2018 Santa Claus Parades & Holiday Activities in Ottawa

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It may seem early, but it's time to start getting into the holiday spirit! Many Ottawa communities have already set a date for their Santa Claus parades and we want to make sure you don't miss out on this popular festive event! Please note: We are updating this post as more information and details become available. If you have a holiday event you would like to add - leave a comment and let us know!

2018 Ottawa Santa Claus Parades

Help Santa Toy Parade
http://toyparade.ca/
Saturday, November 17th at 11 a.m.

This is popular Ottawa Santa Claus parade takes place downtown and is favoured by many in the National Capital Region. Firefighters collect new toys and cash donations along the route. Can’t bring your toy donation? They will also accept new toys at any Ottawa Fire Station until mid-December. Depending on your spot along the route it can get busy, so keep this in mind if your family doesn’t like crowds.

Horses at Santa Claus parade

Santa’s Parade of Lights
paradeoflights.org
Saturday, November 24th

Also hosted by the Ottawa Professional Firefighters Association, this parade takes place on St-Joseph, Blvd. in Orleans. Toys and cash donations will be collected by firefighters along the route.

Stittsville Parade of Lights

Stittsville Parade of Lights
stittsvilleva.com
Saturday, December 1, 2018

This parade is a favourite community event. The parade proceeds south down Main Street to Village Square. Parade goers are welcome to stay for the lighting of Village Square Park and to warm up with some hot chocolate.

Kanata Santa Claus Parade
https://www.facebook.com/events/683364755381229/
November 17, 2018

The Kanata parade (a.k.a the Hazeldean Mall Santa Claus Parade) is presented by the Kanata-Hazeldean Lions Club in cooperation with the Kanata Sports Club. The parade starts at Terry Fox and Castlefrank, moves along Castlefrank to Abbeyhill and then on to the Hazeldean Mall. Nonperishable food donations to the Kanata Food Cupboard are appreciated.

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Barrhaven Lions Santa Parade
santaclausbarrhaven.com
Sunday, November 18th at 5:30 p.m.

The annual Barrhaven Lions Club Santa Claus Parade runs down Strandherd Drive, west. Tim Hortons will be providing hot chocolate at various spots along the parade route.

Arnprior Santa Claus Parade
https://www.facebook.com/events/917184025147270/
November 24, 2018 at 6 pm

Richmond Village Santa Claus Parade
http://richmondvillage.ca/event/santa-parade/
TBD

Carp Santa Claus Parade
TBD
Parade route starts at The Diefenbunker, 3911 Carp Road, and follows Carp Road.

Carleton Place Santa Claus Parade
http://downtowncarletonplace.com/christmas-parade/
Saturday, November 24th at 5 p.m.

Santa Claus Parades in Ottawa

Other Holiday Activities in Ottawa

Besides parades, there are many Christmas and holiday activities in Ottawa, including:

Holidays at The Parks 2018
http://wesleycloverparks.com/events/holidays-at-the-parks-2018/
Sunday, December 9, 2018 from 12:00PM – 4:00PM

A great family friendly event, Holidays at The Parks will feature activities for everyone including a vendor’s row, kids craft station, horse-drawn wagon rides, opportunity to meet Zack the donkey, and more! All activities will take place in the Wesley Clover Parks’ heated indoor arena. Meet and take a picture with Santa! Admission by donation.

Alight the Night
http://www.uppercanadavillage.com/events/alight-at-night/
November 30th to January 5th
Upper Canada Village

Step back in time while walking around the beautifully lit heritage buildings, trees and fences of Upper Canada Village. There are festive activities and a chance to meet Santa Claus all throughout the month of December leading up to Christmas.

Almonte’s Light Up the Night!
lightupthenightalmonte.com or
http://lanarkcountytourism.com/events/light-up-the-night-almonte/
Friday, December 7th at 7 p.m.

Bundle up, this is an open-air concert and fireworks display on Main Street in Almonte. Now in its 28th year this night is full of music and memorable outdoor festivities.

Manotick - Olde Fashioned Christmas
http://manotickvillage.com/event/olde-fashioned-christmas/
Saturday, December 1st and Sunday, December 2nd

Horse drawn wagon rides with Father and Mary Christmas to sunset carolling, this wonderful weekend is full of traditional events not to be missed. 

