A great night with the kids: The Gower family hits up Busker Fest, Confederation Park and the ByWard Market

Glen Gower and the fam on a perfect night out in Ottawa

Glen Gower is the owner and editor of OttawaStart.com, a great friend to Local Tourist Ottawa, and a life-long Ottawa resident.

One of our favourite nights last summer was an evening spent downtown with our daughters (almost five and three at the time). 

We made the trek from the exciting suburb of Stittsville with a plan to check out the Busker Festival on Sparks Street.

Here’s what happened:

  • The first busking show we saw on Sparks Street featured a performer who juggled a chainsaw, then mounted a bike atop a 30-foot poll and juggled knives and torches.  Not quite the usual thing you see on Sparks Street.
  • Walked down Sparks Street, and found Silver Elvis in front of D’Arcy McGee’s at Elgin.  He’s a coin-operated Elvis impersonator, dressed from head to toe in silver.  The girls emptied my pockets looking for coins to make him dance.  (Overheard one spectator asking “is he real?”)
  • Glen's daughter and Oscar Peterson

    Crossed the street and found the Oscar Peterson statue.  Our youngest daughter was terrified that it would come alive, just like Silver Elvis.  It didn’t.

  • From there, we walked across the street and found the Shoescape art installation at Confederation Park, part of the Rideau Canal Festival.  Our girls love footwear so it was a hit.  Hope it’s back again in some form this year.
  • Next stop was dinner.  We asked ourselves, “what is the most touristy place we can think of downtown, and therefore the most likely to be kid-friendly”. Answer: Hard Rock Cafe in the ByWard Market. Our booth was right below a Queen electric guitar and the girls thought the Beatles Room was cool. (They are already rock nerds like their dad.)
  • Shoescape in Confederation Park

    Strolled down William Street, checked out the Crocs store, and then tried on sunglasses at Le Xuan.

  • Dessert at Pure Gelato.  Busy night outside on the patio.
  • The kids were getting tired so we splurged on a rickshaw ride to take us back to Sparks Street, where the girls were mesmerized by Silver Elvis, again.

All in all a perfect night. Highly recommended for all Local Tourists, especially Local Tourists with young kids.

Thanks for the downtown tour Glen!

Are you interested in hitting up Ottawa’s 20th annual Busker Festival? It takes place from July 28 to August 1, 2011 on the Sparks Street Mall. There are more than 40 performances daily, with entertainers from across Canada and around the world. For more information, head on over to OttawaStart.

The Rideau Canal Festival also takes place this weekend, from July 28 to August 1.