Chapel Cafe and Drop-in Playgroup - on Thursdays from 9:30 to 11:30, the All Saints Anglican Church, located at 347 Richmond Road (between Churchill and Roosevelt) hosts a weekly free playgroup for infants and toddlers aged 0 – 4 and their caregivers (of course!). Although the church website refers to registration, it's not required and you're better off just dropping by. It's a friendly and welcoming group and everyone is welcome. The morning starts off with coffee, tea and juice in the cosy Chapel (the door at the front left of the church) and with the arrival of older children makes it's way up to the spacious gym where there are ride-on toys, mats and lots of space to run around.. Jennifer is in charge and she'll answer any questions you might have. She can also put you on an e-mail list of kids events in the neighbourhood that she circulates on a regular basis. For more information see http://www.allsaintswestboro.com/Education.html
Childrens Village of Ottawa Carleton hosts a drop in playgroup for parents and caregivers from Monday through Friday from 9:00-11:15. Healthy snacks are provided and there is also a resource centre available and staff able to answer parenting questions. There is a snall fee for public participants (eg. who are not Childrens Village caregivers). They are located at 333 Churchill Avenue north (between Richmond Rd. and Scott St.). For more information contact 613-725-2040 Ext: 160 or visit http://www.childrensvillage.on.ca/.
Dovercourt Co-operative Playgroup - this used to be held in the McKellar Park fieldhouse but the fieldhouse is being reconstructed and the playgroup has relocated to the Dulude Arena at 941 Clyde Avenue (just south of the Queensway) for 2009-10. The playgroup meets on Monday & Friday mornings from 9:15 - 11:15am, from September to June and costs $35 per family for the season. To register drop by the playgroup or for more information contact Amanda Mullen (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Fisher Park Playgroup in Room 16 of Fisher Park High School at 250 Holland Avenue is open on Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays from 9:00-11:30. Call the Fisher Park Community Centre at (613) 798-8945 for fee information or to register for a session. Drop in for $7.50 / day.
Hilson Avenue Java Jumpers - meet at the Hilson Avenue Public School at 407 Hilson Avenue between 10 am and 1 pm on Saturday mornings from October through March. Registration is through Dovercourt Recreation Association at http://www.dovercourt.org/ and the fee is $50 per family for the season.
Hintonburg Tots N' Friends Playgroup - meets at the Hintonburg Community Centre at 1064 Wellington on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 9:15 to 11:15. There is a fee and the sessions do fill up. For more information call 613-798-8874.
Laroche Park Playgroup is open on Tuesday and Thursday mornings from 9:00 – 11:00 in the Laroche Park Fieldhouse at 7 Stonehurst Avenue (near Parkdale and Bayview). Drop in free of charge.
The Ontario Early Years Centre for Central Ottawa is located at Canadian Mothercraft at 475 Evered Avenue (two streets east of Churchill and between Byron and Carling). It hosts a playgroup for french speaking families (or those simply wishing to speak french!) on Tuesday mornings an english playgroup on Wednesday, Friday and Saturday mornings (9:15-11:15 except for Saturday which runs from 9:00 to 11:00). There are also english playgroups on Tuesday and Thursday afternoons from 1:30 to 3:30. The Toy Lending Library is open following each playgroup. The schedule occasionally changes so check the calendar online to be sure: http://www.mothercraft.com/prenatal_parent/OEYCContacts.php. The last time I visited this playgroup was 6 years ago (clearly baby and I need to do some research!) and at times it was very busy - if you go, go early. Mothercraft also hosts a daycare centre, many parenting courses and other resources.
The Salvation Army Bethany Hope Centre hosts a playgroup for young parents (under 25) in its playroom at 1140 Wellington St. West every weekday morning from 10:00-12:00 and afternoons from 1:30-3:30. Contact the Centre at (613) 725-1733 for details. The Centre also accepts donations