Backseat driver

Our three year old daughter has become a backstreet driver.

No, seriously.

We went splash padding the other day around the New Edinburgh area.

The first splash pad was Bordeleau Park beside the Chinese embassy. They had this cool red dumping bucket which was translucent so you could watch it fill up before it dumped water on you.

Our daughter, however, was more interested in running around the park. The splash pad gently slopes down and then eventually meanders into the river. Our little explorer had fun running around on the rocks… until she scraped her knee. read more

Four bandaids and a splash park

We had to drop off our car at the dealership, so we thought we’d take some time and do some splashpadding.

The splash pad at Glen Park was better than what we were expecting. We thought it would be one of those old school wooden post splash pads.

Instead, it had a giant leaf and a tall flower post to sprinkle water down. Not bad, not bad at all.

  • The water park is pretty close to the adjacent basketball court, although there are blue posts to visually separate the two.
  • There is a small play structure beside the splash pad. (There’s an even better play structure nearby but it belongs to the elementary school.)
  • There are four ground sprinklers beside the leaf and flower post

We took a moment to splash around at Glen Park. Daddy made the mistake of trying to run through the sprinklers holding hands with an uncertain three-year old.  We only needed four Dora band-aids for our knees and one big squishy hug afterwards before we could try to run through the sprinklers again… this time with Daddy carrying the little monkey. read more

Big or small, we do them all

There are some splash pads that aren’t worth writing home about.

Montgomery Memorial Park is one of them.

When Mommy heard that comment, she promptly commented, “big or small, we do them all.” So, here’s the review.

There is a splash pad at Montgomery Memorial Park beside the Old Town Hall Community Centre in downtown Ottawa.

It has one blue post that squirts out water on all four sides.

The end.

Ottawa Splash Pads are open!

Let the summer of splash padding begin (again)!

Last summer, our little family tried to visit all of the splash pads in Ottawa. There are over 90 splash pads in the city and we managed to hit 32 of them.

Some of our all-time favourite splash pads include Brewer Park, South Nepean Park, and Cardinal Creek Valley.

Now that summer vacation is here, our little girl is all excited. Ottawa splash pads have been open since the May long weekend. (The water was turned on May 19, 2013.) It’s been a rainy spring and summer so far, but that’s okay. We still have fun! read more

Fairfield Park Splash Pad

The splash pad at Fairfield Park in Gloucester is probably a 4 star splash pad. I say “probably” because it was broken the day we went to splash around.

Two nice fellas from the city of Ottawa explained that there was a problem with the computer, but it would be fixed soon, and sorry about the inconvenience. Who knew there were computers running these sprinklers!

Fairfield Park has a modern water park:

The only question is what’s the water pressure like?

Our two-year old daughter is learning to go potty when she has that ‘funny feeling.’ (Thank goodness for Mo Willems and Smarties. He’s our favourite author right now and he blogs as well which is pretty darn cool.) read more

Elmridge Park splash pad

“It’s one of the wooden post splash pads…”

Yes, it is. And as far as spash pads go, that ain’t a good thing.

Wooden post water parks in Ottawa tend to be low pressure, older splash pads. (Compare that with the new dragon splash pad that was just built at Chapman Mills Main Street Park that has a water breathing dragon!)

The splash pad at Elmridge Park is one of the better wooden post splash pads (but that’s not saying much):

  • There are four posts: three wooden, and one red metal post. Each post has several water nozzles built in on the side that spray water into the center of the splash pad.
  • There’s a start button on each individual post. Unlike most modern splash pads in Ottawa, there isn’t a single button that turns everything on.

Not much to say about this splash pad. We didn’t stay long at all. After all, it’s a hop, skip and a jump to Fairfield Park and that one has a much newer splash pad facility. read more


It’s monsoon season here in Ottawa.

A few days ago, it was nothing but rain which was refreshing since it’s been such a hot summer. We weren’t able to go splashpadding, but our street flooded so we were able to float our boat and go puddle jumping instead.

Ahh, summer.

We’re running out of time to go see all 90+ splash pads in Ottawa. We hit a few more splash pads out in Gloucester this week, so we’ll post those shortly.

Here’s to the last few weeks of our staycation! read more

Walden Park Splash Pad

The splash pad at Walden Park near the Kanata Golf and Country club is quite nice. It’s in a picturesque woods and it has an incredible spider-web play structure beside the water park.

Oh, and the splash pad ain’t bad:

  • There are 2 rings that create a wall of mist to run through. You get quite wet when the water gets going.
  • There’s a giant red pole with three tubes of water dumping on people below.
  • There are three flower showers on the ground
  • There’s a row of 8 shower streams on the side.
  • The button is on the blue post off to the side.

