10 things to do with kids in Ottawa this summer

Summer vacation is rolling out the welcome mat for kids all across the Nation’s Capital. And if your kids are like mine, then they are ready to run off some energy and have some fun! Every summer my family and I make a “bucket list” of things we must see and do as a family to make summer awesome! This year our list is a little longer than 10, but here are our top 10 things to do as a family in Ottawa this summer:

10 things to do with kids in Ottawa this summer

1) Visit the new Canada-themed park at Mooney’s Bay

If you haven’t been to the new Canada-themed park at Mooney’s Bay with the family yet, pack a picnic lunch and plan a day or even a few hours to take in the play structures, slides and swings that each represent a different province or territory. The park is located next to Mooney’s Bay Beach—a great spot to cool off on a hot summer’s day!

2) Check out the new Canada Goose Arctic Gallery at the Canadian Museum of Nature

The  Arctic Gallery at the Canadian Museum of Nature just opened June 21st and is filled with interactive activities, games, interesting facts and educational fun for the entire family. This new permanent gallery is full of unique ways to celebrate Canada's Arctic!

3) See the Northern Lights Sound and Light bilingual show on Parliament Hill

The Sounds and Lights show is always impressive, but with Canada 150 it’s a must-see summer event this year! Grab some snacks and a picnic blanket and head down to Parliament Hill in the late evening from July 11th to September 16th to enjoy Northern Lights, a show about the foundations of our nation and so much more. For tips on how to make the evening a memorable one, check out our tips here.

4) Check out MosaiCanada 150

MosaiCanada 150 is a FREE horticultural event featuring paintings, sculptures, artistic works, as well as 40 impressive horticulture arrangements (some larger than life!). MosaiCanada 150 is held at Jacques-Cartier Park in Gatineau from June 30th to October 15th and is open from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily. This unique horticultural event is a part of the ongoing activities celebrating Canada 150.

5)  Watch an outdoor movie

Every year we try to watch an outdoor movie and this year we not only plan on returning to the Port Elmsley Drive-In, but also grabbing a lawn chair and going to one of the more urban outdoor movies. Capital Pop-Up Cinema runs local outdoor movies that look like a lot of fun– here’s their schedule: https://www.capitalpopupcinema.com/2016-schedule.

6) Be wowed by La Machine at the end of July

I keep seeing the La Machine event pop up in my Facebook newsfeed and every time I see it, I can’t get over how impressive it looks. From July 27 to the 30th these big machines – including the dragon, LongMa, which according to the event website, stands 12 metres high, 5 metres high and weighs 45 tons, will be roaming the downtown streets of Ottawa. This incredible weekend is a part of the ongoing celebrations for Canada 150.

7) Visit a summer fair

Cotton candy, demolition derbies, carousels, concerts, live entertainment, and more, Ottawa offers many local summer fairs including these:
July 14-16: Almonte Fair 
July 28-30: Beachburg Fair
August 10-13: Navan Fair
August 17-20: Arnprior Fair
August 18-27: The Capital Fair 
August 25-27: Chesterville Fair 
September 7-10: Russell Fair 
September 14-17: Richmond Fair 
September 21-24: Carp Fair 
September 28-October 1: Metcalfe Fair 

8) Pretend we’re pirates at Pirate Adventures Ottawa

If you have ever wanted to bring out your inner Jack Sparrow or Jake the Neverland Pirate then this 75-minute interactive pirate-theatre cruise may be for you! Located at Mooney’s Bay this pirate ship adventure includes costumes, face painting, treasure maps, and much more!

9) Actually make it through the Mile Maze at Saunders Farm

Jumping pillows, an amazing play structure, and of courses mazes! Saunders Farm is a lot of fun and one of these days I WILL make it through the mile maze without having to ask complete strangers if they can help me find my way out. ;)

10) Connect with nature at Eco-Odysee

Beautiful scenery, water maze adventures, exploring and puzzle solving – Eco Odysee in the Outaouais is a great way to spend a summer’s day outside and in nature.

So, what’s on your must-do summer list this year? Share by leaving a comment! Happy Summer