How to See it All in Ottawa

Ottawa Helicopter FlightFinding family friendly tourist activities can be extremely difficult when traveling with a 15 month old but a helicopter tour is great for all ages. We discovered the Ottawa River, the city of Gatineau, the city of Ottawa including Parliament Hill, and the Canada Aviation and Space Museum all in just 20 minutes. By taking a Heli-Tremblant helicopter tour, we were able to see it all in Ottawa!

Athena felt comfortable during the flight. She left the headphones on her ears and she held the end of the cord with enthusiasm. I’m not sure if she thought it had importance but we could tell that she was entertained.

Ottawa Helicopter TourAfter only 5 minutes in the air, she completely relaxed. Can you guess how I knew?

Helicopter Flight Ottawa

Yep, she fell asleep! I was glad that she was catching up on her nap time because it was going to be a full day with fireworks not starting until 10 pm.

I was able to take it all in while Athena was sleeping. The beautiful Ottawa River was starting to fill up with Canada Day patrons and the blue skies brightened our afternoon. The smaller boats looked like tiny specs showing us the massiveness of the river and the vast expanse of green reminded me of one of the true beauties of Canada. Rather than endless concrete, there was nature and fresh air.

Ottawa River As much as I loved seeing the natural beauty, flying over Parliament Hill was my favorite part of the flight. We had already explored the hill on foot and now we were getting another perspective.

Parliament Hill, Ottawa Canada Day

Parliament Hill, Ottawa Canada DayThe streets were alive with proud Canadians and Parliament Hill held an imposing grandeur over the city.  Parliament Hill, Ottawa Canada DayFairmont Chateau Laurier is the castle with the green roof next to Parliament. As we flew over head, we realized that our fireworks view from atop the Fairmont later that evening was going to be yet another bucket list dream come true in Ottawa. It was an excellent way to build the anticipation and keep the adrenaline flowing.

29 thoughts on “How to See it All in Ottawa

  1. Her ears unpluged so she can relaxe more to the sounds of the blades. Planes gain altitude faster so kids would adjust faster without suffering the pain of their ears plugging up faster. Maybe cabins in planes will get more pressure sensitive for babies to adjust better too. Set it for the babies and the adults will feel better about flying too. Less crying on the planes when the plane leaves an altitude. Then babies will be flying easier too.


  2. What a unique and unforgettable experience. Canada Day in the capital is pretty exciting, but this takes it to a whole new (pardon-the-pun) level. Where to next?


    • Curacao in late July. Athena will join me again. We’re looking forward to all of the opportunities there for families and young children. It will be amazing 🙂 What about you? What’s next?


  3. I was in Ottawa a few months ago, the weekend of The Marathon. I missed the marathon but did get to run from Ontario into Quebec – to Gatineau. I was there for business and had never thought of Ottawa as a vacation destination, but it is a beautiful city and I think I’d like to go again for a few days anyway. Maybe the marathon next year.
    The river is amazing! Lots of water flowing through that town. The museum was cool but not a lot to see. We were too late for the flights.


  4. Very cool! I always wanted to do a heli-tour. I love the pictures of your daughter and I love that you are including her in your life instead of changing how you live just because you have a child. Too many parents stop doing what they enjoy, especially active things, when they have kids, but kids can do (and like!) so much more than we often realize!


      • Lesley that will be the greatest gift you could give your daughter; a sense of adventure and get-up-and-go. I stopped following my bucket list for a while and I’ve started again to encourage my kids to want to do more and follow their dreams, no matter how big or small they are.


  5. We visited Ottawa two years ago and fell in love with the city… it’s an underrated gem! So many cultural, outdoor, adventure, shopping, … experiences. Our favorite experience was a day spent at Le Nordik Spa in Gatineau Park; Swedish baths, saunas, steam rooms, cold pools, outdoor hot tubs- ahhh the list goes on and on; all for one low cost and you can use everything all day = four seasons. Makes me want to go back right now just thinking of it!


    • I know exactly what you mean about Ottawa! I knew that I’d enjoy it there but I didn’t realize how much it has to offer. You could say for a month and still have more to see 🙂 I hope you make it back soon.


  6. Hi Lesley!
    Your post here was incredible & think that it was most exciting up in the air. I have been in the air a few times but hope to get to go see England & those castles inside if possible. Thanks for bringing it as it brings more interest as I make me a list of places to go soon. Have a great day!


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