25 free activities in the Outaouais

Published on October 5 2023

When it comes to free activities, the Outaouais is all about having fun. Thanks to the region’s vast natural spaces, museums, art galleries and must-see attractions, you can pack your calendar with things to do without spending a dime!

For Learning


Canadian Museum of History

Immerse yourself in 15,000 years of history and culture with a free visit to the Canadian Museum of History, one of Canada’s most popular museums.

Where

100 Laurier Street, Gatineau

When

Free admission on Thursdays from 5 to 7 p.m.

Learn more

National museums in Canada’s Capital Region

Visit one (or more!) of Canada’s national museums in Gatineau–Ottawa: the Canadian Museum of Nature, the National Gallery of Canada, the Canadian War Museum, the Canada Science and Technology Museum, the Canada Aviation and Space Museum, or the Canada Agriculture and Food Museum.

Good to know

Free admission: National Gallery of Canada and Canadian War Museum – Thursdays from 5 to 7 p.m.; Canadian Museum of Nature – Thursdays from 5 to 8 p.m.; Canada Science and Technology Museum, Canada Aviation and Space Museum and Canada Agriculture and Food Museum – daily from 4 to 5 p.m.

Learn more

Parliament of Canada

The main Parliament Building, the Centre Block, is currently closed for restoration, but four fascinating guided tours are available to the public free of charge: a tour of the Senate, a tour of the House of Commons, a tour of the East Block, and an immersive experience featuring the Centre Block.

Where

111 Wellington Street (Parliament Hill), Ottawa

When

From 8:45 a.m. to 4:45 p.m. (Opening hours vary depending on the tour and the day of your visit.) Reservations required.

Learn more

Symmes Inn Museum

Visit the Symmes Inn Museum to travel back in time and learn about local history and Charles Symmes, the founder of Aylmer.

Where

1 Front Street, Gatineau (Aylmer sector)

When

Off-season hours: From Labour Day to the first Sunday in November, and March through May: Saturday and Sunday from noon to 5 p.m. | Summer hours: From the first Sunday in June to Labour Day: Tuesday to Sunday from noon to 6 p.m. Closed on Mondays.

Learn more

ChocoMotive shop and economuseum

Visit the ChocoMotive chocolate shop, a popular stop in the village of Montebello, to learn all about the history of chocolate and how delicious chocolate treats are made. You can watch the chocolate makers at work in the open workshop.

Where

502 Notre-Dame Street, Montebello

When

Daily from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Learn more

Fairbairn House Heritage Centre

Delve into the history of the Vallée-de-la-Gatineau and the life of homesteader William Fairbairn on a guided tour or by participating in one of the many activities offered at the Fairbairn House Heritage Centre.

Where

45 Wakefield Heights Road, La Pêche

When

Until June 23: Saturday and Sunday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. | June 24 to August 20: Daily from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. | August 21 to October 15: Saturday and Sunday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Learn more

Parc de la Ferme-Dalton

The Parc de la Ferme-Dalton (Dalton Farm Park) heritage site includes a schoolhouse, a sugar shack and a farmhouse. It’s an ideal spot for a stroll and a picnic.

Where

199 Montée Dalton, Gatineau

Learn more

White-Tail Deer Interpretation Centre

Learn about one of Canada’s iconic animals at the White-Tail Deer Interpretation Centre, and do some forest bathing on the site’s hiking trails.

Where

6 Chemin du Barrage, Sainte-Thérèse-de-la-Gatineau

When

May to October.

Learn more

Rapides-Farmer Generating Station

Discover the history and workings of a hydroelectric power station at the Rapides-Farmer Generating Station, in operation since 1927. Four free guided tours are offered daily.

Where

2740 Saint-Louis Street, Gatineau

When

Mid-June to the end of August. Tour times: 9:30 a.m., 11:15 a.m., 1 p.m. and 2:45 p.m. Reservations are required and must be made at least 24 hours in advance.

Learn more

Heritage walking tours

Discover the places that have shaped our region’s history. Several free and fascinating walking tours are offered in the Outaouais’ various sectors.

When

Anytime!

Learn more

For Exploring


Gatineau Park

A true outdoor paradise, Gatineau Park has an extensive network of walking trails to explore, absolutely free.

Where

33 Scott Road, Chelsea

When

Opening hours vary depending on the park sector and access point.

