12 Fun Things to Do in Ottawa for Young Adults: Explore Ottawa’s Epic Young Person Scene

by Flora Backup
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Ottawa isn’t just the capital of Canada; it’s a playground for the young and the restless. This guide uncovers the best fun things to do in Ottawa for young adults, from vibrant nightlife spots to exciting outdoor adventures. Get ready to explore the city’s hidden gems and popular attractions that promise a good time!

Ottawa, known for its stunning landscapes and rich history, is also a playground for the young and the young at heart. And we’re not just talking about the usual sightseeing spots, though they’re absolutely worth a visit. No, Ottawa is brimming with activities that will make your heart race with excitement and your Instagram feed pop with color. It’s a community that values diversity and quality of life, making it one of Ontario’s best cities to live in.

Imagine gliding on ice under the starlit sky at the world’s largest skating rink or catching a live music show in a cozy, underground venue. Sounds like a dream, right? That’s Ottawa for you – always ready to surprise and delight. Tucked away in its bustling streets and serene parks are experiences that feel like they’ve been crafted just for you. As one of the most beautiful cities in Ontario, Ottawa offers a myriad of experiences that cater to every kind of traveler.

So, if you’re eager to dive into a world where history meets modern excitement, Ottawa’s the place to be. Pack your bags, bring your sense of wonder, and let’s uncover the magic of Ottawa together. Trust me; with the city’s unique blend of activities, every day is an opportunity to make new memories. Ready to explore?

The best things to do in Ottawa for young adults right now

Fun Things to Do in Ottawa for Young Adults

From thrilling adventures in the great outdoors to the bustling nightlife, there’s something for everyone. Let’s jump into the exciting world of young adult activities in Ottawa and discover what makes this city a must-visit for fun-seekers.

1. Skate Your Way Through the Rideau Canal

Imagine gliding on ice, with the crisp winter air brushing against your face. That’s exactly what you can do at the Rideau Canal, turning your winter blues into an icy adventure. More than just a skating rink,  it’s the world’s largest naturally frozen one. Picture yourself skating along a frozen waterway, surrounded by the scenic beauty of Ottawa, making memories that last a lifetime.

Explore Rideau Canal's blend of fun, fitness, and scenic beauty, perfect for capturing Instagram-worthy moments during your visit.
Explore Rideau Canal’s blend of fun, fitness, and scenic beauty, perfect for capturing Instagram-worthy moments during your visit.

For those seeking activities in Ottawa for young adults, the Rideau Canal is a must-visit. It’s a unique blend of fun, fitness, and scenic beauty, perfect for making those Instagram-worthy moments. Whether you’re a skating pro or just starting out, the canal offers a cool, exhilarating experience that’s hard to beat. And the best part? It’s free! Just bring your skates and your adventurous spirit.

The canal stretches over 7.8 kilometers, offering plenty of space to explore, race with friends, or simply enjoy a leisurely glide. After your skating adventure, warm up with a cup of hot chocolate from one of the nearby vendors. It’s the perfect way to end your day on the ice. Remember, the canal is most magical at night when the pathway is lit up, creating a twinkling wonderland.

2. Explore the Secrets of Parliament Hill

Parliament Hill is like stepping into a storybook where the buildings tell tales of the past. More than just a place of old stories; it’s where you can see Canada’s government in action. The Hill shines under the sun and sparkles at night, making it a perfect spot for your Ottawa adventure.

Parliament Hill is akin to stepping into a storybook, where historic buildings narrate tales of the past.
Parliament Hill is akin to stepping into a storybook, where historic buildings narrate tales of the past.

Looking for young adult things to do? Parliament Hill has got you covered. It offers free tours that take you behind the scenes of Canada’s government. Plus, in the summer, the Hill comes alive with light shows and music that light up the night.

Don’t miss the Sound and Light Show. It’s a cool mix of lights, music, and stories that turn the Parliament buildings into a giant screen. It’s fun and you’ll learn something new, making it a great choice for an evening out. The tours are free, but they can get busy. Try to book ahead or show up early. And bring your camera! The views from the Hill, especially when the sun sets, are too good not to share.

3. Uncover Art at the ByWard Market

Dive into the vibrant heart of Ottawa by exploring the ByWard Market, a colorful maze of streets filled with art, food, and music. Day or night, the market buzzes with energy, making it a must-visit for anyone looking for a taste of the city’s culture.

Explore Ottawa's vibrant heart at ByWard Market, where colorful streets host art, food, and music for a dynamic experience.
Explore Ottawa’s vibrant heart at ByWard Market, where colorful streets host art, food, and music for a dynamic experience.

For those hunting for cool things to do in Ottawa, the ByWard Market is a treasure chest. It’s where you can find local artists showing off their work and cafes that serve up the city’s best coffee. At night, the market transforms. Live bands play, and the streets fill with people having a great time.

