Spring Date Ideas & Festivals In Ottawa

datenight - Spring Date Ideas in Ottawa

Ottawa experiences one of the coldest winters in Ontario, so it’s no surprise that after months of freezing temperatures, we’re ready to pack away our parkas and bring on the spring dates! 

Although most people picture Ottawa as a winter destination, there are so many spring festivals and events across the region to look forward to. From the iconic Canadian Tulip Festival to celebrating local craft breweries and enjoying the last few days of the sugar season, we’ve rounded up some of our favourite things to do to start the new season off on the right foot.

Read on to discover our top spring date ideas and festivals in Ottawa to add to your bucket list.


The Canadian Tulip Festival is one of the most anticipated spring festivals of the year. It was established to celebrate the historic Royal gift of tulips from the Dutch to the Canadians immediately following the Second World War as a symbol of international friendship.

Festival goers can enjoy tons of daytime and nighttime events including walking tours, mini markets, movie screenings among the tulips, ghost tours, and light shows.

Date: May 12 – 22, 2023

Location: Ottawa Commissioners Park

Cost: Entrance admission is free however some activities have a cost to participate

The Ottawa Grassroots Festival is a non-profit, community-based, and volunteer-run organization dedicated to cultivating community at the local level through a vibrant annual festival of concerts and participatory workshops. 

Enjoy live music from performers such as Polky, Benj Rowland, Mia Kelly, Moonfruits, and many more, with both live and virtual options available. You can also take part in a silent auction and various workshops.

Date: April 20 – 23, 2023

Location: St. Andrew’s Church at 82 Kent St in Downtown Ottawa

Cost: Ticketed shows range from $17.31 for a virtual show to $97.18 for a live 3-day concert pass. Saturday daytime admission is free! 

Canadians know that the start of spring is all about maple syrup. After three long awaited years, the Vanier Sugar Festival is back in person at Richelieu Park!

A flagship event in the Museopark’s public programming, the Sugar Festival celebrates the sugar season and allows visitors to reconnect or become familiar with the artisanal way of producing maple syrup.

One of the events that we’re most looking forward to is the Family Days celebration on April 1-2. You can enjoy musical performances from local talents throughout the day, sugar season meals as well as maple taffy, inflatable games and a petting farm, axe throwing, craft beer tasting, and more! 

Date: March 27 – April 2, 2023

Location: 300 Pères-Blancs Ave, Ottawa

Cost: Admission is free with costs associated with certain activities and meals

Calling all craft beer enthusiasts! The Orléans Craft Beer Festival returns to the region in June with the best craft brews, food, and music! 

Your ticket will grant you entry to the festival and one drink sample. Food and drink tokens can be purchased onsite.

You can also choose to make this an active date idea with their 5 km and 10 km beer run tickets! You and your date will run through the heart of Orléans, right to a VIP entrance to the festival. They’ll even transport your gear to the finish line and you’ll be a short walk back to your car/public transit after the festival. Registration includes entry into the festival for the Saturday afternoon session, 3 tokens, and a custom finishers medal. How fun!

Date: June 8-10, 2023

Location: Centrum Plaza, Orléans

Cost: Ticket prices range from $27.63 for a single session to $96.50 for the 10 km Beer Run

During one weekend every June, the Ferrari Club of America Ottawa Chapter, along with more than 200,000 spectators and visitors, form a celebration of Ferraris and all things Italian. In conjunction with Ottawa’s Italian Week, the festival turns Ottawa’s Corso Italia (Preston Street) into a 1.3 km concourse of rare automobiles, fine dining, and fun for the entire family!

The 3-day festival consists of a wide variety of exciting events including car displays, a parade, and more. 

Click here for the full public schedule.

Date: June 9 – 11, 2023

Location: Little Italy, Ottawa

Cost: Most of the public events are FREE with the exception of the Concours D’elegance Awards Dinner ($95/person) and the National Bank Charity Dream Ride ($75/ride). 

Food & Drink

One of the most popular matsuri in Japan is the celebration of the Cherry Blossom, known as Sakura. For many Japanese, the blooming of the cherry blossom trees symbolizes human life, transience and nobleness. 

Celebrated everywhere from Copenhagen to Washington D.C. and now Ottawa’s Chef’s Paradise Kitchen, this event will celebrate the beloved Sakura with a Japanese inspired food and drink menu hosted by Masters in the craft.

Date: April 26, 2023 from 6:30 – 8:30 p.m.

Location: 1314 Bank St., Ottawa

Cost: $140+tax

If you’re looking for a local spot for your next coffee date, look no further than Luxe Blooms Flower Cafe! This pretty-in-pink cafe is filled with pink flowers, pink neon signs, pink dinnerware, and even pink drinks!

You can even purchase fresh flowers, hand tied bouquets, infinity roses, and more.

Location: 245 Dalhousie St., Ottawa


The Ottawa Jazz Festival’s much anticipated annual benefit concert and live auction returns this year as ‘Jazz Night Out’. This year’s event, at the landmark National Library & Archives building will feature a concert by the trailblazing and legendary Fred Hersch with his trio. 

A portion of ticket sales will support Ottawa’s Bruce House. Tickets include the concert, auction, delicious food from some of Ottawa’s finest restaurants, a tax receipt for $50, and much more fun!

Date: March 30, 2023 from 6 – 10 p.m.

Location: 395 Wellington St., Ottawa

Cost: $75+tax

Planning on tying the knot with your special someone? The Ottawa Wedding Show is the best event in the region to get expert advice, inspiring ideas, and learn about local vendors that can bring your wedding dreams to reality! 

A wide range of Ottawa’s leading wedding professionals are represented on the show floor, along with feature areas, tastings, and samples. If you’re a future bride, this is an event you won’t want to miss!

Date: April 1 – 2, 2023, 11 a.m. – 4 p.m.

Location: E.Y. Centre at 4899 Uplands Dr., Ottawa

Cost: $17+tax

If you’re looking for something new to refresh your style this season, whether that be a new home decor piece or a new date night outfit, the 613flea markets are some of our favourite events to attend in the city! This non-profit market returns to the Aberdeen Pavilion in Lansdowne next month with 150 local vendors.

Shop eclectic and handmade goods, vintage clothing, local food and drinks, and one-of-a-kinds! We picked up the loveliest Easter treats from Tinlont Chocolates during the last 613flea market.

Date: The next market is scheduled for April 15 from 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.. Click here to stay updated on their 2023 dates.

Location: 1000 Exhibition Way, Ottawa

Cost: Entry is FREE

Looking to impress on your next dinner date? Click here to explore our Top 10 Ottawa Restaurants with Gorgeous Interiors.

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