If you find yourself saying ‘been there and done that’ a lot while in Canada’s capital, and are looking for things to do in Ottawa that are a little quirky or off the beaten path, stop right there.
1. Salute The Sun With Yoga On Parliament Hill
(111 Wellington St, Ottawa ON)
If you can identify your chakra and know that a tree position that has nothing to do with leaves or maple syrup, you must be into yoga. If this is the case, one of Ottawa’s best-kept secrets is a free yoga class on the green law in front of the Parliament buildings. The free classes take place weekly in the summer and a schedule is available from Lululemon.
2. Spend A Night In Jail Without Being Arrested
(75 Nicholas St, Ottawa ON)
Have you ever wanted to know what it is like to spend the night in jail without being arrested? The HI-Ottawa Hostel allows visitors to spend the night behind bars in what used to be the Carleton County Gaol or the Ottawa Jail. When the prison closed in 1972, it was bought over by Hostelling International who decided to leave most of the jail intact. The top floor initially served as the jail’s death row and Hostelling International restored it to its original condition. Daily tours are offered.
3. Eat An Entire Pig’s Head
(110 Murray St., Ottawa ON).
While I am not condoning this idea, I am sure my BBQ-loving buddies would be all over it. If you can pick-up 9 pork-eating pals, head to Murray Street. The bistro will smoke and roast a whole pig’s head for you to enjoy (?) if you order 48 hours in advance. I don’t know if I could do this one, but that’s why I am here to suggest quirky weekend ideas to you!
4. Karaoke With A Twist
(651 Somerset St. W., Ottawa ON)
There is a lot more to The Shanghai Restaurant than initially meets the eye. The family-run spot turns into a karaoke club on Saturday nights. The proceedings are led by popular drag queen China Doll. More information is available at www.shanghaiottawa.com
5. DIY Arts & Crafts
(1/2-242 Dalhousie, Ottawa ON)
If you like to keep your hands busy and love arts and crafts, the Workshop Studio & Boutique offers do-it-yourself classes in knitting and crocheting which are perfect for weekend warriors who are looking for something artistic to do on a Saturday and Sunday.