Don’t get us wrong, the holidays are a truly magical season. But, between gift-buying and various other social obligations, your budget can take a serious hit this time of year. Don’t worry though; despite your financial situation, you can still have a good time in the capital. With so many festive free things to do in Ottawa this December, you can experience all of the fun without the cost. \nOf course, the capital in December is likely to be a snowy mess, but with all that white stuff comes some seriously beautiful views for you to soak in and enjoy.\nFrom free skating to live music, festive markets, free movies, incredible light displays, and so much more, there really is fun to be had by all. \nSo if you’re just as obsessed with the holidays as we are, then you’re going to love the list of activities and events that we’ve gathered for you. \nYou won’t even believe that some of this stuff is totally free. But, it is. So put those wallets away and get ready for some festive Ottawa fun.\nAll that’s left to do is start planning your epic December bucket list ASAP.\nChristmas Lights Across Canada\nPrice: Free\nWhen: December 4 until January 7\nAddress: Parliament Hill, Wellington St., Ottawa, ON\nWhy You Need To Go: You can take in a breathtaking light and sound show any night of the week.\n View this post on Instagram More snaps from last night’s #ChristmasLightsAcrossCanada illumination ceremony. One last chance to enjoy the lights and sights of Ottawa’s Peace Tower before its renovation. #photooftheday #myottawa #discoveron #explorecanada #cbcottawa #christmas #winter A post shared by James Peltzer (@james.peltzer) on Dec 6, 2018 at 4:19am PST\n\nWebsite\n\n\nSkating on Rideau Canal\nPrice: Free\nWhen: Weather permitting \nAddress: Downtown Ottawa, ON\nWhy You Need To Go: The infamous canal is a winter staple that's sure to put you in a festive mood.\n View this post on Instagram This weekend will be the first truly frigid one we’ve had all winter in Toronto! ❄️ . With temperatures reaching -20C, and special weather statement warnings, I think it’s safe to say I’ll be having a cozy weekend indoors 😅 . Fire up the Netflix and put on the hot cocoa, Lily’s hibernating 🐻 . Anybody have any exciting plans taking them outside the house this weekend? 😆 A post shared by LILY ✈ TRAVEL (@lilyslensonlife) on Jan 18, 2019 at 3:52pm PST\n\nWebsite\n\n\nExplore Sir John A. Macdonald Winter Trail\nPrice: Free\nAddress: Ottawa River Pathway, Ottawa, ON\nWhy You Need To Go: You can bust out all of the festive winter activities on this gorgeous trail. From skiing to snow biking and more.\n View this post on Instagram sunday on the SJAM ⛷ || #sjamwintertrail || #myottawa A post shared by @ alecsuriyuth on Feb 4, 2018 at 4:55pm PST\n\nWebsite\n\n\nTobogganing at Greens Creek\nPrice: Free\nAddress: East end of Ottawa, ON\nWhy You Need To Go: Nothing says holiday vacation like spending the day zooming down epic toboggan hills like the one at Greens Creek.\n View this post on Instagram conquerors of bogg hill 👑 A post shared by Edrie (@edrie) on Feb 3, 2018 at 2:51pm PST\n\nWebsite\n\n\nEscape The Cold at the Museum of Nature\nPrice: Free\nWhen: Thursdays from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m.\nAddress:240 McLeod St., Ottawa, ON\nWhy You Need To Go: During those extra cold winter nights, you can pop into the museum and stand under the moon.\n View this post on Instagram nature nocturne last night 🦉🦋🎆 A post shared by Chelsea Robert (@chelsearobert__) on Nov 30, 2019 at 7:18pm PST\n\nWebsite\n\n\nChristmas Classics At Cineplex \nPrice: Free\nWhen: December 7 from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m.\nAddress: Scotiabank Theatre Ottawa & Cineplex Cinemas Ottawa, ON\nWhy You Need To Go: You can take in one of your favourite holiday classics for free this season. From Elf to National Lampoons Christmas Vacation and more indulge yourself in festive nostalgia.