Sprint to the finish

leslie-park-20130810-22We 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.”

We love our little monkey. We’re getting close to the end of our splash pad adventure. In just two more splash pads, we’ll have visited every water park in the city. Not bad.

“Can we listen to it again,” comes the fifth request.


“Hey guys,” clarifies our three year old daughter, “I don’t just love this song I like all of the songs.”

That’s good, because we weren’t sure how much we liked the Party DVD at first, but it’s grown on us. Toddler crack.

“Hey guys,” continues to clarify our little girl. “Actually I don’t just love this CD, I love all of Laurie’s songs.”

I love how she’s on a first name basis with Laurie now. And, just a few weeks ago, our daughter didn’t realize she was a real person. We’re heading down to New York in October, so maybe we’ll get a chance to meet her in person.

1. Bearbrook Park Swimming Pool (Splash Pad)

bearbrook-park-20130810-3I’m not sure if the splash pad at Bearbrook Park should count as a splash pad.

Sure, it’s a nice modern splashpad with aqua domes, ground sprinklers and a red fire hydrant, but the splash pad is part of the outdoor swimming pool.

You have to pay to get in, and the splash pad is only available during pool hours.

That’s why we snapped the photos from outside of the fence.

The splash pad does make Bearbrook Park a nice outdoor swimming pool. We’ve been swimming here before, but it’s too cold this morning.

There’s a wading pool for toddlers, a bigger pool for lane swimming, and a nice gradual pathway that winds around the splash pad for your little kids to play in.

The gazebo with the picnic tables is a nice touch, so it’s a nice way to spend an afternoon.


2. Kilreen Park Splash Pad

kilreen-park-20130810-3… is a wooden post.

A reader commented and told us this was a sad looking splash pad. And she’s right.

“Back in the day, this is what they were like when I was a kid and we had fun,” explained Mommy.

And, today, we have giant splash pad monstrosities like Diamond Jubilee and Chapman Mills Main Street Park.

We read some Dora, we slid on some slides, and off we go.


3. Morrison Park Splash Pad

morrison-park-20130810-1The splash pad at Morrison Park is simple, but modern: a couple of ground sprinklers and a giant red post that sprays water.

It took three pushes on the start button before the pressure built up enough for the red post, but eventually it worked.

I think we had more fun going down slides on the play structure. All of these Nepean splashpads are pretty close to each other, so it’s off to the next one.


4. Leslie Park Splash Pad

leslie-park-20130810-22Wow. There’s a dragon at the Leslie Park splash pad. Or, maybe it’s a giant purple snake.

Either way, it’s cool.

And, unexpected. The only other splash pad that we’ve seen with a dragon was Chapman Mills Main Street Park.

Leslie Park is a great place to spend the day.

  • Nice high powered splash pad – you’re going to get soaked.
  • There’s a little kid structure and a play structure for bigger kids
  • A lot of trees, but no gazebo or picnic table
  • Field and green space to run around
  • Easily accessible from surrounding streets

“What a little treasure,” says Mommy as we drive away. “Easily accessible from surrounding streets.”

With four splash pads down, and only seven more to do, we knew we could finish off all of the splashpads today. Challenge accepted.


5.Banner Park Splash Pad

banner-park-20130810-3Three old red metal posts sit at the splash pad at Banner Park.

There’s some drainage near the splashpad which kind of suggests that at one point, there was a lot more water going on here, but right now, it’s only a trickle that comes out.

Overall, the park has some character – it’s a lovely park. But, if you’re looking for a splash pad, just drive a few minutes to Leslie Park splash pad to check out the dragon.


6. Centrepoint Park Splash Pad

centrepoint-park-20130810-4We’ve been to the splash pad at Centerpoint Park before, but somehow didn’t get a chance to write about it.

I’m going to guess we didn’t get great pictures last time because this park is pretty busy. Lots of kids running around, and with good reason. It’s a great park.

  • The splash pad has lots of interesting water structures. There’s a flamingo, a whale, a cattail, and a dumping bucket (although it didn’t work when we were there.)
  • Not all of the structures go on at the same time, so the water pressure can be quite strong in some of the structures.
  • There’s a public washroom for those emergencies. (It’s exactly what you would expect a public park washroom would be like.)

There are a lot of kids and their families hanging out today. The play structure is great because it has a little slide (for little ones) and a two-story high slide for older kids (or little ones with their grown-ups.)

Our three year old had fun checking out the splash pad. She had even more fun climbing up way too high to go down that tall slide.


7. Laroche Park Splash Pad

laroche-park-20130810-50The splash park at La Roche totally caught us by surprise.

We were expecting some dinky little old wooden post, and instead, we find some of the highest water pressure geysers in the city.

  • There are three high powered spray loops to run through. We watched a little boy do it and get drenched.
  • The tri-arm water faucets rain down a pretty strong mist
  • The blue umbrella (which didn’t turn on until the third push) pours down water on the sides

But the most impressive thing at this water park are the two ground geysers. Powerful.

The water pressure might be too high for little kids, but they also have a fire hydrant that’s pretty low powered for your toddler. There’s plenty of shade at this park and a gazebo by the play structures and field.

A clean park and an unexpected gem.


8.Plouffe Park (Plant Recreation Center) Splash Pad

plouffe-park-20130810-2The splash pad at Plouffe Park (beside Plant Recreation Centre) is the splash pad that you see on the city of ottawa recreation guide.

This urban water park has a lot going for it:

  • a modern splash pad: 4 rainbow spray loops, 21 sprinklers in the ground, a blue post with three arms, and a fire hydrant start
  • a gazebo with picnic tables
  • climbing play structure for kids,
  • and further on, there’s a climbing polyhedron for older kids

This splash pad is right beside Plant Recreation center so you can use the clean washrooms in emergencies. The biggest hazard is that you’re close to a lot of restauraunts so you might get hungry.


9. Piazza Dante Park splash pad

piazza-dante-park-20130810-5The city of Ottawa added the splash pad at Piazza Dante Park to their list this year so we checked it out.

It’s a true urban park – think of it as a water fountain that you can run through. It no water structures – just 8 jets in the ground.


We read some Dora and then went home. Two more splash pads to go before we’ve visited all of them.

Woo hoo.


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