The 16 Best Indoor Activities in Ottawa [2023]

Ottawa is a vibrant city with plenty of indoor activities to enjoy. Whether you’re interested in art, history, or just having fun, there’s something for everyone. Whether you’re looking to stay active during the winter months or want something to do on a rainy day, these popular enclosed-space attractions have year-round entertaining experiences for all ages. And if you’re looking for more indoor spots in the city, check out:

The 8 Best Nightclubs in Ottawa
The 5 Best Boxing Gyms in Ottawa
The 6 Best Bakeries in Ottawa
The 10 Best Yoga Studios in Ottawa

Enjoying an afternoon or evening indoors doesn’t have to involve cough surfing. Grab your walking shoes, bring a friend or two, and let’s take a tour in Ottawa’s most intriguing interiors.

How We Chose The Best Indoor Activities In Ottawa

Selecting the finest indoor activities in Ottawa required a careful consideration of various factors that contribute to a memorable and enjoyable experience. Here’s an insight into our selection process:

  1. Diversity of Activities: We aimed to cover a diverse range of indoor activities that cater to different interests and age groups, ensuring there’s something for everyone in Ottawa.
  2. Popularity and Reviews: We delved into visitor reviews, ratings, and feedback from both locals and tourists to gauge the popularity and overall satisfaction of each activity.
  3. Uniqueness and Innovation: We prioritised activities that bring something unique or innovative to the table, providing visitors with fresh and exciting experiences.
  4. Accessibility: Activities that are easily accessible and located within the city limits or its immediate surroundings were given preference to ensure convenience for all.
  5. Quality of Facilities: The quality of facilities, equipment, and services provided by each activity venue played a significant role in our selection process.
  6. Engagement and Enjoyment: Activities that are engaging, immersive, and offer a high level of enjoyment were chosen to guarantee a memorable time for participants.
  7. Local Recommendations: We considered recommendations from locals who have a deep understanding of the city’s indoor offerings and can vouch for their appeal.

After meticulous research and assessment, we present to you the 16 best indoor activities in Ottawa! And if you want to learn more about our selection process, consider checking out our article on how we choose the best.

The Best Indoor Activities Ottawa
Now that you know how these activities were selected, let’s explore the best indoor activities in Ottawa!

1) National Gallery of Canada

Canada’s national art museum and one of North America’s largest with over 93,000 works. The collection features diverse pieces from Canadian and global artists, spanning eras and media. Highlights include Group of Seven paintings, Inuit sculptures, and multimedia installations. The museum hosts free special exhibitions and public programs.

Business Information:

Phone: +1613 9901985
Address: 380 Sussex Dr, Ottawa, ON K1N 9N4

2) CF Rideau Centre

In downtown Ottawa, this premier mall offers an exceptional shopping experience with over 170 retailers, encompassing luxury boutiques and renowned brand stores. Recent expansion added four levels of retail space, and the mall features exclusive promotions, a rooftop park, Westin Hotel, and connections to Shaw Centre and transit.

Business Information:

Phone: +16132366565
Address: 50 Rideau St, Ottawa, ON K1N 9J7

3) House of TARG

A popular entertainment venue with a variety of activities, including live music, classic video games, and pinball machines. The venue also serves delicious pierogies, including vegan options. The atmosphere is lively and fun, with friendly staff and a retro vibe.

Business Information:

Phone: +16136808274
Address: 1077 Bank St, Ottawa, ON K1S 3W9

4) Stray Dog Brewing Company

A family-run microbrewery that crafts diverse craft beers, notably the Inukshuk Canadian IPA. Visitors can tour the dog-friendly brewery, indulge in tastings, and explore their taproom and patio serving Venezuelan-Canadian fusion food. A dog-friendly spot

Business Information:

Phone: +16138307364
Address: 501 Lacolle Way Unit 4, Orléans, ON K4A 5B6

5) Canadian Museum of Nature

Canada’s national natural history museum, located in the Victoria Memorial Museum Building, displays over 14.6 million specimens ranging from animals to minerals. Permanent galleries focus on fossils, mammals, birds, and rocks, offering a comprehensive global exploration.

Business Information:

Phone: +18002634433
Address: 240 McLeod St, Ottawa, ON K2P 2R1

6) Escape Manor

Diverse themed escape games and rooms across various locations in Elgin, Hintonburg, Nepean, And Diefenbunker. Their themed rooms range from thrilling to non-scary, encouraging teamwork and problem-solving. Escape Manor Junior offers kid-friendly options. They also provide axe throwing, darts and online room escapes.

Business Information:

Phone: View official website for the specific location’s phone number
Address: Various

7) RCMP Stables Visitor Tours

A national agricultural museum offering public programs and exhibitions that delve into Canada’s agricultural history and the connection between agricultural science and everyday life. The museum, functioning as a “working farm,” spans multiple buildings within the central farmhouse.

