Ottawa Remembrance Day Ceremonies

Remembrance Day falls on a Sunday this year, which means it's a great opportunity to find a ceremony or parade to attend as a family. There are also events taking place before Remembrance Day. Here is a list of Remembrance Day events and ceremonies in Ottawa:

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Virtual Poppy Drop on Parliament Hill

On Parliament Hill from now until November 11th over 100,000 falling poppies will be projected onto the Peace Tower and Centre Block. The virtual Poppy Drop is presented by the Royal Canadian Legion. There is one poppy for each of Canada’s fallen.

Ceremonies on November 11, 2018

  • Beechwood Cemetery - 10:30 a.m. to noon. Taking place at the National Military Cemetery on the grounds of Beechwood Cemetery, this ceremony honours all those who have fallen in the service of Canada and all Canadian Forces members interred at the cemetery. There will also be a performance by the children’s choir.

  • Bells Corners – 10:30 to 12:30 a.m., Royal Canadian Legion (Bells Corners Branch 593).

  • Eastview/Vanier – 1:30 to 3 p.m., Royal Canadian Legion (Eastview Branch 462), north on Cyr Avenue between the Royal Canadian Legion (294 Cyr Avenue) and Montreal Road, east on Montreal Road between Cyr Avenue and Hannah Street, and north on Hannah Street between Montreal Road and Marier Avenue, and to the Vanier Cenotaph for the ceremonial service. Following the service, the parade participants will return to the Royal Canadian Legion going south on Hannah Street between Marier Avenue and Montreal Road, south on Cody Avenue between Montreal Road and Jeanne Mance Street, west on Jeanne Mance Street between Cody Avenue and Savard Avenue, and north on Savard Avenue between Jeanne Mance Street and Racine Robert Funeral Home.

  • Kanata – 10:15 a.m. to 11 a.m., Royal Canadian Legion (Kanata Branch 638), east on The Parkway between Earl of March High School (4 Parkway) and Teron Road, south on Teron Road between The Parkway and Colchester Square, Colchester Square, and west on Campeau Drive between Colchester Square and the John Mlacak Centre.

  • Manotick/South Carleton – 10:15 a.m. to noon, Royal Canadian Legion (South Carleton Branch 314), east on Beaverwood Road from the Royal Canadian Legion to Manotick Main Street, north on Manotick Main Street from Beaverwood Road to Clapp Lane, east on Clapp Lane from Manotick Main Street, and to the Manotick Cenotaph for the ceremonial service. Then, south on Dickinson Street from the Manotick Cenotaph and Mill Street, west on Mill Street from Dickinson Street and Manotick Main Street, south on Manotick Main Street from Mill Street and Beaverwood Road, west on Beaverwood Road from Manotick Main Street and the Royal Canadian Legion (Branch 314)

  • National War Memorial – 7:30 a.m. to 1 p.m., Royal Canadian Legion, Dominion Command. The following street closures will be in effect:
    Rideau/Wellington Street between Sussex/Colonel By Drive and Bank Street, Queen Street between O’Connor Street and Elgin Street, Elgin Street between Wellington Street and Albert Street, Metcalfe Street between Wellington Street and Albert Street, and O’Connor Street between Wellington Street and Queen Street.

  • Navan – 10:30 a.m. to noon, Colonial Road between Delson Drive and Fairgreen Avenue, and to the Navan Cenotaph for the ceremonial service.

  • Orléans – 10:30 to 11 a.m., Royal Canadian Legion (Branch 632), Vimont Court and Taylor Creek Boulevard between Vimont Court and the Royal Canadian Legion at 800 Taylor Creek Boulevard, and to the Orleans Cenotaph for the ceremonial service.

  • Osgoode – 10:45 a.m. to noon, Royal Canadian Legion (Osgoode Branch 589), Victoria Street between Eighth Line Road and Louise Street, and to the ceremonial service at the Osgoode Cenotaph in front of the Municipal Building.

  • Richmond – 10:45 a.m. to noon, Royal Canadian Legion (Richmond Branch 625), Perth Street between the Richmond Shopping Plaza and the Richmond Memorial Park for the ceremonial service.

  • Stittsville – 1:45 to 2:45 p.m., Royal Canadian Legion (Stittsville and District Branch 618), north on Stittsville Main Street between the Royal Canadian Legion, (1480 Stittsville Main Street) and Warner-Colpitts Lane, and west on Warner-Colpitts Lane between Stittsville Main Street and the Stittsville Cenotaph for the ceremonial service. The parade participants will return to the Royal Canadian Legion going east on Mulkins Street between the Stittsville Cenotaph and Stittsville Main Street, and south on Stittsville Main Street between Mulkins Street and the Royal Canadian Legion, Stittsville Branch 618.

  • Strathcona – 10:15 a.m. to 11:30 a.m., Sunday, November 5, Royal Canadian Legion (Strathcona Branch 595), Main Street between Immaculata High School (140 Main Street) parking lot and St. Paul University (223 Main Street) parking lot for the ceremonial service.

  • West Carleton – 1 to 2 p.m., Saturday, November 4, Royal Canadian Legion (West Carleton Branch 616), Constance Bay Road between McConnell Lane and Allbirch Road, and Allbirch Road between Constance Bay Road, and to the Royal Canadian Legion for the ceremonial service.

