Fall is here! Just because the days are becoming shorter and cooler does not mean the fun in Ottawa has come to an end! There are plenty of fun fall family activities in Ottawa happening in and around the city for your family to enjoy! We have put together a list of fall family activities in Ottawa you can attend this autumn!
This year, all guests who are eligible for a vaccine must be fully vaccinated* to attend festivals, events, and attractions in Ottawa. *This means having received your second dose of a Health Canada approved vaccine 14 days prior to attending the event.
FALL FAMILY ACTIVITIES IN OTTAWA
With COVID-19 guidelines, most attractions in Ottawa will require you to purchase your tickets in advance on their websites. Please make sure you check out their websites before heading out!
Ottawa FALL EVENTS AND FESTIVALS
1. Ottawa Butterfly Show – Saturday, October 2 – Sunday, October 10, 2021
The Butterfly Show will be held as a virtual event. The virtual show will consist of Let’s Talk Science presentations, butterfly live feeds, informative videos, and more! Check back on their website for additional details.
2. Fall Rhapsody in Ottawa and Gatineau – September 25 to October 24, 2021
Get outside! Travel the trails through Ottawa and Gatineau Parks and discover the beauty of the changing of the seasons in our region! There is so much to see and learn. Families can make a day of your adventures while visiting the parks.
3. The Day of the Dead Festival Oct 29, 2021 – Nov 1, 2021
The Day of the Dead Festival is a non-profit organization focused on promoting the richness of Mexican culture through art, gastronomy, music and dance that appeal to the senses of all ages. The festival is an opportunity to experience a piece of Mexico in the heart of Canada.
The 5th edition of the Day of the Dead Festival in Ottawa will take place at the historic ByWard Market. The event features a special program including outdoor exhibitions, Mariachi performances, folkloric dancers, authentic Mexican cuisine, Catrina contests, workshops, artisan market, and much more.
4. Ottawa International Animation Festival (Virtual) – September 22 to October 3, 2021
North America’s largest animation festival once again takes centre stage in the Nation’s Capital. This year the Festival will run virtually with film screenings, the animation conference, workshops, and more which will be available online.
The virtual Ottawa International Animation Festival (OIAF) ’21 goes in-person for special screenings of Meneath: Hidden Island of Ethics (Terril Calder) and Frank Horvat ‘What the Walls Feel as they Stare at Rob Ford Sitting in his Office’ (Guillaume Pelletier-Auger) from September 22nd to 26th, 2021 at the Ottawa Art Gallery (OAG) in the Alma Duncan Salon.
Whether you love classic cartoons, mind-bending experiments, fantastic digital creations, dazzling effects, thought provoking observations, or pure belly-busting fun, there is something for everyone and anyone at the Ottawa International Animation Festival (OIAF).
5. Magic of Lights Ottawa – November 13th to Feb. 28th, 2021 – Evenings
The National Capital Region’s favourite holiday tradition is back! Magic of Lights Ottawa is a remarkable drive-through experience, offering guests the opportunity to enjoy festive and vibrant LED light displays from the comfort of their own car. The Wesley Clover Parks Campground will be opening its doors to invite guests to tour along a route stretching more than two kilometers and featuring over a million gleaming lights. The magical route will include fan favourite displays including the Enchanting Tunnel of Lights, Snowflake Forest and Candy Cane Lane, along with new festive displays!
6. Christmas Lights Across Canada – December 1, 2021 – January 9, 2022 – On Parliament Hill, downtown Ottawa – Every evening, from 5:30 pm to 1 am
In Canada’s Capital, the winter landscape glows with over 300,000 multicoloured lights during the holiday season. The Christmas Lights Across Canada brighten Confederation Boulevard, Canada’s ceremonial route circling the heart of the Capital. The Boulevard encompasses Wellington Street, Mackenzie Street, Elgin Street, and Sussex Drive in downtown Ottawa, as well as Laurier Street in Gatineau and the Alexandra Bridge. A virtual version of the tour will also be available.
