Ottawa

I recently took a long weekend trip to Ottawa, Canada with my family. We are lucky enough that we live a short 3 hour drive away in Upstate New York. We have spent plenty of time in Canada already since we moved here just 3 short years ago, but this was our first time in the country’s capital. It was kind of a whirlwind trip as we decided last minute to check out a winter festival that we had just learned about – Winterlude – and boy are we glad that we did. The city itself is amazing, the architecture is incredible. We are already planning a summer trip back so that we can spend more time walking around the city and taking it all in (it was negative 30 degrees there so we were not spending much time walking around).

Canadian Museum of History   Canadian Museum of History   Canadian Museum of History   Canadian Museum of History

Canadian Museum of History
The Canadian Museum of History has so much to offer. There was a lot more to it than we expected and we did not even get to see everything there. If we had known, we would have arrived earlier than we did (we got there about an hour after they opened). Inside the museum not only are there different exhibits, there are actually several different museums. There is a war museum, an IMAX theater, and even a children’s museum – not to mention the different areas for special exhibits. The exhibit going on while we were there is the Vikings exhibit. I am bummed that we missed this so we could check out the Thomas the Train Exhibit going on in the Children’s Museum area (open until May 1, 2016), but the kids always come first, right? Speaking of the Children’s Museum, they have “passports” that the kids can take around to different exhibits and get stamped after they check them out. My daughters loved doing this – and were excited to have their own special souvenirs from the trip. While the museum is not technically in Ottawa, it is just a short drive across the boarder into Quebec.  Find out more about the Canadian Museum of History here.

Canadian Museum of Nature   Canadian Museum of Nature   Canadian Museum of Nature   Canadian Museum of Nature

Canadian Museum of Nature

One stop that should be a must visit on everyone’s list is the Canadian Museum of Nature. When we went, the special exhibition was Bugs: Outside the Box (open until March 28, 2016) and we just knew we had to go because my girls are fascinated with bugs and insects. This exhibit was amazing! There were so many bugs to check out – alive and dead – and the whole family enjoyed seeing them. There were fun activities the kids could do like roll “dung balls”, jump like a grasshopper, and even eat bugs! My daughters said they were excited to do this but they both chickened out – my husband did enjoy some honey mustard crickets though (and I Periscoped it LIVE for my followers to see). There were many other exhibits and halls where you could explore under the sea, learn about dinosaurs and early mammals, see what makes the Earth and rocks, and so much more! We ended up spending the entire day there – there was so much to see! We cannot wait to go back this summer because the new special exhibit will be Ultimate Dinosaurs! Find out more about the Canadian Museum of Nature here.

Winterlude   Winterlude   Winterlude   Winterlude

Winterlude
If you are lucky enough to be able to go during this three-weekend festival, there is so much to do. You will not believe your eyes when you see all that they have to offer. There are giant ice slides (individual and family size), kick sleds, performances, and so much more. And don’t get worried about being too cold because they have heated refuges where you can get warm and enjoy a drink at the same time.  My daughters had the time of their lives there – and so did my husband and I. We can’t wait to go back next year – it will be a Smith family tradition for sure!

The opinions expressed here are that of Mama Smith’s only. While the products in this post were given complimentary (unless otherwise stated) for me to review, that does not alter my opinion of the product(s) mentioned. This post may contain sponsored links and affiliate links (which will be stated at the beginning of the post).