Summer is here! This allows for families to spend more time together spend some time doing things together in Ottawa and its surrounding areas. Here is a list of 25 summer family activities in Ottawa for you and your family to attend and enjoy!
Summer Family Activities in Ottawa
There are lots of Ottawa summer family activities to do!
1. Pressure: Deepsea Challenger, June 5-September 1, 2023, Tuesday to Saturday, 50 Sussex Drive.
The Royal Canadian Geographical Society & Canadian Geographic invites the public to a free extraordinary exhibit entitled ‘PRESSURE’ which features James Cameron’s DEEPSEA CHALLENGER. Dive into the future of Ocean Conversation!
2. Ottawa Fringe Festival, June 15-25, 2023
The Ottawa Fringe Festival provides all performing artists, both emerging and established, with the opportunity to showcase their original work and makes the Festival as affordable and accessible as possible to the members of the community.
This is no ordinary adventure! After reading an inspiring story, a museum guide takes children on an imaginary journey through our Solar System — landing on planets along the way.
3. Summer Solstice Festival, June 21, 2023 at MĀDAHÒKÌ FARM
The Summer Solstice Festival is spectacular tourism experience and gathering place in Ottawa’s Greenbelt. MĀDAHÒKÌ, which means “to share land” in Anishinaabe, builds on the growing interest in agritourism, farm-to-table culinary experiences and authentic cultural experiences from an Indigenous perspective.
4. Tim Hortons Ottawa Dragon Boat Festival, June 22-25, 2023, Mooney’s Bay Park
The Tim Hortons Ottawa Dragon Boat Festival is a weekend of fun and racing. Visitors will cheer for their favourite dragon boat as teams from local businesses and organizations race each other along Mooney’s Bay. Concerts, food and free family events are planned for everyone to enjoy!
5. The Lost Kingdoms – A Journey from Jurassic to Ice Age, June 23-July 9, 2023, Wesley Clover Parks
Let your imagination take you back millions of years. Walk among Tyrannosaurus Rex and get up close and personal with a Woolly Mammoth. The Lost Kingdoms combines educational and exhilarating exhibits from both the Jurassic and Ice Age Periods. Over 50 animatronic dinosaurs and Ice Age beasts will inhabit the natural outdoor setting. Robotic moving body parts including opening jaws and blinking eyes and the sounds of roaring, hissing and snarling coming from the bushes make it an exciting and realistic experience.
6. All Aboard! with the Ottawa Valley Live Steamers and Model Engineers Sundays June 25, July 30, August 27, and September 24
Travel back in time to the age of rail with the Ottawa Valley Live Steamers and Model Engineers and participate in a demonstration of their large-scale outdoor model locomotives at the Cumberland Heritage Village Museum. This program is weather dependent. In the event of inclement weather, the program may be adjusted or cancelled without notice.
7. Corteo by Cirque du Soleil, June 25- July 2, 2023 at the Canadian Tire Centre
Corteo, which means cortege in Italian, is a joyous procession, a festive parade imagined by a clown. Corteo is guided through a timeless ceremony in which fantasy teases reality with music, which is both poetic and mischievous. The show brings together the passion of the actor with the grace and power of the acrobat to plunge the audience into a theatrical world of fun, comedy and spontaneity situated in a mysterious space between heaven and earth.
8. Ceremonial Guard presents: Canada on the March, June 28 – August 25, Parliament Hill
Every day regimental bands from the Ceremonial Guard will march from Cartier Square Drill Hall to Parliament Hill to deliver a concert from 10:00 to 10:30 a.m. The Ceremonial Guard will also resume sentry duties at Rideau Hall.
9. Canada Day in Ottawa, July 1, 2023
Numerous events are planned for your family to do to celebrate Canada Day in Ottawa! There will be street entertainers, games, ceremonies and performances throughout the day finishing with a dazzling fireworks display.
Local Canada Day events in Ottawa:
- Canada Day in Barrhaven
- Canada Day in Kanata
- Canada Day Road Races
- Canada Day in Stittsville
- O Canada Orléans
10. Music and Beyond, July 4-17, 2023
Music and Beyond is a classical music and arts festival. Each year, the festival offers a variety of programming to highlight exciting connections between classical music and other art forms. Music and Beyond introduces and fosters new audiences as they explore or experience music and the arts. All the while emphasizing and providing opportunities for young people in the community.
11. RBC Bluesfest, July 6-16, 2023, Canadian War Museum LeBreton Flats
Ottawa’s RBC Bluesfest is one of the largest international music events in the world. Ottawa Bluesfest provides a world-class event that showcases local, regional, national and international musicians.
12. Northern Lights: Sound and Light Show, July 7 to September 4, 2023, Thursday to Monday on Parliament Hill – July at 10 pm, August 9:30 pm, September 9 pm
Watch in awe as Parliament Hill gets lit up with a sensational light and sound show with the Northern Lights! Colour lights are programmed to move along with stunning sound show that depicts Canada’s thrilling history.
