The Canadian Children’s Museum allows children to see how people in Canada and other countries live. At this museum, children and their parents can roam through an International Village and visit homes from areas such as India, Indonesia and Mexico.…
Housed in Ottawa’s oldest stone building, the BYTOWN MUSEUM explores Ottawa’s history from the early years of Rideau Canal construction, through the rough and tumble days of Bytown, to its emergence as Canada’s capital and beyond.
Once used as a storehouse during the construction of the Rideau Canal, this unique heritage building amassed an impressive collection of local artifacts through the work of the Women’s Canadian Historical Society of Ottawa. The Bytown Museum explores the early history of Canada’s capital when it was known as Bytown. The museum also pays homage to Lieutenant Colonel John By, who oversaw the construction of the Rideau Canal, and features a variety of exhibitions displaying local historical treasures.
The Bytown Museum is found alongside the UNESCO Heritage site Rideau Canal.
Postcards Scavenger Hunt
While you’re exploring the museum’s exhibit be sure to keep your eyes peeled for the seven mailboxes scattered around the second and third floors. Each box has a postcard in it that will tell you about important moments in Ottawa’s past. Find all seven and piece together Ottawa’s story from beginning to end.
Youth Activity Area
Visit the third floor of the museum to check out the Youth Activity Area, complete with Victorian toys, books to read, as well as interactive and historical app-based games! See what the lives of Ottawa’s young people were like in the 1800s.
Know Before You Go
1 Canal Ln, Ottawa, ON K1P 1L1
Tel: (613) 234-4570
Thurs – Mon: 11am – 4pm
Closed Tuesday and Wednesday
Adult – $8.00
Senior – $6.00
Student – $5.00 (13 to 18 or with valid student ID)
Child – $4.00
Flex Family – $20 (2 adults and unlimited children under 18)
4 years & under – complimentary
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Visiting Ottawa doesn’t have to cost a lot. If you are searching for free stuff to do in Ottawa and cheap ways to explore Canada’s Capital City without putting a strain on your travel budget, we have listed few ways to enjoy the best of Ottawa for free or on a low budget that includes free admission to Ottawa’s museums.…
The Canadian Tulip Festival in Ottawa, Canada
The Ottawa tulip festival actually named the Canadian Tulip Festival is held for three weeks every May. It is the largest festival in the world Over these three weeks, as the tulip gardens come into bloom, concerts, lectures, and other performances – both indoor and out – are held as the city celebrates the arrival of warmer weather.
The festival had its start in 1945 when Princess Juliana of the Netherlands presented Ottawa with 100,000 tulip bulbs in appreciation for the safe haven offered to exiled Dutch royalty and the role Canadian troops played in the liberation of the Netherlands.
In the years following 1945, the tulips became a symbol of international friendship as more and more events were planned around their blooming.
The 67th edition of the festival running May 10 to 20, 2019, has fun activities for the whole family including tours, entertainment, and even fireworks – and much of it is free!
More than 300,000 tulips decorate Commissioners Park, one of the festival’s key sites. Buskers, musicians and working artists add to the festivities.
Landsdowne Park is home to the International Pavilion with food stands, performances and other global offerings.
Major’s Hill Park hosts a vintage carnival and circus school where children as young as 3 can participate by learning how to juggle or tightrope walk with experts. Older kids may be interested in trying the unicycle. Rides, including a Ferris wheel, merry-go-round, Scrambler and toddler train round out the fun. Tickets required.
The Heritage Pavilion will take you back to Ottawa in 1945. Hear from people – including veterans – who experienced this time period first-hand and who love sharing their stories.
The Tulip Shuttle is an inexpensive way to get around the festival sites on the weekends. The shuttle travels the Tulip Route about 10 km along scenic Queen Elizabeth Driveway, which follows the Rideau Canal from downtown Ottawa (Major’s Hill Park and the Mirror Tent) to Dow’s Lake (Commissioner’s Park). Lansdowne Park, home of the International Pavilion, is en route between Dow Lake and downtown.
