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A daily look back at the toys, games, and objects that captured our attention as children and continue to fascinate us today.

Board Games & The National Capital Region

I’m a huge fan of board games in all shapes and sizes. In fact, I’ve got a section of the Toy Tales website dedicated to the topic of Vintage Toys & Games. It highlights some classic games as well as a few you may not have heard of.

Like many other cities, in Ottawa all you need to do is “think local” to see how board gaming has become integrated into the National Capital Region social scene. In the past two years, the region has seen four different board game cafés/lounges/shops open to the public. Each location offers a public space to gather with friends and family to partake in some food, drink, and a chance to go a round of two with one of hundreds of available board games.

Monopolatte opened in June 2013 on 640 Somerset St. West, making it Ottawa’s first board game themed bistro. For a $5 cover charge, you get have access to over 900 games with no time restriction. They also offer “No-Cover Mondays” and “Drop-In Tuesdays” each week.
The Loft Board Game Lounge
Visitors to the Byward Market can drop into The Loft Board Game Lounge, located on 14 Waller Street. For a $5 “Stay and Play” charge, visitors can enjoy one of 800+ games. In addition to game sales, The Loft makes staff available to both recommend games and to show you how to play – rule books be damned!
If you’re looking to host your own family game night, venture across the river and stop by The Game Buff. Located in Gatineau at 151 Boulevard Maloney Est, the store contains an array of new and vintage board games available for purchase. As I write this, I have my eye on a vintage copy of the game Masterpiece from 1970.The Game Buff also hosts a weekly board game night at Bistro des Alpes, located at 74 Gréber in Gatineau.

I love that board games have regained popularity. They offer an opportunity to connect with family and friends, share some laughs, and disconnect from technology for a couple of hours. And who wouldn’t want the chance to play real estate tycoon and collect the rent on Boardwalk and Park Place in knock-down, drag-out game of Monopoly?!?

Plan your next vacation to include a visit to a play-related store, museum, or private collection.