Ottawa has an endless list of activities and events throughout the summer which span all ages and interests! The National Gallery, the Museums (History, Nature, War, Aviation and Science & Tech), Calypso Water Park, Ottawa River Cruises, Cycling, and music festivals for every genre are just some of the exciting things happening – not to mention the return of the very popular Mosaiculture that blew everyone away in 2017! Watch the video here for what is planned for 2018.
The Lord Elgin Hotel is in the ideal location, so you can stay and take in all there is to see and do in Ottawa! We would love to add you to the celebration happening in Ottawa, as we have many specials and packages throughout the summer.
Here are some of the activities happening this summer!
At any time of year, Parliament Hill is the iconic landmark to see when in the capital city. Only three blocks from the hotel, Ottawa’s Parliament Buildings are a must see for all visitors. The Parliament Buildings present a fascinating blend of honours and vibrancy. Their vaulted ceilings, marble floors and dramatic lighting create an air of dignity, yet the stone walls are alive with decoration. Saucy faces grin at passers-by, birds and animals almost come to life, and events from our history are retold.
In summertime, you have to take advantage of the fabulous light show called Northern Lights from July 9 to September 3rd each night after nightfall. For more information about this colourful event, click here.
Dragon Boat Festival: June 21-24, 2018
Recognized as North America’s largest dragon boating festival, the four day celebration offers free admission to concerts, amusement attractions, sports demonstrations, a variety of artisans, exhibitors, delicious culinary treats, children’s area and non-stop racing.
The first official march will happen on Monday, June 25th, 2018 at 10 a.m. Marching right outside the door of the Lord Elgin Hotel en route to the Changing of the Guard Ceremony on Parliament Hill, this daily ritual is another must see when you visit Ottawa in the summer time. The Changing of the Guard began as a morning routine on the Hill in 1959, and has turned into an annual tradition. This large-scale production includes a regimental band and pipers. The ceremony begins at 10 a.m. each morning, but arrive about 15 minutes early to grab a spot with a great view.
Yoga on Parliament Hill: Every Wednesday
It’s back for the summer! Join Lululemon as they present renowned yoga instructors every Wednesday at noon! Just bring your own mat and water, all levels of yogis are welcome for free yoga on the hill!
A UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Rideau Canal is just a block from the Lord Elgin Hotel and one of the city’s top tourism destination! Snaking and making its way gracefully through Ottawa’s charming downtown core, “the canal” as it’s known locally, is the heart beat of Canada’s Capital in any season. In the warmer months, the canal is a haven for walkers, runners, in-line skaters and cyclists, who stroll along its scenic, rolling green banks. Take a cruise down the Canal with Paul’s Boat Lines, or rent a kayak at Dow’s Lake Pavillion.
Music and Beyond: More Than a Music Festival July 4 – 18, 2018
Music and Beyond is dedicated to enhancing the enjoyment of classical music and the arts in general in the Ottawa region by providing excellent concerts; broadening the audience base; fostering greater appreciation, understanding, and support for all forms of classical music.
RBCOttawa Bluesfest: July 5 – 15, 2018
This festival just gets bigger and better each year! This year’s RBC Bluesfest will take place July 5th-15th at Lebreton Flats. Just like always, this year’s lineup has a something for everyone. Foo Fighters, Dave Matthews Band, Shawn Mendes, Bryan Adams are just a few of the big names that highlight this year’s festival.
Calypso Water Park: Open all season
Calypso is Canada’s biggest theme waterpark. There is water fun to be had everywhere on our extensive 100-acre facility with over 35 slides. From toddlers to teens, from party dudes to grandparents, everyone will have their share of fun in this gem of a park. With imaginative management, this $50 million investment has been transformed into a hundred different water adventures to keep you cool and busy. Humongous state-of-the-art slides, a river run, Canada’s largest wave pool, thrilling rides—even a whitewater experience! You won’t have time to be bored. Check out our Calypso Package on our Special Offers page here.
For Thrill Seekers & the Adventurous
If you love adventure check out the many companies on the Ottawa River – from white water rafting to bungee jumping, there is no shortage of ideas – you may have to stay another week!
