What to Do in Ottawa? 30 Indoor and Outdoor Activities to Do With Your Family

I’m not just a travel enthusiast, I’m also a travel professional. And what does a professional tour operator like to do? Lists! Tons of lists for everything, but one of the most important in my opinion, are activities that need to be done at the destination. That’s why I share with you the list of 30 indoor and outdoor activities I do with your family in our beautiful Canadian capital: Ottawa.

We go 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 with 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 wonderful works that decorate walls and pedestals.

Website of the National Gallery of Canada

2- Billings Estate National Historic Site

This eight-acre site is the birthplace of the Billings family, who settled on the banks of the Rideau River in 1812. You will be pleased to learn more about one of Ottawa’s founding families while enjoying family activities such as the ongoing Midwinter Challenge. This challenge includes demonstrations, puzzles and quizzes inspired by the harsh winters faced by settlers and the first lumberjacks living in Ottawa.

Website of the Bilings Estate National Historic Site

Bytown Museum

At the Bytown Museum you can see the oldest stone building in Ottawa and learn more about the different times the capital went through, the hard days when the city was named Bytown.

Bytown Museum Website

3- Museum of Agriculture and Food of Canada

The museum has adapted to the technological age with an online offer offering cooking lessons 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 Canadian life.

Website of the Museum of Agriculture and Food of Canada

4- Canadian Air and Space Museum

From the history of aviation to the most remarkable space achievements of Canada, the Museum of Aviation and Space of Canada will definitely make you rise to the occasion!

Canada Aviation and Space Museum Website

5- Museum of Science and Technology of Canada

Recently renovated, the Museum of Science and Technology of Canada tells the story of innovation in Canada in a captivating, educational and fun way. You and your future Einsteins will love to discover, play and live, discovering how the creativity of the Canadian people and their sense of observation have transformed the country and continue to shape its future.

Website of the Museum of Science and Technology of Canada

6- Canadian War Museum

Like many countries, wars have shaped Canada’s history. Discover the characters who have made our history, read the personal stories of Canadians for whom war has changed everything, and learn how Canada has become a respected country on the international stage through its Western defense and conservation commitments peace.

Website of the War Museum of Canada

7- Canadian Children’s Museum

This museum is not so named for anything! It is a paradise for children! Permanent exhibitions are always successful, including the Canadian stamp collection, and the large exhibitions that change, about every month, are about topics that soothe the curiosity of young and old.

Website of the Canadian Children’s Museum

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 reproductive representations of the time are just some of the other elements you can study.

Cumberland Heritage Museum-Village Website

9- Canadian Museum of Nature

A museum from which you will not be able to browse in one visit, because the exhibitions presented there are many and interesting. You will travel underwater, underground, on land, in the air, and through the centuries with exhibitions that will please the whole family guaranteed!

Website of the Nature Museum of Canada

10- The Museum of Vanier Park

The Vanier Park Museum is the only French language museum outside of Quebec in Canada. Offers physical and virtual exhibitions, lectures, workshops and interpretive tours to discover the history and heritage of Ottawa. Kids love this sugar museum located right on the hotel grounds, where they can fill it with menu and maple options.

Website of the Vanier Park Museum

The must-see

11- Website of the Governor General of Canada

Located on 79 acres of greenery, minutes from downtown Ottawa and Gatineau, the Governor-General’s residence and workplace offer many activities all year round. Of course, it is possible to browse the lawn and enjoy a walk in the countryside in the large green spaces.

Website of the Governor General of Canada

12- The Chateau Laurier

The Chateau Laurier Hotel is known for its architecture, but we especially like to stop for tea. Yes! Every afternoon, you can join the teatime at the Zoé lounge to enjoy sweet, savory and small triangular sandwiches. Your kids will never love sitting at the table!

Website of Château Laurier

13- The Royal Canadian Currency

Coin collectors? It is important to skip the Royal Canadian Currency, commonly known as The Mint. Learn how the pieces are made and see the most beautiful and rare ones.

