The Scene at the Piscine

SavvyMom April 8, 2016
jumpingintowater

Right now we can barely remember what it’s like when it gets hot in this city, but when it does you and the kids will no doubt be looking for somewhere to cool off.
It’s no secret that the City of Ottawa runs dozens of wading pools at parks across the city, open six days a week until August 20. These are staffed by lifeguards who also run recreational programs, like crafts, games, special events and theme days. For your slightly older kids, this is almost like free babysitting with a pool thrown in.

What you might not know is that most of these pools also offer free swimming lessons to young beginners through the city’s Waterplay Program. Ask staff at your local park for more details.

Lots of families who live centrally swear by the Lansdowne wading pool. With its proximity to Bank Street shops, it’s easy to pick up your iced coffee or picnic supplies and keep strolling until you reach the park.

If you are looking for somewhere a bit less busy, some SavvyMoms prefer Windsor (in Old Ottawa South) or Brantwood (Ottawa East) pools for their smaller crowds and scenic settings along the Rideau River. With their numerous trees for shade, expanses of grass to stretch out on, varieties of play structures nearby and of course, those river views, these two pools get our vote.

In both cases, bring nets and buckets for frog catching by the riverbanks, and bread for feeding the ducks. See if you can spot the spectacular royal swans: there is a pair who seem to prefer the stretch of the Rideau just south of Brantwood Park.

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