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. 

July

Anne of Green Gables Tea

Friday, July 1 from 11 am to 4 pm

Celebrate Canada Day with one of the nation’s most beloved fictional characters. The Anne of Green Gables Tea will feature servers in costume, three-tier tea service among the gardens, period-appropriate music, lawn games, and a photo station complete with straw hats and ginger braids.

Cost: $20/person

*Reservations are required, as space is limited. Reservations will open on May 27, and will only be accepted via telephone starting at 10 am. To reserve please call 613-2474830 ext. 221

 

Can You Dig It?

Thursdays in July from 10 am to 11:30 am

Unearth Ottawa’s best kept secret by digging into our outdoor, hands-on archaeology program! Each one of these weekly programs focuses on a different aspect of archaeology, and delves into the past by having children participate in archeological digs to discover buried artefacts. Topics range from how to set up a digging grid, to artefact dating techniques, to making a time capsule. Ages 6-12

Cost: $6.25/participant

 

Little Critters

Fridays in July from 10 am to 11:30 am

Discover the many little critters living onsite across the eight acres of parkland of Billings Estate. Young children will learn about a different insect and its lifecycle each week, play insect-related games, go on bug hunts, and make crafts to bring home. Bring along a picnic lunch, or purchase one from our team room, and enjoy the afternoon relaxing on the grounds.

Cost: $6.25/participant

 

#shakespeare400 Tea

Sunday, July 17 from 11 am to 4 pm

2016 marks the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s death. Celebrate the life of the classic author as you enjoy three-tier tea service delivered by servers in period-appropriate costume, and as actors perform famous acts from the various works of Shakespeare.

Cost: $20/person

*Reservations are required, as space is limited. Reservations will open on June 14, and will only be accepted via telephone starting at 10 am. To reserve please call 613-2474830 ext. 221

 August

History Detectives

Wednesdays in August from 1 pm to 3 pm

Do you have an aspiring Sherlock Holmes at home? Our History Detectives series of weekly programs presents a different mystery to solve each week through studying evidence and collecting clues. Kids ages 6 to 12 will develop deductive reasoning skills as they learn about the history of the Estate.

Cost: $6.25/participant

 

Step Into the Kitchen

Thursdays in August from 10 am to 11:30 am

Join us for our Into the Kitchen Series on Thursdays in August, designed to teach kids aged 5-7 years the skills associated with baking different types of food. Each week, participants learn about a new food type, and make a delicious treat to bring home.

Advance registration* is strongly encouraged to avoid disappointment: 613-247-4830 or museums@ottawa.ca.

Cost: $6.25/participant

 

Preschool Picnics

Fridays in August from 10 am to 11:30 am

Looking for a way to keep your little ones busy during the sunny summer weather? Join us for Preschool Playdates, a series of Friday playdates throughout August specifically designed for busy preschool-aged children (3-5 years old) and their parents.  Each week, a different topic is explored through fun games and activities, followed by a picnic lunch for participants and their parents in the playroom of Sally’s Kitchen.

Advance registration* is encouraged to avoid disappointment: 613-247-4830 or museums@ottawa.ca.

 Cost: $8.25/participant

 

Vintage Motorcycle Show

Sunday, August 21 from 10 am to 4 pm

Come meet the keepers of vintage motorcycles and their prized possessions! You’ll learn about different types of motorcycles from different parts of the world and can test your motorcycle knowledge in our family-friendly scavenger hunt!

Cost: $6.15/person, $10.20/pair, $16.35/family

 

Pride and Prejudice Tea Party

Sunday, August 28 from 11 am to 4 pm

Join us for a themed tea amidst details from the infamous novel, “Pride and Prejudice” by acclaimed author, Jane Austen. Enjoy a Regency era tea menu, English country dance demonstrations, and actors demonstrating popular characters from the novel.

Cost: $20/person

*Reservations are required, as space is limited. Reservations will open on July 26, and will only be accepted via telephone starting at 10 am. To reserve please call 613-2474830 ext. 221

 

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About Us

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.

Artefact Collections

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

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.

Eating

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

""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).

The Tea on the Lawn is served from May 11 to August 31 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.

Because we use the freshest ingredients possible, it's best to contact the museum at 613-247-4830 for the daily menu. Reservations are recommended to avoid disappointment.

Boxed Lunch

If you're interested in refreshments but would prefer a more casual meal during the tea-on the-lawn service, the museum will 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.

Venue Rentals

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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 museums@ottawa.ca.

 

Billings Estate National Historic Site           

2100 Cabot Street
Ottawa, Ontario K1H 6K1

Tel: 613-247-4830
Fax: 613-247-4832
museums@ottawa.ca

Hours

Wednesday to Sunday, 10 am to 5 pm from May 10 through October 31, with special programming offered throughout the year. Times may vary for special events and/or programs. Be sure to check all listings for more details.

Admission

Unless otherwise indicated, regular admission fees apply.

Adults - $6.15
Seniors and Students - $5.10
Youth - $3.60
Families (two adults and unlimited children)- $15.30
Children 5 and under are free

Group rates available upon request. Additional fees may be applicable to some special events and programs.

Accessibility

View our accessibility features.

Work with us to shape your experience. Contact the museum before your visit to discuss your needs. Information about accessibility at the facility, programs, and services is available upon request.

Driving Directions and Map

The museum is located at 2100 Cabot Street.

The museum is located near the intersection of Bank Street and Riverside Drive in Alta Vista, near Billings Bridge Shopping Centre. Turn onto Pleasant Park at the intersection of Riverside Drive; take the first right onto Cabot Street and follow the signs to the museum. Bus routes 87, 97 and 149 to Pleasant Park Station.

Public Transportation 

The museum is near the Pleasant Park transit station. Consult OC Transpo for route information and times.

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