How to Do the Canadian War Museum in Ottawa with Kids


The Canadian War Museum in Ottawa welcomes children of all ages, and is designed to educate and promote our understanding of Canada’s place in armed conflict. Renowned around the world, this museum offers an incredible experience for families who live here or visiting from afar. It’s a great way to teach kids about history and Canada’s place in it.

Why take kids to the Canadian War Museum? Granted, war is a scary subject and it is important to ensure that your children are ready to begin learning, however, the Museum offers an experience that kids will find fascinating while balancing the realities of war. A great place to start is the Lebreton Gallery that displays real military machinery, such as tanks and airplanes. Often there are guides, and even veterans, who are available to chat with you about the significance of the machinery and their role in combat.

The last Sunday of certain months are dedicated ‘Awesome Sundays’—which is a day set aside for interactive learning for kids visiting the Museum. There’s a different theme each time, and it often includes a take-home craft. Awesome Sundays are included with museum entry. The next Awesome Sunday will be on May 21, held outdoors in the North Plaza, and is all about testing skills on the obstacle course.  Replicating the physical obstacles that soldiers face, there will be an outdoor climbing wall and radio controlled tank courses for your children to try.

We also love that there is a reasonable priced cafe on site with a menu kids will love. Get there early for breakfast and fuel up before touring the Museum or grab a bite to eat at lunch.

Before you go, be sure to check online to see what special temporary exhibits are happening—such as the watercolour colour paintings of the Fenian Raids that are currently on special exhibit, or the up close and personal look at uniforms and weaponry of the World War exhibits. Often, the exhibits are designed to be interactive and informative for families, and are a great way to introduce kids to the subject that, otherwise, might be difficult to explore.

We love the questions that the kids always come up with after a visit to the Museum and you may find yourself jumping on the internet once home to find more information. It’s truly a family affair and being able to take the learning outside of the Museum is one reason why we highly recommend going.

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