23 Summer Family Fun Events and Activities in Ottawa-Outaouais!

| June 14, 2017 | 6 Comments

23 Summer Family Fun Events and Activities in Ottawa-Outaouais


23 Summer Family Fun Events and Activities in Ottawa-Outaouais

Canada Day on Parliament Hill


Summer is here! With the warmer weather finally arriving, more festivals and activities are being held all over the City of Ottawa and its surrounding areas for families to be a part of. A lot of these events and activities will be celebrating Canada 150 for Canadians to revel in their pride for their country. Here is a list of summer family fun events and activities in Ottawa for you and your family to attend and enjoy!

Hockey, until October 9, 2017, Canadian Museum of History

Hockey is one of Canada’s favourite past times. Many people live and breathe the sport, and is a part of our popular culture. As a part of the Canada’s 150th celebrations, the Canadian Museum of History is sharing this love with Hockey, an exhibit that takes a look at the sport’s humble beginnings and give a tour through the progression of one of Canada’s favourite games.

National Arts Centre Canada Scene Family Programming, June 15 – July 23, 2017 

Artists in music, dance, theatre, circus, visual and media arts from coast to coast to coast are coming together at the NAC for audiences to marvel at what they have to offer this summer during their Canada Scene Family Programming. There will be many free activities for visitors to attend, including the NAC Housewarming on July 2nd. It features all day no-ticket-required performances and fun in the newly renovated NAC. There will also be fun art installations and visual arts in the NAC Lobby.

Festival Franco-ontarien

Festival franco-ontarien is one of the biggest francophone celebrations in Canada’s capital region. Concerts, street art and entertainment are waiting for visitors to this event. There is something for everyone to enjoy!

GlowFair, June 16-17, 2017, Bank Street (Between Slater and James Street)

Get ready to light up as GlowFair takes over ten blocks of one of the busiest streets in Ottawa for two nights! It is a block party like no other with a showcase of music, lights and art. At its’s heart at the corner of Slater Street and Laurier Avenue, more than twenty bands and DJ acts will be performing each night. At midnight, a silent disco party takes over! The best part of this event is that it is FREE!

Red Bull Global Rallycross, June 17-18, 2017, Canada Aviation and Space Museum

Do you have a need for speed? Attend the Red Bull Global Rallycross at the Canada Aviation and Space Museum. Two rounds of action will happen in front of a large audience to take in. The long straightaways and the wide-open corners will be featured on this race course to allow the 600-horsepower Supercars to race at top speed.

Ottawa Ribfest, June 14-18, 2017, Sparks Street
Take part in helping to crown the Best Barbecue Ribs Sauce as Sparks Street as trucks from all over the world set up shop and cook up a storm on their grills for visitors to taste and judge. There are also other foods to nosh, a pulled pork eating contest to watch, as well as live entertainment to enjoy!

Tim Hortons Ottawa Dragon Boat Festival, June 22-25, 2017,  Mooney’s Bay Park
Celebrating its 22nd year, this festival is a weekend of fun and racing. Families will cheer on their favourite decorated dragon boat as teams from local businesses and organizations race each other on the waters of Mooney’s Bay. There will also be concerts, food and free family fun events for everyone to enjoy!


23 Summer Family Fun Events and Activities in Ottawa-Outaouais

Dragon Boat Race Photo credit: Kashmera / Foter / CC BY


Canada Day, July 1, 2017, Jacques-Cartier Park (Gatineau)/Major’s Hill Park and Parliament Hill (Ottawa)
There are so many events for the whole family to take in and enjoy while celebrating Canada’s birthday! There will be street entertainers, games, ceremonies and performances throughout the day finishing with a dazzling fireworks display.

Canadian Track and Field Championship, July 6-9, 2017, Terry Fox Athletics Facility

Watch as Canadian athletes compete to represent Canada on the world stage by attending the Canadian Track and Field Championships. Many discplines such as track, road races, field, combined events, walks and para athletics will happen in front of fans of the sport to help cheer on Canada’s best adn brightest. 

