Best of OttawaBEST OF OTTAWA 2018: Museums

BEST OF OTTAWA 2018: Museums

BEST OF OTTAWA 2018: Museums

After over 20-years writing about life in Ottawa, we think we have
a pretty good idea of the best of what this city has to offer.
In this weekly summer series, we’ll share our picks with you - 
our top hotels, live music venues, local brews,
bands and more. Check, share and discuss
#OLMBest every week!

Diefenbunker: Canada’s Cold War Museum

This museum is a must visit for history buffs. The Diefenbunker - named after the Prime Minister Diefenbaker - was made to withstand a nuclear blast during the Cold War. It was converted into a historical site seven years after the Soviet Union collapse. The Diefenbunker is very well preserved and is home to the world's largest escape room!  Take part in their one or two hour tours, or explore by yourself.

Photo courtesy of Canadian Museum of Nature

Canadian Museum of Nature 

The Canadian Museum of Nature is 4 stories tall and has lots of interesting collections to explore. Here you will gain a better understanding and deeper respect for nature as you learn more about mammals, birds, fossils and rocks and geodes. The dinosaur and giant blue whale skeleton exhibits are a must see. Aside from their permanent galleries, the museum feature a handful of traveling exhibits. Make your way there now and you can explore the complexity of the brain or botanical art featuring plants from across Canada. There's always something to see at the Canadian Museum of Nature.

Photo courtesy of Canadian Aviation and Space Museum

Canadian Aviation and Space Museum

The Canadian Aviation and Space Museum is great for all ages. There are many activities to partake in including a flight simulator, an interactive space section and plane rides outside. You can explore the open cockpits and planes of varying sizes from the Silver Dart to the Avro Arrow. Learn about all sorts of aerospace technology such as rovers, space suits and more. If you enjoy the thrill of flying this museum is for you!

Photo courtesy of @bytown

Bytown Museum

The Bytown Museum may be small but it is a landmark site situated on the edge of the Rideau Canal. They have a comprehensive audio tour that will walk you through everything you need to know about how our city evolved, from its first inhabitants and the early days as Bytown to present day Ottawa. The artifacts are well preserved and there are toys from the 1800’s that kids can still play with. The Bytown museum is a perfect way to start your visit in Ottawa.

Photo courtesy of Bank of Canada Museum

The Bank of Canada Museum 

The Bank of Canada Museum is dedicated to all things Canadian money. Entry is free and you'll receive a bracelet that you can tap on certain exhibitions to dive deeper. The museum has a 6.5 meter-long touch screen featuring 400 digital artifacts that you can enlarge, drag and swipe to learn more about. They also have interactive games to help kids learn about money, as well as an E-Money exhibit.

Photo courtesy of Canadian Science and Technology Museum

Canada Science and Technology Museum

From the first Blackberry model to monumental medical advancements, the Science and Technology Museum has lots to see and do. They feature all sorts of fun exhibitions such as the new BRICK-Buster exhibition (until Sept 3) to the classic crazy kitchen. Since their renovation, the museum now has a new look including a giant LED projection canopy right above the front door. 

Photo courtesy of Ottawa Insectarium

Ottawa Insectarium 

The Ottawa Insectarium is a hidden gem when it comes to museums in Ottawa. They have an interesting collection of insects from around the world and will dispel any fears you ever had about them. Their live insect collection allows you to touch all sorts of bugs ranging from taurantulas to cute stickbugs. Their friendly staff will educate you about the world of creepy crawlies and more. 

Photo credit: Parks Canada Agency / Agence Parcs Canada

Laurier House

The Laurier House is a great piece of authentic Canadian history that explores the lives of two Canada’s Prime Ministers. Now a national historic site, the house once served as the residence of both Sir Wilfrid Laurier and the Rt. Hon. William Lyon Mackenzie King. Their short yet informative tours are offered in both English and French. If you want to learn more about these two Prime Ministers, then this is the place to go!

Photo courtesy of

Rideau Hall 

Rideau Hall is the official residence and workplace of every governor general since 1867. Tour the residences indoors or make your way through the outdoor gardens. Rideau Hall is also home to artworks of renowned Canadian artists including Jean Paul Lemieux, Emily Carr and many others. of grounds the residences, art gallery and outdoor garden. 

Photo courtesy of Pinhey's Point

Pinhey's Point

Pinhey's Point featuresan almost 200-year-old manor overlooking the Ottawa River. Its stone ruins and scenic views are breathtaking. The 88 acre site is ideal for nature lovers, picnics or a family-friendly outing. They also offer a variety of events such as stargazing, heritage trades, carpentry, weaving and pottery. Although it is located 40 minutes from the heart of downtown, the visit is worth the drive.

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