Ottawa Summer Staycation

July 17, 2020

Home / Blog / Covid-19
by Katie Weber

Summer is here in full blast with heat waves and summer sun! But with Covid-19, summer travels aren’t happening this year. So, to beat those stay at home blues we have created the best Ottawa staycation guide to fun, sun and social distance activities.

Ottawa Summer Staycation

First on the list is sun filled activities:

  • Go for a hike in the Gatineau park. With 183 kilometers of hiking trails, as well as must-see attractions, Gatineau Park is a prime destination for outdoor activities.
  • Explore our parks and beaches. Many parks and beaches in both Gatineau and Ottawa have reopened to enjoy some fun in the sun and social distance activities. 
  • Get out on the water. With places so close by like Dow’s lake and Tay river, what is stopping us from renting kayaks, canoes, paddle boards or SUPs to enjoy some time on the water?
  • Go camping. As of June 21 many campsites have reopened to enjoy the peace of the great outdoor and some time away from home.
  • Practice your swing with the family while mini golfing. Check out Mer Bleue, Dunn D’s and Gold garden for some family competition.

Social distance actives are a must to enjoy the city and time together while staying apart from friends and loved ones:

  • Bluesfest is back on this year but will be different than normal with it being a drive-in (running July 31st, August 1st ,7th and 8th)
  • Drive in movie theaters are open as well to let you enjoy a night at the theater. Check out Port Elmsly in Perth or Skylight in Pembroke.
  • Saunders farms isn’t just great for its Halloween attractions, they are running social distance campfires and picnics so you can enjoy time out with friends and family.
  • Missing the zoo? Well Papanack is doing a drive through zoo, letting you see all the animals while social distancing.
  • Living animals not your thing? Well there’s no need to worry as the Indian River Reptile & Dinosaur Park is doing a drive through zoo of animatronic life-sized dinosaurs.
  • Farmers markets are open again to get your local produce and treats. Reserve a time slot on the farmers market website and enjoy a social distance farmers market.

Don’t feel like leaving your house just yet? We get it. Enjoy some exciting virtual experiences which will feel like you’re actually there:

  • Canada’s Wonderland has gone virtual to let you enjoy riding the roller coasters and watching the fireworks without all the lines. Check it out on their YouTube Channel!
  • Museums and art galleries all over the world are offering virtual tours and stories to enjoy the art and history. Look up your favorite place to see if they are offering one too.
  • The Vancouver aquarium is offering a virtual tour of the place to let you see what all your favorite fish are up to.
  • has tons of live cameras of animal in the wild for you to see and enjoy from the comfort of your own home.
  • Can I interest you in a trip out of this world? Well Nasa is posting videos and photos of mars, but with you can explore the surface of mars and learn about Curiosity’s mission.

Tired of Netflix and want to listen to something different for a change? We have some great Canadian made podcasts to fill your time and your ears:

  • Mo Money is a personal finance podcast by a “millennial money expert”. You can learn something while also enjoying it.
  • he Secret Life of Canada is a history podcast teaching you about the country you know with the stories you don’t.
  • Breaking Beauty is all about the breakthrough products, people and moments in beauty.
  • Show Your Work takes a deep dive into work behind the gossip, the shows, scripts and screenplays.
  • I Hate It but I Love It is hosted by hateful optimists and loving pessimists breaking down movies, tv, music and whatever else they totally despise but also adore.
  • At the Letters is for our sports lovers with the most in-depth Blue Jays podcast in the league.
  • Wire Tap is a wacky and weird podcast where you never quite know where it will take you. From a scientist documenting the final words of parrots to what its like to date Lois Lane, it has something for everyone.
  • Night Time covers Canadian true crime, mysteries and unique events for all our true crime junkies.

Everyone needs to eat, and I can guarantee take out sometimes sounds better then cooking dinner. Here are some great restaurants from all around the city to order from:

  • Bella’s Boy delivers authentic Italian cuisine and culture; family and real food made with love.
  • Pure Kitchen is all about pure, nourishing food for everyone. Always fresh and always evolving brings great vegan cuisine to the forefront.
  • Bakers Street Café is supplying Ottawa with the best from scratch breakfast.
  • Thyme & Again provides fresh and frozen meals to go and exceptional dessert along.
  • Heartbreakers Pizza is made with locally sourced ingredients and a natural wine bottle shop for your ultimate pizza and wine experience.
  • The Foolish Chicken is a hip yet casual place to stop by with friends and family for mouthwatering chicken and ribs.
  • Oat Couture redefines breakfast with artisanal oatmeal made from scratch and outstanding coffee.
  • Life of Pie makes fresh sweet and savory pies by hand daily, as well as quiche, soup and salads.
  • Pascals All-Natural Ice Cream makes delectable ice cream and frozen treats with a flavor for everyone.
  • Gongfu Bao is Ottawa’s own little bao cart, serving handcrafted steamed buns and a whole slew of Chines and Taiwanese food.
  • Wolf Down is serving up delicious German döners with a small menu but big taste.
  • Suzy Q’s is an Ottawa donut staple with crazy fun flavors and a revolving door of donuts to try.
  • Pelican Seafood Market & Grill is a long-time family owned fish market and grill, serving up fresh seafood to bring home along with tons of delicious seafood meals to share and enjoy.

There is something for everyone whether you need to get out and explore or want to stay in. Let’s stay safe, mask up, and enjoy the beautiful things Ottawa and Gatineau have to offer.

Scroll to Top