Five Winter Activities for Ottawa Toddlers

I do not know if I really can say “Happy Monday” today – it is back to work after two weeks off. I’m sure I will be struggling all day. Thankfully I work in an environment that can allow for continuous intake of caffeinated beverages.

It has been a fairly difficult winter, weather wise. It has either been really really snowy or really really cold. On cold days, I do not like Max playing outside, nor does his daycare provider. Yesterday’s temperature was not that bad, but it was freezing rain out. Can’t win!

Here in Ottawa, winter weather will be bad, it is a given. Once that snow starts falling, all the playgrounds and open areas are buried for months. So what are we supposed to do for our very active toddler who want to run?

winter activities


1) Go to the Mall

Malls are warm and have lots of things to look at. Yesterday we were at Place d’Orleans right when it opened to have a good walk around the mall. We only went into Target (I needed shampoo). The rest of the 45 minute walk was just spent walking around, looking at the Christmas trees and playing on those mechanical rides (the toddlers yesterday didn’t care that the rides were moving).

2) Museums!

On Saturday, Max and I went to the Museum of Science and Technology, as the robotics team was there. We walked around the whole museum and looked at trains, cars and pressed 500 buttons. Obviously, toddlers will not be reading the information on most of the exhibits, but just about all the exhibits are interactive and toddlers are happy just to press a button or pick up a phone. There were tons of families there on Saturday morning, almost all with children Max’s age. The Museum of Civilization in Gatineau/Hull has a Children’s museum that is meant for little kids. We have been there and Max had a ball!


3) Rideau Canal Skating

Ok, this is an outdoor activity, but it is still worth a mention. Although Max is a little young for skating himself – you can pull your toddler in a sled or just use a stroller. We brought the chariot last year and it was fine. If your toddler can skate, great! Once you are finished skating you can grab a beavertail (or two). See the website for more info.


4) Fun Haven, Cosmic Adventures

I have not been to either location Рbut I will probably take Max to Cosmic Adventures in the next few weeks. Fun Haven and Cosmic Adventures are two indoor fun centres. Fun Haven has attractions for children of all ages (including bumper cars) while Cosmic Adventures is more for kids 12 and under (12+ kids can only enter with another younger child).  At Cosmic Adventures there are two soft play areas for younger toddlers and babies. Cosmic Adventures is also a nut-free facility and bans outside food as well.

5) Go Swimming!

Ottawa has no shortage of wave pools. I used to laugh every time I visited Ottawa when I saw the signs for ‘Kanata Wave Pool’. There are a few wave pools to choose from in Ottawa. There is at least one wave pool in the east, centre and west end of Ottawa. Visit the City of Ottawa recreation website to find a location and times.


Hopefully the winter does not last too long and we can all go to the park soon!

Ottawa parents – anything else to add? Feel free to comment!

Parents from other places – what do you do for fun in the winter?

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  1. Kristi

    If you go for Cosmic Adventures or Funhaven my only advice is take some Tylenol for the headache that is bound to come! They are fun place for the kids but oh my gosh the noise level is enough to make you go crazy. I have no idea how anyone manages to work in those places!
    Local playgroups are another way to keep the kids busy in the winter. And starting at about 3 years old my guys loved going to skating rinks, indoor or outdoor.

  2. K

    The train museum is a favourite around here!


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