Lord Elgin aerial view from the busy downtown Ottawa streets of Laurier Avenue and Confederation Park

Fall: A Special Time in Ottawa

Experience the best the fall season has to offer with amazing outdoor and indoor activities for the whole family.  Autumn is a special time to visit Ottawa, as vibrant fall colors frame the Capital’s national sights, and Fall Rhapsody celebrations and activities attract thousands to nearby Gatineau Park – just a 15-minute drive from Parliament Hill in downtown Ottawa.

Embrace the captivating transition of the seasons and take in Fall Rhapsody in Gatineau Park.  Enjoy the spectacular fall colors on display and explore the unique and fascinating places that offer magnificent views – as well as being great spots to have a picnic in nature, take a walk in the woods, or enjoy a bike ride.  And, you’ll encounter far fewer people there during the week.

Due to Gatineau Park’s popularity during Fall Rhapsody, access to and within the area is limited. Certain roads are closed to traffic during certain periods to allow active use, and a limited amount of free NCC shuttle buses depart from Ottawa and Gatineau on weekends and stop at locations in the southern sector of the park.

Complete your day at Fall Rhapsody with the Nordik Spa-nature wellness experience. Swimming pools, saunas & massage treatments at a wellness center modeled on Northern European spas. Take a break from your routine and enjoy the Nordik this fall!

Or for the more adventurous, there is Great Canadian Bungee Jumping near Wakefield, ziplining at Camp Fortune, visiting Parc Omega, in addition to all the best hiking and biking trails for those with lots of energy!  Check out the Ottawa Tourism Fall Page for a full list of things to do in the coming months.  For those who would like to get the best of Ottawa, check out Ottawa Tourism’s Event Calendar!

This Thanksgiving, we invite you to support the Ottawa Food Bank, whose cupboards are very bare!  For every night booked under this special rate, we pledge to donate $10 to the Ottawa Food Bank, an organization dedicated to alleviating hunger and supporting those in need in our community. Join hands with us to make a difference, one night at a time. Your stay matters, and together we can contribute to building a stronger, more nourished Ottawa.


Ottawa Food Bank

Here are a few suggestions:

Apple picking & pumpkin patch

Take your family on a seasonal excursion to a pumpkin patch and/or apple orchard in the Ottawa area! The nearby spots are charming and picturesque, embodying the best of autumn. Take part in classic hayrides that evoke nostalgia for you and lifelong memories for your little ones. Navigate corn mazes and even interact with a variety of friendly farm animals at some of the locations. There’s also the opportunity to sample freshly pressed apple cider and indulge in decadent apple pies! Embrace the cozy ambiance and wholesome enjoyment these pumpkin patches and apple orchards in Ottawa provide for you and your family.

Be sure to check out Ouimet Farms Adventure, with a corn maze and family fun zone complete with pedal cars and giant jumping pillows, your kids won’t want to leave. Log Cabin Orchard is another great location, where you can pick your own pumpkins and apples and shop at their market. Learn more and fall for the perfect pumpkin patch and apple orchards in the capital region.


Ottawa’s awesome autumn adventures are a great way to bond as a family. You can fly over the Ottawa River between Ottawa, Ontario and Gatineau, Québec on the Interzip Rogers zipline. You can also zip through the trees and zoom down hills at nearby nature centres such as Arbraska Laflèche (where you can also go caving) and Camp Fortune, which sports a thrilling mountain pipe coaster. For a view of the fall colours from even higher up, fly over the city in a 3-passenger Cessna airplane with Ottawa Aviation Adventures (formerly Ottawa Biplane Adventures) or helicopter with Héli-Tremblant Helicopter Tours. Or stay low and view wildlife in their natural habitats while on a self-drive Canadian safari at Park Omega.

Haunted sites

Discover Ottawa’s darker past on a fun and spooky evening tour with The Haunted Walk. Follow one of their expert guides—appropriately outfitted in a long black cloak and glowing lantern—as they lead you from one haunted site to the next. Stops along the way may include the Rideau Canal (a UNESCO World Heritage Site), the historic Bytown Museum (Ottawa’s oldest stone building), and a haunted high school. Some tours are available in both English and French.

Fun at the Farm

Saunders Farm

Family time at local farms can be extra fun in the fall! Popular activities include hedge mazes, hayrides, animals, and Halloween-themed programming. A half-hour drive west of downtown Ottawa, Saunders Farm has tons of outdoor fun including the largest collection of full-sized hedge mazes in North America, play structures, and entertainment. Check out similar options at Proulx Maple & Berry Farm (east of downtown), Cannamore Orchard (southeast), Ouimet Farms Adventure (east), plus the opportunity to walk alpacas at Maple Hill Urban Farm (west).