The Top 6 Things To Do In Winter In Ottawa
Despite being a large city, Ottawa might seem a little less vibrant in the winters. After all, most outdoor activities go away until at least the spring. People don’t spend much time outside at all, which can leave you feeling starved for fun.
The good news is there are some great options for winter activities in Ottawa. We explore the top six destinations you should check out. These places can also help open up a whole range of other options, so you can stay happy when temperatures are frigid.
Plenty of Options
As the capital of Canada, Ottawa is home to all kinds of unique attractions and resources. While you spend time in the city, it only makes sense to really take advantage of the local fare. But, once the weather turns bitter cold and the Canadian winter settles in, it’s easy to feel like your options are extremely limited.
If you know where to go in the winter months, Ottawa still has plenty to offer. To help you start exploring the options, check out the top six things to do in Ottawa in the winter.
When the weather isn’t great for most outdoor activities, you need to do something inside. Fortunately, Ottawa is home to quite a few amazing museums. You’ll find permanent displays and exhibits which cycle out every few months, keeping the experience fresh and fun.
One of the more interesting and unique options is Diefenbunker, Canada’s Cold War Museum. It details all kinds of things about the Cold War and how it relates to Canada, but even more interesting is the museum itself. You enter a four-story, 100,000 square-foot underground bunker that was designed to survive a communist attack. Spend even more time to watch the Cold War Cinema, where different movies touch on the subject of the Cold War and how it affected both sides.
Hit up the Canadian Museum of Nature to learn about the beauty which surrounds Ottawa and other Canadian cities, plus unique characteristics of other parts of the world. If you’re interested in partying, the museum transforms into a nightclub on the last Friday of every month. There’s a different theme each time, making the event that much more entertaining.
While you could go to a highly commercialized movie theatre and see all the latest big-budget flicks, Mayfair Theatre offers a unique and more artistic experience that will keep you out of the cold. Many of the films showcased at this theatre aren’t super well-known, with quite a few shot in 16mm.
Thanks to a constantly changing selection of newer and older films, there’s always something completely unique and experience-expanding at this theatre. Different events take place at this location, too, making it a favourite of cultured locals.
3. House of Targ
Go back to the days when arcades where the only place you could play video games, all thanks to House of Targ in Ottawa. This throwback arcade is located in a basement, boasting well over 100 different machines, so you’ll be hard-pressed to not find something which fits with your style.
There are quite a few pinball machines, plus classics like Pac-Man and Mortal Kombat. While you play, sometimes musical acts come in an perform just about every genre imaginable, making for a culturally well-rounded experience.
You also get to choose one of multiple food options at House of Targ. There’s a pierogi-only menu, plus vegan versions of many of the dishes. This is a place where you can spend as little or as much time out of the cold as you like.
4. Eat Out
Being the capital city, Ottawa is a magnet for all kinds of wonderful cuisine. Even better, the range of restaurants cover all types of budgets, so you don’t have to feel a financial pinch while enjoying some food on the town.
While there are all kinds of places you can explore, some stand out from the rest. One is Flapjack’s Canadian Diner. As the name indicates, this eatery is famous for its fresh pancakes and maple syrup. You can also get pretty much any Canadian diner food.
One of the big food attractions in Ottaway is shawarma. There are multiple good destinations for it in the city, including Shawarma Place, where the meat is flavorful and the prices are quite affordable.
If you like to eat in as well, take cooking classes at the world-famous Le Cordon Bleu, a local French culinary institute. You’ll learn from some of the best in the business to make dishes which will impress your family and friends, making for a great night at home.
5. Books and More
Sometimes when the weather is bad outside, the best thing to do is cuddle up with a favourite book. Black Squirrel Books and Espresso Bar does a great job of introducing you to all kinds of literature, so you expand your horizons beyond what you normally take in. Crammed bookshelves are almost overflowing with options.
Naturally, there’s more to this local shop than just books. A café offers excellent lattes and other drinks made lovingly by skilled baristas, plus plenty of seating to enjoy your selection. During the evenings the space becomes more of a community gathering spot. Book launches, art vernissages, and even small concerts. That means no matter when you head over to Black Squirrel Books, you’re sure to be treated to a different and interesting experience.
6. Putting Edge
Sometimes you just need to cut loose and have some child-like fun, which is what Putting Edge is all about. At first you might think this is just one of many mini-golf facilities, but the reality is that you enjoy so much more. What’s more, Putting Edge is completely indoors, so no matter how low temperatures drop outside, you stay comfortable and happy.
When you first walk into Putting Edge, you’re absolutely immersed in colour. It goes beyond even other black lit mini-golf courses, thanks to imaginative, intricate, and wild designs scattered just about anywhere imaginable. Accompanying that are all kinds of entertaining noises, immersing you in the creative environment. The courses are challenging but not too difficult, making for an experience you want to go back and enjoy over and over.
There’s so much more than mini-golf at Putting Edge. A full arcade helps you unwind further and make a night of the event. Try your luck at ski ball, or challenge a friend to air hockey