kids.

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Eye on the prize: 30 splash pad reviews left

“We should have a celebration when we finish all one hundred splash pads,” said Mommy as we drove out towards four splash pads.

We’re trying to keep our eye on the prize. We’ve almost visited every single splash pad in Ottawa. After today, we’ll have finished 70 splashpad reviews.

“We could do thirty in a week.”

Maybe. It’s only taken us two summers to get this far…

Our three year old daughter is singing along to the acoustic version of Laurie Berkner’s My Family.

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Eat, sleep, splash pad

We’ve got twelve splash pads to write about.

Twelve.

Nine from our tour of Orleans splash parks and three others from this afternoon.

“You can write them when I sleep, okay?” comments our three year old compadre.

So, here we are. Mommy and Daddy trying to catch up on documenting our adventures while our little one complains about not being able to fall asleep. Ironic.

“What are we going to do when we finish splash pads?” asks our little girl.

I dunno. Revisit the best splash parks? Move onto play structures (No.)

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The grand old tour d’Orleans splash pads

We finally finished off the last of the Orleans splash pads.

Nine splash pads, two days, and only four wooden posts. (We thought there would be more.)

There are more than nine splash pads in Orleans, but this is all that we had left to do for our Ottawa splash pad directory.

1. Champagne Park Splash Pad (wooden post)

“It’s not a real park,” said our three year old as we drove away from the splash pad at Champagne Park. “It has a train and a house.”

I suppose that’s one of the downsides of visiting so many splash pads and play structures. You get a sense of what’s out there.

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Kanata or bust: Some splash parks in Kanata

“We could totally do 6 splash pads this afternoon. We just spend 10 minutes at each one.”

Maybe. We’ll see.

Someone left a comment on our website asking for more information about the splash pad at Bandmaster so we decided to hit a couple of splash pads on the west side.  We were hoping to get them all, but our three year old daughter got a little tired, so we’ll have to come back.

Billy Bishop splash pad

The splash pad at Billy Bishop park is simple and nice. The park is named after WWI Air Marshal William “Billy” Bishop.

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A “Wooden Post” splash park… with a twist

“Just so you know, I’m going to do the Roy Park review first,” says Mommy after we got back from visiting two new splash pads that aren’t on any list of Ottawa splashpads (yet). “It’s a wooden post… with a twist”

Roy Park Splash Pad

I guess you could say that the splash park at Roy Park was a wooden post splash park that surprised us. (I guess Mommy was right: sometimes wooden post splash pads do surprise us.)

Normally it’s just a block of wood with a button. Push the button and water sprays out of the sides.

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New splash pads not on the city of Ottawa website (yet)

“Excuse me, guys. Can we listen to Laurie Berkner?”

So begins our morning trip to the grocery store. Daddy is busy trying to catch up with our splashpad adventure stories in the car. We’re hoping to get out to Kanata later this weekend.

(A reader had commented wondering if we had any info on the splash pad at Bandmaster. Not yet, but we will soon!)

At the time of writing, there are a few splash parks in the city that aren’t listed on the city of Ottawa website (or in their open data catalogue), so we decided to check them out on Thursday and add them to our photo gallery.

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We heart Laurie Berkner

Dear Laurie Berkner,

We love you.

Sincerely, our family.

Mommy borrowed a Laurie Berkner Band CD from the library at the start of July and it’s still our summer anthem.

Our little three year old girl loves Laurie Berkner. (“No, Daddy, it’s called ‘Laurie Berkner Band.” I stand corrected.)

We listen to her all the time, especially since Daddy put Laurie Berkner (Band) on “her” iPad. We have daddy-daughter disco dance parties to The Goldfish song complete with spinning disco lights for underwater effect . We bought a copy of the “Best of” CD so our little monkey could listen to it wherever we drove. (Now, we need to negotiate “quiet” time in the car.) We had to find a kid safe YouTube app for the iPad so that we could watch Laurie Berkner videos without other stuff popping up.

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Above and below

“Can I listen to Under the Shady Tree… Just like the sun,” calls out our daughter from the backseat.

“Is that your favourite right now?”

“Yup.”

