Best Indoor Activities In Ottawa

12+ Best Indoor Activities In Ottawa

I’ve got the inside scoop on Ottawa—literally!

When it comes to this vibrant city, there’s a whole world of indoor activities waiting to be discovered. Sure, Canada’s weather isn’t always on our side, but fear not, because I’ve rounded up the best indoor activities in Ottawa to save the day.

But I have to admit that sometimes the weather here can be a bit unpredictable. Rain, cold, or just downright uncooperative?

No problem!

Ottawa’s indoor scene has your back. And let’s not forget, that air conditioning. A lifesaver on those sweltering summer days!

So, if you’re in Ottawa and the weather’s putting a damper on things, worry not! As a traveller, I’ve got the lowdown on the top indoor spots where you can have a blast. And for those who’d rather cozy up inside than brave the cold? I’ve crafted a list of 12+ awesome indoor activities just for you.

So, Let’s dive in and explore this fantastic city, rain or shine!

12+ Top Indoor Activities In Ottawa

Welcome to Ottawa, a lively city nestled in southeastern Ontario, right alongside Gatineau, Quebec. Beyond the famed Parliament Hill and the picturesque Rideau Canal, Ottawa is a hub of diverse experiences.

Getting around here is a breeze, especially by car, allowing you to explore beyond downtown. Indoors, you’ll find a treasure trove of museums, art galleries, and historical landmarks. Plus, some spots won’t cost you a cent, making it a budget-friendly adventure!

Whether you’re keen on immersive museum journeys, vibrant art scenes, or soaking up history, Ottawa caters to all interests.

Oh, and don’t miss indulging in the city’s multicultural food scene and vibrant neighbourhoods! Ready to discover a city that blends history, culture, and endless charm?

Now, let’s dive in!

1. Explore The Canadian Parliament Building

I’ve stumbled upon a gem in Ottawa—Parliament Hill. It’s not just a building; it’s a glimpse into Canada’s heart and history. The Centre Block might be undergoing renovations, but I’ve discovered the Senate and House of Commons close by, welcoming visitors for free guided tours (trust me, book ahead!).

Getting in involves a security check, so plan for about 20 minutes beforehand. Oh, and when the summer nights come alive, don’t miss the captivating sound and light show around 10 p.m.—it’s truly mesmerizing!

While the main building gets a facelift, there are four other free-to-visit sites waiting to be explored. Each spot offers something unique, but remember, you’ll need separate tickets for each one.

Parliament Hill sits right in downtown Ottawa, easily accessible by the O-Train or various bus routes. Parking isn’t available on-site, but nearby lots and bike racks are handy. And for tour buses, designated parking spots throughout the city make it convenient.

For more details or to secure your tickets, the Tours Reservation Office is your go-to! Get ready to dive into Canada’s political heartland—it’s an experience you won’t want to miss!

2. Sleep In Jain – Carleton County Gaol

Carleton County Gaol isn’t just a building—it’s an enthralling journey through Ottawa’s gripping past! At 75-77 Nicholas Street, this site embodies history like no other. As the first jailhouse in Ottawa, constructed in 1862 by architect Henry Horsey, it’s a living testament to our city’s rich heritage.

Imagine walking through its corridors, surrounded by the echoes of its bygone days and the remnants of original jail cells. This gaol, now a recognized historical monument, holds the stories of Ottawa’s earliest inmates, from petty offenders to murderers, shaping our understanding of Canada’s criminal past.

And here’s the adrenaline-pumping twist: spending a night here! Yes, the Saintlo Hostels Association offers the chance to sleep in an authentic jail cell. Not up for the night? Join a spine-tingling guided tour, like those offered by Haunted Walk, to immerse yourself in the gaol’s eerie tales.

From its imposing exterior to the Italianate design of the administration block, every nook speaks volumes about Ottawa’s evolving justice system. This isn’t just a structure; it’s an adventure through time.

As the Ottawa Jail Hostel marks its 50th anniversary, Carleton County Gaol invites you to experience a thrilling chapter of our city’s history—an adventure you won’t soon forget!

3. Visit Diefenbunker Canada’s Cold War Museum

If you’re up for an extraordinary adventure, the Diefenbunker is calling your name! This isn’t just any museum—it’s a gripping journey through Canada’s Cold War history.

Imagine this: in 1959, this top-secret underground bunker was designed to shield important figures, including the Prime Minister, during a nuclear threat. Now, it stands as a four-story time capsule, open for exploration at 3929 Carp Road.

But here’s where it gets exciting!

If daytime tours aren’t your thing, there’s an evening escapade waiting for you. Picture this: an award-winning escape room experience partnering with Escape Manor, using an entire floor of the bunker. It’s a challenge that’ll test your teamwork and logical prowess.

And guess what?

It’s suitable for all ages! Whether you’re visiting with family or friends, these escape rooms promise an unforgettable adventure. Just a heads-up: if you’re under sixteen, make sure to bring along an adult.

