Ottawa is a fun place to bring kids. It has every museum imaginable – is easy to get around in, via rental car or bus, and there are fabulous things to do summer and winter. Most people think it is a city to skip, but really, you shouldn’t.
The airport is the best to fly in and out of with kids, no joke, avoid Montreal and Toronto like the plague if you can. There is a bus that goes from the airport to the train station to downtown, so easy!
1. The Experimental Farm – so much fun! We have been several times, and I grew up going there for school trips, weekend morning etc. The best time to go is the middle of summer.
The farm is in the middle of Ottawa, one of the only cities that has a dedicated farm land for education.
2. The war museum, is a museum I believe everyone should go to. There are even tanks you can sit in. If you are Canadian, and have a family member that served in a war, you can request info on them. The curators are incredibly knowledgeable, and since my Grandfather’s medals are stored there, and on rotation, I am fortunate enough to call ahead and see them.
3. Museum of Nature, such an incredible museum, and so much fun for toddlers.
4. Winterlude – a celebration of all things winter! Including skating on the Rideau Canal, you can rent sleds and skates.
5. Have you tried a Beavertail? Yup! Delicious and so very Ottawa. It is pastry, not an actual beaver’s tail.
6. The musical ride! This is a beautiful ride our Federal Mounties put on. Every year over the summer they bring this on the road. However, most people don’t know that you can bring a picnic and watch their practices in Ottawa during the spring. After the practice, you can go into the stables and meet all the horses. This is free, awesome entertainment, and the parking is really easy too. Just show up early to get a great grass spot.
7. There is a relatively new water park outside the city. I have never been, but heard it is wonderful. For toddlers, I don’t see the value, but for older kids, I can see that it would be a blast.
8. Gatineau Park! I am obsessed with Gatineau Park, and on a hot day, it is great. I wrote about Parent Beach. Bring food, water, and sunscreen!
9. Movies on the Beach! Every Friday night over the summer BOBFM hosts a free movie at different locations around Ottawa, it is free, bring a blanket, and snacks. Movies vary, so please check the rating!
10. Westfest – If you are around during this time, it is a massive neighborhood festival, perfect for all ages. It is easy to get to, via bus, and it is free. Just bring your own water!