Indoor fun for your small tots: Kids in the Capital’s Lara Wellman shares her top spots
Lara Wellman (blog | Twitter) is a wife, mother, and social media lover/freelancer. As co-founder of Kids in the Capital and Losing it in Ottawa, Lara loves to build online communities that translate into real life communities.
They are lively, fun, and energetic. But one of the biggest challenges with small children, especially if you have more than one of them, is taking them to a place where you feel confident you can keep track of them, and feel they are in a safe and secure environment.
Ottawa offers a lot of fabulous child-friendly activities and venues but not all are ideal for parents on their own with toddlers and pre-schoolers; especially ones who have a tendency to make a run for it when you least expect it.
Here are a few of the many Ottawa-area indoor locations that have made the herding of small children a little bit less stressful for parents:
3825 Richmond Road, Bells Corners
Kid Kaf is a child-friendly cafe located in Bells Corners. While the front of the shop is set up as a regular cafe, the back in the perfect oasis for parents and their young children. A large area that is filled with climbers, slides, playhouses, rocking horses and various other toys is accessible only by a buzz-in system. To exit you must press the button located at adult level. While in the space patrons have access to ordering food and drinks through a pass through window. There is an age limit of five and under for Kid Kaf so parents don’t need to worry that larger and rougher children will take over or potentially harm the younger ones. The cost is $2.99 for infants under 11 months and $3.99 for older children – parents are included in this price.
1373 Ogilvie Road, Gloucester
Cosmic is a large indoor playground for kids of all ages, with two toddler designated areas that are great for bringing small children to. The second floor area is large and has many toys as well as a climber and ball pit. The area in enclosed with a large bumper (although some climbing children can make it over the bumper so keeping vigilant is important). For parents of children of varying ages it is ideal because they can let older children explore the bigger tunnels and slides while staying in the toddler areas with the younger ones. The cost is $10.99 for one year olds, $13.99 for two and three year olds, $16.99 for four to 12 year olds and $5.99 for adults. They also offer yearly memberships for $100 (cheaper for additional children) that include the cost of two adults per child.
Place d’Orleans Play Place
Just off RR174/Highway 17 at Place d’Orléans Drive
Place d’Orleans offers a free play area for kids on the second floor near the food court. The area is enclosed with a latching gate and there is a staff person who sits by the door ensuring there are no escapees. There is a toddler area at the back and a large climbing structure for the older kids at the front. Children can’t escape the entire area, but there is no gate to keep the smaller children in the infant area, so there may be some chasing required when they want to make a break for the more exciting and larger structure. The larger structure is fairly small-child friendly, as anything too difficult for a toddler is too hard for a toddler to climb on to, but parents must be vigilant of the older and often quite boisterous kids who can be in the bigger area.
Thanks Lara! Do you have fun spots you take your kids that you want to share with LTOttawa readers? Send us a note!