After soaking in the art, why not try some local treats? The market is famous for its fresh produce and delicious snacks. And if you’re up for a late-night adventure, check out the bars and clubs that come alive after dark. Wear comfy shoes because you’ll want to wander for hours. And keep some cash on hand; you never know when you’ll find a must-have souvenir or a snack you can’t resist!

4. Paddle Through Adventure on Dow’s Lake

Hit the water at Dow’s Lake for an adventure that’s both chill and thrilling. It’s one of the fun places to go in Ottawa, where you can rent a kayak or paddleboard and explore at your own pace. Whether it’s the gentle rays of the morning sun or the golden hues of the evening, Dow’s Lake offers a picturesque setting for your water escapades.

Dow's Lake offers more than just its scenic waters; it blends nature's beauty with a vibrant and fun-filled atmosphere.
Dow’s Lake offers more than just its scenic waters; it blends nature’s beauty with a vibrant and fun-filled atmosphere.

This spot is perfect for young adults looking to add a splash of adventure to their day. Glide across the water, race with friends, or just float and take in the scenic views. Dow’s Lake is not only about the lake itself but also about the vibe it offers, blending nature with fun.

After your time on the water, why not have a picnic by the lake? There are plenty of green spaces to relax and enjoy a meal. And if you’re here in the spring, the Canadian Tulip Festival is a sight to behold, with flowers blooming all around the lake. If you’re new to kayaking or paddleboarding, morning hours are usually calmer, making it easier to learn.

5. Zoom Down the Slopes at Camp Fortune

Camp Fortune offers an adrenaline rush like no other. It’s one of the top Ottawa fun attractions, where winter isn’t just a season—it’s a playground. Located just a short drive from the city center, Camp Fortune offers skiing and snowboarding adventures that cater to all skill levels, from beginners to pros.

Night skiing at Camp Fortune offers an extra thrill with illuminated trails, creating a magical experience under the stars.
Night skiing at Camp Fortune offers an extra thrill with illuminated trails, creating a magical experience under the stars.

This destination is a winter wonderland for young adults seeking excitement against the backdrop of stunning natural beauty. With well-groomed trails, night skiing options, and a cozy chalet to warm up in, it’s the perfect place to spend a day on the snow.

After a day of shredding the slopes, the chalet is a great spot to relax and share stories of your snowy escapades. And if you’re up for more adventure, night skiing at Camp Fortune adds an extra thrill, with the trails illuminated under the stars.

6. Laugh Out Loud at Yuk Yuk’s Comedy Club from

Get ready to laugh until your sides hurt at Yuk Yuk’s Comedy Club. It’s the go-to spot in Ottawa for a night filled with humor and good vibes. Whether you’re into stand-up comedy or just looking for a fun way to spend an evening, Yuk Yuk’s has you covered with a lineup of hilarious acts that’ll keep you entertained.

Explore Elgin Street's bars and eateries in Ottawa, just a short walk away, perfect for extending the fun with friends.
Explore Elgin Street’s bars and eateries in Ottawa, just a short walk away, perfect for extending the fun with friends.

For those searching for things to do in Ottawa for young adults, Yuk Yuk’s offers a unique night out. It’s a place where you can unwind, enjoy a drink, and laugh along with some of the best comedians in the country. The club hosts a variety of performers, from up-and-comers to seasoned pros, ensuring there’s something for everyone’s taste.

After the show, stick around to meet the comedians or head out to explore the nightlife nearby. Ottawa’s Elgin Street, with its array of bars and eateries, is just a short walk away, perfect for continuing the fun.

7. Discover the Mysteries at the Diefenbunker Museum

Step into a hidden world beneath the earth at the Diefenbunker Museum. This massive underground bunker, built during the Cold War, is now a fascinating museum that takes you on a journey through time. It’s not every day you get to explore a secret military facility, making this a unique adventure in Ottawa.

The Diefenbunker Museum is a standout attraction for young adults seeking unique experiences and historical insights in Ottawa.
The Diefenbunker Museum is a standout attraction for young adults seeking unique experiences and historical insights in Ottawa.

Walking through the Diefenbunker’s corridors, you’ll uncover stories of espionage, diplomacy, and survival. The museum offers guided tours that bring the Cold War era to life, complete with tales of spies and secret messages. It’s a captivating experience that combines history with a touch of mystery.

For those on the lookout for attractions for young adults, the Diefenbunker Museum stands out. It’s not just a history lesson; it’s an interactive experience that challenges you to think and explore. The museum also hosts special events like escape rooms and scavenger hunts, adding an extra layer of excitement to your visit.

8. Sip and Savor at the Andaz Rooftop Bar

Elevate your evening with a visit to the Andaz Rooftop Bar. It’s a hotspot for fun things to do in Ottawa for young adults, offering breathtaking views of the city skyline. Here, you can sip on creative cocktails while soaking in the panoramic sights of Ottawa, from the bustling ByWard Market to the serene Ottawa River.

