On this bright, sunny Family Day my toddler and I decided to travel to the Bentway for a very special event. Today’s the day I’ve planned to take my son skating for the very first time. Filled with excitement and nervous energy, I set about the first task: getting ready to go outside. An eternity later we are all bundled up and out the door. The air is slightly cold with some wind chill, but the sunshine keeps us warm. It’s warm enough that my son forgoes a coat in favour of an elf costume he got for Christmas. Eventually, he tells me that his belly button is cold and decides to put his coat back on. It’s definitely a magical day to go skating. Walking past the
Library then Fort York we’re almost there.
It’s quite busy at the Bentway and the skating rink is certainly popular. I see Beavertails and—as anyone who’s lived in Ottawa knows—Beavertails and skating are a transcendental pairing of delights. I buy my little guy a classic cinnamon sugar treat and he shares a piece with me. We watch some Paw Patrol on a big screen set up by the edge of the skating rink. It’s two o’clock now and that means Storytime with Fay and Fluffy. As we walk into the room there are kids gathered on a blanket eagerly awaiting the performance. This is the place to be for parents with small babies. The vibrant and colourful storytelling of Fay and Fluffy is delightful. You can tell the performers enjoy interacting with the kids. I catch myself laughing along more than a few times.
As we exit Storytime, we come across a giant blanket fort! This whimsical structure is a multi-level blanket fort designed by Pip Bradford and Rebecca Vandevelde from Art is Hard. These artists specialize in experiential spaces. The merging of art with interaction is on full display with this blanket fort. It allows kids to continually enjoy, break down, and remake the fort all day long. With lights, beach balls and a few pool noodles, it is the perfect place for kids to play and enjoy themselves.
By the time we’re done in the blanket fort my little guy is exhausted. Looks like his first skate will have to wait for another day. At least he had his first Beavertail. Thank you Bentway, we had an awesome day!