“Are we going swimming?”
“But you packed bathing suits…”
“It’s going to be a surprise, let’s go!”
And we were off.
An easy Sunday morning, 25 minute drive downtown – dodging potholes the whole way – and we arrived at Parc Olympique for a morning of Sunday Wibit. What the heck is Wibit?
It’s a giant inflatable obstacle course in the 50-metre Olympic pool.
And it’s pretty impressive.
“Cooooooool!” said the kiddos when they spied the Olympic Tower.
“Oooooooooh!” said the kiddos when they first saw the swimming pool and the Wibit course.
“Ya, good surprise.”
I’d forgotten to figure out the parking situation before we left the house, so we did a bit of backtracking and turning around before entering the Centre Sportif’s underground parking lot at P5 (3200 rue Viau). There are probably outdoor lots or street parking around that’s cheaper than the EIGHTEEN DOLLARS we paid. But it was cold out, and we were lugging children and bags of towels, so sometimes closer is better. The Sports Centre is a maze, so be sure to read the signs and follow arrows or you’re going to find yourself in the Biodome.
The view overlooking the pool is quite impressive, and the boys watched for a bit before we paid our admission.
Go down the stairs to the changing rooms, and then through the family/ladies/mens shower rooms to the pool deck.
Note that the family changing room is RIDICULOUSLY small. There’s basically no room to roll a stroller around, and no place to stand. There were also line-ups for the 3 changing rooms. The ladies or mens changing rooms might have more space. Good news is that the lockers are a decent size, we were able to fit in all our coats and boots. Bring a lock.
Now, a word of warning. If you’re coming for the Wibit, you pay for a 70-minute block of time. The first block starts at 9am, then 10:15 and on. They admit 100 people and then you’re cut off. So be on time. Actually no, be EARLY. Or else you may have to wait for the next session. You can hang out in the baby pool, or the recreational swim section before and after the Wibit.
While the 9am sessions looked pretty quiet, our session sold out just after us. And by 11:30 the whole pool was quite busy.
We had two 8-year olds, a 4-year old, and a baby with our group; and just the two big boys went on the Wibit.
The Wibit area is for children ages 6 & up who know how to swim. Children 7 & under must be accompanied in the water by a guardian who is 16 years old or older. The ratio is one guardian per three children.
You can find the Wibit RATES and TIMES HERE. Also, check out that awesome video 🙂
You can find the Open Swim rates HERE. You have access to the great wading pool with water jets; and a part of the 50-metre pool with basketball nets, boats, balls etc. It’s great if you come with kids who are not yet old enough for the Wibit course.
The big boys tried out the various boats and floaties in the open swim section, while us grownups and little ones hung out in the super warm wading pool. It was bigger than I thought it would be, and even with quite a few parents, babies, toys and pool noodles it wasn’t crowded. There are benches around the pool where you can store your stuff, a tiny spot to park strollers, and life jackets in various sizes and toys are available to all. You can NOT bring your own personal flotation devices.
When the whistles were blown to signal the start of their Wibit session, the big boys went off on their adventure. I watched them climb, slide, bounce, and run around the course. And then do it again! They enjoyed it and 70-minutes seemed like a good amount of time to be able to do their favourite parts over and over…
And then we all swam some more, fought our way through the changing room (what a zoo), and drove to Chinatown for a late lunch! All-in-all, a great day 🙂