a peek inside the fishbowl

10 Feb, 2009

Summer day camps for Ottawa kids?

Posted by andrea tomkins in: - Ottawa for kids|Easy ways to make kids happy

I know there’s still a thick crust of snow outside our windows but it has been brought to my attention that it’s dangerously close for summer day camp registration in and around Ottawa.

Because I have the luxury of working from home we have never used daycamp as a substitute for daycare. But many do. As a result, summer camps tend to book up very quickly around here.

My tip to you: if you’re thinking about sending your kid to camp this year you better figure out where you’re going.

Last year we signed the girls up for a week at the Experimental Farm camp. It was a huge hit. I highly recommend sending city kids to spend time on a working farm. This year we’re giving in to Emma and Sarah’s (but especially Emma’s) love for horses. Both girls are going to a western riding camp.

The girls haven’t gone to sleepaway camp, but I’d really like to send them to one someday. I think all kids should have the opportunity to go to camp. As a former camper (and camp counsellor!) I think it’s one of those “can’t miss” experiences.

Do your kids do the summer camp thing? Any really good ones to share in the Ottawa area? (I’ve always wanted to send them to art camp at the Ottawa School of Art.)

And what about you? Did you go to camp when you were a kid?


p.s. Can you spare a pint? Don’t forget about the Valentine’s Day bloggy blood drive!

17 Responses to "Summer day camps for Ottawa kids?"

1 | Chantal

February 10th, 2009 at 9:40 am


Working full time I have sent my oldest son to camp two summers in a row. He loves the change from the school routine, the new friends and the field trips. The last two years he went to the YMCA camp (Adventure camp). I had him registered for 7 of the 9 weeks of summer but parents can pick and chose a week here or a week there based on their schedule or the theme of the week. This year he is in a day care at his school so he will be staying there. I would like to put him in acting camp for one week (if that even exists).

My youngest is in a day care centre so camp hasn’t been an issue yet. I do plan on putting him in the half day Agriculture Museum camp this summer.

I know it seems early but I had my guy all registered by the end of Feb last year. It was a huge load of stress of my back.

2 | andrea

February 10th, 2009 at 9:48 am


Tell me about it. When we get the registration done with (for day camp and actual camping) I feel sooo much better. And it gives me something to get excited about too.

3 | Loukia

February 10th, 2009 at 9:50 am


I can’t wait for summer! When I was young, I went to sports camp at the Ottawa Athletic Club and to the Ottawa School of Art. My son does not turn 4 until August and most programs state that your child has to be 4 to join, so I think we are out of luck this year… bummer… and I wanted to get him used to going to school, or camp, in order to prepare him for kindergarten, which he starts in September! Anybody know of any space type of camps out there? Or any camps that accept almost 4 year olds? ;)

4 | Nicol

February 10th, 2009 at 10:30 am


As a child, I went to a sleep-away camp up in the mountains for a week and loved it. I have very fond memories of that experience.

Livy is too young to think of summer camps, but I have looked at several that I would love to do for her. Right now she loves music and dancing, so I would lean towards something that help with that interest.

Western Riding sounds like a blast! It sounds like you have far more options there than what we have here for camps.

5 | The Veg Next Door

February 10th, 2009 at 11:08 am


I sent The Pea to the day camp (half-day) at the Nepean Sportsplex two years runnning. She went with her cousin and loved it. It’s a good program. I think it’s called Preschool Patrol.

6 | LO

February 10th, 2009 at 11:20 am


YOGA Camps for kids. I usually run one every summer and I know many studios now do

7 | raino

February 10th, 2009 at 5:08 pm


I know there’s still a thick crust of snow outside our windows but it has been brought to my attention that it’s dangerously close for summer day camp registration in and around Ottawa.

