What do you do when the rain just won’t stop, when temperatures are below average for August, and when you need to keep a toddler entertained?
I wish putting him in front of the TV was an option, but unfortunately (for us), Mark shows zero interest in it and won’t sit still for a minute. Going to the mall is also the obvious shop… but I hate malls.
So plan C it was, forking over $13 and taking Mark to the Children’s Museum, part of the Canadian Museum of History.
First, we took a walk around Gatineau, on the Quebec side, just across the river from Ottawa. It was a ghost town: on this Saturday morning, there was nobody but us in the streets. Kind of creepy actually.
Twenty minutes later, we found out where the entire population of Gatineau was—at McDonald’s. Feng and Mark were hungry and it took a good thirty minutes to get some fries and chicken burgers. Yeah, I don’t like when Mark eats junk food… Ever heard the phrase, “Once upon a time, I had principles, now I have a kid”? Well, it applies here.
The Canadian Museum of History was packed and we queued for quite a while to buy tickets. Fortunately, Mark had probably sensed we were going to do something fun and he was suspiciously patient and well-behaved. On second thought, maybe he was high on McDonald’s ketchup.
The Canadian Children’s Museum was developed around a “travel the world” theme and promotes intercultural understanding—a perfect fit for us! Kids are encouraged to grab, touch, play and interact with everything and frankly, there are so many props and artifacts that we didn’t even know where to start. A bus, a tuk tuk, a boat, “shops” with play food, cash registers and fake money, musical instruments, toys… It’s a huge educational playground!
Mark was shy for about a minute (he insisted for me to come on the bus with him) and then explored freely. There were dozens of other kids and it was loud and messy, but in a fun and lively way.