My 4 year old son has been dreaming, thinking, and talking about visiting a waterpark ever since I mentioned it at the beginning of June. It didn’t take long for a trip to Mont Cascades to be in the works.
Mont Cascades Waterpark is roughly 20 minutes away from Downtown Ottawa located in the picturesque Gatineau hills. It boasts some of the most famous water rides comparable to those found at Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon and Blizzard Beach. Every summer, kids and adults alike line up to take a ride on their favourite slides. It’s a perfect way to have some good wholesome fun and beat the heat!
Recently Mont Cascades upgraded their young children’s zone to include five slides for little ones under 48”. The Kiddie Rides are in a section of their own, away from the busyness of the much bigger slides. I really appreciated the layout and found it easy for a young child to climb, slide, and swim. The slides are very safe and fun for the kids to ride and at the bottom of three of them there is a wading pool to splash around in. Aiden, my preschooler, rode the slides and swam for two hours before taking a break! He had an absolute blast and loves to talk about the awesome time we shared at Mont Cascades.
Because there is lots of excitement, huge water slides, cantines, video games, and many faces at the amusement park, I suggest you allow plenty of time before your visit to go over security measures, safety rules, and “family guidelines”. It can be overwhelming for little tikes to walk into a large waterpark and remain calm! Here are a few tips to help you get the most of your trip to Mont Cascades Waterpark with a preschooler (3-5 year old).
Make a plan
1) Plan the day of your visit and call ahead to make sure it is open. The day we originally planned to go, the park was closed due to heavy winds and rain. We rescheduled for the following day.
2) Buy your tickets online. You can purchase tickets to Mont Cascades online here. By purchasing and printing your tickets from home, you will avoid the lineup at the ticket window.
3) Get clear driving directions. We punched in the address into our Built-In GPS Navigation System and because there was new roads in the area and the map wasn’t updated, it tried to send us up a back dirt road! I stopped and asked for directions and we were back on track in no time.
Have ground rules
4) Show a map of Mont Cascades to your preschooler prior to your visit. Highlight the places they will be able to go with you and the areas that they will not be allowed to visit. We made this very clear to our 4 year old early on to avoid confusion and disappointment. We really highlighted the fact that he had a whole area just for him to play in and it made him feel very special.
5) Talk about slide safety. From waiting your turn to not running on the stairs, make sure you cover the important safety rules.
6) When you arrive on site, make sure your preschooler is aware of his surroundings. Point out the entrance, the washrooms, and his slide area. Take them right up to the ticket window or cantine and explain to them that in the event that they get lost, they should come here and speak to a staff member (“a grown up behind the counter wearing a red shirt”).
7) Discuss lunch, snacks, and treats. I like to talk about these things before entering an amusement park so that I don’t just become a walking “no” machine. We packed some snacks and agreed that he could have 1 treat during our visit. He was fine with our snacks and didn’t ask for the extra treats – he was too busy having the time of his life on the slides. We went out for lunch as a family afterwards.
Get in on the fun
8) Go on the slides with your kids! I went on the slides with Abigail (our 18 month old) and Aiden. It was so much fun to ride them together! There are three slides that land into the wading pool, so Aiden and I would each go on one and see who landed in the water first. We did this over and over again and it didn’t get old! Especially seeing how much my 4 year old was loving every minute of our adventure together.
9) Go to SplashForest. This is a brand new addition to Mont Cascades Waterpark which includes an “activewaterplay” structure packed with water cannons, climbing nets and the SplashForest versions of our favorite slides. There are also enormous exploding buckets that super soak you with water!
Spending time together at the waterpark as a family was so much fun! Both my husband and I took turns riding the slides with Aiden and playing in the pool with Abigail. Overall, it was a very special and fun trip for us all and especially for Aiden. We can’t wait to go again this summer!
Mont Cascades Waterpark
448 Mont Cascades Rd
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