8 things to do for free in Ottawa this summer

With tourist season in full swing, there are plenty of activities in Ottawa you can do without breaking your budget.

You can spend a Thursday night at several Ottawa museums, visit the Parliament Buildings, or enjoy a free cup of coffee on Fridays.

CTVNewsOttawa.ca takes a look at eight things you can do for free in Ottawa this summer.


Ottawa Tourism is footing the bill for visitors to spend a third night in an Ottawa hotel room this summer and fall.

The “Stay at 3rd a free night in Ottawa! allows Ottawa Tourism to cover the third night of a hotel stay if visitors book three or more nights at a participating Ottawa hotel.

For more information, visit the Ottawa Tourism website.

Ottawa Tourism says the campaign so far has exceeded its expectations.

“Ottawa Tourism is very pleased with the Third Night On Us promotion which runs until October 10, 2022. While we cannot share exact numbers, we can say that the results of the campaign exceed our initial expectations,” said said Ottawa Tourism in a statement to CTV News Ottawa.

“We have also seen the average length of stay in our destination increase since the start of the campaign, and it is now over 3 nights.

“We are confident that this promotion has led to more visitors and more customers not only for hotels, but also for attractions, museums, festivals, restaurants, tours, transportation providers, stores and others. local businesses. Extending the length of stay means more meals in restaurants, more chances to take a tour or visit a museum, more time to visit a new neighborhood, etc., etc.

Ontario residents visiting Ottawa are also eligible for the Ontario Accommodation Tax Credit, allowing people to claim 20% of their eligible accommodation expenses when they file their 2022 tax returns.

Liberal MP David Graham talks to parliamentary guards in the House of Commons before the start of the first session in the West Block on Monday, January 28, 2019 in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld


You can visit several museums in Ottawa and Gatineau for free on Thursday evenings.

Here is an overview of the museums’ free admission times on Thursdays.


You can visit three museums in Ottawa for free between 4 p.m. and 5 p.m., when the museums are open.

Admission is free from 4 p.m. to 5 p.m. to the Canada Agriculture and Food Museum (seven days a week), the Canada Science and Technology Museum (seven days a week) and the Aviation and Space Canada (Thursday to Monday), but tickets must be booked in advance.


Visit the West Block of Parliament Hill and the Senate of Canada Building.

The Government of Canada offers free guided tours of the Houses of Canada’s Parliament throughout the summer.

Visit the Senate at the Senate of Canada Building – Ottawa’s historic train station – to learn about the role and history of Canada’s Upper House.

You can also learn about the history, roles, art and architecture of the House of Commons in the recently restored West Block.

For tour times and tickets, visit https://rts.parl.ca/

Liberal MP David Graham talks to parliamentary guards in the House of Commons before the start of the first session in the West Block on Monday, January 28, 2019 in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld


Enjoy an exciting themed journey through Canada’s history for free on Parliament Hill.

The Aurora Borealis sound and light show is a unique multimedia experience that showcases Canada’s great achievements and milestones in our history.

Northern Lights takes place Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday and Monday, starting at 9:30 p.m. in August.

For more information, visit the Northern Lights website.


Enjoy the music every Thursday night in the ByWard Market with “ByWard Bops”

Don’t miss a free concert every Thursday at George Street Plaza.

For more information visit https://www.byward-market.com/events


The Ministry of Coffee is organizing “Filter Fridays” this summer.

Free drip coffee will be available on Fridays at the Coffee Ministry locations at 274 Elgin Street, 1013 Wellington Street, 18 Beechwood Avenue and the Via Rail station.

“We give back to our community and our friends. By the end of the summer, we are offering free filter coffee to all our customers on Fridays,” the Coffee Ministry said.

“Come on Fridays and enjoy a fresh cup of our ministry drip coffee – roasted in the heart of Ottawa on a zero-emission roaster.”


Kids can eat free at many Ottawa restaurants.

Zak’s Diner – Kids 10 and under eat free Sunday through Thursday (excluding holidays) from 4 p.m. to closing, with the purchase of an adult meal and drink. Offer available at Zak’s Diner restaurants in the ByWard Market, on Elgin Street and in Kanata. Visit the restaurant’s website for details.

Jonny Canuck’s – Kids eat free on Sundays between 4 p.m. and 9 p.m. For more information, visit the restaurant’s website.

The Barley Mow – Kids eat free on Sundays.

Mandarin Restaurant – Children 4 and under eat free at the buffet (up to two children per paying adult) h

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