32 Things to Do in Ottawa with Kids

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Published Nov 7, 2017

With so much to see and do, Ottawa is an amazing place for a family to live & have their kids grow up in. Whether you are looking for an outdoor adventure or a cultural activity, there is something for everyone. Check out our list of favourite things to do with your kids in Ottawa.

The great outdoors

1. Soak up the sun at the Calypso Waterpark, the largest theme splashpad in Canada, where the whole family will enjoy more than 100 water games, wave pools and water slides.

2. Midway Family Fun Park has tons of fun adventures for kids of all ages!

3. Kids can feed the elks, sleep in a teepee and hike beautiful trails at Parc Omega, the ultimate family experience.

4. Gatineau Park has awesome trails where you and your kids will enjoy endless outdoor possibilities as swimming, skating, hiking and picnics.

5. Sit under lush trees and relax at Strathcona Park, while kids will enjoy the huge play structure and wading pool.

6. If your kids love creepy crawlies, Little Rays Reptile Zoo is the place to meet them up close!

7. Explore the fascinating world of insects and spiders at the Ottawa Insectarium. You will be face to face with many live bugs and maybe, hold a tarantula!

8. Sharpen your skates and experience the magic of winter with free skating on the Canada 150 Rink with the backdrop of Parliament buildings illuminated by Christmas lights.

9. Enjoy the Rideau Canal in every season. During summer, sail, canoe, kayak or paddleboat the Canal, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Or bike along the waterfront. In winter, the Canal turns into the world's longest skating rink.

10. With more than 600 kilometers of amazing pathways, the Ottawa River trails Ottawa is a hiker's dream.

Museums and galleries

11. The Ottawa Art Gallery could be the best experience with kids in a museum. Ever! Kids can attend painting workshops and can leave their artwork to be exposed at the museum. Thursday evenings admission is free.

12. Canada is all nature. And at the Canadian Museum of Nature you will see dinosaur fossils, a blue whale skeleton, 3D movies, special exhibitions and tours.

13. At the Canada Science and Technology Museum, we celebrate Canadian scientific and technological achievements. The museum dedicates a space to children aged two to eight years old, who can play and interact with their inner scientist. They can design, build and test their own miniature wooden vehicles.

14. Soar the history of our skies at the Canada Aviation and Space Museum. With a special focus on Canada's contributions to aviation, this is one Ottawa museum you won't want to miss!

15. Discover the events that have shaped our history at the Canadian Museum of History . Marvel at the collection of totem poles and artifacts of many cultures and times. Tour many special exhibitions, be a kid again at the Children's Museum, especially designed for kids 5 to 12 years old.

16. The Canadian War Museum is a tribute to men and women who served in the armed forces and are an example for generations to come.

17. The Canada Agriculture and Food Museum is a working farm of the "Green Capital" that young children will enjoy while visiting the animals, the exhibitions or riding the horse-drawn Tally-Ho wagon.

18. Hold a gold bar worth over $750,000 at the Royal Canadian Mint

19. Parliament Hill is the center of our nation and there are tons to see and do on The Hill: Visit to the Centennial Flame which commemorates the 100th anniversary of Canada's confederation. Hear a concert from the 53 bells of the Peace Tower Carillon and Witness the changing of the Guards.

Festivals and events

Ottawa hosts many festivals during the year and will make your visit memorable and fun.

20. Winterlude is one of the best-known festivals, which is a three-week celebration of winter held each February.

21. Don't forget the various Santa's Parades, festive community events to gather toys and warm up with hot chocolate.

22. The Canadian Tulip Festival is held each May. Immerse your kids in a sea of colour with millions of tulips blooming across the city; go on a tulip tour, enjoy artists at work, acoustic music and more!

23. July 1st is always a day packed with fun activities and awesome fireworks at the Canada Day party on Parliament Hill.

24. All national museums, landmarks and monuments in the Capital shine and twinkle with the Christmas Lights Across Canada festival and bring a magical winter light shows to life. Enjoy it with a hot chocolate.

25. Bring your kids to the Children's Storytelling Festival in November for sheer creative fun. Kids will love stories and tales on this magic festival. And it is free!


26. The Proulx Maple & Berry Farm, offers berries, veggies, pumpkins, maple and all good things to feast in their pancake brunch.

27. Enter the annual humongous Corn Maize at your own riskā€¦of having fun! At the Ouimet Farms Adventure, you can enjoy zip-lining, farmers' market and pumpkin patch that with entertain the whole family.

28. Celebrate the harvest and have lots of fun for everyone at the Log Cabin Orchard . You will pick your own pumpkin, fresh apples, visit the petting zoo, free wagon rides and the best apple cider!

The best treats in Ottawa

Treats and kids go together, so indulge your little ones at the best places for sweets in Ottawa.

29. BeaverTails , an Ottawa original snack, is just ooey, gooey delicious!

30. The bakers at SconeWitch have pumpkin spice scones and baked goods down to a science and an art.

31. And for the best cookies in town, visit French bakery Moulin de Provence. Their shortbread cookies come in many shapes and sizes decorated with colourful icing. Too cute to eat!

32. Experience maple at its best at Fulton's Pancake House

Looking for more awesome events in Ottawa? Feel free to check out ChatterBlock's Community Events Page.

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