Things to do in the Outaouais in May

Published on April 30 2024

May in the Outaouais is a colourful month full of firsts! The first bike ride; the first happy hour on an outdoor terrace; the first fishing trip; the first leaves on the trees; the first spring flowers; the first warm days ... Check out our suggestions for things to do to make the most of the month!

Enjoy the great weather

May is here, and if you haven’t already, it’s time to tune up your road bike. With a vast network of internationally acclaimed cycling trails, the region is a must for cyclists. Gatineau Park, the Véloroute des Draveurs, the Cyclopark PPJ and the City of Gatineau’s urban cycling network offer plenty of challenges, whether you’re a beginner or an experienced cyclist! 

Beginning May 11, discover the National Capital Region in a safe and eco-friendly way thanks to NCC Weekend Bikedays. By bike, on rollerblades, in a wheelchair, on foot, on a scooter, or even pushing a stroller, travel a car-free route along nearly 15 kilometres of the Ottawa River shoreline. 

Also in May, Camp Fortune officially kicks off its new season, with summer activities back in force! The mountain bike trails will reopen, as will the famous zip lines and aerial adventure park. You can also take a thrilling ride down a 1-km track on the mountain pipe coaster. 

A stay at an Outaouais outfitter is all about unforgettable stories, getting back to nature, shore lunches, and good times with family and friends. Get ready for the start of fishing season by booking your stay at an outfitter. 

The Outaouais is full of beautiful waterfalls to admire in good company, and they’re at their most spectacular in the spring. Lace up your hiking boots and discover the Outaouais’ magnificent and unexpected landscapes.

Especially for Mother’s Day

A friendly reminder: Sunday, May 12 is Mother’s Day! Looking for the perfect way to give your mother a special treat? Do some spring shopping in the Outaouais to find the perfect gift. 

A Mother’s Day brunch is a great way to mark this special day. The Chelsea Pub is serving a gourmet sweet and savoury buffet, including a mimosa bar, to celebrate mothers in style, while Resto Bistro Rumeur is offering a selection of eight delectable dishes.

Saturday, May 11 and Sunday, May 12, L’Orée du Bois restaurant will be serving a lobster brunch in honor of mothers. Enjoy a special menu at $65 per person. Younger guests can also enjoy a lobster brunch at half price. And that’s not all! Every mom in attendance will receive a complimentary glass of sparkling wine for this special occasion. Here are some other delicious brunch options for a memorable day! 

Your mom is always taking care of others, and she deserves a day for herself at a local spa. Give her a gift certificate for massages, facials and other relaxing treatments. The Amerispa Spa Nordique Cantley has several special Mother’s Day packages. Enjoy a special Mother-Teens Day on May 12 at Kōena Spa! Share a unique moment of relaxation with your children (12 years old and older) and create unforgettable memories.

Weather permitting, plan to spend a day outdoors together. You could go for a hike in one of the region’s nature parks or a bike ride along the cycling paths. And for dog moms, how about taking your four-legged friend for a nice walk? 

On Saturday, May 4, as part of its Mother’s Day programming, the Symmes Inn Museum is hosting a macramé workshop. Participants will make a wall decoration of the Tree of Life (Yggdrasil Tree), a beautiful tribute to mothers and families. 

Give the gift of an Outaouais-themed sweatshirt illustrated by Outaouais-born artist Rémi Allen. It comes in several different designs, available at our sales outlets or online. 

Ultimately, the most important thing is to spend quality time with your mother and show her how much she is appreciated and loved. 

Spotlight on culture

In May, culture steals the show! Dance, sing and enjoy a host of spectacular performances. See Paul Daraîche (May 4) at the Salle Desjardins de la Petite-Nation; Marilyne Léonard (May 3), Cayenne (May 10), and Durham County Poets at Cabaret La Basoche; Wassim, Geneviève et Alain and Véronique Bilodeau (May 1) and Sheenah Ko (May 4) at Minotaure; and La Bronze (May 17) at the Distillerie du Square.

Check out the full event calendar at Tout culture. There’s something for everyone! Catch a performance by your favourite artist, enjoy theatres and concert halls renowned throughout Quebec, and discover new talent! Choose the time and place, and we’ll take care of dazzling you!

On May 4 and 5, don’t miss the vibrant Art de l’Ordinaire cultural fair, bringing together over 40 exhibitors in a colorful celebration of spring and horticulture! Enriching workshops add a captivating educational dimension for enthusiasts. This family event is free of charge. Workshop details will be available soon.

Events by the tonne

Throughout the month of May, take part in a host of themed activities at Parc de la Ferme-Dalton, including Spring Nature Awakening, The Animal World, yoga in nature, culinary workshops and an introduction to hiking. Something for everyone!