Cycling is a great way to get around the tulip festival, especially given the flat, bike-friendly canal-side terrain from downtown Ottawa to Dow Lake.
Many events are free or low cost at the Ottawa Tulip Festival. Tulip viewing itself is free. Performances at the Mirror Tent are required and range in cost.
A spectacular fireworks show will take place at Dows Lake at 10:00 p.m. on Sunday, May 19 (weather permitting). Choose your own viewing spot along the Rideau Canal or purchase a VIP ticket which provides access to a special area on the Tulip Boardwalk, including seating and a licensed bar.
For the ultimate tulip experience, purchase a ticket for a Tulip Legacy Tour. During this 30-minute guided tour, you’ll learn about horticulture as well as the festival’s history as you roam through the gardens at Commissioners Park.
Canadian Tulip Festival Fun Facts
- Every year, the Netherlands continue to give 20,000 bulbs to Ottawa.
- The largest site of the Tulip Festival is in Commissioners Park, on the banks of Dows Lake, which has over 300,000 tulips!
- The Canadian Tulip Festival attracts some 600,000 visitors making it the largest tulip festival in the world.
Tips for Visiting the Festival
- Bring the kids – the Tulip Festival is a great event for children. Consider a stroller for younger ones.
- Buy a shuttle pass for the day – this is an inexpensive, convenient, environmentally friendly way to get around the festival. The shuttle runs every 15 mins or so on weekends.
- Treat yourself to a meal or high tea at the Chateau Laurier.
Best ways to experience glorious tulips in Ottawa
- On foot – From downtown Ottawa, you can easily explore many of the beautiful, multi-colored tulip beds on foot
- By bike – Ottawa offers more than 800 kilometers (497 miles) of beautiful paths that link natural areas, parks, gardens, and national historic sites
- By bus
- By air – At the Canada Aviation and Space Museum, you can book a ride in a vintage open cockpit biplane with Ottawa Biplane Adventures.
- By boat – For a unique perspective, take a relaxing ride on a Rideau Canal Cruise
Top places to photograph beautiful tulips in Ottawa
- Commissioners Park – located near Dows Lake along the Rideau Canal
- Major’s Hill Park – wander along the pathways between the Fairmont Château Laurier and the National Gallery of Canada.
- Parliament of Canada – Get up close to Centre Block and as low an angle as you can to snap a photo of the blooming tulips with the neo-gothic Peace Tower in the background
- Along the Rideau Canal
- Garden Promenade tour
Join the Kid Zone for all the FUN!
- GIANT Tulip Painting from World-Changing Kids – Every day! 12pm – 6pm on weekdays / 10am – 8pm on Weekends
- Face Painting from Fantasy Face Painting – Weekends & Holiday Monday
- Pedalheads – May 18 & 19, 2019
- Practice Kids Garden– Practice your planting skills with real soil and tulip bulbs
- The Children’s World of Tulips Art Wall. This 380 feet of Wall in the Aberdeen Pavilion at Lansdowne Park will feature 5,000 Children’s artworks of Tulips from primary schools in the Gatineau-Ottawa region.
Festival Dates & Hours
- The Festival takes place May 10 – 20, 2019
- Open Daily: 9am – 9pm
Boutiques & Pavilions
- Weekdays: Noon – 6pm
- Weekends: 10am – 8pm
We’ve been home for almost a year now and I would be lying if I said it was easy. Our house hunting trip was last April and it did not go as planned. When we finally had boots on the ground and properly moved into our current house in Canada, there were a lot of little things that took a while to get used to.
The kids weren’t adjusting well to their new schools; they didn’t understand why we had to stand and sing “a stupid song about Canada” every morning, their peers were now monochromatic and had zero life experience beyond the city limits. They had seen the world, and now they were being tied down in a new city that was essentially foreign to them. They, too, suffered.
This article explains what happens when culture shock is reversed
Death by a thousand cuts.
