I’m not just a travel enthusiast, I’m also a pro at organizing trips. And a trip organizer pro likes to do what? Lists! Tons of lists for everything, but one of the most important in my opinion, are activities to be done at destination. So I share with you my list of 30 indoor and outdoor activities to do with your 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. Each week, children and adults can explore the national collection on a different theme. Dance, performance, and craft activities are on the agenda. Otherwise, it is always nice to take a simple tour of the museum and admire the magnificent works that decorate walls and podiums.
National Gallery of Canada’s 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’ll have the pleasure of learning more about one of Ottawa’s founding families while enjoying family activities like the one currently underway: the Midwinter Challenge. This challenge features showdowns, puzzles, and quizzes inspired by the harsh winters faced by settlers and the first loggers living in Ottawa.
Bilings Estate National Historic Site’ website
It is at the Bytown Museum that you can see Ottawa’s oldest stone building and learn more about the different eras that the capital went through, the harsh days when the city was called Bytown.
3- Canada’s Museum of Agriculture and Food
The museum has adapted to the technological age with an online offering by offering cooking classes and edible adventures for children. Would you rather go there? Guides, and animals, will welcome you to learn about the importance of agriculture and food in the lives of Canadians.
Canada Agriculture and Food Museum’s website
4- Canada Aviation and Space Museum
From aviation history to Canada’s most remarkable space achievements, Canada’s Aviation and Space Museum will certainly make you rise to the occasion!
Canada Aviation and Space Museum’s website
5- Canada’s Science and Technology Museum
Freshly renovated, Canada’s Science and Technology Museum tells the story of innovation in Canada in an immersive, educational and fun way. You and your future little Einsteins will love to discover, play and experience while discovering how the creativity of the people of Canada and their sense of observation have transformed the country and continue to shape its future.
Canada Science and Technology Museum’s website
6- Canadian War Museum
Like many countries, wars have shaped Canada’s history. Discover the characters who have marked our history, read the personal stories of Canadians for whom the war has changed everything, and learn how Canada has become a respected country on the international stage through its commitments to Western defense and peacekeeping.
7- Canadian Children’s Museum
This museum isn’t named like this for nothing! It is a children’s paradise! Permanent exhibitions are always a success, including the Canada stamp collection, and the major exhibitions that change, about every month, address themes that titillate the curiosity of young and old.
Canadian Children’s Museum’s 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 1920s and 1930s in the nation’s capital. Heritage buildings and reproductions representative of the time are just a few of the other elements you can contemplate.
Cumberland Heritage Museum-Village’s website
9- Canadian Museum of Nature
A museum from which you will not be able to go around in one visit because the exhibitions that are presented there are numerous and interesting. You will travel underwater, under the earth, on land, in the air, and through the centuries with exhibitions that will please the whole family guaranteed!
Canadian Museum of Nature’s website
10- The Vanier Park Museum
The Vanier Park Museum is the only French-language museum outside Quebec in Canada. It offers physical and virtual exhibitions, talks, workshops, and interpretive tours to discover Ottawa’s Francophone history and heritage. Kids love this museum for the sugar shack right on-site where they can stuff themselves with picks and maple treats.
11- The Governor General of Canada Site
Located on 79 acres of greenery, minutes from downtown Ottawa and Gatineau, the Governor General’s residence and workplace offer many activities throughout the year. Of course, it is possible to go around the lawn and enjoy a walk in the open air on the large green spaces.
Website of the Governor General of Canada
12- The Château Laurier
The Chateau Laurier Hotel is known for its architecture, but we especially like to stop for tea. Yes, I do! Every afternoon, it is possible to join at teatime in the Zoé lounge to enjoy pastries, sweets, and small triangle sandwiches. Your children will never have loved staying at the table!
13- The Royal Canadian Currency
Currency collectors? It is essential that you take a detour to the Royal Canadian Currency, commonly known as The Mint. Find out how the pieces are made and see the most beautiful and rare ones.
