Free family activities

Free family activities

Exploring the capital's museums
The charms of the Canadian capital won't be lost on your kids. In winter, Ottawa is coated in a dusting of white and hosts the famous Snowflake Ball. In the summer, its parks and cycle paths are a real treat for the entire family. Your hotel is ideally located at the foot of Parliament Hill, minutes away from the Rideau canal. Here's a quick glimpse of free (or wallet-friendly) activities to ensure your holiday is a family experience to remember!
Gliding and sliding!
Canada's capital is home to some of the country's most spectacular museums. A few metres away from your hotel lies the unmissable National Gallery of Canada. On the square leading up to its entrance, children will delight in the giant bronze sculpture created by French artist Louise Bourgeois. Entitled 'Maman' ('Mother'), various versions of the piece are on display around the world. The Canadian Museum of History and the Canadian War Museum are free to visit every day from 4pm to 8pm. In the summer, head to Parliament Hill for 10am to see the changing of the guard. This traditional ceremony dates back to 1959. The Whispering Wall is another of the hill's curiosities that is sure to thrill the kids. Two people standing on either side of the curved wall can whisper through it - and hear each other perfectly! Finally, a climb up to the top of the Peace Tower offers incredible views across Ottawa.
Ottawa: party capital
The world's biggest ice rink according to the Guinness Book of World Records is a 15-minute walk from your hotel. Before you set off on a skating extravaganza over its 7.8 kilometres, make sure you check ice conditions. The frozen canal stretches from the city centre to Dow's Lake. Ottawa boasts a variety of different spots where families can skate together. If you have your own skates with you, head over to the historic ice rink at Rideau Hall, the official residence of Canada's Governor General. This outdoor ice rink has been open since 1872. Legend has it that in those days, Count Dufferin and his wife held a great many activities on the ice itself! Entrance to the rink is free on the weekends and open from mid-January to mid-March. The SENS rink of dreams opposite the town hall is an enchanting place to skate come nightfall.
Summer and winter alike, Ottawa is home to a great many festivities and celebrations. The February Snowflake Ball is a family fixture. Come and admire spectacular ice sculptures and enjoy the range of activities on offer. The Canada Christmas Lights event is another magical seasonal activity to enjoy. From early December to early January, the city is illuminated with 400,000 lights strewn throughout the streets. The capital is the perfect location when it comes to celebrating Canada's national day on 1 July. Free concerts pop up around the city to get things moving. This wonderful festive experience always ends with a spectacular firework display.
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