Summer survey 2014 results: best playground in Ottawa

We asked you to share your favourite summertime activities and destinations with us, and you have spoken! These are the top three playgrounds in Ottawa, according to our readers.

Sometimes checking out a new playground is an adventure in itself, making this an attractive option for younger children. Look at a map together, pack some snacks, and make a family outing out of it. 

1) Brewer Park (100 Brewer Way)
Brewer offers a wide variety of activities for kids of different ages. Pack the bathing suits if you decide to visit, as it won top spot in our “splash pad” category too. 

2) Dovercourt Recreation Centre (411 Dovercourt Ave.)
Dovercourt won a close second in this category, but families who haven’t been by in awhile should know that a sizable construction project on the main building has resulted in the temporary closing of the toddler part of the playground.

3) Andrew Hayden (3127 Carling Ave.)
Andrew Hayden, located slightly east of Britannia Beach, has a lot to offer. The main play structure includes integrated water features, so bring a towel and a change of clothes. There are lots of pretty shaded walking trails nearby too.


Pinterest roundup: sand castles

It's Monday! And that means we're sharing some ideas and inspiration from our Pinterest boards. This week we've had sand castles on the brain. (Maybe it's all that time we've been spending at the best Ottawa beaches?) Here are a few pins we thought were worth sharing:

Are you following Capital Parent on Pinterest yet? Follow us for family crafts, great kid-friendly activities, recipes and more. You can read all of our past Pinterest round-ups right here.

Summer survey 2014 results: best frozen treats in Ottawa

We asked you to share your favourite summertime activities and destinations with us, and you have spoken! These are the top three places Capital Parents like to buy frozen treats. Maybe this should be the summer we explore all of these locations? ;)

1) Dairy Queen
DQ reigned supreme in last year’s summer survey as well. With locations across the city and budget-friendly options, it’s no wonder it’s the favourite!

2) Piccolo Grande
Piccolo Grande is worth the trip downtown. Their gelato is made from fresh ingredients and comes in a great selection of flavours. Whether you’re a chocoholic or have a hankering for something light and fruity, you will certainly find something that makes your mouth happy. For a sampling of their menu, go to piccologrande.ca.

3) Truffle Treasures, the new Yogurty's in Westboro, and Stella Luna all tied for third place!

 

Summer survey 2014 results: best beaches in Ottawa

We asked you to share your favourite summertime activities and destinations with us, and you have spoken! These are the top three beaches as voted by Capital Parents.

We’re lucky to have a variety of supervised beach destinations here in Ottawa. Pro tip: stash extra towels and extra bathing suits in the car during the summer months in case of impromptu visits on hot days. 

1 ) Britannia Beach (2805 Carling Ave.)
Britannia is a great place to swim and watch the sailboats from afar. Did you know you can rent volleyball nets and paddle boards there too? Take advantage of the picnic tables and barbecue pits the next time you’re planning a family gathering. Free parking.

2) Mooney’s Bay Beach (2926 Riverside Dr.)
Known for its devoted volleyball players and the annual Dragon Boat Festival, Mooney’s is a nice place to visit any time of year. Play structures add a welcome diversion. Pay parking only, from 7:00 a.m.- 6:00 p.m.

3) Petrie Island (727 Trim Rd.)
This sandy beach in the east end offers great views of the river, and is seldom visited by west enders! Pay parking is enforced from 7:00 a.m.- 6:00 p.m.

During the swimming season, Ottawa Public Health monitors the water quality seven days a week at Mooney’s Bay, Britannia Beach, Westboro Beach, Petrie East Bay and Petrie Island River Beaches to ensure that the water quality is safe for swimming. Avoid disappointment and always check the City of Ottawa website before you head out. 

Pinterest roundup: messy outdoor fun for kids

It's Monday! And that means we're sharing some of our favourite ideas from Pinterest! This week we're thinking about messy outdoor play, because sometimes it's just easier to contain the mess to an area that is easily hosed off. 

Here are some of our favourites:

Are you following Capital Parent on Pinterest yet? Follow us for family crafts, great kid-friendly activities, recipes and more. You can read all of our past Pinterest round-ups right here.

Summer survey 2014 results: best splash pads in Ottawa

We asked you to share your favourite summertime activities and destinations with us, and you have spoken! These are the top three splash pads as voted by Capital Parents.

Some parents prefer splash pads to wading pools, especially for younger kids. It’s less of a worry and still a great way to cool off; no swimming skills required! The majority of splash pads operate from 9:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. daily through to September 17 (weather permitting). For a complete listing of all Ottawa splash pads , go to Ottawa.ca.

1) Brewer Park (100 Brewer Way)
Brewer is the clear favourite in this category! We’re betting it’s because there’s so much to do here, so plan to stay awhile. Note: finding a parking spot at peak times can be tricky. It’s best to time your arrival earlier in the morning or later in the day. 

2) Centrepointe Park (114 Centrepointe Dr.)
Centrepointe is a cute destination in the middle of the city, and it’s great for toddlers too. The parking is free and there are washrooms on site. 

3) Walter Baker Park (100 Walter Baker)
Walter Baker is a popular destination in the winter, but it’s a favourite destination during the summer months as well. Combine your trip to this splash pad with a walk around the park. When you’ve worked up a sweat, just get wet all over again!

Summer survey 2014 results: best food truck or food stand in Ottawa

We asked you to share your favourite summertime activities and destinations with us, and you have spoken! These are the top three food trucks and stands as voted by Capital Parents.

1) TacoLot
Urbanspoon reveals a mixed range of opinions about TacoLot, but this stand located at 999 Wellington Street West received the greatest number of votes from Capital Parent readers. Fish, pork, and beef tacos are available for take out or to eat at a small number of picnic tables. 

2) Angry Dragonz
This family run food truck can generally be found downtown at Gloucester and Lyon, but you can keep closer track online for hours and visits across the city. Menu items are described as “Asian fusion with a twist.” Check it out at angrydragonz.com

3) Flapjacks
One of the newest additions to Ottawa’s food scene, Flapjacks is all about pancakes! They’re located in the courtyard behind Mrs. Tiggy Winkle’s at 809 Bank Street. Notable menu items include pancake poutine, and the Campfire “panwich” (nutella and marshmallows sandwiched between two buttermilk graham crumble pancakes).

Which Ottawa food truck did you vote for? Which ones do you like to visit over the summer?  We'd love to hear about your favourites!

Pinterest roundup: s'more ideas

It's Monday! And that means we're sharing some of our favourite ideas from our Pinterest boards. This week we're thinking about summer camping (did you see our July/August issue?) and of course, there cannot be camping without s'mores. Regardless of how much time you spend around the campfire, there are lots of different ways to enjoy this decedent treat. Here are a few of our favourites:

Check out our Pinterest page for some other summery ideas.  You can find us right here. And you can read all of our past Pinterest round-ups right here too.