  • Westboro – 1:30 to 3 p.m., Royal Canadian Legion (Westboro Branch 480), north on Winston Avenue between the Royal Canadian Legion and Madison Avenue, east on Madison Avenue between Winston Avenue and Churchill Avenue, south on Churchill Avenue between Madison Avenue and Richmond Road, and west on Richmond Road between Churchill Avenue and Broadview Avenue to the Westboro Cenotaph. Wreath laying and ceremonial service at Westboro Cenotaph from 2:30 p.m. The parade participants will return east on Richmond Road between Broadview Avenue and the Royal Canadian Legion (Westboro Branch 480).

Family-friendly Halloween Activities in Ottawa

There is more to Halloween than just trick or treating and Ottawa has a lot of Halloween activities for ghosts and goblins of all ages! 

Family-friendly Halloween Activities in Ottawa

Trick or Treat with the Mayor
When: Saturday, October 28th from 4 to 7 p.m.
Where: Ottawa City Hall, 110 Laurier Avenue West

Costumed characters, dancing and trick or treating with the mayor! a fun event for kids of all ages. Admission is a donation to Ottawa Food Bank's Baby Basics Program. 

Members Halloween Party - Canadian Agriculture and Food Museum
When: Saturday, October 28th from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. (Doors open at 9 a.m.)
Where: Canadian Agriculture and Food Museum

Families are encouraged to come in costume and take part in special Members-only activities that includes exclusive access to Meadowview Barn as well as exclusive Halloween crafts and treats to make and take home. There will also be pumpkin decorating and a scavenger hunt. Members must register. 

Barnyard Halloween - Canadian Agriculture and Food Museum
When: October 28, 2017 - October 29, 2017 from 9:30 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.
Where: Canadian Agriculture and Food Museum
Fees: Included with Museum admission

It’s a Barnyard Halloween at the Canada Agriculture and Food Museum! You are invited to enjoy special activities including crafts and a parade! Make some ghoulish treats, create a creepy craft, learn all about bats, visit a spooky barn and take part in Halloween games. 

The Haunted Walk – Halloween Season
When: Nightly until November 4th
Where: Various locations in Ottawa

Great for older children and adults, The Haunted Walks are best known for their tours and stories of ghosts and haunted places and Halloween is the perfect time to experience one of these walks! For more information: http://hauntedwalk.com/ottawa-tours/ 

Saunders Farm – Haunting Season
When: Saturdays and Sundays between September 23rd and October 31st
Where: Saunders Farm, Munster, ON
Admission: General Day Admission is $19.50 + HST (kids 2 and under are free); General night (Fright Fest) admission: $32.00 +HST

Scarier at night and as a not-as-scary experience during the day, Saunders Farm offers families the ultimate in Halloween thrills and chills!  The Day Haunting Season is fine for kids as the more scarier attractions are closed and the jumping pillows and main play area is open. There is also a pumpkin patch hay ride available for young visitors.

The Fright Fest (Night) at Saunders Farm is good for children ages 12 and up. For more information visit: http://saundersfarm.com/

Acres of Terror
When: Now until October 31st
Where: Cannamore Orchards, 1480 County Road 32, Crysler

Family-friendly during the day, and a lot scarier at night, Cannamore Orchards Halloween fun includes their infamous Spooky Wagon Ride™, The Spooky Village, Kid’s Spooky House, The Fog Maze, The House of Terror, and much more!

Bunker Buddies Halloween Night
When: Tuesday, October 31st from 10:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Where: Diefenbunker: Canada’s Cold War Museum, Carp
Admission: By donation for parents, grandparents, or caregivers with kids. Kids under 5 are free.

A perfect Halloween Day activity for young kids. Kids and adults can come dressed up in their favourite costume and discover spooky (and cute) ghosts and monsters throughout the museum to collect treats.

Incident at the Bunker: A Zombie Adventure

If you have children aged 12 years and older, this 60 to 75 minute Halloween-themed tour is sure to be memorable! After 20 years a terrifying secret has been revealed and guests will be led on an interactive adventure to see what it’s all about. This unique underground experience is in conjunction with Haunted Walks. For more information: http://diefenbunker.ca/incident-at-the-bunker-a-zombie-adventure/

Halloween Fun At Hugli's Blueberry Ranch
When: On now until October 29th
Where: Hugli's Blueberry Ranch, 2139 Greenwood Rd., Pembroke, ON
Admission: $13+HST for Kids and Adults

A corn maze (which is haunted at night), haunted house, wagon rides and more, this makes for a fun fall drive through the Ottawa Valley and is fun for all ages!

Monster Mash Halloween Party
When: Saturday, October 21 from 10 am to 4 pm
Where: Billings Estate National Historic Site
Admission: Cost: $6.30/adult, $10.45/pair, $16.75/family

Billings Estate invites families to put on their best costumes and get into the Halloween Spirit at their Monster Mash Halloween Party!  There will be face painting, Halloween themed activities, crafts, and of course Halloween treats.

Haunted Historic Village
When: Friday and Saturday nights, from October 6 to October 28. 
Where: Cumberland Heritage Village
Admission: $10.45 per person

Every year Cumberland Historic Village is transformed into a brand new Halloween experience, with Halloween horrors around every corner that will push your fears to the limit. This Halloween Activity is ideal for older children who are not afraid of a nighttime scare or two.

