This winter, plan a family visit to a museum!

Published on February 7 2020

We’re lucky: the Gatineau–Ottawa region alone is home to seven of Canada’s nine national museums, which means that a family visiting the region will never get bored. This winter, discover our museums and round out your visit with a restaurant meal. A perfect combo!


Canada’s most visited museum is truly impressive. You can easily spend a whole day discovering so much beauty and information. The museum staff work hard to offer a rich and varied program. For example, during Winterlude, the Museum is celebrating Indigenous culture via several themes, including the history of the Métis people and Louis Riel. Check out their activities page to find out more—the program changes daily!


While you’re at the Canadian Museum of History, kill two birds with one stone by visiting the Canadian Children’s Museum, which is in the same building! Again, allow lots of time, as children will want to touch everything—and that’s the whole point. This museum is all about exploring, and you can travel around the world. Don’t forget to have your passport stamped in every country! This winter, toddlers will enjoy the special exhibition Doc McStuffins: The Exhibit, inspired by the TV show of the same name. You have until May 18 to take care of the toys at the vet clinic!


Located in the hotel just across the street from the Canadian Museum of History, L’Ardoise restaurant is open morning, noon and evening! Every evening, between 5 and 6:30 pm, come and enjoy their specials on local beers ; a nice opportunity to end your day! The super-friendly service is perfect for a casual meal (read: families welcome)! Inspired by the slow food movement, the menu features classics such as gourmet burgers and salads as well as pasta and poutine.


Always popular with children, the Canadian Museum of Nature is truly a must. In this magnificent quasi-castle, it’s impossible not to be amazed by the wealth of fauna, flora and minerals that surround us (or used to surround us: think of the fossils!). This winter, don’t miss the exciting exhibition Me and My Microbes: The Zoo Inside You, which I had the chance to visit.



When a restaurant has been around for 25 years, that gives you an idea of its popularity and quality! Located in Old Hull (less than a kilometre from the Canadian Museum of History), Piz’za-za serves up gourmet pizzas, pastas and tasty salads. In a welcoming, casual atmosphere, choose a good bottle of wine from a varied wine list. Perfect for a family dinner after your trip to the museum!


If you’re a museovore (I just made that word up), I highly recommend the Museums Passport. Available for $35, it’s valid for 3 consecutive days and gives you access to 3 museums of your choice among the 7 participating national museums. Each child (17 and under) accompanying the passport holder gets a minimum 30% discount on general admission. How about that?

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