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March Break Activities for Kids in Ottawa’s Original Downtown

March 9, 2024

Calling all parents in the nation’s capital! Make sure you’ve marked your calendars, because March Break is from the 11th to the 15th this year. Not everyone has the time or the resources to plan a winter getaway for themselves that week, so we’ve taken the liberty of compiling a list of activities and events for you and your young ones to check out in Ottawa’s Original Downtown! Whether they’re looking to get creative or active, this list has something that will appeal to every child’s tastes.

For Younger Kids: Ages 0 – 7 yrs

While most of these activities are not exclusive to this age group, you’re most likely to find activities that will appeal to toddlers, young kids, and tweens in this section. They’ll keep your little ones active and/or creatively engaged while also ensuring that they have a great time!

Catch a Show at the National Arts Centre

The Gallery isn’t the only world-class cultural institution in Ottawa’s Original Downtown; there’s also the National Arts Centre! The awe-inspiring facility has the ability to inspire and entertain with shows both big and small. Young children will be enthralled by “Toddler Tuesdays,” a weekly FREE event that offers toddlers the opportunity to make arts & crafts, sing, dance, tell stories and more! Also occurring on the same day is “Powwow Life Drawing,” another FREE event where attendees get the unique opportunity to practice their drawing skills while learning about Indigenous culture.

🧒 Recommended Ages: 18 mos. to 4 yrs. (Toddler Tuesdays), All ages (Powwow Life Drawing)

📍 1 Elgin Street

Toddler Tuesday: March 12 @ 10 a.m.

Powwow Life Drawing: March 12 @ 6 p.m.

📞 (613) 947-7000

🖱️ nac-cna.ca

Toddler Tuesdays is an ideal spot for kids between the ages of 18 months and 4 years to burn off some energy while getting creative. (Image: Yannick Beauvalet)

Get Creative at the Ottawa Art Gallery

Are you raising a budding fine artist? If so, your child is sure to enjoy getting in touch with their creative side at the Ottawa Art Gallery! The OAG hosts their “Creative Sundays” workshop on a monthly basis and provides fun, creative activities for people of all ages. Children will be guided through the creative process by a knowledgeable gallery educator and learn how to paint, draw, craft and more. Best part? This activity requires no registration and is completely FREE!

🧒 Recommended Ages: All ages

📍 50 Mackenzie King Bridge

⏰ March 17 @ 10:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.

📞 (613) 233-8699

🖱️ oaggao.ca

An abundance of creative activities await your child at OAG’s Creative Sundays. (Image: Ottawa Art Gallery)

For Older Kids: Ages 7 yrs. and Up

If you think your child would prefer an experience that is more suited to their “big-kid” tastes, this section of the blog is for you. Here you’ll find activities that perfectly combine fun with challenges that stimulate learning and growth.

Go On a Ghost Tour of Downtown Ottawa

The nation’s capital is a hotbed for paranormal activity, and you can see it all for yourself on the Original Haunted Walk of Ottawa! This 75-minute walking tour sees guests accompanied by a cloaked storyteller equipped with a lantern and an encyclopedic knowledge of Ottawa’s spookiest stories. Places you can visit include the Chateau Laurier, Rideau Canal and more! Book yourself a tour before all of the available timeslots for the week are all gone – if you dare!

🧒 Recommended Ages: Up to 14 years of age

📍 46 ½ Sparks Street

⏰ March 10-17 @ 7:30 p.m. & 8:30 p.m. (timeslots subject to availability)

📞 (613) 232-0344

🖱️ hauntedwalk.com

Only the bravest souls should embark on The Haunted Walk and contact the supernatural at landmarks like the Rideau Canal. (Image: Ottawa Tourism)

Check Out the Exhibits at the National Gallery of Canada

For the high school student who’s looking at pursuing an Arts degree after they graduate, there’s no better place to spend a day off from school than the National Gallery of Canada! World-class exhibitions are showcased at the Gallery year-round with some of Canada’s finest artists making appearances throughout the halls of one of Canada’s most esteemed arts institutions. Learn about the lived experiences of the Inuk people with Nick Sikkuark’s “Humor and Horror” exhibit or that of Black Canadians in Deanna Bowen’s “The Black Canadians (After Cooke).” It’s entertainment and education all in one!

🧒 Recommended Ages: 14 years and up

📍 380 Sussex Drive

Monday: CLOSED

Tuesday – Wednesday, Friday – Sunday: 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.

Thursday: 10 a.m. – 8 p.m.

📞 (613) 990-1985

🖱️ gallery.ca

Some of Canada’s most celebrated and storied artists have been showcased throughout the National Gallery of Canada. (Image: National Gallery of Canada)

For Kids of All Ages

Lastly, you and your children will be able to enjoy these remaining activities regardless of their age! Whether they’re still in the stage of trying out new foods or looking to discover new movies they haven’t seen before, you’re certain to find something to their tastes!

Visit One of the Many Restaurants in Ottawa’s Original Downtown

There’s an incredible selection of world-class restaurants and eateries both on Rideau Street and the surrounding area. With cultures from across the globe being represented, including Korea, Grenada, Mexico and more, why not give your kids the opportunity to try something new this March Break? Check out our Dining page to see all the different places you can grab a bite to eat in the area. You might be interested in paying a visit to Soup Fairy Malatang, where kids can pick their own ingredients and put together a delicious soup for themselves!

🧒 Recommended Ages: 7 years and up

📍 425 Cumberland Street

Sunday – Saturday: 11:30 a.m. – 9 p.m.

📞 (613) 562-9999

🖱️ Soup Fairy Malatang’s Instagram

Soup Fairy Malatang offers patrons a fun and unique dining experience that can be enjoyed by all ages. (Image: Soup Fairy Malatang)

Shop ‘til You Drop at CF Rideau Centre

With roughly 180 stores, the CF Rideau Centre is unquestionably the most celebrated shopping destination in the nation’s capital! You can easily lose track of time visiting all the different stores, grabbing a bite to eat in the food court and taking the O-Train back home without ever having to step outside! There’s no shortage of cool and exciting stores for you and your children to check out, including the LEGO Store, Imaginaire, GameStop, Sunrise Records and more!

🧒 Recommended Ages: All ages

📍 50 Rideau Street

Monday – Saturday: 10 a.m. – 9 p.m.

Sunday: 11 a.m. – 6 p.m.

📞 (613) 236-6565

🖱️ shops.cadillacfairview.com/property/cf-rideau-centre

The Lego Store is just one of the many stores in the CF Rideau Centre that kids love!

See a Movie at the ByTowne Cinema

Lastly, families who stop by the ByTowne Cinema are in for an affordable and unconventional treat! If you’re looking for something different from the typical Hollywood blockbuster cinema experience, ByTowne is always show a wide variety of indie, foreign and classic films that will delight audiences of all ages. Pick up a delicious popcorn snack for yourself and the little ones and have a blast in one of Ottawa’s oldest cinemas!

🧒 Recommended Ages: All ages, depending on film ratings

📍 325 Rideau Street

⏰ See “Schedule” for operating hours

📞 (613) 789-4600

🖱️ bytowne.ca

ByTowne Cinema has a storied history of screening unconventional films, many of which will pique your child’s curiosity and sense of wonder. (Image: ByTowne Cinema)

Are you worried about where you are going to park? Check out our Parking Guide to help you find all the parking options and rates downtown. Please be responsible and have a designated driver!

Click here to check out our Events page and see everything else going on in Ottawa’s Original Downtown!