Toddlers are so much fun to be with. Their innocence and the courage with which they approach the world is awesome to watch. The toddler stage is also a lot of fun because we get to take them on a bunch of firsts.
If your little one is getting restless following the same routine at home every day (especially during the long winter months) or you’re looking for something new to do as a family, Ottawa has a lot of great experiences to choose from.
From indoor activities to outdoor adventures, here is your guide to some of the best things to do with a toddler in Ottawa:
1. Pirate Life
Pirate Life is an immersive family theatre and pirate adventure that takes place at Mooney’s Bay and on the Rideau River. The company invites guests to join the crew and look for sunken treasure!
This experience makes a great family outing or birthday party, where kids get to dress up and play pretend. It’s a great, memorable way to stimulate young children’s imaginations. Pirate Life in Ottawa is highly recommended, with a great cast that makes the whole thing more fun.
Address: 588 Hog’s Back Rd, Ottawa
Phone Number: (613) 859-5199
2. Toddler Tuesdays at the NAC
This free event is currently running from October 1, 2019 – June 30, 2020 on Tuesdays at 10am. Located at Peter A. Herrndorf Place in the NAC, this activity is for children from 18mo – 4 years and their parents.
Look forward to singing, dancing, arts and crafts, stories, and more. The program is led by instructor Jesse Kahat, a former ballroom dancer who has been working in early childhood education programs since 2011.
Address: 1 Elgin St, Ottawa
Phone Number: (613) 947-7000
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3. Canada Agriculture and Food Museum
Open daily from 9am – 5pm except for Mondays and Tuesdays, the Canada Agriculture and Food Museum is a working farm in the middle of the city!
Visitors can see a wide range of farm animals, including cows, pigs, sheep, horses, poultry, goats, and rabbits. If you go during nice weather there’s a play structure and picnic area, plus there are different events and exhibitions throughout the year that are family friendly.
Address: 901 Prince of Wales Drive, Ottawa
Phone Number: (613) 991-3044
4. Cosmic Adventures
Cosmic Adventures is Ottawa’s largest and safest indoor playground for children from ages 0 to 12.
Children are encouraged to let loose in this 20,000 square foot multilevel playground, where there are two special soft play toddler areas that are perfect for younger children. Parents love that this facility is clean and it is easy to supervise your children as they confidently explore their surroundings.
Address: 1373 Ogilvie Rd, Ottawa
Phone Number: (613) 742-8989
5. Starr Gymnastics
During these programs kids work through simple games, gymnastics circuits, and interactive activities with an emphasis on problem solving and creativity. Or, go during Drop-in Playtime, when kids get free access to the padded gym with ropes, foam pits, and trampolines.
Address: 520 Lacolle Way, Orléans
Phone Number: (613) 721-4868
6. Little Ray’s Reptile Zoo
Little Ray’s Reptile Zoo is a privately funded zoo and animal rescue and is the largest of it’s kind in Eastern Ontario. The zoo has the largest and most diverse animal education outreach program in Canada and is extremely proud of the reputation they have built. (Currently closed due to relocation)
Address: 2781 Colonial Road, Sarsfield
Phone Number: (613)-822-8924
7. Ottawa Public Library Programs
If you’re looking for something simple to fill your days and stimulate your toddler’s learning, the library is an excellent place to start.
Most libraries have fun children’s spaces with chairs, toys, books, and coloring. The Ottawa Public Library also hosts a wide variety of events and programs for children, including Drop in Toddlertime and Family Storytime.
Address: Multiple locations
Phone Number: (613) 580-2940
8. Valleyview Little Animal Farm
Children and adults alike will enjoy seeing a wide variety of animals and birds up close, from alpacas to zebus, goats to geese. Ride the Valleyview Express and enjoy the farm playground. Explore Bill’s Old Farm Museum, watch a puppet show, have lunch in the Sunflower Cafe.
Address: 4750 Fallowfield Road, Nepean
Phone Number: 613-591-1126
9. Mer Bleue Bog Boardwalk
If you’re in the mood for an outdoor excursion, Mer Bleue is a popular place for families to go for trails and beautiful scenery.
Located in the Greenbelt, Mer Bleue is one of the largest bogs in Southern Ontario. Give your toddler a chance to explore the outdoors and breathe in some fresh air. Take note of your surroundings so you don’t miss all of the interesting plants and wildlife this location has to offer.
Address: Ridge Rd, Ottawa
Phone Number: (613) 239-5000
10. Toddler Time at Flying Squirrel
If you aren’t sure what to do on a rainy day, why not take your toddler down to Flying Squirrel for Toddler Time?
