Awesome Activities to Spice Up Your Thanksgiving in Ottawa

Awesome Activities to Spice Up Your Thanksgiving in Ottawa

When you hear the word ‘Thanksgiving,’ what are the first things that come to your mind? 

Is it the celebratory dinner and the delicious turkey and food that’s been prepared? The brown foliage that surrounds the city?

Or is it something else? Regardless, this occasion is a special one for all of us, and we should use it as an opportunity to relax and enjoy the company of our loved ones.

Now, if you’re looking for ways to make your Thanksgiving even more exciting, I have a few suggestions that you should consider. This will liven up your celebration so it doesn’t stop at just a celebratory dinner.  

Let’s dive in! 

Go on a fall foliage tour. 

Go on a fall foliage tour

A fall foliage tour in Ottawa during Thanksgiving is like stepping into a vibrant, living painting. 

First and foremost, it’s all about the breathtaking colors. Ottawa’s foliage during the fall season is simply mesmerizing. 

The maples, oaks, and birches burst into a symphony of red, orange, and gold, transforming our city into a natural wonderland. It’s as if Mother Nature herself is putting on a spectacular show just for us.

Thanksgiving falls right in the heart of this visual feast. The leaves have reached their peak brilliance, creating a vivid tapestry that’s a delight to behold. 

You can plan a scenic drive through Gatineau Park, just across the river, or take a leisurely stroll along the Rideau Canal

It’s an experience that engages all your senses—crisp autumn air, the satisfying crunch of fallen leaves beneath your feet, and the aroma of earthy forests.

Now, the weather—usually, it’s that sweet spot between the lingering warmth of summer and the impending chill of winter. 

It’s perfect for layering up in cozy sweaters and scarves, sipping on hot apple cider, and taking in the natural beauty around you. It’s an invigorating experience that makes you feel alive and grateful.

And speaking of gratitude, there’s something profoundly calming about being surrounded by nature during Thanksgiving. It’s a time when we reflect on our blessings and the simple joys of life. 

The tranquility of the woods or the serenity of a lakeside view in Ottawa’s Greenbelt areas allows you to connect with the essence of the holiday.

Here’s a tip from a local: consider packing a picnic basket filled with local delights—artisan cheeses, freshly baked bread, and perhaps some butter tarts for that sweet touch. 

Find a scenic spot to enjoy your meal amid the fall splendor. It’s a quintessential Ottawa experience that combines culinary delight with natural beauty.

Visit some of Ottawa’s pumpkin patches.

Visit some of Ottawa’s pumpkin patches

Visiting pumpkin patches in Ottawa during Thanksgiving is a quintessential autumn experience that’s close to my heart. 

Ottawa’s pumpkin patches come alive with the sights, sounds, and scents of fall. As you approach one, you’ll likely be greeted by rows upon rows of pumpkins of all shapes, sizes, and colors. 

The vibrant orange hues against the backdrop of the changing leaves create a picture-perfect scene that’s Instagram-worthy, to say the least.

Now, the act of choosing your own pumpkin is a tradition that transcends generations. Children and adults will be brought together and feel a sense of excitement. 

You get to wander through the fields, exploring the nooks and crannies to discover the one that speaks to you.

Now that I’ve mentioned Jack-o’-lanterns, I think it’s the perfect time to talk about pumpkin carving. This is another cherished aspect of this experience that we adore so much. 

Families and friends often gather to turn their chosen pumpkins into works of art. It’s a creative and hands-on activity that adds a personal touch to your Thanksgiving decorations. 

And let’s not forget the seeds—you can roast them for a tasty and nutritious snack while you carve.

But the fun doesn’t stop there. Many pumpkin patches in Ottawa offer a range of family-friendly activities, from corn mazes and petting zoos to wagon rides and apple picking. 

It’s an opportunity to enjoy quality time with loved ones and create lasting memories, which is what Thanksgiving is all about.

The local farm stands at these patches also feature a bounty of fresh, seasonal produce. You can stock up on apples, gourds, and other fall goodies to incorporate into your Thanksgiving feast. 

It’s a chance to support local farmers and infuse your holiday meal with a taste of Ottawa’s agricultural heritage.

Lastly, visiting pumpkin patches in Ottawa during Thanksgiving is a way to embrace the spirit of the season. The crisp autumn air, the rustling leaves, and the earthy scent of the fields all contribute to a sense of gratitude and connection with nature. 

It’s a simple yet profound way to celebrate the harvest and the blessings of the year.

Tour the Canadian Museum of History. 

Tour the Canadian Museum of History

Taking a walk at the Canadian Museum of History in Ottawa on Thanksgiving is a great way to celebrate our country’s history and the spirit of gratitude.

Along the banks of the Ottawa River, the museum is a beautiful piece of architecture. Its form is eye-catching, and the views of Parliament Hill and the Gatineau Hills from the top are breathtaking. 

As you get closer, you can’t help but be amazed by how beautiful the area is, especially in the fall when the leaves turn bright colors and cover the ground.

Inside the museum is a great trove of history and culture from Canada. From the Indigenous Peoples Hall, you’ll go on a journey through Canada’s rich and varied history and learn more about the First Nations and their culture.

