Checklist: At least 40 things you should do in Ottawa before summer’s over


A craftsman who constructs Inushuks along the Ottawa River steps out of his working gear.
Rock sculptures along the Ottawa River (see #36).
Photo by Ross Dunn and shared on the OttawaStart Flickr Group.

We’re nearly halfway through August and the summer is just flying by.  But there’s still a lot of hot days and sunshine left. Here’s a list of 40 or so things you should check out before September.

(You can add your recommendations in the comments below.

  1. Go see Mosaika and/or do yoga on Parliament Hill.
  2. Ride your bike on a parkway during Alcatel-Lucent Sunday Bikedays.
  3. Have another beer on another patio.
  4. Buy fresh food at a local farmers’ market.
  5. Visit a local winery or brewery.
  6. Take a road trip to Almonte or Merrickville or Perth or Wakefield or even Cornwall.
  7. Listen to some music at an outdoor music festival.
  8. Go to an electronic music festival.
  9. Watch some theatre in a park from A Company of Fools or Odyssey Theatre.
  10. Go to the fair. 
  11. Skateboard.
  12. Go ghost hunting or take a haunted walk.
  13. Go see Van Gogh Up Close at the National Gallery.
  14. Walk around and admire Ottawa’s street art.
  15. Sample some street food.
  16. Play in the sand at the temporary Rideau Canal Beach.
  17. Build a sand castle at a real beach or swim in an outdoor pool.
  18. Explore a cave.
  19. Take a photo of a gorgeous sunset.
  20. Go to a drive-in movie.  There’s one in Gatineau and one near Perth.
  21. Go to an outdoor movie like Centretown Movies or a movie on the beach.
  22. Check out Saturday night reggae at Westboro Beach.
  23. Go see Sex: A Tell-All Exhibition at the Museum of Science and Technology.
  24. Walk through the grounds at Rideau Hall.
  25. Rent a paddleboat at Dow’s Lake.
  26. Play mini-golf.
  27. Take your dog for a run at Lemieux Island.
  28. Take a hike in the Greenbelt.
  29. Go to a water park.  Calypso or Mont Cascades.
  30. Check out World Press Photo at the War Museum.
  31. See some fireworks at Lac Leamy.
  32. Go to a beach in the Gatineaus.
  33. Bike down that really steep hill behind Major’s Hill Park.
  34. See the whales at the Museum of Nature.
  35. Invite your neighbours over for a bbq.
  36. Go see the rock sculptures along the Ottawa River.
  37. Visit the Wild Bird Care Centre
  38. Learn how they wash the cows at the Agriculture Museum.
  39. Ride on a pirate ship at Mooney’s Bay.
  40. Watch the hot air balloons over Gatineau.

(Updated from last year.)

See also: Ottawa Tourism Guide
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Glen Gower

Glen is the owner and founder of He lives in Stittsville, one of Ottawa's most exciting suburbs.


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