a peek inside the fishbowl

11 Jun, 2013

Cool things to do with dad on Father’s Day… in Ottawa!

Posted by andrea tomkins in: Ottawa

Mark and Lester B.

The marketing of Father’s Day (and Mother’s Day now that I think about it) bugs me because it lumps all people into a bunch of predictable stereotypes. Moms CLEARLY like to garden, wear perfume, and bake. And looking at the gift ideas in all the magazines right now you’d think that all dads like to fish, hunt, and fix their cars on the weekends. And when they’re not covered in fish guts and dirt they’re wearing ties and dousing themselves in aftershave. Sigh.

I DO however believe that inside each dad is a 12-year old boy who loves to come out and play. And that’s what I’m offering up with this blog post. SO. If live in Ottawa and you’re wondering what to do with dad and the kids on his special day, here are some ideas for you!

* At the top of my list is the aerial park and caves at La Fleche. I did the cave thing there awhile back and it’s breathtaking – that is, it will take your breath away if you’re claustrophobic. (Er. That may be me.) The treetop tours promise to be amazing. There’s even one for kids! Do note, there’s aerial touring at Camp Fortune too. I’ve been to this one and it was pretty incredible. And if you’re really focused on the spelunking idea, note that the cave at Bonnechere is worth a visit too. Dad will love it. (At least ours did!)

Karter’s Korner – I’ve never been, have you? On first glance there seems to be many things to do here: go-kart racing, paintball, mini-golf, a GIRAFFE. Heck. I’m sure you’d find something dads would enjoy here. Alternately you can kick it up a notch and give the gift of a race car driving experience at Calabogie Motorsports. (!) Details here. Did you know you can race your own car around the track? I would LOVE to see Mark race the Prius (I’d die of laughter in the process). Hmm. Maybe a “Mustang experience” would be better. There are lots of options starting at $99 for a ridealong.

* Laser tag at Funhaven – As some of you know Funhaven is a Fishbowl patron. We’ve been there a whole bunch of times and I can honestly say that laser tag is a great activity for dad. It’s so much fun. In fact, we’ve been trying to organize a daddy-daughter night of laser tag for awhile now with friends. (It WILL happen!) The prices are reasonable too, which I appreciate. A 3-game pass is $14.99 at non-peak times. Treat daddy to a slice of pizza afterwards. Or a beer. Funhaven is licensed!

* The Diefenbunker – I think many dads would like to pay a visit to this landmark from the Cold War. We visited the Deef awhile back and really enjoyed it. There’s a special event planned for Sunday too.

Star Wars Identities at the Canada Aviation and Space Museum. Need I say more?

* Golf and lunch at the Marshes – Imagine this: the day begins with a leisurely lunch in the clubhouse. Then, dad proceeds to the greens while mom and the kids hang out and swim in the pool. Ahhh. It all sounds pretty sweet doesn’t it? Day passes are available to the public for $15 per person and the outdoor pool area is right by the golf course.

* Bowling – We haven’t been bowling in ages, but I think Father’s Day is the perfect excuse to head out again. Merivale Bowling Centre has a Rock N’ Bowl that the kids loved. Time to go back!

* The Movies – Treat dad to a movie on the UltraAVX theatre at the Coliseum. With cushy seating, a big screen, and big sound… it’s an extra-rich experience for film lovers. Serve it up with a gift card for popcorn and you’re set.

Going anywhere special on Father’s Day? If so I’d love to hear about it!

5 Responses to "Cool things to do with dad on Father’s Day… in Ottawa!"

1 | spelunk

June 11th, 2013 at 3:44 pm


Just did the Lafleche Cave thing last week. Loved it. Not for the clausterphobic.

Some excellent ideas in here. THANKS !

2 | Mary @ Parenthood

June 11th, 2013 at 7:43 pm


Silly question, but is it a REAL giraffe?

3 | andrea tomkins

June 12th, 2013 at 8:55 am


Lafleche is cool because of the ladders! But it’s dark. And cold!

Mary – I only know about the giraffe because of a mention on the Karter’s Korners home page. It’s the first I’ve heard of it!

4 | Isabelle

June 13th, 2013 at 1:59 pm


Do you have any idea of what to do for father’s day but with small kids? My daughter is 3 and we have a 6 month old… Was thinking of ribfest but it doesn’t start until Wednesday…

5 | Laura Daub

June 13th, 2013 at 10:27 pm


We went to the Star Wars exhibit last weekend… it is great, but so expensive! We just confirmed we’re going to Brockville to see the Tallships on Father’s Day… We’ve never seen them!

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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 offspring: Emma (24) and Sarah (22). 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, travel, great gear, good food, and sharing the best of Ottawa. I also love vegetables, photography, gadgets, and great design.

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