From deciphering clues to cracking puzzles, this massive 25,000 square feet escape room is an absolute thrill. So, gear up for an evening filled with camaraderie, brain-teasing challenges, and a race against the clock as we attempt to “Escape the Diefenbunker.”

Trust me, it’s an adventure you won’t want to miss!

4. Explore Canada’s Museum of History

Now let me spill the beans about two incredible spots on the Ottawa museum scene that I absolutely adore! First off, the Canadian Museum of History steals the show.

Situated just across the river in Gatineau, it’s a sight to behold housed in a magnificent building. As you step in, those towering First Nation totem poles set the stage for an awe-inspiring experience.

But the real gem? The Canadian History Hall. It’s not just a gallery—it’s a captivating journey through Canada’s past, with interactive exhibits that truly bring history to life. And hey, it’s not just history here! From archaeology to cultural studies, this museum’s got something for everyone.

But wait, there’s more excitement! Bring your little explorers along for a blast at the Children’s Museum—it’s a playground of fun and learning tailored just for them. And for a dash of cinematic thrill, catch an epic 3D movie at CINE+.

Psst… here’s a little secret: free entry every Thursday from 5-8pm! Make sure to mark that on your calendar. Even if it means a quick hop over the bridge to Gatineau, trust me, this dive into Canada’s history and heritage is an adventure you won’t want to miss!

5. Canadian Aviation And Space Museum

The Canadian Aviation and Space Museum is a treasure trove for aviation enthusiasts! If you are a space buff then visit there is a must on your to-do list at in Ottawa. You’ve got to see it for yourself—the real space gear from the International Space Station is mind-blowing! Trust me, it’s out of this world!

And here’s the kicker: if the weather’s kind, consider snagging a budget-friendly sightseeing flight. We’re talking heritage planes giving you stunning aerial views, maybe even a vintage biplane ride to the iconic Diefenbunker and back!

Now, here’s what’s special about this place—it’s not just another museum. Nestled near Parliament Hill on a former military base, it’s a deep dive into Canadian aviation and space history. From civil to military artifacts, you’ll get a comprehensive look at our high-flying legacy.

But what really sets it apart? Some claim it’s among the finest aviation museums globally! And it’s not just about exhibits; get ready for demos, guided tours, and more that’ll sweep you into the captivating world of flight.

Picture this—a collection of over 130 aircraft and artifacts that’ll leave you in absolute awe. And wait for it—the thrill of flying over Ottawa! Helicopters, vintage planes, or Cessnas, are all taking off right from here, depending on the season!

So, fasten your seatbelt for an exhilarating journey through Canada’s aviation and space history at the Canadian Aviation and Space Museum—it’s an adventure that’ll make you soar with excitement! 🚀✈️

Here Are The 7 More For You To Explore

  • Visit Bytown Museum To Explore Canada’s History
  • Escape Room
  • Explore Canada Science And Technology Museum
  • Explore Escape Manor
  • Shop At CF Rideau Centre
  • Explore Brewery
  • BATL axe throwing

Where To Stay In Ottawa?

Now, let’s take a tour of some fantastic hotels in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada!

My top recommendation?

Le Germain Hotel Ottawa—this place is a standout! Set in a sleek space, it’s near perfect with its modern design and the Norca restaurant, a culinary delight led by Chef Dominique Dufour. The starting price for rooms is CAD 350 (£205) in low season and CAD 488 (£286) in high, including a breakfast buffet. They’ve got rooms adapted for guests with disabilities and suites perfect for families.

Another excellent choice is the Fairmont Château Laurier, an iconic landmark since 1912. Starting from CAD 300 (£170) in low season and CAD 700 (£395) in high, it’s an elegant stay with eight adapted rooms and loads of family-friendly amenities.

Then there’s The Westin Ottawa, offering stunning city views and a wellness-oriented atmosphere starting from CAD 219 (£125) in low season and CAD 329 (£187) in high. It’s equipped with 11 adapted rooms and plenty of perks for families.

For a unique experience, check out the Andaz Ottawa Byward Market. Starting from CAD 179 (£100) in low season and CAD 600 (£340) in high, this hotel is rich in character, boasting 16 adapted rooms and a welcoming vibe for families.

Lastly, ARC The.Hotel is another gem. Starting from 230 Canadian Dollars (£140) in low season and 500 Canadian Dollars (£305) in high, it’s centrally located and perfect for adults looking for a trendy spot.

Each hotel offers something distinct, catering to various preferences and budgets, ensuring an exciting stay in Ottawa!

Final Words

Rain or shine, Ottawa’s indoor scene is an absolute delight.

Museums, historical sites, and space galleries offer a vibrant indoor adventure. Whether you’re a history buff or a space enthusiast, there’s something for everyone.

So, raincoats or sunscreen, Ottawa’s indoor activities promise excitement! Embrace these fantastic indoor spots and explore Ottawa, rain or shine—I know you’ll have a blast!

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