Halloween Hijinks
When: Sunday, October 29, 2017 from 10 am to 4 pm
Where: Cumberland Heritage Village
Admission: $7.30 for adults, $5.25 for students and seniors, Free for children 5 and under, or $18.80 for a family (two adults and children under 18)

Dress up the family and celebrate Halloween at Cumberland Heritage Village by exploring everything the village has to offer including: the potions lab, a 1920s style Halloween crafts, and Halloween treats too!

Halloween at Horaceville
When: Sunday, October 29, 2017
Where: Pinhey's Point Historic Site, Dunrobin, ON
Admission: Cost: $6.30/adult, $10.45/pair, $16.75/family

Visit the scenic Pinhey's Point in Ottawa's far west for family-friendly ghost stories, turnip and pumpkin carving, playing fortune-telling games, and crafts. There will also be 19th century snacks cooked over an open fire using historic recipes.

Watson’s Mill Children’s Halloween Party
When: October 28th, 1 t 4 p.m.
Where: Watson’s Mill, Manotick
Admission: Free

A children’s Halloween Party with fun Halloween games and crafts. A great way to see this historic mill and celebrate Halloween! For more information: http://watsonsmill.com/events-2016/

Activities to Celebrate National Flag of Canada Day

On February 15, 1965 the Canadian flag, as we know it, was raised for the first time on Parliament Hill, and in 1996, February 15th was declared National Flag of Canada Day.

If you’re looking to get your kids involved in National Flag Day here are six fun and educational Canadian flag-inspired activities:

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Dress in Red and White

This is a great way to teach younger children what the colours of our national flag are and is an easy activity for everyone in the family to participate in. You can even break out any old Canada Day shirts you may have.

Create a Trivia Game

The Government of Canada website is a great source for flag facts. Write down some trivia about the flag on index cards and create a game out of it.  Depending on the age of your children you can make the questions as simple as what are the colours of the flag, to what year was the flag created, to what do the colours on the flag symbolize.

Host a "Fold a Flag" Contest

Although I still cannot properly fold a flag, there are many demonstrations online and this could be a fun challenge for kids of all ages. From how many folds does it take to properly fold a flag to who can fold it properly the fastest, this activity is a great way to learn the proper protocol for handling and folding the national flag.

Make Your Own Flag

From construction paper to felt, there are many ways to create your very own Canadian Flag. And you only need red and white! Break out the paints, pompoms, clay or Play Doh–whatever red and white crafty materials you may have on hand.

Bake an Edible Flag Cake

Bake a vanilla cake in a rectangular-shaped baking pan. Cover completely with white icing, and then add strawberries or raspberries for the sides and maple leaf. This dessert is super fun to create together and a delicious way to teach the shapes that make up the the Canadian flag.

Count Flags

Take a walk or drive around the city or neighbourhood. While out and about, ask the children to count as many Canadian flags as they can—you can find them on schools, businesses, city, provincial and national buildings, etc. The kids will be excited when they spot the Canadian flag and you can even use this opportunity to teach them about provincial flags and other national flags.

Do you celebrate National Flag day with any educational and fun activities? If you have one to add to our list, leave a comment and let us know.

150 things to do and see in the Ottawa region for Canada's 150th Birthday

Ottawa has so many amazing things to see and do - whether you're a family, an individual or a couple. We wanted to put together a list that you can come back to over and over during Canada's 150th year. Think of this as your 150 bucket list! As the NY Times mentioned, there's always something to see, do or explore in Canada's Capital!

MUSEUMS

1.   Billings Estate

Whether you are going to the Billings Estate for a tea party or a preschool play date, this National Historic Site offers family-friendly programming, collections and exhibits all year round.

2.   Bytown Museum

Explore the history of Ottawa from its Bytown days to the present at the Bytown Museum. It’s located at the UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Ottawa Locks on the Rideau Canal and offers beautiful views of the city and natural surroundings.

3.   Canadian Agriculture And Food Museum

Open all year, the Canadian Agriculture and Food Museum has things to do and animals to see for kids of all ages. Visitors will learn more about Canadian agriculture including diary cows, pigs, and can even participate in cooking demonstrations and workshops. Spring visits usually means adorable piglets too!

4.   Canadian Aviation And Space Museum

The Canadian Aviation and Space Museum is more than just airplanes (which kids find cool anyway). The Museum always adds new workshops, shows and games (a staple is the mini airplanes for the kids like to ride around on.)

5.   Canadian War Museum

If you have a child who is a history buff they will love this museum. There are photographs, art and videos as well as artifacts on display. Keep in mind that some of the exhibits may need explaining, so be prepared to talk about war.

6.    Children's Museum - History Museum 

Located within the History Museum, The Canadian Children’s Museum offers guests the opportunity to travel the world, while enriching their lives and broadening their experience. Kids can explore other cultures through exhibitions, costumes, hands-on props, and artifacts, including an extraordinary assortment of toys and games.

7.   Cumberland Heritage Village Museum

This small town museum recreates rural life in 1920s Ontario. Visitors can stop by the General Store, take a seat in the one-room schoolhouse, and check out the antique vehicles at the garage.

