Fam­i­lies flock to the na­tion’s cap­i­tal for its sunny ad­ven­tures, nat­u­ral beauty, and ex­cel­lent mu­se­ums. Get ready for non-stop sum­mer fun for kids of all ages

Where Ottawa - - CONTENTS - by joseph math­ieu his­to­ry­mu­seum.ca/visit/ chil­drens-mu­seum

Mu­seum ex­hibits and out­door at­trac­tions that spell fun for the whole fam­ily

amaz­ing Mu­seum

De­signed for chil­dren aged three to 12, the Cana­dian Chil­dren’s Mu­seum (100 Lau­rier St., Gatineau) is a hid­den gem lo­cated within the Cana­dian Mu­seum of His­tory. Among many ex­hi­bi­tions on toys, there are tons of im­mer­sive show­cases: kids can crawl in­side a pyra­mid, op­er­ate a ship’s load­ing crane, or sell foods in an in­ter­na­tional mar­ket. Grab a pass­port at the en­trance and learn about the dif­fer­ent cul­tures and cus­toms as you col­lect pass­port stamps in hands-on stalls. There are dozens of op­tions to dress up and play while ex­pe­ri­enc­ing the coun­tries of In­done­sia, Egypt, Mex­ico, Ja­pan, Nige­ria, and many more. The Mu­seum’s theatre is im­pres­sively re­al­is­tic, with a ticket booth and light board, as well as a back­stage that’s just one mas­sive tickle trunk full of beau­ti­ful cos­tumes and props. This sum­mer, a tour­ing ex­hi­bi­tion, Me­dieval Europe — Power and Splen­dour (see page 14), will al­low kids to build their own cas­tles, learn cal­lig­ra­phy, and imag­ine their lives in cen­turies past. Imag­i­na­tion knows no bounds and nei­ther does this mag­i­cal place.

plants & Wildlife

Ot­tawa’s back­drop is lush and vi­brant, a great place to see what na­ture has to of­fer.

The Cen­tral Ex­per­i­men­tal Farm (960 Car­ling Ave.) is a lush home to many plants and trees, as well as a his­toric and re­cently ren­o­vated green­house, and the Canada Agri­cul­ture and Food Mu­seum (901 Prince of Wales Dr.). En­joy the beauty of its Or­na­men­tal Gar­dens, where colour­ful an­nu­als and peren­ni­als in­ter­min­gle, or the tran­quil­ity of the Fletcher Wildlife Gar­den, where many birds, bees, and small beasts call home. Lit­tle Ray’s Rep­tile Zoo (5305 Bank St., Glouces­ter) houses some 150 an­i­mals, from mas­sive al­li­ga­tors and pythons to taran­tu­las, co­bras, and even birds of prey and mam­mals, like the rare Eurasian Lynx.

Out­door Ex­plor­ers

Want to take a chal­leng­ing zip through the tree-tops? Camp For­tune Ex­plorer Park (300 ch. Dun­lop, Chelsea) of­fers thrilling aerial ex­pe­ri­ences with canopy tours, rope bridges, and zip lines.

The Chil­dren’s Park fea­tures sus­pended walk­ways and smaller zip lines for the lit­tlest mon­keys.

Want to cool off but get your heart pump­ing? Ca­lypso (2015 Ca­lypso St., Li­mo­ges), one of Canada’s big­gest wa­ter­parks, is just an hour east of down­town Ot­tawa. Its 100-acre park boasts more than 35 wa­ter­slides, over 100 wa­ter games, Canada’s largest wave pool, and North Amer­ica’s high­est free­stand­ing wa­ter­slide, the Sum­mit Tower. There are also shop­ping and din­ing op­tions, and vis­i­tors can bring their own pic­nic lunches, with some re­stric­tions.

From July 6 to 8, the free Won­ders of Sand gath­ers in­ter­na­tion­ally renowned sand sculp­tors and more than 200 tonnes of sand to make sev­eral gi­gan­tic sculp­tures at Lac Beauchamp in Gatineau. Any­one can com­pete in a re­gional con­test that’s judged by pro­fes­sional sand sculp­tors. Other high­lights in­clude free boat loans, swim­ming, volleyball, and mu­si­cal en­ter­tain­ment.

Canada Agri­cul­ture and Food Mu­seum

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