2019/20 Winter Break Family Fun
A list of suggestions for family Christmas holidays/winter break activities and events to attend with kids in Ottawa.
December 20, 2019 – January 5, 2020
Attend a Holiday Family theatre performance
- Shen Yun – Experience a Divine Culture: Through the universal language of dance and music, Shen Yun weaves a wondrous tapestry of heavenly realms and enchanting scenes, from ancient legends of valour to modern-day heroic tales, taking you on a journey through 5,000 years of Chinese civilization. Thursday December 26, 2019 to Saturday December 28, 2019 @ National Arts Centre, 1 Elgin Street, Ottawa
- You’re a Good Man Charlie Brown: Featuring delightful songs such as ‘My New Philosophy’, ‘The Kite’, and ‘Beethoven Day’, everyone’s favourite Peanuts characters come to life in this whimsical musical that is bound to be fun for the whole family! December 27-30 2019 @ Kanata Theatre, 1 Ron Maslin Way, Kanata
- Robin Hood: Robin Hood and his band of Merry Friends take on the Evil Prince John and his Sheriff in a zany, madcap Panto filled with laughter and music that you will know and love. December 28, 2019 to January 5, 2020 @ The Gladstone Theatre – 910 Gladstone Avenue, Ottawa
Magic Show & Tell with Chris Pilsworth
Master Illusionist Chris Pilsworth will cast a flight of fancy guaranteed to captivate the audience in a spectacular demonstration of sorcery. Prepare to be amazed and delighted by the sheer originality of Chris’s masterful performance, alongside his wizarding wit in an intimate setting. Saturday, December 28, 2019 @ Holiday Inn & Suites – Kanata Ballroom, 101 Kanata Avenue, Ottawa
See Christmas Lights
Explore Ottawa all glow in twinkling Christmas lights or go on a day trip to see the best lights in Ontario!Free
- Magic of Lights through January 4th 2020 @ Wesley Clover Parks Campground, 411 Corkstown Road, Ottawa
- Christmas Lights Across Canada through January 7, 2020 @ Parliament Hill, Confederation Boulevard, Ottawa and Downtown Ottawa.
- Glow Gardens through January 4, 2020 @ EY Centre, 4899 Uplands Dr, Ottawa
- Alight at Night through Saturday, January 4, 2020 @ Upper Canada Village , 13740 County Rd. 2, Morrisburg
More fun things to do,
- Find your edge skiing and snowboarding at Calabogie resort and tallest ski mountain in Ottawa. With the longest beginner run in the province, cruising trails, terrain parks, glade runs and challenging steeps and dips.
- Or get to Camp Fortune, located about 20 minutes from downtown Ottawa/Gatineau. Night skiing is offered from December 27, 2019.
Experience the thrill of tobogganing
If there is ample snow on the ground (Weather dependent), go tobogganing. Some of the best tobogganing hills are those maintained by National Capital Commission like Bruce Pit (Nepean), and Conroy Pit.
Walter Baker Park in Kanata, Mooney’s Bay Park, Carlington Ski Hill are great venues too. Hills on Green’s Creek are lit in the evening making for a great experience.
Lace up for a twirl on the ice.
Do not miss exploring Rideau Canal Skateway, if it opens during the holidays. Last year, it opened on December 30.
Enjoy a unique skating experience on Rideau Hall’s historic skating rink, which was first installed in the time of Lord Dufferin, governor general from 1872 to 1878.
River Oak Skating Trail is another fantastic venue to skate (if it opens in time for the holidays). Skate through the 3km frozen pathway that winds through old growth apple orchards, and meadows.
Other great places (refrigerated surfaces) include:
- Sens Rink of Dreams(Marion Dewar Plaza, Ottawa City Hall, 110 Laurier Avenue West, Ottawa), daily, 6 am to 11 pm (weather permitting).
- Lansdowne Park Skating Court (1525 Princess Patricia Way) 6:00am to 11:00pm. (weather permitting)
- Ben Franklin Place Skating Rink (101 Centrepointe drive); open daily from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m
- Jim Tubman Chevrolet Sens Rink – Schedule
Go Winter Camping
Holiday Activities at Museums
- Join at the Canada Agriculture and Food Museum this holiday season and discover how animals adapt and survive during the winter through a presentation from the Ottawa Valley Wild Bird Care Centre.
- Visit Canada Science and Technology Museum and celebrate the season with fun activities, suitable for all ages. Stroll through our interactive galleries and discover an array of artifacts — from tiny to enormous — that highlight the importance of science and technology in all aspects of our lives.
- There’s fun for all ages at the Canada Aviation and Space Museum! Little ones will love to hear the colourful story of a famous Nunavik bush pilot and his last Christmas candy drop.
- Enjoy the festive lights, music and flavours by joining in seasonal events for all ages and gingerbread-themed family activities at at the Canadian Museum of History. Search for gingerbread characters hiding throughout the Museum, contribute your creative talents to our gingerbread-style village, explore our exhibitions, and take in a movie at CINE+.
Snowshoeing or cross country skiing
If there is ample snow on the ground, explore capital region on skis or on snowshoes.
Cheer Ottawa Senators on their home ice.
