December is here at last, and you can get all excited about Christmas without attracting strange looks from family and friends. And Christmas brings beloved traditions: Bing Crosby crooning carols in the background, the glittering Christmas tree just about scraping the ceiling, lavishly decorated streets and stores, and, of course, houses so heavily festooned with lights they’d make Clark Griswold jealous (National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation). Here are three festive activities guaranteed to put you in a holiday mood!

Christmas Lights Across Canada

What could be more magical on a winter’s night than strolling among illuminated trees in our nation’s beautiful capital, and stopping to take in an amazing show on Parliament Hill? For 31 years now, Christmas Lights Across Canada have been lighting up the downtown core of Gatineau and Ottawa. All through the darkest weeks of winter, Laurier Street in Gatineau, the Alexandra Bridge and Confederation Boulevard, and of course Parliament Hill sparkle with thousands of holiday lights that dazzle and delight! This year’s event kicks off on December 2 at 7 p.m. with an official illumination ceremony on Parliament Hill, and runs until January 7.

Coulonge Falls Festival of Lights

The Festival of Lights in Coulonge Falls Park has become a popular Outaouais holiday tradition. On three December weekends, you’re invited to enjoy a bonfire, hot chocolate and a BBQ, browse the artisan market, and explore the magnificent lighted walking trail that leads to the falls. Don’t miss this unique and enchanting experience in the heart of the Pontiac.

Christmas Craft-ernoons

This year, why not try something new and send Christmas cards you’ve made yourself? It’s all part of the fun at the Bytown Museum’s Christmas Craft-ernoons, every weekend until December 20 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Create traditional decorations that you can add to the museum’s tree or take home with you. Museum staff will be on hand to tell you all about Edwardian Christmas traditions and what Christmas in Ottawa was like 100 years ago!

Christmas markets, twinkling lights, holiday crafts … at this festive time of year, Outaouais is packed with things to do for the whole family—and we can’t wait to share the Christmas spirit with you! See the Outaouais region in a whole new light, thanks to markets and activities that are sure to delight Christmas elves young and old.

For more suggestions activities in the Outaouais region, visit our website www.tourismeoutaouais.com. And don’t forget to follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram using our regional hashtag #outaouaisfun!

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