Fairmont Château Laurier

Five ways to celebrate moms in Ottawa

Show the mother figure in your life how much you care by treating her to memorable experiences in the Ottawa region! Whether you’re planning a getaway together or just a special outing, she’ll appreciate relaxing, indulging, shopping and being pampered. We’ve gathered a few ways you can honour the woman you cherish around Mother’s Day (May 8), during the month of May, or at any other time in Ottawa. She deserves it!

Beautiful brunch

From diners to fancy dining rooms, Ottawa’s brunch spots will start your day off right. Just outside of the downtown core is a favourite local spot that serves brunch every day! Gastro-bakery Art-Is-In offers classic pastries like flaky croissants and scones, as well as inventive options like the indulgent O-Towner cronut. Savoury options are equally tasty, including egg dishes, sandwiches and soups.

Brunch not your thing? Consider getting prepared food from a vendor at Ottawa’s farmers’ markets while browsing local products and artisans. Or join a gourmet food tour with C’est Bon Ottawa to nosh your way through neighbourhood eateries, food shops and vendors.

Shop till you drop

Retail therapy can be a wonderful bonding experience. The ByWard Market district and nearby Downtown Rideau area offer a blend of independent local businesses and big brand stores. Within a few blocks, you can browse for handmade items in the ByWard Market Square, chat with vendors of maple syrup and other local products in the outdoor market area, visit the boutiques in the surrounding quaint streets, and find national and international brands at CF Rideau Centre.

Visit other Ottawa neighbourhoods, such as Elgin Street, the Glebe and Wellington West for loads of independent shops that carry one-of-a-kind fashion, locally-made gifts and home goods.

Say spahhhh

Glittering indoor and outdoor pools, steamy saunas, relaxing treatments and other thermal therapy options are the ultimate way to unwind at Nordik Spa-Nature. At the largest spa of its kind in North America located just minutes north of downtown Ottawa in Chelsea, Québec, you’ll feel like a world away. Reserve a special experience such as the Källa saltwater pool, or treatments including facials and massages. You can even stay in your spa robe and have a meal at an on-site restaurant!

Another indoor-outdoor spa option, Kōena Spa, is located just west of downtown Gatineau, while more classic indoor oases within Ottawa include Holtz Spa, Au Naturel Spa, and Renu Spa.

Sips and nibbles

Lingering over traditional afternoon tea in a historic hotel is a wonderful way to spend quality time together. Reserve this special experience at Zoe’s, a stylish yet comfortable restaurant in the majestic Fairmont Château Laurier hotel. Choose from the many specialty teas and nosh on the fancy, savoury and sweet treats. Add champagne or a cocktail and cheers your way through the afternoon.

Additional afternoon tea options include several locations of Quelque Chose Pâtisserie as well as the glitzy Vanitea Room.

Culture candy

Sightseeing options abound as you explore the city. While downtown, stop for a photo at the giant OTTAWA sign in the ByWard Market area, visit the Women Are Persons! sculpture located in front of the Senate of Canada building and take a stroll or a bike ride along the Rideau Canal. Throughout the region, you can see what’s blooming (including tulips!) in beautiful gardens and admire urban art.

For indoor sights, visit some of the the country's national treasures located in Ottawa, such as the National Gallery of Canada and the National Arts Centre. You can also soak up local culture at the Ottawa Art Gallery and at city museums and historic sites.

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