Ottawa is a wonderful place to call home any time of the year, but summer is particularly enjoyable in the region. From the buzz of urban life to the comfortable suburbs and the rural areas beyond, there is plenty to see and do. Whether you’re looking for family entertainment, a date with your partner or some quiet time in nature, here are some ways to make the most of Ottawa living this summer.
Try outdoor yoga
Every Wednesday at noon, a large group gathers for a free outdoor yoga session on Parliament Hill. All you need to bring is a yoga mat and a bottle of water, as the event is free (Lululemon is the host). Be sure to show up early, as it gets busy on the hill. This is a great way to relax and get some gentle exercise while taking in the beauty of the city. There are also free outdoor yoga classes at Lansdowne Park and on the uOttawa Campus.
Enjoy the arts
Bluesfest may be over, but there are still plenty of great concerts to enjoy before the summer’s over. If you’re into classical music, Chamberfest is taking place throughout the city and includes performers such as the Art of Time Ensemble. If chamber music isn’t your thing, Guns N’ Roses is playing at TD Place Stadium. There are a number of arts free events in Lansdowne Park, including the Summer Arts Series and family-friendly movie nights on the lawn, and many smaller live music shows at bars and restaurants throughout the city.
Hike in Gatineau Park
Just a quick drive across the bridge from Ottawa, Gatineau Park is a natural treasure that offers incredible hiking, biking and beaches. There are stunning views in every direction and interesting heritage sites to explore. A photographer’s dream, we recommend bringing a picnic lunch in your backpack. Here’s a great article on what makes the park so special and such a fantastic summer attraction – we’re sure you’ll be inspired to head out for the day (or even camp with the family).
Go Boating at Dow’s Lake
Right in the city near the Rideau Canal, Dow’s Lake offers places to grab a meal, go for a run, or rent a small boat for the afternoon. There is parking on site and plenty of recreational activities and restaurants to choose from. It makes for an easy way to spend a few hours in the sun without traveling far from home – why not rent a kayak and hit the water with your family or friends?
Take Advantage of Free Fun
With so many museums in our own backyard, it’s easy to take them for granted. Tourists flock to the city to visit the Canadian Museum of Nature, the Canada Aviation and Space Museum, the Canadian War Museum, the Canada Science and Technology Museum and more. Many of these local attractions offer free admission times, making it worthwhile to pop in for an hour or two (check their websites for details). Why not play tourist, visiting a new museum each week before grabbing dinner at a local restaurant? It’s a great way to discover new parts of the city we love.