Are you planning a visit to the Ottawa area? Whether you are a resident or a visitor, there are some amazing museums this city has to offer all year round. From a step into history, to viewing amazing art, and exploring nature, Museums in Ottawa are really like no other. As the Capital of the Country, the history and artifacts speak for themselves.
Canadian Museum of Nature
Explore the beauty that nature has to offer in this stunning museum. The Canadian Museum of Nature is housed in the Victoria Memorial Building, built in 1905 and newly renovated in 2010, it is located in the heart of downtown Ottawa. Explore galleries from all corners of the natural world and have a chance to walk among dinosaurs with over 30 complete skeletons.
Visit on Thursday evenings from 5-8PM or on Canada Day (July 1) and get in for free.
Canadian Agriculture and Food Museum
Do you wonder where our food comes from? Head over to the Museum of Canadian Agriculture and Food to learn about the history of agriculture in Canada, how Food Preservation works, how bees play a huge role in our ecosystem, and much more. The kids will love to see the collection of tractors, as well as their interactive exhibits and animals.
Canadian Museum of History
Dive deep into Canadian history with interactive exhibits, artifacts and more at the Canadian Museum of History. Just on the other side of the Ottawa River, the Canadian Museum of History is located in Gatineau Quebec and is home to many amazing exhibits that your whole family will enjoy. From IMAX 3D movies, to walking through the Grand Hall, this is one museum you don't want to miss!
Visit on Thursday evenings from 4-8PM or on Canada Day (July 1), Remembrance Day (November 11) and get in for free.
Canadian War Museum
How much do you know about The Great War? How about how Canada was formed? Take a step into the past when you enter the stunning exhibits at the Canadian War Museum. Walk through the 4 galleries and experience what it was like during different periods as a Canadian defending our country. From great battles like The Somme and Vimy Ridge, to the Cold War and Peace Keeping, this museum is a must see! Afterwards browse through the Lebretan Gallery and see the diverse collection of vehicles, artillery and other artifacts.
Visit on Thursday evenings from 4-8PM or on Canada Day (July 1), or on Remembrance Day (November 11) and get in for free. The Canadian War Museum also offers free admission to past and present Canadian military personnel and select Commonwealth military personnel with appropriate ID.
Canadian Aviation and Space Museum
Do you or your kids have your heads in the clouds? Don't miss out on the Canadian Aviation and Space Museum. From living in space to experiencing Flight this museum soars all things that fly. Visit the main gallery and see aircrafts and artifacts related to early aviation, the First and Second World War, Bush Flying and more. You can also experience interactive exhibits and flight simulators on your visit.
Admission is free daily between 4-5PM
Canadian Science and Technology Museum
This museum is currently closed
for ongoing renovation and repairs. It is set to reopen in 2017.
National Gallery of Canada
If you have an appreciation for art, then don't miss the National Gallery of Canada. Located right downtown this beautifully designed building is a striking landmark on the Ottawa skyline. With over 1,200 works from the permanent collection for you to view including everything from Indigenous to Contemporary and Photography. There are also special exhibits gracing the halls, you won't want to miss. This museum and it's artful content will certainly take your breath away.
Visit on Thursday evenings from 5-8PM or on May 17 for International Museums Day, June 7 for *Doors Open Ottawa, Canada Day (July 1), and September 27 for Culture Days and get in for free.
The Royal Canadian Mint
Take a tour of where the Mint was founded in 1908. The Ottawa facility now produces hand-crafted collector and commemorative coins, gold bullion coins, medals and medallions. Add to your coin collection, learn how coins are made with a guided tour and hold a solid gold bar worth over $750,000.
Bank of Canada's Currency Museum
This museum is currently closed for a complete renovation
and won't reopen for a while.
Visit the oldest wood-framed house in Ottawa at Billings Estate. Built from 1827-1829 this pictueque location is on a beautiful 8 acres piece of land with one of the oldest cemeteries in Ottawa dating back to the 1820's. There are plenty of activities to enjoy at this historic location including games, special holiday events and more.
