Keaton has been interested in fishies and water lately, as a result of watching Speedie Didi’s videos on YouTube. So, we took him to The Aquatarium at Tall Ships Landing in Brockville, Ontario — an hour’s drive from Ottawa — which was a science and education museum that showcased wildlife from the St. Lawrence River and their rich history.
The museum itself was a modest size, but the interactive learning opportunities were plentiful. My favourite part was the otter feeding. The little fella was doing all sorts of acrobatics and had such a personality; the sight was so darn cute. I felt like an excited kid, and probably appeared as one, too. We even got to take a photo with the otter; it posed for us! (Auntie Mel Mel was definitely missing out.)
The Power of Water experience was particularly a hit for our toddler. He loved figuring out how to generate electricity with water at the hydroelectric generation table, as well as maneuvering locks and dams and adjusting the water current. There were tricks he figured out as soon as he arrived at the table, without even our help! The set-up was such an educational and fun way for kids to learn the importance of the water of the St. Lawrence River, and how it shapes our daily existence.
Because the museum was a modest size with few visitors, it was a very local and personalized experience for us. We had the pleasure of interacting with staff along the way, who’d personally invited us to try different activities, some of which were learning about the turtle, getting a close up of Alice, the snake, and petting some underwater sea stars, sea urchins, and hermit crabs, amongst other things.
Following our museum visit, we stopped at Don’s fish & Chips, a local fish and chips takeout eatery, which was just a five-minute walk from the Aquatarium. We ended up eating our takeout in the car, which was parked in an indoor parking, as it was a chilly day. Whilst we ate in the dark, with only our interior car light for company, it was still an authentic experience — it was life and its discomforts at their silliest. Keaton, in fact, enjoyed eating his fish and chips while watching cartoons. After all, it was all dark and cozy.
We also took the opportunity to explore downtown Brockville a bit. We found a bookstore that my husband loved and where he could’ve spent the whole day finding gems. However, we had to cut our walk short because it was getting cold, and at that point in the late afternoon, I could no longer muster walking with my pregnant belly. So, we ventured back home.
In retrospect, it was such an enjoyable outing for us. If it was fun for Keaton, us parents had a blast, too — sometimes even more so! I love that my husband and I are spontaneous individuals, and are always open to new adventures, wherever they may be.