Parliament Hill, Fall

Top 5 bleisure activities to do during the fall in Ottawa

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Cue the fall colours, crisp air, and tasty treats. Autumn is a special time to visit the Ottawa area. Delegates will want to extend their trip or take advantage of the season in Canada’s capital region. Listed in no order, here are the top 5 bleisure activities to do during the fall in Ottawa.

1. Fall Rhapsody

When the leaves start to turn, Ottawa becomes carpeted in autumnal reds, oranges and yellows. The urban core itself features spectacular displays of fall colours where you’ll be one with nature just a short walk from most downtown accommodations. Just outside Ottawa’s urban core, you’ll find protected landscapes dotted with farms, forests and wetlands. Escape the city to Gatineau Park—a bucolic conservation area just a 15-minute drive from Parliament Hill — for some of the best fall colours around.

You’ll be surrounded by vibrant colours and stunning scenery no matter where you go!

2. Harvest flavours

The weather is cooling down, the days are getting shorter and we're all getting ready to get our fill of apples, pumpkins, squash and other autumnal delights. What better way to celebrate than with a slice of pie or a glass of cider?

If you're looking for a sugar-coated escape this fall, look no further than the local foodie scene. The harvest season sees local breweries offering up fall-themed brews and refreshing ciders that you can try in person at the breweries, or in restaurants and bars all over town. Cozy up in a bakery or café with a seasonal-inspired scone or doughnut and warm mug of coffee from a local roaster to fully embrace these fall flavours.

3. Beautiful snapshots

Autumn is truly a photographer's dream in Ottawa. With the vibrant fall foliage contrasting deep blue skies, it's easy to capture stunning images throughout the city and in the countryside. From waterfalls to thousands of glowing pumpkins, take advantage of this vibrant season to explore some of the best places to photograph this fall in Ottawa.

In a city surrounded by natural beauty, you’re always a short walk away from finding yourself at a waterfall, in a park, or at a market. Among the most photogenic waterfalls, Hog's Back Falls is only a short distance from downtown. The Dominion Arboretum, close to the Rideau Canal, is home to more than 2,000 varieties of trees and shrubs that make for some spectacular fall photos. For something more central, stroll around the various lookout points in downtown Ottawa to capture postcard-perfect views of Parliament Hill, the ByWard Market and National Gallery of Canada, just to name a few..

4. 7000 hand-carved pumpkins

Don’t miss Pumpkinferno , a hauntingly beautiful and spellbinding outdoor exhibit of about 7,000 hand-carved pumpkins, set against a stirring night-time backdrop. Stroll the one-kilometre route and marvel at the eclectic scenes from exotic places and historic ages, meet up with forest animals and sea-born creatures, see story book heroes, mythical characters, cultural icons and more – all made entirely out of pumpkins. Make sure to bring a camera!

Located at the historic Upper Canada Village, Pumpkinferno is opened nightly from late September through October. Special accessibility nights allow those with physical limitations to drive through the site.

5. Spooky and fun activities

If you're looking for a fun way to spend the Halloween season, look no further than Ottawa. Canada's capital city has an abundance of haunted tours and escape rooms that are sure to give you a spooky good time.

In September and October, the Ottawa area is also filled with ghosts, goblins and treats! The Haunted Walk offers both on-location and at-home spooky fun. Join one of their popular walking tours of downtown Ottawa and follow a cloaked guide to hear about some of the city’s haunted places and historical facts. Ottawa has a variety of escape room attractions to choose from all year long, and some companies even offer virtual options. Visit one with a group and see if you can find enough clues to solve the puzzle and escape. In the city's downtown core, you’ll find Escape Manor, Room Escape Ottawa and Jigsaw Escape Rooms.

No matter what you're looking for in a business travel experience, Ottawa is the perfect place to enjoy fall festivities and top-notch entertainment, from spooky and fun activities to beautiful scenery and tasty treats

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