It’s the time of year again when the elves are busy making toys in the North Pole and Santa is planning to visit with children across the city in advance of the big day. Visiting Old Saint Nick and getting a photo at your local mall is just fine. But you can also take the kids to one of these other local events for a truly unique experience.
Whether you want to enjoy breakfast with Santa, explore an outdoor adventure park before you meet him, or experience Christmas with a vintage feel, this list will pull you out of the line at the mall and help you create a new holiday tradition that everyone will love.
Join the Christmas Celebration at the Nepean Museum
On December 16th, the entire family can visit the quaint Nepean Museum for a celebration of Christmas. Off of Carling Avenue and not far from Downtown, The Nepean Museum invites children to create a Christmas craft, enjoy a tasty treat and of course, Santa will be there! Family passes are $16.75 and the museum is open from 10 am until 4 pm.
Breakfast with Santa at Kids Kingdom in Orleans
This is a new event in Orleans that is sure to be a hit. We know your kids will love having breakfast with Santa on December 10 from 8 am until 11 am. This is a ticketed-only event and tickets must be purchased in advance at the Kids Kingdom reception. You’ll get a picture with Santa, have the opportunity to build a gingerbread house and enjoy more festive activities.
Ian’s Adventure Park
It will be impossible to go to Ian’s Adventure Park and not leave feeling festive. Give yourself enough time to experience everything they have to offer like the campfire and hot chocolate, the hay barn or wagon ride. Bring your skates and toboggan for added adventuring. Of course, you’ll also have the chance to meet Santa but only at certain times. Catch Santa on Wednesday, Thursdays and Fridays between 6 pm and 9 pm and on weekends between 2 pm and 8 pm.
Village of Lights in Cumberland
On Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays until December 17th, the Cumberland Heritage Village Museum Vintage Village of Lights will shine up the night and warm your holiday spirit. Take a leisurely stroll through the village or hop in the horse drawn wagon for a ride around before stepping into the old school house to decorate gingerbread cookies, or warm up by the fire. Bring a few dollars to have ready to buy some hot chocolate. When you’re done, Santa will be waiting to greet the kids at his workshop and if they stop by the post office first, they can send even send him a telegraph in advance.
Breakfast with Santa in Old Ottawa South
At the Old Ottawa South Community Centre (the Firehall), Santa is making a breakfast stop to see families on December 10 from 10:30 am until 12:30 pm. Delicious pancakes will be served for the first 150 people. The kids can make a craft, decorate cookies and see Santa himself. Space is limited and while admission is free, a donation for the Ottawa Food Bank is requested.
Billings Estate National Historic Site
Christmas elves are hard at work at the Billings Estate Historical site to prepare for Santa’s arrival. On December 2, families will be welcomed into the historic home to “Elves at the Estate”, where you’ll be able to visit with Santa, get hands-on with special crafts, listen to stories and experience vintage Christmas fun. You’ll want to make time to walk around the interesting and educational grounds of the estate, and learn about the area’s history.