Some Free Activities to Do in Ottawa This Summer

Some Free Activities to Do in Ottawa This Summer

Ottawa has lined up some activities in the area that can help boost its tourism. The best part is that you can experience them without having to break the bank.

Here are some great things you can do for free this summer in Ottawa.

Ottawa Tourism’s Third Night on Us 

As the campaign name suggests, Ottawa Tourism will cover the third night of a hotel stay for visitors booking three or more nights at participating hotels in Ottawa. 

So far, the said campaign has yielded great results, exceeding initial expectations. In an interview with CTV News Ottawa, Ottawa Tourism said that it is “very happy” with the promotion, which will continue until October 10, 2022. 

With the increase in the average length of stay in various destinations, Ottawa Tourism is confident that the campaign will bring in more visitors. This will translate to more economic opportunities for different businesses in the area. 

The residents of Ontario, on the other hand, can take advantage of the Ontario Staycation Tax Credit. Filing their 2022 income tax return can allow them to claim 20% of their eligible accommodation expenses in the process.

For more information on the Third Night on Us campaign, visit the Ottawa Tourism Website.

Museums on Thursday Nights

Locals and visitors alike can visit several museums both in Ottawa and Gatineau free of charge on Thursday evenings. 

Here’s a list of free admission times for various museums on Thursdays.

More Free Admissions to Museums

There are other museums in Ottawa that you could visit for free between 4 PM and 5 PM when they are open. You are, however, required to reserve your tickets in advance.

Parliamentary Buildings

One of the things you can do for free this summer is to take a tour of Parliament Hill’s West Block and the Senate of Canada building. 

With free guided tours offered by the Government of Canada, visitors this summer can learn more about the House of Commons’ history, art, and architecture in the newly restored West Block. 

A visit to the Senate of Canada Building, which is Ottawa’s historic train station, gives you access to more information about Canada’s Upper Chamber.

To learn more about times and tickets, you may visit

Northern Lights: A Show of Sound and Light

This summer, you can also enjoy the “Northern Lights,” which is a unique multimedia experience that highlights Canada’s greatest achievements and historic milestones. 

Held for free on Parliament Hill, Northern Lights’ free thematic show at 9:30 PM will run from Thursday through Monday. 

For additional details, visit the Northern Lights website.

Concert in the George Street Plaza

If you’re fond of music, the free concert every Thursday night in the Byward Market with “Byward Bops” is something you can’t afford to miss. 

For more information, you may visit

Coffee on Fridays 

With its desire to “give back” to the community and friends, the Ministry of Coffee will serve free drip coffee on Fridays. You may get free coffee on 18 Beechwood Avenue, 1013 Wellington Street, 274 Elgin Street, and at the Via Rail Station.

Free Food for Kids at Restaurants

Kids can also eat for free at several participating restaurants in Ottawa. As certain conditions apply, here’s a look at where and when you can have children enjoy free food. 

Zak’s Diner — Excluding holidays, kids 10 and below can eat free of charge from Sunday to Thursday from 4 PM until it closes. This, however,  requires a purchase of one adult meal and beverage. 

This offer is also only available at three Zak’s Diner locations: Byward Market, Elgin Street, and Kanata.

Johnny Canuck’s — Children can eat free from 4 PM – 9 PM on Sundays. For further details, visit the restaurant’s website. 

The Barley Mow — Kids can eat for free on Sundays. 

Mandarin Restaurant — Children aged 4 and below are allowed to eat for free from the buffet. Up to two kids can eat free of charge for each paying adult.