If you’re looking to take the little ones to visit something that is just for them, look no further than the Canadian Children’s Museum!
Located just across the Ottawa River at the award-winning Canadian Museum of History in nearby Gatineau, Québec, the Children’s Museum is hands-on, allowing children of all ages to learn through active play. This attraction is adored by Ottawa residents and tourists alike, being the Museum of History’s most popular attraction since it opened in 1989! Start your visit by obtaining a Children’s Museum passport, so that the little ones can collect stamps as they visit all the corners of the world.
This museum allows children to see how people in Canada and other countries live. At this museum, children and their parents can roam through an International Village and visit homes from areas such as India, Indonesia and Mexico. In each home, visitors will find hands-on artifacts such as clothing and toys that are relevant to that home’s particular location in the world. From the colourful International Village, children can then explore a desert pyramid, stroll through a bustling Market Bazaar and help to unload a cargo ship at a busy Port of Entry. Children can also crawl into a cozy igloo and see how inhabitants of Canada’s icy northern regions live.
You can be sure that with all the museum’s colourful backdrops and hands-on experiences, the kids will have fun while learning and you can take advantage of many unique photo opportunities! One artifact you won’t want to miss is the museum’s extravagantly decorated Pakistani bus. Found just past the Children’s Museum entrance, the replica Pakistani bus is decorated with intricate silver ornaments as well as colour tinted windows. This bus is a hit with visitors young and old. It is often a fond childhood memory for many Ottawa residents. The museum also has a replica three-wheeled auto rickshaw from Thailand that visitors can sit in, which is great for photos.
The Canadian Children’s Museum is worth a visit on its own, but as it is housed in the larger 50,000-square foot (15.2-square metre) Canadian Museum of History, you and your little ones can also take advantage of thousands of years of Canadian history. See all there is to see at the hands-on Children’s Museum, then head out for a stroll through the Museum of History’s Grand Hall, which provides wonderful views of the Ottawa River and of Ottawa’s iconic Parliament Buildings. The airy Grand Hall is also home to the museum’s priceless collection of towering totem poles, which is the world’s largest indoor collection of its kind. This hall is impressive at any age!
The Museum of History has several exhibition halls that house the museum’s permanent artifacts as well as special exhibits. And to make your museum experience even more special, opt to take the affordable Au feel de l’eau Aqua-Taxi across the Ottawa River during the warmer weather months (roughly May to October). This eco-friendly, electric water taxi makes several trips to and from the Museum of History each day. It is a pleasant way to see the river and take in great views of the Parliament Buildings. A round-trip for children is $8.00 CDN and a round-trip for adults is $10.00 CDN. One-way transfers are also available.
If you’re looking to show the little ones a bit more culture, head to the historic Fairmont Château Laurier hotel for its sophisticated Afternoon Tea service after your museum visit. Served in the hotel’s famous Zoé’s Lounge, the Fairmont offers a “Little Prince and Princess Tea” service that is complete with a choice of hot chocolate or tea as well as mini tea sandwiches, a cupcake and a fruit tartlet. The kids can even order a special bubble gum tea!