Christmas in the city

By Nives Scott


Dear dope moms, I’m writing to you as a first time mom to my now five-month old baby. When I’m not on maternity leave I work with local and travel media at Ottawa Tourism and a major part of my job is to know as much as possible about Ottawa and to show off this wonderful city we are very lucky to call home. So, being excited to explore Ottawa with my little one, I reached out to Brianna with the idea of a “mom-friendly Ottawa” series for all things family/baby/mom you can do around the capital. My hope throughout these posts is that at least one of these activities/events/places entices you to get out of the house and make memories with your family!


Whether like me, this is your first holiday season with a baby, or you’ve “been-there-done-that” for many years now, I really wanted to sit down and put together a short list of festive activities that we can all partake in with our families to kick off the holiday season! I’m making this one short and sweet with some of the places we’re planning on hitting, but there are definitely plenty more not included in this!


  • Canadian Museum of History’s Christmas Market (November 28 - December 1): On November 28th the Tree Lighting Ceremony kicks off this annual festive market at the museum and it’s yet another occasion to shop all things local. What’s great is that those of us with babies can stroll around the Canada History Hall for an adult, but easily digested dose of history, while those of us with older kids can have all the fun at the Canadian Children’s Museum.
  • The Ottawa Christmas Market (November 29 - December 22) at Lansdowne: For the very first time, a Bavarian-style Christmas market comes to Ottawa and it promises local artisans, yummy food, and...pace yourselves mamas...mulled-wine!
  • Alight at Night (November 29 - January 4): This one is a short drive to the nearby village of Morrisburg for a well-worth dazzling spectacle of Christmas lights through the Upper Canada Village. I don’t know about you, but my babe is absolutely fascinated by light fixtures (including mall lights!) so this is sure to be a showstopper for her!
  • 613Christmas (November 30) at Lansdowne: A wonderful way to get thoughtful hand-crafted gifts and support local artists and makers at the same time!
  • Christmas in the ByWard Market (November 30 - December 15) : It goes without say that the neighbourhood itself becomes a festive hub during this time of the year. Beyond the market stalls, check out choirs, free horse-drawn wagon rides, carolers, etc.
  • Vintage Village of Lights (November 29-December 22): This one will make you feel right on the set of It’s a Wonderful Life. Stroll or take a horse-drawn wagon ride around the very festive Cumberland heritage museum.
  • Magic of Lights (until January 4): This one’s a drive-through around Wesley Clover Parks experience right from the comfort and warmth of your car
  • Christmas Lights Across Canada (December 4 - January 7): Another one for our baby light enthusiasts with the Confederation Boulevard lit for the occasion. Plus, is there anything more Ottawa than heading to Parliament Hill for a spectacular projection of Christmas lights? 


And don’t forget even more local Christmas editions of the farmer markets such as Ottawa, Carp,Wakefield, Metcalfe, Cumberland, North Gower Christmas markets, and other local events such as Santa’s Parade of Lights in Orleans (Nov 30).