The Future PM’s Guide to March Break in Ottawa

Canada Science and Technology Museum – Credit: Ingenium Canada’s Museums of Science

Are your children smart, charismatic, natural leaders? Sounds like you might have future prime ministers on your hands! With March break coming up, there’s no better time for a family trip to Ottawa. Who knows? Your brood might develop an affinity for politics or, instead, simply enjoy a memorable week exploring all that our nation’s capital has to offer.

House of Commons – Credit: Ottawa Tourism

Head for the Hill

Parliament Hill, that is. The landmark neo-gothic structure is an iconic part of the Ottawa skyline as well as the epicentre of Canadian politics. Free tours of both the Senate of Canada Building and the interim House of Commons are available, but be sure to book online ahead of your stay.

BeaverTails – Credit: Ottawa Tourism

Should you crave something sweet after the tour, make a beeline to Le Moulin de Provence in the ByWard Market. After Barack Obama’s visit in 2009, the bakery renamed its bestselling maple-leaf shortbread cookies after the former president. The Market, one of the oldest and largest public markets in the country, is also the home of the first BeaverTails stand, not to mention an array of unique shops, eateries and entertainment.

Grand Hall – Credit: Canadian Museum of History

A Day at the Museum

What does it mean to be Canadian? What is Canada’s most important crop? What role does Canada play in space exploration? A prime minister should have solid answers to these questions. Good news: You’ll find all the answers (and then some!) in Ottawa’s national museums.

Thanks to special March break programming, now is an especially great time to visit. At the Canadian Museum of History, for example, youngsters are invited to Museum Quest-Ory 2020 to help solve a great mystery by collecting clues with a special notebook. Want to flex those creative muscles? The National Gallery of Canada offers Artissimo, kid-friendly programs like scavenger hunts, period-costume dress-ups and art making.

Artissimo – Credit: National Gallery of Canada

Note that some museums also have attractions for the littlest of go-getters, like the Doc McStuffins exhibit at the Children’s Museum and ZOOOM – Children’s Innovation Zone at the newly renovated Canada Science and Technology Museum where education is cleverly disguised as play.

Snowboarding – Credit: Camp Fortune

Work Hard, Play Hard

The prime minister’s summer residence overlooks Harrison Lake in Gatineau Park, but who says you can’t check it out in the winter? This picturesque park, located just 15 minutes from Ottawa, is a mecca of outdoor adventure: downhill skiing (at Camp Fortune), snowshoeing (don’t miss Snowshoe Under the Stars on Friday evenings until March 13.), cross-country skiing, winter hiking and more. If you’re lucky, you just might bump into the Trudeau family, who are regulars on the trails.

Should the weather not cooperate, the little ones can burn up some energy at Altitude Gym, a climbing centre that hosts a March break camp (for one day or the entire week), or Funhaven, an amusement park that has everything including a rock-climbing wall, jungle gyms, laser tag and escape rooms.

Omega Park – Credit: Omega Park

Connect With Nature

Animal lovers flock to Omega Park, a wildlife park home to more than 15 native species including caribou, black bears, wolves and more. Expect close encounters (hand-feeding carrots to the deer, anyone?) and extras like a snowshoe trail and horse-drawn sleigh rides (weekends only).

Diefenbunker – Credit: Diefenbunker Museum

Have a Plan B

Don’t think your youngsters are cut out for life at 24 Sussex after all? Not to worry: They can always jump-start their spy career at March Break Spy Camp: The Art of Espionage at the Diefenbunker.

Ready for an unforgettable March break with your prime ministers-in-training? Visit Ottawa Tourism for more information.

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