13. Ottawa International Crafts & Book Expo
Rideau Centre (July 8 – 14, 2023) and Horticulture Building, Lansdowne Park – Downtown Ottawa / Glebe (July 15 and 16, 2023)
The Ottawa International Crafts and Book Expo hosts over 50 authors, publishers, artisans and musicians.
14. Ottawa Lebanese Festival, July 19-23, 2023, Saint Elias Centre
The Ottawa Lebanese Festival celebrates the very best in Lebanese food, entertainment, and culture in the National Capital Region.
15. Carivibe Ottawa Caribbean Carnival- Reach the Beach, July 22, 2023, on Petrie Island
The Reach the Beach is Caribbean inspired day Festival on Petrie Island featuring the very best in Tropical Cuisine, Tropical Drinks & Tropical Ice Cream. All mixed with sweet Soca, Dancehall, Reggae and Afro vibes!
16. Les Grands Feux du Casino Lac-Leamy, August 2, 5, 9, 12, 16, 19 on Wednesdays and Saturdays at 6 p.m. at the Canadian Museum of History
Les Grands Feux du Casino Lac-Leamy are so much more than fireworks! It’s also about fiery culinary experiences, prodigious artistic performances, striking digital and multimedia art installations and much more! Join us for one of 6 evenings of programming.
17. Ottawa International Buskerfest, August 4-7, 2023, Sparks Street
Sparks Street transforms into the ultimate stage for amazing street performers at the Ottawa International Buskerfest! This festival brings together various types of performers showcasing their comedic and thrilling skills. Performer such as escape artists, fire eaters, contortionists, and so much more will be in attendance for visitors to see.
18. PuppetCon by PuppetsUp! August 11-13, 2023, Almonte
2023 marks the debut of PuppetCon with a weekend full of hands-on workshops, insightful panel discussions and showcase performances. Focusing on both the entertainment value of puppetry and the development of this art, PuppetCon provides hands-on workshops for adults and children, along with select puppet performances.
19. Ottawa Greek Festival, August 11 – 13, 15, 18 – 20, 1315 Prince of Wales Drive
The Ottawa Greek festival features delicious greek cuisine, live Greek music, traditional dances, The Zorba Show, a multicultural mights, and lots more!
20. Ottawa Garden Festival, August 11-20, 2023
Spend a day or a few at the Ottawa Garden Festival with the family! Take part in various activities including self-guided tours, garden explorations, contests and demonstrations. Explore over 75 gardens in the Capital Region by bicycle, by bus, or by foot!
21. Fanaticcon, August 13, 2023, Ottawa Conference and Event Centre
Are you a fanatic of gaming, toys, cosplay, comics, entertainment, and more? YES, then Fanaticcon is for you!
22. Art in Strathcona Park, August 19, 2023
Enjoy a day at the park and one of the area’s most enjoyable fresh-air event featuring many talented artists and artisans. Visit established artists and artisans and undiscovered talents will come together to sell their work. Art in Strathcona Park also offers jewellery and pottery, to name just a few, and will also feature a silent auction and a BBQ, and something for just about everyone!
23.The Monster, August 24-27, 2023, Arena TD Place
The world’s biggest inflatable party is coming to Ottawa. The Monster is an extremely long inflatable and bouncy castle that will take over the venue.
A wide range of delicious food, refreshing cocktails, beers and much more will be available to purchase. With live deejays, giant ball pits and other crazy activities available throughout the event, this will be one unforgettable funfest that is not to be missed.
24. Gatineau Hot Air Balloon Festival, August 31-September 4, 2023
Music. Activities. Fun. Oh, don’t forget the dazzling array of hot air balloons across the sky! The Gatineau Hot Air Balloon Festival attracts visitors from all over the world to see pilots navigate floating works of art in the skies above Canada’s capital region.
25. Ottawa ComicCon, September 8-10, 2023- EY Centre
Ottawa Comiccon is a fan convention with multi-genre content: comic books, sci-fi, horror, anime, video games and the entertainment world. Fans have the opportunity come to meet their favourite creators from the world of comics and BD, get their autographs, buy a sketch or thank them for their work. Additionally, one of the biggest draws, fans get to meet the personalities behind their favourite TV shows and movies. Celebrities participate in autograph sessions, photo opportunities and stage appearances.
What to do with the kids on a rainy day? Visit Ottawa Museums!
On a rainy day this summer, enjoy one of Ottawa’s many museums with the family:
- National Gallery of Canada
- Canadian Museum of History
- Canadian Museum of Nature
- Canadian Agricultural and Food Museum
- Canada Science and Technology Museum
- Canadian War Museum
- Ottawa Art Gallery
This list will help you plan your family activities in Ottawa this summer! We hope you have enjoy exploring all of the fun in the Nation’s Capital and get to make some special memories!