The Andaz Rooftop Bar offers a stylish ambiance and a diverse drink selection, creating memorable moments under the stars.
The Andaz Rooftop Bar offers a stylish ambiance and a diverse drink selection, creating memorable moments under the stars.

This chic venue is perfect for those looking to unwind after a day of exploration or kickstart a night of adventure. With its stylish ambiance and a wide selection of drinks, the Andaz Rooftop Bar is the place to be for memorable moments under the stars.

For a seamless experience, try to visit during the week to avoid the weekend crowds. And don’t forget to dress up a bit; this place has a vibe that calls for a touch of class. Lastly, make sure your phone is charged – you’ll want to capture the stunning views and your dazzling drinks.

9. Bounce Around at Altitude Gym from

Get ready to challenge gravity and have a blast at Altitude Gym. This place turns a regular workout into an exhilarating adventure, making it one of the coolest places to hang out in Ottawa. Whether you’re a climbing pro or just looking to try something new, Altitude Gym offers a fun, dynamic environment to scale walls and conquer obstacles.

At Altitude Gym in Ottawa, challenge gravity and have a blast | Image Credits: Altitude Gym tripadvisor
At Altitude Gym in Ottawa, challenge gravity and have a blast | Image Credits: Altitude Gym tripadvisor

This gym is a fantastic spot for young adults seeking a mix of fun, fitness, and challenge. With various climbing walls and courses, it caters to all levels of experience. It’s not just about climbing; it’s about pushing your limits and having a great time with friends.

For those planning a visit, wearing comfortable clothes is key. You’ll be moving a lot, so flexibility is crucial. Also, if it’s your first time, consider joining a beginner’s session to get the hang of things quickly. And remember, climbing is always more fun with friends, so bring a buddy or two and make a day of it.

10. Catch Waves at Calypso Theme Waterpark

Calypso Theme Waterpark is Canada’s biggest waterpark, offering a splash-tastic adventure for everyone. From thrilling slides to massive wave pools, this place is all about making a splash and creating memories that last a lifetime.

Calypso Theme Waterpark in Ottawa is the ideal destination for a fun-filled day out with friends, offering thrilling water activities.
Calypso Theme Waterpark in Ottawa is the ideal destination for a fun-filled day out with friends, offering thrilling water activities.

Looking for fun things to do with friends in Ottawa? Calypso Theme Waterpark is your go-to destination. Whether you’re racing down slides or lounging in the lazy river, it’s the perfect spot to beat the heat with your crew. The park’s vast selection of attractions means there’s something for every thrill level, ensuring a day filled with laughter and excitement.

Remember to pack sunscreen and a towel. Arriving early can help you beat the crowds and maximize your time on the rides. And don’t forget to check out the group rates for some savings.

11. Explore the Paranormal at The Haunted Walk

Step into the shadows and uncover the mysteries of the past with The Haunted Walk. It’s an unforgettable journey through Ottawa’s eerie history, making it one of the most thrilling fun activities in Ottawa for adults. As night falls, the city’s historic streets transform, revealing tales of ghosts and the unexplained.

Experience the Haunted Walk, an unforgettable journey through Ottawa's eerie history, making it a thrilling activity for adults.
Experience the Haunted Walk, an unforgettable journey through Ottawa’s eerie history, making it a thrilling activity for adults.

This adventure is perfect for those who love a good story and a slight chill down their spine. The Haunted Walk takes you on a guided tour through the darkest corners and oldest buildings, where history meets mystery. It’s a unique way to see the city and learn about its lesser-known tales.

Dress warmly, as the night air can be cool, especially when exploring ghostly sites. Comfortable shoes are a must—you’ll be walking and standing for a while. And, of course, bring your courage. Who knows what you’ll discover when you delve into Ottawa’s haunted history?

12. Zoom Over the City with Interzip Rogers

Fly high and fast across the Ottawa River with Interzip Rogers, the world’s first interprovincial zipline. This thrilling ride offers a bird’s-eye view of Ottawa and Gatineau, making it a heart-pounding addition to your adventure list. Feel the rush as you zip from one province to another, all while soaking in the stunning landscapes below.

Interzip Rogers in Ottawa offers an unmatched and thrilling experience, perfect for those seeking adventure and excitement. | Image Credits: Interzip
Interzip Rogers in Ottawa offers an unmatched and thrilling experience, perfect for those seeking adventure and excitement. | Image Credits: Interzip

Looking for cool stuff in Ottawa? Interzip Rogers delivers an unmatched experience. It’s not every day you get to say you’ve flown over a river, between two provinces, with the city’s skyline as your backdrop. This activity is a must for thrill-seekers and those looking to add a little adrenaline to their Ottawa exploration.

