Visit the historic estate of one of Ottawa's founding families and spend the day enjoying one of our special events or programs, exploring the exhibitions with interactive and kid-friendly activities, discovering the beauty of our well-preserved parkland, or renting the space for your special event.
We take the time to understand how children see the world, and we make sure they actively experience history through connections with objects, people, places and ideas.
Upcoming Events and Programs
Check out all special museum events and programs by month.
Culture Days, Billings Estate National Historic Site
Saturday, October 1 and Sunday, October 2 from 10 am to 5 pm
Celebrate Culture Days by visiting the museum free of charge! Take a guided tour of our exhibition, explore the site using one of our Experience Backpacks, or learn more about the Billings family and home by playing indoor games and activities in Sally’s Kitchen.
Haunted House on the Hill, Billings Estate National Historic Site
Friday and Saturday evenings, from October 14 to October 29. Tours start at 7 pm with last admission at 10 pm
Confront your fears… at Haunted House on the Hill! Prepare to be scared as you experience the Estate under the cover of darkness. Frightening scenes indoors and out will get you in the mood for Halloween while leaving grown adults screaming like children.
Cost: $10.20/per person. Advance ticket sales begin September 21 at 10 am. Children under 13 must be accompanied by an adult.
Victorian Séance, Billings Estate National Historic Site
Sunday, October 23 and 30, from 7 pm to 9 pm
Commune with the past by participating in a traditional séance, led by a psychic medium. Complete the experience with hot cider, Halloween candy, and discussion of the darker side of history.
Cost: $30.60/person. Registration is required. Advance ticket sales begin September 16 at 10 am
Halloween Party, Billings Estate National Historic Site
Sunday, October 30, from 10 am to 4 pm
Trick-or-treat at some of Ottawa’s most famous landmarks, all in one spot! Visit our variety of child-sized historic buildings while hunting down famous movie monsters, making fake blood and flapping bats to take home, and haunting the runway in the ever-popular costume parade!
Cost: $6.15/person, $10.20/pair, $16.35/family
Christmas Séance, Billings Estate National Historic Site
Friday, December 9 from 7:30 pm to 9:30 pm
Your senses will go into overdrive during these popular events as you look, listen and feel for changes in the environment that signal a presence from the beyond. Psychic Connie Adams leads a small group of participants through a traditional séance in one of Ottawa’s oldest wood-framed houses.
Cost: $30.60/person. Advance ticket sales begin November 2 at 10 am.
Christmas Tea, Billings Estate National Historic Site
Sunday, December 11 and 18, from 11 am to 4 pm
Take some time to sit down and catch up with friends and family during this busy holiday season by enjoying a hot cup of tea and our popular scones and sandwiches. Learn about the history of Christmas literary classics like ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas and A Christmas Carol while taking in the sounds of Victorian carollers in our traditionally decorated historic house.
Cost: $20/person. Reservations are required. Registration opens November 7 at 10 am.
Elves of the Estate, Billings Estate National Historic Site
Saturday, December 17, from 10 am to 4 pm
Do you have a little elf at home? At our Elves of the Estate event, kids can dress up like elves, visit with Santa and take a look around his workshop, enjoy milk and cookies while reading stories with Mrs. Claus, and make their parents a secret gift!
Cost: $6.15/person, $10.20/pair, $16.35/family
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The Billings family settled on the shores of the Rideau River in 1812 and took an active role in shaping the community as it evolved over time and until the 1970s when they left the estate. They helped build farms and churches, ran a dairy operation, and contributed to the development of the Byward Market by providing produce for sale and building the "Farmers' Bridge".
This National Historic Site on 8 acres of green space is also home to one of Ottawa's oldest community cemeteries where well-known Ottawa pioneers, such as the Evans, Brouse and Firth families, are laid to rest.
Home to more than 27,000 artefacts, the Billings Estate tells an epic story of starting a life anew in the wilderness and the legacy of the family over many generations. With both permanent and temporary exhibitions, these artefacts help bring the story to life.
School Programs and Educational Activities are offered for students from kindergarten to Grade 8 from Wednesday to Friday during the months of May, June, September and October.
The museum's food service is known for both its quality and affordability. Specializing in refreshments and baked goods made from scratch and served overlooking heritage gardens, our food service is a unique addition to the site.
Tea on the Lawn and Boxed Lunches are available from May 11 to September 4 on Wednesdays, Thursdays, Fridays, and Sundays, from 11 am until 4 pm, rain or shine. Indoor tea service is also available to groups by reservation during the rest of the year. Reservations are recommended to avoid disappointment.
Tea on the Lawn
The high tea service overlooking this National Historic Site's beautiful flower gardens is one of the museum's most popular features. Choose a scone and tea served with Devonshire cream and jam or order our 3-tier service with finger sandwiches, scones, and desserts ($13.00 + tax per person).
Because we use the freshest ingredients possible, it's best to contact the museum at 613-247-4830 for the daily menu.
If you're interested in refreshments but would prefer a more casual meal than the tea-on the-lawn service, the museum can prepare a small boxed lunch for you and your family to enjoy on the park grounds of the museum. For $6.50 per meal, you'll receive one of the sandwiches being prepared as part of the tea service that day, a dessert, a drink, and a piece of fruit.
Bring Your Own
Visitors are also welcome to bring their own snacks or meals and picnic in the park. To preserve the artefacts in the museum, no eating is permitted in the exhibition spaces.
Billings Estate National Historic Site is a uniquely picturesque and tranquil setting just 10 minutes from downtown Ottawa. The 200-year-old house is surrounded by gardens and reigns over more than 8 acres of lush parkland that can accommodate parties from 15 to 150 guests.
An affordable and flexible option for your wedding, anniversary, or other celebration, Billings Estate offers modern facilities with historic character. Under our marquee tent or inside our meeting rooms, we can help make your gathering both beautiful and successful.
Book an Appointment
The breathtaking beauty of Billings Estate must be seen to be believed. Make an appointment with our Customer Service Booking Clerk for a tour of our facility and to receive a full rental information package and application form. Call 613-247-4830 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.