Flying Squirrel is the world’s largest indoor trampoline park. The great thing about this spot is that Toddler Time is available during all operating hours, not just certain days of the week. This is a great place to host a kid’s birthday, with foam pits and other attractions that children love.
Address: 1901 Cyrville Rd, Ottawa
Phone Number: (343) 883-1092
11. Gatineau Park
Gatineau Park is a large conservation park located just across the river from downtown Ottawa. The park encompasses a 139-square-mile space complete with hiking, lakes, waterfalls, lookouts, beaches, and more.
For families who enjoy the Great Outdoors, Gatineau Park is a gem full of natural beauty that will have you keep going back. Go on a spur of the moment day trip or plan a camping trip so you can unwind and reconnect together.
Address: 33 Chemin Scott, Chelsea QC
Phone Number: (819) 827-2020
Funhaven is another indoor space that’s open to all ages during the day. They have a wide range of attractions, making it a good place for families with children of multiple ages.
They offer a several attractions that older toddlers could participate in, like a rock wall (for those over 45 lbs.), Ottawa’s only indoor rollercoaster, and a jungle gym designed for ages 3 and up.
Address: 1050 Baxter Rd, Ottawa
Phone Number: (613) 828-4386
13. Omega Park
Omega Park is a safari park located about an hour outside of Ottawa in Montebello, Quebec. Their 12-kilometer nature route features lakes, valleys, forests, and rocky hills with trails open year-round.
If you’ve been to the agriculture museum to see the farm animals, the next stop is Omega Park, where you and your toddler can behold Canada’s wildlife in their natural environment. See moose, elk, bison, wolves, and bears and take part in the many free activities that take place in the park like face painting and snowshoeing.
Address: 399 Road 323 North, Montebello QC
Phone Number: (819) 423-5487
If you’re looking for a fun, family-oriented place to cool off during the summertime, Calypso is a great themed waterpark that’s not far.
Just half an hour from Ottawa, your toddler will love this place and so will you. With play areas for younger children, restaurants, water games, two themed rivers, and 35 slides for older family members, everyone will have a blast at Calypso.
Address: 2015 Calypso St, Limoges
Phone Number: (613) 443-9995
1. My Gym Children’s Fitness Centre
They have classes and events for children of all ages, including the Waddlers class (14mo – 22mo) which is perfect for toddlers and special events like Easter Egg Hunts for the holidays. During Practice & Play, kids of all ages get unstructured play time in the gym.
Address: 220 Kennevale Dr #102, Ottawa
Phone Number: (613) 440-8400
16. Science and Technology Museum
Of all the museums in Ottawa, the Science and Technology Museum is one of those that would be of most interest to small kids.
There’s so much to learn and do at this museum, your little ones will be entertained all day! The newly re-opened museum features over 80,000 square feet of space with room dedicated to travelling exhibitions and old favorites like the crazy kitchen.
Address: 1867 St Laurent Blvd, Ottawa
Phone Number: 613-991-3044
17. Canadian Children’s Museum
Your kids won’t want to leave this museum with its exhibits from around the world, costumes, hands-on-props, and artifacts. Other activities hosted by this museum include things Handmade Fun workshops where children can make crafts with staff.
Address: 100 Laurier St, Gatineau, Quebec
Phone Number: (819) 776-7000
18. Mooney’s Bay Park and Beach
If you’re looking for a great spot to take your family for some fun in the sun this summer, look no further than Mooney’s Bay.
This is one of four supervised beaches in Ottawa, with a nice beach, city views, and large play structures to keep toddlers entertained. Out of all the beaches in Ottawa, this one is a family favorite that isn’t too crowded.
Address: 2960 Riverside Dr., Ottawa
Phone Number: (613) 580-2595
19. Proulx Farm
Proulx Farm is a fun destination for families just outside of Ottawa. A sugar bush and berry farm, they have many events like their Maple Fest with pancake breakfasts and Pumpkin Fest in the fall.
This family farm in Cumberland has been owned and operated by the Proulx family since 1920. Now on its fourth generation, this friendly team loves serving the community and offering a fun experience for all ages.
Address: 1865 O’Toole Rd, Cumberland
Phone Number: (613) 833-2417
20. Museum of Nature
Spending a day at the museum is great for families with toddlers because museums are family friendly spaces where kids can run around, explore, learn, and interact with their surroundings.
The Museum of Nature will keep your children in awe with their limited time exhibits and permanent galleries. Learn about the earth, fossils, mammals, birds, and more, each with interactive activities along the way.
Address: 240 McLeod St, Ottawa
Phone Number: (613) 566-4700