It was the little things; sidewalks that lead to nothing, buses running 10 minutes, endless shopping
These aren’t anything that one should be upset about. And yet, I had forgotten about these subtle differences and they were absolutely annoying. Why is so darn hot when I am walking down the street… because there isn’t a tree in sight. Germany has trees lining sidewalks and major roads for this very reason; to keep the heat down. The lack of green literally made my eyes hurt and heartache. All this concrete was overwhelming and disheartening.
We ate at restaurants a lot when we first arrived –
My favourite wine is also only available at a handful of liquor stores throughout the city and cost twice the price; 4.99€ to $12.99. But at least I can collect Air Miles right! The meat quality isn’t the same, neighbours have overly expensive homes stacked one on top of another, and the street parking!
Oh My God, I thought Germans had a parking problem. At least they built their streets with this problem in mind, and people knew how to properly drive down streets littered with parked cars. I have yet to encounter a drive that is capable of staying on their side of the road and waiting their turn patiently while oncoming traffic passes.
This is me not dealing well with reintegration. I have romanticized life back in Canada while we were away. The way one ignores the bad times and only focuses on the good when at their 20 year High School reunion.
I’ve forgotten about the underfunded public school system, ridiculous wait times to be taken in as a patient by a family doctor, the red tape we have to jump through just to get something down just so someone else isn’t liable should something go wrong. I truly believed that Canada was the best country in the world to live in and all those micro-annoyances we had in Germany would be gone from our lives because we would be HOME. Home is perfect. Home is better. Home is where we can relax and share our stories…but none of that happened.
No one cares where we went. No one cares that my son had his first ice skating experience on the Eiffel Tower, in fact, his classmates were mocking him for it. He was bullied at school because he couldn’t count on one hand how many countries he has visited in his short 7 years he’s been alive (11 countries by the way). They laughed and said his sister wasn’t a real Canadian because she was technically born overseas. Someone makes a funny joke about a location and we shyly remind them that we have been there, and this isn’t true. But that’s being a know-it-all. So we stay quiet.
We have all of these stories that we want to share, but so does everyone else. They had a great time at the zoo last week. Awesome. We went to Rome for a long weekend. They went to grandmas for March Break and painting the Garage door. Cool. We went to Scotland to visit a cousin during Spring Break.
It’s not a competition. And yet it is. And no one wants to lose, so they stop asking. And we stop telling.
Reverse Culture Shock is hard. And lonely. And crippling. No one wants to feel these things about their home. I’m a loyal Canadian, I love my country and everything she stands for… but maybe I can love her more, from over there. Somewhere where the price of gas and access to Romain Lettuce that isn’t contaminated with E.Coli isn’t as difficult.
Frequent travelers and expats often experience ‘reverse culture shock’ — here’s what that is and how to deal with it
- Reverse culture shock occurs when you return home after immersing yourself in a different culture.
- Symptoms can range from boredom to isolation.
- Adjusting back to your routine at home can be extremely difficult
Moving home isn’t always easy – many who repatriate feel different and utterly out of touch. The hardest part about dealing with reverse culture shock is that it is unexpected and unanticipated; we aren’t moving to a new country or learning a new language, this is our home. We were raised here for 30 some odd years before taking a short 4-year break, why would I have problems integrating into my own culture?
Like culture shock, reverse culture shock has a number of stages; at first, you may be excited to return home – seeing friends and family members, wearing the rest of your wardrobe, and eating at your favourite restaurants. This initial euphoria eventually wears off, and that’s when you find yourself feeling out of place in your own culture.
Signs of reverse culture shock
Reverse culture shock can result in unexpected difficulty in readjusting to the culture and values of the home country, now that the previously familiar has become unfamiliar.
As you’ve settled into your foreign location, you’ve spent less time in your home culture. Surrounding yourself with people from home, eating food from home or watching tv from home, only delays the inevitable. It’s never the same.
Upon return, not only is home different from what you are now used to, different from your new normal, but it may be different from what it was when you left, and different from what you expected it to be like.
Grass is always greener…
We believe that everything we have seen while away, everything wrong with our host country, is so much better at home. We have the answers for everything and why can’t these countries just talk to each other and help each other grow for the betterment of humanity.
