It’s camping season. And for many families, pitching a tent, or packing up their camper is a yearly tradition. While there are many benefits to camping with kids of all ages, it’s sometimes a daunting task to imagine packing everyone up and having little access to the comforts of home.
That’s why we’ve gathered some of our favourite campsites in the Ottawa area. Whether you are new to camping or have long done it with the kids, these are the hot spots to check out within a short distance. Instead of driving forever, you can quickly reach your destination and set up the fire for s’mores in no time.
Have a favourite campsite in the area? Leave us a comment!
This popular camping destination for families is located just south of Ottawa. KOA camping facilities are well known to provide endless fun for kids thanks to their special on-site activities, and the Cardinal KOA is no exception. With mini-golf, a heated pool, a climbing wall, a playground, splash pad and more, this camping experience will feel more like a vacation created with the whole family in mind. Tent sites and RV sites are available, or you can rent one of the lodging sites with cabins (with or without bathrooms so you don’t have to really rough it).
Sleepy Cedars Family Camping
photo: Anne-Marie Tilley
Set in Manotick Station, just south of downtown Ottawa, and away from the hustle and bustle of the City, Sleepy Cedars Family Camping is a campground geared to family fun. Enjoy one of their many activities like mini-golf, basketball, volleyball, and wagon rides (just to name a few) or participate in one of their community evening potlucks. There is a pool on-site for swimming and themed weekends for added entertainment.
Fitzroy Provincial Park
As part of the Ontario Parks campsites, located on the Carp and Perth Rivers, there are two campsite options in Fitzroy Provincial Park. Enjoy swimming at the small beach, an ideal location for younger children. The park also has a Discovery Program throughout the summer where materials and equipment will be provided by park staff to learn about animals, plants and the surrounding nature. These hands-on activities will help keep the kids busy in between fishing and hiking.
Listing Gatineau Park as its own camping suggestion is a bit broad, but we wanted to highlight the various opportunities to camp in the area. Choose one of the beautiful beaches for easy swim access. If you aren’t ready to commit to owning your own camping lodging like a tent, you can sleep comfortably in a yurt or four-season tent available to rent (yes, this means sleeping off the ground in an actual bed). Gatineau Park is within an hour of downtown Ottawa.
Located on Rideau Lake and part of the Rideau River waterway, the wildlife and nature surrounding Murphy’s Point (in Perth) will keep you going again and again, but the historic mines available to tour will be the conversation starters (they are dated around 1900). Take the kids on a hike, explore the mines and rent canoes or kayaks for a unique camping experience.