Very soon it will become the perfect time to go for a picnic in Ottawa. You know the scenario. There are trees that offer nice shade, and a green, fluffy lawn to sit on while you enjoy the warm weather and some snacks.
Ottawa is a green city with vast natural areas and beautiful parks, so practically every corner can be good to have a picnic while enjoying scenic views of forest and rivers. Besides, almost all parks in the city, big and small, have picnic tables one can use to spend some time with family or friends.
But this post is specifically about those picnic spots that are the favorite ones of residents in Ottawa. You won’t want to miss going for a picnic in these places because they offer a real Ottawa experience.
Major’s Hill Park
This is the oldest park in Ottawa, situated next to Parliament Hill, the Rideau Canal and the Ottawa river. The location makes it unbeatable. It’s my favorite place in the city, and I’ve always felt an amazing vibe and energy there.
When the weather gets warmer, people start coming to Major’s Hill Park like migrant birds returning to their home. By the summer, the park turns into the hottest spot downtown.
Last summer, the park was a magnet for many people. And it turned out – I guess due to the pandemic- to be the favorite place to meet with friends after work hours to have picnics on the lawn, respecting the 2 meter distance rule.
If you feel like having a drink or beer, or some food, you can go to the Tavern On the Hill, a very popular seasonal outdoor patio, next to the park.
Address: Laurier Ave E & ON-48, Ottawa ON K1N
This is an arboretum of about 26 hectares where there are species of trees from all over the world. In late spring it becomes an amazingly beautiful place with blossoming, colorful trees.
It has a pond with a picturesque wooden bridge. In the pond usually there are families of ducks, some geese, or even herons. Some people go fishing in the pond.
Having a picnic in the arboretum is just an awesome experience. It feels so relaxing and peaceful, and having a nap under the shade of a beautiful tree is absolutely marvellous!
Address: 1100-930 Carling Ave, Ottawa ON K1A 0C7
Mooney’s Bay Park
This is also one of the urban beaches in Ottawa and is a very popular spot in the city in the warmest months. But not only in the summer, also in winter it attracts people willing to go skiing or sledding.
The park has a large green area with BBQ grills and picnic tables. It also has the largest playground in the country with more than 20 play structures for kids all ages. A paradise for children!
This place has a sandy beach on the banks of the Ottawa river. People can choose whether to have a picnic on the sand or on the grass. In summer, many people come to the beach to enjoy the last hours of the day and the beautiful sunset. There’s always a festive air at Mooney’s Bay.
In the summer, there are facilities like washrooms, a canteen, and volleyball rentals.
Address: 2960 Riverside Dr, Ottawa K1V 8N5
This park is beautiful and is next to the very popular Britannia beach, one of the four urban beaches in Ottawa. The park offers lots of shade and gorgeous views of Britannia Bay.
Going to Britannia park to have a picnic and see the sunset is quite an amazing experience. The place has BBQ grills and picnic tables.
In the summer this place is full of a fun and festive air. Families and groups of friends gather around the park, and at the beach. There’s a canteen that serves burgers and drinks.
Address: Avenue Carling, Ottawa ON K1S
This is a Conservation Area in the East end of Ottawa. It’s located on the banks of the Ottawa river and has the largest beach in the city.
The picnic area is to the West of the main beach. It has approximately 40 picnic tables available from May to October, but some of them are left all year round. The area also offers 7 kilometres of nature trails. You can see wild fauna like geese, ducks and turtles.
Many people come to Petrie Island, attracted by its gorgeous sunsets and some others by its sunrises. The place is also a favorite one for photographers of animals and especially birds.
Address: 727 Trim Rd, Ottawa ON K4A 3P4
Other interesting spots to go for a picnic in Ottawa are Vincent Massey Park, which is a big park with lots of picnic tables and bbq pits, next to the Rideau river; Andrew Haydon Park, which faces the Ottawa river; and Strathcona Park in Sandy Hill facing the Rideau river.
So, start getting ready for the picnic season. The leaves of the trees are starting to sprout, and the lawns will turn green with some more rainy days and other sunny days. I’m looking forward to seeing Ottawa’s beautiful spring look! Take care.