35 Awesome Date Ideas in Ottawa
From foodie experiences to plenty of outdoor activities, there are date ideas in Ottawa for every couple. Canada’s capital city, known for its green spaces and the Rideau Canal, has a bustling restaurant scene as well as several opportunities for nightlife, hiking and unique experiences.
What’s the best date for foodies? What can you do in Ottawa when the weather turns cold? Have no fear: No matter what you’re looking for, whether you’re on the hunt for winter indoor date ideas in Ottawa or the perfect first date idea, this guide will get your date-planning started.
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- Foodie Date Ideas in Ottawa
- Cute Date Ideas in Ottawa
- First Date Ideas in Ottawa
- Indoor Date Ideas in Ottawa
- Outdoor Date Ideas in Ottawa
- Cheap Date Ideas in Ottawa
Foodie Date Ideas in Ottawa
1. Bring on the Heat in a Cooking Class
Get to know your date in a low-pressure setting by taking a cooking class in Ottawa on your next date night! You can find cooking classes near you led by professional chefs for any culinary taste, be it Thai, French or Italian. If you’d prefer a date night at home, book a live online cooking class and learn how to cook a gourmet meal from the comfort of your home kitchen.
2. Enjoy a Private Chef Experience
Treat your date to a gourmet meal prepared just for the two of you by booking an experienced private chef in Ottawa. On date night, a private chef near you will come to your location to prepare an elegant meal for two, complete with multiple courses.
3. Take a Food Tour
Get to know the culinary offerings in your neighborhood with this fun date idea in Ottawa: a food tour! On a food tour in Ottawa, a local guide will tour you through a popular neighborhood and uncover the local gems and must-try restaurants. Even if you’ve lived in Ottawa for years, a food tour will help you discover spots you never knew existed.
4. Expand Your Palate on Winery Tours and Tastings
Expand your tasting palate and enjoy a glass of wine (or two) with your date on a romantic wine tour and tasting in Ottawa. This cute date idea in Ottawa is perfect for couples who love a good glass of wine in a beautiful setting.
5. Take a Brewery Tasting Tour
See where local brews are made on a brewery tour and tasting in Ottawa. You’ll support your local craft beer scene while getting to sample some delicious specialty beers. Wind up the date with a good meal, and you’ve got a memorable evening planned. You can always invite a few friends for a rousing double date idea!
6. Enjoy a 44-Course Tasting Menu at Atelier
The 44-course tasting menu at Atelier boasts some of Ottawa’s most creative and delicious fare. In an intimate dining room, taste modern, elegantly-plated dishes prepared by Chef Marc Lepine and his talented sous chefs.
7. Brunch at Wilfrid’s in the Fairmont Château Laurier
Treat your date to an elegant brunch at Wilfrid’s in the Fairmont Château Laurier for an impressive date idea in Ottawa. You and your date will dine on a chef-prepared brunch menu with classic and creative dishes and may even find yourselves lingering over coffee.
8. Midnight’s Mac & Grilled Cheese Cabin
Located near Major’s Hill Park, Midnight’s Mac & Grilled Cheese Cabin is the perfect place for an indulgent lunch date or late-night fuel. The food window serves up hearty mac and cheese dishes like bacon mac, pulled pork mac and, of course, the classic dish. You can even get it delivered.
9. Art-Is-In Bakery
Featured on Food Network Canada, Art-Is-In Bakery is a French-inspired, Brooklyn-influenced bakery with impeccable pastries, fluffy croissants and pillowy breads. Pick up a coffee and a pastry for a cute date idea in Ottawa that both supports a local business and solves breakfast.
Cute Date Ideas in Ottawa
10. See a Movie at the Drive-In Theater
Take your partner on a classic date to the drive-in movie theater for a romantic, fun date idea in Ottawa. During the summer, the Drive-In Experience Ottawa offers up to five movie nights a week so you have plenty of options.
11. Go Zip Lining at InterZip Rogers
For a truly thrilling date idea in Ottawa, sign up to go zip lining at InterZip, where you’ll enjoy incredible views and breathtaking speeds as you and your date soar above the city on the 1200-foot zip line.
12. Live Theater on a Pirate Ship
Take your date to a live theater show on a pirate ship for a unique date idea in Ottawa that will lead to plenty of conversation, fun pictures and an unforgettable date. The Pirate Life hosts dockside performances complete with music, costumes and over-the-top performances.
13. Enjoy an Afternoon of Art at the National Gallery of Canada
Looking for fun things for couples to do that bring a little culture to date night? At the National Gallery of Canada, you’ll see the works of Canadian artists as well as fascinating rotating exhibits by artists from around the globe. You and your date will find plenty to talk about as you stroll the peaceful gallery halls.
14. Black Squirrel Books and Espresso Bar
Books, coffee, beer and wine — that’s the recipe for a perfect date idea in Ottawa for book lovers. Head over to Black Squirrel Books, grab a drink and then spend the afternoon perusing the shelves together.
15. Take a Boat Cruise
If you and your date have an afternoon to fill, spend it in an epic way on a cruise down the Rideau Canal. Book the tour and restaurant package with Ottawa Boat Cruise to enjoy a fun and informative trip along the waterway, and cap off this remarkable date with a three-course meal at the Ritz.
