Parenting Times rounds up some of the best family fun activities in the Ottawa area.
When: Now through February 19
Where: Various locations in Ottawa and Gatineau
What: Bundle up for a last chance to enjoy this classic winter celebration, taking place at various sites across the National Capital Region. Skate on the Rideau Canal Skateway, the world’s largest skating rink, check out the breathtaking ice sculpture competitions and slide down the huge slides at North America’s largest snow playground at Jacques Cartier Park.
The Ottawa Children’s Gala
When: February 24
Where: Infinity Convention Centre, 2901 Gibford Dr.
What: The only event of its kind in Ottawa and the surrounding area, the formal Ottawa Children’s Gala features a red carpet, a professional photographer, a classy meal, exciting entertainment and a dance. The 2018 Ottawa Children’s Gala is held in support of CHEO’s concussion clinic.
When: February 26 to March 3 at 7:30 p.m. and March 3 at 2 p.m.
Where: Richcraft Theatre, Shenkman Arts Centre, 245 Centrum Blvd.
What: Presented by the students of St. Peter Catholic High School in English only, this high-energy musical performance of various Dr. Seuss stories will be sure to entertain all ages. Tickets are $15 at the door.
Canada: Who Do We Think We Are?
When: Until March 1
Where: Library and Archives Canada, 395 Wellington St.
What: Get ready to be surprised by this exhibition that explores the different ideas about Canada and about being Canadian, looking beyond our country’s 150 years to earlier periods when figures like Samuel de Champlain were exploring the potential of the country.
SENS Rink of Dreams
When: Until March 4 (weather permitting), 6 a.m. to 11 p.m.
Where: City Hall, 110 Laurier Ave. W.
What: Enjoy free ice skating on a refrigerated ice surface seven days a week. Skate rentals and skate sharpening are available daily. Please note that the use of hockey sticks, pucks and balls are not permitted on the ice surface. Afterwards, grab a Beavertail and take a tour inside City Hall to visit the Barbara Ann Scott and Karsh-Masson galleries and the Ottawa Sports Hall of Fame. Galleries are free of charge.
Dragon Egg Hunt
When: March 1 through March 10
Where: Canadian Children’s Museum at the Canadian Museum of History, 100 Laurier St., Gatineau
What: Children ages 3 to 7 and their families can search for 12 dragon eggs — inspired by Toothless from How to Train Your Dragon — hidden throughout the museum, and earn a chocolate treat when they complete their quest. To take part in this exciting family adventure, drop by the Travel Bureau in the Children’s Museum to pick up your official dragon egg checklist. Follow the dragon’s trail to track down all of the eggs, then fly back to collect your sweet treat.
Kick It, a dance club for kids
When: March 3 and April 28, 2 p.m.
Where: Centrepointe Theatre, 101 Centrepointe Dr.
What: The Centrepointe Studio Theatre transforms into a sell-out dance club that has kids moving to the tunes no matter the weather. Kids ages four to 10 can learn the slickest steps from Centrepointe’s enthusiastic in-house street dance crew, The Flava Factory. When they need a breather, they can get creative in the Dynamix Photobooth – and take home a complimentary pic as a souvenir. Chaperones can join the kids on the dance floor or relax at the Big Kids Coffee Bar, always stocked with snacks to nibble on. Tickets are $5 and are available at the Centrepointe Theatre Box Office or by calling 613-580-2700.
When: March 27 to April 1
Where: National Arts Centre, 1 Elgin St.
What: Direct from Broadway, the world’s bestselling magic show showcases the jaw-dropping talents of seven of the most incredible illusionists on Earth. THE ILLUSIONISTS™ – LIVE FROM BROADWAY™ has shattered box office records across the globe and dazzles audiences of all ages with a powerful mix of the most outrageous and astonishing acts ever to be seen on stage.
Sugar Lumber Fest
When: March 24
Where: Lansdowne Park, 1525 Princess Patricia Way
What: The horticulture building will be transformed into a huge urban sugar shack. Reserve your seat for one of four sittings and come indulge in a non-traditional gourmet menu prepared by Rituel’s Chef Jean Philippe Menard. Savour delicious gourmet creations and enjoy maple syrup straight from the source. Each reservation also includes access to the outdoor venue, which includes a hot chocolate bar, a maple taffy bar and a lumberjack competition.
Maple Sugar Festival
When: April 3 to 8
Where: Vanier Museopark, 300 Pères Blancs Ave.
What: The Sugar Festival grows every year, drawing more than 10,000 visitors annually. Come for the pancakes and maple sugar treats, and stay for the attractions, which include performers, musicians, a bouncy castle, farm animal enclosure, crafting table, and horse-drawn carriage rides.
When: Until April 22
Where: Bank of Canada Museum, 30 Bank St.
What: Immerse yourself in the world of e-money! Explore the ways people used to pay, the ways people pay now and how people might pay in the future in this dynamic new exhibition. Watch the voyage of your dollars from purchase to deposit through various traditional and e-payment systems. Learn about a whole new kind of money as cutting-edge graphics and fun, interactive displays introduce you to the high-tech intricacies of Bitcoin and other web-based currencies. Explore more than 60 artifacts covering the way Canadians have spent their money over the course of 200 years. From trading tokens to the most recent precursors of today’s e-money, these artifacts at one time challenged our notions of acceptance much the way that Bitcoin challenges us today.
Ottawa Parent & Child
Expo – April 21 & 22
When: April 21-22, 2018
Where: Nepean Sportsplex, 1701 Woodroffe Ave. (Entrance 4)
What: Gather the kids and head to the Nepean Sportsplex for a weekend of family fun and information at Ottawa’s largest parenting show. Parents will find 125 of their favourite Ottawa exhibitors offering important parenting information, and kids will find beloved super hero characters,
Little Ray’s Reptiles, live music, and more. Kids can hug friendly mascots, discover magic, play zones, and many other activities that focus on fun, learning and being healthy and active, including fitness demonstrations, face painting, arts and crafts, a reading corner and much more.
An exciting family event where you and your children can play, learn, and explore, with free parking. Check the website regularly for more entertainment announcements to come! Tickets are available at