Fun Places To Visit In Canada: In Person Or Virtually

O Canada! From unique art scenes to museums to zoos, there are so many places to visit in Canada. While a cross country trip may be on your bucket list, you’ll want to make sure you plan ahead of time.

With an abundance of things to do in each province, it’s easy to miss a thing or two. Thanks to the internet, you can take a virtual tour of Canada from your own home to help with the planning process. A province’s popular attractions, such as an art gallery, may provide a virtual tour online so you can “walk through” it to see if it sparks interest. Some zoos even provide live streams of popular animals. This can create excitement for your family before you see it in person!

Virtual tours are also a great way to let kids explore the best places to visit in Canada. If you want to make this experience even more fun for the kids, we’ve put together a virtual scavenger hunt throughout this blog post. You can work together with little ones after reading this post to help them complete it.

1. Visit the Largest Museum in Canada

When it comes to museums in Canada, the Royal Ontario Museum (also known as the ROM) in Toronto is the largest one. It’s also considered one of the largest in all of North America. Filled with art, world culture and natural history, it is a popular spot for locals and tourists alike.

Beyond just a place to tour around, it has become a great place for kids to learn and get creative. Every 3rd Tuesday night of the month, the ROM offers free admission from 5:30 to 8:30pm for families to explore the museum. They also offer a day camp where kids get hands-on experiences with science experiments, art projects and more. For more info on the museum’s programming, visit their official website.

For rainy day activities, virtual museum tours are a great way to entertain the family! Thanks to Google Arts and Culture, you can do a virtual tour through some of the exhibits at the museum. It also highlights some of the museum’s featured online exhibits. Check it all out here by visiting this link.

Scavenger Hunt Time!

Q1: What type of fossil is on display by the concierge / gift shop entrance?

A1: A giant dinosaur fossil! See it here with Google Street View.

Q2: What material is the Akotifahana (a vibrantly patterned and coloured wrapper) made of? Hint: Check out the “Born of the Indian Ocean” online exhibit.

A2: It is made of Chinese silk (Bombayx). 

2. Expand Your Creative Mind With Contemporary Art 

Photo Credit: “Vancouver Art Gallery” by GoToVan is licensed under CC By 2.0.

For more museums in Canada, continue your artistic exploration at the Vancouver Art Gallery. As the largest public art museum in Western Canada, it is home to groundbreaking work from contemporary artists. It offers a mix of mediums, including photographs, architecture and performances. 

The museum offers school programs for elementary and secondary students, in an effort to promote the arts and critical thinking. For teenagers interested in the arts, Vancouver Art Gallery also offers a great program called the Teen Art Group (TAG) for ages 15 to 18. During the school year, the group meets up twice a month for art-making practices and lessons on the visual arts. For more information, you can visit their official website

For an online experience, Google Arts and Culture also offers a virtual tour of the first major exhibition of one of the country’s most celebrated artists, Douglas Coupland. The exhibit made its debut in 2014 and is now a part of Google Arts and Culture’s interactive exhibits. You’ll “walk through” vibrant and colourful displays in the online museum, including a few pieces of work made completely of LEGO. 

Scavenger Hunt Time!

Q: Find the artwork named “Electric Laser Goo Pop Head” in the Douglas Coupland exhibit via Street View. 

Hint: Learn more about this piece of art, as well as, what it looks like here

A: You can find that actual artwork in the exhibit here

3. For The Dinosaur Fan

For more unique places to visit in Canada, look no further than in Drumheller, Alberta. The Royal Tyrrell Museum is solely dedicated to the science of palaeontology. The museum offers one of the largest displays of dinosaurs in the world. Those who are fans of these prehistoric reptiles will not be disappointed!

The museum also offers a variety of events and educational programs that are family friendly. Kids can get a hands-on experience on how to dig for fossils, or even sleep over at the museum through their Camp-In program. For more info on what’s happening at the museum, you’ll want to check out the official site. You may want to make a day of it and visit the nearby Hoodoos Trail, which is only a 20 minute drive away. 

If you can’t make it to the museum in person, you can always explore it virtually! Thanks to Google Maps and Street View, you can explore the museum as though you were there in person. Pretend to get your ticket scanned, and start your virtual tour hereTravel Alberta also offers an incredible 360-degree video tour of the museum via YouTube. It’s definitely a fun virtual experience that also helps educate kids on the history of dinosaurs.

Scavenger Hunt Time!

Q1: Can you find the fossils that are named the “Lizard Bird Robbers”?

A1: With a bit of exploring, you can find the fossils here

Q2: Can you find the Palynology Playroom? If you can, go inside!

A2: You can find the entrance of the playroom here

4. Discover the Magic of the Northern Lights

One of the best experiences in Canada, hands down, has to be the aurora borealis, also known as the northern lights. This natural phenomenon occurs when electrically charged particles from the sun collide as they enter the Earth’s atmosphere. It results in a beautiful light show in the sky with dancing colours. 

Churchill (Manitoba) is known as one of the best places to visit in Canada for the northern lights. Thanks to its long fall and winter evenings, as well as a lack of light pollution, it allows for more occurrences of northern lights. While the months between January and March are your best chance to witness them, there’s still a good chance you could still see them in other months.

If you would prefer to catch a glimpse of the northern lights from your home, you can do it through a live cam via! The cam is located right under the aurora oval, which is one of the best spots to see this natural light show. Make a night of it and cuddle up on the couch with some snacks and cross your fingers that you’ll catch a glimpse of it! Check out the live cam here.

Scavenger Hunt Time!

Q: Why are northern lights only visible during the evening? 

Hint: Search for the answer on the same page as the live cam!

