Christmas 2016 Events in Ottawa

The amount of Christmas activities in Ottawa is absolutely amazing. There are activities and events being planned all over the city. Christmas activities include breakfast with Santa, special Ottawa Christmas concerts, sleigh rides, watching the most amazing Christmas light displays and so much more. Ottawa really has an event for everyone and for all ages.

Make sure to check out our complete listing of Santa Claus Parades in Ottawa and the surrounding area throughout November and December each year.

We have already told you how much we love being in Ottawa at Christmas time. One of the main reasons is that we feel that there are so many options for our family that we never run out of things to do the weeks leading up to Christmas.

Here is an extensive list of the 2016 Christmas activities in Ottawa and the surrounding area. Many dates for 2016 are not yet known and will be added as soon as we have them:

Stanley's Christmas Village

Stanley's Olde Maple Lane Farm

Dates for 2016 to be announced

Families pick the time they'd like to depart and are whisked away by horse drawn ride to Ottawa's only Elf Village. It takes about an hour and a half. Dress appropriately for the weather. Make your reservations online

Alight at Night

Upper Canada Village

Dates for 2016 to be announced

The heritage buildings are all lit up (over half a million lights), there are horse drawn wagon rides, visit the life size Gingerbread House, take a toy train ride and a lot more. There is just so much going on that we can't list it all so please check out their website. This is our new favourite Christmas event in Ottawa now. We went for the first time last year and LOVED every minute of it.

Breakfast with Santa

Royal Canadian Legion (230 Main Street West), Merrickville

Dates for 2016 to be announced, 8:30 - 10:30am

After a nice breakfast, your children can visit with Santa. There is also a horse-drawn wagon ride which stops right outside the Legion's door. Donations for the horse-drawn wagon rides are appreciated.

Carriage Rides & Holiday Choirs

Byward Market

Dates for 2016 to be announced, 12 pm – 4 pm

Stop by the corner of George and ByWard to listen to great local choirs who are raising funds for their organizations and creating some holiday cheer! Free Horse Drawn Carriage Rides - Thank you to John Cundell and his family for free horse drawn carriage rides every Saturday & Sunday before Christmas during the month of December from 1pm to 4pm. Register early in front of the Moulin de Provence at York St and ByWard.

Christmas Adventure Park

Ian's Christmas Tree Farm, 804 Richmond Road (Beckwith), 613-253-0086

Besides being a "cut your own Christmas Tree farm", they also offer hayrides, free hot chocolate, Santa's village, real reindeer, skating, tobogganing and much more.

Christmas Arts & Craft Shows

Various locations and dates so check out our Ottawa Christmas Craft Shows listing We love going to these special shows because you can find some really unique Christmas gifts for everyone on your list.

Christmas Tea at the Billings Estate National Historic Site

2100 Cabot Sreet

Dates for 2016 to be announced

Stop by the Estate for traditional Christmas tea and take a break from all your shopping! They will have finger sandwiches, freshly baked desserts and scones. Free admission to the museum. Special Christmas menu will be available. Please contact them for the tea service price.

For more information about this or any other events at the Museum call 613-247-4830 or visit

Christmas Light Viewing

All around Ottawa

You may want to reserve an evening or two to pack the family up and drive around some of the subdivisions in your area to see all the Christmas lights on the houses & trees. It is truly amazing how much time and effort some people put into decorating the exterior of their homes!

Christmas Lights Across Canada

Dates for 2016 to be announced

Thousands of lights will light up downtown Ottawa & Gatineau

Ottawa Christmas Concerts & Performances

Various dates and locations

check out our listing of concerts and performances which include Christmas concerts as well.

The Mayor's Annual Christmas Party

City Hall

Dates for 2016 to be announced, 2:00 - 6:00pm

Ice skating on the Rink of Dreams, hot chocolate and horse-drawn wagon rides outside on Marion Dewar Plaza. Meet Santa and Mrs. Claus, decorate a cookie in Santa's bakery, have your face painted, and enjoy live performances. Admission to this sponsored event is a non-perishable food donation to the Ottawa Food Bank. OC Transpo will offer free bus rides on all routes to and from City Hall from 1:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. to children 11 years and under when accompanied by a fare-paying adult. Call 3-1-1 for more information.

National Arts Centre

They hold various shows/musicals in the month of December including

Olde Fashion Christmas in Manotick

Manotick Village

Dates for 2016 to be announced

Events include a Crafter's Market, Santa Claus Parade, roasting chestnuts, pictures with Santa, horse drawn wagon rides, strolling carollers and much more.

Santa Claus Parades

All over Ottawa and the surrounding area

Check out our complete listing of Santa Claus Parades in Ottawa.

Sleigh Rides Around the Neighbourhood

Hazeldean Mall, Kanata


Dates for 2016 to be announced

Cost of the ride is a donation to the Kanata Food Cupboard. They suggest coming early because seating is limited.

Sleigh Rides Around Ottawa

All around the city

Check out our listing of sleigh rides in ottawa.

Vintage Christmas Village of Lights

Cumberland Heritage Museum

Dates for 2016 to be announced

Make an ornament for your own Christmas tree, decorate gingerbread men, and take a nostalgic horse-drawn wagon ride through their illuminated village. Santa Claus will also be there! By 5 p.m. each evening, the village will sparkle with lights in the night.