There’s lots of shade beside the play structure, and I particularly liked the stone amphitheater effect around the water park.

The very cool spiderweb play structure is designed for older kids, but our little girl had fun climbing the first section with Daddy hovering around. There is a second climbing structure beside the spider web that our little monkey could climb and slide down by herself. read more

Brookshire Park Splash Pad

The splash pad at Brookshire Park in South Marsh is another popular and great water park. So popular that we couldn’t really get any decent shots to give you an idea of this place.

We’re coming in from the Carp Water Splash Park and we’re happy to hit another 5 star water park in Ottawa. Here’s what they have at the Brookshire Park splash pad:

  • They have a giant blue pole with 3 water spouts pouring water onto people.
  • There’s a giant orange pole with 4 little streams of water coming out from the sides
  • They have 2 of those giant circles of fun that create a wall of mist to run through. Very popular.
  • There are 3 flowers painted on the ground with showers of water that shoot up from the center.
  • There are also another 3 nozzles in the ground that sprays 7 streams of water to creating a nice showering arch of water.
  • The start button is on a red post.
  • Finally – and this is cool because we’ve never seen it before at an Ottawa splash pad – they have a red post with a glass center piece that has this cool spinning vortex of water when the water pumps through. There are also trickles of water pouring out at the bottom which makes it easy to collect water into a bucket.

There’s a play structure nearby and the gazebo doubles as a stroller parking lot. (No picnic tables under the gazebo.) Lots of families playing today so we joined in the fun before heading out to our final splash pad of the day. read more

Carp Water Splash Park

Yeah, the splash pad at Carp Water Splash Park is a five star, but is it worth the drive?

I guess it all depends on how close you live to Carp.

The Carp splash pad is quite nice. It’s the eastern most Ottawa splash pad and it’s definitely not boring with so much to do:

  • There’s a giant blue tower with 5 yellow buckets that dump water on people below.
  • They have 4 rings that create those walls of mist that are fun to run through.
  • They have 3 water canons – red, yellow, and green – that shoot water into the center, but turn off when you point them outside of the splash pad.
  • There’s a giant white flower that pours water down the petals.
  • There are at least 4 single-stream water nozzles that shoot up from the ground. (Some of the water nozzles look like they’re not working.)
  • There have 5 water nozzles in the ground that shoot up a circle of water that showers up in the air
  • The red fire hydrant has a black button that gets things going, but be careful… water sprays out from the sides

Like I said… lots to do at the splash pad in Carp and by the time we got there on a weekday morning, there were already lots of families and friends playing at the water park.

There’s a nice shelter with lots of picnic tables and a Porta-potty by the baseball diamond. (The restroom on the side of the community center is not for public use.) read more

West end fun

“Why are these parks so popular?”

“Because it’s a nice day.”

It’s true. Today is a gorgeous summer day and lots of families are out splashing around. (Great to see the splash parks being used, but it takes longer to snap photos of splash pads without getting anyone in the shots.)

We managed to visit three splash pads out in the west end: Carp Water Splash Park, Brookshire Park in South Marsh, and Walden Park near the Kanata Golf and Country Club. Wow, they have some nice splash pads.

What was your favorite part? read more

Queensway Park Splash Pad

There’s lots to like about the splash pad at Queensway Park in Gloucester.

  • There are two giant posts with buckets at the top that continuously fill up and dump water on the people below. (They have something similar at the Brewer Park splash pad. It’s like Great Wolf Lodge, as our two-year-old would say.)
  • There are three spouts in the ground that shoot up a single stream of water each.
  • There’s one water spout in the ground that sends up a water fountain

We really liked how this splash pad and park is surrounded by forest. Sure, it’s behind the Telesat buildings and the Queensway, but if you park on Aurele, you have to walk through the forest to get to the splash pad. Plus, if you continue through the forest behind the splash pad, the path comes out at another park.

Even though the nearby play structures are simply okay, I really like the splash pad at Queensway Park in Gloucester. read more

Cyrville Park Splash Pad

The Cyrville Park splash pad is the second stop of the evening. It’s just around the corner from Stonehenge Park in Gloucester.

Don’t be tricked by the close-up photo of misty goodness. This is another basic splash pad, although it does have a cool trough that we’ve never seen before.

  • There’s a basic wooden post. Push the button and water sprays out. Period.
  • There’s also a red trough with a water pump for kids to play with. The plug for the trough doesn’t seem to work, but you can pump water and float things.

We liked the pirate ship play structure beside the water park. It’s like a smaller version of the pirate ship our friends showed us at Millenium Park in Orleans. (Unfortunately, the Cyrville Park ship structure has been vandalized with spray paint.) read more

Stonehenge Park Splash Pad

There are several splash pads that live just behind the Horse who Lives on Innes Road.

