Best Kids Activities in Ottawa

5 Best Kids’ Activities in Ottawa

A family trip or outing won’t be complete without a fun itinerary dedicated to kids. Luckily, we’re featuring some of the best kids’ activities in Ottawa in this listicle.

We selected some diverse and entertaining recreations for review today. We also made sure to choose venues and activities that are also enjoyable for other family members and will fit most budgets.

Are Kids’ Activities in Ottawa Costly?

They don’t have to be! In fact, some activities can come with very little to no fees at all (think public park playgrounds and community centres).

Some kid-friendly places come with general admission fees that also offer discounts if a minimum number of kids are in a group. Others also have promos for seasonal exhibits and shows.

For special occasions, some businesses catering to entertainment and education for children offer activity packages that bundle services, merchandise, and other activities under one price package.

We made a table below showing some of the venues we’re reviewing today for fun kids’ activities in Ottawa. Beside each one are the average fees of some of the services they offer.

KIDS’ ACTIVITIES VENUEESTIMATED PRICE
Canadian Museum of NatureGeneral admission fee for children 3 – 12 years old $9.50
Free admission one adult per 6 children
Little Medical SchoolBreath-Taking Birthday Party
$200 for up to 12 kids
$17 per kid for more than 12 kids
Rideau Sports CentreDek Ball Hockey court rental $65 per hour
Saunders Farm2021 Pumpkin Season Admission Ticket $25 + $1 booking fee
Free for children under 2 years old

To learn more about discounts, fees, and promos, get in touch with the venue’s administrators. Please note that HSTs may still apply and add up to the final cost.

The Best Kids’ Activities in Ottawa

Are you ready to let your children experience fun and educational pursuits combined? Here are the best kids’ activities in Ottawa for you to consider.

1.   Little Medical School

Little Medical School's Homepage
SERVICESAfter-school programs, summer and vacation camps, community group programs, private parties, online shop
ADDRESS571 Cannes Crescent, Orleans, ON, K4A5J6
CONTACT NUMBER[email protected]
343-777-7277
WEBSITEhttps://www.littlemedicalschool.com/ottawa/
OPERATING HOURSMonday to Friday 9 AM – 5 PM
Closed on Saturdays and Sundays

Little Medical School allows kids to experience what it’s like to be a doctor, nutritionist, nurse, pharmacist, pediatrician, dentist, or veterinarian via interactive and enjoyable programs.

The programs are developed by trained healthcare professionals and board-certified physicians. So while the fun aspect is there, parents, guardians, and educators can rest assured that the science behind these medical-inspired activities exists.

The kids can assume the role of their chosen medical-related professional and will get the chance to try out real tools, equipment, and instruments in the activity. Little surgeons can learn how to tie real surgical knots, little veterinarians will be taught how to do nose-to-tail pet examinations, and little dentists can help fill a cavity.

Little Medical School also accommodates private parties for those who want to bring the after-school programs to special occasions. The birthday and private party packages are reasonably bundled with trained instructors, accessories, and other tools to liven up the experience — however, add-ons like lab coats and stethoscopes can get pretty steep ($20 – $25 per kid)!

Pros

  • Activities align with STEM objectives
  • Fun graduation and diploma ceremony
  • Hands-on experience with real medical equipment
  • Online shop available

Cons

  • Private party package add-ons are a bit costly
  • Open only on weekdays
  • No BBB accreditation

Customer Reviews

Read the following client reviews for Little Medical School:

“My daughter attended vet class and loved it too much. This is very informative and interesting. Thank you Layal for the efforts to teach in French. I’m sure a lot of people will follow. Good continuity and.. next class.” – Aline Haddad

“Our son (age12) attended virtual Teen Medical School this past week and really enjoyed it. A bag of all necessary materials was dropped off at our house well in advance, and overall it was very well run. One of our best virtual camp experiences this pandemic season. If you are thinking of signing up, I would encourage you to do so.” – Kathryn Kielly

