13 Great Family Fun Events


Ottawa Answers the Call: The Capital and the Great War

When: April 9, 2014 ñ Jan. 18, 2015

Where: Bytown Museum, 1 Canal Lane, at the Rideau Canal locks between Parliament Hill and the Ch‚teau Laurier hotel

What: This temporary exhibition recounts the history of the ordinary citizens of Ottawa through the formative years of our young nation during the First World War.

Info: www.bytownmuseum.com


When: April 24-27

Where: Sparks Street Mall

What: Poutine experts and Sparks Street restaurants offer up various versions of Canada’s favourite dish. Bring the whole family and get your curd on!

Info: www.sparksstreetmall.com/poutinefest.html

Ottawa Grassroots Festival

When: April 25-27

Where: The Royal Canadian Legion, Montgomery Branch, 330 Kent St.

What: An annual family-oriented celebration of folk music, dance, and spoken word. Grassroots is an accessible, indoor festival with free daytime activities for all ages, including workshops, sing-alongs, special kids activities and much more.

Info: www.ottawagrassrootsfestival.com

Champlain, the First Account

When: Until April 27

Where: Canadian Museum of History (formerly Canadian Museum of Civilization), 100 Laurier St., Gatineau

What: Take advantage of the last chance to see this display, created to mark the 400th anniversary of Samuel de Champlainís journey up the Ottawa River, which focuses on the Aboriginal peoples who inhabited the region long before the coming of Champlain, the journey of the French explorer in the Ottawa Valley in 1613, and the impact of his arrival on the First Peoples.

Info: www.historymuseum.ca

Creatures of Light: Nature’s Bioluminescence

When: May 3 – Nov. 9

Where: Canadian Museum of Nature, 240 McLeod St.

What: This exhibition explores extraordinary organisms that produce light, from fireflies to deep-sea fishes and mushrooms. Creatures of Light explores the diversity of organisms that glow, and how they do it. Ever wondered what purpose the light serves? Find out how it is used to attract mates, lure unsuspecting prey and defend against predators.

Info: www.nature.ca

Toddler Mornings

When: May 7 & June 4,
10 a.m.-11:30 a.m.

Where: The Ottawa Art Gallery, Arts Court, 2 Daly Ave.

What: Free drop-in tours for parents and caregivers with babies or toddlers in tow. Adults have the opportunity to look at and discuss art with gallery staff while little ones make art inspired by the exhibitions. Strollers are welcome in the galleries. No need to register.

Info: www.ottawaartgallery.ca/content/toddler-mornings-oag

Ottawa International
Children’s Festival

When: May 9-14

Where: LeBreton Flats

What: A six-day extravaganza of quality theatre, dance and music for young audiences.

The only festival of its kind in Ontario to offer international, live performing arts for families and young people, it also features a variety of creative workshops and onsite activities.

Info: www.ottawachildrensfestival.ca

Canadian Tulip Festival

When: May 9-19

Where: Throughout Ottawa/Gatineau

What: The 2014 edition celebrates the floral beauty of the tulip beds in the National Capital. Highlights include the opening ceremonies at the tulip beds, a Floral Friendship Fireworks extravaganza and the closing Grand Spectacle, featuring spectacular displays of floral creations over Dow’s Lake set to music, with the popular international bazaar, family arts activities and more. 

Info: www.tulipfestival.ca

Ottawa Comiccon

When: May 9-11

Where: EY Centre, 4899 Uplands Dr.

What: Bring your family to enjoy this celebration of pop culture and entertainment, featuring celebrities, personalities, fans and exhibitors from the worlds of comic books, sci-fi, fantasy, movies, TV, toys, anime, gaming and more.

Info: www.ottawacomiccon.com

The Little Mermaid

When: May 10, 1 p.m. & 7 p.m.

Where: Centrepointe Theatre,

What: Les Petits Ballets presents The Little Mermaid, choreographed by Joanna Hughes. This originally choreographed ballet of the classic children’s story is sure to delight the whole family.

Info: www.centrepointetheatre.ca

Mother’s Day at the Canada Agriculture & Food Museum

When: May 11, 9:30 a.m. – 4 p.m.

Where: 861 Prince of Wales Dr. (between the traffic circle and Baseline Road)

What: Spend time with your family at the museum for Mother’s Day. Learn about “farm mothers” the animals that work year-round to produce many of the foods on which we depend, such as milk, eggs and meat.

Info: www.cafmuseum.techno-science.ca

Orléans Festival

When: May 31-June 1

Where: Shenkman Arts Centre,
245 Centrum Blvd., OrlÈans

What: A new family-friendly cultural event featuring a youth talent show, magic show, spoken word presentation, as well as local emerging and established musicians, theatre performances and puppet shows.

Info: www.orleansfestival.ca


When: June 13-15

Where: Westboro Village

What: An outdoor, three-day celebration of Canadian art and culture, Westfest is a free festival dedicated to showcasing Canadian artists and their work, filling 14 city blocks
with music, contemporary dance, visual art, media art, performance art, spoken word, poetry and fiction readings, Aboriginal art forms, exciting childrenís entertainment, and much more.

Info: www.westfest.ca