12 Great family fun events

Editor’s Note: Due to COVID-19 restrictions, all events have been postponed or cancelled until further notice.


Ottawa Coffee Fest

When: March 21-22

Where: Lansdowne Park

What: 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.

Website: ottawacoffeefest.ca

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.

Website: museoparc.ca/sugar-festival/


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.

Website: ottawa.ca


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.


Website: eventbrite.ca/e/twice-as-nice-kids-consignment-sale-springsummer-2020-tickets-88153203605


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.

Website: parentandchildexpo.ca


100 Kids Ottawa

When: April 16, 6 to 7:30 p.m.

Where: Carlingwood Library, 281 Woodroffe Ave.

What: An organization for kids from all over Ottawa, 100 Kids Ottawa meets several times per year. Children ages six to 16 meet to hear three of their peers speak about three different charities and why they deserve support. Each child brings a donation to add to the pool. The kids then vote on the charity that gets the pooled donation. All are welcome.

Website: facebook.com/events/179829816612504/


Fulton’s Pancake House and Sugar Bush

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.


Website: fultons.ca


Emilie’s Run

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.

Website: runottawa.ca


The Diefenbooker

When: May 2, 8 to 11:30 a.m.

Where: Carp Fairgrounds

What: This is a run for people of all ages, with a special category just for kids. The Diefenbooker Race has proven to be a huge success for the promotion of health and personal wellness in the community, while fundraising for Literacy in West Carleton Ward 5. Events include a 5K and 10K race; 5K walk; 5K, 18K and 33K cycle tours; and youth events, including 1K race for kids 12 years old and under and “Loonie Loop” short races for kids ages two to six.

Website: facebook.com/events/378276546360828/


Ottawa Beer Fest

When: May 8-9

Where: Lansdowne Park

What: This one’s for the parents out there – more than 10,000 people are forecasted to attend Ottawa Beer Fest over two days. The event showcases the largest collection of craft beers from the Ottawa Valley and throughout Ontario, as well as craft ciders and spirits and will welcome representatives from more than 60 craft breweries. In addition to highlighting Northern Ontario’s breweries, this year’s Beer Fest includes culinary food trucks, entertainment and live music, games like pinball and Jenga, and more. New in 2020, visitors can enjoy culinary creations classes with Chef Shane, the beer chef, or Matt Jones, the whisky chef. Learn about the art of brewing from brew masters at their booths and race the popular 5K Craft Beer Run on May 9.

Website: ottawabeerfest.com/

The 2020 Canadian Championships

When: May 19 to 24

Where: Centre Sportif de Gatineau (Rhythmic) & Complexe Branchaud-Brière (Artistic & Trampoline)

What: Got a little gymnast in your life? Show them what they can accomplish if they put their hearts into it!  Hosted by Gymnastique Quebec and Unigym Gatineau, The 2020 Canadian Championships will feature all four of our Olympic disciplines: Women’s & Men’s Artistic Gymnastics, Rhythmic Gymnastics, and Trampoline Gymnastics.

Website: gymcan.org/events-results/canadian-championships-magwag/overview


Tamarack Ottawa Race Weekend

When: May 23-24

Where: Downtown Ottawa

What: Take in Ottawa and Gatineau’s most famous landmarks and best views while getting your weekly mileage in at the same time. Organizers are expecting more than 32,000 people to participate in the 2020 Tamarack Ottawa Race Weekend, which includes a marathon, half-marathon, 10K, 5K, 2K and kids’ marathon. Participants can also sign up for challenges, which allow them to run a combination of races to create distances of up to 59 km. Named the Event of the Year at the 2019 Canadian Tourism Awards, the races take runners through great, iconic neighbourhoods.

Website: runottawa.ca