This time of year can be hectic and seemingly impossible to fit all of your plans into. With school concerts, holiday decorating, festive work parties and other events, making time to do all your holiday shopping seems like a calendar nightmare. You have your list, and have checked it twice, but even if you spent all your time online shopping, you know that there are gifts around the neighbourhood you need to pick up when little eyes aren’t watching.
Luckily, we’ve found a solution for you in Ottawa. Two different venues are offering the option for you to drop off your kids for a few hours, so they can have plenty of fun while you’re able to run out to get some shopping done. We also recommend taking a few minutes for a bite to eat or to grab a cup of coffee. You’ve earned it.
Where to go: ProCare Family Centre in Hintonburg
What the kids will do: For $40 per child (with an additional $10 more per sibling), the ProCare Family Centre staff will entertain your kids with crafts, activities, and sometimes outdoor play time on Saturdays between 5 pm and 9 pm. They will even provide dinner! Reservations can be booked online on their website, but check in with them if you are looking for a lunch time as it may be offered too.
Photo: Supply & Demand
What you can do: Shopping in the Welling West area or nearby Westboro area would be a great idea. You can find baby gifts at Fab Baby Gear or creative and fun toys in Westboro at Mrs. Tiggy Winkles. Then you can cross off the most stylish on your list by shopping at Victoire and shop for the eco-conscious at terra20. After you’ve built up an appetite, try to get a table at Allium, located right across from ProCare (reservations may be needed in advance) or try another popular spot like Supply and Demand. If you don’t need a full meal, coffee and irresistible donuts from Suzy Q Doughnuts are worth making a stop for.
In Ottawa’s East end, you’ll be able to make plans too.
Where to go: Tumblers Gymnastic Centre, Orleans
What the kids can do: The kids will be excited for you to sign them up for a stop at Tumblers Gymnastics, and we can’t say we would blame them. From 2 pm until 6 pm on December 9 and 16, the kids will tumble, run, bounce, and burn off their energy while you shop, snack and relax. The cost is $40 per child, and no pre-registration is required.
What you can do: There are many options for shopping in Orleans. You can go to the shops on Innes road to check out the big box stores like Winners and Michaels. You’ll find festive and thoughtful gifts at the Hallmark Store and of course toys galore at Toys R Us. If you want to shop local, Blanc & Turquoise is a quaint shop with a beautiful selection of household items, jewellery and kitchenware for the adults on your list. Another option is to head to the Place d’Orleans Mall and scope out the many offerings located there. The newly renovated IndigoSpirit book store is a great place to start and the new Mastermind Toys across the street will have plenty to offer the kids on your list.
You’ll want to refuel after all your shopping. Right near Tumblers is the delicious OCCO Kitchen where you can grab a tasty taco or burger on their menu. For a quick bite and a yummy latte, visit Cafe Latte Cino or head out of Orleans further East to The Black Walnut Bakery.
Photo: OCCO Kitchen
With a couple of options in Ottawa to drop off the kids and shop, you’ll be able to get your list all crossed off, plus find time to enjoy a few peaceful moments to yourself that will help you find your festive spirit.