Not the Usual Brunch


When it comes to Mother’s Day, we’ve learned that the best gift you can give is time. That could mean time away to relax, or some much-needed quality time with our children (while someone else does the heavy lifting). Any combination of the two is ideal for our big day.
Our suggestion for those in need of ideas: plan a picnic (hint to moms—forward this article!). Ottawa is replete with ideal venues for a beautiful spring picnic, and there’s no shortage of shops eager to help you put a basket together. Besides, a picnic gives the children room to run around, be noisy, and burn off some energy, while you get that foot massage you so deserve.

We like Andrew Haydon Park on Carling Avenue in the city’s west end, which has a playground, tables and barbecues; Mooney’s Bay, which has all of those things plus a giant grass hill that the kids will enjoy climbing and rolling down; and the Experimental Farm for those who like to spread their picnic blankets out underneath exotic trees and watch the joggers go by.

Vincent Massey Park on Riverside Drive near Heron offers picnic areas, parking, toilets, water fountains, softball diamonds, electricity and barbecue pits—plus a view of the river. For something completely different, try Victoria Island (also known as Turtle Island) at the foot of the Chaudière Falls, where you can eat with a view of not just the river, but the Parliament Buildings and Gatineau Hills. Motorists should enter via the Chaudière or Portage bridges; if you’re on foot, use the Chaudière Bridge.


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