From Nov. 21-26, 2017, Ottawa will be buzzing with 105th Grey Cup Festival festivities including free activities, concerts over three days, tailgating, exclusive events and of course, the big game! For an overview of the Festival schedule, visit our Grey Cup page.
While you’re soaking up the excitement, make sure to put aside some time for a few of these other fun experiences:
Looking for an easy (and responsible) way to visit a few of the many tasty craft breweries throughout the Ottawa region? Join a Brew Donkey tasting tour and enjoy bus transportation, behind the scenes visits at each stop, and a generous number of samples. Depending on the tour, you might visit multiple breweries, brewpubs, as well as distilleries. Some tours even include fun activities like axe throwing, board games and escape rooms! Best of all, you’ll enjoy a generous amount of samples along the way. Cheers!
Canada’s Capital has deep roots as a lumber town, which means the lumberjack style – including axe throwing – is more than just a trend in Ottawa. Wear your favourite plaid flannel and head over to Bad Axe Throwing to learn how to hurl an axe or a hatchet at a wood target wall. It’s addictive fun for young and old, and you can bring your own food and beverages. Been there, done that? Consider archery tag – dodgeball meets archery – at Archery Games!
Ever wanted to drive a military Humvee; or forge your own knife with a professional blacksmith; or perfect your poker game with coaching from a pro; or get handgun and rifle shooting training from Canada’s best special forces operatives (not available anywhere else in Canada)? Local company XPR can arrange these and almost any other exclusive experience for you, right here in the Ottawa region!
Once a month (including Nov. 24, 2017), the Canadian Museum of Nature comes alive from 8 p.m. to midnight, transforming into a nighttime venue during Nature Nocturne. Grab a drink and dance the night away under the giant jellyfish in the beautifully lit Queens’ Lantern, and enjoy special interactive activities throughout the museum. Lots of Instagram-worthy opportunities await!
Ottawa has some of the best and biggest escape room activities you’ll find anywhere! Local company Escape Manor hosts the world’s largest escape room at the Diefenbunker: Canada’s Cold War Museum, a National Historic Site just west of Ottawa. This epic experience takes over an entire floor of the four-storey underground bunker! More traditional escape experiences are offered at locations throughout Ottawa by Escape Manor, Jigsaw Escape Rooms, and Room Escape Ottawa.
Ottawa sports bars are scattered throughout Ottawa’s lively neighbourhoods. Stick around the Grey Cup Festival at Lansdowne and head to Craft Beer Market. Grab a seat and a pint at the huge circular bar and catch the action on their multiple screens. The Sens House Sports Bar & Grill in the ByWard Market area features numerous giant screens showing different broadcasts (plus, stick around on Saturday nights for the popular dueling pianos show). Or head east or west of downtown to either of the two Big Rig Kitchen and Brewery locations – co-owned by Ottawa Senators’ alumni Chris Philips – for some local craft beer and sports-watching fun.
24 Hour Cravings
After working up an appetite for a greasy breakfast or late night eats, you can easily satisfy your cravings any time of day! A stone’s throw from Lansdowne is the original location of beloved Kettleman’s Bagels. Visit this or their other locations to order their fresh, Montreal-style bagels, sandwiches and more, 24 hours a day. Zak’s Diner in the ByWard Market neighbourhood and Elgin Street Diner on Elgin Street serve breakfast anytime, plus they can fulfill all your milkshake, burger and poutine cravings 24/7.
There are many more events taking place around the Grey Cup Festival and all year-round in Ottawa. For a more complete list, check out our online Event Calendar!