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The easiest adventures to have with kids in Ottawa all year round

Last updated 14th March 2024

Our six top places to visit in Ottawa prove that Canada’s capital is always up for an adventure, any time of year. Which shouldn’t come as much of a surprise, considering its legendary canal is basically the world’s largest ice rink in winter.


Wild wolves at Parc Omega

Parc Omega for wildlife safaris and sleeping with wolves

You don’t have to head into  wilderness territory to get close to some of the wildest creatures in their natural habitat. Parc Omega is less than an hour’s drive east of the capital and one of the top places to visit in Ottawa with kids. Not only can you safely sleep with  wolves here, it’s also home to 15 indigenous species including black bear and bison, elk and caribou, Arctic foxes, Arctic wolves, Alpine ibex and bald-headed eagles.

Take the 9 mile self-drive safari through a spectacular landscape of meadow, lakes, forests and mountain, as well as boreal landscape and even in the snowy depths of winter, jaw-dropping is the only way to describe the wildlife you’ll see.

Then explore the First Nations and Colonisation Trails on foot or snowshoes. Don’t miss The Old Farm and Trading Post or a guided tour of the Wolves Footbridge. And if you follow the totem-strewn Path of the Talking Trees, there’s a blessing under the wings of The Thunderbird to look forward to.

Too much to see in one day? Stay over in a cozy family Stilt House in the forest. Or, better still, spend a night in one of Omega’s unique Wolf Cabins where kids can watch the pack after dark through viewing windows in their bedroom: best sleepover, ever.


Pirate adventures in Mooney’s Bay

Places to visit in Ottawa for pirate adventures

A fun day out on Mooney’s Bay isn’t complete without a turn round the decks at Pirate Adventures Ottawa. This swashbuckling experience is about as authentic as it gets, right down to an 18th century galleon and a salty crew of dastardly looking – but really friendly – reenactors to show kids the ropes.

Young wannabe buccaneers can look forward to learning the ways of everything from manning water cannons to walking planks. Setting sail under the Jolly Roger, they get to dress up as pirates, master sword fighting and sea shanties, follow treasure maps, haul loot and hear bloodthirsty tales of derring-do designed to shiver all timbers.

The entire cruise lasts 75-minutes and packs in plenty of thrills, so you’ll be pleased to know that Mooney’s Bay Beach is one of loveliest places to visit in Ottawa, and a great spot for kids to recharge.

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Hands on fun at the Canadian Children’s Museum

Canadian Children’s Museum for a wonder-filled world tour

If you’re looking for places to visit in Ottawa that stretch kids’ horizons, take a world tour at the Canadian Children’s Museum. Here families can stop off where and when they like. Experience anything from trishaw tours in Thailand to life as a Bedouin. Dip in and out of lifestyles and cultures through 30 innovative exhibits, and explore their potential with heaps of exciting events and activities year round.

It’s an unforgettable adventure, but kids also get their own passport which is stamped in all the different places they visit, just in case anything slips their mind.


One of the best places to visit in Ottawa for aerial adventures

Find year round fun for kids at Camp Fortune 

Camp Fortune is one of the most best loved places to visit in Ottawa for skiing and snowboarding in winter. However, come spring and summer it’s up for an entirely different type of adventure.

Think ziplines and monkey bridges, treetop challenges and soaring walkways, and you’ve a hint of the thrill potential for kids – and daring parents – at Camp Fortune Aerial Park.

It’s set on the edge of gorgeous Gatineau Park, so the views are amazing too. And you can even add some healthy competition into the experience with a family ticket for the Explorer Course. Or take it a little easier to start with and let kids try out their wings on the Children’s Course.


Whitewater rafting on the Ottawa River

Ottawa River rules the world of whitewater rafting

There are no other places to visit in Ottawa that do whitewater rafting like the Ottawa River.  To the uninitiated, it’s about the best there is, anywhere, worldwide. So naturally it’s a mecca for extreme sports fanatics, but even if you haven’t so much as paddled a raft before, there are amazingly family-friendly stretches with fabulous city views and some great guided rafting experiences for first timers.

Not ready to get wet yet? Hire bikes and cycle the Ottawa River Pathway to Champlain Bridge to watch sensationally skilled Whitewater Kayakers taking on The Wall challenge.


Calypso Waterpark, one of the top places to visit in Ottawa in summer

Calypso one of summer’s best places to visit in Ottawa

It goes without saying that the biggest waterpark in Canada is immense. But it’s hard to get your head round how truly enormous Calypso is, even when you know it covers more than 100 acres. And that’s before you discover no fewer than 35 slides, as well as unbelievably big breakers in its vast wave pool.

Best idea is to go see for yourself, and no surprise to find it’s one of the favorite places to visit in Ottaway during the summer when temperatures of up to 30˚ demand the type of cool, splashy water fun Calypso does on such a grand scale.