When Calypso Waterpark first opened several years ago I was excited to check it out, but was hesitant because my daughter was young. But, when I was recently presented with the opportunity to visit Calypso for the purpose of a blog review I agreed, knowing it was the perfect chance to see and experience Calypso with my family and her friends.
I am glad I went. My family and I, and our guests had a great time! As with all aquatic activities there is risk involved, but with hundreds of staff and over 100 lifeguards on duty at all times, there are plenty of people around should an accident happen.
My visit to Calypso was with a group consisting of three adults and three children (ages 6 and 7). We felt this was a good ratio because we could keep a set of eyes on each child at all times. Also, the kids had fun playing with one another, especially on the slides and attractions that were solely for the kids, such as Zoo Lagoon and Pirate’s Aquaplay (although I did manage to go down two of the slides on Pirate’s Aquaplay and thought they were quite fun!).
Pirate’s Aquaplay is the perfect spot for childhood imagination. My daughter said she and her friends were pretending they were Pirate Fairies and had to complete their mission before the big bucket of water turned over. The kids spent a lot of time at Pirate’s Aquaplay, waiting for the big bucket to fill up and dump water on the people below or climbing and sliding down the numerous stairs, rope-like bridges, and slides. In my opinion, Pirate’s Aquaplay is ideal for kids around 5 to 8 years of age. Our only concern was the lack of warning when the bucket of water dumps out; apparently there is a bell that does sound to warn people, but no one in my group heard a bell that day.
If you do have young children though, the Zoo Lagoon is perfect for little ones. This child-oriented area was filled with toddlers and their parents engaged with the numerous animal structures, sliding down toddler-sized slides and sitting in the wading pool playing and splashing. The water here (as in most of the pools) was warm, which is ideal for those cooler summer days and for kids who get cold fast.
We didn’t stay too long at Zoo Lagoon, simply because our kids were a bit too old for this section, but they did enjoy the nearby Jungle Challenge. In this area, kids and adults are challenged to walk as steadily as possible over logs, water lilies and crocodiles in an attempt to make it to the other side. Some of the ropes and bars were too high for our kids to reach (some of the challenges are meant for adults), but the ones they could reach proved to be a fun challenge and kept them entertained for quite awhile!
Once we were done with the aqua play areas we decided to check out the river attractions. And while we enjoyed the adventure, surprises and waves of the Kongo Expedition, we didn’t enjoy our tubes moving in circles over and over again at one point in a stubborn current near the end, but just a quick kick off the side solved that! All said and done, the kids enjoyed swimming in the Kongo Family Beach in this area more than the Expedition part.
We found the Jungle Run (also known as Lazy River) to be more enjoyable (and relaxing) – so much so that we did it more than once! All of us loved this area and wanted to do it again and again.
Of course, there were plenty of water slides for the kids to explore too, and I love that there are numerous slides that can be done as a family. We did the Boomerango together, which was so much fun! The kids let out a happy shriek as we neared the big drop in the slide, but they held on tight and were all smiles at the end. Right next to the Boomerango is Canyon Rafting, which is also perfect for families with children over the age of three. There are also the Family Twister set of colourful slides that are fun for younger and older children (who may not be ready for the bigger slides quite yet).
In addition to the water slides, aquatic play areas and the wave pool that produces ocean-like waves at Calypso Palace, there are many amenities geared toward family fun at Calypso. There are lockers available for rent, clothes dryers, eight restaurants, as well as plenty of benches, picnic areas, and easy-to-find bathrooms, and for $99 a family of four can rent a VIP cabana for the day, which includes an exclusive menu, WiFi, a fridge with water, and a comfortable, shaded area to call home base throughout an otherwise busy day! Personal Flotation Devices (PFDs) are also available onsite for free, meaning you don’t have to lug yours from home (although you are more than welcome to bring your own if you are more comfortable doing so).
My daughter and her friends loved Calypso. They loved the rivers, the play areas and of course, the slides. They even enjoyed trying to find all of the Calypso characters that could be spotted walking throughout the park. We will definitely go back as a family, but I have a feeling my husband and I might go back with just our own friends because there is a lot of fun to be had for adults only – I will talk more about that in an upcoming blog post!
In the meantime, I encourage you to check out Calypso Waterpark for yourself. It’s definitely a fun summer stop and is so close to Ottawa that it would be a shame not to go! And in regards to any safety concerns, my advice is to set aside any preconceived notions, read all the warnings, instructions and restrictions available on their website as well as throughout the park itself, keep an eye on your kids at all times, don’t do anything you are not comfortable doing, and simply go with the intention of having fun!
For information on hours and rates, visit the Calypso website or on their social media channels:
I’d love to know if you and your family have visited Calypso recently and what your favourite attractions are!
Disclosure: I received free park passes and compensation for the purpose of this blog post.