8.   Diefenbunker

Whether you’re a history buff or just like exploring fun and mysterious places, the Diefunbunker is a great way to spend a few hours with the family. There are lots of things to explore, touch and experience, which makes the Diefenbunker particularly family-friendly.

9.   Fairfields Heritage House

If you love architecture then you will love this 19th century Gothic Revival farmhouse located in Nepean. It was originally built on 660 acres of farmland and the museum tells its story as well as the history of the areas surrounding it. 

10. Goulbourn Museum

Located outside of Stittsville in the west end of Ottawa, the Goulbourn Museum not only houses artefacts and antiques from the early 1800s, but also offers children’s events and family workshops.

11.    Osgoode Township Museum 

Ottawa is rich in history and the Osgoode Township Museum in South Ottawa is an extension of this with artifacts and exhibits from the Township of Osgoode. This museum is also a repository for indigenous Native and pioneer relics.

12.  Pinhey’s Point Historic Site

Located in Ottawa’s far west end, Pinhey’s Point features a nearly 200-year-old manor house and surrounding ruins. This site is a popular summertime picnic destination for boaters and cyclists.

13.  Canadian Museum Of Nature

Dinosaurs, mammals, birds and more, The Canadian Museum of Nature is housed in an impressive castle-like building that immediately wins the hearts of kids young and old. The Canadian Museum also hosts an adult-only evening on the last Friday of every month (excluding December, July and August) called Nature Nocturne.

14.  National Gallery of Canada

The Canadian Galleries are closed until June 14, 2017 when they will then reopen for something special to celebrate Canada’s 150th birthday. In the meantime there is still plenty to see and do in their other galleries and exhibitions.

15.   Vanier Museopark

Vanier Museopark is a park, a museum, a maple grove and more. It is the only francophone museum Ottawa and is dedicated to preserving the heritage of Quartier Vanier and Richelieu Parl.

16.    Watson's Mill

There are always fun family and community events taking place at the Watson’s Mill, located in scenic Manotick. Starting June 4th there is a Farmer’s Market every Saturday from 9am to 2 pm and there are milling demonstrations Sundays from 1pm to 3pm.

ATTRACTIONS

17.  Casino Lac-Leamy Sound of Light (August 2017)

If you love fireworks, this show is amazing! There are 5 beautiful fireworks displays from different countries that take place from August 5 to 19, 2017. 

18.  Major’s Hill Park

Offering some of the best lookouts in Ottawa, Major’s Hill Park is one of the Capital’s main event locations (including for Canada Day celebrations!). When it’s not in festival mode, Major’s Hill Park is a great downtown resting or picnic spot.

19.    Governor General Estate 

Rideau Hall offers free family events throughout the year including ice-skating in the winter. It’s located on 79-acres within the city and is only a few minutes from downtown Ottawa.  

20.    High Tea at the Chateau Laurier

 Zoe’s Lounge, located within the Chateau Laurier in downtown Ottawa offers wonderful afternoon tea including cute finger sandwiches and a vast selection of teas (reservations required), including offering younger tea party fans hot chocolate.

21.   The Canadian Mint

Located in a historic building in central Ottawa, the Royal Canadian Mint offers 45-minute tours (reservations recommended). The Mint is within walking distance of the Byward Market. 

22.   Parliament Hill Sound & Light Show

Northern Lights is a 30-minute sound and light show that takes the audience on an unforgettable journey through Canada’s history. It’s a free, bilingual show, presented nightly on Parliament Hill from July 11 to September 16, 2017. 

23.   Changing of the Guard

Every morning at 10 a.m. from June 25 to August 26 the Changing of the Guard takes place on Parliament Hill. The Guards march from Cartier Square Drill Hall (south of Parliament Hill) and up Elgin Street. If you’re bringing little ones, arrive at Parliament Hill early to get a good view. 

24.   NAC Children's Events 

The National Arts Centre is rich with musical, dramatic and theatrical performances all year long. They also periodically offer bilingual one-hour concerts as part of their TD Family Adventure Series. 

25. Story Time at Rideau Hall (June 25th to August 20th)

 A summer tradition, Story Time at Rideau Hall takes place every Friday and Saturday from 1 to 3 p.m. from June 25 to August 20th. It’s hosted outdoors on the lawn of Rideau Hall is a free event! 

26. Ottawa Little Theatre

The Ottawa Little Theatre is Canada’s oldest community playhouse. It presents eight plays per year from September through May. This year the Ottawa Little Theatre is presenting To Kill A Mockingbird, Marion Bridge and more!

27.   Shenkman Arts Centre

From expos to live music concerts, to galleries and exhibitions, the Shenkman Arts Centre, located in Orleans (east Ottawa) always has something on the go for locals and visitors!

28.  Centrepointe Theatres

Ottawa is lucky to have many community and smaller theatres. Centrepointe often offers concerts from international recording artists as well as theatrical performances, including this year’s production of Mary Poppins. There is something for all ages happening at Centrepointe Theatres in Nepean (west Ottawa).

 29.  Upper Canada Village

In the summer Upper Canada Village, a historic village devoted to showing what life was like during the 1860s in Canada, offers educational tours, activities and fun for the entire family. In the fall it’s transformed into a pumpkin inferno and during the holiday season it is Alight the Night with thousands of dazzling Christmas lights!