Cumberland Heritage Village Museum Vintage Village of Lights
ottawa.ca/en/liveculture/museums/cumberlandmuseum

30,000 Christmas lights, decorations everywhere, a gigantic reindeer and sleigh and – of course – a visit with Santa Claus in his workshop! Kids will have fun sledding, playing broomball or street hockey, making a snow globe, decorating gingerbread, and sending your Christmas wish list to Santa via telegram. Regular admission applies. 

A Nepean Christmas
https://ottawa.ca/en/residents/arts-heritage-and-culture/museums-and-historic-sites/nepean-museum#upcoming-events-and-programs

Bring the whole family and get into the Christmas spirit by coming to the museum for a Nepean Christmas Celebration!  There will be Christmas crafts, treats, and of course Santa! There is a fee.

Barrhaven: Winter Wonderland
Saturday, December 8th from 10 am to 12 pm
https://www.facebook.com/events/1219112084895128

Presented by the Minto Recreation Complex, this festive event will include pictures with Santa, crafts, games and cookie decorating. Admission is free!

Goulbourn Museum Olde Fashioned Christmas
Sunday, November 18th from 10 am to 3 pm
http://goulbournmuseum.ca/event/old-fashioned-christmas-outdoor-artisan-market-4/

Get a head start on your shopping at this holiday celebration and Christmas market that features activities for the whole family. Write letters to Santa and pose for a photo with the jolly old soul, enjoy free hot chocolate and apple cider and buy one-of-a-kind handmade gifts from local artisans. Free admission.

The CP Holiday Train
http://www.cpr.ca/holiday-train/schedule-canada

You may not see Santa here, but this is a great holiday event all the same. The CP Holiday Train started in 1999 and raises money and food for the Food Bank. Over the three weeks of the program, musicians will play more than 150 concerts from a boxcar that’s been turned into a travelling stage.

New Books at the Ottawa Public Library

The Ottawa Public Library is back to share some of their new fall books for children with us. This month’s post is by Ann-Marie Miller, Supervising Librarian, Children’s Dept., Ruth E. Dickinson Library.

A Home in the Barn by Margaret Wise Brown

A Home in the Barn by Margaret Wise Brown; illustrated by Jerry Pinkney

This is a new release from the much-loved author of Goodnight Moon and many more well-known picture books.  The text begins and ends with a memorable rhyme and the story takes us through a day in the cozy barn while the winter wind rattles outside.  Pinkney’s illustrations here are scrumptious, as always.

Take Your Turn and Time to Share by Nancy Parent; illustrated by Luigi Aimé

In large format suitable for the 3-5 year old crowd, the classic stories by Rev. Awdry are adapted in a new series: Thomas & Friends Really Useful Stories.  The stories focus on those gentle life lessons which all children must learn. 

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How Do Dinosaurs Learn to Read? By Jane Yolen

How Do Dinosaurs Learn to Read? By Jane Yolen; illustrated by Mark Teague

This is the new entry in the entertaining How Do Dinosaurs… series.  With big, bold, mischievous dinosaurs romping through every page and rhyming text  printed  in big well-spaced fonts, this one is sure to engage.  The end pieces provide tips for parents on teaching the alphabet and encouraging reading. 

The Bunny Band

The Bunny Band by Bill Richardson; illustrated by Roxanna Bikadoroff

A bunny caught looting badger’s garden promises to help the garden grow if he is released.  The bunny returns nightly after that with his bunny band to serenade the garden.  Magically, the harvest is grand and all share in the abundance.  A wonderful fable, well-told in rhyming text 

Where is robin

Where is Robin? by Maggie Testa; illustrated by Patrick Spaziante

This is an early reader that is sure to appeal to even the most reluctant beginner.  The story of Robin’s disappearance is told in only 100 words making it an excellent choice for starting your child’s lifelong reading adventures. 


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Unlimited Squirrels in I Lost My Tooth by Mo Willems

The creator of Elephant & Piggie, now gives us Unlimited Squirrels.  In I Lost My Tooth! , Zoom Squirrel has lost a front tooth! The Squirrels leap into action when they discover the missing tooth is a baby tooth! The book features a funny, furry adventure, bonus jokes, quirky quizzes and nutty facts. Great for the grade 1 crowd.

