The only thing that can make doing something fun even better is it being completely free. Everything is so expensive, seriously even if you simply want a coffee you're most likely spending at least $5 (unless it's Timmies of course). Finding free things to do in the city can be a challenge, but trust me, they're out there! Whether you like exploring museums, taking Instagram's, or going for walks, there really is something for everyone.
April is the month where we start to see everything transform. From the finally budding tree leaves to the blossoming flowers, April is the most change-filled month of all. If you're in uni you know that April is one of the most dreadful months of all because it's filled with exams and papers. But by the end of April, we can all finally start to celebrate by getting outside and enjoying the weather. There are so many free things we can all get up to this April that will get us in a spring mood while saving us a ton of money!
30. Check out Lansdowne's Farmers Market
Every Sunday from 10:00 am – 3:00 pm you can make your way to Lansdowne's Farmers Market for a fun-filled morning. While at the market you can have fresh food, admire fresh flowers, and get your favourite local grains, meats, cheeses, fruits and veggies.
29. Take a stroll along the Rideau Canal
This is the perfect way to embrace the warmer weather. Now that it's officially spring it’s time to break out of the winter blues and head straight outside. A Rideau Canal walk with your bae or your closest friends allows you to chat about your day, grab a drink, and soak up the sun.
28. Visit Fulton's Pancake House and Sugar Bush for a sweet day
If you’re someone that loves everything and anything maple syrup then you have to head to this cute sugar bush. Admission is free, so if you just want to learn about the sap making process while strolling around, you don’t need to spend anything. The sugar bush closes of April 15th, so you have 15 days to head here before it closes!
27. Add some spring colour to your Instagram page by visiting these spots
With spring upon us it’s time to start adding some bright colours to your Insta page. Bright colours are popping everywhere in the city, this is the perfect time to get those grams! With warm sunny weather you can walk from one cute Insta to the next in just a few minutes.
26. Go on a Scenic Drive and admire the views
What better way to see stunning views than to see them from the comfort of your own car. Yes hiking is fun and all, but if you’re not in the mood to go on a full on hike, this is a perfect alternative. There are so many beautiful places in Ottawa and Gatineau that you can drive through for some amazing views.
25. Take a tour of the stunning Parliament of Canada
The inside of the Parliament Buildings are so beautiful and if you haven't taken a tour yet now's your chance. The architecture is timeless, from the unbelievable library to the extravagant front entrance you will not be disappointed by this tour.
24. Head to the Canadian Museum of Nature
Go visit Ottawa's very own castle. The Canadian Museum of Nature is free every Thursday after 5pm, meaning you can explore the museum all night without having to pay a single penny. From dinosaur bones to stunning gemstones, the museum will have you busy all night long.
23. Check out some pretty crystals at Crystal Dawn
If you’re someone that loves being in touch with your chakras then you have to make your way to Crystal Dawn. As soon as you walk in the calming vibe will hit you immediately. Even if you don’t buy anything just looking around will make you feel so relaxed. And if you do choose to buy a crystal, the small pebbles can be as low as $2, so you don’t need to worry about breaking your bank account.
22. Soak up the sun at Mer Bleue Conservation Area
It’s that time of year where going outside doesn’t involve putting on a heavy jacket, mittens, boots, a scarf, and a toque. We can finally go out with a light spring jacket and actually be able to survive any chills in the air. Take in natures beauty and stroll around this pretty conservation.
21. Explore the Notre-Dame Cathedral Basilica
If you're still never been inside the Notre Dame Cathedral then you're missing out on something amazing. The Cathedral is absolutely stunning both on the inside and the outside. From the bright blue ceiling to the unreal pillars, this will make you feel like you're in Europe!
20. Stroll through Fletcher Wildlife Garden
Calling all nature lovers this activity is 100% for you. Whether you love to look at trees and flowers as they blossom or you just love taking in some warm sun, this is a great chance to get outside and embrace natures beauty.
19. Visit the National Gallery of Canada
The National Gallery of Canada is a great place visit if you love art. Every Thursday from 5 to 8 pm there is free admission to national galleries. Special exhibits this year include Canadian and Indigenous Art, Our Masterpieces Our Stories, Photography in Canada, and PhotoLab 2: Women Speaking Art.
18. Attend Ottawa’s PoutineFest 2018
Make your way to Ottawa’s City Hall for a day filled with gravy, fries, and cheese curds. From April 19th to 22nd you can try every and any poutine you wish for with over 100 different options. Admission is completely free so all you need to spend money on is the yummy poutine itself.