\n View this post on Instagram 🎥 G I V E A W A Y 🍿 Breaking News- anyone can feel pretty! You don’t need a concussion to reset the way you think about yourself. I know self-confidence doesn’t come easy to everyone, but girl- you gotta love yourself first or no one will!! What do you do to feel pretty? Personally, I like to wear flattering clothes, do my hair and makeup and invest in accessories like purses and shoes. It may sound vain, but when you like the outside, it can help the inside shine through. 📸 @rothbauerphoto Want to go see the first screening of ‘I feel pretty’ on Monday April 16 at 7pm at Scotiabank Theatre? I’m giving away 2 tickets 🎟🎟. To enter like this pic and tag a bestie that wants to see the movie! Contest ends on Friday April 13! I Feel Pretty will be officially in theatres on April 20. . . #feelpretty #ifeelpretty #amyschumer #eone #cineplex #theatrefashion #movietheatre #movietheatrefashion #selfconfidence #psblogger #fashioninspo #styleblogger #whatiwore #myootd #lookoftheday #outfitoftheday #currentlywearing #outfitinspo #outfittoday #lookbooker #instafashion #personalstyle #fblogger #blendwithtrend #americanstyle #bloggervibes #la #hollywood A post shared by Fashion • Ottawa • Blogger (@chantsy) on Apr 9, 2018 at 7:10am PDT\n\nWebsite\n\n\nBrowse the Ottawa Christmas Market\nPrice: Free entry\nWhen: Now until December 22\nAddress: 1015 Bank St., Ottawa, ON\nWhy You Need To Go: You certainly don't need to buy anything to have some festive fun at Ottawa's incredible outdoor Christmas Market. Take in the lights and sounds and get all of the festive photos with your besties. \n View this post on Instagram 2 days in & december has been tree-mendous🎄 A post shared by kash (@ksnesbitt) on Dec 2, 2019 at 4:14pm PST\n\nWebsite\n\n\nWindow Shopping at Tinsel Town Emporium \nPrice: Free\nWhen: Weekdays from 10 a.m., Saturdays 9 a.m. to 7 p.m., Sundays 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.\nAddress: 1096 Somerset St. W., Ottawa, ON\nWhy You Need To Go: If you're obsessed with all things Christmas, then window shopping at this magical emporium is a must. \n View this post on Instagram Its finally Christmas Eve❣ Wishing you all happy holidays✨ A post shared by Julie Aubin (@amethystdesigns_) on Dec 24, 2018 at 6:43pm PST\n\nWebsite\n\n\nDrive Down Taffy Lane\nPrice: Free\nWhen: Throughout December\nAddress: Taffy Lane, Orleans, ON\nWhy You Need To Go: The residents of Taffy Lane are known for their spectacular holiday light displays. You can walk or drive around to take in all of the festive views.\n View this post on Instagram Christmas vibes ❄️💙 A post shared by Kristina Stegnjaić (@jazzage5) on Dec 24, 2018 at 2:03pm PST\n\nWebsite\n\n\nSoak Up The Views at Nepean Point\nPrice: Free\nAddress: Behind The National Gallery of Canada, 380 Sussex Dr., Ottawa, ON\nWhy You Need To Go: The views from here simply can't be beaten. Especially in the winter when the snowfall makes the parliament buildings look like a snowy castle.\n View this post on Instagram At the beginning of the year i said that i will dedicate a large portion of this year on overcoming my fears. It takes courage but it is not impossible to change. My long time fear was to travel solo. As simple as it is, won’t try- won’t know! Next on the list would be a fear of regret resulting in taking no action. To stop questioning what if , what if, what if, what if? Just do it! It’s better to try and fail than regret of never taking a chance. Stop imagining of gazillion excuses on why not to... it’s the same fear, just much broader. Several tragic deaths in last couple of years of the young people i knew shook me quite a bit. Life is a fragile thing! It can end at any moment. Not to sound negative or depressing, I realized that one day when death visits me too I don’t want to regret anything. Or in general to have lived a life and at the end of it say that i wish i did do all those things and took all these chances but didn’t ! So, will see how far this journey will take me, a journey of life full of chances, growth, dreaming and achieving. Every moment is a choice! Here ya go, philosophical Friday morning ya all! 