Next Monday, Canadians will celebrate their national day – the day when an 1867 British Act of Parliament united the colonies of Ontario, Nova Scotia, Quebec and New Brunswick to form a Canadian Confederation. Originally called Dominion Day, the public holiday was renamed in 1982 to Canada Day. The official celebrations generally focus on the nation’s capital, Ottawa with thousands of people heading to Parliament Hill.
Given that Ottawa is the place to be on Canada Day, here at Escape Travel we thought we’d spotlight the top family friendly attractions in the Canadian capital.
This entertainment hot spot for toddlers encourages kids aged up to 12 years to crawl, bounce, slide and explore the venue. There are a multitude of activities on offer including ball pits, tunnels, mazes and obstacle courses - all have been designed with safety in mind. And to refuel hungry stomachs there’s the Galaxy Grill, which serves an array of meals that are sure to appeal to kids such as burgers, quesadillas and pizzas.
Little Ray's Reptile Zoo
This charming Reptile Park, which boasts one of Canada’s most diverse animal education programs, is sure to capture the imagination of kids of all ages. With over 150 animals on display, the family will be able to admire Stewart, a 500 pound alligator, giant pythons, cobras, marmosets and rattlesnakes. There are also interactive hands on presentations throughout the day that shouldn't be missed.
Mont Cascades Resort Waterpark
July is summer in Canada – and there's no better way to cool down than to head to the city's premiere waterpark. There are many fun-filled rides to enjoy including SplashForest, which combines slides, water cannons and climbing nets into one incredible aqua-based experience. Black Magic is a popular enclosed tunnel, while Kamikaze is a speed slide. Also on offer is Proracer, TornadoAlley and Turbo Twister. For younger travellers, there are five kiddie slides that are safe and fun.
Valleyview, Little Animal Farm
Staying open on Canada Day, this delightful animal farm allows kids to interact with a range of cute and cuddly animals. In the little barn there are rabbits, sheep and ducks, while the country walk features cows, llamas, and geese. There’s also a miniature train ride and puppet show to keep the kids amused. If they still have extra energy, the play area is sure to appeal.
Pinhey's Point Historic Site
This scenic 88-acre historic site features the preserved estate of an original British settler. It’s the perfect place to enjoy a picnic beside the Ottawa River or to gain a greater understanding of 19th century life. There also ruins of the Old St. Mary’s Church that can be toured by request. There are special museum tours designed for kids that focus on the cultural heritage of the region.