2020/21 Winter Break Family Fun
A list of suggestions for family Christmas holidays/winter break activities and events to attend with kids in Ottawa.
December 18, 2020 – January 3, 2021
**Due to Ontario Lockdown, all attractions, drive-thru events and in-person dining will close. Hence, some activities mentioned below will not be available after December 25th.**
1. See Christmas Lights
Explore Ottawa all glow in twinkling Christmas lights or go on a day trip to see the best lights in Ontario!
- Magic of Lights through January 9th, 2021 @ Wesley Clover Parks Campground, 411 Corkstown Road, Ottawa
- Christmas Lights Across Canada through January 7, 2021 @ Parliament Hill, Confederation Boulevard, Ottawa and Downtown Ottawa.
- Alight All Night through January 2, 2021 @ Upper Canada Village, 13740 County Road 2, Morrisburg
- Vintage Village of Lights – Drive-Thru through December 23, 2020 @ The Cumberland Heritage Village Museum, 2940 Old Montreal Road, Ottawa
- Lights at Lansdowne through January 7, 2021 @ Casino Lac-Leamy Plaza at Lansdowne, 1015 Bank St, Ottawa
- Country Christmas Nighttime Drive-Through Experience through Thursday, December 31 @ Saunders Farm, 7893 Bleeks Road, Munster Hamlet – Richmond, Ottawa
- Enchanted Drive Thru through December 22 @ Karter’s Korner, 6336 Fallowfield Road, Ottawa
- Smiths Falls Celebration of Lights through January 7, 2021 @ Centennial Park, Smith Falls
- Gray’s Creek Holiday Sparkle through December 20 @ Gray’s Creek Marina, 18045 County Road 2, Cornwall
More fun things to do,
2. Do a Christmas Bird Count
Why not see how many winter birds you can find in Ottawa? Count the birds that visit your backyard or go on a walk to see Ontario’s winter birds.
You can also join in for official Christmas bird count walks in the Ottawa area.
3. Enjoy a Winter Walk
4. Watch The Great Conjunction
Get ready to watch an extraordinary event this holiday season. From December 12 to 28, giant planets Jupiter and Saturn will be in close proximity after centuries. On December 21 Jupiter and Saturn will only be 0.1 degrees apart. This year’s event will be the closest since 1623 and the closest observable since 1226! Don’t miss the Great Conjunction of planets Jupiter and Saturn.
5. Christmas Escape Room
Play this online escape room. Unlocked Ottawa have opened a new Christmas VIRTUAL escape room. Santa needs your help! Someone has stolen the Naughty and Nice list and we have intel that they have hidden it in the now-empty Elf Academy. We have an elf on the ground and we need you and your friends to direct them from home!
6. Obstacle Course
OCR Academy is Ottawa’s Largest and only in door obstacle course/ninja warrior facility. They are offering camps ansd other activities during Christmas Break. Advance reservations required.
7. Go Skiing
- Find your edge skiing and snowboarding at Calabogie resort and the 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.
8. 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.
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.
Oher 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
10. Go Winter Camping
11. Snowshoeing or cross country skiing
If there is ample snow on the ground, explore the capital region on skis or on snowshoes.
13. Visit Ottawa Attractions
Holiday Hours at select Ottawa Attractions – Dec 20 to Jan 3, 2021
Hours are subject to change. Please verify before travelling.
Advanced tickets required.
- Canada Agriculture and Food Museum: 9:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m., Thursday to Sunday; Closed on December 25. Open on Monday, December 28, Tuesday, December 29 and Wednesday, December 30, 2020;
- Canada Science and Technology Museum: Closed on December 25. 10 a.m. – 4 p.m., Wednesday to Sunday; Monday, December 28 and Tuesday, December 29, 2020; Museum will close at 2 p.m. on Thursday, December 24, 2020.
- Canada Aviation and Space Museum: Closed on December 24 & 25. 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Thursday to Monday (inclusive). Open on Saturday Dec. 26 to Sunday January 3 inclusively.
- National Gallery of Canada: Closed on: December 25, 2020 (Christmas Day), December 28 and 29, 2020. December 24, 2019 – 10 am to 2 pm. Open 10 am to 5 pm on other days. Thursday | 10 am to 8 pm; Friday to Saturday | 10 am to 5 pm
- Diefenbunker, Canada’s Cold War Museum: Closed on December 23, 24, 25, 26, &27, January 1: ClosedDecember 31: 10:00 am – 3:00 pmWednesday to Friday | 10:00 am – 4:00 pmSaturday and Sunday | 10:00 am – 3:00 pm
- Canadian War Museum: December 24, 2020: 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
December 25, 2020: CLOSED
December 31, 2020: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday and Tuesday: Closed
Wednesday: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Thursday: 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Friday to Sunday: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
- Canadian Museum of Nature: Closed on December 25, January 1. Open until 2 pm on December 24. Weekends: Dec. 19, 20, 26, 27 and Jan. 2, 3 | 10:30 am – 4:30 pm; Saturday and Sunday | 10 am – 4 pm; Wednesday to Friday | 10 am – 4 pm
- Children’s Museum/Canadian Museum of History: Closed
- Bank of Canada Museum: Closed
- Royal Canadian Mint: Closed
14. Sleigh Rides
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.
Enjoy online concerts and theatres during winter break.
15. Explore Canada or the World From Home
16. Welcome New Year 2021
Watch a fireworks show and welcome 2021!
(Check nearer to December 26th for 2021 NYE article).
17. Science Experiments to Do at Home with Kids
Here are a few easy fun science activities/experiments that are easy and super fun in addition to being educational.
18. City Recreation & Library
The City of Ottawa offers fitness classes, camps, and more, offering something for everyone.
Reservations are required.
Take a splash this holiday season in the pools across the city. Drop-in swim programs.