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15 Family Holiday Events and Activities In Ottawa

It is here! The holiday season is upon us in Canada’s capital region! With the snow already falling, it already looks a lot like Christmas. Would you like for your family to get into the spirit of the festive season? Have this list of 15 Family Holiday Events and Activities in Ottawa to plan some holiday fun with your loved ones and visitors in 2020!

Please take note that you will need to register and pay ahead of time to participate in many of these Christmas activities and events.


15 Family Holiday Fun Events and Activities Around OttawaPin


1. NAC Holiday Programming 

The NAC is the place to be to jump into the holiday season with your family. Beautiful performances from beloved holiday stories will be showing for families to enjoy together.

2. Decked The Halls, Billings Estate

Take a break from the hustle and bustle of the season and enjoy a leisurely self-guided tour of the museum. Learn more about the Billings family, see life as an early settler family through their eyes, and take in the festive decorations that signal the arrival of the holidays at Ottawa’s oldest wood-framed house.

3. Kidsmas, Nepean Museum

The museum has been transformed with holiday décor and we have family-friendly activities for you to enjoy. Book a time slot for your household and enjoy the museum to yourself as you help your little ones build their own early-settler toy, craft their own holly jolly holiday card, and decorate a nature-inspired tree ornament. Strike a pose in front of our cozy, Christmas cabin backdrop to capture a souvenir of your visit.

Street lined with Christmas lights.Pin



Hop in the car and take in the wonder at Wesley Clover Park at Magic of Lights! It is a drive-through holiday light display made up of nearly one million LED lights. This display is spread out over two kilometres. Magic of Lights includes a 200-foot light tunnels and towering LED displays of beloved winter characters. Select proceeds from each carload admission benefit the Ottawa Senator’s Foundation.


A projected winter landscapes show. Carolling and hot chocolate. Oh, and the lights! This is what visitors to Christmas Across Canada will experience when they take in this family favourite event on their December 5th illumination ceremony. The streets and several monuments in downtown Ottawa will be lit up with lights. All eyes will be on Centre Block as the whimsical Winter Landscapes show plays in the dark.

6. A Country Christmas Nighttime, Saunders Farm

A Country Christmas Drive-Through experience through our beautiful 180-year-old family Farm and forest. Join Mazey, our young sapling, along the route as she explores the Farm in search of her own Christmas star. 

7. A Country Christmas Daytime, Saunders Farm

Lots of outdoor open air attractions, including pre-cut Christmas trees, hedge mazes, wagon rides, Christmas displays, our amazing Farm Shop and our new local vendor market featuring 20 incredible local vendors! They will be serving seasonal foods and lots of treats! 

8. Lights At Lansdowne, TD Place

This free festive experience, including the presence of the largest Christmas tree in Ottawa, an impressive canopy of lights in and around Casino Lac-Leamy Plaza and other Instagrammable elements.

9. Vintage Village of Lights: Drive-through edition, Cumberland Heritage Village Museum

This season, the Cumberland Heritage Village Museum has adapted their Vintage Village of Lights as a drive-through experience. Relax and enjoy the festive scenery from your vehicle as you pass through a 1920s and 30s village illuminated by over 30,000 lights. Colourful vignettes will highlight Christmas traditions from the interwar years while an old-fashioned radio program will bring the sounds of the season to you. You may even spot Santa hard at work preparing for the big night along the way! As an added festive treat, each household will receive a goody bag to continue the celebration at home.

10. Mini Holiday Drive-in Theatre, Symphony Orleans

As part of Symphony’s 12 Days of Christmas, Symphony Orleans is hosting a mini holiday themed drive-in theatre! The set up will be situated in their parking lot. Tickets are very limited and each ticket purchased will guarantee entry for one vehicle and all proceeds will be donated to The Ottawa Mission. The price of your ticket will also include any selection of our delicious concessions they will have available! The movie will start right at 5:30 pm and 8:00 pm.

11. Christmas at The Farm, The Log Farm

At the farm there are lots of animals to see, touch and feed. With lots of open space it makes it easy to be able to social distance and enjoy your visit. Check out Santa’s workshop and drop off your letters to Santa. Take a peak into how the pioneers would have celebrated Christmas. Enjoy Christmas music and a bonfire. Stop by the kids play barn: play in the favourite sensory corn table and let their imagination take over at the little farmers market stand and mechanics table. Climb on the hay piles we have a large and a small one. You can even pick up your Christmas tree from their pre- cut selection at our visitor centre.

Girl sitting on Santa's lapPin
Santa with girl on his knee.

12. Santa Sightings

Nothing tops off the holiday season like a visit to to the big man in red. Kids big and small are able to make sure Santa has their wish list just right. Visits are by appointment only.

 13. Sleigh Rides

Go dashing through the snow with your family by going on a sleigh ride! Find the location that is closer to you too get going on this fun outdoor adventure.

Family Holiday Activities And Events Outside of Ottawa (Worth the Drive)

14. Stanley’s Christmas Village, Stanley’s Olde Maple Lane Farm

Once you arrive, you will be greeted by a Christmas Elf at the loading area. The tractor drawn sleigh ride will then whisk you away through the forest, to the Christmas Village. Explore the village and play games, sing songs, and warm up by the bonfire. Hop back on the sleigh for a ride through the bush passing by our rows of Christmas trees. Finish off at The Tent to meet the big man himself, Santa Claus, for a physically distanced visit. Have your camera and smartphones ready to take your own pictures! Then grab a cup of hot chocolate, a delicious maple cookie and a special gift from your new Elf friend. This fully outdoors activity is 1 hour long.

15. Align At Night, Upper Canada Village

Bundle up for an evening stroll through this picture-perfect postcard setting! Over one million lights adorn the heritage buildings, trees, and fences of Upper Canada Village creating a one-of-a-kind magical backdrop for its annual Alight at Night Festival – a true winter wonderland!

15 Family Holiday Fun Events and Activities Around OttawaPin

Whether it is indoor excitement or outdoor enchantment you want to experience with your family, this list of 15 Family Holiday Fun Events and Activities around Ottawa will help to bring the holly jolly of the season to the whole family. No matter how you celebrate the holiday season, we hope you have a very merry one with your loved ones!


Lyne is a Certified Infant Massage Instructor (CIMI), Certified Professional Wedding Consultant, and an Event Planner. It has always been her dream to create a website dedicated just for Moms since her children were young. Thus, after 10 years, she finally accomplished it, and the Ottawa Mommy Club was born in May 2011. She loves all things Disney and is an avid chocoholic. She was also the Queen B of the BConnected Conference, Canada's Digital Influencer and social media Conference in Ottawa and Toronto. She coordinated the Annual Infant Information Day/Early Years Expo for the City of Ottawa for 8 years. She was also the co-chair of the Navan for Kraft Hockeyville 2009-2011 committee that organized five community events within 6 months, and helped Navan reach the top 10 finalists in Canada. In April 2011, she received the City of Ottawa Mayor's City Builder Award.

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