Are you a fan of board games? From May 3 to 5, L’As des jeux is having a MEGA garage sale at Canevas. Hundreds of games, puzzles and toys at reduced prices! You could save 20% to 80%. First come, first served! 

Also in May, head to La Fée des Bois Apothecary and browse an impressive selection of medicinal plants to add to your garden. While you’re there, attend one of the workshops held in the tipi between the field and the forest, by the fire, sipping a nice cup of herbal tea. 

On May 4, get ready to test your fitness at Vorlage Center‘s Trail des Collines race. Tackle trails of 6, 11, 17 and 22 km, challenge your team in relays, and even get your kids involved! 

May 9 is Taco & Wine Night! After its appearance at the Leucan 2024 Chefs’ Challenge, Le petit bar à vin wine bar is proud to welcome Amanda and Jason, chefs and co-owners of Lilly Bean’s Bistró Mexicano in Chelsea, who will share their passion—and their cooking! 

Every spring, Canada’s Capital Region comes alive with colour. From May 10 to 20, visit Commissioners Park in Ottawa and explore the region one tulip at a time during the Canadian Tulip Festival, one of the largest festivals of its kind in the world. 

Starting May 10, explore how our everyday discards can be transformed into ecological treasures with the exhibition “Oh Crap, !” presented at the Canada Science and Technology Museum. From amazing art to ingenious innovations, discover how our “oh, crap” can become “oh, great!”

Do you love gemstones, medicinal plants, essential oils, spirituality and the paranormal? On Saturday, May 11 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., head to the Palais des congrès de Gatineau and the Salon Métaphysique de Ottawa/Gatineau. You’ll meet experts from a wide range of fields who promote well-being through various practices. 

On May 11 and 12, join the street party at Canevas! From 12 noon to 6 p.m., come and enjoy a wide range of activities, including a yoga class led by Espace Hygie, a music quiz, gardening workshops, a beer tasting, creating a mini painting with artist Stéphanie Kearns of Artsy Kearns Studio, and much more! Psst … Did you know that most of the activities are free? Don’t miss out! 

On May 19, join us at Eco des champs Farm for La fête du Printemps! Stock up on flower seedlings, herbs, medicinal plants and vegetables, and enjoy on-site activities. Kisisam patisserie will also be offering a lunch box with native flavours!

Take part in the 25th Salon du patrimoine de l’Outaouais and Salon des exposants du congrès de la Fédération Histoire Québec, a heritage event presented as part of the celebrations of the 350th anniversary of the Seigneurie de la Petite Nation. The program includes exhibitors, activities and presentations. We’re pleased to invite you to our commemorative evening on Thursday, May 16, starting at 4:30 p.m. on the grounds of the Montebello church. This free show will feature several artists, including the group Le Diable à Cinq. While you’re there, learn about the Manoir Papineau National Historic Site, where a page of 19th-century history unfolds before your eyes.

From May 24 to 26, kick off summer in style at the second annual Saucette en Showssettes festival in downtown Gatineau. Lots of fun, shows and more. Do you yearn to wear socks and flip-flops in public, outside the comfort of your own home? Here’s your chance to do just that, with no judgment. It’s all about having fun!

On May 25, celebrate the official opening of the École d’escalade de l’Outaouais’ 2024 season at Bowman Forest Regional Park. If you’ve never tried outdoor rock climbing and want to discover this exciting sport, this is your chance—and it’s free! The event is open to everyone, regardless of age or level of experience. Climbing, BBQ and swimming (for hardy souls) are all on the agenda. 

May 25 is also Heroes’ Day in Chénéville. This family-friendly event includes demonstrations, activities and information sessions by various health, safety and prevention professionals. Enjoy a performance by a local band and have your photo taken with superheroes such as the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and Spider Man, as well as the famous DeLorean DMC-12 car from the popular Back to the Future film trilogy! 

On May 25 and 26, join in the Tamarack Ottawa Race Weekend, featuring a half-marathon, races from 2K to 10K, a kids’ marathon and a marathon walk. Along the way, admire stunning views of the City of Gatineau and the Rideau Canal, and pass by some of the region’s top tourist attractions. 

You’ll also be able to enjoy some great additions to the region’s attractions this month! It’s the grand opening of the outdoor terrace at Distillerie du Square, and the official kick-off of the new edition of the Downtown Gatineau’s Culture Trail! Stay tuned for more details.


For even more suggestions, check out the full event calendar on our Events and Festivals webpage. Book an Experience Outaouais package and discover everything the Outaouais has to offer in May. 


Things to do

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