Now, why is this a great activity for Thanksgiving? Well, it’s a time to think about the history we all share as Canadians and to enjoy the many cultures that have made our country what it is today. 

Thanksgiving isn’t just about a big meal; it’s also a time to remember where we came from and what we value, such as variety, acceptance, and respect for everyone.

The exhibits at the museum also explain the past of the holiday in Canada. You’ll learn where this occasion came from and how it has changed over time. 

It’s interesting to see how different parts of the country have their own special ways to celebrate and say “thank you.”

Also, during Thanksgiving, the Canadian Museum of History often has unique exhibits and events. These can be anything from guest lectures and performances to culture festivals and workshops. 

It’s a chance to get involved in the arts and culture of the area, which will make your trip more interesting.

Attend a Thanksgiving-themed workshop. 

Attend a Thanksgiving-themed workshop

Thanksgiving workshops in Ottawa are a great way to add creativity to your holiday, learn something new, and spend time with family and friends. 

It doesn’t matter if it’s making decorations, learning how to carve a pumpkin, or finding out how to make a delicious meal. All of these classes give you a chance to express yourself and learn new skills.

Workshops in the capital often help people who like to decorate make beautiful centerpieces, table settings, and fall wreaths. 

It’s pretty fun to imagine yourself setting up the Thanksgiving table with hand-made items that show off the beauty of the season, right? Not only that, but this also gives you an opportunity to add a personalized touch to the decor. 

Now, let’s talk about the cooking classes next. Because Ottawa’s food scene is so varied, you can find classes that suit different tastes and skill levels. 

It makes the classes perfect for both beginners and more advanced cooks thanks to the hands-on experience that will be gained from here.

Many of these events are put on by local artists and cooks who love the holiday and want to share what they know with others. Their knowledge makes the experience more personal and lets you learn more about the local culture and food scene.

Lastly, Thanksgiving classes are a great way to show how thankful you are. Learning new skills or making beautiful crafts is a great way to get into the holiday mood of being thankful. 

You’ll walk away from these workshops not only with new information but also with a sense of success and a better understanding of the season.

Organize a game night with your family. 

Organize a game night with your family

Thanksgiving is a time to express gratitude for the blessings in our lives, and what better way to do that than by spending quality time with family?

Ottawa’s chilly November weather often encourages us to cozy up indoors, making it the perfect setting for a game night by the fireplace or under a warm blanket.

Now, let’s talk about the games. Ottawa is a city that embraces its diverse cultural heritage, and that’s reflected in the games we enjoy on Thanksgiving. 

Board games, card games, and even cultural games from around the world are all part of the fun. Whether it’s a competitive round of Monopoly, a strategic game of Settlers of Catan, or a lively game of charades, there’s something for everyone to enjoy.

What truly makes game night special is the laughter and camaraderie it fosters. As you roll the dice, draw cards, or engage in friendly banter, you’re not only having fun but also strengthening the bonds with your loved ones. 

It’s a time when generations come together, from grandparents to grandchildren, sharing stories and jokes, and creating lasting memories.

Speaking of gratitude, games often provide an opportunity for reflection and appreciation. 

Before starting, it’s common for families in Ottawa to go around the table and share what they’re thankful for. This heartfelt tradition sets a positive tone for the evening, reminding us of the importance of gratitude and family values.

Don’t forget the snacks! Ottawa locals know how to whip up some delicious treats to accompany their game nights. 

Poutine, butter tarts, Nanaimo bars, and maple syrup-infused desserts are common game night fare. They are treats that keep everyone satisfied and energized. 

Lastly, game night is a flexible activity that can accommodate all ages and preferences. It’s a time when everyone can feel included and engaged, from the youngest family members to the most seasoned gamers. 

Plus, it’s an excellent way to unwind after a hearty Thanksgiving dinner and avoid the temptation to slip into a post-feast food coma.

Give back to the city. 

Give back to the city

I believe that charity and giving back to the city are at the heart of Thanksgiving in Ottawa, and let me tell you, it’s an incredibly important and fulfilling way to spend the holiday.

This season is a time when the strong sense of community in the capital city shines brightly. Giving back to those in need is a way to show our appreciation for the good things in our lives while also helping those who may not be as lucky. 

Residents of Ottawa are very proud to help local groups and projects that try to improve the lives of other people.

During Thanksgiving, a lot of people in Ottawa give up their time to serve food or help others in need get things they need. 

It’s a heartwarming experience that tells us how important it is to be kind and caring, which are at the heart of the holiday spirit.

Food drives and efforts to get people to give money are also big parts of Thanksgiving in Ottawa. Local businesses and groups often have drives to collect non-perishable food items, warm clothes, and hygiene products for people who are struggling. 

It gives people and families a real way to help their neighborhood and make a difference in the lives of others.

Also, because Ottawa has a lot of different cultures, there are often charity drives and fundraisers during Thanksgiving. Some of these events may include cultural performances, art shows, or culinary experiences.

The money raised from these activities will go to good causes. It’s a chance to show how diverse our city is and raise money for important projects at the same time.

One nice thing that happens every year in Ottawa is that local charities and churches give Thanksgiving food to people who might not have a home-cooked meal or a place to celebrate. 

Volunteers work together to make sure that everyone can feel the sense of togetherness and thanks that comes with the holidays.