Website Maintenance: Saturday, July 31

29/07/2021

We will be performing maintenance to our systems. Access to your OPL account and search functions will be unavailable from 5:30 pm to 6:30 pm Saturday, July 31. We apologize for any inconvenience.

Colonel By Day: August 2

29/07/2021

All Ottawa Public Library branches will be closed on Monday, August 2. Virtual services and loans can be accessed on our website. 

Temporary closure: Alta Vista

23/07/2021

Due to upgrades to the front entrance, the Alta Vista branch will be closed from July 26 to August 8. There will be no returns or holds pick-up during that time. Alta Vista branch will reopen August 9 at 10 am.   

Step 3: More services inside most open branches

29/07/2021

Browsing, public computers, newspapers and magazines are available inside most of our 31 open branches, with capacity limits for two-metre distancing. Up to 200 items can also be put on hold.

Starting July 26:

Mask-wearing remains mandatory inside, and outside in line. For more details, go to Current Branch Services.

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Fun and Board Games for the Whole Family

Board Games
27/04/2020

 

Are you getting bored at home? How about some great board games to keep the whole family entertained? These games have been tested by a very rigorous audience (me and my kids) and have gotten the seal of approval. They are guaranteed to provide fun for hours on end.

 

Mysterium

Picture a spooky mansion with creepy décor and several guests, all of whom are psychic mediums. Now throw in the ghost of a murdered person who desperately wants to tell the guests who he is and how he was murdered! One player becomes the ghost and he/she gives hints to the other players, who are all mediums, through “vision” cards. The mediums must guess the identity of the ghost, the location of the murder and the nature of the instrument used. It seems a little tricky at first, but it is fun once you get going.

Click here to learn the rules.

2 - 7 players. Age 9 +.

 

Scattergories

This is a great family friendly word game that is easy to learn. Each player is given a card with categories such as “things you find in a grocery store”, “names of famous people”, “animals”, etc. A player rolls the dice, which displays letters of the alphabet. If the letter chosen is S, for example, then each player has to write down words that begin with the letter S and correspond to the categories on their cards. So, if the category is “things that you find in the grocery store”, the player could write salt, sugar, salad, sweets, etc. Once the hourglass runs out, the turn is over, and the players compare their answers and count their points.

This is trickier than you think, and the answers can get a little desperate and crazy!

Click here to learn the rules.

2 – 6 players. Age 12 +.

 

Munchkin

In this world of dwarves, elves and wizards, the player has to battle monsters in order to progress. Each magical creature has special powers and each monster gives a consequence, should you fail to win the battle. It takes a few tries to learn all of the special characteristics of the large cast of characters, but once you get the hand of it, it’s lots of fun. You will soon cooperate with your enemies and sabotage your friends. It’s just a game, after all!

Click here to learn the rules.

3 – 6 players. Age 10 +

 

Catan

Do you dream of world domination? Picture a landscape with many natural resources, such as rocks, trees, sheep, bricks and wood. Your goal is to build a village of houses connected by roads on this landscape. Each house gives you access to resources, which in turn allows you to build more roads and houses. In order to accumulate points, you will have to block your opponents, while also trying to build a town. You must be a master negotiator and strategist to win!

Click here to learn the rules.

3 – 4 players. Age 10 +.

 

Ticket to Ride

Trains, trains and more trains! Crisscross the map while completing routes assigned to you by the cards you are dealt. Try to cut off your opponents before they complete their routes! The player with the longest completed route wins. This game is simple and can be learned in a few minutes. But don’t be fooled; it takes planning and skill to win!

Click here to learn the rules.

2 – 5 players. Age 8 +.

 

No one to play with? No problem!

 

Play board games online with your friends with Board Game Arena. Play thousands of board games from your browser with your friends or against others online. It’s free, just create an account and play games like Carcassonne, Hanabi, 7 Wonders, Takenoko, Can’t Stop, Sushi Go!, etc.

 

Steam offers a vast choice of single or multiplayer games for kids and adults. Stardew Valley is a great choice for the younger kids. The player becomes a farmer who is responsible for a virtual farm, including animals, crops, markets and a large landscape, which he/she can discover on a very cute horse. Many of the games on this site are for older teens or adults and have amazing graphics. Read their privacy policy here.

 

Origin offers many single or multiplayer games for all ages. The Sims 3 is a life simulation game in which you create a virtual society complete with buildings, roads and people. The game is very realistic and complex, offering a level of interest that will keep you playing for hours. Read a review here and read the privacy policy here.

 

Big fish games has a great selection of games for the younger set. They offer lots of non-violent, easy to play choices such as match 3, hidden object and puzzles. In this Nancy Drew mystery, the player moves through a virtual environment, picking up clues to solve the mystery. Plant Tycoon allows the player to grow plants in a greenhouse, crossbreeding the seeds to create new plants, which can be sold for profit. It’s lots of fun and quite addictive! Read the privacy policy here.

 

The OPL website offers free games for the younger kids. They are safe, educational and lots of fun!

 

 

Blog post contributed by Sonja from our Blackburn Hamlet branch.