Once home though, you slowly learn that home isn’t as perfect as we believed. There are problems that we never noticed until now, we don’t actually do these things better, and home could probably learn a few things from our host country as well.
Your home country now drives you crazy.
This also leads to the eventual tearing down of our home country and nitpicking every little thing that is wrong with it. Your host country didn’t have this specific problem, therefore it was better, you want to go back immediately. We have placed Home on such a pedestal, that there is no way for home to win this fight.
You’re an emotional roller coaster
Remember that culture shock is a lot like the stages of grief and especially when you come home, you are grieving the loss of a life abroad, a city, many people you loved and a culture. That’s a whole lot of things to grieve. So, just like people tell you while grieving, know that waves of emotion will hit you all the time and at unexpected times.
You feel totally alone.
Remember all those times that you fantasized about hanging out with family and friends? All those parties you knew you were missing, life events, great nights out, fun times…..Remember all those messages you got from people saying how much they missed you and wanted you to come home? Well, this is the weird part. Their lives didn’t actually stop when you left!
Coming home from abroad is like visiting your home town after being away at college for a year. Everything has stayed the same, and yet has changed all at the same time. Friends and family filled the gap you left in their lives, employers have replaced you, new laws have come into policy and you are left playing catch-up.
Inability to apply new knowledge and skills
You have learned all of these amazing life-skills and specific knowledge that was required for being
You have changed.
You have changed forever. There is no going back. Your experience, time away and everything that you have gone through has changed you, for better or worse.
This is not a bad thing! People are supposed to change, grow, adapt. You have seen the world from a unique angle and thus have a unique perspective on age-old conversations. Embrace it, don’t be
Find people who have gone through massive changes as well. Obviously, other repats would be a good place to start but it doesn’t have to be just repats.
Talk about the experience, but respect that not everyone wants to hear it.
People at home aren’t as interested in hearing about your foreign experience as you are in telling them about it.
Talking about your experience is essential and part of the readjustment process and your friends and family do need to hear it and try to understand, but…know when to stop. Only bring up tidbits at a time, and try to remember to ask them about their last few years as well, even if they weren’t living abroad, they still went through stuff.
You miss the lifestyle you may have enjoyed abroad.
Companies that employ expats tend to be very generous with their salaries. They understand it is hard being so far away from your friends and family back home and so they tend to pay a little ( a lot) more than they would for the same job title back home. And this is great until it’s gone.
With all of that money, all of that time to explore your new surroundings, you have created a specific lifestyle for yourself and your family. You probably also didn’t save much of it because who wants to save when you can travel – true story.
But when the day finally comes to move back home, those entitlements and incentives disappear. You are now back to your old lifestyle and costs-of-living.
You aren’t special anymore
You’re the exotic foreigner, people want to hear about you and where you are from. They want to talk to you. You miss the celebrity status of being an “Expat” overseas — at home, you don’t stand out as much.
There are people who will see this and value it and think it is amazing and eventually your time abroad will start to shape your time at home. Again, it just takes time. Remember that no one can take this experience away from you.
You are in a constant state of missing and comparing life to the place you left – reverse homesickness
It’s so easy to look at a place that you aren’t currently living in through rose-coloured glasses. The grass is always greener, right? And for the first many months (or more) when you get home you think of everything you are missing or left behind. You know there is a reason, or many, that you left, but it takes all your will power not to hop on a plane back every single day. Then you find yourself missing foods and drinks like crazy.
Well, you can get a few of those things here but you might pay 10 times the price and it’s just not quite the same.
You can’t quite put your finger on what feels wrong about home
Something seems off, not quite right, but you can’t put your finger on it. All of these symptoms listed above is only a glimpse into the variety of emotions and experiences you will encounter after repatriating.
Reverse Culture Shock; For better or worse
When considering moving abroad, or returning home, take a few of these factors into consideration. There is evidence to suggest that age, length of stay and prior experience play a huge part in ones ability (or inability) to quickly readjust and integrate back home.
