25 Summer Family Events and Activities Around Ottawa

25 Summer Family Events and Activities Around Ottawa

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


25 Summer Family Fun Events and Activities in Ottawa-Gatineau
Family laying on grass


Specific Events

1.  Ottawa Ribfest, June 20-24, 2018Sparks Street
Love ribs? Help to crown the Best Barbecue Ribs Sauce on Sparks Street at Ottawa Ribfest! Trucks from all over the world set up shop and cook up a storm on their grills for visitors to taste and judge. Delicious food, a pulled pork eating contest, and live entertainment is planned for visitors to enjoy!

2. Tim Hortons Ottawa Dragon Boat Festival, June 21-24, 2018,  Mooney’s Bay Park
Celebrating its 23nd year, this 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!


25 Summer Family Fun Events and Activities in Ottawa-Gatineau
Boat s competing in a Dragon Boat Festival.


3. RCMP Musical Ride Canadian Sunset Ceremonies, Musical Ride Centre, 1 Sandridge Road,  June 27-30, 2018, 5-8:30 pm

Face painting, Indigenous dance performances, and horses on parade await visitors to the RCMP Musical Ride Canadian Sunset Ceremonies!  Take in all of the fun of these ceremonies as the sun sets on the city! 

4. Canada Day, June 30 – July 1, 2018, Jacques-Cartier Park (Gatineau)/Major’s Hill Park and Parliament Hill (Ottawa)
Numerous events are planned for your family to do to celebrate Canada’s birthday! There will be street entertainers, games, ceremonies and performances throughout the day finishing with a dazzling fireworks display.

5. Northern Lights: Sound and Light Show, July 9-September 3, 2018, Parliament Hill – July at 10 pm

Watch in awe as Parliament Hill gets lit up with a sensational light and sound show! Colour lights are programmed to move along with stunning sound show that depicts Canada’s thrilling history.

6. Colonel By Day, August 6, 2018,  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.

7. Ottawa International Buskerfest, August 2-6, 2018, 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.


25 Summer Family Fun Events and Activities in Ottawa-Gatineau
A lantern at a Lumiere festival


8. Ottawa Lumière Festival, August 25, 2018, New Edinburgh Park 
Watch New Edinburgh Park become a world of light for the Ottawa Lumière Festival. Visitors can get dressed up for this fun event. Artists perform for donations and help to make the festival come to life.

9. Le Festival de la Curd,  August 15-19, 2018, 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.

10. Gatineau Hot Air Balloon Festival, August 30-September 3, 2018

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.

Multicultural Festivals

11. Summer Solstice Aboriginal Arts Festival, June 21-24, 2018, Vincent Massey Park
12. St. Jean Ottawa, June 22-23, 2018, Richelieu-Vanier Community Centre
13. Ottawa Lebanese Festival, July 18-22, 2018, St. Elias Antiochian Orthodox Cathedral
14. Festival of India, August 10-12, 2018 Marion Dewer Park
15. Jamaica Day (JAMDAY) August 11 2018, Mooney’s Bay Park
16. TD Asian Festival August 10-19, 2018, Various locations across downtown Ottawa

Throughout the Summer

17. Family Programming at the NAC 

The performing arts can move people of all ages. The NAC wants everyone to have experiences that will open their eyes to new worlds and to become inspired by it. From Toddler Tuesdays, to Seniors Pop-Up Painting workshops, the NAC has something for whole family to enjoy!

18. Gatineau Park  

Trails for various sports. Camping and boating. Learning about how to use a map. Searching for creatures in nature. These are a few of the activities Gatineau Park has for everyone in the family to enjoy!

19. NOKIA Sunday Biking  

Dust off those helmets and get the family out on the bike trails with NOKIA Sunday Biking! There are over 50 kilometres of some of Ottawa and Gatineau’s scenic roadways to explore on Sunday mornings. These road closures take place from 9 am – 1 pm from late May to early September every year.


25 Summer Family Fun Events and Activities in Ottawa-Gatineau
Mom and child riding a bike.


Museum Fun

20. National Gallery of Canada 

21. Canadian Museum of History

22. Canadian Museum of Nature 

23. Canadian Agricultural and Food Museum 

24. Canadian War Museum 

25. Ottawa Art Gallery 


This list of things to do and see around Ottawa-Gatineau will help you plan many summer family fun events and activities this summer! We hope you have enjoy exploring all of the fun in the region and get to make some special memories!


25 Summer Family Fun Events and Activities in Ottawa-Gatineau
25 Summer Family Fun Events and Activities in Ottawa-Gatineau


Which summer family fun events or activities are favourites 

for your family to attend in the summer? Comment below!


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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.

  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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