12 Great family fun events

The Nutcracker: A Canadian Tradition

When: December 12, 13, 7 p.m. and December 13 at 1:30 p.m. at Shenkman Arts Centre; December 15 at 1 p.m. and 4:30 p.m. at Meridian Theatres at Centrepointe

Where: Shenkman Arts Centre, 245 Centrum Blvd.; Meridian Theatres @ Centrepointe, 101 Centrepointe Dr.

What: Canada’s Ballet Jörgen will bring its critically praised holiday production The Nutcracker: A Canadian Tradition to Ottawa for a total of five performances. Choreographed by Artistic Director Bengt Jörgen, the ballet features dramatic 30-foot backdrops based on landscapes by famous 20th-century Canadian artists including Tom Thompson and Franklin Carmichael. The production includes snowflakes, lumberjacks, loons, and Mounties. Local dance students dance the roles of squirrels, frogs, chipmunks after rehearsing for the past two months with the company’s professional dancers.

Website: shenkmanarts.ca and meridiancentrepointe.com


Christmas Lights Across Canada

When: Now through January 7

Where: Parliament Hill

What: The 34th edition of Christmas Lights Across Canada will kick off with an official illumination ceremony on December 5. Every night from December 6 to January 7, enjoy the Magical Winter Lightscapes multimedia show projected on the Parliament Hill buildings. People of all ages will get into the holiday spirit as hundreds of thousands of dazzling lights shine in Canada’s Capital Region and across the country. On December 31, the multimedia show will run until 11:59 p.m. At midnight, a short pyrotechnics display will ring in the New Year.

Website: https://www.canada.ca/en/canadian-heritage/campaigns/christmas-lights.html


The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe

When: December 13, 14, 15 at 7 p.m.; December 14 at 12 p.m. and December 15, 16, 2 p.m.

Where: Shenkman Arts Centre

What: 9th Hour Theatre Company brings back the deep magic of Narnia to the Ottawa stage with the beloved characters and timeless story by C.S. Lewis. Rediscover the magic of Narnia through the magic of theatre with this classic tale of good and evil, talking animals, the bravery of children, and a sacrifice of love.

Website: shenkmanarts.ca


Christmas Concert

When: December 15, 1:30 p.m.

Where: National Gallery of Canada, 380 Sussex Dr.

What: Experience a Winter Wonderland as the National Capital Concert Band paints a musical canvas of Christmas and holiday tunes, conducted by Maestro Rocco Romeo. Founded in 1996, the NCCB is renowned as one of the area’s premiere ensembles. The concert is free with admission to the gallery.

Website: http://www.gallery.ca/


Butterflies in Flight

When: Now through April 22

Where: Canadian Museum of Nature, 240 McLeod St.

What: They’re back! If you missed it the first time, don’t worry – Butterflies in Flight, a colourful exhibition of live, tropical butterflies, has returned after delighting more than 50,000 visitors when first presented last winter at the museum. Back by popular demand, and the public will have another chance to get up close with these delicate, winged wonders. At any given time, there will be about two dozen different species to admire. The climate in this oasis is humid, with the temperature kept generally around 26 degrees Celsius to keep these tropical beauties thriving.

Website: nature.ca 


The Music of Star Wars

When: December 21 and 22, 7:30 p.m.; December 23, 2:30 p.m.

Where: Meridian Theatres @ Centrepointe

What: Ottawa Pops Orchestra channels the Force to bring you three epic evenings filled with the music of Star Wars. Join us as OPO celebrates the musical legacy of John Williams and his contributions to one of the most enduring film franchises of all time with a program that will excite new and old fans alike. This program suitable for all ages, and families with young children are encouraged to attend.

Website: meridiancentrepointe.com


Cheerfully Made Saves Christmas Holiday Craft Market

When: December 22, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Where: Bell Sensplex, 1565 Maplegrove Rd.

What: Can’t stand the thought of hitting the mall on the busiest shopping weekend of the year? Check out the craft market, where 150 of the area’s best hand-makers are poised to help you complete your shopping list with quality handmade goods. Admission is $5 and kids under 16 are free.

Website: http://markets.cheerfullymade.com/


Madagascar: A Musical Adventure TYA

When: December 27, 1 p.m. and 4 p.m.; December 28, 4 p.m. and 7 p.m.; December 29, 1 p.m. and 4 p.m. and December 30 at 1 p.m.

Where: Ron Maslin Playhouse, 1 Ron Maslin Way

What: The Kanata Theatre presents Madagascar: A Musical Adventure, which is based on the Dreamworks animation motion picture. Directed by Diane Cote, the show features Alex the Lion, Marty the Zebra, Melman the Giraffe, Gloria the hip hip Hippo and, of course, those hilarious, plotting penguins as they bound onto your stage in the musical adventure of a lifetime. Madagascar – A Musical Adventure follows all of your favourite characters as they escape from their home in New York’s Central Park Zoo and find themselves on an unexpected journey to the madcap world of King Julien’s Madagascar.

Website: Kanatatheatre.com


Hogman-Eh! New Year’s Eve

When: December 31

Where: Aberdeen Pavilion, Lansdowne Park, 1000 Exhibition Way

What: This free family-friendly New Year’s Eve celebration is expected to draw thousands of people. The event features Scottish music, dancing and entertainment, children’s activities, a Scottish New Year countdown (7 p.m. in Ottawa) for the kids, and a singing of Auld Land Syne and fireworks at midnight.


Richmond Road Races 2019

When: January 13, 10 a.m.

Where: South Carleton High School, 3673 McBean St.

What: Run fast or freeze! Run Ottawa kicks off 2019 with the 37th edition of the Richmond Road Races, presented by Bushtukah. Distances include 5K and 10K and all ages are welcomed.

Website: https://www.runottawa.ca/races-and-events/richmond-road-races


Beauty and the Beast

When: February 1, 7:30 p.m.; February 2, 1:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.; February 3, 1:30 p.m.; February 8, 7:30 p.m.; February 9, 1:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.; and February 10, 1:30 p.m.

Where: Meridian Theatres @ Centrepointe.

What: It’s a tale as old as time that needs no introduction – presented by Ain’t Seen Noth’n Yet (ASNY) Productions, the Disney’s Broadway musical Beauty and the Beast arrives in Ottawa early next year.

Website: meridiancentrepointe.com


Family Sundays

When: Select Sundays

Where: National Gallery of Canada

What: At each Family Sunday, kids ages 0 to 12 and their adults can experience the national collection through a different theme. Upcoming events in 2019 include Tales from Near and Far. Join in a workshop to learn how movement can be read, listen to live storytelling in the gallery spaces and then use all that inspiration to create your puppet story world. Included with admission to the Gallery.

Website: www.gallery.ca/whats-on/for-kids-and-families/family-sundays