TOP THINGS TO SEE AND DO
Known for some great outdoor as well as indoor activities and plenty of national landmarks, Ottawa is one of the most beautiful cities in Canada and also one of the best capital cities in the world. If you have been to Washington, DC., you’ll find similarity in both the cities, courtesy to their number of government buildings. Ottawa attracts millions of tourists every year from all over the world including couples and families. From the breathtaking canal to vibrant markets to plenty of historical buildings, Ottawa has everything for travelers of all ages. Whether you want to experience nature or take your kids to the museum, you’ll find plenty of things to do in Ottawa with your family. Your kids will be excited to see a number of amusement parks and museums this city has.
Check below our list of top things to see and do in Canada’s capital with your kids:
Visit Parliament Hill for a live parade
Your tour to Ottawa City is incomplete without visiting its top tourist destination; Parliament Hill. The Parliament Hill is considered as a national historic site of Canada which is visited by millions of people every year. During the summer season, the Changing of the Guard ceremony takes place every day in the morning. In the evening, a free show is held in which Canada’s history is told through lighting effects, music, and art which is reflected on the Parliament Buildings. Visit to the Parliament Hill is free but the tickets are only offered to a limited number of people who come first. Make sure to visit in time if you want to grab the tickets for free.
Enjoy the boat ride and ice skating at Rideau Canal
Rideau Canal is one of the best attractions of Ottawa which is also a part of UNESCO World Heritage Sites. The Canal attracts a large number of visitors in both summer and winter season. In the summer season, you can enjoy a boat ride with your kids through the canal amidst the gardens and stunning pathways on both sides. Whereas in winter, the canal becomes the busiest ice skating spot for the tourists. Visit to Rideau Canal is a must when you are in Ottawa and your kids are absolutely going to love every bit of it.
Get soaked in Calypso Water Park
Beat the Canadian heat in Calypso Water Park which is the largest waterpark in Canada. The park is home to a number of water slides, roller coaster slide, wave pool, river ride and a thematic water play area. There are more than 100 water games to choose from. Spend a sunny day with your kids in this park and enjoy a number of water activities. The park has everything to entertain people of all ages. There are also a few restaurants inside the park to satisfy your hunger cravings. There are different day passes available for the families which you can avail.
Explore National Gallery of Canada
Discover a large art collection at National Gallery of Canada in Ottawa. The Gallery is featuring more than 75,000 art pieces in different categories. If your kids are art lover, this place is perfect for them. The unique art collection includes photography, sculptures, prints, drawings and much more. The National Gallery also organizes special exhibits throughout the year. Your kids might be interested to explore the gallery and its colourful art. You need to buy the ticket to enter the gallery which costs $20 (adults), $18 (seniors ages 65+), $12 (ages 24 and under / students). If you are visiting with family, there is a discounted deal which you can avail. Entrance is free for children ages 11 and under.
Eat your heart out at ByWard Market
ByWard Market is one of the largest and oldest markets of Canada. The market is full of galleries, restaurants, cafes and a number of shops featuring a variety of products. The market is located near the Parliament Hill and it’s a must-do thing in Ottawa City. From roaming the streets of market to eating the scrumptious food from restaurants and karts to cheap shopping, be prepared for a fun-filled day with your kids at ByWard Market. You can also enjoy horse cart ride around the market with your kids.
Learn about the animals at Canadian Museum of Nature
If your kids are animal and nature lovers, you should take them to Canadian Museum of Nature in Ottawa City. There are four main sections inside the museum; Zoology, Botany, Paleontology and Mineralogy. There are a plenty of things to explore in Museum of Nature including Canada Goose Arctic Gallery, Northern Voices Gallery, Fossil Gallery, Earth Gallery, Mammal Gallery, Bird Gallery and much more. You’ll need at least a day to explore all the sections of the museum. The Museum also organizes various exhibits throughout the year. Make sure to check them in advance and plan your trip accordingly. The entrance cost for museum is $14.50 (adult), $12.50 (senior ages 65+), $12.50 (student ages 13+) and $10.50 (child ages 3-12).
Spend a day Children’s Museum
Spend a day at Children’s Museum in Ottawa city and give them a chance to learn about various cultures through costumes, exhibitions, props and a number of games and toys. Whether it’s a three-wheeled rickshaw from Thailand, tents from India or a decorated truck from Pakistan, you are going to find a lot about other cultures in this museum. The museum also organizes a number of activities for the kids including calligraphy learning. There is also a play for the kids in which they can dress up like a king or queen and pretend living in castles. You need to buy a ticket for Canadian Museum of History which will give you access to not only this museum but also Children’s Museums, all the galleries in museum and exhibitions. You can buy the ticket for Canadian Museum of History here.
GETTING AROUND IN OTTAWA CITY
You can hire a car for your stay in Ottawa City but that can cost you a lot. Alternative cheap option for getting around in Ottawa is through its public transit (OC Transpo). Make sure to check the routes and discounted travel pass available for families.
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