Meet Yasmin.jpg

Meet Yasmin by Saadia Faruqi; illustrated by Hatem Aly

This is the first in a series of early readers featuring Yasmin Ahmad. Yasmin is a spirited second-grader who’s always on the lookout for those “aha” moments to help her solve life’s little problems. A creative thinker and curious explorer, Yasmin and her multi-generational Pakistani American family will delight and inspire readers. 

Bear country: Bearly a Misadventure by Doreen Cronin

Bear country: Bearly a Misadventure by Doreen Cronin; illustrated by Stephen Gilpin

The chicken squad is hungry but the caretaker who feeds them is missing and there is a bear in the neighbourhood.  Doreen Cronin provides another amusing adventure for second graders.  The large fonts and many illustrations make this an easily accessible first novel. 

Magic School bus rides Again: Sink or Swim by Judy Katschke

Magic School bus rides Again: Sink or Swim by Judy Katschke

The Magic School Bus Rides Again with new chapter books for the grade 2-3 crowd to explore.  Here science facts are wrapped up in just the right amount of adventure to keep those new readers engaged.  In Sink or Swim Ms. Frizzle takes the bus under the sea and the class is sent off in their own mini-subs to explore. Will there be sharks? 

Babymouse Tales from the Locker: Lights, Camera, Middle School!

Babymouse Tales from the Locker: Lights, Camera, Middle School! By Jennifer L. Holm and Matthew Holm

Babymouse is back in a new series, Tales from the Locker.   The new series is in the very popular illustrated novel format.  This gives you a chance to transition your graphic novel reader to a more text-rich format while still providing plenty of visual appeal.   In this first story, Babymouse joins the middle school film club with hopes of directing a masterpiece.

Jack and the Geniuses at the Bottom of the World
by Bill Nye and Gregory Mone; illustrated by Nicholas Iluzada

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Jack and the Geniuses is a new series from Bill Nye, yes - the Science Guy.  In At the Bottom of the World, Jack and the geniuses, who are two foster children living with Jack’s family, take off to Antarctica with their neighbour, Dr. Hank, for a science competition.  When an old colleague of Dr. Hank’s goes missing on the ice, the intrigue and adventure begins.  Bill Nye makes sure that all scientific facts are accurate and there is more information about the Antarctic at the end of the book.

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Inkling by Kenneth Oppel

This is the story of an ink blot that leaps off the page. The Rylance family is stuck. Dad's got writer's block. Ethan is troubled by a school project and Sarah pines for a puppy. One night the ink from Mr. Rylance’s drawings runs together--and then leaps off the page! This small burst of creativity is about to change everything. Kenneth Oppel is the much acclaimed author of Firewing, Sunwing and Silverwing as well as many other prizewinning novels.  Suitable for grade 4 or 5 students.

Chase: Get Ready to Run and Escape: Don’t Stop Running  by Linwood Barclay

Once your child has read Chase, they will be asking for Escape just to find out what happens to Chipper and Jeff.  Chipper is a dog that has been implanted with a computer and Jeff is the orphan son of the scientists working on the project.  Both are being chased by The Institute for the secrets they know.  Jeff and Chipper both know they will never be safe if they are captured.  Linwood Barclay is a well-known author of adult adventure.  Suitable for grade 6 to 8 students.

Chase Get Ready to Run and Escape Don’t Stop Running  by Linwood Barclay .jpg

Ottawa and Area Farmers' Markets

For as many Saturdays as we can during the summer months, my family and I head to the Carp Farmer’s Market for fresh vegetables, meats and to walk around to take a look at all the artisans and treats. I love that more and more Farmer’s Markets are popping up throughout Ottawa and area, so thought I would create a list of some (click on the name to be redirected to the market website for more information. If you have a local farmers' market to add, please leave a comment and let us know.

Ottawa and Area Farmers' Markets.png

Almonte Farmers’ Market
Located in the parking lot of the Almonte Public Library (beside the Beer Store), this market is open Saturdays from 8:30am to 12:30pm from May to October.

Beechwood Farmers’ Market (Vanier / New Edinburgh)
Located at 43 Cecile Street, behind the Beechwood Fire Hall in Optimist Park, the Beechwood Market. They are proud to have a great selection from local producers, organic producers, bakers, crafters and more. This market is open Saturdays 9 am to 2pm until October 27, 2017.

