A Travel Guide: Things To See & Do In Ottawa
A snowy visit to Ottawa this March Break left me with the challenge of keeping my teens motivated, positive and entertained...
WHY VISIT OTTAWA
Take a road trip and go on an educational artistic adventure.
We were there for a three day stay during the Winter Break designed to view the architecture, have a cultural educational experience, witness where the country's capital and politics take place all while keeping the kids happy. There is nothing worse than being away on a trip and having your kids complain. Use this guide to help you plan a trip with a fun flare. When in Ottawa note the weather, go on a walking tour of Byward Market's renovated historical buildings and take in a visit to The Peace Tower and Parliment to get started on your own educational artistic adventure. (Author's Note: It took me a while to process and combine all of the photos, I hope you like Ottawa according to Cassandra!)
WHERE TO STAY: ANDAZ HOTEL
IN OTTAWA'S BYWARD MARKET
Family glamping in a boutique hotel...
My daughter squealed with excitement as we opened the room. Looking for a cool place to stay with kids, pre-teens, teens? Both my kids appreciated the modern design, our city wide view and the complimentary mini bar filled with snacks and non-alcoholic drinks. The fitness center open 24 hours daily was also a hit with the kids who enjoyed looking out at the view as they exercised. (Glamping means glamourous camping.)
The ByWard Market serves as Ottawa’s main hub for shopping, dining, arts, entertainment and professional services. This area averages 50,000 visitors per weekend in the summer months. It is home to both a local farmers’ market and artisans with over 260 stands, as well as over 600 businesses.
Everything listed in the article is within walking distance of the hotel unless noted. It was refreshing to be able to walk everywhere we visited.
Enjoy the luxuries...
The Andaz Ottawa The rooms feature a clean modern design with a spacious walk in closet. The hotel also chose to use 100% Green energy with Bullfrog Power. It’s those little thoughtful touches that make it luxury!The luxury of good design and details are a key part of the experience at . The complimentary welcome beverage upon arrival was a delightful surprise refresher. Late one night, I couldn’t sleep and went to the lobby to do some writing. The hotel staff made me a gorgeous cafe latte from a spectacular luxury European machine while I journaled. The friendly natured yet efficient customer service was impeccable.
BREAKFAST: FEAST & REVEL
The hotel's restaurant, Feast & Revel also serves as a convenient place for an early morning breakfast. Their upscale dining room provides a range of appetizing meals for breakfast, lunch and dinner in a variety of price ranges and tastes. I absolutely treasured not cooking for three days! The convenient hotel restaurant Feast & Revel, rooftop lounge, and indoor bar lobby bar complete with pastries provide very convenient quick snacks.
LUNCH: THE CANADIAN MUSEUM OF HISTORY
My very picky son gave the food at this warm, bustling with cheer spot in the Byward Market a rave review. The King Eddy conveniently serves for breakfast and lunch to visitors. Another lunch spot to try is Burgers & Fries Forever which features cleans lines, bright colours and contemporary custom decor which make it a distinctive place to eat. Visiting the Canadian Museum Of History's Restaurant also gives you the opportunity to see the world's largest totem pole collection in The Grand Hall. Filled with floors of Canadian art and history, this cultural gallery is a must see! Visiting the website before hand to understand how the museum is set up is very helpful when it comes to planning your visit. There is so much to see, you can easily spend the entire day there!
DINNER: SUSHI AT TOMO
TomoThe atmosphere at is punctuated with the Asian themed wall mural and other wall accessories. The shimmering lights, distinctive chairs and food make
the eating here noteworthy. Tomo in Japanese means long time friend. The superb sushi and Japanese cuisine features fresh seasonal seafood from the east and west coasts of Canada.
DESSERT: THE CUPCAKE LOUNGE
After dinner, we walked over to The Cupcake Lounge located within the Byward Market to take some sweet treats back to our hotel room. All natural, gourmet, baked fresh daily - The Cupcake Lounge presents more than 50 different flavours of cupcakes! Specializing in cupcakes, this bakery focuses on iced by hand with spatula. Different flavours are available daily according to the schedule on the in store chalkboard and website.
At another point on our snowy walking tour we spotted the famous red building serving Beavertails. What exactly are Beavertails? Beaver tails are a famous Canadian pastry. These flat wheat pastries resembling beaver tails can be garnished with the candy topping like of your choice. You can choose from various toppings from traditional to candy coated Reese Pieces. 5/5 - the kids were ecstatic! Also check to see where else they are available Canada-wide.. Designed to serve people walking through the ByWard Market, this Beavertails location serves tourists. This sweet treat is especially welcomed by the kids. A husband and wife team, founded the Canadian company in 1978.
WALKING TOUR WITH THE FAMILY
A visit up the Peace Tower is a must when reviewing Ottawa. July 1, 2017 marked the 90th anniversary of the inauguration of the Peace Tower. This neo-gothic structure stands 91 metres high and was the crowning achievement of architect John Andrew Pearson's reconstruction of the Parliament Building (1916-1927).
The Peace Tower is a campanile—a freestanding bell tower—connected to the Centre Block by a covered entryway. It houses a 53-bell carillon, dedicated in remembrance of the sacrifice and service of Canadians in the First World War. Inside the Peace Tower is the Memorial Chamber, a space dedicated to the memory of those who gave their lives in service to Canada.
COFFEE & PERSONAL WALKING TOUR
Take a Self-Care moment. Going on a family trip with teens can be stressful, so I took a morning to myself to do a walking tour alone. I took photographs of Ottawa's historical and modern architecture, went shopping on Sussex Street and absorbed the atmosphere. I had just come home from Palm Springs where I had been around lots of people so it was the perfect way to "fill the well" . I found the the almost moody grey weather comforting. I took some time to journal afterwards at The ByWard Market Starbucks which is peacefully modern dark and cosy located in the very center of the market area.
WHERE TO SHOP:
THE ZONE, SUSSEX STREET
Countless cool finds for stylish families can be found at Zone. For me, it was a set of sophisticated grounding black coffee cups were the trip's treasure. My son found a modern map of the world artistically designed with dark neutral colours for his room. My daughter found a resuable watercolour set complete with a Chinese watercolour brush. When you brush the screen it lasts for a an hour and then disappears. Decorative home accessories, decor products (vases, lamps, picture frames) as well as practical items like key rings and jewelry which can act as souvenirs.
OTHER MUST SEES FOR FAMILIES
We could easily have spent a few more days, there was so much to see and do! I think a summer trip is in order! Other activities for families include art activities at The National Gallery of Canada, skating on the Rideau Canal Skateway and variety of escape activities. Taking some time to plan before hand exactly what interests you the most will help you stay organized and your family positive and happy. You can also find out what interests them and discuss what everyone would most like to do each day. Enjoy your trip!