Last year the Kids in the Capital team got a rare chance to spend the day together! When we are invited to check out an activity or an event, it's often something we do alone or with one of our kids. But this time, Calyspo Theme Waterpark sent us on our merry way with 8 tickets for both our families!
Neither Lara or I had visited Calypso before, so we were curious to experience Canada's leading waterpark.
Before I go on, let's just talk about the elephant in the room. When Lara and I posted about the trip on our personal Facebook pages, some of our parent friends were concerned about safety at Calypso, especially given the media attention they've been given over the past several years..
Lara and I can honestly say we felt the park was very safe. There are over 120 certified lifeguards throughout the park, as well as other well-trained staff. During our time in the wave pool, lifeguards were quick to point out to us a safer place to sit with our little ones once the waves got too big. As well, during our time at the Jungle Challenge (an obstacle course featuring walk-on logs, crocodiles and water lilies), a lifeguard offered to stand with my youngest while I helped my oldest navigate the ropes.
Life jackets are available for free if you leave a piece of Photo ID with the staff. I made sure both my girls were wearing life jackets so that if I lost hold of them, I would at least have a back-up in place. As parents, we also need to be responsible for our own children. Choosing play areas/rides that are age appropriate (and skill-level appropriate!) is the best way to go.
So what is there to do? Lara and I have children under the age of 8, so the giant waterslides were out of the question.
My girls and I spent most of our time in the Zoo Lagoon - a large kiddie pool with baby slides and smaller gentle slides. There was lots of sliding, splashing, spraying and climbing, and both kids were happy.
A couple of Lara's kids also enjoyed the Pirate's Aquaplay, which seemed great for ages 6+. My girls watched on as a GIANT bucket of water would fill and then dump over the entire pirate ship, soaking the people below. It looked like a blast. Her kids also enjoyed several of the slides at the park, which were appropriate for children as young as 5.
We did try the lazy Jungle Run river, although my girls were frightened by the animal noises coming from the speakers and the waterfalls that we had to navigate.
There are many restaurants on site, and I saw a lot of families with lunches packed in coolers. There was ample picnic space, shaded by beautiful coniferous trees. And of course, the highlight of the girls' lunch was their Chapman's ice cream.
We'll definitely be going back, and I think next time we'll make sure to bring:
- A wagon to carry towels, shoes etc. Everyone leaves their stuff by the chairs and picnic tables, and I didn't feel worried about things going missing.
- A lock for valuables - locks can be rented, although I saw some people had brought their own. The lockers can hold your wallet, phone etc.
- A nice picnic lunch
- Our own life jackets
- Water shoes
Disclaimer: Lara and I received day passes to Calypso for ourselves and our families. All of our opinions are our own, and we have to admit, we're quite opinionated ;)
Have you been to Calypso? What did you think?