Travel

Family routes: Ottawa

Author: Canadian Living

Travel

Family routes: Ottawa

"A little-known fact about Ottawa is that 10 per cent of its population lives in 90 per cent of its area," says Jantine Van Kregten, director of communications for the Ottawa Tourism and Convention Authority. "So 90 per cent of its area is rural."

Whether you live in Ottawa or are just visiting, there's plenty to occupy you and your family.

Theatre Desjardins
What could be finer than outdoor theatre? Theatre Desjardins is performed at Drouin's Centennial Farm in Casselman, Ontario. Performances run Thursday, Friday and Saturday from July 6 to August 19, 2006. (Note: performances are in French.)

Alcatel Sunday Bikedays
Check out these incredible biking and inline skating routes in Ottawa. Closed to traffic on Sunday mornings from May 21 to September 3, these paths provide an excellent opportunity for the family to strap on some wheels and get some fresh air and exercise together.

Saunders Farm
This award-winning corn maze must be experienced to be believed. The maze is open in 2006 from June 24 to September 4 (10 a.m. to 5 p.m.) and has recently added a water spray zone to cool off after (or before!) you do the maze. Bring a picnic lunch -- tables and deck chairs are on site. For $10 per adult and $8 for kids (2 to 10 years), this quality of family fun can't be beat.

Sound and light show on Parliament Hill
Running from July 5 to September 10, 2006, this evening sound and light presentation runs for half an hour and takes its audience across Canada in a spectacular communications display. The show is free, but be warned: There is limited bleacher seating, so arrive early.

Where are you going this summer? Discuss your travel plans with other readers in our forums!

Image courtesy Ottawa Tourism.

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Hunker to the bunker
Time-travel back to Cold War Canada, to the Diefenbunker, a four-story underground structure built to ensure the continuation of the government in the event of a nuclear attack. Located in Carp, Ont., the Diefenbunker is 35 kilometres from Ottawa. Check out the mini-hospital, cafeteria, reconstructions of the departmental and ministerial offices, Emergency Government Situation Room and the Bank of Canada Vault.

Cold War exhibits include a walk-in community fallout shelter, Cold War paraphernalia and a chilling Hiroshima-Nagasaki exhibit.

And what could be cooler than a spy club? To find out more about the Diefenbunker's spy club (for ages 9 and up), call 613-839-0007 or e-mail eduprograms@diefenbunker.ca.

Ride the rails
Budding train engineers will love a trip on one of Canada's last remaining steam-powered trains. Built in 1907, the Hull-Chelsea-Wakefield Steam Train is the country's oldest excursion locomotive. Special family packages offer unique opportunities to travel this part of the country in a locomotive. For more information on available packages, call 1-888-278-7777.

Gateway to Gatineau Park
Gatineau Park sits on 361 square kilometres of land dedicated to the preservation of natural territory. Here you'll find 165 kilometres of hiking trails and five serviced public beaches, so bring your bathing suit.

The Mackenzie King Estate
The Mackenzie King Estate is located in Gatineau Park. Take a walk in the estate gardens, enjoy the scenery and have a snack at the Moorside Tearoom.

If you're looking for something to do on Canada Day, access fees at both Gatineau Park beaches ($9 per car) and the Mackenzie King Estate ($8 per car) will not be charged on Canada Day.

For more information on Ottawa and region, visit:
The National Capital Commission
Ottawa Tourism

Where are you going this summer? Discuss your travel plans with other readers in our forums!

Image courtesy Ottawa Tourism.

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