#Outaouaisfun Holiday Magic
PICK UP AN #OUTAOUAISFUN ADVENT CALENDAR
Rochef Chocolatier started selling their Advent calendars on November 2. Each one contains 24 milk chocolates (10 g each), for a total of 240 g of pure delight. One thing for sure, with such delicious chocolate, you won’t forget to open the little door every night.
This year, Chocolats Favoris shops are selling a very original Advent calendar. It consists of 24 little boxes, each containing chocolate treats for 4 people. Hang them on your tree—but don’t forget to open one box each day!
GIVE YOUR LOVED ONES A TASTE OF #OUTAOUAISFUN
Gourmet treats from the Wakefield Confectionery
Your guests will be thrilled when you serve products from the Wakefield Confectionery. This charming boutique in the village of Wakefield sells a lot more than candy: they also make a cranberry and Cointreau relish that’s the perfect complement to your holiday turkey, and a variety of relishes to serve with tourtière. Visit their Facebook page to find out which local Christmas markets they’ll be attending.
Try Les Brasseurs du Temps’ Christmas beer
Would you like to surprise your guests with a great local beer? Stick with the holiday theme and serve them a spicy Messe de minuit (“midnight mass”) brewed by Les Brasseurs du Temps. Fast becoming a holiday tradition, this seasonal blend is like a gingerbready pint of holiday cheer, with intense anise, orange and raisin flavours.
Christmas teas and tisanes from the Cha Yi Tea House
To complement your holiday desserts and warm up those chilly December days, there’s nothing like some Christmas black tea or Christmas herbal tea—made with strawberries, blood oranges, citrus peel, ginger and rose hips, among other ingredients—from the Cha Yi Tea House. It’s like comfort in a cup.
Christmas in Old Aylmer
The most important date on the calendar in the next few weeks is definitely Saturday, December 3: that’s when Santa Claus officially arrives in the Outaouais, during the 22nd annual Gatineau Santa Claus Parade. Families are invited to gather on Principale Street in the Aylmer sector at 6 p.m. to watch dozens of colourful floats go by. Keep your eyes peeled for Santa—he’ll be sitting comfortably on the very last one.
In addition to the parade, from December 2 to 4 you can visit the Old Aylmer Christmas Market. This year it’s being held in the courtyard of the British Hotel, a legendary Old Aylmer building that dates back to 1834! Visit all the kiosks to discover a wide range of local products. Enjoy children’s entertainment, a visit from Santa, and wonderful surprises for the whole family.
While you’re there, make a side trip to the Symmes Inn Museum to see the permanent exhibition Symmes Inn: Windows onto the Ottawa River and attend a Christmas storytelling session (Sunday, December 4).
A Christmas market among the totem poles!
From December 1 to 4, more than 90 exhibitors will fill the majestic Grand Hall of the Canadian Museum of History. The Christmas Market is a great place to do your holiday shopping in a festive and relaxed atmosphere. Admission is free, so there’s no excuse not to go!
New Christmas market in downtown Gatineau
On Friday, November 25, visit the new Christmas market at 158 Promenade du Portage in downtown Gatineau. It opens at 10 a.m., and dozens of local vendors await you!
Ripon Christmas Market
On December 10 and 11, Place du Marché in Ripon is the place to go to find original gifts. Some 30 local artists and producers will be there to provide beautiful holiday gift ideas!
ByWard Market outdoor market
Did you know that the outdoor ByWard Market is open all year round, including the holidays? It’s definitely somewhere to consider if you’re looking for a real Christmas tree, decorations, local products to serve your guests, and original gifts. Heads up: on November 26 and 27 there will be a Christmas craft fair inside the ByWard Market Building. Lots of gifts to discover!
Christmas market at the George-Bryson Heritage House
On Saturday, December 3, don’t miss the sixth annual traditional Christmas market on the grounds of the George Bryson Heritage House. You’ll find lots to see and enjoy: Christmas crafts and decorations, live music, pastries and hot chocolate, photos with Santa, and a Santa Claus parade starting at 5 p.m. sharp.
Blue Sea craft fair
December 3 and 4 are the dates of the traditional craft fair at the Blue Sea Rectory, where more than a dozen local artisans will be displaying their work. This is a real highlight of the holiday season in the Gatineau Valley.
