With summer coming to an end, cold and rainy days are our only comfort until we get into winter hibernation mode. We can't exactly hang out with our friends in Byward patios anymore, and pool parties are completely out of the question.
But Ottawa does happen to have some interesting spots to spend the day at. So whether you're rained in, snowed in, or just don't feel like putting in effort to be outside, here's a list of 10 cheap ways to spend a rainy day in Ottawa.
1. Escape The Diefenbunker
The world's largest escape room is actually in Ottawa - so if you're rained in and looking to get a little competitive with your friends, why not go big? The Diefenbunker, Canada's Cold War museum, and Ottawa scape room company Escape Manor have partnered up to transform the museum into a giant escape room experience on Thursday to Sunday evenings. Keeping in theme, the escape centres around an espionage scenario. Get your Bond on.
2. Catch a show at the Mayfair Theatre
Yes, this is cheaper than Cineplex. The Mayfair Theatre, built in 1932, is the oldest operating theatre in Ottawa. Aside from it's $10 admission, it's the theatre to go to for movies you can't see anywhere else - and if you're looking for a little nostalgia, they even host a Saturday morning full of three-hour cartoon shows and bottomless bowls of cereal.
3. Get Cultured (For Free) At The National Art Gallery
Every Thursday after 5pm, The National Art Gallery of Canada, which we're lucky to have right here in Ottawa, opens its doors for free until closing time. I shouldn't even have to give you another reason to go. You have no excuse not to.
4. Scare Yourself
With Halloween coming up, why not take a little risk. Ottawa is home to a variety of "haunted" sites, but don't take my word for it - take a trip and figure it out yourself.
5. Take A Staycation.... In a Jail Cell
The Hi-Ottawa Jail Hostel, located right next to Rideau Centre, lets visitors spend a night in formal inmate cells. While prison conditions under its operating years were so inhumane that it shut down in 1942, it recently reopened into a budget-friendly bed and breakfast with free wifi. Why not get locked in?
6. Get In Touch With Ottawa's Theatre Scene
The Great Canadian Theatre Company, located in trendy Westboro, offer Pay-What-You-Can performances on the first Sunday of each new GCTC production. Held at 2pm, you can buy your tickets at their box office for whatever price suits your budget.
7. Try A New Dessert
Ottawa is home to a huge variety of ice cream and dessert places. If you're feeling down and under the weather, what better way to cheer yourself up than trying something new with your friends?
8. Bring Out Your Inner Artist
Paint Nite Ottawa, with various locations across the city, happens somewhere almost every night. The concept is super simple - bring your friends or go solo, drink a glass of wine, and create something special for the next couple of hours. There's no previous experience necessary, so even if you're a stick figure connoisseur, there's a space here for you too.
9. Get Competitive
The Loft, Ottawa's famous board game lounge and cafe, is home to walls full of different board games and a menu full of desserts and drinks (yes, alcoholic if you're in the mood). There's a $5.50/person stay-and-play charge, which gives you unlimited access to all the games they have.
10. Check Out The New Rideau Centre
If you haven't been to the newly renovated Rideau Centre, where have you been? With new stores opening constantly, and retail icons like Simons having already moved in, if you're in need of a little retail therapy in Ottawa there is really no better place to go.
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