It's #Canada152 this year and we have everything you need to know to plan a memorable Canada Day with your family.
Programming on Parliament Hill starts at 8 a.m. and includes an Algonquin blessing of the grounds, a Carillion Concert. The noon and evening Shows featuring various artists such as the NAC Orchestra, K’Naan, T. Thomason, Les Ballets Jazz de Montréal, Karim Ouellet, Shawnee, William Prince, Coeur de Pirate, Marie Mai and Brett Kissel.
New this year: the main entrance to access Parliament Hill for Canada Day programming will be located in front of the Supreme Court of Canada at the intersection of Wellington and Kent streets. The entrance for people with special needs will be at the Parliament Hill pedestrian entrance at the intersection of Bank and Wellington streets.
For additional details on access points, the security process and any restrictions to consider, please visit the official Canada Day website.
Major’s Hill Park
Major’s Hill Park is the hubbub of family-friendly Canada Day activities in Ottawa’s downtown core. Visit the park for face painting, live musical and cultural performances, pop up shops, exhibitions, and so much more. This year the Tim Horton's stage will feature performances by CHANCES, Iskwé, Medhi Cayenne, Salebarbes and Said the Whale. At the end of the day, this is a great spot to watch the spectacular display of Canada Day fireworks over the Ottawa River.
Bank of Canada Museum
Drop into the Bank of Canada Museum (located at 30 Bank Street (corner of Wellington Street)) for family activities, trivia, crafts, photobooth and giveaways. There’s plenty to keep the kids busy and you can learn a thing or two taking our trivia challenge. Dry, cool and FREE! Open 10:00 am to 5:00 pm. See our tent on the Plaza. Click here for more information.
The National Arts Centre
The National Arts Centre (NAC) opens its doors on Canada Day offering various FREE activities for the whole family, rain or shine! Activities include outdoor Yoga on the NAC Wood Terrace, Storytelling & Yoga for the little ones with Luana and Surya, a Ukrainian Dance Workshop with the Ottawa School of Ukrainian Dance, a House Dance Workshop with Capital Sessions featuring Rise Ashen, and a
Powwow work-out with Amanda Fox ! For more information, click here.
Jazz Festival – Confederation Park
Located right across from City Hall, Confederation Park on Canada Day is home to food trucks, activities and is your ticket to some of the world's most recognized jazz artists, presented by the TD Ottawa Jazz Festival. If your family enjoys good music, Confederation Park is a must-stop on Canada Day and the entire weekend!
Mackenzie-King Estate is in the heart of Gatineau Park and makes for great photos any time of year. If your family loves the outdoors, take a walk through the wooded paths or gardens, visit historical ruins from the early 1900s or enjoy a cup of tea at the Mackenzie King Café and Tearoom.
Ottawa Champions Baseball Game
Take your kids to a ball game! The Ottawa Champions have a game at 1:30 p.m. on Canada Day against the Shikoku Islanders (from Japan). Enjoy ball game food, cheer on the local team and sing with the mascot! Seats prices are economical and it’s fun for the entire family, regardless of age (or whether or not they like baseball).
Scotiabank Canada Day Road Races
If you and your family love to run join Run Ottawa for the Scotiabank Canada Day Road Races at Walter Baker Park as part of the official Kanata Canada Day celebrations. There will be fun and friendly running events, including 5K, 10K, 1.5K Fun Run for kids aged 5 to 11 and a 100 Meter Tow Trot for kids ages 4 and under. A fun and healthy way to start Canada Day!
Visit a Museum!
Most museums in Ottawa have free admission to their general exhibitions all day July 1st and many have special events taking place just for Canada Day! This includes the National Gallery of Canada, the Canadian War Museum, the Canada Space and Aviation museum, as well as the following museums:
Canada Aviation and Science Museum
The Canada Aviation and Space Museum has a jam-packed schedule of thrilling performances, including skydiving demos, rocket launches, and a fly by from NAV Canada’s CRJ. Just minutes from the crowds of downtown Ottawa, the museum is an ideal destination for those seeking a family-friendly day filled with entertaining, educational and interactive activities to do regardless of the weather. Stroll through our world-class aviation collection, speak with pilots, and visit more than 20 partner organizations from the aerospace industry! Admission is free (donations are welcome).
