Atel Air Blog

stand up paddle boardOsgoode is a place that exists in two worlds. It’s a village all of its own with about 2,500 people, but it was swallowed up by the City of Ottawa in 2001.

The village, however, offers the best of both worlds with rural country charm and big city amenities. The Rideau River is just two kilometers away to the west, offering lots of opportunities for summer fun.

There’s plenty to do in Osgoode and the surrounding area. If you looking for fun this summer, we’ve arranged a list that starts out with summer activities and then moves on to things to do in the winter in Osgoode.

Things are arranged by activity type, and we’ll also tell you if the event is family friendly.

For Those Who Enjoy the Water

If you love to make a splash in the summer, here are some activities you’ll enjoy on the Rideau River.

1. Canoe, Kayak or Stand-Up Paddle (SUP) Board

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If you love to get a taste of fresh air and healthy exercise on the water, you can paddle on the Rideau River from Ottawa to Kingston.

Don’t have a canoe or kayak? You can rent or buy one in Osgoode at Jenda PaddleSports, along with SUP boards — which are quickly becoming all the rage.

If you’re looking to paddle on the river for a day, rentals go for anywhere between $30 to $120 depending on the boat. That price includes paddles, life jackets and a safety kit.

2. Go Fishin’

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The Rideau River watershed is a prime spot for fishing enthusiasts, as you can catch lots of species including largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, northern pike, lake trout, yellow perch, muskellunge and walleye. So hop in your motorboat and drop your lines in the water.

Don’t forget: If you are an Ontario resident and are between the ages of 18 and 64 years old, you’ll need a fishing licence. (All other ages are exempt from this requirement.) Fishing is a great way to bond with your kids, so be sure to bring along the entire gang.

Looking for a place to launch your boat? You can head over to the W.A. Taylor Conservation Area as they have a boat launch and dock, but you’ll have to pay a fee. The conservation area is home to fishing tournaments during the summer, which is another reason to check it out.

Before putting your boat in the river to catch a big fish, you can enjoy a picnic lunch with your family as there are tables and washrooms at the conservation area — which is open daily from dawn to dusk. You can even bring your dog, but it must be on a leash at all times.

If you didn’t bring lunch for a picnic and are looking for somewhere to eat after a few hours on the water, you could try the Swan on the Rideau pub downstream — they also have docking space for your boat.

For Festival Lovers

The Osgoode area is home to a number of festivals throughout the year, so if you love a celebration, this is the place to be.

3. Try the Medieval Fair

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Jousting tournament Metcalfe Medieval Fair
A jousting tournament delights spectators at the Metcalfe Medieval Fair.

Hear ye, hear ye! The Kingdom of Osgoode is home to a medieval fair each July. This year’s edition is special not only because of Canada’s 150th birthday, but because the fair is celebrating its 10th anniversary. This year, the fair will be having a free concert and party to celebrate and is producing a booklet to mark its 10th year.

Day admission is $10 for adults, $6 for children four to 12 years old and free admission for children aged three and under. The festival also offers an Education Day for children to learn about subjects as diverse from medieval combat, medicine and cures, shield making, and blacksmithing.

4. Hit the Midway at the Metcalfe Fair

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Ferris wheel at the Metcalfe Fair
Ferris wheel at the Metcalfe Fair midway.

Each fall, nearby Metcalfe hosts an agricultural fair that has been around since before Confederation. While you can take in the usual horse pulls that are associated with agricultural fairs, if your kids find that boring, they can ride the midway or watch a demolition derby. There’s also a classic car show, and fiddling and step dancing to take in. There’s a lot going on here, so you can easily make this fair a day’s event at least.

5. Get Good Eats

A special event that’s happening this fall is a special dinner to commemorate Ontario’s 150th birthday. If you’re a food lover and looking for things to do in Osgoode, this is an event worth looking into.

The Osgoode Youth Association is taking over Taylor Park on Saturday, October 21 from 5 to 11 PM for an event where local chefs will be cooking up a storm with appetizers, soups, buffets and desserts sure to whet any palate.

Tickets are $125 per adult and $50 per person for those aged 16 to 25 years old. This might be a good event for your older teenagers to enjoy with you, so head out and enjoy the cookin’.

6. Watch the Santa Claus Parade with Fireworks

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Each December, Osgoode hosts a Santa Claus parade, but they do it with a twist or two.

For one thing, they do it in the evening and the parade is also followed by fireworks. You can get some hot chili and cocoa to have during or after the parade.

The next day, you can enjoy a pancake breakfast with Santa. Last year, the local arena opened up for an hour of public skating and also had face painting, storytelling and crafts going on alongside the breakfast.

As you can see, Osgoode goes all out for their Santa Claus parade, so it’s definitely something to check out as Christmas approaches.

For the Food Aficionado

If you’re into good eats, Osgoode and the area has a couple of activities that are worth checking out.

7. Pick Fresh Apples and Pumpkins

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From mid-August to late October, you can go apple picking at Log Cabin Orchard. Closer to Halloween, you can also grab a pumpkin to turn into a pie or a jack o’ lantern.

What kinds of apples are ripe for the pickin’? Cortland, Empire, Spartan, Russet, Northern Spy and Honeycrisp apples. As you can see, there are a lot of varieties to choose from here. Admission and parking are free — you only pay for what you pick.

For the kids, on weekends the orchard has a petting zoo and wagon rides. You might also luck out and be able to take part in a barbeque. So there’s more going on than just picking out fruit, and there are plenty of activities to keep the kids occupied.

8. Head to the Metcalfe Farmers’ Market

In Metcalfe, you can get some fresh produce at the farmers’ market, which is open between mid-May and mid-October. What’s also interesting is that this market also sells locally roasted coffee and blended loose leaf tea.

But there’s more to this market than just food. You can pick up furniture, wood crafts, clothing, jewellery and artisan work. If you’re looking for a bite to eat while you shop, there’s a café where you can enjoy food and drink from local vendors.

Parking is free. If you’re looking for things to do in Metcalfe, this is something to look forward to!

For the Arts Lover

If you’re into music or theatre, there are a few things that you can enjoy about living in Osgoode, too.

9. Rehearse With Your Band

If you’re in a band, and you’re tired of that little ol’ lady down the street knocking on your door to turn that infernal racket down, there’s a studio in Osgoode where you can practice without bothering anyone.

A fairly new addition to Osgoode as it opened in September 2016, Vibrations Studios offers space for bands to practice and take special classes, too. For instance, last December, a six-week course in hand drumming was offered. Keep an eye out for things going on at the studio as something may come along that could tickle your fancy.

Prices vary, but a small band with up to five members can practice for two hours in one of the studio’s four rooms for $40.

10. Watch a Play Made By Kids

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Just Kidding Theatre
Young actors show off their talent at Just Kidding Theatre.

If you’re looking for things to do with kids in nearby Metcalfe, you can see plays put on entirely by kids.

The Just Kidding Theatre Company helps children aged nine and up mount a quality theatre production. What’s neat about this theatre company is that they actively recruit special needs children to take part in their plays. However, any child that wants to act will get a role in the production. The only requirement is respect for the team and the theatre process. Children can also get involved backstage, too.

The next show is scheduled for early June, the title of which has yet to be announced. Keep an eye on their website.

Osgoode — A World of its Own

If you’re looking for things to do in Osgoode, there are plenty of activities to keep you and your family busy.

If you’re yearning to get out of the house, you can certainly try something new. From fishing to taking in fairs, Osgoode offers a plethora of fun activities that will keep you busy. There’s never a dull moment in Osgoode, so get out and enjoy!