KOA Cardinal

KOA Cardinal

Main building

Main building

Main building - Main bathrooms

Main building - Main bathrooms

Main bathrooms

Main bathrooms

Main bathrooms

Main bathrooms

Main bathroom shower

Main bathroom shower

Main bathroom - toilet stalls

Main bathroom - toilet stalls

Giant water slide 2015

Giant water slide 2015

new slide installed in 2016

Giant water slide 2015

Giant water slide 2015

new water slide installed in 2016

Party tent

Party tent

Location of many activities and of movie nights

"J" section

"J" section

Tent site T03

Tent site T03

tent goes on the sand pad

Cabins in "K" section

Cabins in "K" section

Cabin K02

Cabin K02

Cabin K04

Cabin K04

Cabin K04

Cabin K04

Cabin K04

Cabin K04

Cabin K04

Cabin K04

Cabin K04

Cabin K04

Main entrance - chip truck

Main entrance - chip truck

Recycle center

Recycle center

Fireside Pizza

Fireside Pizza

Pool

Pool

Giant chess

Giant chess

Splash pad and pool

Splash pad and pool

Mini putt

Mini putt

Mini putt

Mini putt

Play structure and covered toddler play structure

Play structure and covered toddler play structure

Play structure & Bouncy pillow

Play structure & Bouncy pillow

Toddler bouncy pillow

Toddler bouncy pillow

Climbing wall and bouncy pillows

Climbing wall and bouncy pillows

Main building

Main building

Peddle carts

Peddle carts

Peddle cart rentals

Peddle cart rentals

Secondary bathrooms

Secondary bathrooms

Secondary bathrooms

Secondary bathrooms

Cabin K12

Cabin K12

K9 Dog park

K9 Dog park

Baseball/volleyball field, swing set

Baseball/volleyball field, swing set

Wagon ride

Wagon ride

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*UPDATE: March 2017 – A wood burning pool heater is being installed for the 2017 camping season so the pool will open earlier in the season,  May 12th, and and will stay open on the weekends after Labour Day until Thanksgiving!  They’ll also be adding a Gem Mining Station and a foam pit.  A camping foam party sounds like a lot of fun to me!

KOA Cardinal
Located in Cardinal, Ontario, approximately 60 minutes from downtown Ottawa, this award winning KOA Holiday is one of our all-time favorites! With lots of fun things to do such as 2 bouncy pillows, a covered play structure for toddlers, a mini-putt, a large play structure, a splash pad, a heated pool, an enormous water slide, there is never a dull moment to be had! This campground also has activities such as crafts, sports in the back field, wagon rides, ice cream socials ($3/per person for a heaping bowl of ice cream with toppings and proceeds go to Care Camp), and themed weekends. Please note that many activities occur on weekends only. This location is pet friendly and has a K-9 dog fenced in dog park out back. They also have a chip stand and a pizzeria (see Fireside Pizza Menu Picture in the slideshow) if you don’t feel like making dinner. We have always found the owners, Dan and Karen, to be very friendly and helpful as is the rest of their staff. The price is a little high ($59 for a tent site with 4 people and cost goes up from there) but for a guaranteed fun camping experience, you can’t go wrong! http://koa.com/campgrounds/cardinal/

The Campsites
There is a good mix of seasonal and weekend campers here.  The sites at the front (“J” and “T” sites) are average size with a few trees around them but not enough to offer privacy. With our 12’ pop-up trailer, this is where we usually stay although this year we stayed on B15 and loved it. Sites that are back to back in the “J” & “T” area are separated by a log fence. These sites accept tents and tent trailers and have water and electrical hook-ups. We’ve seen in the past that site J06 can sometimes have a bit of standing water if there’s been a lot of rain. There are 3 tent specific sites which were our favorites when we used a tent. They have a sand pad to put your tent on and are located at the end of the lane next to the field in front of a corn field. There is extra room at the side of these two lots which is perfect for play catch, horseshoes or drying wet tarps before packing up. The “J” & “T” section of sites is close to all the main amenities so if your kids are old enough they can safely go play at the park or jump on the bouncy pillow.
Behind the main house/reception/store/bathrooms are the larger RV sites. You have the option of a back-in or pull-through sites. They offer  water and electrical (30 or 50 AMP).  The sites have a gravel path to park your RV and vehicle. The rest is grassed. There are many trees but again not enough to give privacy. There are no sewer hook-ups here but they do have a honey truck (for a fee) and on your way out of the grounds there is a dumping station.
Cabins are available at the front and back of the grounds and range from a simple log cabin with a queen bed and bunk bed (no linens provided), equipped with a bar fridge, charcoal BBQ & picnic table to a deluxe cabin with a queen bed, 2 bunk beds with linens are provided and a convertible sofa. Equipped with 1/2 kitchen (fridge, microwave, toaster, utensils & dishes), A/C, bathroom (flush toilet and shower), propane BBQ, fire ring. TV and Free DVD rentals.  Glamping at its best!  Please note that pets are not allowed in all cabins.

