Discover local Christmas markets and lights shows this holiday season!
ABOVE: The Casino Lac-Leamy Plaza at Lansdowne has been transformed into the Ottawa Christmas Market. (PHOTO: Ottawa Christmas Market)
The countdown to Christmas has begun, and while the wait for the holidays may seem long, there are many festive events in Ottawa to get you into the holiday spirit. Meet local vendors, become mesmerized by dazzling lights, and make cherished memories with your loved ones this season.
Ottawa Christmas Market • Until December 23, 2022
From now until December 23rd, explore the Ottawa Christmas Market in Lansdowne Park. The annual market is back for another year, and the vendors and attractions do not disappoint. Enjoy twinkling lights, Instagram-worthy decorations, live entertainment, and delicious food as you stroll through the plaza. The market, which resembles a European Christmas market, is housing over 35 local vendors this year, who offer an assortment of holiday gifts, artwork, and unique food and beverage options. Children can make free crafts at Santa’s workshop and meet Santa Claus himself in his cabin. The market expects 1000 visitors this year thanks to its expanded programming.
Head over to https://www.ottawachristmasmarket.com to view the complete schedule.
Photo: Ottawa Christmas Market
Saunders Farms: A Country Christmas • Country Christmas Days: until December 18, 2022; Holiday Light Festival: until December 23, 2022
The spooky season may be over, but Saunders Farm is ready to host families for A Country Christmas. The farm is offering two very different experiences. During the day, walk through snow-filled mazes, visit the Elf Squad and Santa Claus, and cozy up by the fire after a wagon ride around the farm. The farm is hosting a Holiday Light Festival at night for the first time ever. Visitors can walk through a trail of thousands of colourful lights and music. To finish the perfect day at the farm, make your way to the Town Square & Market, Farmshop, and CiderHouse. Purchase Christmas trees, homemade wreaths, and décor to complete your home’s holiday look.
Purchase your Country Christmas tickets at https://saundersfarm.com
Photo: Saunders Farm
Winter Lights Across Canada • Until January 8, 2023
Canada’s most recognizable building is becoming its own lights display. Until January 8, discover the multimedia project that combines digital imagery with a soundtrack. A projection of images will display across the walls of the Parliament buildings. The show is based on the concept of luminous sparks that awaken during the Canadian winter solstice. The mission of the luminous sparks is to add light to winter evenings across Canada’s landscapes. After watching the show on Parliament Hill, head over to the ByWard market to walk through the illuminated streets.
If you would like to attend one of the showings, read about the details here: https://www.canada.ca/en/canadian-heritage/campaigns/winter-lights/multimedia-projection.html
Magic of Lights • Until January 7, 2023
Drive through a sea of lights and holiday displays at Wesley Clover Parks. The experience is back for another year with some new activities for holiday lovers. Gather your friends and family and take a drive through the park to witness spectacular holiday scenes, characters, and the latest LED technology and digital animations. This year, visitors can also experience the Holiday Pit Shop, where guests can park and get out of their cars to take pictures in the winter wonderland. What makes this event even better is that the proceeds from the tickets benefit the Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario.
Visit https://magicoflights.com to purchase tickets.
Photo: Wesley Clover Parks
Alight at Night • Until January 7, 2023
Travel back in time to 1866 at Upper Canada Village, and walk through an illuminated living-history site. The rural English Canadian setting is an hour outside Ottawa and well worth the drive. Alight at Night, the village’s holiday light event, is open for its 22nd year. The family tradition is one of Ontario’s largest outdoor light festivals, with over one million lights decked across over forty historic buildings. While walking through the village, guests can listen to their favourite holiday songs sung by carolers and watch a sound and light show that features hundreds of colourful lights flashing to the beat of festive tunes. Visitors can also meet the Village’s Victorian St. Nick and take a private horse-drawn carriage ride. Over 46,000 people visited the event last year, so purchase a ticket before it is sold out.
Visit www.AlightatNight.ca for more information and tickets.
Photo: Upper Canada Village
Vintage Village of Lights • Until December 18, 2022
Learn about what it was like to live in the 1920s and 1930s at the Cumberland Heritage Village Museum’s Vintage Village of Lights. More than 30,000 lights bedazzle the historic buildings for this colourful event. Explore the town while listening to holiday music from the interwar years. This outing is perfect for history fanatics and those looking to transport themselves into a different era. Guests will not only leave with newfound knowledge, but they will also receive a takeaway cooking decorating, hands-on crafts, and a telegram from Santa, which will inspire festivities at home.
Head over to https://bit.ly/3XAwdQD for more information and to register to visit.
Photo: City of Ottawa, Vintage Village of Lights
Clow’s Christmas Trail
If you are in for an adventure, make your way to Clow’s Christmas trail in Brockville. The trail is for all ages and allows everyone to step back to their childhood memories. The 1.5 km trail is in the forested countryside and is decorated and lit with holiday displays and characters. Explore several displays, including the Nativity scene, winter sports lane, North Pole post office, Candy Shop, Elves lodge, and Santa’s toy shop. You might even see Santa Claus wandering through the woods! For all the lovers out there, don’t miss the chance to kiss your special someone under the mistletoe bridge.
Visit 2022 Season – Clows for more information and to purchase tickets.