International Museum Day: May 18

by Sasha

© Canadian Museum of Nature

Did you know that tomorrow is International Museum Day? We are lucky to so have many world-class museums right here in Ottawa, not to mention a wide range of community museums scattered throughout the region. Why not visit one? Admission to the museums of Nature and Science and Technology will be free, and there will be special activities at the Museum of Civilization and the War Museum.

Or if the 18th doesn’t work for you, here are some other free ways into Ottawa area museums:

The Ottawa Public Library lends passes for the Museums of Civilization, Science and Technology, Nature, and the National Gallery. The passes cover a family of 4-5 (the OPL catalogue has the specifics for each pass). They tend to be hot commodities, but at any given time there tend to be a half dozen or so checked-in at various branches throughout the city. So why not play museum roulette: pick a pass that’s available at a branch near you, and off you go! Just search for ‘Museum Pass’ in the online catalogue.

Admission to the Museum of Civilization (including the Children’s Museum) and the Canadian War Museum, is free every Thursday from 4 until 8pm. It is also free on Canada Day (July 1) and Remembrance Day (November 11).

The Museum of Nature is also free on Thursday afternoons (from 5 to 8 pm), as well as on Earth Day (April 22), and Canada Day (July 1).

The Museum of Science and Technology doesn’t have a weekly freebie, but they are free on Canada Day (July 1).

The Canada Aviation and Space Museum and the Agriculture Museum are free from 4 to 5pm. Every day. How cool is that? And the Agriculture Museum is also free on Canada Day.

The National Gallery (including the Museum of Contemporary Photography) is free on Thursdays after 5, and for children under 12 all the time.

What is your favourite Ottawa-area museum?

Sasha is mom to 2-year-old Miss Bea, and 4 month old Baby Em.  Her ramblings can also be found on her blog, The Rambling Stroller.

9 Responses to International Museum Day: May 18

  1. The museum of Nature….. I have a five year old girl who LOVES dinosaurs and so we try to go at least once a month (sometimes more). She loves them so much she knows all their correct names, what they eat, and wants to be a paleontologist (when I was 5 I had no idea what a paleontologist was!).
    We hit up a lot of museums regularly, I grew up in a small town and so I see museums as a huge privilege to our awesome city!

    • That’s awesome. What is it about kids and dinosaurs? We found a little model triceratops in the backyard when we moved in, and my daughter identified it right away. She’s 2!

  2. I think the family membership that includes the Farm, Science and Tech Museum and Aviation Museum is the best deal in town if you have little kids. Once you are a member access is free all the time! Even if you only have an hour to spend or if your kids are in need of some running around, there is so much to see and do in these great spaces! We are very partial to the Farm (we live within biking distance!) but my girls also love the Aviation Museum – a fabulous place to hang out on a rainy day, since it almost feels like you are outside! Plus with a membership you get discounts on birthday parties…
    We are certainly lucky to live in a city with so many great museums…. :)

    • I wish we had known about this when we started buying memberships! We have memberships to Nature, Civ, and the National Gallery – so all the other ones. But I figured any more would be getting a little ridiculous :). We do love the others, although I haven’t been to Aviation since I was in my teens. That’s a great point about a rainy day, I will keep that in mind, thanks!

  3. We love the museums too. We now have passes to all of the museums and go regularly. So nice to be able to go and just stay for a short time and not feel like you have to stay a long time to make what you spent worthwhile.

  4. Just thought I’d mention that the Museum of Science isn’t offering free admission for Museums Day this year :(

  5. For me it’s a tie between the Museum of Civilization, the National Gallery and the Museum of Nature. I especially like Nature because there is something for everyone there. I love the gems and minerals. It’s like the coolest rock collection around! Have you been to the currency museum downtown? The Mint is interesting too.

  6. Those are the three we spend our time at, too. Not nearly enough, though. I had quite a bit of fun taking funky pictures in the gems and minerals section (with that lighting, it’s go-funky or go-home).

    Have not been to the Currency Museum – it’s on Sparks, isn’t it? And while I was in the front yard of the Mint on Canada Day, I don’t think that actually counts. Will have to check them both out. Thanks!

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