When: Dec. 6-28,
Saturdays and Sundays
Where: Bytown Museum, 1 Canal Lane, at the Rideau Canal locks between Parliament Hill and the Château Laurier hotel
What: Bring the family to enjoy First World War-themed holiday crafts and learn how Ottawa families celebrated the holidays 100 years ago.
Arctic Voices Exhibit
When: Dec. 5-April 30, 2015
Where: Canadian Museum
of Nature, 240 McLeod St.
What: Challenge your perceptions about the Arctic in this new interactive exhibition that journeys to a rapidly-changing land. The Arctic is more than just snow: it is land, water, and ice; home to people and wildlife. Find out what affects the Arctic and how the Arctic impacts Canada and the planet.
When: Dec. 3-Jan. 7, 2015
Where: Confederation Boulevard,
What: In Canada’s Capital Region, the winter landscape glows with hundreds of thousands of multicoloured lights during the holiday season. The festivities continue until early January, as Ottawa and Gatineau glow with breathtaking Christmas lights at many sites along Confederation Boulevard.
Toopy and Binoo:
Fun and Games
When: Dec. 7-8
Where: Centrepointe Theatres,
101 Centrepointe Dr.
What: The zaniness continues as best friends Toopy and Binoo return to the live stage in a new theatrical production. Filled with whimsical exuberance, families will have a blast dancing and singing along with the dynamic duo’s latest musical extravaganza.
Mickey’s Music Festival
When: Dec. 14
Where: Canadian Tire Centre,
1000 Palladium Dr.
What: Mickey Mouse and his friends – Minnie Mouse, Donald Duck and Goofy – will perform in a musical mash-up when Disney Live! Mickey’s Music Festival makes its Ottawa debut with three performances. Young concertgoers will hear their favourite hits from Aladdin, The Little Mermaid, and Disney/Pixar’s Toy Story remixed to rock, pop, reggae, hip hop, jazz and country.
Bell Capital Cup
When: Dec. 19-Jan. 2, 2015
Where: Various locations
What: More than 500 teams of young hockey players from Europe, Canada, and U.S. compete in the Bell Capital Cup, which is more than a hockey tournament; it’s a festival that celebrates the beloved game in the capital region, in which teams from all around the world joyously participate.
Rick Chiarelli’s Alcohol-Free
Family New Year’s Eve
When: Dec. 31, 6 p.m.
Where: Ben Franklin Place,
101 Centrepointe Dr.
What: College Ward Councillor Rick Chiarelli and his family host this annual family New Year’s Eve event, where everything is free (except the canteen, where the proceeds go to anti-impaired driving initiatives such as MADD and OSAID). The activities begin with the Nepean Skating Club performing on the outdoor rink, and include public skating and sleigh rides. Indoor activities feature face painting, a harp concert, and children’s entertainers, with a magician, jugglers, bouncy castle, games room, and a talent show featuring dancers from Les Petits Ballets, Classical Dance Academy, and the Ottawa Hallyu Dance Team. The fun continues until the countdown and dazzling outdoor fireworks at 10 p.m.
When: Jan. 30-Feb. 16, 2015, weekends
Where: Various locations in
Ottawa and Gatineau
What: Celebrate the joys of winter in the Capital at Winterlude, which runs over three fun-filled weekends in February. Skate on the world’s largest skating rink, check out the amazing ice sculpture competitions, or play at North America’s largest snow playground. There’s fun for the whole family, and all sites are open on Family Day.
Peter and the Wolf
When: Jan. 31, 2015, 4 p.m.
Where: Shenkman Arts Centre,
245 Centrum Blvd.
What: The National Arts Centre Orchestra and Shenkman Arts Centre, in partnership with Jeunesses Musicales of Canada, present exciting chamber music concerts for kids aged 3 to 8. Created for younger fans, the Kinderconcert series delights families with imaginative storytelling and glittering musical magic.
Rink of Dreams
When: Until March 16, 2015 – weather permitting
Where: Marion Dewar Plaza, Ottawa City Hall, 110 Laurier Ave. W.
What: Enjoy skating on the refrigerated ice rink while, say, eating a delicious Beavertail, an Ottawa winter staple. Then take a tour inside City Hall with the family and visit the Barbara Ann Scott Gallery, Ottawa Sports Hall of Fame and the Karsh Masson Gallery. All are free of charge.
Weather permitting, of course, the rink is open daily from 6 a.m. to 11 p.m. Bring your own skates.
Bob the Builder at the Canadian Children’s Museum
When: Until March 22, 2015
Where: Canadian Museum of History,
100 Laurier St., Gatineau
What: Children and their families can spend time in Sunflower Valley with Bob, Wendy and the rest of the crew. Work together to design blueprints, do repairs and explore the building machines at the Machine Shelter.
Caring for War Horses
When: Until March 31, 2015
Where: Canada Agriculture and Food Museum, 901 Prince of Wales Dr.
What: 2014 marks the 100th anniversary of the beginning of the First World War, and this exhibit showcases one of the conflict’s forgotten stories – the war’s horses and the veterinarians of the Canadian Army Veterinarian Corps who cared for them. With artifacts from the CAV Barker Museum of Canadian Veterinary History, this display explores how the Canadian Army Veterinary Corps worked to prevent and treat disease and injury among the horses used in a time of war.
When: Until April 2015
Where: Canadian Tire Centre, 1000 Palladium Dr.
What: Catch some intense NHL action and enjoy family bonding time as the Ottawa Senators take to the ice for the remainder of 41 regular season home games at Canadian Tire Centre during the 2014-15 hockey season.
Cross-country skiing and other outdoor fun
When: Until March 31, 2015
Where: Gatineau Park, Gatineau
What: Beautiful Gatineau Park has one of the largest networks of cross-country ski trails in North America. Enjoy classic cross-country skiing and skate skiing in this lovely conservation area, as well as snowshoeing and even overnight camping in this picturesque winter retreat, located just 15 minutes from downtown Ottawa.