Summer family fun getaway in Ottawa

Take a trip to Ottawa this summer and soak in culture, outdoor adventure and fun events in Canada's capital city.

A young girl plays on the Ottawa sign in the ByWard Market.

ByWard Market | Ottawa Tourism

Tour some of Canada’s most significant places from Parliament Hill to national museums, experience unique family-friendly festivals and enjoy welcoming accommodations and great food.

Here are some suggestions to start planning your itinerary.

Places to stay

Spacious suites, swimming pools and fun surprises await at these family-friendly hotels in Ottawa.

Les Suites Hotel Ottawa

Stay in apartment-style hotel lodging close to major attractions that provide in-room laundry facilities, a kitchen and a private balcony.
Location: 130 Besserer Street, Ottawa

Delta Hotels Ottawa City Centre

Families are welcomed to this downtown hotel with spacious suites and an indoor saltwater swimming pool that kids love.
Location: 101 Lyon Street North, Ottawa

Brookstreet Hotel

Experience resort amenities and services in the city at Brookstreet. Family packages include a “Brookstreet Backpack” with fun surprises for each child and access to the indoor and outdoor pools.
Location: 525 Legget Drive, Kanata

Events and celebrations

There’s a lot to celebrate in Canada’s capital!

Festival Franco-Ontarien, June 13-15, 2024

Celebrate a weekend of Franco-Ontarien culture with music, food and family entertainment in downtown Ottawa.
Location: Parc Major's Hill Park, Mackenzie Avenue

Summer Solstice Indigenous Festival, June 21-25, 2024

Honour Indigenous culture through song, dance and storytelling at Mādahòkì Farm. This free festival includes workshops, a Pow Wow competition and more.
Location: Mādahòkì Farm, 4420, West Hunt Club Road, Ottawa

Ottawa’s Children’s Festival, May 10-14, 2024

Ottawa’s annual multiday event promotes dance, music and art. Catch award-winning performers from around the world and sign up for educational workshops and activities.
Location: LeBreton Flats Park, Ottawa

Ottawa International Busker Fest, August 2-5, 2024

Ottawa’s famous Sparks Street is transformed with fire eaters, clowns, stilt walkers and many other world-class performers.
Location: Sparks Street, Ottawa

Fun things to do

Home to seven of the nation’s top museums, a historic market district and outdoor adventures you wouldn’t expect to find in a city, Ottawa offers a wealth of fun things to do that will intrigue and inspire everyone in the family.

Parliament Hill

Parliament Hill Tours and experiences   

Reserve a spot for a guided tour of the Senate of Canada Building and House of Commons. Start at the new, state-of-the-art underground Visitor Welcome Centre.

Replacing the Changing of the Guard ceremony, Canada on the March restores the presence of the iconic Ceremonial Guards at Parliament Hill.
Location: Wellington Street, Ottawa


Canadian Museum of Nature

Interactive activities, exhibits and demonstrations keep kids and parents entertained at the Canadian Museum of Nature.
Location: 240 McLeod Street, Ottawa

ByTown Museum

The ByTown Museum is located near the Ottawa Locks on the Rideau Canal. Take a guided tour of this extraordinary UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Location: 1 Canal Lane, Ottawa

Canadian Museum of History

Enjoy fun activities and games tailored for young kids in the Canadian Children’s Museum at the Canadian Museum of History.
Location: 100 Laurier Street, Gatineau Quebec

Science and Technological Museum

Feed your curiosity with demonstrations and exhibits that showcase innovation in science and technology.
Location: 1867 St. Laurent Boulevard, Ottawa

Canadian Aviation and Space Museum 

Explore the fascinating world of aviation and space travel. Sign up to fly over downtown Ottawa and Parliament Hill in a small plane with your family.
Location: 11 Aviation Parkway, Ottawa

Canada Agriculture and Food Museum

Meet farm animals and learn where food comes from at the world’s only working farm close to a capital city.
Location: 901 Prince of Wales Drive, Ottawa


About half an hour from downtown Ottawa, Diefenbunker is a Cold War museum that’s located 23 metres underground. It’s also the world’s largest escape room.
Location: 3929 Carp Road, Ottawa

Shopping and retail

ByWard Market

Ottawa’s popular historic shopping district features a lively mosaic of farmers’ market stalls, boutiques, galleries, studios, cobblestone courtyards and charming heritage buildings.
Location: ByWard Market, Ottawa

Rideau Centre

Shop at all your favourite popular retail stores at Ottawa’s largest shopping centre.
Location: 50 Rideau Street, Ottawa

Outdoor activities

Interzip Rogers 

Soar 37 metres (121 feet) above the Ottawa River between Ontario and Quebec at speeds of up to 40 kilometres per hour on the world’s first interprovincial zip line.
Location: 40 Rue Jos-Montferrand, Gatineau

