The summer seems to get all the glory when people think about and plan for festivals (especially music festivals in Ottawa) but the spring boasts plenty of festivals that you can enjoy with the kids. Here are some of the upcoming spring festivals happening this year in Ottawa.
Tip: Want to keep up with more Ottawa Festivals, including ones that would be perfect for date night? Check out the Ottawa Festivals website!
Sparks Street Poutinefest
Things are going to get cheesy at the Sparks Street PoutineFest. Consider this your official festival season kick-off and grab your favourite poutine (or try something new) at one of the many participating restaurants and food outlets that are serving up this local fare. Then, grab a drink from Big Rig Brewery and hang out in the Poutine Parlour to eat and listen to live music. The kids won’t complain about what’s for dinner that night! PoutineFest runs between April 25-28. PoutineFest hours are Thursday to Saturday, from 11 am to 9 pm and Sunday, 11 am to 7 pm. Admission is free.
Ottawa Fringe Fest
Fans of the arts will be interested to note that Ottawa’s Fringe Fest will return to Ottawa from June 13-23. Audiences and artists can explore an interactive and unique experience during the shows (where some family-friendly programming is planned) and ticket sales go to support the performers. Save the dates now, and check back for details as they’re updated on the website.
The Jane’s Walk event is less like a traditional festival where people gather and more of a two-day event featuring multiple free walking tours around the city. This festival is highlighted by over 50 walks around the Ottawa area where you can connect with our city in a new way and get to know your neighbours. This year, Jane’s Walk is also hosting a free birthday party on May 4th in honour of what would have been Jane’s 103rd birthday. The walks themselves take place on May 4th and 5th. On the website, you can search for a walk that might interest you by area.
The Ottawa International Children’s Festival
We love how the Ottawa International Children’s Festival is especially for our kids. This fun-filled event for families is not to be missed. Admission is free to the general grounds where kids can listen to music and see stage shows, interact with characters and participate in rock climbing or the archery booth. There are also special shows and performances that are ticketed events, and these are rather popular so if there’s one you especially want to see, grab your tickets now to avoid disappointment. Food is available onsite or you can pack a picnic. The Ottawa International Children’s Festival is located at Lebreton Flats.
It takes place between May 8 and 12 and hours are 9:30-2:30 during the week and 10 am – 4 pm on the weekend. However, the schedule varies widely each day. There is an extensive program on their website with all of the details.
For two days and two nights, the Glowfair Festival takes over ten city blocks (along Bank Street) for an unforgettable, huge block party. And the entire city is invited. The best part is that it’s entirely free! On June 15 and 16, you won’t want to miss the live action music, interactive areas to play and explore, and an in-the-street dance party that is surely going to be the talk of the town. This event will make you the coolest parent out there. Details can be found on their website.
Canadian Tulip Festival
One of the most beloved festivals in our city, the Canadian Tulip Festival will delight your entire family between May 10 and 20. This is an 11-day celebration of the royal gift of tulips given to Canada after their role in the liberation of the Netherlands during the Second World War. Every year, the tulips brighten up Ottawa and tourists and local residents alike literally stop to smell the flowers, and participate in the fun activities. In addition to the flowers, you’ll enjoy the festival fireworks, the musical performances as well as special screenings and readings on stage. The website has details on all of the flower locations and various program offerings.
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