The Victoria Day Festival is the perfect opportunity to combine kid-friendly fun with tulip gazing at Dow’s Lake. The Festival runs from May 13th to May 24th and culminates with a fireworks show on the final evening. The festival is being held at Queen Juliana Park (corner of Carling and Preston), which is across the road from Commissioner’s Park on Dow’s Lake.
On the weekends there is a charity breakfast from 7 am to 11 am and all proceeds are donated to CHEO. The festival opens weekdays at 4 pm and free parking is available (evenings and weekends) at the Sir John Carling building across the road as well as the Dow’s Lake NCC parking lot and Dow’s Lake Court parking lot (intersection of Champagne and Carling)
We arrived just as the midway opened at 11 o’clock and took advantage of our early start: the boys were oftentimes the only kids on the rides. The rides are best suited to preschool and elementary children, with only two stomach-churning spinning contraptions on site. There is a 7 metre high Ferris wheel, which gives you a birds-eye view of Dow’s lake and the tulips and several midway games where you can test your hand-eye coordination (for the record, mine is sadly lacking). My boys especially enjoyed all the vehicle midway rides and took turns driving a fire truck and big rig. I was greatly appreciative of the seatbelts on every ride, which kept my almost two year old in his seat.
There is a small petting zoo and pony rides at the back of the park, where a very loud turkey is currently in residence. While we were admiring the sheep, we were treated to a show by the three ducks, who took turns bathing themselves in the water trough. Even my animal-phobic four year old peered through the fence to check out the action. Along with balloon animals and concession stands, there is live music everyday starting at 12 pm.
The festival gave the boys a chance to burn off their energy before we ambled through the tulips in Commissioner’s Park. I wasn’t expecting so many tulips to still be in bloom and was pleasantly surprised that there were still so many flowers to admire. The boys enjoyed running along the pathways and through the park and took turns (gently) smelling some of the flowers.
Summer is scheduled to make a return this week so I encourage you to get out and enjoy both the Victoria Day Festival and Tulip Festival before both events end on the 24th.
Sara is mom to a 4-year-old firefighter and 2-year-old monkey. You can find her at her blog, My Points of View