What’s Happening in the Ottawa Area

Looking for fun activities in the Ottawa area? Check out these options over the next seven days, starting on Thursday, May 12. Be sure to verify details with the organizers as plans can change at any time.

  • The Canadian Tulip Festival begins this Friday, May 13, continuing to Monday, May 23! This year, enjoy walking tours, an evening boardwalk, and more at Commissioners Park near Dows Lake, where hundreds of thousands of tulips bloom and the festival celebrates its 70th edition. Leave the car at home and hop aboard the daily Tulip Shuttle from 4 downtown Ottawa locations to the park. For more great tulip sites throughout the city, check out Ottawa Tourism’s list of Top places to photograph beautiful tulips in Ottawa. Some events are FREE!
  • NOKIA Weekend Bikedays start this weekend, with select roads open to cyclists and walkers on weekends until September. Enjoy car-free stretches of the Sir John A. Macdonald Parkway, Sir George-Étienne Cartier Parkway, and Queen Elizabeth Driveway. New this year, find a CAA Rest area with picnic tables and a bike tune-up service on Sir John. A Macdonald Parkway near Island Park Drive. Select roads in Gatineau Park will also be open to active users throughout most of the week (check schedule). FREE!
  • Enjoy musical performances from Canadian artists in unique venues across Eastern Ontario at the Ontario Festival of Small Halls, on weekends from Friday, May 13 to the end of May.
  • The Bank of Canada Museum reopens this Thursday, May 12, and remains open Thursdays through Mondays! Learn about economics and the history of Canadian money at this innovative and interactive downtown museum. FREE!
  • See Ottawa by water! Au feel de l’eau Aqua-Taxi opens its shuttle service on the Ottawa River this Thursday, May 12; Rideau Canal Cruises opens this Friday, May 13; and Ottawa Yacht Tours kicks off its season this weekend.
  • This Saturday, May 14, enjoy the sweet sounds of the National Youth Choir of Canada at the Carleton Dominion-Chalmers Centre for a special concert presented by Ottawa Chamberfest.
  • Double down on fun in Ottawa when you book a vacation or staycation at participating Ottawa hotels to receive credit to visit and play at the Rideau Carleton Casino!
  • Westboro Village presents Shop the Village, celebrating the retail stores in the trendy neighbourhood, now to Sunday, May 22 with giveaways, sales, special markets, and more!
  • Shop for one-of-a-kind finds at Lansdowne this weekend at 613flea this Saturday, May 14 and at the Ottawa Children’s Business Fair on Sunday, May 15 . FREE!
  • C’est Bon Cooking now offers Self Guided Tours for participants to explore the local culinary scene using an app that leads them from sample to sample.

Find out more great activities to do in and around Ottawa on the Ottawa Insider Blog!


Photo credit: Ottawa Tourism