Tag Archives: activities for kids

Welcome to Sponsor Tumblers Gymnastics

We’re so lucky here in Ottawa to have a great selection of gymnastics centres. Some are recreational, while other combine both recreational and competitive options – which means that anyone can participate, regardless of ability (wouldn’t it be cool to have an adult gymnastics class? I’ll admit I’m rather jealous of my 2 year-old tumbling around on the mats!)

Tumblers Gymnastics Centre has been around for 25 years, incorporating in 1989 as a not-for-profit organization. It’s now one of the largest gymnastics clubs in the province. Recreational classes follow the CanGym program, and specialty classes include Introductory Rhythmic Gymnastics, recreational trampoline, and Acro for Dance.

We had a chance to go and check out Tumblers’ drop-in class, which runs every morning at 10:30 a.m. except Tuesdays.


The centre is GIANT! My daughter was in awe of all the fun things to check out – she had access to all the equipment during the drop-in. For a two year-old, it’s better to be free to run around :) Her favourite things to do were jump on the trampoline and walk on the balance beams!


Staff were welcoming and friendly, and interacted with all the kids on the bars, trampoline and balance beams. A viewing area in the lobby is available for parents to watch their child’s progress in kinder and recreational classes (a.k.a quiet time for Mommy to drink coffee ;) )


Check out the Fall schedule now for drop-in times, kinder and recreational programs – children can participate from as young as one year in parent-assisted classes.

If you’re in the East end (or anywhere for that matter!), come by and check out Tumblers Gymnastics Centre – my daughter is already asking when we can go again!

Balena Park

by Lara

We have so many great parks in Ottawa and we love to hear about what YOUR favourite parks are.  Over the years we’ve written about all kinds of parks around the city.  If you’d like to write a post about yours, send us an email at kidsinthecapital@gmail.com – we’d love to share it!

Balena Park

We live in Orleans where we have access to a lot of great splash pads, but there’s something so special about the old wading pools that I try to make at least a few visits to them each year.  Balena is a park that is generally quiet and not over crowded, with a great pool and great structures. Structure at Balena

There are three different structures plus swing sets for the kids to play on.  It keeps them entertained for hours on end.

Wading pool

The wading pool is the highlight for the kids.  There is a shallow area for babies (which comes to about mid-shin on me) and the deeper area is probably only about 2-2.5 feet deep.  It’s great because the kids all feel comfortable in the water (this is the first summer, at 5, I’ve let them in without a life jacket on though) and there are lifeguards on duty. Unfortunately the wading pools are only open for a couple more weeks, but if you have a chance, check them out (and the special events they often hold) before then! They also aren’t generally ready for swimmers until about 11 since the pools are emptied every night and have to be re-filled in the morning.



Another feature of all the wading pools is that the lifeguards are all equipped with craft supplies!  When the kids are ready for a break in the shade they can head over and they’ll have an activity to keep them busy! crafts at Balena Park Finished craft from Balena park

Here are a few other Park posts from over the years:

Brewer Park

Carp splash pad


A few other favourites

What’s your favourite Ottawa area park?

5 Ways to Celebrate Valentine’s Day

When I think of Valentine’s Day, I think of red roses and chocolate (actually, I associate chocolate with almost any word, but I’m a bit obsessed). I also associate this day with romantic love – a chance to escape the chaos of family life and celebrate with my husband.

But my parents always celebrated The Day of Love with us as children, and I often woke up to a special gift on my chair at the kitchen table. Although I’ll look forward to giving my hubby a special card or a homemade treat, I’m also excited to share the love with my children. And truthfully, there’s no money (and a lack of babysitters) to give us a night of freedom :)

Here are 5 great ways to celebrate Valentine’s Day with your family:

1.  Date Night (or afternoon) – Surprise your child by picking them up early from school, and taking them out for a treat. So what if it’s -15 outside? Indulge in an ice cream cone together (if school is more important for your child than it is for my kindergartner, then schedule your date post-dinner)

2. Go outside for a hike in the woods, and leave random hearts in the snow (these snow markers are so much fun!)

3. Read a special book all about Valentine’s Day – this is our favourite!

4. Help your child make a Valentine’s mail box, where they can collect all their Valentine’s from school (yes, I know how annoying it is to have to write 30 Valentine’s to all the kids in your child’s class, but remember how much fun it was to receive them?)

5. If you want to purchase something, consider a gift that can support a charity – have your child pick out something special! These ideas from Me to We are fantastic!

How are you celebrating Valentine’s Day?


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