There’s always one last ‘hurrah’ in the summer and for many of us, that’s the September long weekend. For some families, it marks what feels like the last opportunity to enjoy summer vacations, for others, kids are in full back to school planning mode.
Whatever the case, this long weekend can be filled with plenty of new memories to mark the end of summer vacation. Here are some ways to spend the long weekend in Ottawa.
Look to the skies at the Gatineau Hot Air Balloon Festival
An annual tradition for many families in the Ottawa area is to visit the Gatineau Hot Air Balloon Festival. This event from August 30-September 2 showcases hot air balloons in a celebratory festival that has a family stage for music, an amusement park, and other special activities for kids of all ages.
Enjoy a scoop of ice cream before the chill sets in
We’ve already shared with you our list of amazing ice cream places in the city, and if you haven’t been to one (or all) yet, now is the perfect time to indulge. Try a dipped cone from Chocolat Favoris (in Orleans, Kanata or Barrhaven), or savour the local flavours of The Merry Dairy.
Check out a prehistoric place
The Canadian Museum of Nature is always a family favourite because kids of all ages love to explore the various water, arctic, and dinosaur exhibits, but Pterosaur: Flight in the Age of Dinosaurs is only here until Monday, September 2. Learn about the creatures who took to the skies and lived for 150 million years. These winged reptiles are featured at this Canadian premiere of this exhibit for a limited time and this is the last weekend you can visit. The experience does require a special ticket in addition to the general admission ticket.
Take them out to a ballgame
The Ottawa Champions baseball team is at home for the long weekend including day and night games so you and the family can watch some baseball, tour the park, and eat some stadium food. With affordable ticket prices, this is the perfect way to introduce the kids to baseball. The Champions are in town on Friday and Saturday (August 30 and 31) for evening games, and Sunday and Monday (September 1 and 2) with 1:35 start times.
Go on a road trip
There are many fun places to go outside of the city for a quick road trip without having to drive very far. You can stay overnight and enjoy the mini-vacation that hotel pools and out-of-town locales have to offer, or you can make them a day trip and fill your time with adventures. From museums to nature exploration, we have a few road-trip recommendations that can help kick start your long-weekend trip.
Dream about outer space
With daily demonstrations and hands-on activities at the Canada Aviation and Space Museum, your kids will be thinking about outer space in a whole new way. Find out if humans could live on Mars, visit the Hang Glider Studio, a space just for kids and families to play filled with LEGO, puppets and more, or take a tour (there are even tours designed for kids aged 4-7).
Go for a bike ride
There are many trails and locations to enjoy a family bike ride in the Ottawa area, but this Sunday, September 1, marks the end of the Nokia Bike Days where road closures create fresh bike paths for families. Visit their website for full location and time details.