Friday Family Fun: The summer fun we didn’t have

You know how you set out at the beginning of summer with a kind of a checklist in your mind called “fun things we must achieve as a family in order to consider this summer a success”? What, it’s only me that sees summer fun as a project to be achieved?

Anyway, this summer took an odd turn when I found out on the day before I went on vacation that I had to invest a good portion of my summer holiday preparing for my French exam. It all ended well, but it was definitely one of the more stressful summer vacations, and the summer family adventure checklist went out the window. While we had lots of little excursions, I feel like the list of ideas in my head has more left undone than done. It’s kind of a vacation version of my eyes being bigger than my stomach — my perception of our capacity for summer adventures was a little out of alignment with the actual circumstances of our summer. Having said that, here’s five ideas for Ottawa family adventures that we didn’t quite get around to doing this summer.

1. Port Elmsley Drive-In Theatre

I’ve been twitchy to go to eastern Ontario’s only drive-in theatre for years. We used to go all the time as kids and later as teenagers — I’ve always loved the drive-in. This one is about an hour’s drive from Ottawa, just outside of Smiths Falls. This is the last weekend of the season, and they’re playing the Smurf movie. We’ll definitely have to put this one near the top of the list for next summer!

2. EcoOdyssée

This is another adventure I’ve been meaning to check out for years. It’s a mixture of a pedal-boat adventure, mazes and a sort of eco-scavenger hunt. From their website:

Located on an enchanting site, Eco-Odyssée is a water maze that comprises an estimated 60 intersections spread out over more than 6km. Choose the adventure that suits you and enjoy the splendor of the marsh environment from your paddle boat. Learn to identify the numerous animal and plant species that live in the marsh, concealed within the forest’s greenery. You will be charmed by this journey of discovery.

They’re located just past Wakefield in Quebec, about half an hour from downtown Ottawa.

3. Dow’s Lake pedal boat and canoe rental

Don’t feel like the full-meal-deal for the EcoOdyssée? How about a leisurely pedal across Dow’s Lake? You can rent pedal-boats, canoes and kayaks. I may still find the time to cram this one in!

4. Lafleche Aerial Adventures and Caves

This one is on the Quebec side of the river too – maybe that’s why we never quite got enough momentum to make our way over there? Regardless, this seems like an awesome day of adventure to me! Lafleche seems to offer something for everyone — treetop rope bridges, zip lines, rock climbing, and cave spelunking. I can’t wait to check this one out some day!

5. Chasing the sunset at Britannia Beach

The beach is officially closed for the summer (boo!) but you should take advantage of the earlier sunset and take the family to watch the sun set from the point at Britannia Beach.

3 Jumping

There are rocks to climb, ducks to chase (or, erm, feed) and stones to be skipped into calm waters. For those of us who spent a summer landlocked, it’s a beautiful way to enjoy the spectacular beauty of the sun setting across the water. We may yet head out this weekend, if the weather holds out.

While summer may be over, I have lots of ideas left to share (and apparently lots of adventures yet to achieve!) If you enjoyed these, I may continue the Friday Family Fun series on a more sporadic basis through the fall and winter. And if you’ve got insight into any of the adventures I mentioned today, I’d love to hear your thoughts!

Author: DaniGirl

Canadian. storyteller, photographer, mom to 3. Professional dilettante.

One thought on “Friday Family Fun: The summer fun we didn’t have”

  1. They all sound fantastic!! I suggest port elmsley for next summer definitely. It’s so much fun! My boyfriend and I go as often as possible.. The bathroom’s aren’t my favorite..( I mean really not ok!!) But the popcorn and blue slushies at the food stand are a quick jump back to childhood memories 🙂

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