For Father’s Day this year my husband was fresh off a work trip from Belgium. Having had ample rest and a belly full of great beer and chocolate, it was a hard no on Father’s Day as a nap and a beer kind of day. As a consolation prize he chose to take a family trip to Parc Omega.
Parc Omega is an animal reserve that offers a drive through experience to witness Canadian wildlife species up close and personal. The premise of Parc Omega is similar to many drive through animal experiences. Cars enter under a large arched park sign adorned with antlers. This is the signal to prompt wallets and purses to appear for entry payment. I think the price of admission for this activity is a little steep. Admission is per person and tiered based on age. With five people in our family and including a $10 family discount the price was around $100 USD. I will say the amusement and novelty of the experience was a fair trade off.
The gift shop is the first destination when entering the park. This is where carrots can be purchased to feed the animals (elks, deer, etc). Pick up at least two bags to make the experience worthwhile. Carrots are the only food allowed to be fed to the animals for their safety and to control what they are eating. It is forbidden to feed the bison and wild boar. It won’t stop you from seeing people doing the EXACT THING that humans aren’t supposed to do. So, please, follow the rules so that animals remain safe and there aren’t any accidents. Don’t be the person to ruin it for everyone else.
In this same light, windows are to remain halfway up and doors to remain closed. Again, this is for animal safety. No one wants an angry antlered animal stuck in their car. After feeding the first round of elk who eagerly approach your car most people will happily abide by this as the animals become increasingly eager to receive carrots from tourists.
The car filled with screeches of delight and disgust as drool and fur adorned our windows. Muzzles pressed the glass searching for carrot stalks to munch. At first our littlest thought the animals were going to eat her. Once she realized that they were just looking for snacks she went all in…inviting the large headed elks a little too close for my comfort. The cars inch slowly through this area for obvious reasons. The mud and saliva car wash is complimentary.
Obviously feeding the wolves, bears and other predators is prohibited. Driving through these areas does offer a nice look at animals in nature. It served as the perfect opportunity for our older two to snap pictures with their VTech cameras (insert link here). As an aside, I knew bison were big, but seeing them next to a full size minivan? Ridiculous! I would not want to make one of those babies angry.
We packed a lunch and ate at one of the designated picnic areas. I was pleased with our decision. There is food available for purchase at a couple grills. However, by bringing our own food we avoided the lines and were able to get a picnic spot watching deer graze mere feet away. At the upmost picnic area a covered wagon offers a ride to a petting farm. There are also nearby hiking trails to explore. To be honest, we did neither as life intervened and we had two epic meltdowns in a span of 10 minutes. Thus, after picnic we continued the car drive and made a hasty exit.
Seeing our kids light up and hearing the shrieks of joy while feeding the animals or spotting them from our car made the visit worthwhile. I think it was pricey, but if that means they take care of the animals then okay. This activity is suitable for a wide range of ages and easy to navigate and explore for various abilities. I would recommend this novel family experience in Quebec to visiting families for sure. It’s a nice break from museums and hiking trails.