FESTIVALS

Whatever the weather and whatever the season Ottawa offers visitors many festivals! There is something for everyone including children, food lovers, wine lovers, music lovers and more! Ottawa loves its festivals!

30.                 Canadian Tulip Festival

31.                 Children’s Festival

32.                 Fringe Fest

33.                 Winterlude

34.                 TD Jazz Festival

35.                 Gatineau How Air Balloon Festival

36.                 RBC Blues Fest

37.                 Westboro FUSE

38.                 Franco Ontarian Festival

39.                 Summer Solstice Aboriginal Festival

40.                 Tim Hortons Ottawa Dragon Boat Festival

41.                 Ottawa Wine and Food Festival

42.                 Poutine Fest

43.                 Capital RibFest

44.                 Kingdom of Osgoode Medieval Festival

45.                 Glengarry Highland Games

46.                 Muslim Summer Festival (MAC Eid Festival)

47.                 Puppets Up! International Puppet Festival

48.                 Ottawa’s Children’s Festival 

49.                  Ottawa Farmers' Markets

From east to west and places in between, the City of Ottawa has many great Farmer’s Markets that showcase food, harvests and crafts from local farmers and artisans.

KID'S ACTIVITIES

50.   Cosmic Adventures

Perfect for a rainy day or a day you need to keep some active kids contained. Cosmic has lots of great spaces for kids to climb, run and slide while safely in a space they can’t leave without their parents. There is lots of great seating for parents to have a snack or a coffee and connect to wifi while their kids play as well. Cosmic is a great for a solo visit or buy a membership for the year and visit unlimited times in the year.

51. Funhaven

Funhaven has it all! Laser tag, a nerf ball pit, and now a roller coaster! Whether you are looking for a place to spend a couple of hours or an entire day, Funhaven is a great place for the entire family. You can pay to go once or pay for an annual membership. They even host birthday parties.

52.                  SkyZone

Have some kids that need to get some extra energy out? Bounce it out!! SkyZone's trampolines from wall to wall are a great workout for the whole family.

53.                  Altitude climbing gym 

No more climbing the furniture, instead let the kids climb the walls - all kinds of different walls, at Altitude! 

54.                 Midway Fun Park

55.                 Putting Edge

56.                 Kid’s Kingdom

57.                 Public swimming/ wave pools / wading pools

58.                 Public Splash Pads and outdoor pools

59.                 Public indoor skating

60. Tubes and Jujubes

61. Wesley Clover Parks

Wesley Clover Parks is more than just a beautiful equestrian centre, there is also a nearby campground with scenic trails! Wesley Clover Parks also hosts numerous events throughout the year including polo and family fun days.

62.  Nepean Creative Arts Centre and Nepean Visual Arts Centre

We had a blast participating in one of NVAC’s family workshops last Christmas, and there are TONS of other courses for adults, children and families. Movie making, pottery, visual arts, and so much more.

OUTDOOR PLAY

Ottawa is filled with many outdoor farms, trails, events and exciting things to see and do including:

63.                 Parc Omega

64.                 Mont Cascades

65.                 Eco Odysee

66.                 Calypso

67.                 Gatineau Park

68.                 Cumberland Nature Trails

69.                 Hogs Back Park / Falls

70.                 Walking and hiking the NCC Trails

71.                 Rideau canal skating

72.                 Sens Rink of Dreams

73.                 CHEO Teddy Bear Picnic

74.                 Snowshoe under the stars

75.                 Dow's Lake boat rentals

76.                 Pirate Adventures

77.                 Rideau Canal Locks

78.                 Feeding the ducks near Billings Bridge

79.                 Geo caching

80.                 Saunders Farm

81.                 Valleyview Animal Farm

82.                 Strawberry Picking at Proulx Farm

83.                 Mer Bleu

84.                 Exploring Mackenzie King Estate

85.                 NOKIA Sunday Bike Days

86.                 J. Henry Tweed Conservation Area

87.                 Mont Tremblant road trip

88.                 Sugar Shacks

PARKS

If you have kids then knowing where some of Ottawa’s favourite family friendly parks are is important. Here are some parks that are Kids in the Capital approved!

89.   Lansdowne Park

We head over to Lansdowne to check out the Ottawa Farmer’s Market most weekends, and there are a lot of great things for the kids to do! A climbing structure, public art blackboard and skateboard park top the list. If your fur babies need some fun, there is also plenty of space for the doggies to go for a run!

90.  Andrew Haydon Park

Whether you're admiring the sailboats while walking along the river or enjoying the large play structure, Andrew Haydon Park is a great place for playground fun, picnics (when the geese are not ruling the roost) and evening walks.

91.  Millennium Park

With two enormous play structures (a pirate ship and one fashioned after the Parliament buildings), and a brand new splash pad that is possibly the best in the city, Millennium is worth the drive from any part of the city to check out!

92.    Brewer Park

Voted one of the best parks in Ottawa, this play area has fantastic slides, play structures and a splash pad.

93. Walter Baker Park

Located in Kanata, Walter Baker Park has a big hill ideal for sledding in the winter or exhausting little legs with running races any time of year! There is also a fitness park for the adults and two play structures. And for those really hot days, Walter Baker Park also has a splash pad!