😜 #life #journey #chance #choice #grow #change #achieve #nomore #regret #fear #thoughts #trip #inside #whynot #whatif #solo #work #motivation #tragedy #chinup #thinkpositive #letgo #letsgo #smile #strength #character #outofcomfortzone #pushit A post shared by 𝗚𝗶𝘁𝗮 𝗚'𝗔𝗹𝗮𝗱𝗮 (@gita_galada) on Mar 22, 2019 at 5:08am PDT\n\nWebsite\n\n\nSkating at Sens Rink of Dreams\nPrice: Free\nWhen: Daily from 6 a.m. to 11 p.m.\nAddress: 110 Laurier Ave. W., Ottawa, ON\nWhy You Need To Go: If the canal is a little too much for you, you can enjoy smaller-scale skating at the charming Sens Rink of Dreams. They even have colourful lights in the evening. \n View this post on Instagram Comment “WINTER WONDERLAND” letter by letter❄️ You can also spam me with this emoji ➙ ⛸ • The first 5 people to comment what I’ve posted above will get a follow back and I will spam your Insta with lots of love. But remember to comment slowly, or else Instagram will block you from commenting for a few minutes. ♥️ • Good afternoon/evening my loves! I hope you all are having such an incredible weekend so far. What have you all been up to? I’ve honestly been so fricken lazy, I’ve been playing tons and tons of @fortnite, I’m truly obsessed with the game. I will however be going live on @younow tonight at 7:00pm est so I hope you will be able to make it! I honestly love spending time with you all. The link is in my bio if you would like to click that “fan” button and turn on those notifications so you know every time I go live! I’m trying to get back into it, daily broadcasts for an hour or two hours a day would be ideal. It’s been a rough couple weeks for me, but I’m trying for you guys because you truly mean so much to me! 🥰 • AH GUYS! Renovations start in 2 days, I truly can’t wait for our bathroom to be completely renovated. It’s going to be so fricken nice to be able to actually take baths and it’s going to look absolutely beautiful. The guy we hired to do it does amazing work so I cannot wait! You guys will definitely be seeing pictures of me in the bath, nothing sexual of course 😉 Haha but cute bubble bath pictures for sure 🤭 • I fricken love you guys. Do I ever tell you that? Hehe. Of course I do. I just want to continue to tell you that because I never want you guys to think I don’t. I’m so forever grateful for each and every one of you. Truly, the amount of love and support you guys show me blows my mind. It means the world to me. Thank you. I’m so blessed to have each and everyone one of you in my life. I love you guys! I hope you have an incredible rest of your day! 😍 • Be you, never change. Love Your Girl Mel 💋 • #ottawa #sensrinkofdreams #ice #skating #rink #outdoors #beautiful #ootd #roots #aritzia #tna #skates #loveyourmelon #beanie #blue #publicfigure #influencer #likeforlikes #likeforfollow #likeforlikeback #likeforlike 💛 A post shared by IT’S YOUR GIRL MEL 🖤 (@yourgirlmellyy) on Jan 26, 2019 at 12:59pm PST\n\nWebsite\n\n\nWander Through Experimental Farm\nPrice: Free\nAddress: 960 Carling Ave., Ottawa, ON\nWhy You Need To Go: The farm is beautiful any time of year, but it transforms into a true magical winter wonderland with a little snow.