Sanity-Saving Summer Fun
School's out - are the kids bored already? I've put together this list of suggestions for great summer fun that won't break the bank! These events are pulled from all over the website; you can also visit the Frugal Fun Ottawa calendar to see what special events are happening today.
I'm giving away Squirrel model airplane kits at random all summer long!
Email me at summerfun(at)frugalfunottawa(dot)ca, and your email address will be entered into every upcoming draw. Winners will be contacted by email and will win one Squirrel model airplane kit. You can read more about Squirrel model airplane kits here.
Free & Frugal Fun
- The City of Ottawa runs a free, informal drop-in Splash n'Fun program at several city Splash Pads from July 4 to August 26, 2011.
It takes place at various local rural and urban water parks in the Central, West and South Districts and is for children aged 4 to 10. Parents and guardians are required to remain to supervise their children. Details can be found on the City's website.
- The City of Ottawa also runs free, informal Park-ticipate programs in the East end for children aged 4 to 10. Parents and guardians are required to remain to supervise their children. Please visit the City's website for weekly themes, times and locations.
- Get active by biking or roller blading on city parkways during Sunday Bike Days.
- Bike any day of the week on the City's many bike paths; check out this interactive Pathway Map to help you plan your route. Don't have a bike? The Bike Dump on Catherine Street sells used bikes at great prices. (It's a bit...how shall I say this... colorful? Unusual? Regardless, we got a bike for my daughter there for $10, and even got to test it out for a couple of days before paying!) You can also borrow a bike for the day from La Maison du Vélo (The Bike House). They're conveniently located right by a bike path in Jacques Cartier Park at the very end of Laurier Street in Gatineau. It's free if you have photo ID!
- Check out downtown monuments and public art pieces; some of them even have QR codes you can scan to get on-site information about the art. You can find my blog post about the public art QR codes here.
- My Seasonal Activities page is full of great outdoor summer fun, including information on area beaches, outdoor pools, and lots of fun at Parliament Hill.
- Visit the Wild Bird Care Centre at Stony Swamp; it's open daily from noon to 3 pm.
- Try geocaching, or download one of the Ottawa versions of this gps race app. There are currently four for Ottawa - two are based around Parliament Hill, one's in the ByWard Market and one is on the University of Ottawa campus. Each app costs $1.99.
- Rideau Hall offers some family activities, and is a terrific spot for a family picnic. The Tell-a-Tale Trail treasure hunt is "designed to challenge young and old alike with a quest to find secret words along the trail". Just ask for the brochure at the Visitor Centre. You can also participate in a Heraldry and National Symbols activity, and create your own coats of arms with symbols from your family heritage or your hometown. (Click on the Family Activites Tab near the bottom of the page for more information on these activities.)
- Try a historical walking tour, or visit one of the many interesting Ottawa sights on my Buildings and Sights page.
- Enjoy a movie at Rainbow Cinemas. They have $2.00 admission on Toonie Tuesday, and frequent 10 am "Early Bird" showings for $3.00/person. Even their regular admission is Almost Frugal at $5.00/person!
- Visit one of the many free and frugal area museums, or visit your local library branch to see if you can score an Express Museum pass to visit other area museums for free!
- My Playgroups and Drop-Ins listing offers plenty of options for rainy day fun.
- Ride the O-train, or take a bus trip to Place d'Orleans and let the kids burn some energy at the YMCA/YMWA Mini Port.
Almost Frugal Fun
- Try an UrbanQuest - Frugal Fun Ottawa fans get a 25% discount on most Quests!
Take me to Frugal Fun Ottawa.