View over Hogs Back Falls in Ottawa. Right: Brockville's colourful railway tunnel.

View over Hogs Back Falls in Ottawa. Right: Brockville's colourful railway tunnel.

Springtime in the capital means more outdoor activities and returning festivals to enjoy. Having fun in Ottawa doesn't mean you need to break the bank though.

Some of the best things to do in Ottawa this spring won't cost you a dime. After months of hibernating and getting quality time on your couch, it's time to explore.

Get ready to start planning your next adventure. Here are seven free things you can do in Ottawa this spring.

Take a free history tour

Price: Free (tips appreciated)

When: Tours start May 7, 2022 until September

Address: Starting at The National War Memorial, Wellington St., Ottawa, ON

Why You Need To Go: There will be free walking tours in Ottawa this spring and summer, where you discover parts of the city's history not often discussed. Drunk prime ministers and lumberjack gangs? Who knew!


Visit the flowers during Tulip Fest

Price: Free

When: May 13 - 23, 2022

Address: Commissioners Park, Queen Elizabeth Driveway, Ottawa, ON

Why You Need To Go: The Canadian Tulip Festival is back in person this year, with new events and activities to experience. Wander through over 300,000 colourful blooms through the park and even more in other gardens across the city of Ottawa. There will be glowing tulips, walking tours and food trucks!


Picnic near waterfalls

Price: Free

Address: 600 Hogs Back Rd., Ottawa, ON

Why You Need To Go: You can enjoy your lunch on a picnic table or in a grassy area next to majestic waterfalls. You could choose to sit on a rock right near the water and take in the scenery.


Have a photoshoot with magnolias

Price: Free

When: Late April into May

Address: Prince of Wales Dr., Dominion Arboretum & locations across Ottawa

Why You Need To Go: White and pink magnolias and cherry blossoms are some of the first vibrant flowers to bloom in the spring. There are multiple places around Ottawa to find these lovely trees for photoshoots or nearby picnics.


Walk an artwork trail in Gatineau

Price: Free

When: New artwork launch set for June 15, 2022

Address: Rue Aubry, Gatineau, QC

Why You Need To Go: Across the river, you can wander an outdoor art exhibit that has a mix of permanent installations and new displays to look forward to each year. The culture trail will host about 15 new pieces of art this summer.


Walk through a rainbow tunnel

Price: Free

When: Opened for the season on April 15, 2022

Address: 1 Block House Island Rd., Brockville, ON

Why You Need To Go: You can experience the thrill of walking through a colourful railway tunnel full of history and sound effects, just over an hour from Ottawa.


Walk through a plant oasis

Price: Free

When: Sunday through Friday

Address: Maple Dr., Ottawa, ON

Why You Need To Go: You can take a stroll from the beautiful Ornamental Gardens outdoors into a picturesque glass castle filled with plants. It's an indoor tropical paradise.


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