Carleton Place Farmers’ Market
Located at Market Square (corner of Beckwith and Lake Avenue), this covered market is open Saturdays 8:30 am to 12:30 pm until fall.

Carp Farmers’ Market
Located at the Carp Fairgrounds, about 10km from the Carp Road exit on the 417. Open Saturdays 8 am to 1 pm starting in May through to October. They also have an Easter Market, Christmas Market as well as their popular Garlic Festival in August.

Cumberland Farmers’ Market
Located at the R.J. Kennedy Community Centre on 1115 Dunning Road (Cumberland Arena), between Orleans and Rockland. Open Saturdays 8am to 1pm from June and into the fall. This market also hosts the Spring Market in April, the Harvest Market in late September and the Christmas Market in December.

Kanata Farmers’ Market
Open every Saturday from May to October, the Kanata Farmers’ Market is located at 420 Hazeldean Road, in the parking lot in front of Shoppers Drug Mart. Open Saturdays 9am to 3pm from May to October. You will find baked goods, fruits and vegetables, honey and garlic – and much more at this west end market.

Kemptville Farmers’ Market
Located at 200 Sanders Street at the B & H parking lot in Kemptville (just south of Ottawa). Sunday from 12 noon to 4pm from May to October. The Kemptville Market has a Christmas in July market on July 22nd that will feature gift ideas for Christmas – and Santa will even make a visit!

Log Farm
Located at 670 Cedarview Road (between Hunt Club and Fallowfield roads). Open Saturdays from 9am to 2pm from May until October. This market has a wide variety of vendors including meats, fruits and vegetables and desserts!

Metcalfe Farmers' Market
Located at the Metcalfe Fairgrounds, southeast of Ottawa. Open Saturdays 9am to 1pm from May to the fall. This market has 25 years experience of promoting and selling locally produced products.

North Gower Farmers’ Market
Known for “country flavour in the city” this market is located at 2397 Roger Stevens Drive, just west of North Gower. Look for the big red barn. Open Saturdays from 8:30am to 1pm from May to the beginning of October.

Old Chelsea Market
Located in the heart of the village at 212 Old Chelsea Rd (the grounds at St. Stephen’s Church), this outdoor market features homemade, original, home grown produce and products, including certified organics. The Old Chelsea Market is open on Thursdays from 4pm to 8pm from the end of May to mid-October.

Old Aylmer Market (Marché Vieux Aylmer)
This market is located in the Memorial Park at the corner of Broad and Main Street. It’s open every Sunday from the beginning of June to the end of September from 10am to 3pm and features a variety of locally produced produce as well as almonds and nuts, honey and homemade items, including Alpaca products.

Ottawa East’s Farmers’ Market
Located at 210 Main Street every Saturday from 9am to 3pm from June to October, this market connects local producers within 160 km with the community, including organic goods. There is also face painters, kid’s crafts and more!

Orléans Market
Open Thursdays from May to October from 12 to 6pm, this market is located at the Ray Friel Centre and features the best in local food!

Ottawa Farmers’ Market (Lansdowne Park)
Located at Lansdowne Park in Aberdeen Square every Sunday from 10am to 3pm, the Ottawa Farmers’ Market features local farmers, artisans and artists as well as arts and crafts.

Ottawa Organic Farmers' Market
The Ottawa Organic Farmers' Market runs year-round on Saturdays from 10am to 2pm and features Certified Organic meat, bread, vegetables, fruits, olive oil and much more! Located at 1644 Bank Street (near Heron).

Riverside South
One of the newest farmers' markets in Ottawa, the Riverside South market operates June through October on Sundays from 10am to 2pm. This market is located at the OC Transpo Riverview Park and Ride – right near Summerhill Park!

Stittsville Farmers’ Market @The Barn
This cute little market is located in an old barn and is open Sundays 10am to 2pm at Village Square Park at the corner of Stittsville Main and Abbott. Vendors are cash only and include homemade bread, fruits, vegetables and more!

Westboro Farmers' Market
The Westboro Farmers' Market is located in the Byron Linear Park between Golden, Bryon, and Richmond Avenues. The market runs from May to October – every Saturday from 9:30am to 3pm and hosts over 50 local farmers, producers, bakers, and more!

