Summer family fun doesn’t have to break the bank!

by DaniGirl on July 10, 2012 · 3 comments

in Ottawa Family Fun

First, I’d like to say hello and welcome if you’re stopping by after this morning’s segment on CBC Ottawa Morning. Hi! It was a great honour to finally meet Robin, Dave and my co-speaker Chris, aka Canadian Dad.

If you missed it, we were talking about the cost of summer with kids. Vacation season is great, but it sure can be pricy. I brought up this topic on Facebook yesterday, and one parent mentioned she and her husband are actually taking consecutive vacations to help minimize the cost of daycare and camps while the kids are out of school. That doesn’t even broach the idea of a $250 day at your favourite water park, or even a $75 afternoon at the movies.

Andrew Haydon Park splash play, Ottawa

I think the city of Ottawa offers some great low-cost and free alternatives for families. I just enrolled the boys in a city-run camp in our community for $160 per kid for a week, which is not outrageous compared to some of the specialty camps I’ve seen. (I’m really glad that Beloved can be home with the kids for most of the summer!)

At our local library, there are some really neat free workshops on Wednesday afternoons, if you want to get in out of the sun for a while. Head back outdoors to one of the dozens of free splash pads and wading pools operated by the city. Many of them even offer free swim lessons, crafts and other free programing. A few years back, I made up a big list of 40 free family activities, most of which are still available. (Note to self, time to revisit and update that post!)

Speaking of old posts, I did an entire series last summer on fun family activities in Ottawa, and family fun in general. I hope to add a few more in the next few weeks when my vacation officially starts.

Fun with sidewalk chalk paint (2 of 6)

You don’t have to break the bank to have a fun summer right here at home. What are your family’s favourite summer excursions?

{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Kelly July 10, 2012 at 12:32 pm

For slightly older kids, or ones who can stay up late, the Sound & Light show on Parliament Hill is a lovely (free) family activity. Bring a big blanket to lay on and snuggle together for 30 minutes of colourful Canadian History. 10pm for the month of July, 9:30 for August.

2 Canadian Dad July 10, 2012 at 2:41 pm

Thanks Danielle! It was great meeting you today, I had a blast on the show! Also, you got this post up quick, lol! I have so much to learn…. 😀


3 Chantal July 13, 2012 at 3:19 pm

Hey Dani, I totally meant to come on her that day and say I heard you on the radio! It was a great segment. Summer is a mixed blessing for me. Being the parent who told you my DH and I are splitting up our holidays. It makes me sad that we can’t spent oodles of time as a full family together, but I really want to not only max the time I don’t have to pay for daycare, but also max the time my kids can just relax, go to bed when they want, and sleep in as long as they want. Summer camp, even though not exactly like school, maintains the school like schedule and they deserve a break. I was lucky as a kid (like yours) my father was a college teacher and had summers off.

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