The amount of Christmas activities in Ottawa is absolutely amazing. There are activities and events being planned all over the city. Christmas activities include breakfast with Santa, special Ottawa Christmas concerts, sleigh rides, watching the most amazing Christmas light displays and so much more. Ottawa really has an event for everyone and for all ages.
Make sure to check out our complete listing of Santa Claus Parades in Ottawa and the surrounding area throughout November and December each year.
We have already told you how much we love being in Ottawa at Christmas time. One of the main reasons is that we feel that there are so many options for our family that we never run out of things to do the weeks leading up to Christmas.
Here is an extensive list of the 2017 Christmas activities in Ottawa and the surrounding area. Some dates for 2017 are not yet known and will be added as soon as we have them, so check back often!
Stanley’s Christmas Village
Stanley’s Olde Maple Lane Farm
Tickets for 2017 go on sale in November
Families pick the time they’d like to depart and are whisked away by horse drawn ride to Ottawa’s only Elf Village
It takes about an hour and a half.
Dress appropriately for the weather
Make your reservations online
Stanley’s Christmas Village
Alight at Night
Upper Canada Village
December 1 – January 6 from 5pm to 9pm
The heritage buildings are all lit up (over half a million lights), there are horse drawn wagon rides, visit the life size Gingerbread House, take a toy train ride and a lot more. There is just so much going on that we can’t list it all so please check out their website.
Upper Canada Village website
This is our new favourite Christmas event in Ottawa now. We went for the first time last year and LOVED every minute of it.
Breakfast with Santa
Various times and venues
A family friendly activity the kids are sure to enjoy! There have been a few organizations, such as the Easter Seals and Lions Club, putting these on in years past. We’re still waiting on confirmation on the whens and wheres for 2017, so stay tuned!
Carriage Rides & Holiday Choirs
Saturdays and Sundays in December
Stop by the corner of George and ByWard between 12 and 4 to listen to great local choirs who are raising funds for their organizations and creating some holiday cheer!
Free Horse Drawn Carriage Rides – Thank you to John Cundell and his family for free horse drawn carriage from 1pm to 4pm. Register early in front of the Moulin de Provence at York St and ByWard.
Christmas Adventure Park
Ian’s Christmas Tree Farm
804 Richmond Road (Beckwith)
Besides being a “cut your own Christmas Tree farm”, they also offer hayrides, free hot chocolate, Santa’s village, real reindeer, skating, tobogganing and much more.
Originals Ottawa Christmas Craft Sale
December 7-17, 2017
EY Centre, Hall 3, 4899 Uplands Drive
More than 180 talented Canadian artists showcase their work. Visit the website for more details.
Christmas Tea at the Billings Estate National Historic Site
Wed-Sunday, 10:30-4 (reflects typical hours, call ahead to confirm as they’ve not yet released the 2017 schedule)
2100 Cabot Sreet
Stop by the Estate for traditional Christmas tea and take a break from all your shopping! They will have finger sandwiches, freshly baked desserts and scones.
Free admission to the museum. Special Christmas menu will be available. Please contact them for the tea service price.
For more information about this or any other events at the Museum call 613-247-4830 or visit their website
Christmas Light Viewing
All around Ottawa
You may want to reserve an evening or two to pack the family up and drive around some of the subdivisions in your area to see all the Christmas lights on the houses & trees. It is truly amazing how much time and effort some people put into decorating the exterior of their homes! Be sure to check out Parliament, though it will be hard to miss!
Christmas Lights Across Canada
December 7 through January 7, 2018
Thousands of lights will light up downtown Ottawa & Gatineau
Ottawa Christmas Concerts & Performances
Various dates and locations
check out our listing of concerts and performances which include Christmas concerts as well.
The Mayor’s Annual Christmas Party
Dates for 2017 to be announced (typically released mid-November)
2:00 – 6:00pm
Ice skating on the Rink of Dreams, hot chocolate and horse-drawn wagon rides outside on Marion Dewar Plaza. Meet Santa and Mrs. Claus, decorate a cookie in Santa’s bakery, have your face painted, and enjoy live performances.
Admission to this sponsored event is a non-perishable food donation to the Ottawa Food Bank.
OC Transpo will offer free bus rides on all routes to and from City Hall from 1:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. to children 11 years and under when accompanied by a fare-paying adult.
Call 3-1-1 for more information
National Arts Centre
They hold various shows/musicals in the month of December
Olde Fashion Christmas in Manotick
December 2-3, 2017
Events include a Crafter’s Market, Santa Claus Parade, roasting chestnuts, pictures with Santa, horse drawn wagon rides, strolling carollers and much more.
Santa Claus Parades
All over Ottawa and the surrounding area
Check out our complete listing of Santa Claus Parades in Ottawa
Sleigh Rides Around Ottawa
All around the city
Check out our listing of sleigh rides in ottawa
Vintage Christmas Village of Lights
Cumberland Heritage Museum
Make an ornament for your own Christmas tree, decorate gingerbread men, and take a nostalgic horse-drawn wagon ride through their illuminated village. Santa Claus will also be there!
By 5 p.m. each evening, the village will sparkle with lights in the night.
We will be adding more to our Christmas Activities in Ottawa page as events come up so please check back often.
We have listed many Ottawa Christmas Activities already but if you are planning any special activities or events around Ottawa for Christmas, please contact us so we can share it with our readers.