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15 Family Holiday Fun Events and Activities Around Ottawa In 2019

We have a list of 15 Family Holiday Fun Events and Activities Around Ottawa in 2020 you can view!

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 Fun Events and Activities around Ottawa to plan some holiday fun with your loved ones and visitors!

15 Family Holiday Fun Events and Activities Around Ottawa

15 Family Holiday Fun Events and Activities Around OttawaPin
Light post with bow on it in front of tree with lights.

Festive Holiday Events and Activities (Indoors)

1.   NAC Holiday Programing (Throughout the Holiday Season) 

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.   The Art of Gingerbread, Canada Agriculture and Food Museum

Interested in bringing your gingerbread house to the next level? Join gingerbread mastermind Catherine Beddall in our demo kitchen — and watch as she demonstrates how to create a one-of-a-kind, designer gingerbread creation!

The National Gallery of Canada is getting ready for the holidays with their Christmas tree lighting event. Special events will also take place to celebrate this festive time for the family to take part in. Guests can make beaded swirl ornament to take with you, take in the sounds of the Stellae Boreales, Ottawa Suzuki Strings’ violin ensemble, and enjoy complimentary hot chocolate and a treat. The tree will be on display until January 6, 2019.

4.  Glow, EY Centre

Countless sparkling lights. A magical castle playground. A vendor market showcasing the best local artisans and boutique businesses. The big man in red. These are a few things that will help Ottawa get into the holiday spirit when you attend Glow Ottawa! First launched in 2017, Glow Ottawa has become one of the world’s largest indoor Christmas festivals. This festival aims to bring the magic and delight of an outdoor festival into a cozy and spacious venue. Tickets are now on sale to take in the seasonal wonderland!

5.  Ottawa Farmers’ Market – Christmas Market, Aberdeen Pavilion at Lansdowne

Looking for a more crafted gift this holiday season? The Ottawa Farmers’ Market at the Aberdeen Pavilion at Lansdowne. Over 120 producers from around the Ottawa area will be presenting their wares, from food to art to crafts to be purchased for the holidays.

15 Family Holiday Fun Events and Activities Around OttawaPin
Street lined with Christmas lights.


Festive Holiday Events and Activities (Outdoors)

6.  Home for the Holidays, Billings Estate National Historic Site 

The holiday season has been celebrated at Billings Estate since 1829. Family and friends of all ages are invited to experience the classic Christmas traditions of early Ottawa together with kid-friendly storytelling, a cozy campfire (weather permitting), performances by the Dickens Carolers, a themed photobooth station, and more!

7.  Magic of Lights, Wesley Clover Park

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.

8.  Nightmare Before/After X-Mas Tour, The Haunted Walk

Looking for a different side to the holiday season? The Nightmare Before/After X-Mas tour with the Haunted Walk will help visitors explore the darker side of this time of the year. Walkers will learn about different and frightening holiday traditions form around the world. Feel a bump in the night as creepy Christmas-themed ghost stories are shared by tour guides. Most of the tour will take place inside the scary Bytown Museum, one of the Ottawa’s oldest and most haunted buildings.

9.  Christmas Lights Across Canada, Parliament Hill

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 5thillumination ceremony. Until January 7th, 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.

10. Vintage Village of Lights, Cumberland Heritage Village Museums

As you enjoy your stroll around the 1920s and 30s village that is illuminated as you explore the festive touches, decorations, and embellishments that have been a part of Christmas traditions through the years. Some of the fun activities include: decorating gingerbread; taking a horse-drawn wagon ride; receiving a Santagram; printing a greeting card; personalizing a wooden tree ornament; and more. And, of course, don’t forget to say see Santa!  

15 Family Holiday Fun Events and Activities Around OttawaPin
Santa with girl on his knee.


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 by having a face-to-face with him before his big ride. All of these locations end on December 24. Some locations feature a special friend popping by, and may even allow your fur baby some time with Santa! 

11.   Billings Bridge

12.  Carlingwood Shopping Centre 

13.  Place d’Orleans Shopping Centre

14.  Rideau Centre

15.  St. Laurent Shopping Centre 

15 Family Holiday Fun Events and Activities Around OttawaPin
Mother and child playing in the snow.

2 Extra Snow Fun Activities

Want to get outside and play in Canada’s capital? Here are a few great ways to enjoy the holidays in the great outdoors!

 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


Lace up those skates for some holiday fun! Enjoy a brisk glide across a skating rink with your family this holiday season! Whether it is indoor fun you are looking for, or outdoor excitement, the ice rinks around Ottawa are the place to go!

15 Family Holiday Fun Events and Activities Around OttawaPin
15 Family Holiday Fun Events and Activities Around Ottawa

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!

What is your family’s favourite way to bring in the holiday season?

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  1. Really getting the holiday vibes just hearing about it. Never been to Ottawa, hope it doesn’t get too cold like it did last year.

  2. Looks like a ton of awesome events and opportunities to enjoy this wonderful holiday season with loved ones. I hope everyone has fun!


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