Musée canadien des enfants, Gatineau

#1 of 11 in Childrens Museums in Quebec
Inspire your child's imagination at Musée canadien des enfants, offering kids a wide array of hands-on experiences of art, culture, and history. Let your child lead you through the colorful museum: visit the market bazaar to discover different foods, then climb aboard the Pakistani bus or a rickshaw from Thailand. History comes alive in the grand hall dedicated to First Nations cultures, and temporary shows focus on specific subjects. Interactive exhibits and workshops complete the engaging, educational experience. With our custom trip planner, Gatineau attractions like Musée canadien des enfants can be center stage of your vacation plans, and you can find out about other attractions like it, unlike it, near it, and miles away.
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TripAdvisor Traveler Rating
304 reviews
  • August 15, 2017
    What a great place to hang out for the day. Wonderful place for our 3 little to experience. Strongly recommend this for anyone with children. You'll need an hour but might want 3 to take it all in. Pa...  more »
  • August 15, 2017
    Kids ( 9 and 7 at the time) really liked it here, but I could tell they would have liked it even more if we came when they were younger. I think it might be best for kids around 6 years or younger. Ne...  more »
  • August 9, 2017
    This is a place were kids can be kids. They have hands on activities and exhibits designed for children to try. Mine have always loved going to this museum.  more »
  • June 26, 2017
    Visit takes about 3 hours. Kids (6 & 3 y.o.) enjoyed the time there. There's also a quite good cafeteria in the building which makes it easy for lunch.
  • June 11, 2017
    Great place to take kids! There are a lot of nooks and crannies for young kids to disappear from your sight line, so make sure to have enough adults. For kids under 5, I would take no more than 2 kids per adult; a 1:1 ratio would be better. There is stroller parking available, and I would recommend parking them. Some of the paths are too tight to easily maneuver a stroller, especially with so many children running about with parents at their heels. There is no microwave available in the cafeteria, so either plan to purchase food or take a lunch/dinner that doesn't need to be heated up. The cafeteria accepts cash, credit & debit. Make sure to take refillable water bottles with you unless you want to pay $3 per bottle in the cafeteria. The food is decently priced, but the bottled drinks are definitely not. I love that there is a Beavertails store there! (For those of you who don't know: beavertails are famous & delicious local pastries.) Members get 10% off in the cafeteria, so make sure to show your card. (They won't ask you whether or not you're a member.) Not sure why this isn't on the menu, but they do have a decent veggie burger if you ask for it. The fries are gross though, so pick another side. If the weather is nice, the outdoor patio is right on the Ottawa River and has a great view of the Parliament Buildings. If you're driving there, you may have to put 'The Museum of History' in your GPS; the Children's Museum is inside of the Museum of History (formerly the 'Museum of Civilization'). Note: unlike in Ontario, it is illegal to turn right on a red light in Québec. (If it's a right turning lane with just a yield sign - the kind with the little triangular 'island' - then it's fine as long as you yield to traffic that has the right of way.) There is paid parking available in an underground garage. Expect to pay around $12.50 for parking if you're not a member and around $9.50 if you are. (Members will receive a coupon from the security guard at the entrance of the Children's Museum - the one who stamps people's hands & gives out the 'passports' - and they do usually ask if you parked downstairs.) I believe that the machines take credit cards only, but I'm not 100% sure. Make sure to take the correct elevator: one elevator is just to go to the parking garage (the one by the escalator near the admissions counter) and the two elevators next to the gift shop / coat check go down to the cafeteria. I would plan to stay for around 2-3 hours with young kids; with older kids, you could stay there all day without their getting bored. There are also documentary movies showing there that you can purchase tickets to see; I don't think younger kids would enjoy them, but grade-school kids might find them interesting. There is a gift shop with all kinds of toys, games, clothing, and other memorabilia. There is a baby nursing room & the bathrooms have drop-down change tables.
  • June 7, 2017
    When you're tired of learning go and become a kid again! Before they kick you out and call you too old!
  • March 18, 2017
    Although low tech, our children and all the other children we saw there had a great time. There are lots of activities and fun to be had by all. The passport activity is a great idea to ensure that you don't miss anything.
  • October 16, 2016
    Excellent place for kids! Total chaos with all the little people running around yelling which I think is testament to a fun place. Various different cultures and parts of the world are presented through hands on activities and you can collect a little passport and stamp it at different countries you have 'visited'. There's art's and crafts dotted around, costumes for dress up and different vehicles for them to mount & pretend to drive. It's a cool idea and well laid out. Best part is that entry price is included in the larger museum entry! There's a number of places for parents/guardians to sit for a rest. Also pretty handy are the toilets right there rather than having to go into the larger museum. Its quite compact making it easy to locate your kids once they've run off

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Where to stay in Gatineau

Overshadowed by the neighboring national capital just across the river, Gatineau itself offers relatively little in the way of accommodations. Most people prefer to stay in Ottawa and simply catch public transportation across the river. If you prefer to stay in Gatineau, you can find a handful of motels along Boulevard Greber, and a few chain hotels farther northeast, just off Boulevard Maloney O.
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