What’s Happening in the Ottawa Area

Looking for fun activities in the Ottawa area over the holidays? This special holiday edition of “What’s happening in the Ottawa Area” will provide you with options over the next two weeks rather than one, starting on Thursday, December 22. Be sure to verify details with the organizers as plans can change at any time.

For holiday fun…

  • Until Friday, December 23 | Don’t miss the outdoor Ottawa Christmas Market at Lansdowne: enjoy a festive atmosphere with plenty of holiday entertainment, local flavours, and shopping. FREE!
  • Until Saturday December 31 (Saturdays and Sundays only) | Enjoy Flights with Santa over Ottawa this Christmas with up to 3 passengers! Don’t miss this ride of a lifetime with proceeds donated back to the Ottawa Food Bank.
  • Until Saturday, December 31 | Participate in the Glebe Spree and as you shop at stores in the Glebe, you’ll receive stickers for a chance to win a $10,000 shopping spree.
  • Until Saturday, December 31 | Sit in Santa’s new sleigh as you fly in Ottawa Aviation Adventure’s Cessna over Ottawa this Christmas with up to three passengers, with proceeds donated to the Ottawa Food Bank.
  • Until Monday, January 2, 2023 | Experience it in person or take a virtual tour of the beautifully decorated Trees of Hope for CHEO Christmas trees in the Fairmont Château Laurier hotel. FREE!
  • Until Saturday, January 7, 2023 | Experience the dazzling Magic of Lights drive-through display lined with two kilometers of sparkling LED lights at Wesley Clover Parks.
  • Until Saturday, January 7, 2023 | Stroll through a historic village filled with holiday joy, including over one million lights, Christmas music, BeaverTails, and more during the Alight at Night Festival at Upper Canada Village.
  • Until Sunday, January 8, 2023 | Explore the storefronts of Preston Street on the Holiday Hunt, using your phone for an outdoor escape room/scavenger hunt experience. Fun for all ages. FREE!
  • Until Sunday, January 8, 2023 | Visit holidays past, present, and future during Holiday Magic at the Canada Science and Technology Museum.
  • Until Sunday, January 8 | Enjoy a multimedia projection show on Parliament Hill (Wednesdays through Mondays), thousands of colourful lights in downtown Ottawa and Gatineau, and the online IllumiNATION variety show during Winter Lights Across CanadaFREE!

For a rollicking good time…

  • Tuesday, December 27 – Saturday, December 31 | Enjoy a fun guided tour of Ottawa breweries at a special price during Holiday Week Tours by Brew Donkey.
  • Tuesday, December 27 – Sunday, January 8, 2023 | The National Arts Centre hosts the Broadway hit Come From Away, the remarkable true story of a small Canadian town that welcomed the world.

For ringing in the new year…

  • TIP! If you head to Parliament Hill on New Year’s Eve, the free 15-minute looped projection on Centre Block as part of Winter Lights Across Canada extends until midnight; if you’re looking for fireworks at midnight, head to the Hogman-eh! celebration at Lansdowne!
  • Saturday, December 31 | Hogman-eh! invites you to reconnect and rejoice at the 11th annual family-friendly Scottish-style New Year’s Eve celebration at Lansdowne, the largest Hogmanay celebration outside of Scotland.
  • Saturday, December 31 | Celebrate New Year’s Eve masquerade style at Hammond New Year’s Masquerade, with a late-night dance party at Let’s Get Fizzy: New Years Eve 2023 happening at Lansdowne’s Craft Beer Market, at “An Elegant Affair” dinner and dance at the Sheraton Ottawa Hotel, at Denim and Diamonds New Year’s Eve Party at Rideau Carleton Casino, with the Hunks and Punks Band performing their favourite party songs of all time at the Rainbow Bistro!
  • Saturday, December 31 | Start the New Year off on the right foot with a 5k or 10k Resolution Run that starts and ends at Lansdowne.
  • From family-friendly outings to brewery tours, fancy meals and chic VIP parties, you’ll find even more options to ring in the New Year, Ottawa Style, right here.

For hockey fans…

  • Thursday, December 22; Friday, December 23; Tuesday December 27; Sunday, January 1, 2023; Tuesday, January 3, 2023 | Cheer on the Ottawa Senators as they compete against the Washington Capitals, the Detroit Red Wings, the Boston Bruins, the Buffalo Sabres, and the Columbus Blue Jackets at the Canadian Tire Centre.
  • Wednesday, December 28 – Saturday, December 31| Bell Capital Cup is a festival celebrating the game of hockey in Ottawa, with youth teams participating from across Canada, the United States, and around the world.
  • Friday, December 30 | Enjoy junior hockey as the Ottawa 67’s battle against the Kingston Frontenacs at TD Place Arena.

Find out more great activities to do in and around Ottawa on the Ottawa Insider Blog!