Local Summer Fun – Ottawa

Everybody’s summers are looking a little different this year! With borders being closed, travel restrictions, and social distancing measures still in effect, families are having to reevaluate their summer vacation plans. Fortunately, we’ve been doing some research as well and have put together a list of a few fun, family-friendly activities and events going on in your cities this summer.


Take a hike

Get some fresh air while maintaining social distancing measures on one of Ottawa’s local hiking trails! Check out Poet’s Pathway which features Canadian poetry along the way, get back to nature at Gatineau Park, or check out the wetland wildlife at Stony Swamp Trail.


Enjoy a family picnic

Ottawa has many beautiful parks that are perfect spots for a family picnic. Pack up a lunch, grab a picnic blanket, and visit somewhere like Vincent Massey Park, Major Hill’s Park, or Confederation Park. It’s not hard to find green space in the city!


Go fishing

Escape from busy city life and teach the kids how to fish (and practice patience) at one of Ottawa’s many fishing spots. A couple recommendations are Dows Lake or Victoria Island.


See a movie at a drive-in theatre 

Two Ottawa-area drive-in theatres are open this summer: the Port Elmsely Drive-In, between Perth and Smith Falls, and the Skylight Drive-In in Pembroke. Take the family out for a nostalgic movie night under the stars! 


Hang out by the campfire at Saunders Farm

As of May 21st, Saunders Farm has been offering a unique outdoor experience with campfires every Thursday, Friday, and Saturday night. There are even Family Night or Date Night campfire packages available, which include access to the campfire and snacks. Just be sure to book ahead of time.


Spend a day at the beach

Ottawa is filled with beaches that are perfect for hanging out, picnicking, or swimming at! As of July 1st, the following public beaches have been declared safe for swimming: Westboro Beach, Mooney’s Bay, Petrie Island East Bay, and Petrie Island River Beaches. Pack up your water wings and sunscreen! 


Visit a historic site

Teach your children about Canada’s history by visiting one of Ottawa’s many historic sites or museums. Take a trip back to the 1920s and 30s at the Cumberland Heritage Village Museum, spend the day outdoors at Pinhey’s Point, or visit the historic Fairfield’s Heritage House. (Be sure to check ahead in regards to their current social distancing and safety measures.) 

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