It is almost the most magical time of year! Every year Ottawa turns into a beautiful winter wonderland. Soon the entire city will be covered in a blanket of fresh snow, and you won't want to leave your house.
While staying at home under a warm blanket and watching Netflix might sound like the best way to pass winter, you would be missing out on the winter season. In Ottawa, there are tons of winter activities that you need to add to your winter bucket list!
Celebrate the start of the holiday seasons by attending the Christmas tree lighting ceremony at Landsdowne. This year the event takes place on November 30th starting at 6 pm. The massive 40 foot Christmas tree will be in front of the Aberdeen Pavilion. At the event, there will be Christmas carolers, the Redblack’s mascot, and complimentary hot chocolate and cider.
Escape the cold this winter and get warm and cozy instead! At Nordik Spa-Nature they have plenty of hot tubs and saunas that are the perfect spot to warm up and help your body relax. Get comfortable inside one of their yurts, or grab a delicious meal next to the fireplace. For those of you who hate winter, Nordik Spa-Nature might be your favorite spot to see the beautiful snowy landscape while still staying toasty.
Get in the holiday spirit by attending Cirque Musica Holiday Presents Wonderland. The show promises to be an incredible show where you will be able to watch circus performance with a full symphony orchestra. Make sure to get your tickets, as the show will only be in Ottawa for one day on December 1st at TD Place.
Beer lovers, you need to attend this event in Ottawa! On February 15-16th Winter Brewfest will take place at Landsdowne Park. At this event, you will be able to taste more than 100 craft beers across Ontario and Quebec.
Stroll through a festive 1920s village that will be illuminated from November 30 to December 23rd. At the event, you will be able to take a horse-drawn wagon ride, decorate gingerbread, make a wooden tree ornament, and of course, see Santa!
Help less fortunate children in Ottawa-Carleton this Christmas season by donating new toys at the Santa Toy Parade. The parade takes place on November 17th, starting at 11 am.
Even before the Ottawa Canal opens you can skate for free at the SENS Rink of Dreams. Located at Ottawa City Hall you can skate from December 1st to March 4th. Skate rentals are available on site.
This year's Christmas Lights across Canada is a must-see event. The illumination ceremony will be on December 5th at 7 pm at Parliament Hill. Join to see the Parliament Buildings project show and live musical performance. At the ceremony, there will be free BeaverTails and hot chocolate, while supplies last.
Ottawa is the home of the world's largest ice dragon boat festival! This year the event takes place at Dow's Lake on February 8 to 9, 2019. Go join a team and compete in this fun winter activity. At the festival, there will be free concerts, First Nations dancers, Chinese Lion dance, and other live entertainment.
Ottawa will be getting its first food hall! Food halls have become increasingly trendy around the world, as include everything from upscale dining options to small restaurants. The new massive food hall in Ottawa will be 9000 square feet with a 390-person capacity. Inside you'll find 7 vendors, Bar Rodo, Green Rebel, Fiazza Fresh Fired, SEN Kitchen, Mercadito, Capitol Burger Counter and Q Bar.
Drive through a stunning tunnel of Christmas lights this winter. The Magic of Lights is back in Ottawa this year, from November 16 till January 5. Stay warm inside your car as you drive through the 2 km tunnel of vibrant holiday lights.
The holiday season is nearly here! Join in celebrating the start of the season for the third annual lighting of the giant Christmas tree at the Canadian Museum of History on November 29 at 6 pm. At the event, there also will be Christmas carolers along with complimentary Beavertail bites and hot chocolate.
Taffy Lane is one of the most wonderful places to visit in December. This street in Orleans is famous for their spectacularly decorated houses covered in Christmas lights.
Visit Eastern Ontario's biggest outdoor light festival - Alight At Night! Taking place from November 30 till January 5 at Upper Canada Village, you can bundle up and explore the illuminated village.
Start your Christmas shopping at the Christmas Market at Landsdowne. Taking place the four weekends in December, you can shop from 120 vendors selling locally made goods and food.
A classic way to spend a winter day in Ottawa is to go skating and warm up over a delicious Beavertail. This winter, you need to enjoy this sweet treat.
Head to the National Arts Centre to see the timeless story The Hockey Sweater. The musical show will be performed from December 5 to 23rd.
Spend the afternoon skating through the forest. Next, to Gatineau Park, you can skate on a 3km path to enjoy the incredible view of the surrounding forest.
Celebrate winter at Winterlude from February 1 to 18, 2019. At the festival, you will be able to skate on the Rideau Canal and see beautiful snow and ice sculptures.
Watching the Nutcracker is a favorite way to celebrate the Christmas season. This year the Alberta Ballet will perform the Nutcracker at the National Arts Centre from November 28 to December 2.
Experience the thrill of going dog sledding this winter. At Fairmont Le Chateau Montebello you can visit for the day, and book a dogsledding tour of the surrounding forest.
Enjoy some delicious gingerbread by visiting the Gingerbread Man. The gingerbread themed shop is in the historic village of Manotick. Within the shop, you can purchase delicious cookies and premade gingerbread houses.
The Rideau Canal is the worlds largest naturally frozen skating rink in the world and Ontario’s only UNESCO World Heritage Site! Join in skating along the 7.8 km path from Ottawa’s downtown to Dows Lake. You can skate on the Rideau Canal roughly from January till early March.
Find unique gifts to give this Christmas at the Museum of History's Christmas market. The market will take place from November 29 to December 2 and have more than 80 exhibitors selling gourmet foods, decorations, and jewelry.
Invite your friends to join you for a delicious chocolate fondue at Cacao 70. On the menu, they have several chocolate fondues that are perfect to enjoy on a cold winter day.
Parc Omega is stunning to explore in the winter. You can keep warm inside your car as you drive past all the Canadian animals, which are extra fluffy with their winter coats of fur.
Shop Ottawa’s exclusive pop up market this December to find extraordinary gifts. Haute Bazaar will be hosting their next pop up on December 8th at 78 George Street.
Enjoy dessert poutine this winter at Chocolats Favoris. This chocolate shop is known for their outstanding chocolate, and you can enjoy it over fried. Dessert poutine is crispy fries topped with marshmallows and chocolate sauce.
Casino Lac Leamy is the perfect spot to celebrate the holiday season. One not to miss event is their New Year's Eve celebration; you can countdown to the New Year over a seven-course dinner and a glass of sparkling wine at the luxurious Le Baccara.
Enjoy listening to live music at the TD Ottawa Winter Jazz Fest. Taking place February 7 - 9, 2019 the festival showcases a diverse range of artists. On December 6, Ottawa Jazz Fest will also be hosting Tales of Charlie Brown Christmas at Dominion-Chalmers United Church.