Learn more

Mont Morissette Regional Park

Hike the 13 km of marked trails in Mont Morissette Regional Park for free, and climb to the top of the 18-metre observation tower for breathtaking views.

Where

35 Chemin du Lac Long, Blue Sea

When

Anytime!

Learn more

PERO – Pôle d’excellence en récréotourisme en Outaouais

The PERO – Pôle d’excellence en récréotourisme en Outaouais (Outaouais Centre of Excellence for Recreation and Tourism) manages a network of 12 accessible hiking trails that are very popular with outdoor enthusiasts. Consult the PERO’s interactive maps.

Where

295 Montée du lac des 31 Milles, Bouchette

When

Anytime!

Learn more

La Route des Zingues

The Route des Zingues trail (a play on “route des Indes,” the fabled sea route to India) winds through the municipality of Duhamel and offers magnificent views of Lakes Gagnon and Preston.

Where

Chemin du Lac Gagnon, Duhamel

When

Anytime! Closed during hunting season.

Learn more

Véloroute des Draveurs

Bicycle through beautiful landscapes along the free 72-km Véloroute des Draveurs (“log drivers’ bike path”).

Where

Vallée-de-la-Gatineau, from Low to Messines

When

Anytime! In winter, the trail is used for snowmobiling.

Learn more

Sentier des Voyageurs

Stretching for 30 km along the north shore of the Ottawa River, the free Voyageurs Pathway recreational trail offers spectacular views of Gatineau and Ottawa. A great way to discover the area by bike, on in-line skates or on foot.

When

Anytime!

Learn more

Gatineau, ville vélo

With 300 km of free recreational pathways, the City of Gatineau attracts cyclists of all abilities. Explore the city at your own pace!

Where

25 Laurier Street, Gatineau

When

Anytime!

Learn more

Cyclopark PPJ

A 92-km bike path and natural park developed around an old railroad, the Cyclopark PPJ in the Pontiac crosses a varied landscape of farms, swamps, fields and forests, and goes through several charming villages.

Where

From Wyman to l’Isle-aux-Allumettes

When

Anytime!

Learn more

City of Gatineau outdoor centres

Admission to the City of Gatineau’s outdoor centres, parks and beaches is free, and there are lots of free outdoor activities to choose from.

When

Opening hours vary from site to site.

Learn more

For admiring


Centre d’exposition Art-image

View unique works at the Centre d’exposition Art-image and broaden your appreciation of contemporary visual art through exhibitions open to the public.

Where

855 De la Gappe Blvd., Gatineau

When

Monday–Friday: 1 p.m. to 8 p.m. | Saturday and Sunday: 1 p.m. to 5 p.m.

Learn more

Espace Pierre-Debain

Located in the Centre culturel du Vieux-Aylmer, the Espace Pierre-Debain gallery presents free arts and crafts exhibitions with an emphasis on multidimensional work.

Where

120 Principale Street, Gatineau (Aylmer sector)

When

Monday–Friday: 1 p.m. to 8 p.m. | Saturday and Sunday: 12 noon to 4 p.m.

Learn more

Galerie Montcalm

The Galerie Montcalm’s varied exhibitions of work by local, Canadian and international artists make for a rewarding free cultural outing.

Where

25 Laurier Street, 1st floor, Gatineau

When

Monday–Wednesday: 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. | Thursday: 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. | Friday: 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. | Saturday: Closed. | Sunday: 12 noon to 5 p.m.

Learn more

Centre d’action culturelle de la MRC Papineau

The Centre d’action culturelle de la MRC de Papineau hosts a variety of exhibitions showcasing local artistic talent.

Where

548 Notre-Dame Street, Montebello

When

Friday–Sunday: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Learn more

Downtown Gatineau Culture Trail

Enjoy urban art and discover the city for free on the Culture Trail through downtown Gatineau.

Where

Downtown Gatineau

When

From June 21 to October 15.

Learn more

La Fab sur Mill

Several free exhibitions are held throughout the year at La Fab sur Mill, a historic church converted into an arts cooperative where performance and visual arts meet.

Where

8 Mill Road, Chelsea

When

Friday–Sunday: 1 p.m. to 5 p.m.

Learn more

Whether you want to get back to nature, enjoy works of art, or browse through a museum, you can do it all for free in the Outaouais!

+

For more ideas on what to do in the region, read our blog.

OTHER ARTICLES THAT MIGHT INTEREST YOU
Share
Facebook Twitter Email