How to See Museums for Free Around the City


We are so fortunate in Ottawa to have access to a variety of museums across the city. Museums that help us learn about our city’s past, our country’s history, the study of art and photography, and so much more. We’re able to let our kids be mini scientists, junior farmers and space engineers.

These rich experiences are unmatched in many cities. However, visiting museums all the time can get costly for families. Luckily, there are ways to keep those costs down thanks to free museum admission days.

Many families have memberships that offer a yearly fee to access one or more museums for an unlimited amount of times. This works well for families who know they want to visit frequently and at any day of the week. However, if you want to avoid the membership, don’t count out the visits yet. There are many ways to get in for free.

Here’s How to Get into Ottawa Museums for Free

Every year, the City of Ottawa hosts Doors Open Ottawa (typically in June) where access to public buildings, cultural experiences and museums are free. Mark it on your calendar for next summer! Also, on July 1st, many of the museums offer free admission to celebrate Canada Day. Some museums also offer free entry on Remembrance Day.

In addition, the Ottawa Public Library has museum passes that are available to card-holding members. The passes are first come, first served, and vary at each location. By visiting the library website, you can determine which branch currently has passes on the shelves.

Finally, many museums offer free admission during select days of the week and hours. Below is a list to help you make your plans! With these hacks, you’ll be able to visit local museums for free across the city and your exploration and learning together as a family can be endless!

Museums That Offer Free Admission on Certain Days of the Week

Museum of Nature

Free Admission: Thursdays, 5 pm – 8 pm

July 1

Canadian War Museum

Free Admission: Thursdays, 5 pm – 8 pm

July 1

Remembrance Day

Canadian History Museum and Children’s Museum

Free Admission: Thursdays, 5 pm – 8 pm

July 1

Remembrance Day

Canada Aviation and Space Museum

Free Admission: Daily, between 4 pm and 5 pm

Canada Food and Agriculture Museum

Free Admission: Daily, between 4 pm and 5 pm

Bank of Canada Museum

Free Admission: Always free

National Gallery of Canada

Free Admission: Thursdays, 5 pm – 8 pm

Canada Day

Sunday, October 1 (Culture Days)

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