Wakefield Christmas Market
For an experience with a European flair, don’t miss the Wakefield Christmas Market, Saturday, December 10 from 2 to 7 p.m. at the Wakefield La Pêche Community Centre. Now in its fourth year, this new Wakefield holiday tradition is the only European-style outdoor Christmas market in the Outaouais. Visit more than 70 local vendors in the market, or come share the holiday spirit indoors by the fire.
Bristol Christmas Market
On November 26, Bristol’s traditional Christmas market is back for the sixth consecutive year. Here’s your chance to discover creations by more than 50 Outaouais artisans, many from the Pontiac, and cross a few items off your Christmas list.
Salle Desjardins, Carrefour culturel ESTacade
December 10: Le Noël d’Ari Cui Cui (variety)
Salle Odyssée, Maison de la culture de Gatineau
December 11: Nicolas Noël (music)
December 17: Féerie d’hiver with the Orchestre symphonique de Gatineau
December 18: Fêtons Noël avec la comtesse d’Harmonia (music)
Cabaret La Basoche
November 27: Dans nos maisons (French play)
December 11: L’Esprit de Noël avec Lise Maurais (variety)
National Arts Centre
November 30–December 4: The Nutcracker (ballet)
December 13–31: A Christmas Carol (English play)
December 14: Fortunate Ones Holiday Show (pop/folk)
December 20: Sultans of String Christmas Fiesta with guest Rebecca Campbell (musical group)
December 21: Natalie MacMaster and Donnell Leahy: A Celtic Family Christmas (music)
November 26: 3rd annual Pontiac Music Festival
Conservatoire de musique de Gatineau
December 8 & 9: Les Noëls de John Rutter
Kids in the Kitchen – Holiday Sweet Treats Workshop
With the festive season fast approaching, now is a great time for young visitors to learn how to make their own homemade sweets. December 3 and 4 at the Canadian Children’s Museum, they’ll learn how to whip up some great treats in a variety of tasty flavours and fun holiday shapes.
Keepsake Christmas Ornaments
December 9 to 18 and December 23 and 24, families are invited to the Canadian Children’s Museum to learn how to make colourful ornaments out of ribbons and beads to hang on their Christmas tree.
A Victorian Christmas
December 10 and 11 at the Canadian Museum of History, experience a 19th-century Canadian Christmas with activities, music and crafts that hearken back to a time when people travelled through the snow in one-horse open sleighs. Visitors of all ages can make an old-fashioned tree ornament with Victorian-style wrapping paper, and dress up in period costume for a nostalgic photo op in a calèche. Kids can play with vintage games such as Jacob’s Ladder, cup-and-ball, horse-on-a-paddle, a jumping jack, or marbles. The Dickens Carolers of Ottawa will fill the air with traditional Christmas carols in both English and French. This event is inspired by Horse Power, an exhibition of antique carriages and sleds such as the Quebec cariole, the one-horse open sleigh seen in many iconic winter scenes.
Artissimo, Christmas edition
In December, the National Gallery of Canada’s Artissimo weekend workshops will have a holiday theme. On December 3 & 4 and 10 & 11, children can create a 3D Christmas tree, and December 17 & 18 and 24 they can make pine cone figures and animal sculptures inspired by works in the Gallery’s collection.
Music at the Museum – Holiday Favourites
December 4 from 2 to 3 p.m., the Canada Aviation and Space Museum presents a concert of holiday music performed by the Centralaires Concert Band, the Central Band of the Canadian Armed Forces, and the Governor General’s Foot Guards Band. This is one concert you won’t want to miss!
Christmas Craft-ernoons at the Bytown Museum
On November 26 & 27 and December 3 & 4, 10 & 11, and 17 & 18, the Bytown Museum invites you to Christmas Craft-ernoons. Each weekend, different materials will be provided for young (and young at heart) crafters to create their own traditional decorations.
Christmas concert at the National Gallery of Canada
December 18 at 11 a.m., experience a winter wonderland as the National Capital Concert Band paints a musical canvas with Christmas and holiday tunes next to our majestic tree.
