a peek inside the fishbowl

16 Jul, 2010

A visit to the Aviation Museum

Posted by andrea tomkins in: - Ottawa for kids|Easy ways to make kids happy

Sometimes, on a rainy/hot/humid kind of day I just need to visit a place where I can let my kids (a) run around and (b) learn stuff. You know, just to shake things up a little.

The Canada Aviation and Space Museum here in Ottawa is the perfect place to do this.

The Aviation Museum is where Mark and I first discussed our Museum Survival Strategy (that would be MY mental survival) and put it to practice. You can read about that here. It still applies.

There is lots to see here. And the place is huge; there is lots of room to run around. It was almost empty when we visited earlier this week.

I really enjoy this visual history of Canadian flight. Those early wooden planes – nothing but sticks and canvas – are a wonder. But the other stuff is neat too:




At one point we heard a rumble and peeked outside… and saw this:


Did you know you can get aerial tours of Ottawa? Pick your mode of transport: helicopter, biplane or Beaver Float Plane. The prices aren’t entirely unreasonable. I have a feeling it would make someone a really spectacular once-in-a-lifetime birthday present.

(Remind me to tell you about the time I got to steer a little Cessna over Ottawa.)

There is lots to see and do at the Aviation Museum. We even tried our hand at flying – albeit in a safe computerized environment:

trying to fly

And pretended we were pilots:

Aviator girl

And checked out the RCAF Hall of Tribute – which is eerily soundproof. I love the lighting in there:


My only issue with the Aviation Museum is their lack of seating. I find it odd. I couldn’t figure it out. It’s not like they don’t have room for it. My hips have been so sore recently. I was aching for a break.

The bench issue aside, it is a neat place to visit every once in awhile. And maybe someday we’ll find an opportunity to take that heli ride. :)

5 Responses to "A visit to the Aviation Museum"

1 | Bob LeDrew

July 16th, 2010 at 9:17 am


I did a biplane tour as a birthday present several years ago. One of the most amazing experiences ever. Would do it again in a nanosecond!

2 | Melissa

July 16th, 2010 at 9:37 am


You can also go on a tour behind the scenes into the storage and renovation area. Sam has been there and the war museum several times. It’s a great place for him and his grandpa to go together!

3 | Shannon

July 16th, 2010 at 9:53 am


LOVE that last photo.

4 | Amy @ Muddy Boots

July 16th, 2010 at 10:42 pm


I took some pics in the Hall of Tribute two weeks ago, but haven’t posted them yet. The light really is neat. My kids love the aviation museum. By the time we get back in a year, it’ll all be brand new again!

5 | Mar Warrender

July 16th, 2011 at 4:11 pm


I did that helicopter ride yesterday. I won it as a door prize at our staff party in January.

Great place for a party – nestled amongst the planes and a fab helicopter view of the area. Our pilot went out of his way to make it the highlight of my dad’s summer.

Newly renovated and great acoustics.

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The Obligatory Blurb

My name is Andrea and I live in the Westboro area of Ottawa with my husband Mark and our dog Piper who is kind of a big deal on Instagram. We also have two human daughters: Emma (20) and Sarah (18). During the day I work as a writer at The Royal Ottawa Mental Health Centre. I am a longtime Ottawa blogger and I've occupied this little corner of the WWW since 1999. The Fishbowl is my whiteboard, water cooler, and journal, all rolled into one. I'm passionate about healthy living, arts and culture, family travel, great gear, good food, and sharing the best of Ottawa for families. I also love vegetables, photography, gadgets, and great design.

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