Sunday, July 19, 2009

Park Omega part 1: Get that wapiti out of the car!

Not long after we moved here to the Ottawa area, we heard talk of Omega Park (or Parc Omega depending on what side of the river you're on). The stories were of a place where the animals came right up to your vehicle to eat out of your hand. For real? FOR REAL.

Last week, we packed a picnic lunch and loaded the kids into the van along with 10lbs of carrots, 3lbs of apples, and two bags of celery. The 45 minute drive went smoothly thanks in part to Disney's Cars and our on board DVD player. (Yes, we're those kinds of parents. I don't care what anyone says to the contrary... Car travel is a hundred times better with a DVD player.)

We weren't exactly sure what to expect other than deer and other hoofed (I thought it was "hooved" but it's "hoofed", go figure) creatures coming up to our van. Once we got to the park, we decided to put Liam and Simon in the front passenger seat and, since we were driving less than 5 kms/hr, we put Andrew on a blanket on the floor of the van (we have one of the bucket seats removed). He loved it so much we were afraid that he was going to refuse to ride in his car seat after that.

We were a little shocked at first when they came and
stuck their heads RIGHT IN THE WINDOW.

Look at the rack on this fella!

These guys loved the apples.

These are white-tailed deer. They were timid,
but not enough to keep them away from the
carrots. This was so neat for the boys.

Proof that Peter was there.

This picture makes me laugh. Look at Liam's exuberance.
Adults can't muster a fraction of that. Love it.

I was there too! (Thanks for cooperating, Simon.)

These are masive, masive, MASIVE animals. At one point, while taking a
close up at the far end of my zoom lens, the beast took a step towards me and
I jumped and screamed like a litle girl totally startled. The zoom brought him so close, and I DO NOT want to be close to one of these bohemouths!

Having a little fun using the rearview mirror for reflections.
Did you notice me and Liam in the first picture?

The park is home to white-tailed deer, wapiti, elk, bison, caribou, ibexs, wild boar, raccoons, coyotes, arctic and timber wolves, and black bears. There's also a traditional homestead with a little farm that is home to cows, donkeys, horses, an enormous AND LOUD turkey, sheep, goats, pigs, and bunnies. Liam loooooved the bunnies.

Although a bit pricey (it was $52 for the five of us, with Andrew free), it was definitely worth it. I'm sure it will be a yearly thing for us. There was also a very cool birds of prey show and a public feeding of some of the black bears and the timber wolves and pups.

It was a really fun day for all of us. Even the drive was lovely. It's so green here! The drive takes you through several small towns and all along the road are cute farms with amazing, photo-worthy, weathered, old barns. I'm sure I could've found dozens of things to photograph at every one of the dozens of farms we passed on the way. Am I alone in my love of old farm buildings??


  1. Those are awesome pictures! I will have to put this place on my go see list.

  2. That has got to be the coolest place EVER!
    My kiddos would go nuts, especially our two year old! She adores animals.

    Thanks for sharing all your great shots!

  3. WOW - this looks like a fantastic place to take kids. Your boys were clearly ecstatic to be there. You took some great photos, and I love the one that you can see yourself in the mirror. I'm putting this on the list of places to take my little people too!! Thanks for the great post.

  4. WOW! I think I might be a little frighted of all of those animals getting so up close and personal! I would have screamed too. I mean gotten startled. ;)

  5. I was going to start harassing you to get your animal pictures up, but you already did! I can't wait to show Toby and Asher. Toby loves to learn about birds of prey. He pretends to be a falcon and I have to pretend to be his owner. Glad you guys had such a great time!

  6. Wow! I love those pics too! And yes, Bison are HUGE! We have a few Bison farms in our area. And I also love old farm buildings! :)


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