Ottawa’s top New Year’s destinations

Sun turned to slow early this year, and you only have to look out of the window to know that the holiday season will soon be upon us. Preparations for Christmas are already underway across Ottawa, Canada and the world. But there’s something equally important to think about just a week later, as we welcome the year 2020.

Some people have been planning their New Year’s parties and celebrations all year. But if you’re the sort of person who prefers to play things by ear, let’s take a look at some venues where you can ring in the New Year in style.

Parliament Hill

It’s the most popular New Year hang out in town and is perfect if you just want to soak up the atmosphere with 10,000 or so of your closest friends! There will be a light show that culminates in a huge fireworks display on the stroke of midnight. You’ll also be able to catch a mix of live music and entertainment in the hours leading up to the big moment, while the rink will be open to all, so get your skates on. Best of all – it’s completely free.

Rideau Carleton Casino

There are only two downsides to Parliament Hill. One is that it’s going to be very, very cold. The other is that it might be free, but there’s no way you’ll end up with more money than you started with. Seeing the New Year in at the Rideau Carleton Casino out at the racecourse could be the ideal solution. Casino games have become all the rage in the internet and smartphone era with people spinning the slots and playing roulette online at sites like But there’s nothing quite like the real thing, and Rideau Carleton casino has all the usual table games and a great choice of slots if you are feeling lucky. Ever-popular rockers Ragdoll will be playing live from 9PM till 1AM. Entry is free whether you want to try your luck on the casino floor or simply enjoy the live music over a few drinks in sophisticated surroundings.

Aberdeen Pavilion

The only potential downside to seeing in the new year at a casino is that it’s adults-only. For fun that the whole family can get involved in, it’s worth remembering that nobody does New Year quite like the Scots. This venue at Lansdowne Park brings a slice of the Royal Mile to Ottawa. There will be a piper and other traditional Scottish music, Scottish food and drink, including the most wonderful haggis, Highland dancing and a fireworks display at midnight. The festivities start at 5PM.

Ottawa Charity Ball

The above options are all free. However if you are willing to spend some money, why not put it towards a good cause? This year’s Charity Ball takes place at the Ottawa Conference and Events Centre and ticket prices range from $179 to $249. There will be a four-course meal with plenty of champagne, followed by live music and dancing. A charity auction will provide the opportunity to raise more money for worthy causes, and maybe to pick up an unexpected bargain at the same time. All proceeds are shared between two great charities, Journey House and Ottawa Rotary Home Foundation.

Photo: S. Hermann & F. Richter, Pixabay