\n View this post on Instagram Sometimes you postpone a session due to rain and it ends up being a beautiful sunny day when you reschedule. Other times it ends up being ever gloomier than the original date. And then there are times when the season changes overnight and you end up with a winter session instead of a Fall one - where it is cold but beautiful to look at! That last scenario is what happened with Jennifer + Steve's engagement session. The day was cold (although, let's be honest, it is going to get so much colder here in Ottawa), but that sky was simply magnificient!! Thanks for bearing the cold winds Jenn + Steve, and even more so for being so awesome to spend the afternoon with!!⠀ .⠀ .⠀ .⠀ #sbeachphoto #stephaniebeachphotography #sbbride #sbweddings #stephaniebeachbride #stephaniebeachweddings #sbcouple #stephaniebeachcouple #Ottawa #OttawaWeddingPhotographer #instalove #instabeauty #instanature #dowhatyoulove #lovewhatyoudo #findthelight #lovethelight #myhappyplace #sbengagement #stephaniebeachengagement #engaged #bridetobe #groomtobe #Ottawaengagement #shesaidyes #engagedinottawa A post shared by Stephanie & Dave Koning (@sbeachphoto) on Nov 8, 2019 at 8:03am PST\n\nWebsite\n\n\nWinter Hike Through Mer Bleue Bog\nPrice: Free\nWhen: Daily from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m.\nAddress: Ridge Road, Ottawa, ON\nWhy You Need To Go: This enchanting wintry forest feels like a real-life fairytale, complete with birds who will eat right out of your hands. \n View this post on Instagram Wherever you go, I go. 😍 A post shared by Mada Adnan (@madnan.8) on Feb 6, 2019 at 3:43am PST\n\nWebsite\n\n\nChristmas Carols At Sunset\nPrice: Free\nWhen: Sunday, December 8 from 5 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.\nAddress: Watson's Mill, 5525 Dickinson St., Manotick, ON\nWhy You Need To Go: You can head out to the adorable Watson's Mill and listen to charming live Christmas carols to get you in the spirit.\n View this post on Instagram When you decide to do a #project52 but it's - 30C outside... 😑 At least it's pretty #nikonD3200 #ottawalife #watsonsmill #socold A post shared by Katie Badali (@king.chiss) on Jan 6, 2018 at 8:13pm PST\n\nWebsite\n\n\nShare A #WhereHolidaySpiritLives Selfie To Win\nPrice: Free\nWhen: Until December 18\nAddress: Various locations, Ottawa, ON\nWhy You Need To Go: Just by sharing a festive photo of yourself at one of three locations in the city, you could win one of three $500 Rideau Centre gift cards. To find exact rules and locations be sure to check the website.\n View this post on Instagram Already so Christmasy 🎄 Christmas is close and new year is next. This feeling is good, it gives you chills about what’s gonna happen in 2020 and still makes you happy. Although there will be new beginnings, new resolutions, new goals, new dreams to catch-up with and whole new moments. I am scared and excited at the same time. #christmasvibes #winterstyle #excited #newyear #2020 A post shared by Iffat Khan (@iffie_me) on Nov 23, 2019 at 4:24pm PST\n\nWebsite\n\n\nHoliday Tunes at CF Rideau Centre \nPrice: Free\nWhen: Thursdays from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. until December 19\nAddress: Nordstrom court, CF Rideau Centre, 50 Rideau St., Ottawa, ON\nWhy You Need To Go: You can enjoy a live free festive DJ performance every Thursday to get you feeling holly and jolly.\n View this post on Instagram Here is the Christmas tree A post shared by Jinbo Liu (@victorliu_victory) on Nov 14, 2019 at 3:16pm PST\n\nWebsite\n\n\nContribute to the Wishing Wall\nPrice: Free\nWhen: Until January 2 from 6 a.m. to 12 a.m.\nAddress: National Arts Centre, 1 Elgin St., Ottawa, ON\nWhy You Need To Go: If you have a special holiday wish, why not write it down and add it to the wishing wall? The paper is embedded with seeds and in the spring, all of your wishes will be planted so they can grow into beautiful gardens around the National Arts Centre. \n\n \n \n \n \n \n Downtown Rideau BIA\n \n \n \nWebsite\n\n\nThere are stories everywhere. If you spot a newsworthy event in your city, send us a message, photo, or video @NarcityCanada on Twitter and Instagram.