Just the other day my mom and I felt like venturing off for an adventure with the kiddos but wanted to try somewhere new for a change of scenery. With spring here (finally), the Aquatarium quickly came to mind. It’s just over an hour drive from the west end of Ottawa and has a beautiful location right on the water in Brockville.
I heard about them from a local Kids Festival in Ottawa and we were super interested to check it out! There is paid parking available just outside the building which is super convenient and not too pricey.
As soon as you enter you’ll be welcomed by reception and the cutest little gift shop. Once you pay you travel on the coolest submarine elevator ride to all the attractions. The space itself is over 33,000 square feet so you can imagine how much there is to do! Hours of fun.
The exhibits are hands on and interactive, starting with the touch tank. The touch tank is a salt water tank full of star fish, spider crabs, anemones and more. There is a staff member there who teaches you about the creatures and picks them up to help your little ones touch them. Jax was so intrigued but wasn’t willing to touch them. This coming from the kid that puts parrots and cockatoos all over him in Mexico…figure that one out!
We then went to the “Power of Water” exhibit, a MASSIVE water table room. The Aquatarium has created two large water table replicas of the St. Lawrence River. You can create your own electricity at the hydroelectric generation table. They even have working locks and dams to learn more about the St. Lawrence River, it even has the Thousand Islands Bridge! Important tip: bring a change of clothes or just extra shirts. They provide waterproof vests for the kids to wear but you still end up getting a bit wet.
As you can imagine, my kids could have stayed there all day but we had to pull them away to another area.The Kinetic Sand table was an awesome sand table full of toys, and just like that they forgot about that water table and were elbows deep in sand! So fun.
Right next to the sand table is the Singer Castle exhibit where we spent a little downtime playing with some of their toys, colouring and activities for the kids… plus lots of seating for everyone to relax. We stayed there for a few minutes then headed into the ships that they have where you can climb ladders and explore your imaginative side.
We wrapped up our visit with the river otters. They have three otters named Oliver, Ivy and Brock that live in a beautiful river habitat which even includes a waterfall to keep them happy, all within a huge glass enclosure. Sadly, they were snoozing and too far for us to see. Did I mention these little cuties are all rescues?
There really is so much more to do if you look at the list of all the exhibits including a super cool Ropes Course (for adults and kids aged 8 and up), lots of fish to look at, a water lab, boat simulator and more! They also host birthday parties and camps, among other services.
We highly recommend checking this place out if you’re up for something different and don’t mind taking a little drive from Ottawa. I’m curious to see if anyone knows about it or has visited since I hadn’t heard of it until I went to the kids show. Send me your comments and feedback, we can’t wait to go again soon!