Want to get behind closed doors of over 140 places in Ottawa? Now is your chance! On June 2 and 3, the annual Doors Open Ottawa event is back in the city.
Each year, various buildings, heritage centres, and local businesses, many of which are often closed to the public, are opening their doors to visitors in a unique exploration of heritage and culture. The best part? It’s completely free and family friendly.
With so many places to choose from, it can feel overwhelming to map out your weekend plans. But if you are bringing the kids along, and want locations that they will be especially interested in, the City of Ottawa website outlines a list of places that are considered family friendly, which makes your decision making that much easier! For example, all of the museums in the city will be opening their doors for free, and some have special activities planned. Now is a great time to check out the exhibits at the newly opened Canadian Museum of Science and Technology, take the kids to the Children’s Museum, or explore the Diefenbunker together.
In addition to the museums that will be free all weekend, there are many other unique locations that your kids will be eager to explore, learn more about, and experience in a way that is usually not possible.
Here are a few highlights of what kind of activities you can do:
Take the Kids to a Fire Department
What child doesn’t love seeing a fire truck? And having the opportunity to explore a local fire station is a special thing. There are a some stations participating in Doors Open Ottawa—Ottawa Fire Stations 36, 47, 55, and four rural locations—will offer a behind-the-scenes look into their stations. Fire Stations 36 and 55 are new additions to the city, so it’s a great time to check them out, however, stations are only open on June 2.
Go behind the scenes at Rogers TV
Your budding television personalities, news anchors and camera directors may be interested in taking a look at the Rogers TV studio on Richmond Road and going behind the scenes. This is only available on June 2 between 10 am and 4 pm.
Check out the Ottawa Tennis and Lawn Bowling Club
The Ottawa Tennis and Lawn Bowling Club is ‘your cottage in the city’ and we can understand why it’s called that. With tennis courts, camps for the kids and an outdoor swimming pool in Old Ottawa South, it’s not a surprise how popular this destination is. Take a peek at the grounds and stop by the Cameron, their new restaurant, for a bite to eat.
Take in TD Place
Lansdowne is a favourite destination for families to visit, whether it’s for the play park, restaurants, special events, concerts for sporting actvitities, and Doors Open Ottawa is taking you into TD Place, home of the Red Blacks, Ottawa Fury and the Ottawa 67s (during Doors Open Ottawa you can go into the locker room!)
Here are some tips before you go to Doors Open Ottawa this weekend:
The event is only on June 2 and 3, but some buildings aren’t open for both days, and the times vary for each building. It’s best to consult the full list before deciding where you’d like to attend to avoid disappointment.
Some sites participating in Doors Open Ottawa require pre-registration before attending. The website has this list and full details.
There is an interactive map online to help you plan your weekend, and an app as well to download.
Many of the participating sites are within walking distance of each other, but there is also a free Doors Open Ottawa shuttle that will take you to many locations.