This time last year we were jetting across the country to Ottawa, to visit family. My husband is originally from there and every few years we make the trip out East. Last year was the first time we had gone during December, our previous trips have all been during the summer, so it was exciting to experience the city in a different season! The kids were all SO excited to fly, me not so much!
We spent our time exploring the area and rediscovering familiar places. Of course we went to Parliament Hill … I love visiting Parliament! The architecture and the feeling of history is amazing. We walked the grounds several times during the days we were there and came back one evening for the Holiday light show!
We spent one of our days in Ottawa exploring the Canadian Museum of History, which is always a favorite with our littles because it also houses the Canadian Children’s Museum. The kids had a blast in the children’s part and after lunch we explored the rest of the museum including an exhibit on Vikings which was super interesting, the Terry Fox exhibit and many more!
While in Ottawa, we also made a trip to the Royal Canadian Mint. We all loved it! It was so interesting to see them make the coins (they make the collector coins here, not the circulation coins). The kids even got to hold a real gold bar!
Our last outing before heading home was definitely the highlight for us! The National Gallery of Canada was truly spectacular! The Gallery had a MASSIVE Christmas tree set up and on the day we went they happened to have an orchestra playing Christmas songs. It was amazing! The atmosphere, the music … everything!
While we were there, they had a special Monet exhibit. It was amazing to see so many of his works in one place! The kids even enjoyed it, as they had a special station set up where they got to paint like Monet.
We walked around the rest of galleries, taking in many beautiful works of art, stumbling upon a few familiar names … Van Gogh, Monet and my absolute favorite artist, Klimt!!
Some of the paintings you could take pictures of and some you couldn’t. As I was taking a picture of one of the paintings below, a security guard came walking over to me. I thought “Oh great! I’m taking a picture of something I’m not supposed to and we’re going to get into trouble!”. What he said to me was not what I was expecting! The security guard told me how polite, quiet and well behaved my children were and then thanked me! I have to admit they were behaving extremely well and genuinely interested in the Gallery. Major mom high five!!
We finished our trip to the gallery with a stop in the gift shop. We purchased several 100 piece mini puzzles featuring works of art … ‘The Artist’s Garden’ By Claude Monet, ‘Starry Night’ By Vincent Van Gogh and ‘The Kiss’ by Gustav Klimt. Once home, they quickly became a favorite activity for all of us and each time we do them, it reminds us of our trip to the Gallery!
If you ever find yourself in Ottawa, we highly recommend stopping by these places! They will not disappoint!!