It’s time to come in out of the cold and get your cozy on, Ottawa. The word “cozy” isn’t just an adjective to me, it is a state of being and a noun. It’s something you can go get, seek out, and totally immerse yourself in. It’s been a cold one this winter, so I’ve put together a list of the coziest experiences in Ottawa to warm your heart and soul.
Ottawa is home. I love it here, but come February it’s been cold and dark for a while. The weather ricochets back and forth between freezing temperatures, and freezing rain. I always do my best to get outside and enjoy the winter and the snow, but some days… it’s just good to be inside. And so, this post features all my favourite cozy places, activities, and lots of warm food!
This is a very different list than my post of Things to do in Ottawa in the Winter, so if you’re looking for even more suggestions for things to do around the city, be sure to check it out too!
The Coziest, Indoor Things to do in Ottawa this Winter
Have a Unicorn Hot Chocolate at Allô Mon Coco
Allô Mon Coco serves up a cozy and delicious brunch. Pancakes, crepes, and waffles topped with fruit, whipped cream, and chocolate sauce are all on the table.
There’s a special hot chocolate at Allô Mon Coco this month (February) – Unicorn Hot Chocolate! These super-decked out, sugary, marvellous, colourful creations a fun and funky way to warm up. Think pink – very, very pink, with whipped cream, marshmallows, sprinkles. Everything that a unicorn would want!
Go on Date Night at Milestones
Make a reservation at Milestones on a Wednesday night, when 2 can dine for $50. Your dinner will include a share appetizer, an entrée for each of you, and a shared dessert. There are four Milestones locations in Ottawa. Combine your night out with Winterlude at the location in the Byward Market, or go for dinner and a movie at Lansdowne.
Meditate at The Peace Room
The Peace Room is a newly opened meditation studio on Sparks Street. Register for a guided meditation, or attend an open session (without an instructor). I attended a 45 Forest meditation, and it was wonderful! 45 minutes sounds like a lot, but it goes by quickly because you can just settle in to enjoy the peace and quiet.
They’re offering 3 visits for $30 to get you started! Check out the schedule here.
Relax in a Salt Room at The Spa Ottawa
The Spa Ottawa recently opened a new salt room where you can enjoy Halotherapy. Relaxing in the salt room brings numerous health benefits including helping to reduce inflammation, symptoms of allergies or asthma, relieve headaches, and the common cold and cough. Most importantly, it’s tranquil, cozy, and indoors.
Sessions are only $25/ hour. I haven’t tried this yet myself – my spa day is booked for a couple weeks from now!
Play Board Games at Loft
Loft is always a favourite. This super cozy board game lounge is one of my favourite indoors things to do in Ottawa. Bring a few friends and settle in for a fun night of boards games, and get some snacks, hot chocolate, and drinks to go with it (the Long Island Iced Tea is amazing).
Cover is $5.50 and at peak times, there is a 3 hour time limit. Loft is located a couple blocks from Rideau Centre.
Warm up at Origin Café on York Street
My favourite new café in Ottawa is Origin on York Street! The trees as you walk up are decked out in sparkling lights. Origin is in an old-style town home with a beautiful brick exterior. The moment you step inside, you are wrapped in coziness.
Origin maintains the floor plan of a house, so it’s divided up in to a few different rooms, adding to the cozy feel. Bay windows, big armchairs, and quirky artefact art complete the vibe. The best part? It’s open late!
Cozy in for Cocktails at the Rabbit Hole
This amazing new restaurant in Ottawa is cozy and comfortable. A ceiling strung with sparkling white lights and exposed brick and stone creates the perfect ambiance for a winters night. Rabbit Hole is a story restaurant – the real magic is downstairs!
Rabbit Hole offers a wide range of cocktails and food, including their soon-to-be-famous pizzas available for lunch or dinner.
Melt in to a Hot Yin Yoga Class
Yin yoga involves holding poses for a few minutes, to allow for a deep stretch and the release of fascia tissue. You don’t have to be flexible to enjoy a warm, relaxing yoga class! If you’re new to yoga (and particularly hot yoga), yin yoga is a great way to start.
My favourite studios in the city are Elevate on Elgin Street, and Yoga Town on Gladstone.
Meet Butterflies and Sloths at the Museum of Nature
The Museum of Nature is a super cozy place to be this winter! The special exhibits this winter have all the warm, cozy Costa Rica vibes that you need to get through winter. In Survival of the Slowest, you’ll have the chance to see birds, reptiles, snakes, and even a sloth! This exhibit focuses on seemingly unconventional survival strategies.
Butterflies in Flight can found in the Museum of Nature’s greenhouse. Enjoy an hour in a warm paradise, with butterflies everywhere! These exhibits are both on until April 28th.
Go For Dinner and a Movie at Lansdowne
There’s something inherently cozy about the Landsdowne pavilion itself. It’s the twinkling lights, the magical skating, and most importantly the underground parking (because we’ve all had to stand in the parking lot after a movie and clear our car) that make it the perfect spot for dinner and a movie.
Cozy restaurants at Lansdowne include Joey’s, Milestones, Crust & Crate, and Cacao 70 Eatery. Follow up with a movie at Cineplex Cinema Lansdowne, and it’s the perfect night.
Enjoy the Finery of Café Cristal
Café Cristal is a little bit outside of Ottawa, but it’s whimsical decor have made it a destination. This café features crystals hanging from the ceiling, cozy seating, and big bright windows. Enjoy tea & coffee with crêpes and fresh pastries while the snow falls outside.
Have Warm Scones and Desserts at Afternoon Tea
These are so many great afternoon tea spots in Ottawa! It’s been growing in popularity over the past few years. How could it now, with the warm scones, hot tea, and cozy venues available? Afternoon tea typically includes a tower with various desserts and small sandwiches, and of course tea.
My favourite places for afternoon tea are Zoe’s at Chateau Laurier and Vanitea Room! I definitely recommend skipping lunch, no matter where you go. Afternoon tea will fill you up!
Nina Near and Far collaborated with businesses included in this post.