5 things to do over the holidays

Published on December 16 2021

Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow! At last its time for the holidays, Christmas cookies in industrial quantities, and family fun. Take advantage of your (perhaps limited!) spare time over the holidays to try a few of these activities in good company.

Thousands of twinkling lights


There’s nothing more magical than taking an evening stroll to admire the most beautiful winter lights! That’s just what Christmas Lights Across Canada is all about. Follow the Pathway of lights along Confederation Boulevard in Canada’s Capital Region, illuminated by thousands of lights, and reawaken your inner child as you take in the beautiful scenery. To round out your evening, head for Parliament Hill to watch the new multimedia show projected on the front of the Parliament Buildings. Digital imagery and music combine in a captivating open-air presentation!

Finally, to welcome winter in style, watch IllumiNATION – A Celebration of the Winter Solstice on Canadian Heritage’s YouTube channel, December 21 at 8 pm ET. People from all across the country are invited to celebrate Canadian traditions, legends and customs surrounding the winter solstice.

Where

111 Wellington Street (Parliament Hill), Ottawa

Cost

Free

Good to know

The multimedia projection will be presented in a 15-minute loop from 5:30 pm to 11 pm (ET) until January 7, 2022, as part of Christmas Lights Across Canada. The broadcast of IllumiNATION will be available online until January 7.

Learn more

Calling all adventurers

Outside, Christin Healey
Outside, Christin Healey

Add some excitement to an ordinary holiday day with a trip to Arbraska Laflèche! Take the whole family on the Snowman Adventure. Youll tour the underground Laflèche Cave and its nooks and crannies to observe stalagmites and stalactites. Who knows? You might even see some bats! Then soar through the air on a giant zip line and trek through the forest on snowshoes. The icing on the cake to top off your day: a good hot chocolate by the fire!

Where

255 Principale Rt., Val-des-Monts

Good to know

Reservations required.

Learn more

An immersive exhibition

The holiday season is also a time for reflection. The Canadian War Museums exhibition Forever Changed dives deep into the vivid and moving stories of Canadians during the Second World War. Learn how war was experienced on a human scale, in Canada and around the world. No story will leave you indifferent!

Where

1 Vimy Place, Ottawa

When

The exhibition runs until September 5, 2022.

Learn more

Outdoor fun in the city


Theres no need to drive for kilometres and kilometres to have fun in the heart of the snowy Outaouais! Several urban outdoor centres offer hiking, snowshoeing, cross-country skiing and even sliding. After a day of winter activities at the Centre plein air du Lac-Leamy, the Centre de plein air du Lac-Beauchamp or the Relais plein air, you definitely deserve a hot chocolate!

A virtual reality game arcade

Where

79 De la Gappe Blvd., Gatineau

Good to know

Reservations required.

Learn more

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With all these suggestions, theres no excuse for having nothing to do over the holidays. If youre more inclined to want to escape the snow and cold, here are some ideas for indoor #OutaouaisFun activities. 

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