1. Do Ottawa, with all your senses. See, hear, smell, taste and feel the magic of the city’s festivals, food trucks, eateries, markets, shops, hot spots and splash pads.
2. Add some sparkle to your summer at Creatures of Light: Nature’s Bioluminescence. This new show at the Canadian Museum of Nature is one the whole family will love. Highlights include live flashlight fish, “glow” stations where you can have fun with bioluminescence, plus recreated environments showing fireflies and fluorescent fish. See nature.ca for details.
3. Get wild at some amazing natural destinations. Try hiking at Algonquin Park, canoeing in the Thousand Islands, rock hounding in Bancroft (Canada’s mineral capital), or fishing in Vermont. You, kids, will love it!
4. Start geocaching, FTW. It’s real treasure hunting—minus Johnny Depp. It’s also a great way to discover the conservation areas in Eastern Ontario. See geocaching.com and nation.on.ca for details.
5. Experience culture and customs you’ve never witnessed before at St. Jacobs Country, home to one of Ontario’s original Mennonite settlements. This area is famous for its gargantuan farmers’ market, artisans and charming attractions. See stjacobs.com for details.
6. Amuse your crew at O-town’s community museums. There are events scheduled through the summer, from Friday the 13th at the Bytown Museum (with the Haunted Ottawa Paranormal Society) and Family Craft Day at Goulbourn Museum to Community Sports Day at Nepean Museum and Fire Fighters Day at Cumberland Heritage Village Museum. In addition, many camps and activities are planned for the younger set. See ottawamuseumnetwork.com for details.
7. Get lost, as a family, in the wonders of Montreal. Discover everything from Cirque du Soleil shows and historic haunts to the Marco Polo exhibition at Pointe-à-Callière. See tourisme-montreal.org for details.
8. Embark on a Thomas the Tank Engine-inspired adventure to explore the Great Green North. When you choo-choo through the Canadian Shield on the Agawa Canyon tour train, you’ll all be dazzled by the view. See agawacanyontourtrain.com for details.