2018 Santa Claus Parades & Holiday Activities in Ottawa

Christmas 2018 KITC.png

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 at 6 pm

This parade is a favourite community event. The Lions Club will be collecting non perishable food and cash for the Stittsville Food Bank, and The Stocking Project will be collecting new stocking stuffers and gifts for local families who may be struggling.

Kanata Santa Claus Parade
https://www.facebook.com/events/683364755381229/
November 17, 2018 at 10 am

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.

Kanata santa claus parade.JPG

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/
Saturday, December 8th starting at 5:30 pm

The Richmond Santa Claus Parade is a much anticipated event and we hope to see you there!  Start thinking about how you will use this great opportunity to showcase your business or organization. 

Carp Santa Claus Parade
December 8, 2018 12 pm to 2 pm
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 24, 2018 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.

2017 Santa Claus Parades in Ottawa

Santa Claus Parades in Ottawa.png

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!

2017 Ottawa Santa Claus Parades

Help Santa Toy Parade
http://toyparade.ca/
Saturday, November 18th 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, December 2nd at 6 p.m.

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/parade-of-lights
Saturday, December 2nd at 6 p.m.

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 Hazeldean Mall Santa Claus Parade
http://khlions.com/?p=864
Sunday, November 19th at 1:30 p.m.

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.

Kanata santa claus parade.JPG

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

The annual Barrhaven Lions Club Santa Claus Parade runs down Strandherd Drive. Forgot to pack snacks? There will be food vendors along the route.

Richmond Village Santa Claus Parade
http://richmondvillage.ca/event/santa-parade/
Saturday, December 2nd 5:30 to 6:00 p.m.

Carp Santa Claus Parade
Saturday, December 9th 12 p.m. to 2 p.m.
Parade route starts at The Diefenbunker, 3911 Carp Road, and follows Carp Road.

Carleton Place Santa Claus Parade
http://downtowncarletonplace.com/the-downtown-carleton-place-santa-claus-parade/ 
Saturday, November 25th at 5 p.m. Canada 150 themed

Santa Claus Parades in Ottawa

Other Christmas Activities in Ottawa

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

Alight the Night
http://www.uppercanadavillage.com/events/alight-at-night/
December 1st to January 6th
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
Friday, December 1st at 7 p.m.

Bundle up, this is an open-air concert and fireworks display on Main Street in Almonte. Now in its 27th year this night is full of music and memorable outdoor festivities.

Manotick - Olde Fashioned Christmas
http://manotickvillage.com/event/olde-fashioned-christmas/
Saturday, December 2nd and Sunday, December 3rd

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

Merrickville - Breakfast with Santa
christmasinmerrickville.ca
Saturday, December 2nd from 8:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m.

Sponsored by the Merrickville Royal Canadian Legion this is one of the most popular Christmas-in-Merrickville events. You and your family can enjoy a hearty, home-style breakfast with Santa at the Royal Canadian Legion. After breakfast, your children can share their wish list with Santa, or you can enjoy a horse-drawn wagon ride as a family. The wagon stop is right outside the Legion’s door. Donations for the horse drawn wagon rides are appreciated. Breakfast with Santa costs $6.00 for adults and $3.00 for children ages 12 and under; children ages 6 and under are free.

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

Saturday, December 16, 2017 from 10:00 am  to 4:00 pm

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! Cost: $6.30/adult, $10.45/pair, $16.75/family

Proulx Maple & Berry Farm Winterfest
http://proulxberryfarm.com/ 
Opens December 2nd

Drop by Proulx Maple & Berry Farm in Cumberland for a beautiful display of Christmas lights, a photo booth, wagon rides and more! Visit their website for more information. 

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

Merrickville - Monday, November 27th starting at 4:45 p.m.
Smiths Falls - Monday, November 27th starting at 6:20 p.m.
Perth - Monday, November 27th starting at 7:40 p.m.

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.

Santa Claus Parades in Ottawa

Santa Claus Parades in Ottawa.png

While some houses in your neighbourhood may still be sporting a jack ‘o lantern, Christmas is coming and that means Santa Claus parades will be popping up all around Ottawa!

2016 Santa Claus Parades in Ottawa

Help Santa Toy Parade
http://toyparade.ca/
Saturday, November 19th at 11 a.m.

The Ottawa Professional Fire Fighter’s Association has helped organize the Help Santa Toy Parade since 1969. This is the big one that takes place downtown and is favoured by many in the Ottawa area. 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 26th at 6 p.m.

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
stittsvilleva.com/parade-of-lights
Saturday, November 26th at 6 p.m.

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.

Stittsville Parade of Lights

Kanata Santa Claus Parade
http://www.hazeldeanmall.com/events/hazeldean-2016-hazeldean-mall-santa-claus-parade Saturday, November 12th at 10 a.m.

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.

Kanata santa claus parade.JPG

Barrhaven Lions Santa Parade
santaclausbarrhaven.com
Sunday, November 20th at 5:30 p.m. 

