Looking from great family friendly activities this summer? Ottawa has a lot to offer, from splashing in the water parks, to running through hedge mazes, and exploring and learning in a vast array of air conditioned museums with hands-on activities. There’s no shortage of options.
Just Add Water
Calypso Theme Waterpark
Calypso Theme Waterpark, just 20 minutes east of the capital, hosts Canada’s largest wave pool, state of the art slides, a whitewater rafting experience, and tons of other cool features that will be a blast for all ages. 10 new waterslides opened this year including the largest free-standing slide tower on the continent.
Just 20 minutes north of Ottawa in the scenic splendor of the Gatineau hills, Mont Cascades Waterpark features a showcase of water other pool attractions. Their new SplashForest combines all the excitement of waterslides with the new “activewaterplay” structure packed with water cannons and climbing nets.
Summer is a time for getting outside and reveling in the sunshine. At Saunders Farm , there are plenty of activities to do together, including an exploration of North America’s largest collection of hedge mazes. Navigate your way through more than 23,000 square feet of intricate paths, before climbing aboard a beautifully constructed pirate ship on land, and cooling off in the water spray zone.
Valleyview Little Animal Farm offers a wide variety of animals and birds up close, from alpacas to zebus, goats to geese. Ride the Valleyview Express, enjoy the farm playground, explore Bill’s Old Farm Museum and watch a puppet show.
In the heart of downtown Ottawa along the Rideau Canal, Pirate Adventures a unique and unforgettable experience aboard a fifty foot pirate ship armed with 12 water cannons. Watch your child transform into a pirate with face painting tattoos and pirate gear then discover a treasure map and solve its secrets. Pirate Pete will make an appearance!
Canadian Museum of Nature
Gone are the days when museums were considered the realm of the adult. Ottawa’s cultural scene offers plenty of options for children with the right blend of education and amusement through tactile experiences. At the newly renovated Canadian Museum of Nature, toddlers will get a kick out of activity stations that have levers, buttons, and nozzles galore, from the inside of a mini submarine to a supermarket cash register.
Nature lovers will also enjoy taking a tour of the animal barns at the Canada Agriculture Museum, which is part of a working farm located in the heart of the city. There’s more hands on fun to be had at the Canadian Children’s Museum geared directly to youths through a setup that embodies worldwide adventure, complete with passports they can get stamped and take home. Here, young visitors interact with exhibits that take them on a stroll through a Market Bazaar, inside an Egyptian pyramid, and into a tatami room of a Japanese home, among other international outings.
And no visit to Ottawa is complete without a trip to the Canada Science and Technology Museum for a walk through the Crazy Kitchen – a dizzying household room that has become a staple childhood experience for local kids.