2.   Canadian Museum of Nature

Canadian Museum of Nature's Homepage
SERVICESGalleries including interactive displays, special exhibits, dinosaur skeletons and replicas, whale skeletons, insects, arctic mammals, minerals and birds
ADDRESS240 McLeod Street Ottawa, Ontario, Canada (corner of Metcalfe Street)
CONTACT NUMBER613.566.4700
[email protected]
WEBSITEhttps://nature.ca/
OPERATING HOURSClosed on Mondays and Tuesdays
Wednesdays 10 AM – 4 PM
Thursdays 11 AM – 7 PM
Fridays and Saturdays 10 AM – 4 PM
Sundays 11 AM – 4 PM

The historic and castle-like setting of the Canadian Museum of Nature is already exploration-worthy for kids and adults alike. But its exhibitions, collections, and nature-based galleries also offer hours and hours of fun and discovery for anyone in the family.

Kids can learn about different aspects of nature with the dozens of permanent exhibitions on display. There are galleries for owls and birds, the arctic, mammals, fossils, and more.

Group visits of 15 or more people come with great benefits at the museum. Aside from special rates and package deals, there’s a customizable group menu, professional tour guides, and even the opportunity to have an overnight nature sleepover at the gallery.

Another great thing about bringing your kids to this place is that a lot of exhibitions don’t require an admission fee. For instance, there’s the current Museum of the Moon with a lunar sculpture so monumental that it’s actually visible from the streets through the museum’s tower windows!

Pros

  • 2020 Trip Advisor Traveller’s Choice awardee
  • Charging stations for electric vehicles
  • Some exhibits don’t require an admission

Cons

  • Somewhat confusing operating hours
  • Open for only five days a week
  • Nature Café is closed temporarily

Customer Reviews

See how past visitors liked the Canadian Museum of Nature:

“Extremely clean building and friendly museum staff. The dinosaur exhibit is small but always a favourite. The other exhibits are well presented, informative and focus on science and culture.” – Devon Ellis

“Planning to get married in 2020 was stressful, to say the least. Our venue, the Museum of Nature, was extremely flexible and supportive of all the changes we had to make. Working with Diane was an absolute delight. We are so lucky to have had vendors like this with us through a stressful time. I have nothing but good things to say about the museum and its customer service – it’s also a beautiful and fun place in general!” – Ana Gajic

3.   Rideau Sports Centre

Rideau Sports Centre's Homepage
SERVICESJunior tennis programs, after-school multi-sports programs, PrezDential basketball, children’s dek hockey, children’s camps, swim lessons
ADDRESS1 Donald Street | Ottawa, Ontario K1K 4E6
CONTACT NUMBER613-749-6126
[email protected]
WEBSITEhttps://www.rideausportscentre.com/
OPERATING HOURSMonday to Friday 7 AM – 11 PM
Saturdays & Sundays 7 AM – 10 PM

The Rideau Sports Centre refers to itself as a community hub for everyone regardless of age, skill, or background. Specifically, it offers Ottawa residents and visitors sports-based facilities and programs for different seasons.

What we like about this centre is that it has dedicated [email protected] programs. Children can sign up for junior tennis, after-school multi-sports, PrezDential basketball, dek hockey, camps, and swim lessons.

Striving to stay true to its promise of having something for everyone, there’s also a family restaurant on the centre’s premises. It’s perfect for both big and intimate groups and serves both meat and plant-based fare.

There are also family-friendly programs for swimming, volleyball, fitness and yoga, tennis, basketball, and even a Rideau winter trail for those who like skiing, ice skating, and snow-shoeing. And for special occasions, the Rideau Sports Centre can rent its facilities for weddings, birthday parties, sporting leagues, and corporate meetings.

Pros

  • Convenient location in Ottawa
  • Kid-friendly sports programs
  • Vegan-friendly menu at the restaurant

Cons

  • Some complaints about steep stairs
  • Children’s sports programs are seasonal
  • No BBB accreditation

Customer Reviews

The following clients have honest reviews on the Rideau Sports Centre:

“Great domed facility for winter use. Multigym and recreation areas in addition to a second done with tennis courts. Restaurant and party room. Good food and very accommodating staff. Great community facility!” – Jim D.

