Things to do in Ottawa

A unique and beautiful city that offers an abundance of things to do and boasts a stunning display of sports, culture, history and arts. There is something for everyone! If you want a bit of thrill, go bungee jumping or whitewater rafting down the Ottawa River to get your adrenaline rushing!

If you're interested in history, culture and arts, visit Ottawa's impressive galleries and museums that feature stunning artifacts. The galleries and museums are loaded with information and the guides will be happy to answer any questions you may have. Ottawa is also passionate about sports and you will find hockey, skiing and skating are very popular. Games are held regularly and access to sporting arenas is easily available. Whatever you want do, Ottawa has it. It won't be hard trying to find things to do, it will just be difficult trying to fit it all in!

Canadian War Museum

Visit the Canadian War Museum to explore Canada 's military past. The museum offers international, national and personal insight into Canada 's history and boasts an impressive collection of medals, artillery, works of art, a CF-Voodoo jet fighter and so forth. From mid October to April it is open but closed on Mondays, and for the rest of the year it is opened daily.

The National Gallery of Canada

Overlooking the Ottawa River and the Parliament Buildings , The National of Gallery of Canada is situated along the historic ByWard Market. Before you browse through the gallery, dine at one of the on-site restaurants or perhaps visit The Bookstore full of international designer gifts, handcrafted jewellery and of course, an impressive selection of books.

The National Gallery of Canada is famous for being a world class venue that features fabulous architecture, incredible views and roomy galleries. The staff are friendly and willing to answer all your questions. The gallery has made sure that everyone visiting will find something fascinating regardless of age. On the weekends, visit the Gallery at the Artissimo kiosk in the Great Hall with your children if they are three years and older. For those who don't speak English, you can take an Audioguided tour of Canadian art in whatever language you choose.

Haunted Walks Inc

Founded in 1995, Haunted Walks Inc offers daytime and mostly evening tours to reveal dark history, ghosts, graveyards, haunts and hangings. Tour guides will lead the group wearing a cloak and sees the way through lantern-light. The walking tours bring you to dark places where you glimpse dark history as the stories unfold. None of the stories have been exaggerated and it has taken years of research to prove their legitimacy. Tickets are available at the ticket booth and gift shop.

Canada's Cold War Museum – Diefenbunker

Built to protect the government from a nuclear attack, this hidden bunker is now a unique museum and National Historic site. The underground bunker was secretly built in the peak of the Cold War and is four storeys underground and is over 100 000 square feet in size. Located under a hillside just outside Ottawa , the guided tour will let you explore the bunker and reveal the truth depth of its splendor. Glimpse into history as you discover the exhibits and recreated areas including the War Cabinet Room, the Emergency Government Situation Center , the Prime Minister's suite, the Bank of Canada vault and the CBC Radio studio. Open to tourist and school groups as well as the general public, come and visit this exciting time warp.

RiverRun Rafting – Ottawa River

Have you dreamt of speeding down the Ottawa River on a raft? Here's your chance! RiverRun rafting is a professional company with expertise on whitewater rafting. When you go on a trip, you will be under the hands of experts, geared up with superior safety equipment and energized with tasty meals! You can choose from calm rapids to extreme rapids, depending on your skills and experience. Families can go through gentle whitewater complete with breathtaking scenery. Those seeking a thrill can thunder down the Main Channel, bringing you the ultimate buzz. There are different trips and tours you can choose to suit your personal taste and skills.

Canada Tulip Festival 

The Canada Tulip Festival is held annually during May and is renowned festival featuring over three million tulips in the region. A fabulous time for locals and tourists alike, celebrate this festivity as you enjoy the culture, music and food. The 18 day celebration is worth it!

Upper Canada Village (Parks of the St. Lawrence)

Go on a time machine back to the 1860s. Open from May to October, take a tour to Upper Canada Village , a recreated historic village set back in 1860. You will witness the 19 th century lifestyle as costumed folks demonstrate pioneering activities such as bread making, blacksmithing, shoemaking, cheese making and more. Jump on a horse drawn wagon as you visit over 40 heritage buildings that include mills, farms, churches, homes and factories. As you transport yourself into the past, you will begin to feel the magic as you watch raw wool turn into yarn, eat fresh bread from the bakery, listen to songs in the church and even watch someone make a broom!

Valleyview Little Animal Farm 

Valleyview Little Animal farm is a gorgeous farm that's friendly and great for family outings. There is something for everybody and is an enriching experience for all. Visit the animals at the little animal barn where you can view goats, rabbits, lambs, ducks and deer. Watch your children smile as they hop on the mini train ride. Every weekend, you can view the puppet show. Buy some souvenirs at the gift shop and spoil yourself in the delightful café. There is so much to see and do.

Wilderness Tours 

Wilderness Tours is a resort that features adventure packages as part of their deal to promote fun and adventure. During summer, go whitewater rafting and kayaking. In winter you can go skiing and snowmobiling. If that sounds too commercial, Wilderness Tours also boast several adventure packages including bungee jumping, mountain bike climbing, hiking, snowshoeing, cross-country skiing and sea kayaking to name a few! If you're the type of person who's passionate about being active, jumping into the deep end of adventure and having the time of your life, then you must try the Wilderness Tours experience!

