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25 Summer Family Activities in Ottawa

Summer is here! This allows for families to spend more time together spend some time doing things together in Ottawa and its surrounding areas. Here is a list of 25 summer family activities in Ottawa for you and your family to attend and enjoy!

Summer Family Events in OttawaPin

Summer Family Activities in Ottawa

There are lots of Ottawa summer family activities to do!

1. All Aboard! with the Ottawa Valley Live Steamers and Model Engineers Sundays May 26, June 30, July 28, August 25, and September 29 from 11 am to 3 pm

Travel back in time to the age of rail with the Ottawa Valley Live Steamers and Model Engineers and participate in a demonstration of their large-scale outdoor model locomotives at the Cumberland Heritage Village Museum. This program is weather dependent. In the event of inclement weather, the program may be adjusted or cancelled without notice.

2. Ottawa International Crafts & Book Expo

VIRTUAL EXPO: June 1, 2024 to August 21, 2024

The Ottawa International Crafts and Book Expo hosts over 50 authors, publishers, artisans and musicians.

3. Ottawa Fringe Festival, June 13-24, 2024

The Ottawa Fringe Festival provides all performing artists, both emerging and established, with the opportunity to showcase their original work and makes the Festival as affordable and accessible as possible to the members of the community.

This is no ordinary adventure! After reading an inspiring story, a museum guide takes children on an imaginary journey through our Solar System — landing on planets along the way. 

4. Summer Solstice Festival, June 21-23, 2024 at MĀDAHÒKÌ FARM

The Summer Solstice Festival is spectacular tourism experience and gathering place in Ottawa’s Greenbelt. MĀDAHÒKÌ, which means “to share land” in Anishinaabe, builds on the growing interest in agritourism, farm-to-table culinary experiences and authentic cultural experiences from an Indigenous perspective.

5. Tim Hortons Ottawa Dragon Boat Festival, June 21-23, 2024,  Mooney’s Bay Park

The Tim Hortons Ottawa Dragon Boat Festival is a weekend of fun and racing. Visitors will cheer for their favourite dragon boat as teams from local businesses and organizations race each other along Mooney’s Bay. Concerts, food and free family events are planned for everyone to enjoy!

6. Canada Day in Ottawa, July 1, 2023

Numerous events are planned for your family to do to celebrate Canada Day in Ottawa! There will be street entertainers, games, ceremonies and performances throughout the day finishing with a dazzling fireworks display.

Local Canada Day events in Ottawa:

7. RBC Bluesfest, July 4-14, 2024, Canadian War Museum LeBreton Flats

Ottawa’s RBC Bluesfest is one of the largest international music events in the world. Ottawa Bluesfest provides a world-class event that showcases local, regional, national and international musicians.

8. Thai Street Food Festival July 7th, 2024, 11 am – 6 pm.

The Royal Thai Embassy Ottawa proudly presents the annual Thai Street Food Festival is held at the Horticulture Building in Lansdowne Park Discover the Magic of Thailand! Unforgettable journey of flavours, culture, and excitement. Savour authentic Thai cuisine, sway to the rhythm of traditional Thai dance, witness heart-pounding Muay Thai demonstrations, and unwind with a blissful Thai Massage.

9. Music and Beyond, July 10-13, 2024

Music and Beyond is a classical music and arts festival. Each year, the festival offers a variety of programming to highlight exciting connections between classical music and other art forms. Music and Beyond introduces and fosters new audiences as they explore or experience music and the arts. All the while emphasizing and providing opportunities for young people in the community.

10. Mud Hero Ottawa July 13, 2024, 8:30 am – 6 pm

Challenge yourself by participating in one of Canada’s largest obstacle course events, Mud Hero: 12km, 6km, or kids’ event, with multiple obstacles.

11. European Union Cultural Fair July 13, 2024 10 am -4 pm on the Great Lawn, 450 Queen Elizabeth Drive.

The European Union delegation in Canada and the embassies of EU member states are again organizing the European Union Cultural Fair. The celebration features live music, dance performances, culinary delights, fun workshops, and much more! Throughout the day, participants will also have the opportunity to learn more about Europe’s tourist and cultural destinations, presented at stands organized by diplomatic missions.

12. Fanaticcon, July 14, 2024, Ottawa Conference and Event Centre

Are you a fanatic of gaming, toys, cosplay, comics, entertainment, and more? YES, then Fanaticcon is for you!

13. Ottawa Lebanese Festival, July 17-24, 2024, Saint Elias Centre

The Ottawa Lebanese Festival celebrates the very best in Lebanese food, entertainment, and culture in the National Capital Region.

14. Lock & Paddle July 20, 2024, Hartwells Lock, 901 Hartwell’s Locks Lane

Join Parks Canada and hundreds of your fellow paddlers for this free mass Lock & Paddle event on the Rideau Canal. Imagine a ‘flash mob’ of colourful canoes and kayaks, descending upon of Hartwells Lock for a celebratory lockage.

  • No cost to register; all abilities are welcome
  • Bring your own canoe/kayak + PFD’s for all participants
  • Spectators are encouraged to watch from land

15. Carivibe Ottawa Caribbean Carnival- Reach the Beach, July 21-23, 2024, on Petrie Island

The Reach the Beach is Caribbean inspired day Festival on Petrie Island featuring the very best in Tropical Cuisine, Tropical Drinks & Tropical Ice Cream. All mixed with sweet Soca, Dancehall, Reggae and Afro vibes!