94.    Strathcona Park

95.     Petrie Island

An east end gem, this beach and natural wildlife area has something for everyone (except your dog – dogs are not allowed!) Take the kids to spot the turtles, take a dip in the Ottawa River, or just enjoy the sun and sand! This is a great place to visit anytime of the year, and we’ve enjoyed our visits in the Spring, Summer and Fall (if you visit in the winter, we’ve heard about great ice fishing nearby!)

96.     Canada Giver Park at Mooney’s Bay

This park has an area to represent each province and territory in Canada – and if you look at it from the sky it is shaped like Canada! This park was built with the help of kids and it’s grand opening is on July 1, 2017. The building of the park will be featured on TVO’s Giver in 2017.

SPORTS

Ottawa is the home of many amateur and professional sports teams - check out a game this year with the:

97.                 Ottawa Redblacks

98.                 Ottawa 67s

99.                 Ottawa Senators

100.             Ottawa Champions Baseball

101.             Ottawa Fury

102.             Carleton Ravens

103.             Ottawa Gee Gees

104.             Bell Canada Cup

105.             Roar of the Rings (Curling Olympic Trials) December 2-7

RACES

If you love to run (or cheer on athletes) then you’ll want to check out these well known local road races:

106.             Tamarack Race Weekend

Whether you want to challenge yourself to run 5K or 10K or even a marathon - or participate as a family in the 2K Family Run, Tamarack Race Weekend is the biggest of it's kind in Ottawa.

107.             Insane Inflatable 5K

This 5K race has you climbing, sliding and crawling through inflatables during the 5K course. A race that's definitely family friendly, while being fun and a little bit hilarious at the same time. 

108.             The Army Run

The Canada Army Run is an event that supports the Canadian Air Force, Army, and Navy. Canadians, current members of and members who have served all come together for this unique race that is full pf pride and community.

109.             9-Run-Run

This family-friendly local run supports Ottawa and area emergency support personnel and first responders including Firefighters, Police Officers and Paramedics. 

DATE NIGHT

Looking for a night out? Whether you are looking for a relaxing evening or a fun adventure, Ottawa has many adult-only activities and venues perfect for any occasion!

110.             Ottawa Haunted Walk Tours

111.             Le Nordik Spa

112.             Wakefield Mill Hotel and Spa

113.             Chateau Montebello

114.             Options Jazz Lounge

115.             Bytowne Theatre

116.             Gladstone Theatre

117.             Play Food and Wine

118.             House of TARG

119.             Absolute Comedy

120.             Nature Nocturne

SHOPPING & RESTAURANTS

120. Byward Market

This bustling market is the most popular farmer’s market in Ottawa. Purchase both local and international produce, and make a visit to the famous Moulin de Provence for a cookie, just like Obama did in 2009!

121. Bridgehead Coffeehouse

If we are allowed to endorse a coffee shop here at Kids in the Capital, we have to make it Bridgehead. A home grown success, locations now dot the Ottawa map, and they have even made their way out to the suburbs! Enjoy their fair trade organic blends, or sample some of their locally made soups, sandwiches and treats.

122. NEXT Restaurant

Ottawa has many (MANY) fantastic restaurants, but NEXT, located in the middle of the suburbs in Stittsville, Ontario is unique not only because of its location, but because it always offers delicious shared dining experience based on Chef Blackie’s best food and travel memories that change seasonally.

123.   Quitters Coffeehouse

When famed musician Kathleen Edwards decided to pull the plug on her music career, she opened up a coffeehouse (aptly named “Quitters”) in Stittsville – west of Ottawa, this is a place with a true “small town” feel. Visit for a delicious cuppa, or head out for an evening of drinks and music. 

124. Tag Along Toys

We featured Tag Along Toys in our recent Holiday Gift Guide and continue to support their two locations because we know they offer the best in puzzles, games, LEGO, Playmobil and more. Whether you are looking for something in particular or have no idea what you are looking for they friendly and knowledgeable staff at Tag Along Toys are always willing to help.

125. Mansfield’s Shoes

It’s hard to find a good shoe store with quality brand names and customer services, but Mansfield’s Shoes in Manotick is one such shoe store. Family owned and operated with heart, Mansfield’s Shoes carries men’s and women’s shoes, handbags and slippers of all sizes and styles. The owner decides what brands to carry based on the feedback from her customers – how many shoe stores do you know that do that?

126. Mavericks Donut Company

Decorate your own donuts! How fun is that for kids - young and old!

127. Bushtukah

If you are an outdoor enthusiast then you will want to drop by one of Bushtukah’s two locations in Ottawa. This local store has everything you need for cycling, camping, snowsports and more! And it’s local (and we like local).

128. Beau’s Beer

Beau’s Beer is offered in many restaurants across the City of Ottawa and Lug-Tread is the official beer of Canada’s 150th! The brewery, located in Vankleek Hill is open 7 days a week and offers free wours and samples!

129. Sparks Street

Known as the pedestrian mall, Sparks Street features trendy clothing and jewellery shops, boutiques as well as national chain stores. There is something for everyone and it’s only a couple of blocks away from Parliament Hill!

Must See Small Towns

130. Almonte

If there’s one thing we can say about Almontonians, it’s that they’re really proud of their town! And what’s not to be proud of? Lots of small shops, great local music, and yummy doughnuts from HFT!

