21 Summer Family Fun Events and Activities in Ottawa

| June 16, 2016 | 3 Comments


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. Here is a list of summer family fun events and activities in Ottawa for you and your family to attend and enjoy!


21 Summer Family Fun Events and Activities in Ottawa

Horse Power! The Paul-Bienvenu Carriage Collection – Until April 17, 2017, Canadian Museum of History

Take a trip back in time as the Canadian Museum of History displays exquisitely handcrafted horse-drawn sleighs and carriages between 1770 and 1950. These modes of transportation were once used by Catholic cardinals, Montréal millionaires and governor generals. These pieces are some of the finest in North America and has been nationally recognized as a Canadian cultural treasure.

Ultimate Dinosaurs – June 11 – September 5, 2016, Canadian Museum of Nature

Dino lovers will dig Ultimate Dinosaurs, the newest exhibit at the Canadian Museum of Nature! See fossils of dinos large and small, learn how fossils are cast, interact with different areas of the exhibit and so much more!  

GlowFair  – June 17-18, 2016, 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!

Ottawa Ribfest – June 22-26, 2016, 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 23-26, 2016,  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!


Photo credit: Kashmera / Foter / CC BY


Canada Day – July 1, 2016, 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.

Gourmet Fest / Foire Gourmande  – July 3, 2016, Parc du Moulin, Rockland, ON from 10 am -5 pm

Foodies will enjoy attending the seventh year of Gourmet Fest! Visitors can enjoy the culinary expertise of chefs and food growers of Ottawa and the Eastern Ontario region. Visitors can also experience tastings and discover new culinary treasures, learn new techniques with demonstrations, events for the family and so much more!

Northern Lights: Sound and Lights Show – July 9 September 10, 2016, 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.

Bytown Days – July 30- August 1, 2016,  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.




Ottawa International Buskerfest – July 28-August 1, 2016, 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.

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!


Photo credit: neeroc1 / Foter / CC BY-NC-SA


Ottawa Lumière Festival – August 20, 2016, 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 17-21, 2016, 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.

Centretown Movies – Throughout the Summer, Dundoland Park
Want to have a good time in front of the Big Screen while being outdoors in downtown Ottawa this summer? Check out the schedule the Centretown Movies! There are movies for everyone to enjoy this summer with these films that span various genres.

Multicultural Festivals
Summer Solstice Aboriginal Arts Festival June 17-20 2016, Vincent Massey Park
St. Jean Ottawa June 25, 2016, Richelieu-Vanier Community Centre
Community Cup June 26, 2016, Brewer Park
Ottawa Lebenese Festival July 15-19, 2016, St. Elias Antiochian Orthodox Cathedral
Festival of India August 5-7, 2016 Marion Dewer Park
Jamaica Day (JAMDAY) August 6, 2016, Mooney’s Bay Park
TD Asian Festival August 11-13, 2016, Various locations across downtown Ottawa

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

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Comments (3)

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  1. Elizabeth Matthiesen says:

    There are always tons and tons of thing to do in and around Ottawa and this supports that fact yet again. There are so many of these I’d love to attend, especially the Ottawa Lumière Festival, unfortunately I live too far away. 🙁

  2. Wow that’s a lot of cool events!

  3. eric says:

    I will check out the Northern Lights: Sound and Lights Show this year, sound like fun.

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