HALLOWEEN-THEMED EVENTS AND FESTIVALS IN OTTAWA
Have a frightfully fun time as your family visits Saunders Farm this fall! They keeping the Halloween spirit alive with their world-famous FrightFest and Haunting Season. COVID safety measures are in place to ensure the health and safety of our staff and our guests. To control and limit the number of visitors on the Farm, visits must booked in advance. No walk-ups for either our day or night events.
Friday, Saturday, and (some) Sunday nights
September 26 – October 31, 2021
October 26 – 29 (Halloweek, Mon-Thursday)
Friday and Saturday evenings
September 17 – October 31
Saturdays and Sundays (10am – 5pm)
September 25 – October 31, 2021
8. Saunders Farm presents ‘The Sawmill’ at Lansdowne – October 8th to the 31st, 2021
See what was found beneath the south side stands! In 2008, the City of Ottawa began demolition of the south-side Grandstand at Lansdowne Park. After the dust settled, workers were astounded to discover a hidden world under the debris. A team was called in to investigate. They excavated an untarnished lumber site from more than a century prior. Then they made a disturbing discovery… a lost colony of Millworkers from early Bytown days who have not had outside contact for more than a century. The Sawmill is not recommended for kids under 12 years old.
9. Pumpkin Fest at the Proulx Farm – September 19th to October 31, 2021 Sat. and Sunday from 10am to 5pm and Thanksgiving Monday from 10am to 5pm
The Proulx Farm is transformed into a giant Halloween playground during Pumpkin Fest. Bring a picnic and come for a ghostly gathering in a country setting, just a few minutes from Orleans and 30 minutes east of downtown Ottawa.
10. Skreamers at the Proulx Farm – October 1st to 31st, 2021 – Friday and Saturday evenings
Proulx Farm is proud to support the Orleans Kiwanis club by providing a venue for Skreamers, the most haunted hayride in the east. Skreamers is night-time fun designed for more mature guests. Purchase tickets on their website.
Local residents and rival farmers have long suspected that something unnatural has been happening out at the Proulx Farm in Orleans, with reports of blood-curdling screams, a foul stench, unexplained power outages, and inexplicably lush & large crops…..
11. Stittsville Haunted Heritage Tours – September 24th to November 13th, 2021 – Friday and Saturday at 7 pm and 9 pm
A tour down the archives of legends and lore with Stittsville Haunted Heritage Tours. Mysteries, apparitions and tales of the unexplained at 6154 Abbott Street West, Stittsville, in the Old Barn- Stittsville Train Park. You will examine the many legends, folklore and strange tales of the area. Oh- and there will be a Scavenger Hunt with a $1000.00 Grand Prize! You can find out more on their Facebook page.
12. Cannamore Orchard Acres of Terror – Nights (6:30-9:30pm): September 24-25 (discount opening weekend), October 1-2, 8-9, 15-16, 22-23, 27-30. Days: (12-4pm): October 16-17, 23-24, 30-31.
Cannamore Orchard welcomes you their Acres of Terror, Eastern Ontario’s Most Terrifying Halloween attraction! Saturday and Sunday during the day are dedicated to families, younger children and those who get scared easily and don’t like it. Acres of Terror attractions will be toned down and made kid friendly.
13. Pumpkinferno at Upper Canada Village – September 24th to October 17th, 2021 from 7 pm to 10 pm. October 18th to 31st, 2021 from 6:30 pm to 10 pm
Take the family for an evening stroll to see over 7 000 whimsically carved pumpkins at the Pumpkinferno. They are on display outdoors lighting your path across this dazzling display! Pumpkins of all different design and shapes will amaze all who attend. You may even pick up some tips for your family’s jack-o’-lanterns this year!
Museum Fun This Fall In Ottawa
There are also many events happening at some of the museums in the Ottawa – Outaouais region throughout the season.
Your family can also enjoy visiting these places around Ottawa for a day of fun:
21. Apple orchards
22. Pumpkin patches
There are so many things for families to enjoy and explore this fall around the city of Ottawa! We hope that you find an activity or event that will interest every member of your family!