The annual Barrhaven Lions Club Light Up the Night Santa Claus Parade runs down Strandherd Drive. Forgot to pack snacks? There will be food vendors along the route.

Richmond Village Santa Claus Parade
http://richmondvillage.ca/event/santa-parade/
Saturday, December 3rd at 5:30 p.m.

Carp Santa Claus Parade
Saturday, December 10th at 12 noon
Parade route starts at The Diefenbunker, 3911 Carp Road, and follows Carp Road.

Carleton Place Santa Claus Parade
http://downtowncarletonplace.com/the-downtown-carleton-place-santa-claus-parade/ 
Saturday, November 26th at 5 p.m.

Santa Claus Parades in Ottawa

Other Christmas Activities in Ottawa

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

Alight the Night
http://www.uppercanadavillage.com/events/alight-at-night/
December 2nd to January 7th
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
Friday, December 2nd at 7 p.m.

Bundle up, this is an open-air concert and fireworks display on Main Street in Almonte. Now in its 26th year this night is full of music and memorable outdoor festivities.

Manotick - Olde Fashioned Christmas
http://manotickvillage.com/event/olde-fashioned-christmas/
Saturday, December 3rd and Sunday, December 4th

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

Merrickville - Breakfast with Santa
christmasinmerrickville.ca
Saturday, December 3rd from 8:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m.

Sponsored by the Merrickville Royal Canadian Legion this is one of the most popular Christmas-in-Merrickville events. You and your family can enjoy a hearty, home-style breakfast with Santa at the Royal Canadian Legion. After breakfast, your children can share their wish list with Santa, or you can enjoy a horse-drawn wagon ride as a family. The wagon stop is right outside the Legion’s door. Donations for the horse drawn wagon rides are appreciated. Breakfast with Santa costs $6.00 for adults and $3.00 for children ages 12 and under; children ages 6 and under are free.

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
ottawa.ca/en/liveculture/museums/nepeanmuseum
Saturday, December 11th from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Grab the family and head to the Nepean Museum with kids to have fun learning about old-fashioned Christmas traditions. Take home a gingerbread house and a Christmas card, and maybe even see Santa Claus! Cost: $6.15/individual, $10.20/pair, $16.35/family.

Proulx Maple & Berry Farm Winterfest
http://proulxberryfarm.com/ 
December 1st to the 18th

Drop by Proulx Maple & Berry Farm in Cumberland for a beautiful display of Christmas lights, a photo booth, wagon rides and more! Visit their website for more informaton. 

The CP Holiday Train
cpr.ca/en/community/holiday-train
November 27th: Perth (7:40 p.m.), Smiths Falls (6:20 p.m.) and Merrickville (4:45 p.m.)

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.

And So Begins the Charade

by Jenn It seems early, but the holiday season is now in full swing! The stores are decorated to the nines and Christmas music is being piped in with gusto! I've even seen a house with it's Christmas lights on this evening. Of course I'm sure some would be quick to point out that we haven't actually taken ours down from last year. The big difference is we won't turn them on until December. There just comes a point where you've procrastinated so long you may as well just leave them up. I doubt anyone would really notice anyways. The garland in July, however, may be a different story altogether. Meh.

Our oldest is three, and has a general idea about Christmas and Santa, but I'm not so sure how real it has been to her in the past. After all, she was only two and a half last Christmas. During work "holiday parties", she was even terrified of Santa! We've talked him up a bit since then. She's old enough now that we can plant the seeds of Santa Blackmail in her little mind. Muhahaha! "You better eat all your dinner. Santa is always watching..." Most of all though, she's at the age where we can really start to get excited about the holiday as a whole.

Today we took the kiddies to their first Santa Claus parade! I don't think Alice had any idea what to expect. We went with a bunch of friends and their kids too. It was a really wonderful time out with everyone, if a bit on the chilly side. When the parade started, Alice was curious but cautious. It wasn't long before she really got into it. She waved at all the people and the floats. When marching bands came by she was excited about the music and the instruments. "Look Mom, music!" The costumes, the candy, the floats; she waved her flag excitedly and gave out high fives to those marching by. When Santa showed up she stared at him in child like awe! Which is quite fitting what with her being three. Kaylee sat and watched everything with interest. She seemed pretty happy being entertained by the events passing in front of her. She must have been because it was LONG past her nap time and she didn't fuss once. She's such a sweetie!

I'm really looking forward to celebrating Christmas this year. It's so exciting to see a little person really experience it for the first time. Alice is super excited. I can't wait. I feel like a kid a Christmas!

*****

For more a full list of upcoming Santa Claus parades, check out this post over at Postcards from the Mothership. There are still TONS in the next couple weeks!

Jenn is a mom to 3-year-old Alice and 1-year-old Kaylee. She says that talking to herself would just be crazy; so she has a blog instead.