Having fun this fall doesn't need to be expensive. There is plenty of activities to enjoy that won't cost more than a pumpkin spice latte!
Luckily in Ottawa, there are so many fantastic events taking place that there is something for everyone to do, no matter your budget. From free music concerts to able to get up close to thousands of beautiful butterflies there is plenty of free things to do.
Here are 30 things to do in Ottawa for free or for super cheap ($7 or less).
Nothing says fall like a pumpkin! There are plenty of different pumpkin patches around Ottawa that you can visit like Proulx Maple & Berry Farm, Log Cabin Orchard, Cannamore Orchard and Abbey Hill Farms where you can wander through all the pumpkins. Buying your own pumpkin isn't very expensive, and it is a fun activity to do with friends.
This fall there will be several free outdoor movie screenings that make for a perfect fall evening. At various locations across Ottawa, Capital Pop-up Cinema will be playing movies such as Back To The Future, Dumb & Dumber, Ratatouille which you can enjoy for free. Bring your own chair, and a warm sweater and spend a fun night outside with friends.
Now that the days are getting cooler, a mug of hot chocolate is the perfect thing to help you warm up. At Cacao 70 they make the most decadent cup of hot chocolate, and a small mug is under $5. They have several types of hot chocolate available at Cacao 70, but all of them are super rich and delicious.
From September 21 to 23 you can head to Sparks Street to see their "living statues". The free event is the first of its kind in North America and will have plenty to see and do. The second year of the living statues on Spark Street promises to be even bigger and better than last year.
This fall head for a hike to see the gorgeous fall leaves at Gatineau Park. From September 29 to October 21 there will be a free Fall Rhapsody shuttle going between Ottawa directly to the park so you can enjoy some time outdoors.
Did you know the National Arts Centre has plenty of free concerts? At lunch or in the evenings in the fall there will be plenty of free things to attend, so make sure to check out the schedule to see which concert interests you!
In the Autumn many of the local craft breweries and pubs feature delicious seasonal pumpkin ales that you need to try. Thankfully a pint of beer is very affordable, so invite your friends to go out for a drink together.
The newly opened Ottawa Art Gallery is free to visit and really fun to explore. There is always some new art to see, so go spend the afternoon wandering the gallery.
Spend the afternoon being a tourist in your own city. If you haven't already you, need to see the stunningly beautiful interior of the Parliament Buildings. Free daily tours are offered of the Centre Block which takes 20 to 50 minutes. On the Parliament tour, you'll be able to see the Senate, House of Commons and Library of Parliament. To get your free tour tickets head across the street at 90 Wellington Street.
Around Ottawa, you can find plenty of fantastic street art. Spend the afternoon exploring the city to find your favorite wall mural, and post a picture of it on Instagram! Some spots to see Ottawa's vibrant street art scene is the west side of the Rideau Canal underpass, underneath Dunbar Bridge, and at the Albert Street Education Centre Retaining Wall. You can also find plenty of street art around the ByWard Market, Glebe, Little Italy, and Wellington West.
For an inexpensive activity, take part in a yoga class. Around Ottawa, there are plenty of yoga studios that allow you to pay a small drop-in fee (often it is around $5) for you to join a single class. It is a great way to try a yoga class and will help release any muscle tension you might have too.
On September 15th Taste of Wellington is back. The local food festival takes place in Wellington Village and Hintonburg where there will be plenty of free samples from restaurants and food shops to try.
Most of Ottawa's major museums have a time each week when you can visit them for free. You can visit the Canadian Agriculture and Food Museum or the Canadian Aviation and Space Museum for free every day from 4 to 5 pm. Meanwhile, the Canadian Museum of History, Canadian Museum of Nature and National Gallery of Canada has free admission Thursday nights from 5 pm till 8 pm.
It is always fun to explore the ByWard Market. In the fall you browse the various food vendors and search for the perfect pumpkin. Often you can find local buskers performing or local street artist doing chalk art. While in the ByWard Market area make sure to stop by the Ottawa Sign on York Street to take a photo.
Marvest is the free offshoot of the CityFolk festival that takes place September 14 to 15. Head to Marvest to enjoy all the free concerts.
Get up close to some beautiful butterflies at the Butterfly Show this fall. This free event takes place from September 29 to October 7 at Carleton University.
Visit the majestic Rideau Hall where the governor general does official duties for free. Here you can explore the stunning red tent room and other stately rooms. Free tours are available until October 28 on weekends from noon to 4 pm or by reservation.
Browse all the seasonal produce and products from local makers at the Ottawa Famer's Market. At Lansdowne, the market takes place on Sundays until October 28.
Ottawa Sausage Fest takes place from September 30 to October 14 in the ByWard Market. Join for the free festival and sample some delicious sausages.
On Tuesday nights at Yuk Yuks you can watch stand up comedy for only $5.31. Call your friends and head out for a fun evening where you will be laughing non-stop.
For a super cute activity head to Feline Cafe to snuggle some cats. At Feline Cafe you can order a cup of coffee, and spend relax playing with all the adorable cats for $5.
Warm up with a bite of a still hot Beavertail this fall. This classic Canadian dessert is the perfect fall treat to enjoy on a lazy afternoon.
Sunday nights at House of Targ you can play unlimited pinball and arcade games as part of their Free Play Sundays. Starting at 8 pm you can pay a $6 cover charge to enjoy playing as many games as you'd like.
Every Tuesday is open mic night at Live At Elgin. It is free to attend open mic night, and the music starts at 8:45 pm.
For the perfect fall, afternoon activity go apple picking! There are several orchards around Ottawa where you can pick your own apples such as Log Cabin Orchard, Cannamore Orchard, and Pinewood Orchards. As you only pay for what you choose, you can go for the experience then head home to enjoy your freshly picked apples.
Head to the Loft Lounge to play board games for $6! The Loft Lounge has a huge collection of board games so there is always something new to play.
In fall most local bakeries will carry pumpkin spice desserts. So head to your local shop and try their newest fall flavored sweet treats.
Going to see a movie doesn't need to be expensive. If you are a member (membership costs $10 a year), you can see films for $6 at the Mayfair Theatre.
Try some amazing mac and cheese this fall at the Mac My Cheese Fest at City Hall. Taking place from October 12 to 14 you can go enjoy some gourmet mac and cheese that is super affordable.
For the classic must-do activity this fall you need to enjoy a pumpkin spice latte. Skip Starbucks, and head to your local coffee shop and enjoy a pumpkin spice latte.