After a long and rainy spring, summer is finally upon us in the nation’s capital. Now that the sun has actually come out, it’s time to get outside and enjoy the weather. Whether you live in Ottawa or are just visiting, there are a lot of fun and unique activities to enjoy all throughout the city, and there’s no better time than a warm summer day.
You can watch the changing of the guard any morning between late June or early July, and August 25. The ceremony takes place at Parliament Hill and starts at 10 am sharp, but you will want to arrive at 9:45 or before in order to make sure you get a spot with a good view. The ceremony is quite a spectacle, with brilliantly uniformed guards marching in unison to the accompaniment of a regimental band and bagpipes. It’s a fantastic sight to see, and a great opening to a day spent downtown.
Ottawa’s Bluesfest music festival is an annual tradition in the nation’s capital, with great musicians, great food, and a party atmosphere that lasts a full ten days from July 6th
to July 16th
! The line up this year includes artists that range from Pink and 50 Cent to Muse and Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, so there will be music for anyone’s taste. Tons of great local food vendors will also be present to make sure you don’t go hungry, and there will be fun and games, and cool contests as well.
Lumiere is a festival of lights held in Ottawa on August 26th
. During this festival you can enjoy the ambience created by hundreds of lanterns, each crafted by a local community member. Lumiere has more to offer as well, with a labyrinth to explore, local performers to watch and listen to, and local food trucks to enjoy. The whole festival is lit only by lanterns and lamps, making for a magical atmosphere that will make a great end to the day.
For the first time in North America, people will be able to see the wondrous machines of La Machine in person. These enormous animatronic wonders are shaped like gigantic beasts, and the massive spider and dragon horse will be coming to Ottawa, traveling its streets from July 27th
. Stop by and share the wonder as the giant creations stride through the city, looking down at the crowds and exploring Ottawa’s landmarks.
The most expensive of the events listed here, but also one of the most unique experiences you can enjoy, the sky lounge is like nothing else. Enjoy an astounding cocktail hour or a gourmet dinner, prepared by professional chefs from only the finest local ingredients, all while seated at an open-air table 150 feet in the air! Nowhere else can you enjoy a view quite like this, and the food is top quality to match the surroundings.
No matter what you decide to do this summer, the warm weather will only last so long. Make sure you make the most of it while you can.