Bungee jumping

Twenty minutes away from Ottawa is The Rock, an exclusive and impressive bungee jumping site. Standing 200 feet high and made out of solid limestone, it is enveloped by a blue lagoon larger than three football fields! The company Great Canadian Bungee boasts experts in bungee jumping who ensure your safety is their first priority. If you are under the age of 18, you must have written parental consent to participate in this thrilling experience! It is the only place in America where you can experience a 200 feet dip and a 160 feet rebound! You can choose from body or ankle harnesses, whichever is more comfortable. Nevertheless if you only want to watch, then enjoy the other facilities which include BBQ, picnic, volleyball, beach, etc.

Nature Spa

When its time to rejuvenate your body, mind and soul, visit Le Nordik. Situated at the entrance of Gatineau Park , the spa boasts Nordic baths. Relax and unwind in the serene and stunning setting and take advantage of the on site services from hot stone massage therapy, California massage, Swedish massage to Finnish sauna, steam bath, outdoor hot tubs, cold and temperate baths and temperate waterfall! Sit back and lose yourself for a few hours – you deserve to have a break!

Mont Cascades Waterpark

Only twenty minutes from Ottawa , Mont Cascades Waterpark feature world class rides and play areas, making it a great place for families and friends alike! The rides promise adventure, pleasure and of course, safety! Open from June to September, it is a fun outing with great things to do and an abundance of food and drink to consume! Let your kids have fun on the kiddie slides that are safe and supervised. For those who dare to, try the Kamikaze, Vortex and Turbo Twister! If you want to have a go with the family, try the Mammoth River and Pro Racer. Or go on the new ride, the Tornado Alley, together as well. And if you're just there with one other person, the Rapids River is good fun as you bobsled the twisting flume!

Ottawa International Chamber Music Festival

Celebrated over a few weeks in July and August, the Ottawa International Chamber Music Festival is the largest chamber music festival in the world. It has made a tremendous impact in the world of arts, culture and music. It aims to present chamber music in its true magnificence. Renowned artists come to participate in this event and thousands of people come from across Canada and across the globe to witness this musical phenomenon. The concerts are performed in heritage churches, which is beautiful in itself.

Ottawa Wine and Food Show

Featuring over 200 booths of delicious food and wine, the Ottawa Wine and Food Show is not to miss! As well as edible and drinkable delicacies, gift items are also sold for those who are less tempted. As you make your way through the stalls, you can talk to growers, importers and producers regarding their favorite drink and what they would recommend. The obvious highlight is the large range of drinks from spirits to beers to wines, all being offered to taste and perhaps buy. The wines come from all over the world including Cyprus , Australia , South Africa , England , Scotland , Ireland , Belgium , etc. Learn to understand the importance and art of wine. Wine agents and producers will be happy to tell you about wines, the way they are produced, their aroma, their taste, the characteristics, etc. The Ottawa Wine and Food Show is an educational and enlightening experience.


The Pinto Valley Horse Ranch and Petting Zoo offers a variety of activities including horseback riding, sleigh rides, pony rides, family outings and a petting zoo. The ranch boasts 150 horses and six teams for sleigh rides. The horses and ponies have been thoroughly broken into and trained. There are also horses available for sale and to be traded. If you are selling a horse, enquire at the ranch. The ponies and horses are lead and handled by qualified professionals who will ensure that your safety and fun is their first priority! After a big day, why not relax in the hall that holds up to 150 people. You can even hold events at the ranch and food is available upon request. Ensure you go on wagon ride with your loved ones as you explore beautiful trails while you are at the ranch.

Pirates on the Rideau

This is an unforgettable experience for children. Take them on a journey aboard a pirate ship along the Rideau Canal, near Mooney's Bay Beach . Pirates on the Rideau can hold any event from family outings, field trips, birthday parties and fun adventures! There is so much activity in the 75 minute outing. Pirates on the Rideau sail six times a day, so be sure to book and arrange early. The lively crew present themselves as pirates who are friendly and professional. They have been fully trained for all procedures and emergencies. The fully insured vessel has been inspected and approved and the captain boasts a Master certificate. Your child will be enthralled as he is plastered with tattoos, face paint and pirate attire to fully morph into the magical environment. There are lots of activities for them to do including singing, sharing the booty, finding a treasure map and solving problems.


There are several golf courses in Ottawa and they each have their own unique style. Stonebridge Golf and Country Club is one of the most popular golf courses that offer great privileges to customers. A public golf course, you can bask in beautiful landscape consisting of parkland, lush grass and fairways as well as premium sand bunkers. The atmosphere is relaxed thus it would be perfect for holding events to set the mood. The club is well equipped to handle the event and number of people.


Winterlude Weekends is North America 's biggest winter festival. Everyone enjoys this period as the community comes together to celebrate the festivities and participate in fun activities. All around the capital are snow and ice sculptures to represent the event. Held in February, this irresistible event allows you to skate in the world's largest skating rink, the Rideau Canal Skateway. Witness exciting events such as the Winterlude Triathlon, skating demonstrations, workshops, the Bedzzz 29th Annual Bed Race and more on the Rideau Canal Skateway. Or you can always pop into Jacques-Cartier Park for some fun in the snow and play games, play on the slides and experience a horse drawn sleigh ride.

Canadian Museum of Nature 

The Canadian Museum of Nature is the country's national natural sciences and history museum. It proudly displays more than 10 million specimens from Canada and all over the world. The specimens are situated throughout the galleries with information on display to inform you of their origin. View fish, plants, beetles, dinosaurs, fossils, minerals and more!

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