What to do in Ottawa 30 indoor and outdoor activities for your family
Not only am I a travel lover, I am also a professional in organizing travel. And a tour operator professional likes to do something? Lists! Tons of lists for everything, but one of the most important in my opinion is activities to be done at the destination. So I’m sharing with you my list of 30 indoor and outdoor activities to do with the family in our beautiful Canadian capital, Ottawa.
We’re going to the museum.
1- National Gallery of Canada
Sundays at the National Gallery of Canada are a must for families. Every week children and adults can explore the national collection on a different theme. Dance, performance and handicraft activities are on the program. Otherwise, it’s always nice to take a simple tour of the museum and admire the great works that adorn the walls and podiums.
National Gallery of Canada website
2- Billings Estate National Historic Site
This eight-acre green space is the birthplace of the Billings family, who settled on the banks of the Rideau River in 1812. You will have the pleasure of learning about one of Ottawa’s founding families while enjoying family activities like the one currently taking place: the Midwinter Challenge. This challenge features showdowns, puzzles, and trivia questions inspired by the harsh winters of the settlers and the first lumberjacks to live in Ottawa.
Bilings Estate National Historic Site website
At the Bytown Museum, you can see Ottawa’s oldest stone building and learn about the different eras of the capital, the tough days when the city was called Bytown.
Site of the Bytown Museum
3- Canada’s Agriculture and Food Museum
The museum has adapted to the technological age with an online offering, offering cooking classes and edible adventures for children. Would you rather go there? Guides and animals will welcome you to learn more about the importance of agriculture and nutrition in the lives of Canadians.
Canada Agriculture and Food Museum website
4- Canada Aviation and Space Museum
From aviation history to Canada’s most remarkable space feats, the Canadian Museum of Aerospace is sure to get you to take advantage of the occasion!
Canada Aviation and Space Museum website
5- Canada’s Science and Technology Museum
The newly renovated Canadian Science and Technology Museum tells the story of innovation in Canada in an immersive, educational and entertaining way. You and your future little Einsteins will love to explore, play and experience as you discover how the creativity of the people of Canada and their sense of observation have changed the country and continue to shape its future.
Canada Science and Technology Museum website
6- Canadian War Museum
As in many countries, wars have shaped Canada’s history. Discover the characters who shaped our history, read the personal stories of the Canadians for whom the war changed everything, and learn how Canada has become a respected country on the international stage through its commitment to Western defense and peacekeeping has become.
Canadian War Museum website
7- Canadian Children’s Museum
This museum is not called that for nothing! It is a children’s paradise! Permanent exhibitions are always a hit, including the Canadian Stamp Collection, and the major exhibitions, which change roughly every month, focus on topics that will spark the curiosity of young and old.
Canadian Children’s Museum website
8- Cumberland Heritage Village Museum
The time machine already exists and is the Cumberland Heritage Museum-Village. The museum offers a fun and educational experience in the heart of the country’s capital of the 1920s and 1930s. Heritage buildings and reproductions representative of the time are just some of the other items you can look at.
Site of the Cumberland Heritage Museum-Village
9- Canadian Museum of Nature
A museum that you cannot walk around in one visit as the exhibitions presented there are numerous and interesting. You will travel underwater, underground, on land, in the air and through the centuries with exhibitions guaranteed to please the whole family!
Canadian Museum of Nature website
10- The Vanier Park Museum
The Vanier Park Museum is the only French-language museum outside of Quebec in Canada. It offers physical and virtual exhibits, lectures, workshops, and interpretation tours to discover Ottawa’s Francophone history and heritage. Kids love this on-site sugar shack museum, where they can fill themselves with picks and maple goodies.
Vanier Park Museum website
11- The Governor General of Canada site
The Governor General’s residence and workspace are set on 79 acres just minutes from downtown Ottawa and Gatineau. They offer numerous activities all year round. Of course, it is possible to run around on the lawn and take a walk in the large green areas outside.
Website of the Governor General of Canada
12- The Chateau Laurier
The Chateau Laurier Hotel is known for its architecture, but we particularly enjoy taking a break for tea. Yes I will! Every afternoon, at tea time, you can enjoy pastries, sweets and small triangular sandwiches in the Zoé Lounge. Your kids will never have loved staying at the table!
Site of the Laurier Castle
13- The Royal Canadian Currency
Currency collector? It is important that you make a beeline for the Royal Canadian Currency, commonly known as The Mint. Find out how the pieces are made and see the most beautiful and rarest.
