Friday, August 5, 2011

Five Things To Do In Ottawa Before Summer's End

There's only a month left in summer, and some of you are likely sunburned, bored, heat-stroked, lazy, and running out of things to do. "What in the Boris are we gonna do on a Wednesday night in August?" you might have asked a friend recently. Well, if you continue reading you're likely to find a solution to your little quagmire.

Ottawa Fat Cats Playoff Baseball

The boyz of summer are in the playoffs. Not only that, but they’ve advanced to the second round, dispatching the favoured (but not favourite) London Majors in game 5 of their first round series. The Fat Cats now face the first-seeded Barrie Baycats, with the winner moving on to the IBL championship series. Games one and two go this weekend in Barrie. Games three through five are in Ottawa, though game times have yet to be announced.

What better way to spend a late-summer’s evening than at the ball park? Get a picture with Grape, taunt the opposing players, drink a blueberry cooler, get a dog into ya, and cheer on the boyz. It’s ‘Cats vs. ‘Cats for the chance to play for the championship.

Piknic Electronik

(far too underground to have any published photos)

I was debating whether or not to include Piknik Electronik in this post, since it’s so damn exclusive and posting about it here is a surefire way to sell the thing out. In the end I decided I shouldn’t hold back, so here you go…

Piknic is an outdoor electro music party that combines DJs from the Captial Region (and beyond), an awesome outdoor venue (the grounds of the Museum of Civilization), and some of the Ottawa area’s quirkiest revelers (think 50-something-year-old lad doing cartwheels). The show runs Sundays from 2-9pm. Those wishing to keep the party going can check out the after-Piknic at Le Petit Chicago for more electro-goodness.

The outdoor set usually showcases three or four DJs for the low, low price of $10. $5 will get you a beer or mixed drink. Just showing up will crank your exclusivity knob to 11.

Take a Bike (Ride)

Urban cycling doesn’t get much better than here in the Capital. With over 220 kilometers of paths in Ottawa and Gatineau, you can get just about anywhere without having to spend much time dodging cars and construction on Carling Avenue. Some of the most scenic roads in the region are opened exclusively to bikes on Sunday mornings, thanks to Sunday Bikedays. And if you’re the take-your-life-in-your-hands type, you can try a little bit of mountain biking in Gatineau Park.

Don’t have a bike? Sorry, that’s not an excuse.

Casino du Lac-Leamy’s Sound of Light

Considering I’ve only been gambling at the Casino for the past 9 years, it’s a bit hard to believe that their fireworks competition is in its 16th year. In any event, the pyrotechnics kick off tomorrow evening and run through August 20th (you can see the fireworks every Wednesday and Saturday). The best part about this event is that you don’t actually have to go to the casino to see the show, giving those amongst us with an overly enthusiastic affinity for gambling and/or self-exclusions from Lac-Leamy a fair chance to take in the ‘works without having the show derailed by a quick trip to the blackjack table.

Watch the Sunset

If you’re the romantic type you may already be all over this. Then again, if you're the romantic type, you're probably not reading this post. In any case, the shore of the Ottawa River is an underrated spot to catch an all-out, bollocks-to-the-wall, face melting sunset. Just about anywhere you find river, you’ll find a good viewing spot. Behind the War Museum, the locks below Parliament Hill, Nepean Point (at the Champlain Statue behind the National Gallery), the lookout at the Rockliffe Parkway, or even the top of a downtown high-rise all make for great viewing.

Keep in mind that a sunset will undoubtedly act as the best wingman you’ve ever had. I can almost guarantee that if you bring a date you’ll be holding hands by the end of the night. Beyond that I can’t make any promises.

I have more exclusive happenings, but I think I’d prefer to keep them to myself. Plus I’ve put more time into this post than I can possibly justify. Sorry folks.

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