Business Information:

Phone: +16139937521
Address: Musical Ride Stables: 1 Sandridge Rd, Ottawa ON K1A 0R2

8) ISO SPA Floatation Centre

A lavish floatation therapy spa in downtown Ottawa. Experience i-Sopod floatation tanks, offering sensory deprivation for relaxation and stress relief in effortless floating. Choose from various packages, including singles, couples, and memberships. Additional wellness services include massage, acupuncture, and reflexology.

Business Information:

Phone: +16136955476
Address: 464 Bank Street, Unit #5, Ottawa, ON K2P 1Z3 (entrance on McLeod Street)

9) Canada Science and Technology Museum

The national museum devoted to Canada’s scientific and technological heritage engages visitors through 11 interactive exhibitions highlighting the nation’s science, technology, and innovation. The museum’s mandate is to promote exploration of Canadian scientific and technological culture, sharing its history, exhibits, objects, and data.

Business Information:

Phone: +16132357053
Address: Scientique, 1867 St. Laurent Blvd, Ottawa, ON K1G 5A3

10) Level One Game Pub

A popular board game and video game pub in downtown with over 800 video games and 300 board games available to play. The pub serves regular pub food, including gluten-free and vegan options, and has a fully licensed bar.

Business Information:

Phone: +16136957529
Address: 14 Waller St, Ottawa, ON K1N 9C4

11) Hintonburg Pottery

A studio and shop in Ottawa’s Hintonburg neighbourhood with hands-on pottery classes in hand-building, wheel-throwing, glazing and firing techniques, and more. It houses a large pottery collection from local and regional artisans. Visitors can purchase one-of-a-kind pottery pieces while immersing themselves in the world of ceramics.

Business Information:

Phone: +16137256909
Address: 1242 Wellington St. W, Ottawa, ON K1Y 3A4

12) OCR Academy

Ottawa’s first and only obstacle course training and fitness centre. Their comprehensive programs cater to all ages and fitness stages, emphasising fostering strong kids and well adults. Boasting a diverse array of obstacle course training tools and skilled trainers, OCR Academy aids individuals in surmounting challenges and enhancing overall wellness.

Business Information:

Phone: +16137260909
Address: 1140 Morrison Dr #106b, Ottawa, ON K2H 8S9

13) Aquatopia Conservatory

A unique and beautiful greenhouse conservatory with a captivating variety of tropical plants available for purchase year-round. Discover patio palms, flowering trees, and hanging plants. The conservatory also offers ecosystem ponds, which provide a backyard oasis for visitors to relax.

Business Information:

Phone: +16132257663
Address: 2710 March Rd #2, Carp, ON K0A 1L0

14) Bubble Madness

An indoor playground and amusement company with venues in Ottawa-Gatineau. Kids can enjoy inflatable bouncy castles, slides, obstacle courses, and interactive games. They offer birthday packages and events, prioritising a secure and joyful environment for kids to have fun and explore.

Business Information:

Phone: +14505435770
Address: Various venues; call to book

15) PaintNite

In-person, online and private painting events that take place at various Ottawa locations, including Pub 101 in The Market and Milestones Lansdowne. Participants can enjoy drinks and snacks while being guided through the process of creating their own painting to take home.

Business Information:

Address: Various locations


An indoor golf facility in Ottawa offering golfers of all ages and skill levels the chance to play indoors. State-of-the-art simulators create a realistic golf experience. They provide various packages, including hourly, group, and lesson options.

Business Information:

Phone: +16132267058
Address: 1050 Baxter Rd #1, Ottawa, ON K2C 3P1

FAQs About Indoor Activities
The “best” indoor activity varies depending on personal preferences. Some popular options include visiting museums, trying out escape rooms, attending live performances, or taking part in cooking classes. The choice ultimately depends on your interests and the experience you’re seeking.
Staying entertained when home alone can involve a range of activities. You might read a book, watch movies or TV shows, engage in creative hobbies like painting or crafting, listen to music or podcasts, cook a new recipe, practice yoga or meditation, or even learn something new online.

Engaging in indoor activities brings five key benefits: weather independence, comfort and safety, diverse options for all interests and ages, year-round availability, and fostering social interactions with friends and family.

Indoor and outdoor play both have their unique importance. Indoor play provides a safe and controlled environment for learning, creativity, and social interaction. It can also be valuable during adverse weather. On the other hand, outdoor play fosters physical activity, sensory exploration, and a connection with nature. A balance between the two is crucial for holistic development, promoting physical, cognitive, and social growth in individuals, especially children.
Final Thoughts

Getting out of the house and indoors somewhere can make for an engaging encounter. Some of Ottawa’s best experiences happen indoors—and are as diverse as the city itself. Individual exploits, couples activities, and group adventures are all possible, depending on where you want your day or night to take you.

What are your favourite things to get up to in the city while stuck indoors? Let us know in the comments!