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6 Affordable Ways to Celebrate Canada's 150th Anniversary

Head north to enjoy a favorable exchange rate and free entry to more than 200 national parks in 2017.

U.S. News & World Report

6 Affordable Ways to Celebrate Canada's 150th Anniversary

Old Quebec City at dawn.

Celebrate the country's 150th birthday by visiting iconic national parks, storied sites and sophisticated cities without paying a high price tag. (Getty Images)

To mark Canada's 150th birthday, the country's park service is offering free admission to more than 200 top national parks, historic sites and marine conservation areas throughout 2017. So, if you want to discover Canada's unique natural treasures, plan a high-octane adventure or partake in celebratory festivities at a bargain-friendly price, now is the time to head north. Here are cost-effective ways to explore the country's diverse national parks, landmarks and attractions this year.

Visit the Canadian Museum of Immigration at Pier 1
Nova Scotia, Canada

The Canadian Museum of Immigration at Pier 21 will feature a traveling exhibition as a legacy project of the nation's 150th anniversary filled with a variety of workshops and performances that pay homage to Canada's rich heritage. Canada Day at Pier 21, which will take place on July 1, will offer free musical shows and activities to commemorate the immigrants who defined the country. Best of all, the museum offers low admission prices starting at $12.61 Canadian dollars for adult visitors, and children ages 5 and under are granted free entry.

Partake in Rendez-Vous 2017
Quebec City

For a memorable experience commemorating the country's history, consider taking in the Rendez-Vous 2017 from July 18 to 23, the naval celebration of the 150th anniversary of the Canadian Confederation. During the spectacle, you can observe more than 40 tall ships from around the world setting sail for Quebec City, the main rallying point in a transatlantic race covering 7,000 nautical miles to honor the 150th anniversary of the Canadian Confederation. The ships will navigate to host ports in Ontario, Quebec and the Maritime Provinces, giving you the opportunity to take in the striking ships in their full glory, and take part in variety of free kid-friendly activities.

Explore the New Wing for the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts

The Montreal Museum of Fine Arts recently opened a new wing, adding 600 pieces of international art, including the works received as gifts from Michal and Renata Hornstein, two patrons of the arts. To commemorate the lives of holocaust survivors, the MMFA named the fifth building on its museum campus the Michal and Renata Hornstein Pavilion for Peace. The social mission of the new pavilion is to send a strong message of peace, consistent with the image of the city itself, which has given refuge to so many people from around the world, says Nathalie Bondil, director and chief curator of the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts. Best of all, you can take advantage of wallet-friendly admission prices. Entry to major exhibitions start at $15 Canadian dollars for visitors ages 13 to 30; admission for visitors 12 and under is free.

Attend Montreal Avudo

In honor of Montreal's 375th anniversary, visitors can attend Montreal Avudo, an exclusive performance created for the occasion. The work will be produced and directed by Daniele Finzi Pasca. Some 100 performances of the production will be offered for free to more than 180,000 spectators throughout the summer in the Old Port of Montreal, from May 17 through Sept. 2. Located along the water, Montreal Avudo will honor the St. Lawrence River with innovative installations relaying the tales of those who depended on the river and connected Montreal to other destinations across the globe.

Check Out La Machine
Ottawa, Ontario

La Machine, a lively theatrical spectacle with larger-than-life machines, will make its North American debut in late July in Ottawa as part of the yearlong celebration of Canada's 150th birthday. Giant, eye-popping mechanical creatures will roam Ottawa's streets, bringing science fiction to life. What's more, a giant dragon breathing fire will interact with crowds and stroll the streets of Canada's capital from July 26 to 30.

Participate in Canada Place Events
Vancouver, British Columbia

Welcoming nearly 1 million people each year, Canada Place hosts the largest Canada Day celebration outside of Ottawa. Even better, 2017 marks both the 30th anniversary of the event and Canada's 150th birthday. Many of the much-loved elements of past Canada Day at Canada Place events will take place for an extended three-day celebration from July 1 to 3, including the Canadian Forces Zone, the citizenship ceremony, the youth zone, the food trucks and the fireworks show, with added enhancements for 2017.

About En Route

Practical advice on the art of traveling smarter with tips, tricks and intel from En Route's panel of experts.

Contributors have experience in areas ranging from family travel, adventure travel, experiential travel and budget travel to hotels, cruises and travel rewards and include Amy Whitley, Claire Volkman, Holly Johnson, Marsha Dubrow, Lyn Mettler, Sery Kim, Kyle McCarthy, Erica Lamberg, Jess Moss, Sheryl Nance-Nash, Sherry Laskin, Katie Jackson, Erin Gifford, Roger Sands, Steve Larese, Gwen Pratesi, Erin Block, Dave Parfitt, Kacey Mya, Kimberly Wilson, Susan Portnoy, Donna Tabbert Long and Kitty Bean Yancey.

Edited by Liz Weiss.

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