1. Enjoy hundreds of thousands of winter lights
Take a walk through a across Canada’s Capital Region. The pathway runs past many key sights, including Confederation Park, the Peacekeeping monument, the Supreme Court of Canada and Portage Park. The lights are lit every evening from December 7, 2023, to January 7, 2024. A stroll is a wonderful way to refresh after studying or to celebrate after your last exam!
2. Embrace your inner elf
The at Aberdeen Square next to TD Place is already in full swing but there are still plenty of to enjoy, not to mention the North Pole vibe of snow-capped heritage buildings and wooden chalets. Get giddy like Elf watching the kids line up to see Santa, grab a bite to eat or buy a holiday gift at one of 45+ vendors. The market is open on weekends, starting at 5 p.m. on Fridays, and then every day from Wednesday, Dec. 20 to Saturday, December 23 at 10 p.m. It’s also an .
3. Shop smart and find a thoughtful gift
Skip the big malls and instead choose from original artwork, ceramics, jewellery, crafts, books and more at the , which runs until January 7, 2024. Find an original, thoughtful gift and support up-and-coming Canadian artists, or simply enjoy the art. It’s also just on Nicolas Street at the foot of the Mackenzie King Bridge. And the in the same building has one of the trendiest vibes in the city.
4. See magical trees for a good cause
Wander through the lobby of the Fairmont Château Laurier on Rideau Street and gaze at the 32 tastefully decorated . You can walk in for free but this annual event is held to raise funds for a good cause –the Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario Foundation. Scan the QR code on site and vote for your favourite! The event runs until January 5, 2024.
5. Explore Indigenous art
6. Start skating (before the Rideau Canal freezes over)
7. Try forest skating
If you’re willing and able to go further afield for a skate, you could try a forest trail. You may need a car to get to some of these spots, and it’s also a good idea to call ahead to check if the ice is ready, but there are many adventurous options: , , and . In Quebec, you can try or . Be sure to do your research to get the best option, but the average cost is around $20.
8. Create a snow sculpture
9. Visit the Vintage Village of Lights
Go back in time to the 1920s and ’30s and explore festive light displays at the based at the Cumberland Heritage Village Museum. It’s about a half-hour drive from downtown Ottawa. Each $25.50 ticket is good for a group of 1-to-6 participants, so be sure to go with friends to make the most of this outing. You do need to register and keep in mind that it’s only open on weekends until December 17.
10. Discover winter wonderland trails
Take a hike, snow-shoe, ride a fat bike or cross-country ski (if there’s enough snow) on many throughout the Ottawa-Gatineau region. The is a popular option just over an hour away from campus via public transit. (We recommend you use the .) In all, there are more than 150 kilometres of in the Ottawa region to explore. Some, like the Kichi Sibi Winter Trail, the Rideau Winter Trail and Ski Heritage East are easily accessible from downtown Ottawa. You can also head into Quebec: is not too far away and, if you have a car, offers more possibilities.