Because I have the luxury of working from home we have never used daycamp as a substitute for daycare. But many do. As a result, summer camps tend to book up very quickly around here.

i am currently in the what to do with the kids over the march break time span. this is the first year that they don’t belong do the before and afer school day care. they now come home when the bell rings. anyhow, i have had a helluva time getting different camp organizations to even answer my e-mails or provide me with information. i have e-mailed horse camps, the museums, science and art camps, dance schools. you name it, i e-mailed. i guess i gotta spend the day at home and start calling around the old fashion way.

i too went to st. bridgets’ overnight SUMMER camp in low quebec and loved it. i plan to send the kids there this summer for either one or two weeks, depending upon what they’d like.

8 | Alison Fowler

February 11th, 2009 at 6:34 am


One really great camp for kids a bit older is the Carlton U camps. They have lots to choose from, like basketball, tennis or multi-sport camps. My son barely let me slow the car down to let him out. Oh ya, they also provide lunch from their cafeteria. (I hate making lunches!) A little greasy but it was a novelty. My daughter is a bit harder to please. Last years camp sent her to therapy. So I’m definitely going to look into the yoga camp!

9 | Tales of life with a girl on the go » Blog Archive » Summer camps - yes, already

February 11th, 2009 at 12:00 pm


[…] at the Fishbowl is tackling Summer day camps for Ottawa kids as well and knowing the type of folks who comment, that’ll be a resource to track as […]

10 | twinmomplusone

February 11th, 2009 at 1:24 pm


a list of our faves:

Ottawa Athletic Sport camps
Ottawa school of art
Mad Science
Wynbook Farm (horsebackriding)
Museum of Science and technology summer camps
Ottawa U Sport camp
local gymnastic camp
Air Eau Bois (sleepover camp)

11 | Stacey

February 12th, 2009 at 11:04 am


There are quite a few day camps (1/2 or full day) for kids five and under…Soloway Jewish Community Centre, Dovercourt (which my daughter loved last year), A Gym Tale in Barrhaven…I know there are more out there, but those are a few!

12 | DaniGirl

February 13th, 2009 at 1:53 pm


I was really impressed with the cost of and quality of the City of Ottawa camp the boys went to last summer at the Walter Baker centre. Added bonus? I was late and still managed to get spots in June for the end of August.

This is the summer of cutting back, but I might still find room for one week of day camp this year for each of the big boys. Probably music for Simon and athletic for Tristan – or should I switch that to play on their weaknesses instead of their strengths?

13 | Karyn

April 15th, 2012 at 8:03 pm


Does anyone know of a summer camp for 2.5 year olds?

14 | debbie

May 10th, 2013 at 11:38 am


i am looking for a camp to send my grandson to but only 2 days a week.

Does anyone know if these camps are available. we live center town westboro area.

15 | Angela

May 10th, 2014 at 11:37 am


Winners Day Camps offers 9 weeks of summer camp for 3-12 yr olds.
We do cooperative games, sports, arts & crafts, drama, water activities and more with a focus on fun, participation and enhancing self esteem.
We offer a half day or full day program and parents are welcome to registration for as few or as many weeks as they would like. We also offer a daily rate.
Spaces are still available in all 9 weeks!
We’re located in Bells Corners.

16 | Julie

March 8th, 2017 at 9:56 pm


This is an old post but hoping someone will answer me! Is registration for the agriculture museum summer camps the same struggle as City of Ottawa summer camps? Any tips to get it done faster and secure a spot? I know my daughter will love the kinder camp! She loves the farm

17 | andrea tomkins

March 9th, 2017 at 11:02 am


Hi Julie,
It’s a popular camp and, like the City of Ottawa camps, parents get on the phone the second registrations open. I don’t think there’s any other way.
Good luck to you!


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My name is Andrea and I live in the Westboro area of Ottawa with my husband Mark and our dog Piper who is kind of a big deal on Instagram. We also have two human daughters: Emma (20) and Sarah (18). During the day I work as a writer at The Royal Ottawa Mental Health Centre. I am a longtime Ottawa blogger and I've occupied this little corner of the WWW since 1999. The Fishbowl is my whiteboard, water cooler, and journal, all rolled into one. I'm passionate about healthy living, arts and culture, family travel, great gear, good food, and sharing the best of Ottawa for families. I also love vegetables, photography, gadgets, and great design.

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