Floating downstream, the Ottawa River looks just as majestic as when Champlain viewed it four centuries ago. Come experience a unique perspective of Canada’s Capital City as you, your family and friends raft through exciting rapids and picturesque scenery. Thrill-seekers will love body surfing through the waves and jumping off our secret cliffs, and history buffs will indulge in facts and lore about the Ottawa River Timber Trade. Get wet and wild in the rapids, or partake in a gentle sight-seeing tour. Family fun for ages 5 to 105! At OWL Rafting, transfers are available upon request.
Visit ottawacityrafting for more details!
Not into extreme water activities? No problem!
Get on the water at Dow’s Lake. Canoes, kayaks and paddle boats are now available for rental until the end of the summer.
Great Canadian Bungee: Open all season
Located only 20 minutes from downtown, the GCB was founded on the principles of product excellence with the highest degree of safety possible. GCB’s mission was to open a extremely unique, world-class bungee site. “The ROCK” at Morrison’s Quarry is an amazing site. Tens of thousands of people have sampled GCB’s products – a 200 ft. bungee jump and The RIPRIDE cable slide.
Gatineau Hot Air Balloon Festival: August 31 – September 4
The Gatineau Hot Air Balloon Festival takes place every year during the long weekend in September. The Festival features balloons in different shapes, colours and sizes from different countries. Some countries that have been represented in the past include Australia, Germany and the United States. It is spectacular to see the styles of balloons. You will see balloons of animals, automobiles, people and anything else you can imagine.
CityFolk Festival: September 14 – 17
Organized by the same folks that have made Bluesfest a huge success in Ottawa, this festival has an amazing line-up!! The event will be held at Landsdown Park Ottawa Cityfolk Festival will offer performances for world renowned artists. Stay tuned for their line-up!
Gatineau Park: Open all season
The park has officially opened it’s trails an beaches for the season! The trails continue to be a wonderful spectacle as the weather increases, with beautiful lakes and scenic routes.
Parc Omega: Open all season
This park offers many different options for families, animal lovers, and those who want to be outside all year round! Whether its a car tours or a walking tours, you’ll be see a variety of animals in their natural habitats.
Camp Fortune: Open all season
Known to Ottawa as ski resort during the winter, however, these giant hills just got a makeover and have turned into zip lines and high ropes courses! Leave your skis at home and bring your sneakers for an aerial adventure.
- RBC Ottawa Bluesfest wraps up this Sunday, July 15 with performances this weekend from Beck, Rae Sremmurd, Three Days Grace, Rise Against, and many more!
- Lansdowne is filled with fun activities this weekend! Cheer on the Ottawa REDBLACKS on Thursday, July 12 as they play the Calgary Stampeders and cheer on the Ottawa Fury FC as they play Penn FC this Saturday, July 14. Head to TD Place on Sunday, July 15 for a World Soccer Final Watch Party inside the stadium with fun games, face painting, food, and the chance to meet the Ottawa Fury FC!
- The Casino du Lac-Leamy goes retro! All summer long, enjoy weekends where old-school is brought back in style! Now through July 21, enjoy ’50s-themed décor, games, performances, and more. Admission is FREE!
- Haunted Walks is offering a special spooky walking tour of Ottawa now until the beginning of August. Learn about Canada’s ghostly side select evenings on a Canada’s Scariest Ghost Stories tour!
- The Royal Canadian Geographic Society is now open to the public in a renovated building overlooking Rideau Falls and the Ottawa River, Thursdays through Mondays at 50 Sussex Drive! Check out The RCGS Summer Exhibits Series which explores Norwegian explorer Roald Amundsen, artist Chris Cran, and a site-specific installation outside, on display until mid-September. FREE!
- Douglas Coupland’s exhibition The National Portrait is now on display at the Ottawa Art Gallery. Check out this collection of 3D printed portraits of everyday Canadians now through mid-August! FREE!
- Fly kites at Andrew Haydon Park this Saturday, July 14 at the Kite Festival, featuring activities, an open mic, a BBQ and more! Admission is FREE!
- Learn about (and taste!) cold, creamy ice cream this Sunday, July 15 at the Ice Cream Festival at the Canada Agriculture and Food Museum!
- Immerse yourself in the imaginative classical music festival taking place at venues across Ottawa as Music and Beyond wraps up this Wednesday, July 18.
For more information on these events and others, see the Ottawa Tourism Events page.