Wakefield Market
Open Saturdays, 9am to 1pm from May to October, at the Centre Wakefield La Pêche, 38 Chemin de la Vallée de Wakefield this market has everything you need to fill your pantry. This market also features artwork and other unique vendors.

Summer Fairs in the Ottawa Area

One thing my family looks forward to during the summer are all the community and small town fairs that happen each year in Ottawa and the surrounding areas. With that in mind here is a list of where and when you can plan on heading out for some cotton candy, demolition derbies, carousels, concerts, live entertainment, and more!

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July 13-15: Almonte Fair
Highlights include: Chili cook off, Zip-E the clown and Team T&J

July 27-29: Beachburg Fair
Demolition Derby, DJ Dancy Party, Buck-a-Roo Breakfast, and an ATV Poker Run

August 9-12: Navan Fair
Concerts with George Canyon, Chad Brownlee and more, PC Superdogs, Little Ray’s Reptiles and more!

August 9-12: Arnprior Fair
Miniature horse show, agricultural showcases, midway and more!

August 17-26: The Capital Fair
Monster Truck Show, Youth Talent search, birds of prey show, Soper Creek Wildlife

August 24-26: Chesterville Fair 
Homecrafts, Agiculture and Family Fun!

September 6-9: Russell Fair
Classic Auto & Bike Show, Craft and Merchant Market, Strongman Competition, Sheep shoes

September 12-16: Richmond Fair 
Emerson Drive concert, demolition derby, agricultural showcase

September 20-23: Carp Fair 
Superdogs “Canadogs,” agriculture shows, family circle tent, antiques area

September 27-30: Metcalfe Fair
Agriculture exhibitions, heavy horse pull, demolition derby, truck pull

 

A family night out with the Ottawa Fury

KITC would like to welcome back, guest blogger, Stephen Johnson. Stephen Johnson is an Ottawa writer who loves to write about family travel.  During the summer, you will most likely find him and his family at a local fair or festival.  During the winter, a beach in Mexico is a likely bet.  

Certain summer nights are almost perfect.  We experienced one of those moments at a recent Ottawa Fury FC match.  

Ottawa Fury

The first element was the weather.  As all Ottawans know, our spring has been less than stellar. The night we attended the Fury game, there was not a cloud in the sky and the temperature was a perfect twenty-two degrees celsius.   

The second factor was the game day experience.  Our son, David, had been picked to be part of the pre-game ceremonies. We arrived at TD Place  stadium and met up with someone from the Fury staff. We were soon down on field level. David had the opportunity to watch the players practicing. He enthusiastically gave them high-fives at the end of their practice.

Ottawa Fury Game

David was given instructions for what would come next.  He was given a Fury flag along with a number of other children. I must admit to feeling chills as the players walked out accompanied by the booming voice of the stadium announcer. David got an up-close view as the players passed through the tunnel of Fury flags.

Soon enough, both national anthems were complete and it was time to make our way back to our seats. The Fury were playing against the Charlotte Independence. Both teams were evenly matched and the soccer was high quality. I liked the fact Fury fans represented all different ages and demographics. There were families enjoying an evening out along with more hardcore supporters who probably knew the history of each player.   

Ottawa Fury Player

After forty-five minutes of action, the score was 0-0. It was the perfect time to stretch our legs so we made a beeline to the family fun zone. This area features a variety of activities including inflatables, face-painting and Jenga blocks. Basically, it is the ideal place to take your younger Fury fan if they want a break from the game. David took a few shots on net and scored a goal. David was craving a hotdog so we headed to the concessions area where he ate almost all the dog leaving me a small bite-sized portion to enjoy!

It was time for the second half to begin. The major excitement for us was when the Fury promo team threw  t-shirts into the crowd. A shirt landed close to our seats but was just out of reach.  An older fan grabbed the child-sized t-shirt and did the kind thing giving it to David.

Unfortunately for the Fury, even though they carried much of the play, Charlotte scored a late goal marking a 1-0 victory. To be honest, the score did not really matter to us. We had a great night out and plan to attend at least another game this summer.  

Ottawa Fury Soccer Game

There is something of a Canadian invasion going on with the Fury lately as many of the starting players are from Canada. There are even several home-grown players from Ottawa that you can cheer. For more information about the Fury schedule and tickets, visit, www.ottawafuryfc.com

Special thanks to the Ottawa Fury for providing David with tickets for the purpose of this article; all views are his own.