The splash pad at Stonehenge Park in Gloucester is closest to the pasture at Apple Saddlery, but this water park is pretty basic:

  • There are three spraying fountains that spring out from the ground
  • The start button is on top of the silver post.

Usually after we check out the splash pad, we play on the slides at the park but the only play structure nearby was for older kids. Our little pre-school toddler couldn’t climb the ladder to get to the slide, so off it was on our adventure.

When Mommy decides to go splash padding, she really goes all out. Personally, I was getting a little worried that we wouldn’t be able to hit all 90+ splash pads in Ottawa. After all, it’s almost August, FutureShop has already started it’s “Back to School” marketing, and we haven’t hit a quarter of the splash pads yet. (The splash pad at Silverbirch Park is number 17.) read more

Silverbirch Park Splash Pad

We took our seven month old cousin splash padding’ with us today. The splash pad at Silverbirch Park is a three-star: fairly basic, but functional and fun?

  • The giant red circle has five nozzles that spray a wall of mist to run through.
  • On one side of the red circle, there are three water fountains that shoot straight up from the ground.
  • On the other side, there is a cluster of six nozzles that spray up another water fountain.
  • There’s one grey button on top of a yellow post that turns everything on in this water park.

It was our cousin’s first splash pad ever, so she really just watched from the sidelines as my daughter and I splashed around…

My favourite part is the giant red circle of happiness that sprays refreshing misty goodness as you run through it. I think my daughter preferred washing her Dora sunglasses in the fountain after the water pressure dropped. read more

Charing Park Splash Pad

After dinner, we checked out the splash pad at Charing Park out in Nepean, Ottawa.

It’s one of the old-school wooden-post splash pads like Aladdin Park or Kaladar Park, so there’s not much to say:

  • There’s a wooden post in the center of a concrete circle.
  • Push the button on one side of the post and water sprays out of the other three sides.
  • Repeat.

As far as wooden post water parks go, the one at the Charing Park splash pad is okay. (It’s nowhere near the coolness that you find in splash pads like Brewer Park or South Nepean Park. After all, it’s a wooden post.) Once you push the button, the water sprays for some time (unlike some other older parks where you have to hold the button in.)

Overall, if you’re looking for a good splash pad in Ottawa, I’d probably give this one a pass. There’s a play structure beside the splash pad, but it’s an older play structure as well without some of the bangs and whistles of the newer play structures. read more

Turtle Park Splash Pad

Unlike Butterfly Park where there were no butterflies in sight, we actually found a turtle at the Turtle Park splash pad in Findlay Creek.

Unfortunately, there was no water for the turtle. (A dad later told us that he called the city. Apparently, this splash pad will be fixed on Friday, so we’ll have to come back.)

Turtle Park looks like it could be a nice splash pad.

  • There are two water fountains in the ground. One nozzle is in the middle of a flower which reminds me of the splash pad at Roy Duncan Park. The other nozzle is in the center of a painted turtle.
  • There is also a yellow pole which I imagine shoots water up into the air.
  • Finally, there is a green post with a button that is probably hard for little kids to push (just like the one at the Butterfly Park splash pad.)
  • read more

    Google’s found us, but we’re taking tomorrow off

    Things have been a little go-go-go lately, so we’re planning on having a quiet day tomorrow. Maybe play around in our own splash pad (read: sprinkler in the backyard) before heading out to a bunch of splash pads over the weekend.

    We went to an ultimate (frisbee) game the other night and our friends told us to check out the splash pad at Brewer. (Apparently, there’s a water slide!) It’s not listed on the city of Ottawa splash pad website yet, but it is included in their open data (kml map). Did a quick google search and Brewer park does look cool. Maybe we’ll head out tomorrow after all… read more

    Stanstead Park Splash Pad

    There’s more to the splash pad at Stanstead Park than meets the eye. At first glance, it doesn’t seem like anything special. There are two parts – a wooden post and a weirdly angled metal post.

    The wooden post is basically a tap for filling up buckets. Push the button and get some water. Fill up a bucket or soak your feet. Our little dinosaur chose to soak her shoes, but the dried river bed in the nearby sandy play structure makes me think that other kids choose the first option. read more

    Arnott Park

    We had a quiet picnic today at the splash pad at Arnott Park. Another family with two boys were playing at the picnic shelter so we set up our blankets under the trees. A pretty good park with lots of shade. We had a lot of fun playing on the play structure.

    The splash pad was pretty basic. A simple blue post that sprays water when you press a button. The nice thing was that you didn’t have to hold down the button for the splash pad to work. The second nice thing was that Rogers had LTE coverage in this area. That’s about it… read more