Getting muddy at the water playground

city-centre-park-20130808-91Our 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

bluegrass-park-20130808-4The 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.

It’s a nice  modern splash pad:

  • a green archway,
  • dumping buckets,
  • a short aqua dome,
  • and a bunch of ground fountains

It was pretty funny to watch a bunch of kids trying to throw their hats up into the dumping buckets. One little boy actually got his hat up there and was pretty excited when the bucket dumped it back down.

Of course, that only inspired the little kids to double their efforts.

We left just before the daycare army arrived. Good timing.


2. Westcliffe Park Splash Pad

westcliffe-park-20130808-2The splash pad at Westcliffe Park is your basic high-powered ground sprinkler type.

Press a button and four high powered nozzles send up fountains and jets of water up into the air.

It’s a long water cycle after you push the start button and the sound of silence after the water stops hitting the ground is strangely quiet.

Great water pressure – some of these fountains shoot above the tree line. (But it’s not powerful enough to launch our princess bucket into the air.)

The play structures and shady trees are just beyond the hill.


3. Andrew Haydon Park splash pad (water playground)

andrew-haydon-park-20130808-12The “splashpad” at Andrew Haydon Park isn’t so much a splash pad, as it is a water playground (which is what it says on the parking lot sign.)

Andrew Haydon park was added to the City of Ottawa splashpad list this year (2013), although it’s not yet included in the City of Ottawa open data.

Last fall, we came across the water trough playground. When we saw that they added Andrew Haydon to the city website, we were wondering if they had upgraded the water structures.

They haven’t.

  • There is a pirate ship with a water slide. (Think old-school metal slide but with water dripping down from the top.)
  • There is a trough system with a water wheel.
  • There is a second trough system.
  • It’s an older structure – the water pressure is practically a trickle and there are leaks in the trough so none of the water really makes it to the end.

At first, Mommy and Daddy weren’t sure about this “splash pad.”  There are no water play structures or ground fountains.

But once you stop thinking of this place as a splash park, and instead, think of it as a gigantic life-sized water table, then this place is awesome.

Our three year old daughter definitely gives it her stamp of approval.

“Can we come back to this water playground?”


There are lots of families here with little ones. This is a good place to get muddy, but not really soaked. Our little monkey had fun walking on the troughs and playing in the mud (which is what you get when you pour water continuously into sand.)

Andrew Haydon Park has a washroom facility and parking lot right beside the splash pad, so that’s nice. The climbing play structure is a little walk away.

4. City Centre Park Splash Pad

city-centre-park-20130808-93We’ve been to the splash pad at City Centre Park before, but for some reason, we didn’t write about it.

We met up with our cousin for a dinner and splashpad picnic. Bad karma points for Daddy when he pushed the start button and accidentally soaked the two little girls with the aqua dome.

But, in my defense, it looks like there are two different patterns when you push the start button. (The first time I pushed the button, only the ground sprinklers came on, honest!)

  • 4 spray loops that create a strong enough wall of mist that you can see a rainbow
  • 3 ground fountains that shoot up high into the air
  • 1 yellow aqua dome which is high powered enough to spray unsuspecting daughters and cousins

Combined with a gazebo, picnic tables, and two other climbing play structures, this is a much nicer splash pad that the next one up the road:

5. Palmerston Park Splash Pad

palmerston-park-20130808-2There is a yellow wooden post at the Palmerston Park splash pad.

We came, we snapped photos, we went down the slide at the climbing structure beside the splash pad…

And then we went home.

By the way, we created a growing list of all of the splash pads in Ottawa that have wooden posts (so you can skip them.)

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