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Family Friendly Attractions in Ottawa

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Ottawa is a safe and friendly city with plenty of attractions for younger visitors, and you can expect a warm Canadian welcome for you and your clan. As well as being full of interesting historic sites, where everyone can have fun while they learn something new, there are green spaces to break up the city landscape and give kids space to frolic.




Interactive museums are always a big hit with children. They end up having so much fun, they won't notice it's an educational day out, with most attractions offering videos, touch screens, and buttons to press, turning a day at a museum into a day of delight.


Canadian Museum of Nature


Kids can enjoy a wild adventure at the Canadian Museum of Nature, with life-sized dioramas of dinosaurs, exhibitions about animal life around the world, and fascinating fossils that teach them about how the natural world evolved. There are also screenings of 3D animal-themed documentaries, which really throw you into the thick of the action.


240 McLeod Street, Ottawa ON K2P 2R1. Tel:+1 613 566 4700


Canadian Museum of Nature website
Canadian Children's Museum


Just north of Ottawa, in neighboring Gatineau, the colorful Canadian Children's Museum is bound to keep the family entertained. The museum takes the form of a trip around the world, encouraging imaginative play as children make origami in a traditional Japanese home, try out different types of construction jobs at the Building Works, or wear folk costumes from around the world. It's part of the larger Canadian Museum of History, meaning adults will have things to enjoy too.


100 Laurier Street, Gatineau QC K1A 0M8. Tel:+1 800 555 5621


Canadian Children's Museum website


Fun in the sun


If you're visiting during the warmer months then there are lots of outdoor attractions to choose from, including beautifully landscaped city parks and lively water parks with thrilling flume rides, so your children can get some fresh air and play time on their vacation.


Saunders Farm


Famous for having North America's largest collection of hedge mazes, the charming Saunders Farm features attractions such as a replica pirate ship and the Splashpad waterpark. And with events such as hay rides and puppet shows it's the perfect day out during your summer vacation. The farm is also host to activities around Halloween, so check their calendar before you go.


7893 Bleeks Road, Ottawa ON K2S 2C6. Tel:+1 613 838 5440


Saunders Farm website


Animal life


Ottawa offers little explorers the chance to get up close to animals, with attractions like farms and zoos close to downtown. This allows children to not only observe animals, but also touch them and truly understand their behaviour – which younger visitor wouldn't love that?


Little Ray's Reptile Zoo


Featuring a wide selection of slimy and scaly creatures; Little Ray's Reptile Zoo is a fun and interactive day out for kids. They'll get to hold creatures such as snakes and lizards, under close supervision of course, and even feed them their insect treats.


5305 Bank Street, Ottawa ON K1X 1H2. Tel:+1 613 822 8924


Little Ray's Reptile Zoo website


Family dining


Downtown Ottawa is full of casual restaurants where children are welcomed. Close to the major tourist attractions you'll find a choice of laid back eateries with kids' menus and lively atmospheres.


Zak's Diner


A kitsch, 1950s-style diner with all the little details you'd expect, from a jukebox to booth seating, Zak's Diner serves up classic American cuisine like towering burgers, fries, and tall milkshakes, as well as sneaking in some Canadian favorites such as poutine. If you have any space left, then there's a wide range of unashamedly gooey and decadent desserts, from banana splits to deep fried Mars bars.


14 Byward Market Square, Ottawa ON K1N 7A1. Tel:+ 1 613 241 2401


Zak's Diner website


ZaZaZa Pizza With Pizazz


A small, local chain, ZaZaZa Pizza With Pizazz has amusingly-named pizzas that the kids will find fun, and a wide selection of pasta and other favorites. With cozy, vintage style interiors and unusual knick-knacks on the walls, it's a great spot for a laid-back family meal after sightseeing.


1079 Wellington St West, Ottawa ON K1Y 2Y2. Tel:+1 613 798 9292


ZaZaZa Pizza With Pizazz website