Christmas is normally known as the most wonderful time of the year, and for a good reason!
In this article, we’ll tell you exactly what amazing activities you can do to really feel just how awesome the Christmas season is in Ottawa.
1. Go down the Pathway of Lights.
It’s not really Christmas without the dazzling lights that light up every street, and that’s exactly what you’ll be getting in the Pathway of Lights.
This multimedia projection illuminates Parliament Hill with thousands of lights moving across different landmarks.
You’ll be passing through the following sites if you follow the ceremonial route:
- National War Memorial
- Rideau Canal Park
- Confederation Park
- Mackenzie Triangle
- Reconciliation: The Peacekeeping Monument
- Jacques-Cartier Park
- Garden of Provinces and Territories
- Portage Park
- Supreme Court of Canada
2. Drive through the Magic of Lights.
Ottawa is completely alight despite having one of the coldest winters, and you’ll barely feel the chill as you drive through the Magic of Lights over at Wesley Clover Parks.
You don’t even have to leave the comfort of your car as you cruise through and are treated to familiar holiday scenes and characters.
This makes it especially great for families with kids who want something different to light up their Christmas season.
The best part has to be the Mark Motors Group’s “Holiday Pit Stop,” where you can actually park your vehicle and explore this winter wonderland to your heart’s content.
Tickets will cost you around $23 – $45, depending on the kind of vehicle you’re bringing and what day you’re planning on visiting.
3. Visit Alight at Night.
If you’re a fan of historical landmarks, then you’ll definitely find this treasure tucked along Upper Canada Village in Morrisburg to be quite the treat. “Alight at Night” adds a new, Christmas-themed flavor to historic buildings.
Bundle up in your warmest outdoor outfits and bring the kids, friends, or a date along, where you’ll be surrounded by over one million bright lights in different colors.
Children 4 years old and under can get in for free, while those with a Military ID get a discounted rate of $14, and everyone else pays $15 per person. Tickets are exclusively sold online, so it’s better to get yours in advance.
4. Skate along the world’s biggest skating rink.
If you didn’t know, Ottawa is home to the world’s biggest skating rink, the Rideau Canal Skateway.
Every winter, the pristine waters turn into the longest skating adventure you can have in the world, making it a must-try to really experience an Ottawan Christmas.
The Skateway is usually available from January to early March, depending on the weather conditions, as experts must give the go signal before it can be opened up. Since it’s maintained by the city, it’s also completely free of charge.
Don’t worry if you don’t have any skates of your own, because there are a lot of skate shops around that you can rent from. Even if you get hungry or thirsty, food kiosks are also available throughout the length of the Rideau Canal.
5. Get lost at the Saunders Farm’s maze.
Enjoy Christmas like you’re in the countryside over at Saunders Farm, which features mazes, a maze observation tower, and 4 play structures.
Additionally, you can visit the Elf Squad, get warm by the bonfire, take a wagon ride, plus many photo-op chances!
Kids aren’t the only ones that can have fun because adults can check out the farm shop with its unique souvenirs and the Town Square Christmas Market. You can also try the food and drinks at the Farmers’ Table and the CiderHouse taproom.
If you haven’t gotten a Christmas tree yet, you can purchase one here, alongside fresh wreaths and boughs. There are also BeaverTails available and some escape rooms, too, if you want something more exciting during your visit to the farm.
Guests pay $22 per person for general admission to Saunders Farm. It’s a family-owned 100-acre lot located at 7893 Bleeks Rd A, Ottawa.
It opens up its “A Country Christmas at Saunders Farm” yearly, so you can always book your tickets next Christmas season to enjoy this winter wonderland.
Saunders Farm is also open during certain periods of time throughout the whole year.
6. Have a shopping spree at Ottawa’s Christmas markets.
Whether you’re a certified shopaholic or need to do some last-minute Christmas shopping, the Metcalfe Farmers’ Christmas Market is definitely a must on your itinerary.
It’s located along 2821 8th Line Rd, Metcalfe, the rural south end of Ottawa.
There you can find products from local artisans like homemade goods, preserves, fresh fruit & veggies, woodwork, handmade cloth products, and a handful of other goodies.
You’ll get quality products and also help the community just by purchasing their wares.
Check out its official website to see its upcoming dates.
7. Watch out for the Holiday Train.
The Holiday Train is 2 trains decorated with thousands of Christmas lights and travels around Canada and the US, making stops to collect donations for charity. This includes performances with each city/town it stops at.
There’s no admission fee, but all guests who’d like to watch the show are encouraged to bring even just small donations for the food banks that it supports.
So not only will you be getting a show, but you’re also helping those in need during this Christmas season.