Ottawa Museums You Will Want to Visit

Ottawa Museums for Families - SavvyMom

Spend hours and hours of fun in Ottawa as you enjoy the many family-friendly Ottawa museums and galleries that this great city has to offer. With a variety to choose from there is definitely something that will please the whole family. Why not make it a family challenge to visit each of these exciting museums throughout the year? Many of these museums have different experiences with each season so visiting multiple times throughout the year will still spark interest, fun, and enjoyment. Most of these museums also offer free admission for Indigenous peoples and a variety of admission and membership options.

A Look at Ottawa Museums for Kids

Canada Science & Technology Museum

The Canadian Science & Technology Museum is one of the three museums in Ottawa that is part of the Ingenium group. Ingenium has museums all over North America and when you purchase a membership you can access the other museums for free as part of a reciprocal agreement (my family has loved accessing museums in Orlando, Toronto, and more through this arrangement). This museum is popular for its crooked kitchen and your kids will want to go through it again and again and again! The demo stage invites you to discover “cryo genius” and “pyro genius” as you explore the world of science freezing and heating. Make sure you head over to the Exploratek section to get creative as you experience hands on science.  The museum is closed on Mondays and admission is free between 4-5 p.m. every opening day.

Agriculture & Food Museum

The Agriculture & Food Museum is another one of the three Ingenium museums in the Ottawa area. This means when you purchase a family membership at one of the three you can access the others for free with the same pass. Open Wednesday to Sunday from 9-5 and every day in the summer, you don’t want to miss out on this farm-like experience. With many farm animals on site you can see the cows get milked, pet the sheep, and see all the piglets run around. One of the best times to visit is in the Spring when you can see all the brand new baby animals. With an outdoor play structure on site this is a great place to stop for a picnic in the summer and to burn off some energy even in the winter months. There is also interactive learning stations and the staff here are lovely and welcoming.

Canadian Nature Museum 

The Canadian Nature Museum is a great museum in the Ottawa that invites you to explore the world of dinosaurs, Canadian Mammals, through the Ice Age and more! The under 7 crowd loves to spend hours on the “Bird Floor” with the interactive play area as they take care of the injured birds who need their help. Explore dinosaurs up close and personal that both look like they are “in real life” and with a spot to explore their fossils. If you have a bug lover they will spend hours inspecting the bugs on site and learning about many that may be new to them!

Canadian Aviation & Space Museum

Do you love airplanes and all things space? Then head over to the Canadian Aviation & Space Museum, the third museum in the Ingenium circuit in the Ottawa area, and spend some time exploring the world of aviation. This museum has loads of open space which is great for little ones and even older children will enjoy it here as well! Have the opportunity to sit in real planes and play with the controls as you dive into the world of aerospace history, science and technology. Open Thursday to Monday this museum also offers free admission from 4-5p.m. daily.

Canadian Museum of History

The Canadian Museum of History, just across the river from Ottawa in Gatineau, is a great place to explore for families with kids of all ages. With lots of special exhibits and multiple floors to explore this museum is also home to an Imax that shows a variety of Imax movies daily. Do you have younger children? Then they will LOVE the Children’s Museum that is inside this museum. The Children’s Museum is an interactive play centre for learning and creativity. Grab a “passport” when you enter through the Children’s area and stamp it at all the “countries” you visit as you travel throughout this museum. You will have the opportunity to explore various cultures and ways of living while having tons of fun. This museum is closed on Mondays. With a variety of family-friendly Ottawa museums you definitely won’t want to miss this one….two museums in one!

National Gallery of Canada

Visit this wondrous art gallery that is pleasing for children and adults of all ages. Free for children under the age of 11 this is a great place to introduce your child to various famous art work and dive deeper into the world of art if this is their passion.  With open studio time available this also invites children to be creative and get hands on as they explore the world of art. With a different theme every month there are various art projects children will work on (ex: December is Lantern Making Workshops). With various family art adventures you can also play art bingo and explore their texture guide to learn how to expand your current art drawings.  This museum is right downtown and walking distance from the Canadian Museum of History.


Visit Canada’s Cold War Museum as an engaging way to teach children about the Cold War. This Ottawa museum is located in Carp and is closed on Mondays and Tuesdays. Experience what it was like to live in an underground military station as you go 75 feet underground! You can take a guided tour or experience a self-guided one (with the option of an audio guide).

The National Capital Region has a variety of fun family friendly museums that your whole family will be excited to visit. There is a wide variety to cater to your interests and they also invite you to explore various parts of the city!


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