Are you visiting Ottawa but not interested in museums? We’re here to make your visit to Ottawa interesting with these fun and unusual things to do in the capital city! Check out our top 10 below:
10. Calypso Waterpark
Did you know that Calypso Water Park is the largest water park in Canada? With tons of slides and pools for all ages, this place will keep you busy all day long! Though it is located about 30 minutes from downtown Ottawa, it is quite easy to get to and is definitely meant to be a full day activity. Be sure to purchase your tickets in advance to beat the line ups at the box office!
Tip: Save money and be healthy by bringing your own lunch!
9. Amphi-bus Tour
It’s a bus! No, it’s a boat! It’s both! Lady Dive Tours offers a really cool tour on their Amphi-bus that will give you views of the city from two different perspectives: the road and the Ottawa River! Tours are offered throughout the day and cost approximately $30.
8. Skating on the Rideau Canal
During the winter months, locals and visitors alike flock to the Rideau Canal, the world’d largest outdoor skating rink, for a walk or a skate. It’s tons of fun and you don’t need to be a pro to skate here! People of all skill levels (even those who have never been on skates) try their hand at gliding on the ice. You can opt to bring your own skates or rent some at various locations around the canal. Don’t forget to stop for a delicious Beavertail and cup of apple cider to fuel up half way through your skate!
If you’re visiting during the summer months, don’t fret! You can still go kayaking on the Rideau Canal.
7. Craft Brewery Tours
If there’s anything there’s plenty of in Ottawa, it’s beer. Tons of craft breweries have been popping up all over the city these past few years (and it’s awesome because we love beer)! Spend your afternoon learning about the beer making process and tasting various pints of local brews. Our favourite brewery to visit is Beau’s in Vankleek Hill. They offer free tours of their brewery as well as free samples of their beer! You can also buy their beer, merchandise and meats. If the brewery is a bit too far away for you, check out Groupon for tons of deals on brewery tours across the city (like the one you see in the picture below!). We know this isn’t an ‘unusual’ activity for North Americans, but we’ve noticed through our travels that this is an activity that isn’t offered all around the globe.
6. Rock Climbing
If you’re looking for something to do during the evening that doesn’t involve going to a bar or are just looking for something fun to do, why not go rock climbing? Our top pick is the Coyote Rock Gym. No we aren’t talking about outdoor climbing alongside a beautiful mountain BUT we are talking about an awesome indoor rock climbing gym with tons of walls to climb. Not to worry if you’ve never been rock climbing before, they provide you with an introduction to climbing and give you a safety overview. Plus they play some great hip hop music to keep you energized all night long! A day pass + gear rental costs about $25 per person.
5. Yoga on Parliament Hill
Wait what? Isn’t Parliament Hill where the House of Commons/Senate are located (AKA where Canada’s laws are made)? Why yes, yes it is! It has now become a tradition in the Canada’s capital for yogis of all shapes and sizes to roll out their matts on the grounds of Parliament Hill during the summer months every Wednesday from 12-1PM. The weekly event is sponsored by Lululemon Athletica and hosts different yoga teachers from all around the city every week. If you happen to be in the city at that time, bring a matt or a towel for a little exercise and relaxation. The best part? It’s completely free! Check out their Facebook page for more information.
Tip: Be sure to bring a hat, sunscreen and water when attending as that summer sun can get hot and there is no shade to be found in the area!
4. Escape Rooms
As you may have heard, escape rooms have been popping up all over the world, even in our home town of Ottawa. Our personal favourite is Jigsaw Escape Rooms where you’ll be able to attempt an escape from a cabin, study or vault! Please let us know if you manage to escape as we have yet to do it… (cue hysterical crying).
3. Haunted Walk + Spend a Night in a Haunted Prison
Do you believe in ghosts? We recently had the opportunity to delve into the Otherworld by participating in Haunted Walk Inc.’s ‘Original Haunted Walk of Ottawa’ tour. The tour consisted of visiting local landmarks such as Lisgar Collegiate Institute, the Chateau Laurier and the ByTown Museum to name a few (we don’t want to ruin the tour for you!). Our guide told age old tales of ghosts and bizarre experiences that have occurred all over the city, and the best part was that they were all true!
As an added bonus, some tours offered by Haunted Walks Inc. bring you to the Old Ottawa Jail that is supposedly the most haunted building in Ottawa. The jail has now been converted into a hostel (HI Ottawa Jail Hostel) where you can spend the night in a jail cell! If you’re feeling extra daring, try to see if you can spot any ghosts.
2. Axe Throwing
It’s exactly as it sounds, you’ll be able to throw axes at a target all evening long at Bad Axe Throwing. Perfect as a group activity, this is a sure way to relieve yourself of any stress. Not to worry if you have no idea how to throw an axe as they will teach you! So there, fun aaannnddd informative.
1. Nature Nocturne
Where else can you party in a national museum? That’s right! Once a month the Canadian Museum of Nature opens it’s doors to partiers for an evening, calling it Nature Nocturne. It’s great fun as you get to explore the museum from a whole different perspective with an adult beverage in hand. They have a different theme every month so you could attend every event without it ever getting old 😉 People love to dress up so be sure to dress according to the theme if you can!
Tip: Tickets sell out fast so be sure to buy it online at least a week in advance in order to avoid disappointment
Have you ever done anything on this list?
What would you add?
Like it? Pin it!
Never miss an update – sign up to our newsletter!
Bonus: You’ll even get a free copy of our printable His & Hers Carry-On Essentials Packing List!