Best Family-Friendly Christmas Activities in Ottawa


Gather your family and enjoy the weeks leading up to the holidays with some festive events. We’ve pulled together the best family-friendly Christmas activities in Ottawa for 2019. Get ready for some fun with your loved ones.

Christmas Glow

Christmas Glow Ottawa

Swap the cold for a whole lot of fun this year! Take the kids indoors with this magical light extravaganza. The magic comes to life as you follow Santa to six countries where he will deliver presents. Be part of a truly memorable experience like never before. Explore the light gardens and massive illuminated structures. Then, eat some of the tasty food on offer and sip on your favourite hot beverages while you relax and watch live entertainment. Your kids will dream about the million sparkling lights they saw and ask you for another visit.

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Magic of Lights Logo

Magic of Lights

If you want a drive-through experience, you can’t find better than this holiday light display. There are a total of one million LED lights sparkling in the night sky. The entire event takes place over two kilometres, which includes a 200-foot tunnel. Your kids will be blown away by the LED character displays, such as elves and snowmen. Some of the proceeds from the event also go to charity, so you know that you are doing good during your family trip.

Christmas Trees

Trees of Hope for CHEO

When you visit the historic Fairmont Château Laurier hotel, you get to admire all of the decorated trees. You can also stay for an afternoon of tea or to eat a meal with your family. This will soon become a yearly tradition.

Casselman Festival Brochure

Casselman Christmas Festival

If the family is up for a short trip, head over to Casselman during the festival. This town comes alive during the holiday season and provides events worth remembering. You can listen to all of the concerts, watch the parade or take place in the Santa Run. Don’t forget to do some shopping at the Christmas Market while you are there.

Christmas Gifts

The Museum of History’s Christmas Market

With this four-day market, you can find items for everyone on your shopping list. There will be more than 80 exhibitors on display in the Grand Hall. You can purchase the best gourmet foods, handcrafted jewellery, handmade gifts and artisanal spirits. The best part is that there is no admission price.

Christmas Train

CP Holiday Train

The Canadian Pacific Holiday Train will be departing once again to visit thousands around the country. Not only is this event one to remember, but it is used to collect food and raise funds for local food banks. You can also watch some of the local performers do their thing during your train trip.

Christmas Street Lights

Alight at Night

You can take another road trip south of the city until you reach Morrisburg. At Upper Canada Village, you will find the 1860’s alive and well. The village is adorned with a million lights and plenty of holiday music. You can enjoy festive snacks while you listen to the sound of carolers. Then, you can take the family on a horse-drawn wagon ride as you look at the stars. When that is finished, consider trying out the Toy Train that is life-sized and lots of fun. It will wind you through the entire village. If you can get away from the kids for a night, consider booking a romantic Pommier Carriage for you and your spouse. It’s a favourite for anniversary celebrations.

Whether you choose to stay close to Ottawa this Christmas or plan a family-friendly road trip, you will find plenty to do. Some of these activities have select dates, so make sure you plan ahead. Then, come back and let us know what your favourite family event was. We look forward to hearing about your adventures.

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