Visiting a Fire Station

One of the highlights for our girls this summer was visiting a fire station.  We visited Ottawa Fire Station 23 (Carling & Kirkwood) because my husband knows the Platoon Chief. But you can visit any station in the city and they will give you a tour as part of Ottawa’s Fire Safety Program.  If you are interested in going for a tour call the fire education department of the city to set up a time (click here to find a fire station near you.

Fire Station 4

Our tour started in the Platoon Office where the staffing of all 29 fire stations is controlled. Next we were led through the station to the garage to meet our guide (a nice rookie who was great with kids) to see the fire trucks.  Station 23 has two main pumper trucks and one ladder truck.  Our guide explained how trucks are dispatched when a call come in and that some stations don’t have enough staff to operate all the equipment at any particular time.

Fire Station 2

The girls got to sit in the truck and see and touch the equipment that firefighters use when they are fighting a fire.  The parents also got to pick up and carry bags of equipment to feel how heavy they are.  The firefighters need to carry these bags of equipment up countless flights of stairs.

Fire Station 1

The kids were a little nervous about all of the big equipment so our very nice rookie took us to the kitchen to see where they prepared and ate all their meals.  Firefighters are on duty for 24 hour shifts (yes, they sleep and eat at the station) and they have to be ready to go to a call anytime.  This is why you often see firetrucks at the grocery store.  One time they got a call when they were grocery shopping and had a full cart of groceries!

Fire Station 3

Station 23 is one of the older stations in Ottawa and even has a fire pole.  Newer stations are only one floor and no longer have fire poles.

Fire Station 6

The end of the tour led us back to the garage where the girls got a chance to help wash the fire truck.  They were happily scrubbing away when a call came in over the speakers.  We moved to the back of the garage and got to see all the fire fighters get suited up, get into the trucks and drive out onto Carling Ave with sirens blaring.

 fire station 5

Walking With Dinosaurs

Walking with Dinosaurs

Do you love dinosaurs? Have a dino-loving little one? You’ll want to check out Walking With Dinosaurs, on now at the Canadian Tire Center. This show is an arena spectacular with 20 life-sized dinosaurs including the Tyrannosaurus Rex!

I was able to meet the baby T-Rex at an event last week and I can tell you that it was pretty awesome, and he only comes up to his mama’s waist. I can’t even imagine seeing the big dinosaurs. Not only that, at the show you get to see them move, hear them roar, and learn things along the way.

Baby T-Rex from Walking with Dinosaurs

Baby T-Rex from Walking with Dinosaurs

This show is sure to be amazing, though probably not suitable for all children. My 3-year-old was petrified of Baby T, but my 4-year-old was excited. I would love to know if you’re planning to go and what you thought of the show!


You can buy tickets on the Walking With Dinosaurs website. The showtimes are:

Thursday, August 21 at 7 pm

Friday, August 22 at 7 pm

Saturday, August 23 at 11 am, 3 pm, and 7 pm

Sunday, August 24 at 11am and 3pm


A big thank you to the organizers and evenko for the opportunity to attend the media preview and meet Baby T.

Keeping the kids awake during road trips

Keeping kids entertained on drivesWhen I was young and when we went on road trips, we had to walk barefoot uphill both ways in the snow. Wait.  I mean, we had to entertain ourselves with nothing more than the radio to listen to and the other passengers to entertain us. (But. But.  I don’t LIKE THAT SONG!) I’ve always gotten sick really easily if I read or wrote or coloured in the car, so when I was a kid, when were weren’t listening to the limited radio stations available to us (and I swear, I feel like our first car didn’t even HAVE a radio) we were singing songs and playing games. We have a lot more options at hand for the kids on road trips now.  For one, they don’t get car sick (knock on wood) so they colour and write stories and read books.  We also have the plethora of electronics we throw into the back to keep them entertained.  But sometimes we kick it  old school when we’re in the car, and it reminds us how much fun car games can be. We often pull out the car games in moments of desperation – like when they’re about to fall asleep with only an hour left to go.  That nap you know will make everything quiet in the car/van but if they sleep they’ll be up until midnight.  And you don’t want them up until midnight!!

20 questions

It’s an oldie but a goodie.  Think of something and let people ask you yes, no, or sometimes questions until they guess what you’re thinking of (or you hit 20 questions.) Warning.  It isn’t a super easy concept for the 5 and under crowd to grasp. Have you tried playing 20 questions with 7 and 5 year olds? It’s hilarious!  And possibly a bit frustrating if you let it get to you. Daddy “Is it an animal?” 7 year old “yes” Mommy “Does it have fur?” 7 year old “yes” 5 year old “Is it a house?” Mommy “We already said it was a furry animal” 5 year old “Oh right! Is it a furry cloud with feet?” snicker snicker snicker. 7 year old giggling “No!” Other 5 year old “Is it a house?”

Story-telling game

This is where one person starts a story and each person gets to add a sentence to the story.  This goes well as long as you have the following rule:  Your sentence cannot be “and then he died. The End.”  Without that rule, there is fighting.  With that rule, things go quite smoothly as we move through lands of princesses, dragons and monsters. We also play license plate games, and find all the letters of the alphabet games.  Here is a whole list of games to play in the car, many of which we’ve tried and done quite successfully. How about you?  What games do your kids like to play in the car?