- vs. Philadelphia Flyers on December 21, 2019
- vs. Buffalo Sabres on December 23, 2019
- vs. New Jersey Devils on December 29, 2019
Sens Gameday Experience: Ever wondered what it takes to make it to the NHL and stay there? Find out on Sens Gameday Experience. Join your friends and family in the stands at Canadian Tire Centre as the Ottawa Senators coaching staff puts the players through their paces in an assortment of high-energy drills while providing players the chance to work on their own individual skills. – December 28, 2019
Sens Skills Competition: Sens Skills is a charitable, fun-filled, family-oriented event that features Senators players being split into two teams and competing against each other in six different skills events in support of the Ottawa Senators Foundation and the NHLPA Goals and Dreams Fund. – January 5, 2020
Sunday Fundays with Ottawa 67’s
Take the whole family to a Sunday game of Ottawa 67’s at the TD Place Arena, Family Sunday Fundays tickets get you a pop and a hot dog. Come out and meet Riley, the 67’s mascot, and enjoy in-game activities. Don’t forget your skates too – every Sunday game is followed by a skate on the very ice your hockey heroes just finished playing on.
- vs. Peterborough Petes on Sunday, December 29, 2019 | 2:00 PM
- vs. Erie Otters on Sunday, January 5, 2020 | 2:00 PM
Visit Ottawa Attractions
Holiday Hours at select Ottawa Attractions – Dec 20 to Jan 5, 2020
Hours are subject to change. Please verify before travelling.
- Tour of Senate and House of Commons: You can book online for all days (if tickets available) except December 25 & January 1.
- Canada Agriculture and Food Museum: Closed on December 25. Open on Monday, December 30 and Tuesday, December 31, 2019. Open: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m on other days.
- Canada Science and Technology Museum: Closed on December 25. Open on Tuesday, December 24, 2019 until 2:00 p.m. Open daily 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. onother days
- Canada Aviation and Space Museum: Closed on December 24 & 25. Open daily, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on other days.
- National Gallery of Canada: Closed on December 25, 2019. December 24, 2019 – 10 am to 2 pm. Open 10 am to 5 pm on other days. Thursday | 10 am to 8 pm
- Diefenbunker, Canada’s Cold War Museum: Closed on December 24, 25 & 26, January 1.December 31: 10:00 am – 2:30 pm. Other days: Monday to Friday: 10:30 am – 4:00 pm and Saturday and Sunday: 10:00 am – 4:30 pm.
- Canadian War Museum: Closed on December 25. December 24: 9:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. Other days: Monday to Wednesday: 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., Thursday: 9:30 a.m. to 8 p.m., Friday to Sunday: 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.
- Canadian Museum of Nature: Closed on December 25. Open until 2 pm on December 24. 9 am – 5 pm on other days, and until 8 pm on Thursdays.
- Children’s Museum/Canadian Museum of History: Closed on 25. December 24: 9:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. Other Days: Monday to Wednesday: 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., Thursday: 9:30 a.m. to 8 p.m., Friday to Sunday: 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.
- Bank of Canada Museum: Closed until January 1, 2020. 10:00 to 5:00 p.m. on other days.
- Royal Canadian Mint: Closed on December 25, 26, 2019 and January 1, 2020.First tour at 10:00 a.m., last tour at 4:00 p.m. December 24 & 31, 2019 – 9:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. Thursdays from 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. Fridays from 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. Saturdays & Sundays from 9:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.
Go Ghost Hunting
If you want to do some fun activities with older kids, why not try ghost hunting during Christmas. By lantern light, weave your wicked way to Carleton County Jail during Ghosts and the Gallows – Haunted Jail Tour. Explore the darker side of the festive season and hear about strange and frightening holiday traditions from around the world and gather in close as we share creepy Christmas-themed ghost stories with Haunted Walk’s Nightmare Before (and after) Christmas Tour.
See a movie at the Theatre
Enjoy a family’s evening out at the theatre, and see holiday releases.
Do you have family and friends visiting and want to take them on a sleigh ride amidst snowladen landscapes? Get to Stanley’s Olde Maple Lane Farm (2452 York’s Corners Road, Edwards) or Fallowfield Tree Farm (6100 Fallowfield Road, Stittsville)for a trip through Christmas tree forests, and maple forests.
Holly Jolly Hunt – Holiday Scavenger Hunt
Holly Jolly Hunt is a scavenger hunt done on your smartphone, that brings your entire family and friends together for holiday cheer. During the adventure you’ll be seeking out all the traditional, and even the non-traditional holiday items we all see this time of year. You’ll get points for each item you find. Through December 29, 2019 | 09:00 AM to 09:00 PM.
Bell Capital Cup
Cheer the young hockey players from Europe, U.S. and Canada at this premier tournament. December 28, 2019 to January 1, 2020.
Welcome New Year 2020
Watch a fireworks show and welcome 2020!
Visit indoor attractions & playgrounds
Take the kids to one of the indoor kids’ playgrounds and let them up have a rollicking time climbing on play structures, going down the slides, racing indoor go-karts and other fun activities.
City Recreation & Library
Take a splash this holiday season in the pools across the city. Drop-in swim programs.