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36 Things to Do in Ottawa with Kids

Published Feb 7, 2019 | Updated Feb 25, 2020

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.

Ready to explore Ottawa with your family?

Whether you're a visitor or a local, we think you'll love tackling this list of things to do with kids! From the best eats, to festivals, to enjoying the simple pleasures in a park- there's something for everyone.


1. Enjoy a day of painting your own ceramics at Color Me Mine. This is a great way for kids to get creative and have a blast at the same time. 



2. 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.



3. Explore the Canadian War Museum. This museum is Canada's national military history museum and attracts nearly 500,000 visitors each year. It is dedicated to teaching the public about the complexities of war. 



4. Watch the changing of the guards at Parliament Hill. Every morning at 10am from June 24 to August 23 you can watch nearly 100 guards march with a band and pipers, it's really quite a sight to see! Make sure you arrive at least 15 minutes early to get a spot with a view.

5. Go to Brewer Park and enjoy the Brewer Park Splash Pad. This is a great way to have fun with the kids in the summer. The park can be enjoyed during any season and is a fantastic place to get some fresh air.

 


6. Enjoy a day of discovery at the Canadian Museum of Nature. This is a museum that has galleries with fossils, mammals, minerals, birds, live creatures, and so much more! 



7. Take a visit to the Bytown Museum. This Museum explores the stories of an evolving city and its residents from the early days of Bytown to present-day Ottawa. This is a beautiful museum in an unforgettable, picturesque setting.



8. Explore the fascinating exhibitions at the Canada Agriculture and Food Museum. There are programs that explore Canada's agriculture heritage, food literacy and the benefits and relationships of agriculture science and technology to Canadians' everyday lives. 



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




11. Abby Hill Farms will provide you with the perfect pumpkin during the halloween season. They also offer seasonal vegetables and are open 7 days a week. 



12. With more than 600 kilometers of amazing pathways, the Ottawa River Trails is every hiker's dream. 


13. The Ottawa Dragon Boat Festival is recognized as North America's largest dragon boating festival. This June, enjoy the four day celebration that children's ares, racing, culinary treats, and so much more!


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. Learn how to swim like a mermaid at Aquamermaid School. This is where dreams come true and both adults and kids can transform into a mermaid. During classes or parties, instructors progress from basic tail swimming lessons to advanced techniques like underwater choreography.




16. Cuddle up and watch a movie under the stars at one of many outdoor movie screenings, happening at various venues across Ottawa (and don't forget the popcorn)!


17. Snack on BeaverTails, an Ottawa original snack, is just ooey, gooey delicious!


18. The Canada Science and Technology Museum is a great way to celebrate Canada's rich history and scientific achievements. This museum offers something for all ages.


19. Explore the vibrant neighbourhoods by visiting a new splash pad on a hot day. The perfect way to cool down with a great price tag... Free!



20. Go to one of the many parks in Ottawa and bring a ball or frisbee. Nothing beats getting some fresh air and staying active with your family!


21. 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.


22. Visit Fallowfield Tree Farm. You can enjoy one of their many services such as sleigh rides, picking up some firewood, seasonal produce, pumpkins, and more!



23. Visit Miller's Farm, Market, & Garden Centre. This is a four season business that offers seasonal produce, a fantastic garden centre, local honey, and so much more! 


24. Travel through time in the galleries, exploring the stories that shaped Canada from coast to coast at the National Gallery of Canada


25. 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.


26. 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!


27. Blow off some steam at the Xtreme Trampoline Park! Whether you are looking for a day out with the kids or a birthday party, this trampoline park offers something for everyone


28. Check out Rideau Sports Centre- Ottawa's newest sports and wellness facility. A wide-range of children's and adult activities are offered such as tennis, volleyball, yoga, and more!



29. 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!


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

31. Sharpen your skates and experience the magic of winter with free skating and a beautiful view!


32. Go laser tagging with the family! Laser Quest is a family entertainment venue combining the classic games of hide and seek and tag with a high tech twist. 


33. Explore Diefenbunker Canada's Cold War Museum. This museum is an artifact itself; visitors can look, touch, and feel the building, immersing themselves in the stories and people of the past. 


34. Winter Magic and Maple Harvest Season- From February 15th to April 19th, Fulton's Pancake House and Sugar Bush is hosting special winter events and outdoor activities for families. This is something you won't want to miss!


35. If your kids love creepy crawlies, Little Ray's Reptile Zoo is the place to meet them up close!

36. 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!



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




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