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Parliament Hill Fireworks

Things to Do in and Around Ottawa, Ontario

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Things to do in Ottawa - Parliament Hill
Parliament Hill

Ottawa, Canada’s capital city, attracts over 10 million visitors each year, which is no surprise considering the amazing things to do in the area. Check them out!

Museums and Art Galleries

  • Appreciate the impressive exhibits at Canada’s most-visited museum, the Canadian Museum of History
  • Learn about Canada’s military history and view the country’s largest collection of war-related artifacts at the Canadian War Museum
  • Admire the National Gallery of Canada, an impressive glass and granite building which houses  the world’s most comprehensive collection of Canadian art
  • Visit the Canada Aviation and Space Museum which is home to the largest aviation collection in the county
  • Say hello to a wide array of farm animals at the Canada Agriculture and Food Museum
  • Take the kids to check out the fantastic interactive displays at the Canada Science & Technology Museum
  • Tour the Royal Canadian Mint where they manufacture collector and commemorative coins, gold bullion coins, as well as medals and medallions.
  • Explore Ottawa’s history at the Bytown Museum located inside the city’s oldest stone building
  • Check out The Canadian Museum of Nature’s Fossil Gallery to see their impressive display of dinosaur fossils
  • Head underground to Diefenbunker Museum, a Cold War bunker designed to withstand a nuclear attack

Outdoor Activities

  • Skate on the world’s largest skating rink at the Winterlude festival
  • Float along the lazy river at Calypso, Canada’s largest waterpark
  • Take the kids for a day of family fun at Saunders Farm where they can enjoy wagon rides, hedge mazes, jumping pillows, pedal carts, gem mining, a splash pad, and more
  • Celebrate the arrival of spring at the Canadian Tulip Festival where over 100,000 tulips bloom
  • Join a Haunted Walk to hear the ghostly tales from Ottawa’s dark side
  • Watch the impressive fireworks display above the Parliament Buildings on Canada Day
  • Stroll along the sandy beach in Constance Bay
  • Watch as the boats go up and down the locks that connect the Rideau Canal and the Ottawa River

Historical Attractions

  • Join a guided tour of Parliament Hill, home to the Senate, House of Commons, Library of Parliament and the Peace Tower
  • Marvel at the twin spires and ornate gothic-style of the Notre Dame Cathedral-Basilica
  • Pay a visit to the Laurier House National Historic Site which was built in 1878 and was home to two of Canada’s most notable Prime Ministers, Wilfrid Laurier and Mackenzie King
  • Explore Rideau Hall, a beautiful 1830s mansion that is home to the Governor General of Canada
  • Take a guided tour of the Supreme Court of Canada where you will learn all about the Canadian Judicial System

Performing Arts & Culture

Bluesfest, one of the most exciting things to do in Ottawa for music-lovers
Ottawa Bluesfest by ActiveSteve on Flickr
  • Enjoy a performance at the recently renovated National Arts Centre
  • Catch the hottest bands at the world’s largest blues festival, Ottawa Bluesfest

Other Fun Stuff

  • Spend an afternoon browsing the shops at the ByWard Market, Ottawa’s number one tourist attraction
  • Have a few drinks at Ottawa’s oldest bar Château Lafayette, aka ‘The Laff’, which has been serving customers in the ByWard Market since 1849
  • Test your problem-solving skills at Escape Manor, Ottawa’s best escape room
  • Take a day trip to visit other popular Eastern Ontario attractions

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