- Voluntary versus involuntary reentry
- Expected versus unexpected reentry
- Age: reentry may be easier for older people who have been through more life transitions.
- Length of the overseas stay: the longer you are away, the greater the chance for adaptation; hence the harder it may be to leave and come home.
- The degree of involvement with the overseas culture: the more involved you become in the local culture the harder it may be to leave it behind.
- Amount of interaction with the home culture during the overseas assignment
- The degree of difference between the overseas and the home culture
How to D
eal with Reverse Culture Shock
Find cultural events which can give you a dose of the place you are missing
If you live in a large enough community, or near a large community, reach out and find cultural events from your host country. They may be few and far between, but every little bit helps.
Share your experience with others
Although you might feel like no one wants to listen, there will be close ones who will support you with open ears and honest interest.
Write about it.
Start a blog, contact friends you made as an expat, or write articles – find new ways to incorporate your urge to share stories with an audience who will listen intently.
Maintain your style and stay international
If the return is truly too much to handle and wanderlust has simply taken over you, why not continue travelling? Look for assignments that will take you back overseas, for an extended period of time or for a month at a time. Continue travelling, albeit at a much slower pace than before, and maintain that wandering lifestyle.
Just because you are home, doesn’t mean you need to stop being the new you.
In the end, the transition requires patience and even more of an open mind than before.
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Experience Culture in the Capital – 3 Museums in 3 Days!
As Canada’s capital, Ottawa has a substantial amount of history and culture that can captivate a new tourist or even the most experienced
Canadians might not be an easily offended bunch, but these 20+ things are guaranteed to rub us the wrong way. Here’s what tourists should Never do in Canada.
Don’t assume that Toronto is the capital city.
Just because the only two cities you know are Toronto and Montreal, and sometimes Calgary, that doesn’t mean one of them is our capital. Ottawa isn’t big and it definitely isn’t busy but she’s the capital.
Don’t order Canadian Bacon
I was born and raised in Canada; I have no idea what it is. If you were in Toronto and asked for Canadian Bacon, you would probably get something called Peameal Bacon.
Don’t comment on French-English relations
French-English relations are already tense enough between the Francophones and Anglophones of this country, we don’t need an outsiders opinion on how to “deal with them”.
Quebec sovereignty deals with a lot of touchy topics from cultural genocide to violent revolution. If you want to give the pot a good
Don’t say that we’re like Americans
This one goes out especially to our U.S. friends and is just a gentle reminder that though the overall impression of Canada is very much like that of the U.S., we are indeed a separate country that has its own laws, currency, languages, foods, climate, customs, and cell phone carriers.
Check out these uniquely Canadian things you have to see to beleive
Don’t forget, we use the metric system
When crossing the border, don’t forget to switch from MPH to km/h when driving. We often use Pounds, inches
Never say anything in a fake Canadian accent
As cute and quaint as it might sound, the “Canadian accent” sounds nothing at all like how actual Canadians speak. That’s not to say we don’t have our own unique way of speaking (looking at you, Newfoundland), it’s just that we’re a lot more Wayne Gretzky than Doug Mackenzie.
Don’t mock our money.
It doesn’t hurt our feelings so much as it’s just annoying. Yes, our currency is colourful. Yes, it’s different than yours. So is every other country on this planet. We don’t find it funny.
Rack Up Cell Phone Charges
If your phone plan doesn’t have international roaming, it will cost a pretty penny to visit.
Don’t comment on the fact that the British Queen is on all of our money
Although Canadians don’t generally express any particular loyalty or attachment to the British monarchy, the fact remains that the country is a constitutional monarchy, and the Queen is the official head of state.
Don’t underestimate the size of Canada
Don’t assume that you are going to be able to cover most of Canada during a short visit. It’s a huge country and getting from one city to the next involves travelling long distances. Many people don’t schedule enough time for their trip across Canada and find themselves rushing from one city to the next.