131. Appleton

One drive through the village of Appleton and you will want to buy a house there. It’s nestled on the shoes of the Mississippi River and is rich in history and beautiful scenery.

132. Merrickville

Whether you are looking to stay at a quaint B&B or shop for antiques and collectibles, the town of Merrickville is not only historic, but it offers unique shopping and places to eat too. It’s the perfect afternoon destination for the shopaholic who loves to support small businesses.

133. Carp

The village of Carp is located west of Ottawa and was a major centre for agricultural activities in the 1800s. Its history is celebrated every year at the annual Carp Fair and can be seen on a mural located at the Carp Farmer’s Market that runs every weekend from April to October. Carp is also home to the Diefenbunker Museum.

134. Cumberland

Founded in 1802, the town of Cumberland is a quaint, historic town that always has family-friendly activities including home and village tours as well as a harvest market.

135. St-Albert’s

This small town is known for its cheese! It’s worth the drive to St-Albert's east end simply for the cheese factory. You can buy the very best of curd, flavoured cheeses and stay for lunch at their restaurant!

136. Perth

It’s easy to drive by this small town on Highway 7, but take a few hours and make a stop. Or better yet, do a day trip with some friends or your significant other, and relax at the beautiful Tay River Reflections spa!

137. Pakenham

If you’re visiting the town of Pakenham in the winter be sure to check out Mount Pakenham for family-friendly skiing and winter tubing. Pakenham is also known for its historic five span stone bridge and the Pakenham General Store. If you’re visiting Pakenham in the summer be sure to stop for ice cream at Scoops! It’s a cottager-favourite!

For Canada’s 150th Birthday!

138.  Interprovincial Picnic on the Bridge (July 2, 2017)

Residents and tourists from both sides of the Ottawa River are invited to enjoy a historic moment on the Alexandra Bridge – an Interprovincial picnic! The bridge will be transformed into a picnic-perfect green haven with incredible views of the Ottawa River! There will also be entertainment and other activities.

139.  La Machine (July 26-30)

La Machine are oversized mechanical machines, including fire-breathing dragons, that are set to take to the streets of downtown Ottawa in late July. Should make for some great selfies!

140. Red Bull Crashed Ice (March 3-4)

If you like speed, the Ice Cross Downhill World Series is for you and it's taking place at the Ottawa Locks on the Rideau Canal, which not only makes it unique but historic!

141. Grey Cup 2017 (November 21-26)

The 105th Grey Cup Festival will take place at Lansdowne Park. The Festival will include a number of free and ticketed events, that reflect Canada’s rich and diverse traditions, for fans from coast to coast to enjoy.

142. Stanley Cup Tribute (March 15-18)

The contemporary Ottawa Senators may have yet to bring the Stanley Cup home, but this 4-day tribute (conveniently being held over the March Break) will celebrate this esteemed hockey trophy!

143. Juno Week (March 27 - April 2)

The 46th Annual JUNO Awards are returning to Ottawa, which means the city will be crawling with talented musicians participating in JUNO Cup, JUNOfest, JUNO Fan Fare, and JUNO Songwriters’ Circle! The awards are being held at the Canadian Tire Centre in Kanata on April 2nd.

144.  Magnificance of Chaudiere Falls

In the fall, an ambient lighting display will illuminate Chaudière falls. The lights, combined with music, will evoke the culture of Indigenous people and in particular highlight the Algonquin heritage of the region. This display is in collaboration with the local First Nations, Métis and Inuit communities.

145. Urban Camping (June 29th to July 3rd)

A limited number of urban camping sites will be available (site reservations opened January 16th) in numerous parking lots and green spaces around Ottawa - all in celebration of Canada's 150th!

146. MOSAÏCANADA 150/Gatineau 2017 (July 1- October 15)

For 107 days, Jacques-Cartier Park will host the biggest horticultural event in Canada including unique sculptures and paintings that reflect 150 years of history, culture and arts in Canada.

147. Kontinuum (End of June to Mid-September)

Touted to be an engaging underground multi-media experience that will project the future of Light Rail Transit in Ottawa now and in the future!

148. Agri 150 (all year long)

Rural Ottawa will celebrate Canada’s 150th with a series of unique outdoor events that will celebrate our local agriculture.

149. Sky Lounge (July 7-22)

Ottawa is known for it’s fantastic dining options and in the month of July, Ottawa is taking diners culinary experience to a whole new level by offering two weeks of dining over 150 feet in the air!

150. Canada Day on Parliament Hill (July 1st!)

Dress in red and white and join thousands of other Canadians to celebrate Canada’s 150th birthday celebration on Parliament Hill! There will be live musical and theatrical performances and of course a fireworks display to remember!

 

WE Day Ottawa & The WE Movement

The morning of November 9th I woke up to somber political news from south of the border.  Like many, I was left feeling shocked, confused, scared, and uneasy. I also didn’t know how to share the news with my eight-year-old daughter, who was greatly interested in the possibility of a female president of the United States.

I spoke to my disappointed daughter about the fact that people will work together for the greater good under the new American presidency because that’s what good people do - but I remained doubtful. There was good news that morning though; my daughter would be joining me as a Junior Reporter at our first ever WE Day. She was very excited to be going, especially once she heard Prime Minister Justin Trudeau would be speaking.

