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Ottawa kids

Hot Attraction: Explore the World of Children’s Author Robert Munsch

"Much More Munsch" features many of Robert Munsch's popular characters. Photo credit: © Manitoba Children's Museum and the London Regional Children's Museum.

The whimsical voice of Robert Munsch comes to life at the Canadian Children’s Museum. This special exhibit, entitled “Much More Munsch,” is based on works by the popular Canadian children’s author, who wrote such books as The Paper Bag Princess, David’s Father, and Love You Forever. Children are invited into Munsch’s imaginary house to engage in interactive activities and create their own cast of characters and stories. On view until April 9.

Hot Date: Disney Characters Come to Life – on Ice!

Disney On Ice Treasure Trove gathers the gang from your favourite movies into one rockin' show.

Feb. 15 to 20. Take a journey with Snow White, Peter Pan, The Lion King, and more, as characters from your favourite movies come to life — on ice! Disney on Ice Treasure Trove combines the best of some Disney classics for nine shows at Scotiabank Place this February. The graceful movements of the skaters will add an extra element of awe to the medley, which will delight children and remind adults why they always loved these classic stories.

Picture Perfect Public Art in Ottawa

You don’t have to be inside a gallery to appreciate art. This city is filled with unique public art pieces and commemorations that offer fun photo ops. Get ready to strike a pose! By Misa Kobayashi.

From left: "The Living Room" at City Hall, photo credit National Capital Commission. "Maman" at the National Gallery of Canada, photo credit Louise Bourgeois Trust.

This piece of work, from architecture design firm Urban Keios, inverts public and private space by situating everyday objects and activities in public view. The fun colours and shapes, as well as its surprising placement outdoors, make this an entertaining stop for families. The piece encourages public interaction, so whether you’re reading, resting, conversing, or playing, the audience becomes part of the art.
Where: Ottawa City Hall, Laurier Avenue (more…)

Hot Attraction: Zip Lining at Camp Fortune

Camp Fortune Aerial Experience

Not for the faint of heart, the exhilarating Camp Fortune Aerial Experience zip lining park offers up a range of adrenalin-pumping obstacles that you complete while walking through the tree tops (we’re talking rope bridges, walkways, and giant zip lines!). Try the first-timer “Explorer” course, the advanced “Amazone,” or the children’s park for young daredevils. And you know what they say: the family that zip lines together… Check it out before the course closes for the season on Nov. 6.

Hot Attraction: Nighttime Zoo Tours

See a variety of animals at Papanack Park Zoo.

Head out on an animal adventure at Papanack Park Zoo, about an hour east of Ottawa. The zoo is home to a wide assortment of creatures, from the exotic (zebras, cougars, kangaroos,) to the familiar (black bears, raccoons, chickens). On Saturdays until Thanksgiving, take the rare opportunity to see animals on their evening prowl with the Night Safari. During these moonlit walks you can catch the lions feasting, hear the wolves howling, and enjoy a guided tour as you watch some nocturnal creatures stretch their legs. Don’t forget your flashlight!

Hot Attraction: Learn the Life of a Pirate

The Pirate Adventures crew.

Get ready to sail the high seas with Pirate Adventures, a family outing that is part boat ride, part live theatre. Hop aboard the Grey Ghost, a 50-foot ship docked at Mooney’s Bay Beach, where you’ll get decked out with pirate garb and a sea-worthy name. The 75-minute journey won’t be over until you’ve had pirate training (of course), discovered a treasure map, and fought off a mischievous villain named Pirate Pete. This ship will be leaving port all the way up to Oct. 9.

Hot Attraction: Paddleboat Adventures at Eco-Odyssée

Get a rare perspective on nature at Eco-Odyssée.

A marshland maze awaits you at the 500-acre property of Eco-Odyssée. An activity inspired by the habits and habitats of beavers, this paddleboat labyrinth tour offers an interesting perspective on the national animal’s way of life, plus allows for views of a variety of flora and fauna in their natural environment. If you crave adventure, try the more competitive scavenger hunt, or take it easy with one of the “observation” outings for great ways to see almost every corner of this lush marsh.

Ottawa Family Fun

Whether you’re looking for something to do together, or an exciting activity to keep the kids busy, we’ve got your guide to good old-fashioned family fun. By Misa Kobayashi.

The Artissimo program. Photo credit: National Gallery of Canada.

If you want to get your little ones interested in art early, there’s no better way than the Artissimo program at the National Gallery of Canada. Every weekend and on statutory holidays from 11am to 4pm, children three and older and their parents can take part in building their own “Super Structures,” using the unique architecture of the gallery as inspiration. Other hands-on activities include making artwork to take home or display in the Artissimo gallery, and going on a self-guided search with mom and dad for paintings in the national collections that feature animals and children. Included with gallery admission. 380 Sussex Dr., 613-990-1985.

Ottawa’s maple syrup season is something to write home about. With several sugar shacks in the region less than an hour away, there’s no shortage of outdoor adventures to be had in the spring. Indulge in the heavenly sweetness of taffy on snow or a hearty pancake breakfast, take a horse-drawn sleigh ride, and see demonstrations of how syrup is made. A couple of our favourite places to visit are Stanley’s Olde Maple Lane Farm, which is open weekends until April 24, and Proulx Farm, open weekends until April 25. See websites for holiday schedules and full lists of activities. Stanley’s Olde Maple Lane Farm, 2452 Yorks Corners Rd., Edwards, 613-821-2751, and Proulx Farm, 1865 O’Toole Rd., Cumberland, 613-833-2417. (more…)

Hot Attraction: Family Rock Climbing

Clip’N Climb at Altitude Gym.

How would you like to swing from a trapeze, fly down a giant slide, and scale a wall? You and your whole family can try all this and more at the brand new Altitude Gym. Housed in an old church, this restructured space holds both a traditional rock climbing area, as well as the amusement-park-inspired Clip’N Climb section. The first of its kind in North America, this room offers a whopping 36 activity walls, each with its own type of exhilarating experience. Best of all, if you lose your balance the self-belaying system gently lowers you to solid ground, so feel free to climb with abandon.

Hot Attraction: Currency for the Kids

Comic book drawings from "The Good, the Bad, the Fake."

Often referred to by visitors as a hidden gem, the Currency Museum of the Bank of Canada is opening a new educational exhibit called “The Good, the Bad, and the Fake” about the dangers of token trickery. Targeting youth, it uses a comic-book visual style to teach what to look for in counterfeit bills. Follow teenage characters Zoe and Dave as they learn to distinguish between what’s real and what’s fake. On view Jan. 11 to Aug. 11.