• By: OLM Staff

Discover Ottawa’s Lesser-Known Entertainment Options

Ottawa has plenty to offer the many visitors who come every year. Top attractions include Parliament Hill, the Canadian War Museum, the museum of nature, and the Rideau Canal. But that’s just the tip of the iceberg. From art and culture to sport and entertainment, the city has something for everyone. But what are some of the lesser-known entertainment options in the city?
For travellers looking for a break from the tourist trail, there are plenty of alternative entertainment activities that are popular with the locals. And you don’t have to travel out of the city to enjoy them. So, here are just a few ways to keep yourself amused in Ottawa.

Axe throwing

Axe throwing is an unusual pastime that has surged in popularity over the past few years. In fact, it is so popular that there are several venues across the city dedicated to the activity. The organizers describe axe throwing as a sport, and there are even weekly leagues where experts battle it out. So, if you feel like trying something new with friends this weekend, then this is the activity for you. The Batl Axe Throwing venue on Lancaster Road also has a licensed bar. Other options include:
•    Bad Axe Throwing on Liverpool Ct
•    Lumber Jaxe on City Centre Avenue

Harness racing and casino

For another day out with a difference, why not pay a visit to The Rideau Carleton Raceway? The venue hosts harness racing every Thursday and Sunday. Harness racing differs from standard horse racing as the horses pull a two-wheeled cart and the jockey also drives the horse from the cart. It's an entertaining spectacle and there are wagering options on site.

Once the racing is over, you can retreat to the on-site casino, which is the only one in the city that opens 24/7 all year round. There's plenty to keep visitors amused, with over 1,200 slot machines and a range of popular table games, including:
•    Blackjack
•    Craps
•    Roulette
•    Baccarat

If you’ve never been to a casino before and don’t know the rules, don't worry, the staff can help you. Alternatively, playing online is a great way to familiarize yourself with the different table games and video slots. These days, there are plenty of online platforms for Canadian players, including Playojo. This fair online casino offers award-winning online gaming and is a great place to get casino action on the go.

The casino action at the Rideau Carlton is being upgraded in 2022 to include live music and DJs to create a party vibe. The venue also has three different restaurants, serving food all day, and a cocktail lounge, which is open to 2am.

Combat Archery

If the idea of spending an evening axe-throwing appeals to you, there's a good chance you'll also be interested in combat archery. Yes, this is yet another activity based on primitive weaponry. This time, using bows and arrows in a paintball-style combat game. The game also shares similarities with dodgeball and is a fun way to spend an hour or two with friends. And don’t worry, the arrows are foam-tipped, so there is no risk of injury.

The activity price includes plenty of training time to get you up to speed. Groups are split into teams with up to 10 players a side. There are various game modes, but the main objective is to take the other team out first. Bows, arrows, faceguards, and armguards are provided, and games last around 50 minutes. The Archery Games facility on Bank Street also has a bar and restaurant offering food and drinks, and a range of other games, including:
•    Shuffleboard
•    Cornhole
•    Beer-pong

Virtual reality

VR centres are popular all over the globe, and Ottawa is no exception. Venues have been opening across the city, including VR Adventures Zone, which offers a range of experiences from VR escape rooms and free-roaming games to VR laser tag and action arcade games. You can also ask for a fully customized experience for you or your group. VR offers a unique, social, active, and immersive experience.

These activities are great for visitors looking to have some fun and mingle with locals. They also offer a break from the usual tourist attractions. So, why not mix it up on your next trip to Ottawa by including one of our alternative activities in your itinerary?

Photo: Pixabay