Ottawa
Rainy-day activities

Rainy-day activities
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Ottawa

Our most recommended Ottawa Rainy-day activities

Ottawa: Bilingual Guided City Tour by Amphibious Bus

Ottawa: Bilingual Guided City Tour by Amphibious Bus

Climb aboard a unique vehicle that can travel on land and water and discover the historical attractions of Ottawa and the Ottawa River from different perspectives. Spend 40 minutes on land and 20 minutes on the water. Admire landmark monuments and attractions such as Lake Dow, Landsdowne Park, and Byward Market. Get a magnificent view of the city as you cruise along the river aboard the amphibious vehicle. See all the important sights of Ottawa and the city of Gatineau, located just across the water. Avail of an activity that is both fun and educational for the entire family, and ideal for those who are short of time but want to see it all.

Ottawa: Sightseeing River Cruise

Ottawa: Sightseeing River Cruise

Discover the natural beauty of the region that captured the imagination of the first European explorer Samuel de Champlain. Climb aboard the 'Paula D' for a 1.5-hour sightseeing cruise on the Ottawa River. This must-do experience offers an entertaining glimpse of the region's rich history and leaves you with plenty of time to enjoy the rest of your stay. For your convenience, there are two departure docks, one located in Gatineau and another in Ottawa. Once boarded, sit back and relax as you cruise down the river. Enjoy spectacular views of the city and learn about the river's past life as a watery highway for transporting resources with your guide's engaging and informative commentary in both English and French. During your cruise, you'll have the opportunity to see the Parliament Buildings, the Rideau Canal Locks, and the cities of Ottawa and Gatineau from the river. You'll also be able to spot some sights that are only visible from the water or from Gatineau. While you're taking in the sights, savor a nice cold beverage (at your own expense) on the large open-air upper deck. Alternatively, escape the elements and visit the closed-in lower deck to take advantage of the on-board canteen with a bar.

Ottawa: Rideau Canal Cruise

Ottawa: Rideau Canal Cruise

Discover the UNESCO World Heritage-listed Rideau Canal aboard a brand-new electric vessel. Admire top attractions like the Canadian Museum of Nature, Château Laurier, Dow’s Lake, and the National Arts Centre from this iconic waterway. The cruise departs from the heart of downtown Ottawa. Step aboard North America’s largest 100% electric passenger vessel, the only one of its kind. Your experienced and friendly crew will answer your questions and ensure your safety. Sit back, relax, and enjoy the view as your live guide shares entertaining insights into the region, its history, and rich cultural heritage. Discover the Rideau Canal from the Chateau Laurier to Dow's Lake. Learn about 30 different sites that have marked the history of Ottawa including the Trans-Canada Highway, Canadian Museum of Nature, Canal Ritz, Lansdowne Park, Bank Street Bridge, Dow’s Lake, Commissioners Park, Dominion Arboretum, and many more.

Ottawa: Hop-On Hop-Off Guided City Tour Pass

Ottawa: Hop-On Hop-Off Guided City Tour Pass

All aboard for this popular hop-on hop-off city bus tour of Ottawa that’s filled with fun, facts, and history! Stay on the bus for the complete 1.5-hour round-trip tour or hop off and back on throughout the validity of your ticket. Explore Ottawa's main sights like the Canadian Parliament buildings, Byward Market, and more en route. See the sights of Ottawa from a classic open-top, double-decker bus. Sit on the lower deck and enjoy the inside comfort or ride on the top deck and enjoy the fantastic views as your knowledgeable, bilingual guide points out landmarks and shares the city's history with you. Hop off at sites you want to explore and hop back on to resume your city tour. Do this at your own pace, and visit as many of Ottawa’s top sites as you like. See museums, parks, galleries, the Byward Market, the Canadian Parliament buildings, and lots more. Explore, dine, and shop throughout the capital city!

Ottawa: Canadian Museum of Nature Admission

Ottawa: Canadian Museum of Nature Admission

Discover Canada’s diverse nature under one roof when you visit the Canadian Museum of Nature. Located a 20-minute walk from Parliament Hill and easily accessible by public transportation or car, the museum offers world-class galleries housed in a striking historic “castle” that once served as Canada’s Parliament. Explore 4 floors full of galleries showcasing the geology, ecology, and paleontology of Canada as live exhibits. Your admission includes access to all permanent galleries. Encounter giant dinosaurs, iconic Canadian mammals, a complete blue whale skeleton, dazzling gems and minerals, Canadian birds, live insects, Pacific tide pool creatures, and more. Discover the mysteries of water and Earth, as well as the creatures that inhabit our planet now and in the past. Touch real ice and immerse yourself in Canada’s Arctic in the spectacular "Canada Goose Arctic Gallery", an Ontario Signature Experience. Explore Canada's mysterious, vulnerable and unique Arctic through immersive hands-on and interactive displays. Additional Option: Special Exhibit: Bug Adventure It’s amazing what bugs can do—and you can too—in this larger-than-life exhibition. Let the design team behind The Lord of the Rings and Avatar take you on a bug adventure. Venture through fantastical decor that lets you experience the world as bugs do. There are interactive surprises around every corner. Come face-to-face with bug characteristics of camouflage, venom, swarming, and flight. Test yourself against bugs with interactive games—how many flying bugs can you catch in 30 seconds? Discover how bugs inspired experts to make flying robots, nanotechnology, 3D-printed silk and more!

