Canada Day 2019 in Ottawa

Canada Day 2019 in Ottawa.png
photo courtesy of connie paris

photo courtesy of connie paris

It's #Canada152 this year and we have everything you need to know to plan a memorable Canada Day with your family. 

Parliament Hill

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.

Photo courtesy of Jenn Beyak

Photo courtesy of Jenn Beyak

photo courtesy of cynthia mar

photo courtesy of cynthia mar

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

Photo courtesy of jenn beyak

Photo courtesy of jenn beyak

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

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. 

Photo courtesy of Olivia Lamarre.

Photo courtesy of Olivia Lamarre.

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:

Photo courtesy of Lida Wellman.

Photo courtesy of Lida Wellman.

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).

Bytown Museum

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.

Photo courtesy of Lida Wellman.

Photo courtesy of Lida Wellman.

photo courtesy of cynthia mar

photo courtesy of cynthia mar

Osgoode

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

Riverside South

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:

Barrhaven

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/

Carp

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/

Kanata

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

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

Stittsville

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

PHOTO COURTESY OF ALISON JETTE

PHOTO COURTESY OF ALISON JETTE

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!

Family-Friendly Activities for Canada Day in Ottawa

Canada Day in Ottawa
photo courtesy of connie paris

photo courtesy of connie paris

It's #Canada151 this year and we have everything you need to know to plan a memorable Canada Day with your family. 

Parliament Hill

On Canada Day, dress up in red and white and join thousands of other Canadians in downtown Ottawa on Parliament Hill.  It’s the place where Canada Day festivities officially kick off (usually with the raising of the flag at 9 a.m. and the Changing of the Guard at 9:30 a.m.) and it’s the place to be if you want to listen to dignitaries and ceremonies commemorating Canada Day (this usually takes place from about noon to 1:30 p.m.).

If live musical entertainment is what you’re looking for, visit Major's Hill Park but return to the Hill in the evening as live bands countdown the fireworks display that typically goes off around 10 p.m.

Major’s Hill Park

Photo courtesy of Jenn Beyak

Photo courtesy of Jenn Beyak

photo courtesy of cynthia mar

photo courtesy of cynthia mar

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 rising Canadian artists Elijah Woods and Jamie Fine! At the end of the day, this is a great spot to watch the spectacular display of Canada Day fireworks over the Ottawa River.

The National Arts Centre

The National Arts Centre (NAC) opens its doors from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Canada Day offering various free activities, including music and dance performances, as well as kids crafts! If you’re hungry, join us for burgers and hot dogs at our Canada Day BBQ from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Jazz Festival – Confederation Park

Photo courtesy of jenn beyak

Photo courtesy of jenn beyak

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

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. 

Photo courtesy of Olivia Lamarre.

Photo courtesy of Olivia Lamarre.

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. 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:

Photo courtesy of Lida Wellman.

Photo courtesy of Lida Wellman.

Canada Aviation and Science Museum

Over 20 organizations and special guests will be celebrating Canada Day at the Canada Aviation and Science Museum, and many visiting aircrafts will be flying in for Museum visitors. There may even be a chance to speak to the pilots! Admission is free all day on July 1, but donations are welcome.

Canadian Museum of History

On July 1st, the Canadian Museum of History will host a variety of indoor and outdoor activities with guest, Parks Canada. Get free airbrush tattoos, play trivia, and join General Patente for board and chain reaction games.

Bytown Museum

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. There is always something to see and  Canada Day is a great day to check out their fantastic new special exhibition, The Art of Brick

Canada Agriculture and Food Museum

In addition to the animal barns and incredible play structure, the Canada Agriculture and Food Museum 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 samples of the Canadian classic: Nanaimo bars.

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 Brain: The Inside Story.

Photo courtesy of Lida Wellman.

Photo courtesy of Lida Wellman.

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:

Barrhaven

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/

Carp

Celebrate Canada Day at the Diefenbunker from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.!  This year they are excited to offer Little Ray’s Reptiles, reptile show from 11:00 to 12:00. There will be lizards, snakes, spiders and more! They will also have a BBQ with hot dogs and veggie dogs. As well as frozen treats and drinks for an affordable price! For more information: https://diefenbunker.ca/events/event/happy-canada-day

Orleans

Canada Day at Petrie Island is BACK, and East end residents are excited! Hosted by the Kiwanis Club of Orleans, the beach opens at 11am, and party-goers can expect games, children's activities, entertainment and so much more! For more information: http://www.orleanskiwanis.ca/CanadaDay/

Kanata

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/

photo courtesy of cynthia mar

photo courtesy of cynthia mar

Osgoode

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

Riverside South

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/

Stittsville

Hosted on the grounds of Sttitsville’s Sacred Heart Highschool, Stittville’s family-friendly Canada Day celebration gets bigger and better every year with activities and fun for the whole family including fireworks! For more information: http://www.stittsvilleva.com/canadaday/

How to get around on Canada Day

PHOTO COURTESY OF ALISON  JETTE

PHOTO COURTESY OF ALISON  JETTE

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 me know!

Technology and kids - what age is a cell phone appropriate? {Hot Topic}

With technology advancing at the amazing pace that it is, it seems like kids are getting technology younger and younger.  This made me curious about cell phones and what kind of practices parents put into place for cell phone usage and how old their kids were when they let them have cell phones.

I put the question out on Twitter and got a lot of really interesting feedback!

- Some parents let their toddlers play with their cell phones (I do) but mostly for the smart phone features or to talk to people I have phoned on their behalf.  Kids are clearly going to know what to do with a phone at a very young age.

- A fairly common age I heard for getting a cell was 12.  The rules that apply to this are that the phone is owned by the parent and can be monitored at any time.

- Many people require their children's phones to stay on the main floor at bedtime for charging, preventing them from all night texting habits (that definitely would have been me!)

- Some kids have regular phones, not smart, and also have iPods. I've heard of the internet being automated to turn off at 10 or 11 pm to prevent all night usage but still allowing kids to have music in their rooms.

I imagine that my kids will have phones (or whatever they are by then) relatively young.  I'll want to be able to get in touch with them once they're old enough to go out on their own.  I love the idea of spot checks and of them fully understanding that their parents have total rights into their technology. Fortunately I have a few years to figure this out since my oldest is only 5, but I feel like it's an interesting conversation to start having now anyways :)

What do you do? What do you think you'll do? Would love to get some discussion going!

International Museum Day: May 18

by Sasha

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.