Tucked away next to the Parliament Buildings and the Rideau Canal Locks, the Bytown Museum boasts a wealth of history. This location is one of the most beautiful spots in the city and has plenty of the whole family to learn about and see. As the oldest stone building in Ottawa, it was once used as a storehouse during the construction of the Rideau Canal but now contains an impressive collection for local artifacts.
Visit on Thursdays after 5PM between May 16-October 11 for Free Admission.
Diefenbunker: Canada's Cold War Museum
Created in 1959 the Diefenbunker was part of the government's reaction to escalating tensions during the Cold War. This bunker has the ability to withstand a nuclear blast and during an emergency, key members of government and military would be placed here. Located in West Ottawa, visit the exhibits that will take you through the history of Canada's Cold War and the kids can even attend a Spy Camp over March and Summer Breaks.
Through the help of dedicated local residents, the history of Nepean has been preserved from 1792 onwards. Visit the galleries full of artifacts and history of this area of the city and explore the 1.8 acre of garden property.
There is no admission price to visit the Nepean Museum.
Fairfields Heritage House
Take a free tour of the Fairfields Hertiage House with the Neapan Museum. Learn the history of 5 generations of the Bell family from 1823-2000.
There is no admission price to visit the Hertiage House, but is by appointment only.
Osgoode Township Historical Society and Museum
With a collection of over 10,000 artifacts, the Osgoode Township Hostorical Society and Museum takes you through the early beginnings of this region. From photographs to interesting treasures this museum maintains a connection between the past and present day of the Osgoode Region.
There is no admission price to visit the Osgoode Township Historical Society and Museum.
Get in touch with nature and history at the Vanier Museopark. Located just east of Downtown Ottawa, this museopark is a natural treasure in an urban setting. On 17.5 acres, there is a Community Center, the Vanier Public Library, The Museum and even a Sugar Shack. Don't miss the opportunity to explore the history and enjoy a visit with nature.
There is no admission price to visit the Vanier Museopark.
Located in Ottawa West, the Goulbourn Museum used to be the old Town Hall of the community. Despite its size of a one-room school house, this was the hub for council meetings, parties and dances. Built in 1872 this building is rich with history and now stores artifacts and completes research for the area of Stittsville, Richmond, Aston and Munster. They also have interactive and hands-on exhibits that whole family will love.
There is no admission price to visit the Goulbourn Museum.
Cumberland Heritage Village Museum
Take a step back into a little historical village thanks to the Cumberland Heritage Village Museum. Experience the rustic charm of the 1920's and 1930's in this rural village located just 30 minutes from downtown Ottawa. With visits to the General Store, Sawmill, Blacksmith Forge and Canteen the whole family will love this fun day out.
Pinhey's Point Historic Site
Take a drive out to Dunrobin, located just West of Downtown Ottawa and visit the historical site of Pinhey's Point. Nestled on the banks of the Ottawa River, it features a 200 year old manor house, scenic views, and stone ruins. This is a great place to relax, learn and explore with the whole family.
There is no admission price to visit the Museum.
Library and Archives Canada
Hold a piece of history in your hands at the Library and Archives Canada. This is the national memory bank that tells Canada's story through history books, original documents from the past and personal photographs. The Archives preserve tens of millions of records for all researchers to enjoy.
Book a free tour of Canada's most recognized landmark. Located in the center of Ottawa this historic area, known as "The Hill" has a strong significance to our history as well as present day government. Visit the Centennial Flame, witness the Changing of the Guard, Listen to the Bells in the Peace Tower and so much more.
As the official residence of the Governor General since 1867, Rideau Hall is the perfect activity any time of year. Take a free guided tour of the residence, to get a glimpse of State rooms, and a collection of Canadian art and furniture as well as partake in great seasonal activities including picnics and skating.
*Doors Open Ottawa
is a free annual event that celebrates the community's built heritage. On June 6 and 7, 2015, ride the free Ottawa Citizen Shuttle Bus to nearly 50 participating buildings throughout the city.
Are you planning on visiting a lot of museums in a short period of time? Consider Canada's Capital Museums Passport
for a discount on your admission. Valid for 7 days, it gives you admitance to 8 participating museums
. This is a great way to save and see some of the top museums in the city.