Dow's Lake

Get out on the water at Dow’s Lake and enjoy canoeing, kayaking and pedal boats. Equipment is available to rent from May to October.
Location: 1001 Queen Elizabeth Drive, Ottawa

Ottawa City Rafting

Experience Ottawa like never before on an urban water-based adventure. Raft down the Ottawa River with views of downtown and the Parliament buildings.
Location: 102 Greenview Avenue, Ottawa

Calypso Water Park

Located a short drive outside of Ottawa, Canada’s largest waterpark has something for everyone from young kids to adrenaline thrill seekers.
Location: 2015 Calypso Street, Limoges

Stargazing Parties

Free, family-friendly stargazing and astronomy events are held on select dates throughout the summer. Events are hosted by volunteers of the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada (RASC) Ottawa Centre in the parking lot of the Carp Branch of the Ottawa Public Library.
Location: 3911 Carp Road, Carp

Tours and cruises


Cycle along the Rideau Canal and explore Ottawa’s lovely parks, gardens and greenspaces. Choose from a variety of rental options from the rental headquarters located under the Rideau Street, beside Rideau Canal.
Location: 2 Rideau Street, Ottawa

Ottawa Boat Cruise

Take a scenic cruise along the Ottawa River or the Rideau Canal. Packages are available to combine a half-day combo of boat cruise and bike tour with Escape Bicycle Tours.
Location: 1 Elgin Street, Ottawa

The Haunted Walk

In the evening, embark on a guided walk to famous places in the city accompanied by spooky stories about the past.
Location: 46 ½ Sparks Street, Ottawa

Lady Dive Tours

Enjoy unique Amphibus and double-decker sightseeing tours that provide service in both French and English.

Location: 44 Sparks Street, Ottawa

Family-friendly places to eat

You’ll need a lot of energy to experience all Ottawa has to offer. Refuel at some of these local favourites.

Breakfast, brunch and diners

Le Moulin de Provence

Enjoy a fresh cup of coffee with freshly baked bread for breakfast at Le Moulin de Provence.
Location: 55 Byward Market Square, Ottawa

Zak’s Diner

Classic diner experience that features all-day breakfast, vegan and gluten-free menu options.
14 ByWard Market Square, Ottawa
515 McNeely Ave, Carleton Place
220 Elgin Street, Ottawa
499 Terry Fox Drive, Kanata
334 Richmond Road, Ottawa

The King Eddy

Open seven days a week, The King Eddy in the ByWard Market is a local favourite for brunch and diner classics, such as fries, pizza and the signature King Eddy Burger.
Location: 47 Clarence Street, Ottawa

Elgin Street Diner

Open 24/7 Elgin Street Diner serves delicious breakfast, lunch or dinner at a great value.
Location: 374 Elgin Street, Ottawa

Lunch and dinner

The Grand Pizzeria & Bar

Enjoy authentic Napoletana Pizza made with fresh ingredients and made every day. Pizza and pasta are also available in kid-size portions.
Location: 74 George Street, Ottawa

Lil Z

Located next door to The King Eddy in the ByWard Market, Lil Z specializes in serving a unique Neapolitan and New York hybrid pizza.
Location: 45 Clarence Street Ottawa

Chez Lucien

The comfortable and friendly atmosphere at Chez Lucien set the tone for a relaxing and delicious meal. Menu options include soups, salads, sandwiches and pasta.

Location:137 Murray Street, Ottawa

Johnny Farina

Formerly a movie theatre, Johnny Farina is a welcoming and cozy spot to enjoy great Italian food.
Location: 216 Elgin Street, Ottawa

Pure Kitchen

Choose from a meatless menu option at Pure Kitchen. Menu items are made from scratch and there are several colourful and refreshing drink options to keep you hydrated.
340 Elgin Street, Ottawa
357 Richmond Road, Ottawa

The Royal Oak

The Royal Oak features menu options like sandwiches, burgers, sharables, salads and sides. Kid menus feature a healthy selection of kid-size offerings.
Location: 318 Bank Street, Ottawa (plus other locations)

Ahora Mexican Cuisine

Choose from vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free meal options. The children’s menu is available for kids under 10.
Location: 307 Dalhousie Street, Ottawa

Sweet treats

Beaver Tails at the ByWard Market

Treat yourself to classic Beaver Tails sprinkled with cinnamon plus your favourite decadent topping.
Location: 69 George Street, Ottawa

Suzy Q Doughnuts

Try Finnish-style doughnuts made from scratch.
Location: 1015 Wellington Street West, Ottawa

For more trip-planning support and help building your itinerary, connect with one of our travel counsellors.

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Last updated: April 25, 2024

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