12 Great family fun events

The Casino Lac-Leamy Sound of Light

When: Wednesdays and Saturdays, August 10 through 24

Where: Canadian Museum of History, 100 Laurier St., Gatineau

What: With a mission of encouraging cultural discoveries through a varied and international artistic program, the Sound of Light is an annual international fireworks competition that will satisfy the senses. Fireworks designers from countries including Chile, Italy, Greece and France create amazing displays that light up the Ottawa-Gatineau sky during five nights filled with lights, music and entertainment.

Website: https://feux.qc.ca/en/


Changing of the Guard

When: 10 a.m. daily through August 24

Where: Parliament Hill

What: See a Canadian tradition at its most colourful! The Ceremonial Guard brings stirring military drills and music to Parliament Hill. The Changing of the Guard ceremony is also educational – arrive early at Parliament Hill (9:45 a.m.) to get a good spot and to learn about the symbolism, history and proceedings of this free ceremony. The parade begins at the Cartier Square Drill Hall. At approximately 9:45 a.m., the parade marches from the Cartier Square Drill Hall to the east lawn where they await the arrival of the New Guard. The New Guard arrives on Parliament Hill precisely at 10 a.m. as the band begins to play the 10 Provinces March.

Website: https://visit.parl.ca/sites/Visit/default/en_CA/#include_html


Capital Fair

When: August 16 through 25

Where: Rideau Carleton Raceway, 4837 Albion Rd., Ottawa

What: Featuring a monster truck show and demolition derby, Medieval days, street dance battle and new for 2019, the National Capital Highland Games, the Capital Fair has been synonymous with summer for many people since 1975. There will also be a midway, agricultural pavilion, a critter zoo, stunt dogs, daily magic shows, stage shows and talent shows – something for kids of all ages!

Website: www.capitalfair.ca


Capital Pride Festival

When: August 18 through 25

Where: Various locations around Ottawa

What: Ottawa’s most inclusive (and colourful!) festival is back. Tens of thousands of people will be coming from out of town to attend the local rainbow community’s events, with the big parade to be held downtown on August 25. There will be activities for all kinds of families and people of all ages. Check the website for a full list of events, times and dates.

Website: capitalpride.ca


Yoga on Parliament Hill

When: Wednesdays from noon to 1 p.m. through August 28

Where: Parliament Hill, in front of Centre Block

What: Yoga on Parliament Hill, led by Lululemon staff, is a great way to spend a lunch hour. Re-energize yourself with this body break. Bring your own mat and water. This event is free.

Website: www.facebook.com/parliamenthillyoga


Sunday Bikedays

When: Sundays, from 6 a.m. to 1 p.m. (times dependent on location) through September 1

Where: Various locations across Ottawa and Gatineau

What: Enjoy summer Sundays cycling along car-free roads and experience the beauty of Canada’s Capital Region in a fun and environmentally friendly way. Since 1970, the NCC has hosted Sunday Bikedays, allowing cyclists to experience the Capital’s scenic parkways in Ottawa and Gatineau car-free. Today, the program provides more than 50 kilometres of parkways to hundreds of thousands of visitors, who enjoy seeing the Capital Region from a different perspective and in a fun and environmentally friendly way. The program has been replicated in cities around the globe. On Sundays, cycle, skate and run along Sir John A. Macdonald Parkway (9 km) and Sir George-Étienne Cartier Parkway (8 km) in Ottawa from 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. and Colonel By Drive (8 km) from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. In Gatineau, cyclists can do the Gatineau Parkway, Champlain Parkway and Fortune Lake Parkway.

Website: http://ncc-ccn.gc.ca/places/sunday-bikedays


Gatineau Hot Air Balloon Festival

When: August 29 through September 2

Where: Baie Park, Gatineau

What: The Gatineau Hot Air Balloon Festival returns to Baie Park in its 32nd year. Canada’s largest balloon festival features dozens of amazing hot air balloons from around the world. In addition to the balloons, this year’s features include three stages with musical entertainment, family activities (kids can explore the inside of a hot air balloon to check out how big it really is!), morning yoga, an amusement park, VIP area, a vintage and techno zone, refreshments, a classic and modified car display and a silent DJ. There will also be a chance to meet hot air balloon pilots.

Website: www.montgolfieresgatineau.com


Northern Lights: Sound and Light Show

When: Nightly through September 8. Show starts at 9:30 p.m. in August and 9 p.m. in September.

Where: Parliament Hill, in front of Centre Block

What: Key figures, events and achievements from Canadian history are brought to life in this free bilingual show. Discover the stories of Canada as told through a spectacle of giant images of Canada’s physical, historical, and cultural landscapes projected the façade of the Centre Block. Catch it before it’s gone! Pro tip: bring a blanket or chairs to sit on.

Website: https://www.canada.ca/en/canadian-heritage/campaigns/sound-light-show.html


City Folk Festival

When: September 12 through 15

Where: The Great Lawn, Lansdowne Park

What: This music, dance, storytelling and crafts festival highlights Canada’s rich traditions as an eclectic mix of performers share the spotlight and deliver a variety of shows. Performers include The Strumbellas, Robert Plant and the Sensational Space Shifters, Leon Bridges, Summersault (Our Lady Peace, Live and Bush), Lucinda Williams and Lucy Dacus and much more.

Website: https://cityfolkfestival.com/


Canada Army Run

When: September 22

Where: Begins at Ottawa City Hall

What: The Canada Army Run keeps growing and growing! This family-friendly race (strollers start at the back of the 5K) features a 5K, 10K, half-marathon, Normandy Challenge (5K followed by a 10K) and Commander’s Challenge (5K followed by a half-marathon) run which attracts military and civilian runners, walkers and spectators from around the world. From the cannon used as a starter’s pistol to the dog-tag medals soldiers place around all participants necks at the finish line, this unique event is military from start to finish. More than anything, though, Canada Army Run is about Canadians and the Canadian Armed Forces – Air Force, Army, and Navy – joining together in the spirit of camaraderie and community. It’s also an opportunity for Canadians to say thanks to the men and women who serve them in so many ways at home and abroad. Attend race kit pickup for kids’ activities!

Website: www.armyrun.ca


2019 Wiggle Waggle Walk and Run


When: September 8


Where: The Great Lawn, Lansdowne Park


What: The Ottawa Humane Society is calling all walkers, runners and animal lovers to participate in the 2019 Wiggle Waggle Walk and Run presented by Hill’s Pet Nutrition. Sign-up as an individual or gather family, friends and co-workers to create a team. The goal is to raise funds to help rehabilitate, reunite and rehome Ottawa’s animals. Participants receive a shirt and a medal.

Website: ottawahumane.ca/walkrun





When: October 19

Where: 5870 Abbott Street East, Stittsville

What: In its 10th year, 9runrun combines chance to do a timed run alongside Ottawa’s firefighters, police and paramedics with a chance to support these local heroes. The course features fall running on courses including parts of the Trans Canada Trail. Stay afterwards for the annual Chief’s Chili Cookoff and the free lunch for participants. Runners will receive T-shirts and a medal at the finish line.

Website: www.9runrun.ca