I live in Ottawa. You might say that I live in museum central— we have 14 national museums to choose from alone. We're very lucky to have such an amazing choice of museums in our own backyard.
I love all of these incredible museums for three reasons:
One, they very often offer a hands-on learning experience for my kids—and for me too.
Two, they are a great way to spend a day interacting with my kids instead of staring at a screen and not talking.
Three, they are some of the best places to get the best bang for your buck. Museums, particularly national museums, are in part funded by your tax dollars so admission is low making it a very affordable day out. I don't know about you, but affordable is a big win in this house.
Of all the museums in Ottawa, my personal favourite has to be the Canadian Museum of Nature.
Maybe it's the princess in me but I'm drawn to this castle-like building like no other museum in Ottawa. I never tire of the dinosaur exhibit or the dioramas of Canadian wildlife, but what I love the most is the constantly changing exhibits. This museum always stays fresh so we are never bored. Recently we headed out the door to see Frogs — A Chorus of Colour with my girls.
There are amazing family-friendly museums all across this great country of ours, not only here in Ottawa. Here are a few great museums I recommend:
Ontario Science Centre — I still remember sticking my hand on that silver ball and having my hand stand on end as a child. Classic. However, as you would expect, there's plenty of new and exciting stuff at the Ontario Science Centre including an exhibition all about The Body presented by none other than Sesame Street.
H.R. MacMillan Space Centre — Let's face it, we Canadians have the coolest astronaut in the world—the guitar playing, super smart, Chris Hadfield. Commader Hadfield has inspired a whole new generation of future astronauts and what better place to take them to inspire their dreams than the H.R. MacMillan Space Centre. Blast off!
Royal Alberta Museum — Got a little Indiana Jones on your hands? Maybe a David Suzuki? At the Royal Alberta Museum you can explore through key area such as archeology, earth sciences, and life sciences. Not to mention exhibitions that are just passing through.
The Rooms — This museum tells a story. A story about a province with a colourful past and future and amazing, resilient, hearty people. If you live here then you're part of the story.
There is one other benefit of visiting a museum that I've not mentioned. It's stealth learning. This is perhaps my favourite parenting technique; take them somewhere they are having so much fun at they don't even know they're getting smarter. *insert evil laugh here*
*photo credit Museum of Nature © C. W. Clark