Best Things to Do in Ottawa with Kids
Canada with kids By Michelle Rae Uy
There are fantastic attractions families would want to add to their list of things to do in Ottawa with kids. (Photo: Michelle Rae Uy)
In the past, Ottawa may have been a quick day stop for families traveling with kids to Toronto or Montreal. These days, however, Canada’s beautiful capital has become a family travel destination in its own right.
There are fantastic attractions families would want to add to their list of things to do in Ottawa with kids. And there are unforgettable gastronomy joints to boot.
Stay at the super modern Delta Hotels by Marriott Ottawa City Centre whose saltwater pool will certainly entertain the kids. And then treat the kids to the city’s best spots and experiences.
Walk Around the Parliament Hill Area
Government offices aside, Parliament Hill is a lovely place to explore with the kids. It boasts lovely, fairy tale-esque buildings and wide, foot-friendly streets. Among the many things to do in Ottawa with kids are visiting Parliament Hill’s neighboring museums and parks.
Walk further if the little ones aren’t tired to see the canals and do some shopping along Rideau Street. Teen-friendly shops like Forever 21, Urban Outfitters, and Brandy Melville are nearby. Remember to bring your camera as photo opportunities abound.
Watch the Changing of the Guards
Warm summer months draw Ottawans unto the streets. They also host the city’s fascinating and very patriotic Changing of the Guard Ceremony. The annual tradition, held every summer morning at 10 am on Parliament Hill’s front lawn, is a great attraction.
It’s also very family-friendly, one of the best things to do in Ottawa with kids. Secure a good viewing spot 15 minutes before. Let the kids enjoy the marches, the drills, and the haunting bagpipe music. Remind the little ones to keep their voices down during the ceremony.
Visit the Canadian Children’s Museum
Attracting over half a million visitors annually, the Canadian Children’s Museum has been named one of Canada’s most popular museums. It is highly-rated, boasting a permanent exhibit called The Great Adventure. This interactive exhibit takes visitors to different destinations and adventures around over the world.
Let the kids don on costumes, use props, and play to their heart’s content as they take a world tour. Some of the best stops include a Pakistani bus, a house in Mexico, an origami class in Japan, a puppet show in Indonesia, and a pyramid in Egypt.
Eat Your Way Through Byward Market
There’s no better place to rub elbows with the locals than Byward Market, the city’s most famous watering hole. The market, which occupies a few blocks, is peppered with amazing food joints, bars, fruit and vegetable stalls, and patisseries.
As many of them are kid-friendly, touring the market are among the best things to do in Ottawa with kids. Excellent yummy stops include BeaverTails, House of Cheese, Grand Pizzeria & Bar, and Moulin de Provence. There are many outdoor tables available for a lovely, summer picnic.
Have Fun at Calypso Park
When traveling with kids, visiting a theme park is almost a prerequisite. In Ottawa, that option comes in the form of a waterpark only 30 minutes outside of the city. The Calypso Waterpark is Canada’s largest theme park, and it boasts 100 water games and 35 heated waterslides.
Among its best attractions are a herculean wave pool, the biggest in the country, and Summit Tower, tallest waterslide tower in Canada. The kids will love tubing along the African-jungle themed lazy river.
Michelle Rae Uy contributed this to MiniTime. She is a travel, food and drink writer based in Los Angeles and spends her free time on adventures and film photography.