Almost ninety percent of Canada’s 9.985 million km² is uninhabitable. Most of its roughly 36 million people live in a very small area. This means that most of Canada
But that’s not to say that Canada is small. Canada is a gigantic country — but this also means Canada’s population is mostly very close to the US with ninety percent of Canadians living within 100 miles of the US border.
Just make sure you are prepared and plan accordingly.
Don’t criticize Tim Horton
You might be wondering, why is Tim Horton’s important to Canada? It’s just a coffee shop.
First of all, you’re wrong. It’s not JUST a coffee shop. It’s an institution. We go for a Timmies at least twice a day, double-double has entered the Oxford dictionary and is now used at coffee shops outside of Tim Hortons, and overall, is synonymous with patriotism. Even Canadians that hate Timmies coffee (if they even exist) know not to poke fun of Tim Hortons. There is a reason that you can find 25 stores in a town of 141,000 people and
Check out Tim Hortons: How a brand became part of our national identity if you don’t believe me.
Don’t forget to return an apology
I’ve said sorry for bumping into inanimate objects. You will hear people say “sorry” a lot, and you will be expected to turn the apology, whether it’s your fault or not.
Canadians love to say ‘sorry’ so much, we had to amend current laws to keep people out of trouble for it; we apology so much in our daily lives, that it was starting to backfire. The “Apology Act“, passed in 2009, is a direct result of Canada’s overuse of the word “sorry”. Stipulating that an apology of any kind “means an expression of sympathy or regret” and not “an admission of fault or liability in connection with the matter to which the words or actions relate.” Only in Canada would such a law be necessary.
Don’t only visit the cities
We have a lot of incredible cities to explore in Canada, but we also have a lot of towns. Our cities tend to be so far apart, that you probably will only get to visit a handful of them during any vacation. And since you will be crossing a few of these towns just to get from one city to another, why not spend the night and explore what they have to offer.
You would be surprised at the amount of history, architecture and pure beauty we are hiding in our small towns.
Don’t get onto public transport until everyone has exited first.
There are two doors for a reason! Get in at the front, get out at the back. And if this doesn’t work, wait until everyone is out before trying to get in.
We may be a friendly group of people but we aren’t pushovers. We will demand that you follow the rules, respect the personal space and time of others around you. We are socialists, remember.
Don’t say that you don’t like Poutine
No one that has ever tried a Poutine has ever disliked it. It’s Fries, Gravy and Cheese Curds and tastes like heaven.
Every once in a while, there will be a Poutine Fest in Ottawa, because that’s how awesome Poutine is; there are entire festivals around this food, and there are Chip trucks all along City Hall serving their variations of this amazing dish. There is no wrong way to eat poutine… unless you add ketchup and anything other than Cheese Curds because that’s nasty.
And no, Poutine is not gourmet food. Don’t try to fancy it up. It’s street food, it’s meant to look like street food, be served like street food, and cost as much as street food. If it’s listed as gourmet, it’s pretentious Hipster garbage stay away!
Here are more must-try Canadian foods.
Don’t say that the winter is too cold
We know it’s cold, we live here. You don’t need to remind us. Especially if you come from somewhere warm like Florida or Mexico. You get to go home after your vacation. T
Don’t Misjudge Weather Conditions
Speaking of weather, when we say it’s cold and watch the roads, we aren’t kidding. Even then, we are used to it and often forget to warn non-Canadians of the road weather conditions. Be safe, drive carefully and don’t be in a rush to get anywhere.
Same goes for winter packing. The three words that you need to remember when packing for a trip to Canada are layers, layers, layers. It’s not uncommon for a Canadian city to experience -20C, or even -30C in January/February. With the windchill factor, it feels even colder. Bring a warm woolen hat (Canadians call it a toque), gloves and a scarf.
Don’t Forget Travel Insurance!
Travel insurance is always a good idea when you travel, but especially in Canada. If you are not a Canadian citizen but you hurt yourself or become ill when travelling in Canada, it will cost you a lot of money.
This is the problem with calling our health care “free”. It isn’t free. Citizens pay it on their income tax and through sales tax. We have invested in the system and in turn, we get treatment. Non-citizens do not have that luxury, hence the need for travel insurance.
