Museum Days for Free in Ottawa

Ottawa is home to many world-class museums, but admission fees can often add up, especially if you want to visit several of them. Luckily, many of the museums in Ottawa offer free admission or have special free days each week. If you time your visit right, you can take in some amazing culture and history in Ottawa without paying a cent.

Here are some of the major museums in Ottawa that offer free admission days or programs:

Canadian Museum of History
The Canadian Museum of History, one of Canada’s most popular museums, is free to visit every Thursday evening after 5 pm. The museum is open until 8 pm on Thursdays, giving you a few hours to explore its many exhibits on the history of Canada, including massive artifacts, stunning IMAX films, and temporary exhibits. The museum is also free on Canada Day every year on July 1st.

National Gallery of Canada
The premier art gallery in Ottawa, the National Gallery of Canada, offers free general admission every Thursday from 5 pm to 8 pm including access to all permanent collections and temporary exhibitions. On Thursdays, you can tour the gallery’s vast collection of Canadian and European art spanning from the 14th century to today. The gallery also has free admission on Canada Day every year.

Canadian Museum of Nature
The Canadian Museum of Nature, a great museum for both kids and adults, has free general admission every Thursday from 5 pm to 8 pm. On Thursdays, you can view exhibits on natural history, geology, and zoology, including life-sized models of whales, hands-on science activities, rare gemstones, and skeletons of birds and bats. There are also free museum tours and science demonstrations on some Thursdays. The museum is also open for free on Family Day, the third Monday in February.

Canadian War Museum
The Canadian War Museum, which chronicles Canada’s military history, offers free admission every Thursday from 4 pm to 8 pm. On Thursdays, you can visit the museum’s exhibitions on World Wars I and II, the Cold War, peacekeeping missions, and Canada’s contributions to global conflicts. Artifacts on display include tanks, military uniforms, Victoria Crosses, and a life-size replica of the Avro Lancaster bomber. The museum is open additional hours and also free on Remembrance Day on November 11 each year.

In summary, if you want to visit museums for free in Ottawa, Thursday evening and select holidays like Canada Day and Family Day are your best options. You can easily fill a whole evening or day touring different museums for free and learning more about the history, culture, art, and science of Canada. Enjoy your free museum visits in Ottawa!

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