We’re listening in the car to the Laurie Berkner Band after getting hooked on their “Best of” CD.

Our little one’s favourite is constantly changing, but she is three, after all. A few days ago, we were singing along to “This Hat” complete with silly hats and actions. Then it was, “I’m Me and You’re You.” That’s still one of my all time faves.

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Wooden posts are us

“We’ve been surprised by wooden posts before,” Mommy points out as we climb out of the car to check out the splash pad at Gerald Poulin Park.

At the time, I accepted that comment at face value, but now that I’m writing about our adventure, I’m not so sure.

Sure, there have been times when we thought a splash pad would be a wooden post because it was in an older neighbourhood, and then were pleasantly surprised when we got there to discover a modern urban water park. (The four bandaid incident at Glen Park is an example of this.)

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Froggy and Hippo

It’s kinda funny. Of the three splash pads we hopped around on Sunday, we all chose a different splash pad as our favourite.

  • Mommy liked Owl Park for the novelty factor. (It’s the first blue “pond” that we’ve seen.)
  • Our little girl liked the second splash pad at McCarthy Park the best.
  • And, I liked the bigger splash pad at  Citiplace Park (and not just because our little girl was climbing up into the business end of the hippo play structure.)

“What did you like the best at McCarthy Park?” I ask the wee-one at the end of the day.

“The frog.”

The frog is pretty cool. They’ve turned your standard splash loop into the mouth of a frog. Combine that with a giant cattail that sprays mist into the air and you get pretty wet.

Mind you, today, we waited until the water had run out before we had fun jumping through the mouth and filling up our princess buckets.

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Park Hoppin’

Park hopping on a Sunday is a nice thing to do.

We’re listening to the Laurie Berkner Band as we tackle three splash pads that we haven’t been to yet: Owl Park, McCarthy Park, and Citiplace Park.

The splash pad at Owl Park is old school, but still cool. It’s a giant shallow circle painted blue with rocks and bushes planted around the edges.

“It looks like ice,” says our three year old as she and I run across the splash pad. This time, there’s no dragging involved, so we won’t be needing any Dora band aids.

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Buzz Buzz

It’s here, it’s here!

A special package arrived in the mail. It’s the Best of the Laurie Berkner Band CD that Mommy bought online from Chapters.

(She ordered it from the kiosk in store and it was $4.00 cheaper than going to the Chapter’s website online. Wierd. I don’t have the heart to tell her it was even cheaper to buy it on iTunes.)

We’re really into Laurie Berkner right now. We saw her advertised at the beginning of a Wiggles DVD and decided to check her out. Her flavour of kindie rock is strangely addictive.

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Level up

Our friends had a birthday party for their little girl. (She just leveled up to 4 years old.)

The birthday girl wanted to celebrate at Vista Park and the splash pad here is pretty awesome!

  • They have 3 tall twisty posts that shower water from above or sprinkle water from the sides.
  • They have 4 spray loops, but unlike other parks, they’re arranged so it looks like a spiral
  • They have 3 water cannons to blast your friends
  • And, of course, they have a bunch of ground sprinklers that shoot up streams and fountains of water. Hard to predict if you’re a toddler which makes it all the more exciting.

Our little girl had a lot of fun playing with their little girl, trying to recreate the sand castles from our last splash pad adventure. We had fun fetching water in our new princess pail from the drinking fountain.

Between the delicious green heart shaped cake and running around blowing bubbles, we’re exhausted.

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Sand castles and splash pads

We had a play date at the Queenswood Heights Centennial park splash pad with our friends.

Apparently, when you mix water from the splash pad with sand from the nearby playground, you can make sand castles.

Who knew.

(It’s only taken us 40 splash pads to figure that out.)

The water park at Queenswood Heights is very nice. There’s actually two separate splash pads separated by some shady trees and picnic tables.

The first splash pad is kinda set up like a runway.

  • First, you run through two ground sprinkers that send up a fountain into the air.
  • Then, you have to get past the people trying to spray you with the yellow water cannons.
  • Run past the two ground sprinklers that shoot up a jet stream of water.
  • And then you have to face the big boss: a giant tower dumping five containers of water below.

We didn’t really play at the second splash pad only meters away.

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