Don’t be surprised when we say “eh”
We say “eh” a lot, depending on where we are from. Some say it more than others, and some don’t say it at all. Either way, don’t make a big deal about it.
The best way to stand out as a tourist, is to poke fun of local people when they do something that comes natural to them, that you have decided is a stereotype.
Don’t bring Kinder surprise across the border
For some strange reason, USA has decided that the toys inside a Kinder egg poss a chocking hazard for their children. It is illegal to bring them back into the states.
Don’t bring a book that was printed before 1985 either
A ban on children’s books printed before 1985 remains in effect in the US. The ban was implemented out of fear that the ink used to print these books contained traces of lead, which when ingested could cause major health problems.
We have a ton of used book stores and since we don’t have such bans, you will probably fine a good number of rarities printed pre-1985.
Don’t Get Dinged With Unnecessary Banking Costs
Just as we get charged foreign transaction fees when visiting outside of Canada, you too will be charged by your bank when accessing money from this side of the border.
Use Canadian cash, get a Credit Card that doesn’t charge foreign transaction fees, or use debit.
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The Farm in the Heart of the City!
Located on a national heritage site, the Canada Agriculture and Food Museum is the world’s only working farm in the heart of a capital city.
Learn about Canada’s rich agricultural heritage through hands-on exhibitions like Food Preservation: The Science You Eat and Canola! Seeds of Innovation. Interact with nearly 150 farm animals in our heritage barns, and discover emerging food trends.
Have more questions about planning your Disney vacation? Click here to join the best Ottawa Toddler Facebook group around filled with tips, tricks, and people ready to help answer your questions!
Walking up to the museum is a little different than most. For one, it isn’t your typical museum. It is more of an open-air museum. Or simply put, a working farm with exhibit barns, as I mentioned before. Grab a map from the reception desk and follow along.
The first barn is full of horses, which will really pick up the children’s attention. Then you are released in front of the farm-themed playground and bunny/chicken enclosure.
It is important to note that this farm does not have a petting zoo. I say this because we generally have a rule that we don’t spend too much time in the playgrounds at attractions since we have a short window of time to explore (before picking up Munchkin from school) and there is a park next to the house. In this case, I knew that I needed something to hook her into the whole “look but don’t touch the animals”. We played for a spell, then continued exploring with the promise that good girls get to play again after finishing the museum.
There are a few more barns with pigs, sheep, and goats. All fully functioning, and all request that we not touch the animals. The front desk, and the map, made it especially known that each barn has their own bathroom! This is great for potty training little ones. I can’t count how many times we have been forced to leave a room or run around a building in search of a toilet.
There are signs everywhere about respecting the animals, staff and field-trip school children. We are not allowed to take photos with flash within the buildings, or of the staff. Photographing the school children, even if by accident, is a punishable offense. This is another reason why we like to visit museums at the beginning of the school year, on a Monday, and as soon as the doors open for the day. Each of these lends itself to low crowds and lessen the chances of encountering field trips.
The very last barn before hitting up the park again was the milking barn. This is where Baby Girl learned where milk comes from. During school trips, there is a station set up with a cardboard cow and the children get to “practice” milking a cow. Further down the barn, there is a section where the cows are actually being milked and we can see the process in action. Unfortunately, the cows were on “vacation” and preparing to give birth.
Check out The Farmers Wife for more dairy cow information. They were able to answer a lot of my questions – even ones I didn’t know I had.
The Canada Agriculture and Food Museum is part of the Ingenium family of museums. With an annual membership, guests receive unlimited admission to the Canada Agriculture and Food Museum, the Canada Aviation and Space Museum, and the Canada Science and Technology Museum. As well as unlimited FREE GENERAL ADMISSION to more than 360* museums and science centres across Canada and around the world with the Reciprocal Admission Agreement.
901 Prince of Wales Drive, Ottawa, ON K2C 3J9
Tel: (613) 991 – 3044
Wed – Sun: 9:00am – 5:00pm
Closed Mondays and Tuesdays
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