Area Playgroups and Drop-Ins
Free and Frugal
- Charlemagne Child Care Services (750 Charlemagne Blvd.) offers a free preschool resource centre drop-in. Attendance is limited to two visits per week. There are a limited number of spots available; when the maximum has been a reached a "Full" sign is placed on the door.
- Monday to Friday - 9 to 11:30 am
- Mondays and Wednesdays, Infants and Siblings Group - 1 to 3 pm
- The Soloway JCC (21 Nadolny Sachs Private) offers a free drop-in playgroup on Wednesdays from 9 to 11:30 am that is open to non-members. They also offer Almost Frugal playgroups on Mondays and Fridays - see below for details.
- La Coccinelle resource centre (Alain-Fortin School, 676 Lakeridge, Orleans) offers French-language drop-ins every Friday from 9 to 11 am for children up to 6 years old. All activities take place in French and parents/caregivers must speak French. Daycare providers and nannies are asked to attend only on the first and third Friday of the month; parents can attend every Friday. Space is limited and is on a first-come first-serve basis.
- Several area Chapters bookstores offer free drop-in storytime, games, and/or crafts for preschool and kindergarten children.
These events aren't listed on the Chapters/Indigo website, but I called each store to confirm the details. Several employees told me that if you're the only one there and you'd like them to go ahead with storytime, you just have to ask!
- Chapters Rideau, 47 Rideau St.
Saturdays and Sundays - 12 pm, Storytime
- Chapters South Keys, South Keys Shopping Centre, 2210 Bank St.
Tuesdays - 10:30 am, Storytime
1st and 3rd Thursday of each month - 10 am, Story and song with Andrew Fleck Child Care Services
- Chapters Pinecrest, 2685 Iris St.
Monday to Friday - 11:15 am, Storytime
- Chapters Kanata, Kanata Centrum, 400 Earl Grey Drive
Mondays and Tuesdays - 10 am, Storytime
Wednesdays - 10 am, Storytime and a craft
Thursdays - 10 am, Storytime and a game
Fridays - 10 am, Storytime and circle with Counterpoint Academy
- Indigo Barrhaven, RioCan Marketplace, 125 RioCan Avenue
Monday to Friday - 11 am, Storytime
- The Parent Resource Centre (300 Goulburn Private, Sandy Hill) offers free drop-in playgroups:
9 to 11:30 am, Drop-in for caregivers only
11:30 to 12 pm, Toy library
1:30 to 2:30 pm, MMM Infant Group (registration required)
9 to 11:30 am, Groupe de Jeux francophone
11:30 am to 12 pm, Joujouteque
1 to 3 pm, Drop-in
9 to 11:30 am, Drop-in for parents only
11:30 to 12, Toy library
1 to 3pm, Drop-in
- Thursdays The Parent Resource Centre website also offers pdf's of several Ottawa playgroups divided by location. You can find that list here.
9 to 11:30 am, Drop-in open to all
1:30 to 3 pm, Mom & Baby Group, registration required
- The Ontario Early Years Centres in Ottawa offer free playgroups. Unfortunately the centre websites aren't the easiest to navigate, but I've done my best to find a link to each Ottawa centre's calendar.
- The Glebe Neighbourhood Activities Group hosts a free Starbucks Time for Baby Club on Thursdays from 9:30 to 11:30 am. The group meets at the Glebe Community Centre at 175 Third Avenue and enjoys free coffee, compliments of Starbucks. The program will run until June 21, 2012.
- Centrepointe Childcare Services (75 Hemmingwood Way, Nepean) offers playgroups and drop-ins on a daily basis, for families and caregivers with children age 0-6 years old. View their complete schedule here. They ask that if you attend the 9 to 11 am drop-in session in the mornings, you attend only once a week. You may attend a second morning after 9:45 if space is available.
- The Ottawa Catholic School Board Parenting and Family Literacy Centres offer free play-based drop-ins for children 0 to 6 years of age. The drop-ins are offered on school days at the following locations:
- Divine Infant, 8100 Jeanne D'Arc Blvd. Orleans - 9 am to 1 pm
- Our Lady of Mount Carmel, 675 Gardenvald Rd. - 9 am to 1 pm
- Prince of Peace, 1620 Heatherington Rd. - 9 am to 1 pm
- St. Elizabeth, 1366 Coldrey Ave. - 8 am to 12 pm
For more information please call Early Learning Services at 613-224-4455 x 2382.
- Starr Gymnastics and Fitness offers drop-ins at a cost of $7/child. Drop-ins are for kids aged 6 and under and are open to non-members.
They have three area locations: 1140 Morrison Drive, 2766 Lancaster Road, and 520 Lacolle Way (Orleans). For the complete drop-in schedule, visit the Starr Gymnastics website, choose "Drop-In Playtime" from the drop-down menu and hit "Submit".
Note that there are no drop-ins during their Christmas and March Break camps.
- The Soloway JCC (21 Nadolny Sachs Private) offers the following drop-in playgroups at a cost of $5/visit or $20 for a 5-week pass for non-members:
- Mondays: Motorin' Muchkins - 9 to 12 pm
- Fridays: Shabbat Shalom - 9:30 to 11:00 am
The Soloway JCC also offers a free drop-in playgroup on Wednesdays; see their listing above.
Playgroup dates and times can change without notice; many are closed during March Break and over the Christmas holidays, and some close for the summer, so please check the official website before heading out. If you know of other playgroups or drop-ins that should be on this list, please use my contact form to let me know, or email me at contactme(at)frugalfunottawa(dot)ca.
Take me to Frugal Fun Ottawa.