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This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at U Ottawa chapter.

Written by Guest Contributor: Kirsten Cave

Sick of the same old dinner and movie date? Looking to spice things up? Well, lucky for you, Ottawa is a great city, full of exciting things always going on, many of which are perfect for dates. You just need to know where to look. Here is your guide to date ideas which you never knew were just around the corner: 

Colour Me Mine– 1595 Merivale Road

Website: http://merivale.colormemine.com/

Explore your creative side and impress your date with your artistic ability. This little studio offers a wide selection of pottery to choose from, you paint it there, and then they fire your creations for pick-up a week later. Sounds like an excuse for a second date, and the shop is right across the street from a Baskin Robins. Yum!


This date is practically free, and with such a wide selection of beautiful parks in our city, you’re spoiled for choice about where to set up. Mooney’s Bay, downtown, the local park near your house… regardless of where you choose to have this date, you’re guaranteed to have a fabulous, romantic comedy worthy date. Don’t forget the chocolate strawberries and blanket!

National Art Gallery- 380 Sussex Dr

Website: http://www.gallery.ca/en/

I know this may not sound ideal at first glance if you grew up in this city and have endeared many a painful field trip to this location, but let me tell you; returning with a beautiful boy holding your hand, and strolling around is actually an amazing time. The art gives you two something to talk about if your nerves take over and you run out of topics, but this low-key venue allows you to have a chance to really hit it off with your date, and perhaps go for a romantic walk by the canal, or explore the Byward Market. Pro tip: the Gallery is FREE on Thursdays.

SkyZone- 2935 Conroy Rd

Website: http://www.skyzone.com/ottawa

This is a room full of trampolines. An indoor trampoline park. Think of all the possibilities! Show off your athletic side, get a work out, and spend time with a lovely boy all at the same time. Make sure you wear an outfit that is versatile and skip the heels in favour of a sturdy pair of running shoes for this. 

See a Play

National Art Centre Student Deals: http://nac-cna.ca/liverush

Many people don’t know this, but Ottawa is blooming with an active performing arts community, and if you do your research you could see amazing productions on a low budget. The National Art Centre has student deals, as do most major theatre companies within the city. Be sure to go in person with your student id when purchasing tickets to ensure you get the best deals and have money left over to go out for coffee with your beau after and impress him with your opinion of the play.

Rocky Horror Picture Show

Website: http://mayfairtheatre.ca/

Anyone seen Perks of Being a Wallflower or the Rocky themed episode of Glee? Rocky Horror Picture Show is a cult classic, and features actors on stage in front of the movie who will act out the scenes and musical numbers along with the movie behind them. The audience is expected to sing along, yell things out and generally just let go. It may be an overwhelming experience if you don’t know what you’re in store for, but you and your date can share in the disconcerting experience and it’ll give you plenty to talk about. The Mayfair theatre has a screening and performance of this spectacle once a month.

Swing Dancing

Website: http://www.swingdynamite.com/dancing

Here’s an opportunity to have your date hold you close, and show off his muscles by swinging you around. Granted, this date is likely to result in lots of laughs and teasing, unless you are an incredible dancer, but humility helps form a bond, so why not! I wouldn’t suggest this for a first date, since the chances for “getting to know you” talk are quite limited, but if you are already seeing someone, or comfortable with your boy of choice, this is a great way to break down barriers between you, and have fun in a unique way.