Exciting Things to Do at and Near Ottawa Airport to Make Your Pre-Flight Wait Fly By

YOW! No need to turn your head—we’re not trying to get your attention. That’s just the code they assigned to Ottawa International Airport!

Jokes aside, we’re actually pretty bummed that you’re leaving Ottawa, but before your flight, why not squeeze in one last adventure? 

There’s a whole world of activities waiting for you, both near the airport and inside the terminal itself. Here are a few of our ideas for your final hurrah in Ottawa. 

1. Test your luck at Rideau Carleton Casino


Address: 4837 Albion Rd S, Gloucester

Contact details: +1 613-822-8668

Operating hours: Open 24 hours

Situated a mere 11-minute drive from the Ottawa International Airport, Rideau Carleton Casino is a convenient stop before your flight, especially if you’re seeking last-minute thrills. 

You can test out your luck through a variety of casino delights, including slots, as well as table games such as roulette, blackjack, and high card flush. 

To top it off, its offerings go far beyond high-stakes entertainment. They also offer live racing streams, live music performances, and a plethora of dining options. 

2. Treat yourself to a buffet at Mandarin Restaurant 


Address: 290 W Hunt Club Rd, Nepean

Contact details: +1 613-228-2200

Operating hours:

  • Monday to Thursday – 11:30 AM to 3 PM, 5 PM to 9 PM
  • Friday – 11:30 AM to 3 PM, 5 PM to 10 PM
  • Saturday – 11:30 AM to 3 PM, 4:30 PM to 10 PM 
  • Sunday – 11:30 AM to 3 PM, 4:30 PM to 9 PM 

Mandarin Restaurant is an Ottawan gem that you shouldn’t miss out on especially if you’re a flavor fanatic. 

This dining hotspot ensures a world of flavors in the form of a buffet, featuring Chinese classics, as well as other cuisine that will knock your socks off. 

The sushi bar is popular among diners because let’s face it, who doesn’t want a good deal when it comes to these sensational delights? Not us, that’s for sure!

In fact, make it rain salmon sushi

3. Play a round of bowling at Merivale Bowling Centre


Address: 1916 Merivale Rd, Nepean

Contact details: +1 613-228-9190

Operating hours:

  • Monday to Thursday, and Sunday – 10 AM to 10 PM 
  • Friday and Saturday – 10 AM to 12 AM 

Up for a little bowling adventure before your flight? Located just 11 minutes away from the airport, Merivale Bowling Centre is a 5-pin bowling haven where you can pass the time. 

Hold on – make sure to set those alarms for your flight, or else you might miss it from all the fun you’re having! 

Anyway, aside from bowling they also have an arcade and a restaurant, so you can enjoy a full day of fun and food all in one place. 

4. Explore Ottawa’s nature offerings at Hog’s Back Park


Address: 600 Hog’s Back Rd

Contact details: +1 613-239-5000

Operating hours: Monday to Sunday – 7 AM to 10 PM 

Hog’s Back Park is every nature explorer’s dream, just tucked away 11 minutes from the airport. It boasts a massive verdant space, picnic areas, and hiking spots. 

If you don’t have enough time for a full exploration before your flight, don’t worry. You can always bask in its glory by taking in the sights. 

Of course, don’t miss out on the highlight of this park – Hog’s Back Falls for a breathtaking natural spectacle. 

5. Go shopping at Duty Free


Contact details: +1 613-248-2006

Operating hours: Monday to Sunday – 5 AM to 11:30 PM 

Are you really traveling if you don’t take a peek at the airport’s Duty Free? Well, technically, yes, but where’s the fun in that? 

Expect to indulge in a wide range of offerings, ranging from perfumes to wines, as well as chocolates, designer goods, and of course, Canada’s famous maple syrup. 

6. Indulge in a delicious glass of wine at Vino Volo


Contact details: +1 613-706-6040

Operating hours: Monday to Sunday – 6 AM to 9 PM 

As you wait for your flight, consider ordering yourself a delicious glass of wine (or two!) at Vino Volo. Or better yet, you can try their own cocktail concoctions if you desire a creative mix of flavors. 

If you’re not in the mood for some alcoholic beverages, they also have delectable offerings like pizzas and sandwiches. 

Our favorite thing about Vino Volo is its prime location where you can watch other planes take off. Just be aware of the time to make sure you’re not watching the plane you’re supposed to be on! 

7. Take some time to relax at the Aspire Lounge


Contact details: +1 613-421-2300

Operating hours:

  • Monday to Friday – 5 AM to 8 PM 
  • Saturday – 10 AM to 6 PM 
  • Sunday – 10 AM to 5:30 PM 

After all the chaos at security and immigration, you can finally sit back and relax as you wait for your flight. 

Aside from comfy seats, it also has a great view of the runway, so you can enjoy the views of the planes taking off. 

You can indulge in some meals, snacks, and beverages, which the lounge offers themselves, all available in a buffet-style spread. And yes, you read it right—it’s a buffet!

Moreover, there are designated workstations where digital nomads can catch up on quick work sessions before hopping on the plane. 

Here’s the best part: Aspire Lounge is open to everyone! You don’t have to be a member or a first-class ticket holder. 

You can purchase a one-time or annual admission to gain access to its premier facilities. We recommend the latter if you’re flying a lot!