Summertime is here in Ottawa! No longer is it required to dress in layers, trudge through snow and ice, or wonder where the sun went at four in the afternoon. It’s time to get out and enjoy the sunshine! With so many great activities in Ottawa and the surrounding area it’ll be tough to decide which ones you’re going to add to this summer’s bucket list. From zip lining across the Ottawa River to enjoying a nice cold drink with friends at one of your new favorite restaurants, you are destined to enjoy all the best the Capital Region has to offer! Below are 10 fun-filled summertime activities that you can enjoy solo, with friends or with family.
Zipline Across the River
If you love a good adrenaline rush, why not try the first-ever interprovincial zipline between Ontario and Quebec, the Interzip Rogers. Starting in Gatineau and ending up in Ottawa, you can view the Capital Region like you’ve never seen it before from 120 feet up while ascending down the 1200 foot long Interzip across the Ottawa River at nearly 50km per hour!
Movies Under the Stars
You can do many activities throughout the day under the sun. Yet, when the sun goes down, it doesn’t mean that there is nothing to do. Pop-Up Cinema and Drive-In Experience are two ways to enjoy an outdoor movie night on a summer night. You can come and enjoy a movie night underneath the stars. That said, be sure to get your tickets ahead of time as tickets often sell out.
Enjoy Nature Trails
Ottawa has incredibly scenic trails, some even with waterfalls, that are perfect for the perfect walk or hike in nature. Princess Louise Falls, Hog’s Back Park, and Gatineau Park are just some of the hidden gems in Ottawa to revel in all that nature has to offer. Setting out for a hike for fresh air and a change of scenery makes for the perfect evening out and will allow you to see some of the most incredible places in the region. If you’re looking to do a multiday hike, perhaps plan a camping trip at one the nearby Ontario Parks.
Go for a Swim
Calypso Waterpark must be mentioned since we’re talking about the best summertime activities! It is not only the largest waterpark in Canada but also only 30 minutes from the country’s capital! During your visit to the park, you can swim in the wave pool and ride one of the many water slides or hang around in the splash area. However, if you’re looking to tan or take a dip at a nearby beach, Westboro Beach and Petrie Island are close to the city center, and while Constance Bay Beach is further, it’s ideal for families with its shallow water.
Attend Music Festivals
Safe to say, there won’t be a moment to be bored this summer. The music lineup is packed throughout the warmer months from concerts at TD Place and Canadian Tire Centre to the many music festivals planned. Here are a few of the music festivals that are happening in Canada’s Capital:
- Escapade: June 23 – 25, 2023
- Jazz Festival: June 23 – July 3, 2023
- Bluesfest: July 6 – 16, 2023
- City Folk: September 13 – 17, 2023
Play Some Golf
Summer is a time for many outdoor sports, especially golf! You can enjoy a day on one of the many of the outdoor courses in Ottawa. If you are located in the east end of the city you might want to try checking out Anderson Links Golf & Country Club. However, if you are located in the south or west end of the city, consider checking out The Royal Ottawa Golf Club, Hylands Golf Club or The Marshes Golf Club. If you find yourself wanting to play on a rainy day or looking to get in more practice, may we suggest taking a trip to The Bunker – Ottawa’s leading indoor virtual golf lounge.
Attend Cultural Festivals
Maybe you can’t take a tour around the world this summer, but you can go on a world tour by exploring the food and cultures of different countries and places. These festivals celebrate the traditions and heritage of different cultures. Come and enjoy some traditional food, music, and dances. Here are some of the festivals that occur in this summer:
- Italian Week: June 9 – 18, 2023
- Lebanese Festival: July 13 – 17, 2023
- Greek Festival: August 11 – 20, 2023
- Palestine Festival: August 25 – 27, 2023
Try White Water Rafting
Another adrenaline-filled activity would be white water rafting on the Ottawa River. Can you maneuver over rough water with rapid currents and try to stay on the raft? Whether you’re a beginner or experienced rafter, there are different levels to choose from for your adventure. OWL Rafting, Wilderness Tours, and RiverRun Campground and RV park are different companies that can offer excursions based on what you’re looking for.
Take Part in Capital Pride
Capital Pride is back in Ottawa! From August 19 – 27, 2023. The Capital Pride parade is about creating opportunities to celebrate, advocate, educate and connect people, respecting the full diversity of the 2SLGBTQ+ community in Canada’s National Capital Region. You can expect a variety of activities including the Capital Pride Pageant on Saturday, August 19 and the Pride Parade on Sunday, August 27.
Try Local Vineyards and Breweries
Did you know that the Ottawa region has dozens of local vineyards and breweries? There’s no better way to spend a Summer day than with a tasting and facility tour at one of the many spots around the city. If you’re a wine lover, try KIN Vineyards in Carp or Domaine Perrault Winery in Navan. For beer aficionados, there is Dominion City Brewing Co, Beyond the Pale, or Tooth and Nail Brewing Company that you can try out!
Ultimately, Canada’s Capital is booming during the summer months with so many amazing adventures and activities to choose from. We hope you find a few new things to try out this year from our guide and make some great memories with your friends and families.