Royal Canadian Currency website
14- Parliament Hill
You can’t walk around Ottawa without visiting Parliament! Who has never dreamed of visiting the House of Commons, the place where parliamentarians debate bills, and so on. In the evening, from the end of June to the end of August, you can enjoy the great sound and light show that takes place around 10 p.m. It really pays off to keep your kids awake!
Parliament Hill website
15- Changing of the Guard
Summer is hectic on Parliament Hill, where it is possible to take part in the daily Changing of the Guard parade from late June to late August. These soldiers wear scarlet uniforms and a bearskin hat and practice precise exercises to the sound of a military orchestra.
Site of Parliament Hill for Changing of the Guard
16- Ottawa Youth Festival
Crazy acrobatic stunts, playful theater, great puppets and more! The Ottawa Youth Festival attracts large families each year and is not only fun but also promotes the arts as an integral part of raising children. Your kids, ages 2-15, will be amazingly enjoying their day!
Ottawa Youth Festival website
17- The snowball
Obviously, when you think of Canada, you think of the winter and winter in Ottawa, rather than curse it, celebrate it with the snowball. Skating, slides, snow and ice sculptures, hot chocolate and beaver tail are on the menu.
18- The International Festival of Street Artists (Busker Festival)
The Buskerfest is a 4-day festival with shows on 4 stages with more than 20 artists that attracts around 175,000 people each year. Fire eaters, contortionists, magicians, street acrobats and raging musicians come together in one place to entertain and impress you.
19- The Canadian Tulip Festival
Did you know that the tulip is the international symbol of friendship and peace? The Tulip Festival is not just a flower festival, it was created to celebrate the historic royal gift of tulips offered by the United States as a symbol of international friendship
Dutch to Canadians during World War II. In mid-May, 300,000 tulip buttons bloom, coloring the green expanses of Dow Lake Commissioner’s Park.
Canadian Tulip Festival website
We play inside
20- Cosmic Adventures and Children Kindom
Cosmic Adventures and Kids Kindom are recreational parks where your children can spend their energies. Perfect on rainy or too cold days in winter. Sliding, climbing, balls, skill courses. In short, pure joy for children from 2 to 12 years of age.
21- Flying Squirrel or Skyzone Trampoline Park
Trampolines, trampolines and even more trampolines! This is what you can find at Flying Squirrel and Skyzone.
A place for children, but also for adults who want to fall back to childhood for one evening. Funhaven is laser hunting, bowling, arcades, climbing walls, bumper cars and much more. Guaranteed fun and laughter.
23- high-altitude climbing hall
Is Your Child a Real Little Monkey? The climbing walls of the Altitude Climbing Gym will surely satisfy his need to climb anywhere!
24- Splash Wave Pool
Imagine you are on vacation on a rainy or cold day at the edge of rough seas? This is possible in the Splashindoor Wave Pool.
We play outside
25- outdoor skating
In winter, the Rideau Canal becomes the largest ice rink in the world! From January through February, you can meander through the city of Ottawa on 7.8 kilometers of frozen water
Canal Rideau website
26- water parks
2 water parks to get you in the water! The Calypso Park corresponds to the Valcartier Holiday Village in Quebec City. It’s THE water park to go to once in a lifetime. For a smaller budget but just as fun, there is Mount Cascades too.
Geocaching is a mega treasure hunt that lets you discover places you didn’t know in the middle of your neighborhood. The city of Ottawa has its share of treasures. Children love it, but so do adults! You will have unforgettable memories of it.
To know exactly what geocaching is, click here!
28- Visit a farm
Saunders Farm with its mazes or Proulx Farm with horse-drawn carriage rides reminds us of how sweet and slow life in the country is. Take the opportunity to encourage a local producer and stock up on fresh vegetables and fruits.
29- Go to the beach
Why not?! Ottawa has 4 beautiful beaches for you to sunbathe and have fun. East of Ottawa is Petrie Island Beach, Britannia to the west, Mooney’s Bay Beach to the south and Westboro in the center.
Ottawa Beach website
30- We’re going to the park
What would be a list of things to do without naming the parks that are great for picnicking, walking, biking, etc.?
These are the 6 most popular parks in the Ottawa area.
Walter Becker Park
Andrew Haydon Park
And Millennium Park
That ends this post on the 30 indoor and outdoor family-related activities in Ottawa. As I wait to travel around the world, I am offering you my full color world maps that are not only cute and a great parent-child activity, but also educate your child about this beautiful big world we live in!
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