Headline: 12 Great Family Fun Events
Byline: By Tracey Tong
When: Through February 17
Where: Various locations, Ottawa and Gatineau
What: It’s your last chance to enjoy the 42nd annual Winterlude. This classic winter celebration takes place at various sites across the National Capital Region. It’s the final weekend, but there’s still time to skate on the Rideau Canal Skateway and check out the breathtaking ice sculptures.
The Ottawa Children’s Gala
When: February 22
Where: Infinity Convention Centre, 2901 Gibford Dr.
What: A night to remember for the families in attendance, the Ottawa Children’s Gala is the only event of its kind in the area, with a red carpet to welcome your arrival, a professional photographer, entertainment, local celebrity emcees and a dance to finish the night off. In its 10th year, the gala, which is presented by Urbandale Construction, is held in support of the Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario’s concussion clinic.
Skate the Rideau Canal
When: Until March 8 (weather permitting)
Where: Rideau Canal Skateway, downtown Ottawa
What: Bundle up, strap on your skates and take part in this Ottawa tradition. Every winter, 7.8 km of the Rideau Canal transforms into the world’s largest outdoor skating rink, as designated by Guinness World Records. Tip: before you go, check out the website for updated skateway conditions and possible closures due to weather.
Ottawa Coffee Fest
When: March 21-22
Where: Lansdowne Park
What: With coffee being a parenting staple, we had to include this event in our listings.
The only event of its kind in Ottawa, Coffee Fest allows attendees to sample different coffees and espresso drinks from roasters in the region. The festival allows attendees (of which 2,100 are expected to attend in 2020) to try a large variety of coffee that is being locally roasted and to meet the teams behind it. The goal of the event is to bring coffee lovers together in order to experience and celebrate the unique offerings of amazing local roasters. The event will also have workshops, speakers, a bean grinding station and giveaways. In an effort to reduce waste, organizers are encouraging people to bring their own mugs.
Beauty and The Beast
When: March 28, 3:30 p.m.
Where: Shenkman Arts Centre, Richcraft Theatre
What: This enchanting production presented by the Chamber Opera Company Ottawa is adapted for children. This opera recounts the beloved fairy tale and is set to music by the French composer André Grétry (music score adapted by Dan Plummer; original English libretto by Diane Garton Edie). In the exotic setting of an island in the Indian Ocean, bright, cheery music abounds, transporting the audience to a fantastical land that brims with fun and excitement. Featuring Ania Hejnar, soprano; Sonya Sweeney, mezzo-soprano; Jeffery Boyd, tenor; Ryan Hofman, baritone; and Judith Ginsburg, piano and a children’s chorus; all under the direction of veteran stage director Kathi Langston. This fully staged opera production with piano accompaniment is sure to delight, highlighting its endearing message that “beauty is found within.”
Ottawa Sugar Festival
When: March 31-April 5
Where: Vanier Museopark, 300 des Pères-Blancs Ave.
What: How sweet it is! This spring, visitors can check out North America’s only urban sugarbush without ever leaving the downtown core. More than 8,000 people are expected at the 36th annual festival. Weekdays are for school groups, but on the weekend, families will find singers, storytellers, taffy on snow, sled dogs, lumberjack contest, square dancing and of course, the famous breakfasts on April 4 and 5. Local chefs will also be competing in a maple-based soup contest.
Rink of Dreams
When: Until March 31 (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. The use of hockey sticks, pucks and balls are not permitted on the ice surface. Afterwards, grab a Beavertail and head inside City Hall to visit the free-admission Barbara Ann Scott and Karsh-Masson galleries and the Ottawa Sports Hall of Fame.
Twice As Nice – Spring and Summer 2020 Kids’ Consignment Sale
When: April 4, 10:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Where: Algonquin College, 1385 Woodroffe Ave. (Building D)
What: Hosted by Multiple Birth Families Association of Ottawa and Gatineau, this event features tons of gently used kids’ gear. You’ll find clothing, outerwear, shoes, toys, books, games and gear for kids at the MBFA’s Twice As Nice Sale. Free admission. Cash and debit accepted. This event is open to everyone.
Ottawa Parent and Child Expo
When: April 4 and 5
Where: Nepean Sportsplex, 1701 Woodroffe Ave.
What: Head to the family-friendly Nepean Sportsplex for a weekend of affordable family fun and information. While parents will find a variety of popular Ottawa exhibitors offering important parenting information, kids can enjoy visits with beloved characters and mascots. In addition, there will be demonstrations, face painting, arts and crafts, a reading corner and places where children can play, learn and explore.
When: Through April 19
Where: 399 Sugar Bush Rd., Pakenham
What: It’s worth the trip to Pakenham! Take a sleigh ride, sample maple taffy on snow, explore the interpretive walking trails and enjoy a hearty meal. Check the website for days and times.
When: April 25, 9:30 a.m. (1K) and 10 a.m. (5K)
Where: Canada Agriculture and Food Museum
What: Emilie’s Run is a women’s run honouring the memory of Émilie Mondor, the first Canadian woman to run sub-15:00 in the 5K and a member of Canada’s Olympic team at the 2004 Olympics. Tragically while living in Ottawa in the fall of 2006, Émilie was involved in a car accident that claimed her life. The next year the race in her honour was created and since then it has been a major draw for Canada and the world’s elite female runners. While attracting an outstanding elite field, the run is open to all women and girls wishing to participate. The day also features a 1K Kids Run for girls and boys ages 6-12.