Find the reindeer at the Canadian Museum of Nature
From December 21 to January 8, escape winter’s chill and visit the friendly animals and reptiles at the Canadian Museum of Nature, where it’s lovely and warm! Did you know that Santa’s reindeer spend the holidays at the museum? See if you can spot the nine miniature reindeer hidden among the exhibits!
Gingerbread house contest
During the holiday season, you’re invited to enter the Canada Agriculture and Food Museum’s Gingerbread House Contest for Families. Bring in your uniquely decorated gingerbread house and it will be displayed from December 26 to January 8. Visitors will be voting for their favourite house, and the top three winners will each receive a special prize!
Celebrate the holidays in the world’s largest log building!
The Fairmont Le Château Montebello is offering an original and memorable holiday package! The Country Christmas package includes a visit from Santa Claus, dinner and dancing, Yule log and hot chocolate, and, of course, a wide range of winter activities such as sleigh rides, curling and skating. It’s an old-fashioned celebration you won’t soon forget!
Christmas at Place de la Cité
On December 3, come celebrate Christmas at Place de la Cité, with free activities for the whole family: a children’s show with Atchoum the clown, live family entertainment (choirs, folk music, dancing), a mini-Christmas market, bonfires, hot chocolate and candies, and Christmas tree sales.
Special activities at Parc Oméga
Did you know that Parc Oméga is open all year, even on Christmas Day? The popular wildlife park offers special programming during the holidays, from December 24 to January 8: sleigh rides, snowshoe rental, wood carving, presentations about the park’s white-tailed deer and a black crow, and an enchanted cottage.
Calèche ride in Old Hull
On Sunday, December 18, book a 30-minute calèche ride with Vieux-Hull à Cheval and explore the streets of Old Hull as your guide tells you all about the days of wood stoves and hand-knitted mittens. Make your reservation today!
Coulonge Falls Festival of Lights
The Coulonge Falls Festival of Lights takes place December 3, 9 & 10, 16 & 17, 26 & 27, and 28–30. Discover Coulonge Falls Park in all its winter glory, with more than 7,000 twinkling lights and special effects lining the trail to the waterfall. Gather around the bonfire to warm up and roast a few marshmallows in a festive spirit! The park is just 75 minutes from Gatineau.
Holiday fun at Casino du Lac-Leamy
Casino du Lac-Leamy is already in the holiday mood! Until December 8, play the slots and you could win up to $150,000 during the Holiday Giveaway. Participate in the Naughty or Nice promotion (December 2, 9 and 16) for a chance to win the $10,000 jackpot (wouldn’t that come in handy for Christmas shopping?). And the casino’s bars and restaurants have created festive holiday specials to put you in the Christmas spirit.
Christmas Lights Across Canada
From December 7 to Janary 7, discover Christmas Lights Across Canada, a dazzling display of more than 300,000 holiday lights throughout the National Capital Regoin. This year’s program includes a new winter lightscapes multimedia show presented every night at the Centre Block of the Parliament Buildings, continuously from 5:30 to 11 p.m. Follow the exciting journey of Grizzli, Fox and Snowman through imaginary landscapes on their quest for light. Inspired by Canada’s nature, climate and culture, this fairy tale combines digital projection technology, lighting, and an accompanying original sound track with the architectural splendour of the Parliament Buildings.
Lighting of the giant Christmas tree at the National Gallery of Canada
The National Gallery of Canada’s magnificent Christmas tree is back in the Scotiabank Great Hall for the holiday season. Standing nearly 12 metres tall and 6 metres wide, decorated with 500 ornaments and 12,000 coloured lights, the tree will be lit on Thursday, December 8 at 6:30 p.m. The public is invited to gather from 5 p.m. to admire the tree, listen to Christmas carols performed by the violin ensemble Stellae Boreales, and enjoy a delicious hot chocolate.
Visit Santa at local shopping centres
Eager beavers will be glad to know that Santa has already arrived at the Galeries de Hull and the Promenades Gatineau. He’ll be happy to listen to your children’s wish lists, and who knows, he may even help you buy a few presents. At the Promenades, you and the family can take a break from shopping to ride the P’tit train holiday train!