A: Since the aurora is much dimmer than sunlight, it is difficult to catch a glimpse of them during the daytime.

5. Learn About Canada’s History

Photo Credit: “Canadian Museum of History” by Shawn Kent is licensed under CC By 2.0. 

If you’re interested in Canada facts and information, you’ll want to head to Gatineau in Quebec. The Canadian Museum of History highlights over 20,000 years of human history and culture of the country. When it comes to museums in Canada, this is definitely one to add to the bucket list. During a visit, you can walk through permanent exhibitions and special travelling exhibitions, or check out the movie theatre to see what’s playing.

For those with kids, it even has a Children’s Museum. Kids can explore and experience different cultures through hands-on experiences, exhibits, and interact with toys and games. If you’re a parent, you may want to check out the upcoming events at the Children’s Museum. It gives your little one the opportunity to bring home a handmade creation. For more info on the Children’s Museum, check out the official page.

Can’t make it to the museum in person? Canadian Museum of History has an in-depth virtual tour of one of its permanent exhibits – the Canadian History Hall. You’ll learn about all the experiences and events that helped shape the nation. Click on one of the galleries to get up-close to its content – it’ll almost feel like you’re actually there! To explore this exhibit, check it out on their official site

Scavenger Hunt Time!

Q1: Which gallery in the Canadian History Hall has an illuminated otter graphic on a wall near the entrance?

A1: Gallery 1! 

Q2: Can you find the photo of Terry Fox and his “Marathon of Hope” t-shirt on display? 

Hint: You can see what Terry Fox and the t-shirt look like here, for reference. 

A2: Explore Gallery 3 to find Terry Fox and his famous t-shirt.

6. Otters & Penguins & Jellyfish, Oh My!

One of the biggest tourist attractions in Canada are the incredible aquariums that the country has to offer. Included on that list is Vancouver Aquarium in British Columbia. Home to thousands of ocean species and aquatic life, it is the largest aquarium in Canada. It has over 50,000 animals and over 30 exhibits to explore that both kids and adults can enjoy. They also offer educational shows, including 4-D experiences, sea lion training, and a live otter feeding. 

Some of their biggest attractions include penguins, otters and jellyfish. For those who can’t visit the aquarium in person, you’re in luck! The aquarium offers live cams of them on their official website. So waddle on over to the website and watch as the otters swim around underwater, the penguins roam around their habitat, and the jellyfish float around. 

Check out the live cams, starting with the sea otter live stream, here

Scavenger Hunt Time!

Q1: Which species of penguin can you watch through a live cam at the Vancouver Aquarium? 

Hint: Explore the penguin live cam page to discover the answer and to learn more about this species.

A1: African Penguins!

Q2: Jellyfish are mostly composed of what? 

Hint: Visit the Jelly Cam to find the answer on the page! 

A2: Jellies are mostly composed of water. 

7. Marvel At An Iconic Canadian Landmark

One of the most famous places in Canada is Peggy’s Cove in Nova Scotia. A popular tourist destination in late spring and summer, this small community is home to the iconic Peggys Point Lighthouse. Built in 1915, the lighthouse is still active and has become one of Atlantic Canada’s most photographed structures. As one of the most scenic places in Canada, the red and white lighthouse has people from all over visiting the site to see it in person. 

Peggy’s Cove is located only 43 kilometres away from Downtown Halifax, so it’s definitely worth the visit if you’re planning a trip to the city. Can’t make it out to see Peggys Point Lighthouse? Not to worry. You can visit the lighthouse virtually through a live cam on Nova Scotia Webcams’ website and watch as the waves make its way to the cove. Enjoy your morning coffee while watching the sunrise by cove. Or, unwind after a long day by watching the sunset with the lighthouse as a beautiful backdrop. Watch the live stream here

Scavenger Hunt Time! 

Q: According to legend, who was Peggy’s Cove named after? 

Hint: Search the live cam page for the answer!

A: Legend has it that the sole survivor of a sunken schooner named Margaret is where Peggy’s Cove derived its famous name from. “Peggy” was a nickname of the survivor.

8. You’re Gonna Need a Bigger Boat!

If you’re looking for fun things to do with kids while visiting Toronto, you’ll want to visit Ripley’s Aquarium of Canada. With over 20,000 animals, it is definitely one of the unique places to visit in Ontario. There are a variety of exhibits, including Planet Jellies with five species of jellyfish and the Dangerous Lagoon. The Dangerous Lagoon is an underwater tunnel where you can look up to see a variety of aquatic life, such as sharks and stingrays. 

The aquarium also offers many unique programs for visitors. You can participate in a morning yoga session with underwater creatures in the background. You can also grab your sleeping bag and have a sleepover at the aquarium during the Sleep with the Sharks event. Kids can get a more hands-on educational experience through the Day Camp programming. For more information on the variety of programs available, visit Ripley’s Aquarium of Canada’s official website.

If you can’t visit the aquarium in person, the official website provides a shark cam. Grab your flippers and goggles as you watch different species of fish and sharks swim by the underwater camera. Check out the live cam here. Kids can also watch other live cams available on the website, including a jellyfish cam.

Scavenger Hunt Time!

Q: In the Dangerous Lagoon, what is the species of shark that is one of the “Featured Species”? 

Hint: Browse the site – specifically the “Galleries” section.

A: The Sand Tiger Sharks are one of the many featured species in the Dangerous Lagoon exhibit. This species of shark is the only one that is able to gulp air!

From east to west coast, there are a variety of unique places to visit in Canada. Whether you experience them in person or virtually, make an effort to discover all of the beautiful provinces in the country!