Cheap Things To Do With The Kids Around Ottawa

by Natasha Now that school is out and summer is at full swing, we ask ourselves: how do we keep the kids occupied without spending a lot of money?  I have a done a little bit of research and learned that you can do a lot in Ottawa without breaking the bank.

Mont Cascade Waterpark

Located 20 minutes from downtown Ottawa, the Waterpark has  several water slides for kids of all ages. Admission is $12.99 per person, with free admission to children 2 years of age and under

Tip: Pack a lunch if you’re planning on staying the whole day. There are many great picnic areas that are open to you.

Beach Day

Ottawa has four great beaches to enjoy across the city. Pack a lunch and a few sand toys to make sure that your little one is enjoying him or herself without hurting your wallet. If you are not a beach person, there are several toddler wading pools and splash pads around the city which are free and a great way to cool off on a hot day.

Tip: Make sure you go early to get a good spot.  The beaches and pools can fill up quickly on a hot summer day.

The Children’s Museum

They have 30 permanent exhibits that help children explore the world. There are several interactive activities that children can do.

Tip: Admission is free on Thursdays from 4 to 8pm. Children under the age of 3 are admitted for free (hey that rhymes!).

The International Buskers Festival

The festival begins on July 28 and goes till August 1. There are a variety of Buskers that perform all along the promenade at the Sparks Street Mall. It is great entertainment for all ages and the location enables you to partake in some great activities around downtown (like the item next).

Tip: Bring some spare change to tip performers.

Changing the Guard

It takes place every day on Parliament Hill at 10 a.m. After the show, you can walk around the Byward Market that has many great little shops and restaurants.

Tip: You can also walk down by the Rideau Canal Locks, with some good timing and luck you may be able to see a boat go through.

Tip: During hot summer days, bring an extra bottle of water, shades and a hat. It can get really really hot when you’re standing outside and waiting.

Experimental Farm

Pack a lunch, walk around the Arboretum, visit the Canada Agriculture Museum and animals. If your kids are anything like Baby H, they will absolutely love to see all of the animals. Admission is $7 for adults, $4 for kids (3-14), $6 for students and seniors; $16 for families and children under 3 are free.

Tip: Pick up a schedule when you first arrive so you do not miss any of the daily activities.

Valleyview Little Animal Farm

We recently took Baby H here and he loved it. It is a great little animal farm in Barrhaven, that charges $8 per person and allows free admission for children under 2.

Tip:  Pack a lunch to have a family picnic once you have finished visiting the animals.

Alcatel-Lucent Sunday Bikedays

It is a perfect way to enjoy a Sunday morning with your family. You can ride you bike, roller blade or walk, it’s free with a spectacular view of the Nation’s Capital.

Tip: Pack lots of water and sunscreen for the extra hot days. 

Movie day at Rainbow Cinemas

They feature entertaining newly released movies at 10am for $3.00, regular admission is $5.  You cannot beat those prices.

Tip:  If you go on Tuesdays, the admission charge is a toonie!

Little Ray’s Reptile Zoo

They have over 250 animals on display.  Its a fun and educational way for your children to learn about reptiles.  Admission is $10, a family pass (4 people) is $38 and kids 2 and under are free.

Tip: Your kids will be touching lots of reptiles so make sure you pack some hand sanitizer or wipes.

RCMP RockcliffeStables – You can tour the stables, walk through the tack house, meet the horses and browse through the Mountie Shop.

For more money saving options you can check out Attractions Ontario, which has discounts for several activity spots and museums. We will be going to some of the places I’ve listed above during my week off. If you have any ideas and tips for a cheap family outing in the area, please share it with me.

If you have any more ideas, please share!

Have a great low-budget summer!

Natasha is a new mommy to her first born, Baby H. She runs ShopHaven, a blog that reviews products and profiles local businesses and individuals from the Ottawa area. Natasha is also the creative force behind ShopHaven Baskets; a highly customized gift baskets service.