Until that day, I had only heard about the WE Day events that are held across Canada (and the US) every year, but I had never attended. I had heard kids at my daughter’s bus stop talk about how excited they were to go and how inspired they were once the event was over. I knew the youth-focused event consisted of musicians, actors and well known public figures, but what I didn’t realize is that WE Day is a part of a powerful movement that brings people together and gives them tools and resources to change the world.

WE “engages and empowers youth to lead through service, build compassionate communities and transform participants into active world-changers in the process.”

WE Day Ottawa opened with Governor General David Johnston entering the stage with a joyful little dance that made everyone smile. He explained what the day was all about.  Co-hosted by E! hosts Tyrone Edwards and Chloe Wilde as well as award-winning singer-song writer, Jully Black and Canadian TV Host Maripier Morin, the motivational day kicked off with a positive and uplifting vibe that made everyone in the Canadian Tire Centre applaud, cheer and smile.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau

Every adult in the room hung onto Prime Minister Trudeau’s words that morning. Everyone listened as he told us, “ no matter one’s age – we all have a responsibility to take a positive role in shaping the future of Canada and the world.”

WE Are Canada

Prime Minister Trudeau also spoke about an exciting new WE initiative called #WEAreCanada. In celebration of Canada’s 150th birthday, WE has created a bilingual educational curriculum that will directly engage millions of young Canadians to focus on making local, national and international impacts. For every We Are Canada Pledge made at WE.ca, $10 will be donated to support WE’s local and global programs. The #WeAreCanada movement is a great way for Canada's youth to celebrate our country’s unique diversity and culture.

Paula Abdul, onstage at WE Day Ottawa

Paula Abdul, onstage at WE Day Ottawa

Paula Abdul

Throughout the day we heard from numerous motivational speakers including American singer-songwriter, Paula Abdul, who talked about making the things we want to do possible. Paula talked about how her passion to be a dancer superseded the negative comments she received and that her passion is what led her to be a cheerleader for the Lakers, which in effect opened the doors to future opportunities. She also emphasized the fact that we need to lift each other up and make each other better.

Inspiring speakers and performers of WE Day Ottawa

The rest of the day followed the same principle – to lift each other up, help one another and spread love and acceptance. Margaret Trudeau spoke about mental health stigma and shared stories from her own battle with bipolar disorder.

Other inspirational speakers included Rick Hansen, Jacob Hoggard, Michael Downie (brother of Gord Downie) and the sisters of Chanie Wenjack. We also heard empowering speeches from the 17-year old author of Kakuma Girls, Clare Morneau, who spoke about the stories she collected for the book from girls in the Kakuma Refugee Camp, and artist and Make-A-Wish recipient, Annie Bartlett.

KaliAndrews Dance Company

KaliAndrews Dance Company

Intermixed with the inspirational and philanthropic messages and stories were uplifting performances from Classified, Serena Ryder, Tyler Shaw and Hedley.

The WE co-founders, Craig and Marc Keilburger spoke about the amazing achievements made by WE Day youth activists and energized the crowd with their passion to promote positive change at the community and global levels.

Craig and Marc Keilburger, co-Founders of WE

Craig and Marc Keilburger, co-Founders of WE

At the end of the day, the message I took away from my time at WE Day Ottawa was that the world can be changed by just one person - and it starts with our youth. In addition to taking the time to familiarize ourselves and our children with the issues that are affecting the global community, we need to also create positive change in our own neighbourhoods, including helping our kids #RiseAbove cyberbullying.

Anyone can participate in the WE Movement – all it takes is a commitment to make change in the world. And what better time to work toward positive changes in our world then right now!

In the words of my Junior Reporter, “WE day is a day where people inspire other people and where people talk a lot about the good things they do, and not the bad things they do. If you go, you will see people on stage and people cheering. You will feel inspired too.”

Live We

The WE Movement celebrates people coming together. Did you know you can’t buy a ticket to WE Day? People (mostly youth) earn their ticket by taking action on one local or one global cause. WE Day celebrates these changes and encourages more people to join in and participate.

WE Families

It’s for that reason that Kids in the Capital has decided to become a WE Families Ambassador. What does that mean? It means we have committed to raise kids to care, to be compassionate and to make a difference locally and globally.  WE provided us with a kit to get started with activities that are fun, easy and will make a difference.

At home we talk about global issues of inequality and homelessness. We work together to see what we can do to make changes close to us that could affect the world at large. We donate to food banks and volunteer when possible and where needed.

We also make environmental issues a priority through the WE Take Charge campaign by setting our thermostat up two degrees in the summer and down in the winter (and discussing why this matters). We recycle, donate and reuse everything possible and are vigilant of our water usage and make conscious conservation efforts such as using a rain barrel to water flowers in the summer.

Craig Keilburger and Jacob Hoggard talking about how to get families involved with the WE Movement

Craig Keilburger and Jacob Hoggard talking about how to get families involved with the WE Movement

There are so many things families can do to bring the WE Movement into their homes and encourage children to learn about the world around them, teach them how their actions impact others, and show them that what they do matters to the world at large. For more information on how you can get your family involved in the WE Movement visit: https://www.we.org/we-at-home/we-families/