Having lived in Centretown for many years, I'm always impressed when I walk up Metcalfe at night, and see the illuminated glass casing (the Lantern) and the giant blue whale contained within looming over me. Similarly, getting off the highway and going East onto Metcalfe, you are greeted with the impressive building which has held many roles over the years.
Like most museum's in the nation's capital, Thursday evenings are free at the Museum of Nature. The museum has hosted a range of interesting programs over the years, from natural disasters to animal anomalies; its fun and didactic displays will bring out the kid in you. The museum is centrally located on the Ottawa side of the river and is great for families.