Located on the Lower Locks of the Rideau Canal, the Bytown Museum is a great little museum that also has ice cream, freshly squeezed lemonade, souvenirs, and more available in their café and boutique. Admission is free on Canada Day.
Canada Science and Technology Museum
Rain or shine, kids and adults alike will have fun exploring the newly renovated Canada Science and Technology Museum. Free admission to visit the museum (parking fees and ticket fees to Leonardo Da Vinci-500 years of Genius exhibition still apply)
Canada Agriculture and Food Museum
In addition to the animal barns and incredible play structure, the Canada Agriculture and Food Museum is highlighting Canada’s birthday with lots of exciting activities for the whole family. Our special demonstrations will offer visitors the chance to learn about Canadian agriculture and learn about different Canadian breeds of livestock. There will be games, a craft, ice cream making and tasting, as well a chance to sample a Canadian classic: butter tarts!
Canadian Museum of Nature
If you haven’t been to the Canadian Museum of Nature in awhile, Canada Day is the perfect chance to do so for free. Visit dinosaurs, mammals, minerals and sea life, the Canada Good Arctic Gallery and their new special exhibition Pterosaur: Flight in the Age of Dinosaurs.
Celebrate Canada Day in Osgoode Village at the Osgoode Community Centre starting at 2 pm on July 1st. Events include a parade, entertainment, kids activities, and fireworks! For information: http://www.osgoodevillage.com/?page_id=743
Join the community of Riverside South at Claudette Cain Park as they celebrate Canada Day with family-friendly activities for all ages and of course, a fireworks show to finish off the day! Stay tuned to the website for information: http://riversidesouth.org/calendar/canada-day/
Celebrate Canada Day in Your Community!
If you are looking to avoid the huge crowds of Canadians in downtown Ottawa, but still want to celebrate Canada Day with others, there are plenty of community events across Ottawa, including:
Sponsored by Mattamy Homes, join your Barrhaven neighbours at Clarke Fields, 93 Houlahan for a midway, food trucks, live music, amazing fireworks and much, much more! For more information: http://www.canadadaybarrhaven.ca/
Celebrate Canada Day at the Diefenbunker from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.! They’ll have family-friendly activities, a Canada themed scavenger hunt through the entire four story underground Bunker, an obstacle course, and more! Entry times must be booked ahead of time. Entry cannot be guaranteed without a pre-booked ticket. For more information: https://diefenbunker.ca/events/event/canadaday/
Canada Day in Kanata take place at Walter Baker Park in Kanata and includes live entertainment, a large family fun zone, live bands and more. Crowds of over 30,000 are known to attend this popular west Ottawa Canada Day celebration! Fireworks start around 10 p.m. For more information visit: http://www.canadadayinkanata.com/
Orleans residents fully expected Canada Day at Petrie Island to be cancelled this year due to flooding, but it appears from the website that the event will be running! Shuttle services are offered on and off the island, and the day is full of musical entertainment (School of Rock Orleans will be there) and fireworks in the evening. For more information visit: http://www.ocanadaorleans.ca/index.html
Hosted on the grounds of Sttitsville’s Sacred Heart Highschool, Stittville’s family-friendly Canada Day celebration starts at 1 pm and gets bigger and better every year with activities and fun for the whole family including fireworks at 9:45 pm sharp! For more information: http://www.stittsvilleva.com/canadaday/
How to get around on Canada Day
Regardless of where or how you decide to celebrate Canada Day in Ottawa, OC Transpo offers free transit all day long and after the fireworks. STO offers free transit after 10 p.m. Check out their website for more information and remember to leave lots of time for travel and to have fun – Canada Day with kids make for some great memories.
How does your family traditionally celebrate Canada Day? Leave a comment and let us know!