The holidays can be the perfect opportunity to spend quality time together as a family, but once the festivities of Christmas and Boxing Day are over, children can get a little stir crazy! With that in mind, here is a list of holiday activities for kids in Ottawa that will keep your kids busy, entertained and make for some incredible memories too!
At the end of the post you will find a giveaway for THREE of the activities listed below (keep reading to find out which ones!).
1) Visit a Museum
Ottawa has many great museums, and my kids really enjoy the Children's Museum at the Canadian Museum of History. I'll never forget a frigid day spent there last year, checking out the latest exhibits!
2) Check out Christmas Lights Across Canada on Parliament Hill
Last year almost 20,000 people gathered on Parliament Hill to take in the sights and sounds of Christmas Lights Across Canada multimedia show (playing until Christmas Day). In addition to the show, don't forget all the lights! Go for a walk in Confederation Park to see thousands of holiday lights on display. The lights are on display until January 7, 2017.
3) Ride a Rollercoaster at Funhaven
Did you know Funhaven now has a rollercoaster? In fact, it's the ONLY rollercoaster in Ottawa! The Crazy 8 rollercoaster was custom-manufactured in Italy this past summer specifically for Funhaven. It was featured at the International Amusement and Attractions Expo in Orlando this November, before being shipped to Ottawa for installation. The rollercoaster is in addition to the other fun offerings of Funhaven including laser tag, bumper cars, a laser maze, mini-bowling, a jungle gym with soft air cannons, and a climbing wall.
4) Visit Gatineau Playground Park
Grab the kids and head over to Gatineau for some indoor play from December 27th to 30th from 10am to 5pm at the Complexe Branchaud-Briere in Gatineau. This fun indoor playground features inflatables for kids under 5 as well as electric karts. There is also Teen Zone with extreme race inflatables, Just Dance consoles, and seven life size games. There is also a sports zone where kids can try new sports and different activities depending on the day.
5) Spend an evening at Alight the Night
Bundle up and get ready for a walk through a beautifully lit holiday-themed Upper Canada Village. This year Alight the Night features a Mistletoe Maze, a snow block-style maze made up of over 300 giant, white-wrapped bales of reindeer hay. There is also the a ferris wheel, which provides a unique view of the village below. As always, there is also old-fashioned horse-drawn carriage rides.
6) Take them to see The Blizzard Of Oz
After two successful runs of Freezing - The Musical, Ottawa Musicals is thrilled to bring The Blizzard of Oz to the Gladstone Theatre for ONE WEEK ONLY - January 3rd to 8th. This marks their 3rd annual family musical in the style of a panto. The heroine, Dottie, gets lost in a snowstorm and ends up in a strange land. Along the way she meets Bob Cat, Al Loy and The Faircrow. Lost in the big city, they get help from Glenda the Good while they try to stop Wanda the Wicked from taking over the Ruby Slipper Cafe. A twisted story full of music, dance, larger than life characters, jokes for both the young and old, local Ottawa references and more. You will be over the rainbow while you laugh, tap your toes and boo the bad guy in this year’s all new family musical. The Blizzard of Oz runs for ONE WEEK ONLY. Once tickets are gone, they’re gone.
7) Go Swimming
Fun and affordable, a family swim can be just what you need to soothe tired muscles after a day of skiing. Or maybe it's been too cold for skiing, and your kids need to get their sillies out! Check out the City of Ottawa's public swim schedule - our kids LOVE the wave pools.
8) Go Bowling
Do you have fond memories of bowling as a kid? I promise parents, it's just as fun as it used to be ;) It's a great way to get the kids out of the house for a couple of hours, especially if temperatures are frigid. Check out Orleans Bowling or Merivale Bowling Centre!
9) Snowshoe or Cross-country ski in Gatineau Park
The snow this year is perfect for winter sports! Gatineau Park has one of the largest networks of trails in North America and has over 60 kilometres of snowshoe trails, varying in difficulty (rated from easy to difficult). Many trails lead to unique historic buildings and scenic views. Dress warmly, pack some hot chocolate and plan for an exciting day of outdoor play.
10) Go Skating
Our recent frigid temperatures mean many outdoor community rinks are open, including the Sens Rink of Dreams located outside of Ottawa City Hall on Laurier Avenue. For a complete list of outdoor rinks and their conditions, visit the city's interactive online map.
For one lucky family, we are giving away:
A Friends and Family Combo to Funhaven (including 1 game of laser tag and $5 bonus FunCards per person, and access to the climbing wall, jungle gym, and bumper cars);
AND a family 4-pack of tickets to see The Blizzard of Oz;
AND a family pass (5 people, max 2 adults) to the Canadian Museum of History!!
Use the Rafflecopter below to enter - you can submit as many or as few entries as are allowed! Contest closes at noon on Friday December 23rd. You must be a resident of Ottawa, and available to use the tickets to The Blizzard of Oz, January 3rd to the 8th. Good luck!!