We, Mom, 11 and 8 year old boys, live in Ottawa and had gone once a year for the last couple of years, but decided to buy season passes this year, including parking pass. It was great. Calypso was perfect for summer sun and water play. In total, we went 4 or 5 times, always on the weekend.
-go early if you can, we normally arrived just as the gates opened and other than the first time when we had to get our photos taken, we were able to go through the security pretty quickly.
-showed up in your bathing suits and sunscreen already applied.
-once inside, pick a “home base” to drop your stuff; they offer lots and lots of picnic tables with umbrellas or lounge chairs. I felt safe enough leaving our towels, food and bags, but no valuables or electronics; left those in the car
-you can bring food and non-alcoholic drinks with you, I normally did this and then just offered the boys a treat or ice cream from the park.
-do the slides and rides with line-ups first since the wait times get long as the day goes on and the kids’ play area, wave pool and rivers can handle the crowds.
-on several occasions the staff seemed friendly, but clueless about customer service. I’m sure this is the first summer job for most of these kids and it shows. There was no “hussle” in any of them to act energetically or provide rapid service.
-just past the entrance we often stopped to get my youngest a life jacket. Remember to bring a piece of ID or $40 for a deposit.
-take something to read while lying in the sun recovering from the slides and wave pool.
Go with the right expectations and have fun. My boys had a blast all summer. I highly recommend the season pass and will likely do it again next summer. There was no pressure to stay all day to get our moneys worth and we could arrive later in the day if we had something else in the morning.
Sad that the summer has come to an end and the park is now closed. I was hoping it would be open at least on the weekend for a while longer, oh well.
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