Wear comfortable, secure clothing and shoes that won’t slip off. Arriving a bit early to get acquainted with the safety procedures is a good idea, ensuring you’re all set for the ride. And definitely, don’t forget your camera or phone – you’ll want to capture this unforgettable view and the excitement of your zipline adventure.

Frequently Asked Questions About Fun Activities in Ottawa for Young Adults

Looking for insider tips on Ottawa for young adults? Our FAQ section is your go-to resource for making the most of your Ottawa adventure.

Why is Ottawa so famous?

Ottawa is not just the nation’s capital; it’s a city that offers a high standard of living, making it one of good places to live in Canada. It stands out for its stunning architecture, rich history, and vibrant cultural scene. It’s home to iconic landmarks like Parliament Hill and the Rideau Canal, which becomes the world’s largest skating rink in winter. The city’s festivals, museums, and galleries showcase its diverse heritage. Ottawa’s beauty and lively atmosphere make it a must-visit destination in Canada.

Is it worth going to Ottawa?

Absolutely! Ottawa offers a unique blend of outdoor adventures, historical sites, and urban pleasures. Whether you’re into kayaking on the Ottawa River, exploring the halls of Parliament, or enjoying the local cuisine, there’s something for everyone. The city’s friendly vibe and scenic landscapes add to its charm, making it a great choice for travelers seeking a memorable experience. It’s one of the best cities to settle in North America.

Ottawa presents a blend of adventure, cultural experiences, and vibrant nightlife, catering to diverse interests and preferences.
Ottawa presents a blend of adventure, cultural experiences, and vibrant nightlife, catering to diverse interests and preferences.

How many days do you need in Ottawa?

Three to four days are ideal to experience Ottawa’s highlights. This gives you enough time to tour Parliament Hill, skate on the Rideau Canal, visit museums like the Canadian Museum of History, and explore ByWard Market. If you can, add a day or two. This lets you discover hidden gems and enjoy the city’s parks and outdoor activities without rushing.

What are things to do in Ottawa for 18 year olds?

Ottawa is full of adventures for 18 year olds. From exploring the interactive exhibits at the Canada Science and Technology Museum to biking along the Rideau Canal. The city’s escape rooms and virtual reality lounges offer fun challenges. For those into art, Ottawa’s street art tours reveal the city’s creative side. These activities provide a mix of learning, excitement, and the chance to create lasting memories with friends.

Where are the best bars in Ottawa for young adults?

The best bars for young adults are in the ByWard Market area. This vibrant district is known for its lively atmosphere and variety of bars catering to different tastes. Whether you’re into craft beer, cocktails, or live music, you’ll find a spot that suits your vibe. Places like the Andaz Ottawa ByWard Market rooftop bar offer stunning city views, making for an unforgettable night out.

What are activities for 20 year olds in Ottawa?

For 20 year olds, Ottawa offers a mix of adventure, culture, and nightlife. Try kayaking or paddle boarding on Dow’s Lake, or hit the trails in Gatineau Park for some hiking. The city’s music and arts scene is vibrant, with galleries, concerts, and theaters offering a taste of local talent. At night, the ByWard Market area buzzes with energy, perfect for those looking to explore Ottawa’s social side.

Ottawa offers young adults a diverse range of nightlife activities to enjoy and make the most of their evenings.
Ottawa offers young adults a diverse range of nightlife activities to enjoy and make the most of their evenings.

What are things to do in Ottawa at night under 21?

Under 21s in Ottawa can enjoy a variety of night activities. The Haunted Walks offer a spooky exploration of the city’s history. For a more laid-back evening, catch a movie at the Mayfair Theatre or enjoy a hot chocolate while skating on the Rideau Canal. Summer brings outdoor movies and light shows, like the Northern Lights show on Parliament Hill, providing entertainment without the need for ID.

Can you recommend any quiet spots in Ottawa for relaxation?

Yes, Ottawa has many peaceful spots. The Dominion Arboretum is perfect for a quiet walk among trees and flowers. Major’s Hill Park offers serene views of the Ottawa River, ideal for picnics or reading. For a tranquil escape, visit the Mer Bleue Bog for its boardwalk and unique ecosystem. These spots provide a calm retreat from the city’s hustle, allowing for relaxation and reflection.

Final Thoughts on Ottawa Attractions for Young Adults

Ottawa is a city brimming with excitement and adventure, especially for young adults. From skating on the world’s largest ice rink to exploring the mysteries of haunted walks, there’s no shortage of fun things to do in Ottawa for young adults.

Whether you’re into thrilling outdoor activities, soaking up culture at museums and galleries, or just hanging out with friends at cool bars and eateries, Ottawa has it all. This city combines the charm of nature with the buzz of urban life, making every visit memorable.

The best things to do for young adults in Ottawa for all types of travelers
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