Ottawa: Canadian War Museum Admission

Ottawa: Canadian War Museum Admission

The Canadian War Museum is Canada’s national museum of military history. Designed by Japanese–Canadian architect Raymond Moriyama, the Museum’s structure and surrounding grounds reflect the concept of regeneration. From windows spelling out “Lest We Forget / N’oublions jamais” in Morse code, to uneven floors and rough concrete walls, the building acknowledges the price of conflict, while also showing hope for a more peaceful future. The Museum brings Canada’s military history to life for visitors of all ages through thousands of personal stories, objects, works of art, photographs, interactive presentations, and immersive environments. In addition to a series of galleries exploring Canadian military history from early wars in Canada to contemporary conflicts, the Museum features an impressive collection of large artillery and military vehicles in the LeBreton Gallery, as well as thought-provoking temporary exhibitions on everything from the First and Second World Wars to art produced by women in conflict zones. Memorial Hall and several additional spaces in the Museum encourage quiet reflection on the cost of war. To stand in the presence of the headstone of Canada’s Unknown Soldier in Memorial Hall is a powerful and moving experience, as is experiencing the Moriyama Regeneration Hall and visiting the Royal Canadian Legion Hall of Honour. The Canadian War Museum’s collections are among the finest military holdings in the world, comprising rare vehicles, artillery, uniforms, medals, small arms, and rare books and archives, as well as the outstanding Beaverbrook Collection of War Art. In addition to showcasing exhibitions from around the world, the Museum hosts vehicle demonstrations, scholarly lectures, engaging family programming, and a wide range of special events.

Ottawa: River Zipline Adventure

Ottawa: River Zipline Adventure

Try out a completely unique activity that demands to be tried at least once. Try the world's only interprovincial zip-line flying across the mighty Ottawa River, separating Canada's capital, Ottawa, from the city of Gatineau. Arrive at the Welcome Desk on the Gatineau side to register and sign the liability waiver. Collect your equipment and head to the launch tower in Ottawa, an 8-minute walk from the Welcome Desk, across the Chaudière Bridge. Climb the steps to the tower and get ready to cross from one province to the other. Soar from Ontario to Quebec in less than a minute at an average speed of 40 km an hour, 120 feet above the water. Enjoy a breathtaking view of the National Capital Region with historic landmarks such as the Parliament of Canada, the historic district of Old Hull, and the Chaudière Falls, classified as a natural monument and national heritage site. Capture the whole experience and keep it as a souvenir for you and your loved ones with the Kool Replay video capture system. Quickly upload the full video of your zip line ride for your social media and watch your friends go wild.

Ottawa: Haunted Night Walking Tour

Ottawa: Haunted Night Walking Tour

Experience Ottawa like never before on a 75-minute Original Haunted Walk. Spend an evening with fascinating tour guides who are chosen from the best local storytellers and have a passion for sharing the unexpected side of Canada's capital city.  Be captivated by our friendly and talented storytellers, each wearing one of our iconic black cloaks, as they recount the area’s most spine-tingling ghostly tales. Using lanterns to light our way, we’ll lead you to Ottawa’s most haunted places, such as Grant House, the elegant Fairmont Château Laurier, and the city’s infamous haunted high school. This memorable evening will forever alter your perception of the city and its historic buildings. Ideal for all ages, this tour is a favourite among families, the curious, and paranormal enthusiasts alike. After being led through the streets of Downtown Ottawa, your guide can walk you back to the start location or leave you to enjoy a (sleepless) night in the city.

Gatineau: Canadian Museum of History Admission

Gatineau: Canadian Museum of History Admission

The Canadian Museum of History is Canada’s national museum of human history. Located in Gatineau, Quebec, along the scenic riverfront across from Parliament Hill, the Museum is housed in an iconic building designed by Indigenous architect Douglas Cardinal. The Museum is one of Canada’s most popular cultural institutions, with a collection of more than 4 million items — including archaeological material, cultural objects, works of art, documents, and audiovisual material. In collaboration with Indigenous Peoples, the Museum shares the stories of the resilience and diversity of Indigenous cultures and histories across Canada. The Museum has the world’s largest indoor display of monumental poles, six traditional Native house fronts arranged in the shape of a 19th-century Northwest Coast village, contemporary works of Indigenous art, and a gallery dedicated to the achievements and traditions of Indigenous Peoples. The Museum is also home to the popular Canadian History Hall — a stunning showcase that provides access to 15,000 years of social history through personal stories and 1,500 authentic artifacts, many of which are national treasures. The Museum’s exhibitions examine the events, personalities and cultures that have shaped Canada. Sharing stories through multiple perspectives and voices, the Museum celebrates Canadian achievements while also exploring some of the country’s darker chapters. The Museum is also a destination of choice for major international exhibitions, which are often produced in partnership with the world’s most renowned institutions. In addition, you can explore the world through play with your children at the Canadian Children’s Museum and watch an inspiring, larger-than-life documentary films at Ciné+.

Ottawa: Floating Tiki Bar Cruise on the Ottawa River

Ottawa: Floating Tiki Bar Cruise on the Ottawa River

Take a relaxing tour up and down the Ottawa River on a floating tiki bar. Just head to one of the embarkment sites, climb aboard and get the party started. The activity provider's captains are all small vessel certified and licensed. Enjoy fancy drinks and snacks as the floating palapa boat takes you along the river, offering stunning views of the shoreline. Whether it’s just hanging out with friends for a fun time, spending some relaxing time with your family, taking a romantic cruise, or a group excursion, this tour is one of the most unique ways to get out on the water. Cruise the time away sipping drinks, and listening to or singing karaoke to your favorite tropical tunes.

Frequently asked questions about Ottawa Rainy-day activities

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Top Attractions in Ottawa

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