“It is a nice place for events and gatherings, especially in the COVID era. The only negative I can think of are the stairs. They are too steep and some people may have difficulty in negotiating them.” – Isabella Abols

4.   Color Me Mine

Color Me Mine's Homepage
SERVICESPaint your own pottery studio, walk-ins, private parties, ceramics, gift cards
ADDRESS1595 Merivale Road Suite 6 Ottawa, ON K2G 3J4
CONTACT NUMBER(613) 224-8888
WEBSITEhttps://colormemine.com
OPERATING HOURSMonday to Wednesday 11 AM – 9.30 PM
Thursdays and Fridays 11 AM – 10 PM
Saturdays 10 AM – 9 PM
Sundays 10 AM – 6 PM

For families who want to do arts and crafts as a bonding and recreational experience, Color Me Mine might just be their cup of tea.

It’s a paint-your-own pottery studio that offers hundreds of differently shaped and sized ceramics to paint on. The company also offers this unique activity for birthday parties, fundraisers, baby showers, souvenirs, and other special occasions that require keepsakes.

It has themed ceramics and activities in accordance with holidays, special occasions, and seasons. For example, in anticipation of the winter season, Color Me Mine currently offers holiday prints and Paint Me ceramic Christmas trees waiting to be coloured and painted on by little hands.

The studio also offers a “Create” program on its website that any kid can refer to for free. There are step-by-step instructions on the materials and techniques needed for fun ceramic versions of glossy lips coin banks, boombox trays, watermelon bowls, and more.

Pros

  • Arts and crafts activities meant for the whole family
  • Free creative projects are offered online
  • Online studio activities offered

Cons

  • Somewhat confusing operating hours
  • No BBB accreditation

Customer Reviews

Read the following positive feedback for Color Me Mine:

“Love painting with my kids they did an amazing job by themselves amazing customer service and lovely people.” – La Nena Cruz

“We had a great experience at Color Me Mine! Jackie was so kind and helpful to my daughter and her friend. Highly recommend!” – Amy Macak

5.   Saunders Farm

Saunders Farm's Homepage
SERVICESFarm fresh foods, hedge mazes, hayrides, jumping pillows, unique play structures, live shows, pumpkin patch, 6 haunted attractions, and over 30 attractions
ADDRESS7893 Bleeks Road | Munster, ON K0A 3P0
CONTACT NUMBER613-838-5440  
[email protected]
WEBSITEhttps://saundersfarm.com/
OPERATING HOURSClosed on Mondays and Tuesdays
Wednesdays to Sundays 10 AM – 5 PM

Who doesn’t love agri-tourism especially when it throws in so many fun family activities? Saunders Farm is almost like a country Wonderland filled with mazes, play structures, puppet shows, parades, and yes, even a shop filled to the rafters with gifts and treats.

Saunders Farm has something new scheduled for every season apart from its permanent main attractions. For fall, kids and their parents or guardians can enjoy the Pumpkin Season and Frightfest while anticipating wintertime’s A Country Christmas drive-through light show.

There are daytime and nighttime activities with reasonable ticket rates averaging $25 (though the Frightfest is a bit steep at around $45!). Tickets can’t be cancelled, refunded, or transferred because of weather conditions.

There are live shows and street theatres for the entire family to enjoy, as well.

Given the current climate, all visits have to be pre-booked for safety compliance.

Pros

  • Reasonable admission rates
  • Online farm shop available
  • Children 2 years old and under are free

Cons

  • All seasons have to be pre-booked
  • Tickets can’t be refunded or cancelled because of the weather
  • Somewhat expensive Frightfest ticket at $45

Customer Reviews

See how visitors of Saunders Farm liked their stay:

“Great place to keep the little ones busy! They can mine for gemstones or bones, walk through mazes, as well as bounce on an outdoor trampoline. Plus it has gift shops that sell homemade apple cider with or without alcohol, stuffed animals, mugs, t-shirts, hats, candles, hand soap, body lotion, etc.” – Constance Lapierre

“Good place to have fun while finding your way out of the mazes!” – Jacob C.

FAQs About Kids’ Activities in Ottawa


The best kids’ activities in Ottawa are those that involve the entire family and won’t put a strain on your budget.

If we left out some kids’ activities worth reviewing, please send us a message and we’ll check to see if they make the cut on our list.

And if you want to nurture your kids’ passion for the arts, we have a resource about the best art schools in Ottawa for you to read.