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Ottawa kid friendly places

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 
I'm looking for somewhere i can go with my 14 month old daughter (and newborn, I guess!) that is indoors and either cheap or free. I've got a few friends who want to get together regularly but their houses aren't kid proof and my house is inaccessible without a car (and i'm not willing to pick up and drop off for meet ups). I'm really struggling to think of somewhere we can go. I love the Children's Museum but it's too expensive to go there even semi regularly. If anyone knows of drop in centers or kids gyms or even a good mall that isn't too busy where my daughter can run around and I can talk with a friend it would be much appreciated!
post #2 of 10
There are always Early Years Centres - they're all over the place at different times and days. Sometimes you have to be there quite early in order to get your spot. And I think the Experimental Farm is still free for a bit (but probably not much longer). Good luck.
post #3 of 10
Some of the elementary schools have a Parent and Family Literacy Centres attached. They are free (you do not have to have a child attending there) and kids get a variety of activities and snacks provided.
post #4 of 10
Thread Starter 
I haven't heard of Early Years, I'll need to look into that. Also didn't know about the literacy centers... I know an elementary school teacher in Ottawa, I'll ask her about that. Thanks for the info! (and experimental farm... why didn't I think of that!??)
post #5 of 10
Hey Astraia - what part of Quebec are you in? There is a fabulous network of moms with babes in the Chelsea and Wakefield area. I think there are more than 40 members now. We have a google group email list and people post about get togethers all the time. There are regular pot lucks at baby-proofed houses as well as a weekly get together at Molo in Wakefield (organized by another group but probably most of the same members). I'm back at work now, as are a lot of the other original moms, so I'm a bit out of touch but I know that new members are always welcome. If you are interested, send me a PM and I will get you hooked up. The group originally formed in March 09 when a bunch of us met at a mom & baby yoga class at La Grange. It grew quickly and my social calendar was full for my entire mat leave. It was wonderful and I'm sure you'd enjoy joining in. When the weather turns, there will be regular walks/hikes planned too.

Also, another idea is to subscribe to the Wakefield News (depending on where you live, but if you're close to Ottawa, it should apply) as there are often listings for baby-friendly events including the Molo drop-in I mentioned above.
post #6 of 10
I know in Ottawa, you can borrow museum passes from the public library that allow you to go to the museums (like the Nature Museum, Science Museum & Civilization Museum) for free. I'm not sure if the library where you are has that? Also, the museums also have free days -- Thursday evenings for the Civilization museum, National Gallery and War museum; and Saturday mornings for the Nature Museum.
post #7 of 10
Good tip! The Chelsea library also lends museum passes.
post #8 of 10
Hi there!
There is mall in Orleans, Place D'Orleans (a bit of a drive, tho) that has an enclosed play area - I believe that it's free. Also, I think that the Children's Museum is free on Thursdays after 4:00 PM (but it closes at 5:00 during the winter).
There is also Cosmic Adventures, but it's also pricey (and hyper-stimulating!)
The St. Laurent Library is pretty good, too - and free.
It's hard, I know! I am always struggling to find places, too.
Soon the weather will be better and you can meet up at some parks (there are several that are fenced-in, too!!
post #9 of 10
The childhood literacy centres are great, they're staffed by people with ECE training, it's kind of like a daycare, with organized activities, a regular schedule, and the only difference is that you don't leave.

I loved them in the winter especially, I would take the kids I used to nanny to one in their Toronto neighbourhood, it was like the neighbourhood playground in winter.
post #10 of 10
Thread Starter 
Sorry, I totally forgot about this topic. Thank you all for your responses! I'll need to call the Ottawa library to ask about their museum passes. I had no idea the Children's museum was free at any point either, so I'll look into that. I haven't heard of Child Literacy Centers, but I'll put it on my list of stuff to google and call about. JessieBird, we're about 20 min or so from Chelsea so I'll PM you when I get another minute ... baby is waking up so I need to run!
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