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5 Free Outdoor Activities to do in Ottawa this Summer


This summer, don’t waste any time indoors and make the most of the warm weather and beautiful city! Listed below are five fun outdoor activities that are available for free this summer in Ottawa.

1. Go to Gatineau Park for a Scenic Hike, Swim or Cycling

Gatineau Park is one of the most popular parks nearby to enjoy the outdoors, located approximately 15 minutes driving from downtown Ottawa. Gatineau Park has 7 different trails for hiking, including Pink Lake, King Mountain and Luskville Falls. At Gatineau Park, there are 7 beaches in the region to relax, suntan and swim! For all the cyclists out there, Gatineau Park is the perfect spot to challenge yourself with long diverse rides. The parkways offer 32.5 kilometers of scenic roads.

2. Watch the Changing of the Guard Ceremony

Beginning in late June, every morning at 10am the Changing of the Guards march on Parliament Hill. This ceremony began in 1959 and has become an annual tradition in Ottawa. Arrive early with your family to grab the perfect spot on the street and enjoy the lively ceremony and music.

3. Take a Tour of Ottawa

Ottawa Free Tours offers free walking tours of downtown Ottawa that tell you about all the main attractions and famous historical buildings in the city. There is a Capital City Tour that consists of Ottawa’s main landmarks, its history and many trendy spots the locals adore. There is also the Historical Tavern Tour that takes you around to 3 bars throughout the city; they will even buy you a drink!

4. Do Yoga on Parliament Hill

From May 15th to August 28th, every Wednesday at noon there is a free yoga class offered for all levels right on Parliament Hill. Just make sure to bring your own yoga mat and water bottle, the rest is taken care of! This activity is perfect for a fun afternoon with friends or to take a break from work.

5. Watch the Sound and Light show on Parliament Hill

Starting in July, Ottawa has a Northern Light evening show that is presented across the Parliament Buildings. The show is free, bilingual and appropriate for all ages! The historical story of Canada is presented though sound and light, touching on subjects that include nation-building, discovery and pride.

Get out there and enjoy all that Ottawa has to offer!

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