Royal Canadian Currency Website

14- Hill of Parliament

You can not go through Ottawa without visiting Parliament! Who has never dreamed of visiting the House of Commons, the place where MPs discuss bills and so on. In the evening, from the end of June to the end of August, you will enjoy the wonderful performance of sound and light that takes place around 10 p.m. Really, it’s worth keeping your kids awake!

Hill Parliament website

15- The change of the guard

Summer is intense on the Hill of Parliament where, from late June to late August, it is possible to watch the daily parade of changing guards, these soldiers dressed in a red uniform and a bear hat performing precise exercises in sound military orchestra.

Hill Parliament website for guard change


16- Ottawa Youth Festival

Crazy acrobatics, playful theater, amazing puppets and much more! Attracting many families each year, the Ottawa Youth Festival, in addition to entertaining, promotes the arts as a key component of children’s education. Your children, from 2 to 15 years old, will enjoy their day amazingly!

Ottawa Youth Festival 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 sculptures, hot chocolate and beaver tail are on the menu.

The Snow Ball website

18- The International Festival of Street Artists (Buskerfest)

Buskerfest is a 4-day festival of performances in 4 stages with more than 20 artists that attract about 175,000 people each year. Fire eaters, distorters, magicians, street acrobats and outrageous musicians come together to entertain and impress you.

The Buskerfest website

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 flower festival, it was created to celebrate the historic royal gift of tulips offered as a symbol of international friendship by

Dutch to Canadians during World War II. In mid-May, you can see 300,000 tulip buttons blooming that will color the green areas of Dow Lake Commissioner’s Park.

Canadian Tulip Festival website

We play inside

20- Cosmic Adventures and Kindom Kids

Cosmic Adventures and Kids Kindom are amusement parks where your kids can spend their energy. Ideal for rainy or cold days in winter. Slides, climbing, balls, skill classes. In short, pure enjoyment for children from 2 to 12 years old.

21- Flying Squirrel or Skyzone Trampoline Park

Trampolines, trampolines and other trampolines! This can be found at Flying Squirrel and Skyzone.

22- Funhaven

A place for children, but also for adults who want, for one night, to return to their childhood. Funhaven is laser hunting, bowling alleys, 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 Altitude Climbing Gym will surely satisfy its need to climb everywhere!

24- Splash Wave Swimming Pool

Pretend you are on vacation by the sea 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 becomes the largest ice rink in the world! From January to the end of February, you will have the pleasure of touring the city of Ottawa in 7.8 kilometers of icy water

Canal Rideau Website

26- Water parks

2 water parks to bring you to the water! Calypso Park is the equivalent of Valcartier Holiday Village in Quebec. It is a water park that you can go to once in a lifetime. For a smaller budget, but just as fun, there is also Mount Cascades.

27- GeoCaching

Geocaching is a great treasure hunt that lets you discover places you did not 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 find out more about geocaching, click here!

28- Visit a farm

The Saunders Farm with a maze or the Proulx Farm with carriage rides reminds us how sweet and slow life is in the countryside. Take the opportunity to encourage a local grower and get fresh vegetables and fruits.

29- Go to the beach

Why not?! Ottawa has 4 beautiful beaches where you can relax in the sun and have fun. To the east of Ottawa is Petrie Island, to the west is Britannia, to the south is Mooney’s Bay, and Westboro is in the center.

Ottawa Beach Website

30- We are going to the park

What would be a list of things to do without naming parks where it is good to have a picnic, walk, ride a bike, etc.

These are the 6 most popular parks in the Ottawa area.

Gatineau Park

Brewer Park

Walter Becker Park

Andrew Haydon Park

And the Millennium Park

This concludes this article on the 30 indoor and outdoor family-related activities in Ottawa. While I look forward to traveling the world, I offer you the color maps of the world that, in addition to being beautiful and being a wonderful parent-child activity, educate your child about this beautiful big world we live in!

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