The holiday season is in full-swing, and most of us just want to curl up in the warmth inside with a hot chocolate or some seasonal eggnog. As warm and comfortable as the indoors may be, there are great sights to enjoy in the city of Ottawa this holiday season. Here are some of our favourite sights in the Ottawa area during the Christmas season:
Parliament Hill is the central sight in all of Ottawa during the entire calendar year, and Christmas season is no exception. As part of the “Christmas Lights Across Canada” festivities, Parliament Hill is aglow with colourful lights every night until January 7th. Even more, this year features “whimsical” winter-themed projections on the Centre Block and Peace Tower on the days surrounding Christmas and New Year’s Day. Stroll along Wellington Street with a hot chocolate or warm cider in hand and check out the beautiful and creative light displays.
Bruce Deachman wrote a funny and charming article in the Ottawa Citizen about the elaborately festooned homes on Taffy Lane in Orleans. Not exactly a “hidden gem,” since Deachman joking claims the neighbourhood can be seen from space, but for those in the East end, it’s a must-see sight that will delight the kids with its luminosity. These homes with “blinking lights and floodlit decorations, so many red-nosed reindeer and inflatable Santas and musical candy canes and so much glittering tinsel” put the Griswold house in Christmas Vacation to shame. Simply put, the houses of Taffy Lane will get you in the Christmas spirit in a pinch, though sunglasses are recommended – just kidding.
Alight at Night – Upper Canada Village
While it’s not in Ottawa, a scenic drive southward will land you at Upper Canada Village, decorated like a true winter wonderland. With nearly one million Christmas lights adorning the heritage buildings and surrounding trees and fences of this historic village, it is the perfect backdrop for all the fun, family-friend Christmas activities being offered. With horse-drawn wagons and romantic carriage rides, a life-sized toy train, festive dining options, captivating carols, and the presence of a Victorian-era St. Nick, Upper Canada Village provides a breathtaking trip back in Canadian history with a Christmas twist.
These are just some of our favourite Ottawa-area Christmas sights. But as we all know, there are always new discoveries to be made, whether it’s the new neighbour who impresses with an elaborate light display or a local shop which puts up a magical and inspiring Christmas display. So keep an eye out for the latest local delight, which might be just around the corner from you!