17. Visit the new Canada Science and Technology Museum
Take a blast to the past and visit the iconic Crazy Kitchen. The Science and Technology Museum has had a major makeover, from colourful walls to stunning lights it is definitely worth visiting. There are 11 new exhibits and the museum is free every day of the week from 4 pm to 5 pm!
16. Spend your day searching for Ottawa's Street Art
There are plenty of stunning murals throughout the city and spring is a perfect time to grab your camera and stroll around the city. Bank Street is filled with stunning murals that are bright and colourful. With summer around the corner, it's time to explore your city and find all of the art that you can.
15. Check out the Dreamworks Animation Exhibition at the Canadian Museum of History
If you love animated movies then you have to check out this incredible exhibition. The exhibit features so many movies including Shrek, Madagascar, Kung Fu Panda and How to Train Your Dragon! Every Thursday from 5 to 8 pm the museum is free to visit. Don't miss this unique exhibit which closes on April 8th.
14. Go for a jog along the Rideau Canal
If you’re someone that loves to be active then you will definitely love jogging along the canal. Spring is honestly the best time to run outside, there is no humidity making it super hard to breathe and the ice is melting so you’re less likely to slip. Lace up your sneakers and head outside because the weather is beautiful again.
13. Check out these gorgeous Cherry Blossom Trees that will soon bloom
By late April, early May, these stunning pink trees are in bloom at the Arboretum. This is 100% something you have to do this spring if you have never seen them in bloom. The bright pink colours are sure to have to feeling the spring vibe and get you eager for summer weather.
12. Take a nighttime walk with your friends
The time has FINALLY changed meaning the sun only sets around 7 pm now! With the weather finally warming up it means that the nights aren't AS cold anymore. You can finally take strolls at night without feeling your fingers and toes completely freeze up.
11. Take in the stunning views at Andaz Ottawa ByWard Market
Make your way to Andaz Ottawa ByWard Market for a drink and some views. This hotel in the ByWard Market is one of, if not the best place to see Ottawa from above. If you're looking for something boujee and classy to do then you need to visit Andaz.
10. Go window shopping through Westboro Village
Westboro Village is a great place to stroll around and window shop. They have adorable little shops that you can browse through all day. There are so many unique boutiques that you for sure won't get bored fast.
9. Take a hike through Carbide Willson Ruins
Oh boy, hiking season will soon be upon us! With the warm spring weather in April it’s time to get outside and go on some hikes. During the winter time it gets waaaay to cold out to take any hikes, but now that it’s April we can all finally start to go on some hikes.
8. Hit up the Bank of Canada Museum
If you're looking for a museum that is always free, then you have to head to the Bank of Canada Museum. Unlike most Ottawa museums that are only free after 5pm, this museum is free all the time. Learn about Canada’s economy and Canada’s money, you’re in fore a super fun day.
7. Go on Ottawa's Ultimate Instagram Challenge with your BFFs
Scavenger hunts are super fun, so now that the weather is finally nice you can hop from place to place without freezing. From cafes to restaurants to street art murals, you will be running around the city with your best friends. See who can finish the scavenger hunt first during this fun challenge.
6. Visit Gatineau Parks picturesque lakes
Pack your things and make your way to Gatineau Parks for some absolutely stunning photos. The views at these Gatineau parks are incredible and you are bound to leave with great photos!
5. Admire a chocolate wonderland at the Lindt Chocolate Shop
When you visit the Lindt Chocolate Shop at Lansdowne you are 99.9% likely to get a free chocolate. Even if you don't get one for free, the single chocolates aren't too expensive so you may as well treat yourself. Lindt chocolates are so amazing and there are always a variety of flavours available for everyone.
4. Watch the sunset at the Ottawa Locks
With the weather finally warming up and spring upon us the sun is setting at a later time day to day. We can finally watch the sunset around 7 pm again instead of the madness of winter's 4 pm sunsets!
3. Visit the Aquatopia Water Garden Conservatory
If you love plants then you will love your time at this conservatory. The greenhouse contains a botanical exposition, featuring stunning water lilies in a myriad of colours, from red, to sunshine yellow to blushing pink to peach, even rare and beautiful black blooms.
2. Take a walk through The Glebe for the day
The Glebe is a wonderful part of the city. Walking around the Glebe is always such a good time. You can stroll in and out of cute shops that sell adorable trinkets all day.
1. Enjoy exploring the Canada Aviation and Space Museum
If you want to see an insane amount of unique planes then head to this museum. Admission is free every day between 4 pm and 5 pm. Some exhibits include Life in Orbit: The International Space Station, The Legacy of the Canadarm, and Air Canada: People, Places, and Planes.