First Date Ideas in Ottawa
16. Challenge Each Other at Funhaven
From bumper cars to arcade games to escape rooms, Funhaven is the place to go for a fun date idea in Ottawa that keeps you on your toes and having a great time together. There’s even a roller coaster on location if you’re in the mood for the ultimate thrill!
17. Grab Ice Cream at Jo-Jo’s Creameria
Jo-Jo’s Creameria serves up creative ice cream cones full of color and, of course, flavor! Mix up a standard date night idea in Ottawa (going out for ice cream) with a trip to this fun food truck for a sweet after-dinner treat.
18. Play Mini Golf in a Lush Setting
A round of mini golf at the Mini Golf Gardens is not your typical mini golf experience; expect lush landscaping, beautiful flowers and even water features as you make your way through one of the two 18-hole mini golf courses.
19. Stroll the Ottawa Farmers Market
Stroll through the Ottawa Farmers Market on a Saturday or Sunday morning for a fresh date idea in Ottawa. Discover local artisans, grab produce from local farmers and treat yourselves to Ottawa-made goodies.
Indoor Date Ideas in Ottawa
20. Try an Online Cocktail Class or Wine Tasting
Shake up your usual date night with this unique virtual date idea in Ottawa: an online mixology class. In an online mixology class, you’ll learn how to mix creative cocktails in a live, interactive class hosted on Zoom. If wine is more your thing, get to know the reds and whites in your pantry a little more through a virtual wine tasting.
21. Try Axe Throwing
Looking for an unconventional date idea in Ottawa? Try axe throwing at Bad Axe for your next date night. After getting a few pointers from the staff, you and your date can have a go at hurling real axes into a wooden target. It’s thrilling, humbling and perfect for date night.
22. Challenge Yourselves to an Escape Room
See how you and your date work together on an escape room date at Jigsaw Escape Rooms. You’ll have an hour to solve puzzles, uncover clues and put the pieces together to escape from a themed room. This would be a great double date idea (more minds to work together!)
23. Paint Pottery at The Mud Oven
Paint pottery at The Mud Oven for a creative date idea in Ottawa. You and your date can paint a piece for one another or just see who’s better with a brush. Come prepared with some conversation topics to spice up this date with fresh conversation.
24. Enjoy an Evening of Jazz
Grab a cocktail, settle into your seat and enjoy an evening of jazz with your date at the Brookstreet Hotel jazz lounge for a romantic date idea in Ottawa. There are also chef-prepared dining options available if you two get hungry.
25. Play Glow-in-the-Dark Putt Putt
Experience 18 holes of glow-in-the-dark mini golf at Putting Edge in Ottawa. You and your date will experience a kaleidoscope of color as you putt around the glowing golf course, making for an unforgettable date night.
26. Yuk Yuk’s Comedy Club
Treat your date to an evening of good laughs at a local comedy show put on by Yuk Yuk’s, an international comedy club.
Outdoor Date Ideas in Ottawa
27. Visit Rideau Falls
Visit the roaring Rideau Falls for a unique outdoor date idea in Ottawa. These crashing waterfalls mark the spot where the Rideau River flows into the Ottawa River. They make for a stunning view and impressive photos.
28. Visit Nepean Point at Sunset
Take your date on a romantic walk to Nepean Point, where you can watch the sunset and take in sweeping views of the city below on this memorable date idea.
29. Enjoy a Day at Meech Lake
Head out to the lake closest to the city for a day in the sun and some time in the water. Meech Lake is the perfect place for planning an outdoor date idea in Ottawa. Pack lunch to make it a picnic date idea!
30. Take a Beautiful Hike at Pink Lake
Emerald water, towering trees and plenty of wildlife await at Pink Lake, named for the land donor’s family. Take a hike on the 2.3-kilometer Pink Lake Trail, which loops around the lake, for an easy to moderate hike and beautiful scenery.
31. Visit Saunders Farm
There are date-worthy events happening in nearly every season at Saunders Farm. Get lost in a hay maze in the summer, enjoy the pumpkins or get scared silly at the haunted house in the fall (makes a great Halloween date idea) and stroll through a Christmas market in the winter.
Cheap Date Ideas in Ottawa
32. Go Skating on the Rideau Canal Skateway
For a date idea in Ottawa in the winter months, take your date for a romantic skate on the Rideau Canal Skateway. After an afternoon out in the cold, warm up with a hot coffee or tea at one of Ottawa’s coffee shops. Don’t forget to check with local authorities about the safety of the canal before skating.
33. Visit the Dominion Arboretum
Take a stroll through the towering trees at the Dominion Arboretum for a relaxing, free date idea in Ottawa. The arboretum features 86 acres of rolling trees and shrubs, some dating back more than 100 years.
34. Stroll the Canadian Tulip Festival
Take your date to the stunning Canadian Tulip Festival, hosted each May in Ottawa. On this perfect spring date, you’ll see a showcase of vibrant tulips in all shapes in colors. Best of all, the festival is free!
35. Go for a Walk at Major's Hill Park
Grab a coffee or tea and take a stroll through Major’s Hill Park for a casual, cheap date idea in Ottawa. The park has plenty of pathways to wander and is also the perfect spot to see tulips blooming in the spring.
Cooking, skating, escape rooms and tasting menus: There are so many date ideas in Ottawa to try! Make a day out of one, or pick several to give you and your date a varied experience. Either way, you’re sure to have an unforgettable experience.
For even more fun date ideas in Ottawa and beyond, check out other experiences happening on Cozymeal.