Parking Lot Wars – Street Racing Series

16. Les Grands Feux du Casino Lac-Leamy, July 31-Aug 17, 2024 on Wednesdays and Saturdays at 6 p.m. at the Canadian Museum of History

Les Grands Feux du Casino Lac-Leamy are so much more than fireworks! It’s also about fiery culinary experiences, prodigious artistic performances, striking digital and multimedia art installations and much more! Join us for one of 6 evenings of programming.

Canada day fireworksPin

17. Ottawa International Buskerfest, August 2-5, 2024, Sparks Street

Sparks Street transforms into the ultimate stage for amazing street performers at the Ottawa International Buskerfest! This festival brings together various types of performers showcasing their comedic and thrilling skills. Performer such as escape artists,  fire eaters, contortionists, and so much more will be in attendance for visitors to see.

18. PuppetCon by PuppetsUp! August 9-11, 2024, Almonte

2023 marks the debut of PuppetCon with a weekend full of hands-on workshops, insightful panel discussions and showcase performances. Focusing on both the entertainment value of puppetry and the development of this art, PuppetCon provides hands-on workshops for adults and children, along with select puppet performances.

19. Water Lantern Festival, August 10, 2024, Andrew Haydon Park

The Water Lantern Festival is filled with fun, happiness, hope and good memories that you will cherish all your life. It’s a family event that can be shared by everyone. Friends, families, neighbors come together to create a peaceful and memorable experience.

As the sun begins to set on the evening sky, the Water Lantern Festival begins to shine with the launch of the lanterns on the water as we turn on the water together. Watch your unique lantern drift into the water as it joins other lanterns that bring hope, love, happiness, healing, peace and connection. It’s a night you’ll never forget.

20. Art in Strathcona Park,  Saturday August 10th, 2024 10 am – 4 PM

Enjoy a day at the park and one of the area’s most enjoyable fresh-air event featuring many talented artists and artisans. Visit established artists and artisans and undiscovered talents will come together to sell their work. Art in Strathcona Park also offers jewellery and pottery, to name just a few, and will also feature a silent auction and a BBQ, and something for just about everyone!

21. Ottawa Greek Festival, August 15-18, 23-25, 2024, 1315 Prince of Wales Drive

The Ottawa Greek festival features delicious greek cuisine, live Greek music, traditional dances, The Zorba Show, a multicultural mights, and lots more!

22.  5k Foam Fest, August 17, 2024, Commando Action Centre, 4565 Dunning Road

The 5K Foam Fest is one-of-a-kind fun run that includes a variety of obstacles and a ton of foam. Some of the best and most exciting obstacles in the world including the world’s largest inflatable waterslide, slip and slides, and mucky mud pits! A festival atmosphere offering activities for all ages.

23. Allan Haan Manotick Soapbox Derby and Picnic, August 25, 2024, Beaverwood Road next to Centennial Park 

Allan Haan Manotick Soapbox Derby and PicnicPin

Summer is the time for kids and their parents to use their creativity by building a soapbox cart and racing it in the Allan Haan Manotick Soapbox Derby. This is a fun derby, perhaps not suitable for serious soapbox racing enthusiasts, but anyone 7 or older is welcome to participate. Participants can build their own carts or we have some sponsored carts for those who cannot make one.

MVCA’s Picnic in the Park begins at 11:30 am on the day of the Derby.  It can be found in Centennial Park which is located beside the Manotick Community Centre at 5572 Dr. Leach Drive. There will be activities for children and youth, live music and a barbecue lunch.

24. Gatineau Hot Air Balloon Festival, August 29-September 2, 2024

Music. Activities. Fun. Oh, don’t forget the dazzling array of hot air balloons across the sky! The Gatineau Hot Air Balloon Festival attracts visitors from all over the world to see pilots navigate floating works of art in the skies above Canada’s capital region.

Gatineau Hot Air Balloon FestivalPin

25. Ottawa ComicCon, September 6-8, 2024- EY Centre

Ottawa Comiccon is a fan convention with multi-genre content: comic books, sci-fi, horror, anime, video games and the entertainment world. Fans have the opportunity come to meet their favourite creators from the world of comics and BD, get their autographs, buy a sketch or thank them for their work. Additionally, one of the biggest draws, fans get to meet the personalities behind their favourite TV shows and movies. Celebrities participate in autograph sessions, photo opportunities and stage appearances.

What to do with the kids on a rainy day? Visit Ottawa Museums!

On a rainy day this summer, enjoy one of Ottawa’s many museums with the family:

This list will help you plan your family activities in Ottawa this summer! We hope you have enjoy exploring all of the fun in the Nation’s Capital and get to make some special memories!

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  1. I HAD to pin this! 25 events that sound as FUN as the next! I like the hot air balloon rides and so much more! Thank you for sharing!

  2. These sound like great events. I really want to visit Ottawa since I’ve never been, and it’s a goal of mine to spend Canada Day there one year.

    • It’s the city to be in on Canada Day! We don’t make it downtown every year, but watch it on TV to make up for it!

  3. My husband and I are planning to spend a few days in Ottawa this Summer. I’ve addeded the Sound and Light show to our itinerary.


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