Summer is a season that’s nearly synonymous with water fun. I’m pretty sure my girls would actually *live* in their bathing suits all summer, if I gave them the chance.
My best friend Cathy is in the same boat with her two girls. So where do you go when you have four little sea nymphs on your hands? The Calypso Waterpark turned out to be the perfect spot for us to spend a splash-filled day last week.
Canada’s largest theme waterpark, Calypso is located between Ottawa and Montreal. It was a good 45-minute drive from our place in Ottawa’s south end – with quite a number of “Are we there yet??” moments to contend with – but the kids definitely found it to be worth the wait.
After stashing our stuff in lockers (be prepared to make a $10 deposit per locker – you’ll get $5 at the end of the day when you return the key), we set up camp next to ‘Calypso Palace’ – the park’s massive wave pool. This area is nicely set up with oodles of white lounge chairs, behind which is a grassy area with dozens of picnic tables (every table has an umbrella – bonus!). We left our towels, sunscreen and sandals at a picnic table; I noticed that many other families had brought in full-sized coolers, too.
The kids voted to kick off our water fun at ‘Zoo Lagoon’ – and it took us moms a few minutes to realize that this area is actually meant for toddlers. Our kids – who range from six to 10 years, collectively – could not have seemed to care less. After about half an hour, however, we coaxed them next door to ‘Pirate’s Aquaplay,’ which was a bit more age appropriate for our crew. My six-year-old daughter, Lily, couldn’t get enough of the massive bucket that slowly fills and then dumps a tidal wave of water on your head – I’m actually a bit surprised the surge didn’t knock her right off her feet, but she just kept going back for more!
The rest of the day passed by in a happy blur of slides and wave pool fun. Our kids especially liked the ‘Jungle Challenge’ and ‘Family Twisters’ – a series of four coiled waterslides that seemed to be sized just right for them. The three oldest girls also loved ‘Kongo Expedition,’ but Lily was too small to ride without a life jacket (we found out late in the day that life jackets can be borrowed free at the entrance – just leave your ID).
When it was time to break for lunch, Calypso’s ‘Main Street Restaurant’ had all the kid-friendly fare we could ask for – the cafeteria-style cheeseburgers, hot dogs and fries totally hit the spot. Cathy’s youngest daughter Sasha, however, needed a gluten-free meal as she’s celiac. The ‘Ulysses Bar & Grill’ had a number of options – we hit a home run with a personal-sized, gluten-free pizza for Sash.
Our last ride of the day was ‘Jungle Run’ – which was a fun, floaty ride through a simulated jungle river – complete with insect and animal noises all around you.
On the way out, we capped off our fun-filled day at the ‘Penguins’ Stop’ for an ice-cream cone. Cathy treated all of us using the park’s ‘Money at my fingertip’ payment method, which allows you to pre-load money for park services and do a finger swipe to pay – rather than carrying cash. Having never seen this biometric technology in action, I was rather fascinated watching Cathy do her “finger swipe” at the ice-cream shop!
We stayed at the park till it was nearly closing time – and Cathy and I basically had to drag the kids out. On the way home, Lily fell asleep in the car – a sure sign of a very happy, exhausted customer.