On July 1st, put on your red clothing, hang your Canada flag, and get ready to wish our country a Happy Birthday as a family! Canadians are gearing up for Canada Day festivities to celebrate poutine and maple syrup but we all know there’s more to celebrate than that. With our diversity, heritage, and gorgeous landscapes to visit, we have plenty to be proud of. There are many opportunities to get into the patriotic spirit across Ottawa all July 1st weekend long. We’ve rounded up some activities you and the kids will love.
This is perhaps the most iconic of all Canada Day events. The free events are taking place on June 30 and July 1 at three official locations; The Canadian Museum of History, Major’s Hill Park and Parliament Hill. The events will highlight Canadian heritage and culture. Live musical performances and family-friendly activities at the various locations will begin in the mornings all weekend. The kids will love the miniature Via Rail train to ride on and the various hands-on activities. Of course, the evening concludes with a stunning fireworks show at 10 pm, which may be a bit late for the youngest of Canadian celebrators, but if your kids are able to stay up, it’s a unique opportunity for them! You may want to visit the Ottawa Tourism website for details on how to best get to the event.
Visit a Museum (for free!)
There are museums offering free admission on Canada Day and special activities and crafts for kids of all ages will be planned. Visit the Canada Aviation and Space Museum to participate in their inflatable fun zone. Or check out the newly renovated Canadian Science and Technology Museum to explore scientific exhibits that affect Canadian lives. And, of course, a favourite spot to go to is the Canada Agriculture and Food Museum. There are special demonstrations and interactive activities happening all day with the animals on the farm. We have no doubt everyone will love the ice cream making and tasting demonstration. Meanwhile, the Canadian Museum of History is an official Canada Day celebration site and is hosting special activities to celebrate.
Spend Canada Day on the beach at the Orleans celebrations. At Petrie Island, beginning at 11 am and ending well into the evening for the 10 pm fireworks, your family can enjoy the live music, a magic show, and a kid zone. Spend the day on the beach and pack a picnic or eat at one of the food trucks when everyone’s stomach starts rumbling. You don’t have to worry about parking on the Island because there will be a free shuttle available at the top of the causeway (near North Service Road) to take you to the beach. Full details can be found on their website.
In the West end of Ottawa, Kanata has an entire area for families to explore at their Canada Day event happening all weekend long. From June 29th until July 1st, there is a full line up events taking place. There’s a midway (a bracelet is available to enjoy all rides) plus join in on July 1st for live music, bouncy castles, a rock climbing wall and arts and crafts. There is street parking available around the event, a bike rack for locking up your bike, and water refill stations for your water bottles to help you stay hydrated while having fun.
Barrhaven’s annual Canada Day bash returns and the day kicks off on July 1st with a pancake breakfast at Clarke Fields. Tickets are only $5 and children 12 and under, as well as seniors 65 and older, are free. After you have filled up on a delicious breakfast, stick around for when the festivities kick off at 11 am. There’s a midway, kids’ zone and activity area, stage shows and more. You can find the full schedule (including shuttle bus information) on their website. And yes, the celebrations end with a spectacular fireworks show!