12 Great family fun events

Christmas Lights Across Canada

When: Now through January 5

Where: Parliament Hill

What: The 35th edition of Christmas Lights Across Canada kicked off on December 5. The program was introduced in 1985 to showcase monuments and sites along Confederation Boulevard in Canada’s Capital Region. Parliament Hill, national museums, embassies and other significant sites will be decorated with thousands of holiday lights. The program symbolically links Canadians from coast to coast to coast and offers a great way for all to get into the holiday spirit.

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


Annual Teddy Bear Toss

When: December 15, 2 to 5 p.m.

Where: TD Place, 1015 Bank St.

What: Join the Ottawa 67’s and Brickley Bear from The Brick as the Niagara Icedogs visit the capital for the annual Teddy Bear Toss. Bring a new bear for charity and when we score our first goal, launch that bear towards the ice. The spectacle of thousands of bears flying through the air makes for a great photo, so get those cameras ready! Tickets are $30 and include a bottomless pop and a hot dog.

Website:  tdplace.ca


Magic of Lights Ottawa

When: Nightly through January 4 including holidays, from 5 to 10 p.m.

Where: Wesley Clover Parks Campground, 411 Corkstown Road

What: Magic of Lights is a dazzling “drive through” experience featuring over a million lights and hundreds holiday-themed displays. View the spectacular light displays and animations from the comfort of your own vehicle! This magical tour includes fan favourite light displays such as the “Enchanting Tunnel of Lights”, “Snowflake Forest”, “Reindeer Crossing” and “Candy Cane Lane”, a 200-foot animated Candy Cane celebration. Magic of Lights Ottawa has donated more than $100,000 to the Ottawa Senators Foundation over the last three years.

Website: https://wesleycloverparks.com/events/magic-of-lights-ottawa/


Christmas Glow

When: Through January 4

Where: 4899 Uplands Dr.

What: Stroll and play under the twinkle of a million lights. Christmas Glow is completely indoors so you can delight in everything you love about the holiday season, without the worry of chilling winds or soggy mittens. Stay toasty as you stroll through the light gardens and interactive features, or kick back and enjoy live music, food and drink.

Website: glowgardens.com


Hogman-Eh! New Year’s Eve

When: December 31

Where: Aberdeen Pavilion, Lansdowne Park, 1525 Princess Patricia Way

What: This 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 and a singing of Auld Land Syne.

Website: https://www.facebook.com/events/2216529975117866/


Resolution Run

When: December 31, 6:45 p.m.

Where: Lansdowne Park, 1000 Exhibition Way

What: The entire family can start the New Year off on the right foot (heh) with a 10K, 5K and for the very first time, a 1K kids run. This event includes post-event refreshments, Resolution Run jackets for adults and medals for the kids.

Website: https://www.resolutionrun.ca/


Artissimo – Monster Marionettes

When: January 5, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Where: National Gallery of Canada, 380 Sussex Dr., Fred & Elizabeth Fountain Garden Court

What: Discover enchanted and magical creatures in the exhibition Beautiful Monsters, then invent your own at Artissimo!  The activity is suited for children ages three and up, and parents must remain with all children. The activity is included with gallery admission.

Website: https://www.gallery.ca/whats-on/calendar/artissimo-monster-marionettes-16


Richmond Road Races 2019

When: January 12. 10K starts at 10 a.m.; 5K starts at 10:10 a.m.

Where: South Carleton High School, 3673 McBean St.

What: Run fast or freeze! The 38th edition of the Richmond Road Races, presented by Bushtukah, includes 5K and 10K distances. All ages are welcomed. The event features medals, toques, a friendly, warm atmosphere and a post-race social, featuring awards, draw prizes and a lunch with all the fixings, and a beer from Kichesippi for the adults.

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


Family Sundays

When: Select Sundays

Where: National Gallery of Canada

What: Get into the holiday swing with the National Gallery of Canada. At each Family Sunday, kids up to age 12 can experience the national collection through a different theme. Events in the next month include a screening of How the Grinch Stole Christmas, gingerbread house decorating, a visit with Santa Claus, mini concerts with Ottawa Suzuki Strings and more. All events are included with admission to the gallery.

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


The Last Polar Bears

When: January 26, 1:30 p.m.

Where: Shenkman Arts Centre, 245 Centrum Blvd.

What: The Last Polar Bears is the funny, moving story of a grandfather’s unlikely trip to the Arctic with his opinionated dog, Roo. Rag & Bone Puppet Theatre brings its live action, live music and puppets including 20 knitted penguins and of course, a talking dog to the Shenkman Arts Centre. The show also has a multimedia feature, with actual film footage of Henry Larson’s famous Arctic expedition on the St. Roch. An intricate scale model of the St. Roch is used for the grandfather’s ship, The Unsinkable. There’s also footage of gorgeous Arctic landscapes, northern lights and adorable animals.


Website: http://shenkmanarts.ca/


The Little Mermaid

When: January 31 to February 9. Check website for showtimes.

Where: Meridian Theatres at Centrepointe

What: Move over, Frozen II! Ain’t Seen Nothing Yet presents its adaptation of one of Hans Christian Andersen’s most beloved stories and the classic animated film, Disney’s The Little Mermaid. With music by eight-time Academy Award winner, Alan Menken, lyrics by Howard Ashman and Glenn Slater and a compelling book by Doug Wright, this fishy fable will capture your heart with its irresistible songs, including “Under the Sea,” “Kiss the Girl” and “Part of Your World.” The Little Mermaid is a show for the entire family that promises to take everyone on an exciting and wonderful musical journey under the sea.

Website: meridiancentrepointe.com


Parent and Child Expo

When: Saturday, April 4, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Sunday, April 5, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Where: Nepean Sportsplex, 1701 Woodroffe Ave.

What: The Spring 2020 Ottawa Parent & Child features more than 125 local parenting exhibitors, main stage entertainment, a meet and greet with your child’s favourite mascots and characters, and bouncy castles. All affordable, and free parking! Goody bags for all attendees, while supplies last.

Website: parentandchildexpo.ca