Since Ottawa is my permanent home base, I thought I would periodically include posts about the city and events within the city throughout my usual travel-related blog posts. Without further ado, here are several more things to see and do in Ottawa!
Please note: I am not affiliated with any of these locations and no one has paid me to write this post. My opinions about these places are just to be helpful for visitors to the Ottawa area! Should I ever become affiliated with a company or product and write a post or review for them, I will always make that clear.
Canadian Tulip Festival
Easily one of my favorite events of Ottawa, the annual Tulip Festival held every May dates back to an unusual circumstance from World War II. Then-Princess Juliana (later Queen) of the Netherlands sought refuge in Ottawa from 1940 to 1945, after Germany seized control of the Netherlands. On January 19, 1943, she gave birth to Princess Margriet in the Ottawa Civic Hospital. Under normal circumstances, her birthright would have been forfeit, due to being born on foreign soil. In order to preserve her status as princess and maintain her eventual right to the Dutch throne, the hospital room in which she was born was declared international territory so she could retain full Dutch citizenship. After the Netherlands was liberated and the war had ended, the family returned home. Out of gratitude, Princess Juliana gifted 100,000 tulip bulbs to be planted in Ottawa. Every year since then, the tradition has continued, though now the tulip numbers count over 1,000,000. Each year as I gaze upon the tulips, this little piece of history tying together two countries in a remarkable way never ceases to amaze me.
Colony VR (Virtual Reality)
I was thrilled to discover a place where virtual reality is an affordable possibility. Colony VR has six “hexes” (areas) with virtual reality equipment attached, so you and your friends can take turns immersing yourselves in whatever type of scenario you can possibly imagine. It was a truly unique experience and although it took some getting used to – plenty of actual steps were taken instead of virtual ones, for instance – we had an absolute blast. Colony VR offers a wide range of games from a minute long visual exploration of an ocean all the way to a terrifying zombie outbreak shooter. No matter what your gaming tastes may be, they’ll have something to suit you.
Glow in the Dark Mini Putt
If inventing new curse words while your golf ball winds up everywhere you don’t want it to be is your idea of a good time, mini putt is definitely the right thing for you. Be sure to wear white at Putting Edge, and you’ll be illuminated as magnificently as the course is! Each area of the course consists of 2 or 3 holes and is themed differently – underwater and medieval are a couple of the areas you can expect to see. Putting Edge also boasts a sizable arcade, and is a great place to throw a birthday party.
5 Pin Bowling
As a last minute idea for a night out, we headed over to West Park Lanes for a few games of bowling. As someone who is used to 10 pin bowling, I was incredibly surprised to discover this alley was 5 pin only. We were feeling adventurous and didn’t have anyone to impress, so we were game to try. As it turns out, I have far less consistency with 5 pin than 10 pin, or even than when I dabbled in candlepin bowling during visits to Massachusetts.
Don’t be too put off by my
hilariously amateur lovely painting pictured above. For a girl whose main artistic ability consists of stick figure drawings, I was actually quite happy with the turn out. Did it look anything like our instructor’s? Not quite, but it hardly mattered. The wine was tasty and the laughs were plentiful. If you’re looking for a fun night out, you can’t go wrong with a Paint Nite. Despite the complexity of some of the paintings for the event, you’d be surprised at how easy it is to follow along.
Looking for even more to do in Ottawa? Stay tuned!