In Ottawa’s east end, there is a museum that will blast your children’s imagination to space and back. The Canada Aviation and Space Museum is located on the Aviation Parkway and is a part of the Ingenium Museums (which also includes the Canada Agriculture and Food Museum and the Canada Science and Tech Museum).
There’s plenty of parking available on site (paid parking), lots of space for the kids to explore and strollers to navigate, and the open concept of the entire museum, with few nooks and corners for our kids to venture off to, makes it a safe spot to walk and explore as the kids stare in awe at the historic planes and space items.
What’s there to do at the Museum?
Every day, the museum is open between 10 am and 5 pm (closed on Tuesdays), providing local guests and those from out of town an opportunity to delve into the evolution of space and aviation technology with actual planes and air crafts, hands-on demonstrations and more.
Daily activities include self-guided or guided tours, a space to play and create with LEGO, puppets and puzzles (this area will be especially appealing to the younger crowds), special demonstrations, flight simulators, and the opportunity to sit at the controls of a Cessna 150.
Exhibitions throughout the museum change from time to time, although there are also ongoing exhibits to continually enjoy. The ongoing engines exhibition will be of interest to those who want to learn more about the technology behind this machinery, and those who have their eyes on the stars will be drawn to Life in Orbit: The International Space Station, allowing a unique opportunity to learn what it’s like to live in space. Kids will love trying on a space helmet, experiencing what it’s like to climb into the space station and more interactive opportunities.
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Spend a Night at the Museum
Groups and school classes can plan for an extra special trip to the museum with an overnight stay and exploration. Plan for astronaut tryouts or focus on an aviation night flight. The programming for groups can include meals (if you opt-in for catering) and with two different agendas offered, kids can stay up late at the museum, or the younger mini-pilots can attend an earlier agenda that allows for an earlier bedtime.
Summer Camps at the Canada Aviation and Space Museum
The Canada Aviation and Space Museum offers a music and space summer camp program in conjunction with the Sonart Music School. These day-long camp programs for children ages 5-12 will spark your child’s interest in music and space exploration. Every day of the week includes music lessons, aerodynamics education and outdoor play time (the grounds outside of the museum are large and will offer a lot of opportunity to enjoy the summer weather!) Camps are offered weekly throughout the summer. Registration is now open, and before and after care is available for an additional cost (pre-registration for before and after care is required.)
Celebrating a Birthday at the Museum
For a birthday party your child won’t soon forget, the museum offers all-inclusive birthday party packages for kids aged 3-12. Choose from a variety of high-flying themes like air-mail delivery, ready for take off and a space party. Your party package includes activities (based on the theme) and balloons. Food options, including the addition of pizza and cake, or just cake and drinks, can be added to any package. It’s recommended you book at least 2 weeks in advance, and museum members receive a birthday party discount.
Visit the Canada Aviation and Space Museum website for complete details about special events, opening hours, and upcoming exhibitions your family won’t want to miss.