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Family Fall Weekend in Ottawa

How many times do you turn the car around before leaving for a trip because you realize you forgot something? I’m pretty sure our neighbours take bets on how many times we do. Blankie, sunglasses, cell phones, runners, you name it, we forget it. Once I even forgot my passport on our way to the states and didn’t realize it till we were in Kingston :O. Yet, our track record to-date is pretty good on not forgetting the kid or the dog, so at this point we just roll our eyes and chuckle. This past weekends trip to Ottawa contained the usual mad rush to get out the door, numerous car turn arounds, still forgetting key items and even a last minute work call-out for the husband. But once we finally got to Ottawa and disregarded all the forgotten’s, it turned out to be a lovely mother-son weekend.

Our first planned stop was at Beaver Trail, a 2.6km hike in the Napean area of Ottawa. This is an incredible family friendly park with a bird sanctuary, homemade lean-to’s, perfect tree climbing spots, boardwalks and an easy, flat meandering trail. Our group spent almost two hours in the forest walking, playing and interacting with the whiskey jacks. The little birds followed us until we held out our hands, at which time if you were still enough, they would landed on our open palms to eat bird seed available for purchase right at the park. The bird interactions mesmerized the kids and everyone really enjoyed the peace and calm of the park.

After a solid tick check, we ventured over for a snack at the Strawberry Blonde Bakery in the Hampton Park district of the city. Strawberry Blonde Bakery’s is on a crusade to offer people with food allergies a place to enjoy treats. Needless to say we were in heaven and throughly enjoyed our vegan gluten free cookie and cinnamon bun to top off our afternoon.

After a good nights rest in the Travelodge Ottawa West, we met up with our friends for a morning of fun in the hotels small water park. The parents enjoyed the hot tub while the kids favourite was definitely the water-slide. After a few hours in the water, we headed over to the Glebe district and enjoy lunch and hot drinks at the Wild Oat Bakery and Cafe. This cafe, deli and bakery specializes in fresh, local and from-scratch food and is also perfectly located right beside the Mrs. Tiggy Winkles toy store. When you walk into Mrs. Tiggy Winkle’s it’s a sensory smorgasbord with a large selection of quality toys.

Our final stop in the Ottawa region was slated for South Marsh Highlands in North Kanata. This popular park is just 20 minutes from downtown Ottawa and filled with over 600 diverse species, old growth forest and countless mountain biking and hiking trails. Sadly the constant downpour of rain wouldn’t let up so we had to postpone our trail run for our next weekend adventure to Ottawa.

All in all, it was a success and well balanced weekend trip to the city and we highly recommend this family friendly destination for its countless options of green space, vibrant cafes and entries and unique things to do and see.

Drive from Trenton, Ontario: 2 hours 45 minutes
Costs: The obvious gas and food budget was required and we used points for the hotel stay. Other than that we just needed a few dollars for the bird seed at the conservation area!
Rating: 5 stars for the diversity of places to visit and things to do

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