All roads are gravel at this KOA but smooth enough for the kids to use their bikes. Make sure to bring a first aid kit so that you’re ready when a child eventually comes back with gravel in their knees.

The Bathrooms
The main bathrooms are located at the front entrance. Both the men’s and women’s bathrooms are cleaned regularly and offer 2 hair dryers, private shower stalls with hot water and very good pressure! The stalls have a bench and hooks on the inside to hang your clothes and towel. You’d be surprised at how many campgrounds don’t have this handy feature! Showers are free. All toilets are flushable. The women’s bathrooms include a wall mounted change table with a security belt for changing the diaper of your wiggly ones. There are no out houses on this campground. The secondary bathroom is located at the back of the campground. It looks like a school portable but don’t be worried. Inside you’ll find flush toilets, sinks and a wall hanging change table. Kiddo no.2 says “ no poop smell here maman!” They are cleaned regularly and if you ever notice a problem (i.e. clogged toilet), you can report it to the front desk and they’ll send someone to fix the issues asap.  Neither of the bathroom facilities are wheelchair accessible.

The Main Hall and Activities
The main hall is where you’ll find the reception area and the convenience store. In the finished basement you’ll find the laundry facilities, many tables and chairs and a library with books and board games to borrow. Sometimes craft activities take place here unless they are under the big party tent. Most craft activities are free. The kids love the store and always bring some money for candy and slushies! It’s not a KOA camping weekend without slushies! If you’d like to rent DVD’s, buy a loaf of bread, get more firewood or need something to fix a broken part on your tent or RV, you can find it here. As mentioned previously, the main bathrooms are on the left side of the building. You will also find an outdoor sink for washing dishes. Behind the main hall you can rent peddle bikes by the half hour. This is also where you can get picked up for the evening hayride. In front of the main hall you will find the heated pool and the splash pad, the mini-putt ($3/per person), basketball court, climbing wall, pirate play structure, covered toddler play structure, the large bouncy pillow and the toddler bouncy pillow. Other activities such as volleyball court, baseball diamond, horseshoe pits and swings can be found at the back of the camp ground. The large water slide (a new model – not shown in our slideshow – was installed in July 2016) is located next to the corn field to the left of the campground. The party tent is also located in this area.  At dusk, bring your lawn chair and a blanket to the party tent to watch a family friendly movie under the stars and KOA will provide the popcorn!  Remember that some of the mentioned activities only take place on weekends.  Every weekend has a theme such as Pirate weekend, Garden Party (see an example of the day’s schedule in our slide show) and Christmas in July.  Check out the event schedule to see what kind of fun you’ll be having during your stay.

Rules
Here are the main rules. When you check-in, they will give you a wrist band for each person on your site. You must wear them! I know that they aren’t comfortable, the kids (or your spouse) may complain about it and you’ll end up with a tan line, but rules are rules.
Quiet time is from 11pm-8am. The staff makes rounds at night on foot to enforce this. For all other general rules and information see the “General Information” picture in our slideshow.
Please be respectful of your fellow campers so that everyone has a good time. Supervise your kids to ensure their safety and the safety of others.

Parent’s Overview
We like this campground. It’s generally quiet and the maintenance staff keep everything clean and functional. There are tons of fun activities for all ages. The weekends can get quite busy here but if you can go during the week, you’ve got the place to yourself. We wish that all dependent under the age of 18 were included in the cost of a site. Each site can accommodate 6 people but the price only includes 4 people. We end up paying $10 extra per night for our 3rd child on top of the $65 for a small RV site. Would we come back? Yes! We come approximately once a year and will continue to do so.

Kids Overview
Kid 1 – “I love that most of the fun stuff is free. I like that the people who work there ar   e really nice with me. What I don’t like? There’s nothing I don’t like. When are we going back?
Kid 2 – “I like the slushies, playing in the pirate play structure and swimming in the pool. I love the wagon rise, the ice cream and the movies at night. Irene (staff) is my friend.”
Kid 3 – “I love the pirate boat play structure, the pool and the candy in the store. I don’t like when there is too many people in the pool.”

Have you been here lately? Is there anything you’d like to add to our review or comment on? Do you have any questions? Is there anywhere else you’d like us to visit and review? We’d love to hear from you!

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