Royal Canadian Currency’s website
14- Parliament Hill
You can’t go through 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 will enjoy the magnificent sound and light show that takes place around 10 p.m. Really, it’s worth keeping your kids awake!
15- The Changing of the Guard
Summer is hectic on Parliament Hill where, from late June to late August, it is possible to attend the daily parade of the changing of the guard, these soldiers dressed in a scarlet uniform and a bear-skin hat who perform 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 theatre, amazing puppets, and more! Attracting many families each year, the Ottawa Youth Festival, in addition to being fun, promotes the arts as an essential component of children’s education. Your children, from 2 to 15 years old, will amazingly enjoy their day!
Ottawa Youth Festival’s website
17- The Snow Ball
When you think of Canada, you obviously think of winter, and winter in Ottawa, instead of cursing it, you celebrate it with the Snow Ball. Skating, slides, snow and ice sculpture, hot chocolate, and beaver tail are on the menu.
18- The International Festival of Street Artists (Buskerfest)
Buskerfest is a 4-day festival of shows on 4 stages with more than 20 artists that attracts about 175,000 people each year. Fire-eaters, contortionists, magicians, street acrobats, and rampaging 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 festival of flowers, it was created to celebrate the historic royal gift of tulips offered as a symbol of international friendship by the
Dutch to Canadians during the Second World War. In mid-May, you can see 300,000 tulip buttons blooming that will color the green expanses of Dow Lake Commissioner’s Park.
Canadian Tulip Festival’s website
We’re Playing Inside
20- Cosmic Adventures and Kids Kindom
Cosmic Adventures and Kids Kindom are recreation parks where your kids can spend their energy. Perfect on rainy or too cold days in winter. Slides, climbing, balls, skill courses. In short, pure pleasure for children from 2 to 12 years old. (Cosmic Adventures is temporarily closed because of the Covid-19)
21- Flying Squirrel or Skyzone Trampoline Park
Trampolines, trampolines and more trampolines! This is what you can find at Flying Squirrel and Skyzone (Skyzone is temporarily closed because of the Covid-19).
A place for children, but also for adults who wish, for the time of an evening, to fall back into childhood. Funhaven is laser hunting, bowling, arcades, climbing walls, bumper cars, and more. Guaranteed fun and laughter.
23- Altitude Climbing Gym
Is your child a real little monkey? The climbing walls of the Altitude Climbing Gym will surely satisfy his need to climb everywhere!
24- Splash Wave Pool
Pretend you’re on vacation on the edge of rough seas on a rainy or cold day? This is possible at the Splashindoor wave pool.
We Play Outside
25- Outdoor Skating
In winter, the Rideau Canal turns into the largest ice rink in the world! From January to the end of February, you’ll have the pleasure of winding through the city of Ottawa on 7.8 kilometers of frozen water
26- Water Parks
2 water parks to get you in the water! Calypso Park is the equivalent of 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 much fun, there is also Mount Cascades.
Geocaching is a mega treasure hunt that allows you to discover places you didn’t know in the middle of your neighborhood. The city of Ottawa has its share of treasures. Kids love it, but so do adults! You will have unforgettable memories of it.
To know in detail what geocaching is, click here!
28- Visit a Farm
Saunders Farm with its mazes or Proulx Farm with horse-drawn carriage rides reminds us how sweet and slow life in the countryside 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 where you can lay in the sun and have fun. East of Ottawa, there is Petrie Island Beach, in the west is Britannia, in the south is Mooney’s Bay beach, and Westboro is In the center.
30- We’re going to the park
What would be a list of things to do without naming the parks where it is good to picnic, walk, ride a bike, etc.
These are the 6 most popular parks in the Ottawa area.
This end this post on the 30 indoor and outdoor activities to do with the family in Ottawa. While waiting to travel around the world, I offer you my coloring world maps which, in addition to being pretty and being a great parent-child activity, educate your child about this beautiful big world in which we live!