Northern Lights: Sound and Lights Show, July 11- September 16, 2017, Parliament Hill

Lights and sounds are used to amaze and delight visitors as they watch Canada’s history unfold across the Parliament Buildings at night! All of these stories are presented in  beautiful detail, with dramatic narration and an original score. Show times are FREE and are at these times nightly: in July at 10:00 p.m., in August at 9:30 p.m., and in September at 9:00 p.m.

La Machine, July 23-30, Downtown Ottawa

Two mechanical beasts will be wandering the streets of Ottawa this summer in La Machine. LongMa, the 12 meters high dragon-horse and The Spider, reaching up to 13 meters high, will be exploring the streets of Canada’s capital adn bringing wonder to those taking it in.

Colonel By Day, August 7, 2017,  Canal Lane (Beside Bytown Museum)
Celebrate the creation of the Rideau Canal, an UNESCO World Heritage Site and Bytown. This festival showcases the shared traditions of francophone and Aboriginal cultures in the region. There will be heritage costumed characters, music, dancing, demonstrations, exhibits, food and drink for revelers to see and enjoy.


23 Summer Family Fun Events and Activities in Ottawa-Outaouais

Colonel By Canal


Ottawa International Buskerfest, August 3-7, 2017, Sparks Street
Sparks Street transforms into the ultimate stage for amazing street performers as this festival brings together various types of performers showcasing their comedic and thrilling skills. There will be jugglers, escape artists, acrobats, fire eaters, contortionists, musicians and so much more to see and wonder.

CANCELLED FOR 2017 ~ Puppets-Up! International Puppet Festival, August 5-7, 2016,  Mississippi Mills, ON
Celebrate Canada’s largest annual puppet festival at Puppets Up! It family-orientedented event that showcases the art of puppetry featuring over 60 performances 10 different shows from across Canada, the U.S. and from Iceland!


23 Summer Family Fun Events and Activities in Ottawa-Outaouais

Ottawa Lumiere Festival Photo credit: neeroc1 / Foter / CC BY-NC-SA


Ottawa Lumière Festival, August 26, 2017, New Edinburgh Park
Enter a world of magic as New Edinburgh Park gets transformed into a world of magic and light for the Ottawa Lumière Festival. Visitors can get dressed up as they enter this celebration of light while artists are performing for donations and to make the festival come to life.

Le Festival de la Curd,  August 16-20, 2017, St-Albert, ON

Love family fun activities, music and 4 tons of free cheese curds? Plan on visiting Le Festival de la Curd! There is something for everyone to take in and enjoy, from a farmer’s market and Giant Bingo to a giant Maze and a wine and cheese tasting.

Multicultural Festivals

Italian Week, June 8-18, 2017, Little Italy
Festival franco-ontarien , June 15-17, 2017, Major’s Hill Park
Summer Solstice Aboriginal Arts Festival, June 20-25 2017, Vincent Massey Park
St. Jean Ottawa, June 23-24, 2017, Richelieu-Vanier Community Centre
Ottawa Lebenese Festival, July 19-23, 2017, St. Elias Antiochian Orthodox Cathedral
Festival of India, August 11-13, 2017 Marion Dewer Park
Jamaica Day (JAMDAY) August 12 2017, Mooney’s Bay Park
TD Asian Festival August 11-20, 2017, Various locations across downtown Ottawa

Which activities or events are favourites for your family to attend in the summer?






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  1. LisaM says:

    Such amazing stuff – especially this year for the 150!

  2. Ottawa is totally on my bucket list. I have family there and there’s so many amazing things to do. I live in southern Ontario and totally thinking of a road trip.

  3. Lola says:

    My brother is living in Ottawa!
    I am going to send it to him, the plans look super

  4. Florence Cochrane says:

    I would love to spend some time in Ottawa. I was there about 25 years ago. Time for a trip back. I have a couple of nephews there.

  5. Elizabeth Matthiesen says:

    There is always such a lot to see and do in Ottawa, it’s incredible all the things they put together and this year will be a massive year for events I’m sure. 🙂

  6. sarah says:

    These sound like a lot of fun! If only summer were a little longer. My family would have enjoyed the dragon boat races for sure. Great things to keep in mind if or when we come visit Ottawa!

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