With the month of July almost behind us, and that I’ve said all I ever want to say about the dismantled entity formerly known as Robsten; I am going to dedicate this blog post to the downtown playground and wading pool that has helped me keep my kids active, cooled down in this summer’s heat, and my marbles intact.
We discovered St. Luke’s Park in Centretown 4 or 5 summers ago. This City of Ottawa-run playground is golden for us because it is fenced in and the gates are required to be shut at all times, which helps keep DS9, a born runner, contained. Plus, as is my feeling about many of the urban parks, it has character. It is a bit overwhelming when the day campers in the area show up around lunch time for their afternoon outdoor activities, but by the time they arrive we’re about ready to move on anyway.
The other City-run playground and wading pool that might top this one is located behind the Sandy Hill Community Centre on Somerset Street East, between Henderson and Sweetland. I didn’t get a photo of the Sandy Hill play structure the other day when we were there – the wading pool at St. Luke’s Park is closed on Wednesdays, which is how we found ourselves a couple of kilometres east of our usual spot – but it looks a lot like the one that was burned down in Toronto’s High Park a few months back, if a bit smaller in scale.
The other reason why we like St. Luke’s Park? It’s almost directly across the street from this:
Finding a parking spot on Elgin and the side-streets, without having to feed a pay meter, can be tricky, so my suggestion is to go with someone with kids who owns a SUV or minivan and head down en masse. (Note: first, I’m not a fan of “rapid transit” in this town; and second, for me, DS9 travels better in a car.) Go for lunch afterwards – or better yet, bring a picnic lunch – and then, to beat the heat, venture back up Elgin to McLeod Street and pay a visit to the Museum of Nature (which is something I plan to add on the next time we head that way).
Fun, inexpensive, and the kids are outdoors and offline. Who could ask for more than that?