Parenting Times rounds up some of the best places to visit and activities for family fun this summer in and around the Ottawa area.
When: June 10-12, 2016
Where: Richmond Road (Between Island Park Drive and Golden Avenue)
What: A free weekend-long street party and neighbourhood showcase with interactive fun, family-friendly programming, live music, fashion shows and more.
When: June 11-12, 2016
Where: Aberdeen Pavilion, Lansdowne Park
What: Taste chocolate, candy, ice cream and cupcakes from various shops and brands at North America’s largest dessert festival. It’s all about fun! Kids can burn off energy in the bouncy castle, while adults can mingle and enjoy candy cocktails, wine or a Bailey’s at the coffee bar.
Franco Ontarian Festival
When: June 16-18, 2016
Where: Major’s Hill Park
What: Bring the family to take in concerts, street art and a variety of entertainment during this huge celebration of Franco Ontarian culture, including creative activities, inflatable structures, face painting, buskers and more.
When: June 17-18, 2016
Where: Bank Street, between Slater and Gilmour
What: This free street festival includes a fantastic Kids Zone, a two-block fiesta for youth, including a travelling science and tech show, interactive Lite-Brite board, Popscope telescope to see the stars at night, as well as bucket truck rides, Ray’s Reptiles and more.
Summer Solstice Aboriginal Festival
When: June 17-20, 2016
Where: Vincent Massey Park
What: The Summer Solstice Aboriginal Arts Festival is a family-oriented multi-disciplinary arts festival that began in 2008, and attracts over 45,000 visitors. You’ll find a variety of kids, family and cultural activities, as well as a Competition Pow Wow. Check online for the full schedule of events.
When: June 22-26, 2016
Where: Sparks Street, from Elgin Street to Lyon Street
What: Savour some delicious barbecue chicken and ribs made by “ribbers” from all over North America, plus live entertainment and more.
Tim Hortons Ottawa Dragon Boat Festival
When: June 23-26, 2016
Where: Mooney’s Bay Park on Riverside Drive
What: This four-day celebration, North America’s largest dragon boating festival, offers free admission to multiple stages featuring concerts, amusement attractions, sports demos, a variety of artisans, exhibitors, delicious treats, beachside bar, children’s area and non-stop racing.
Story time at Rideau Hall
When: June 25-Aug. 20, 2016 (Fridays and Saturdays, 1 p.m. to 3 p.m.)
Where: Rideau Hall, 1 Sussex Dr.
What: This summer, bring your kids, pick out a book, settle into the Frontier College Reading Tent, and enjoy some peaceful reading time.
Celebrate Canada Day in the National Capital Region
When: July 1, 2016
Where: Downtown Ottawa and Gatineau
What: Grab the kids, brave the crowds, and enjoy Canada’s 149th birthday in the national capital, as the region resonates with pageantry and the sounds of celebration!
When: July 3, 2016
Where: Rockland, Ont.
What: Celebrate local produce by enjoying culinary demonstrations, musical performances, tastings, kids’ workshops and much more!
Muslim Summer Festival/MAC Eid Festival
When: July 6, 2016
Where: EY Centre, 4899 Uplands Dr.
What: The Muslim Summer Festival, held jointly with the MAC Eid Festival, is a remarkable family event, offering an exciting mix of traditional cuisine, exhibitions, bazaars, and activities.
Website: www.muslimsummerfestival.com, maceidfest.com/ottawa
Kingdom of Osgoode Medieval Festival
When: July 8-10, 2016
Where: 5673 Osgoode Main St., Osgoode, Ont. (about 30 minutes south of Ottawa)
What: Take a drive to Osgoode for a family weekend of professional jousting, dancing, sword play, kids’ games, live music, vendors, archery, wagon rides and much more. July 8: Medieval Education Day for kids 4-16.
The Gatineau River Games
When: July 31, 2016
Where: Wakefield, Que.
What: Hit the water and make a splash in the second annual Gatineau River Games, a new family water event in the heart of the Wakefield Bay. Events include a 500-metre, one- and two-kilometre swim, aquathlon and paddle board races.
Puppets Up! International Puppet Festival
When: Aug. 5-7, 2016
Where: Main Street, Almonte, Ont.
What: An outdoor festival showcasing unique puppets from around the world. Family-friendly entertainment for families with children of all ages, with 66 shows, vendors, parades, street entertainers and more.
When: Aug. 11-14, 2016
Where: Navan, Ont. (20 minutes southeast of downtown Ottawa)
What: This great country fair offers a fun-filled weekend of live music, midway rides, parade, Kids Zone, horse show, tractor and truck pull, and much more.
South Mountain Fair
When: Aug. 18-21, 2016
Where: South Mountain, Ont. (40 minutes south of Ottawa)
What: Plenty of family fun at this popular fair, now in its 124th year, with live entertainment, plenty of kids’ activities, thrilling rides, food, drink and games. Check online for the full schedule of events.
North Lanark Highland Games
When: Aug. 27, 2016
Where: North Lanark Agricultural Society Fairgrounds, Almonte, Ont.
What: Celebrate the Scottish heritage of the Ottawa Valley at the annual North Lanark Highland Games, one of the Ottawa Valley’s premier summer events. The Games feature 20 pipe bands, 100 dancers and champion heavyweight athletes, mini games for kids, and numerous Scottish concessions offering traditional clothing, Scottish food, refreshments, souvenir items, crafts, and genealogical information.