- The Ottawa Christmas Market is back for another year and is bigger and better than ever.
- The annual lighting of Parliament Hill will be taking place, but that's not all Canada's capital has up its sleeve for the holiday season.
- Find out below why you should take a trip to Ottawa this holiday season - you have until December 22!
This year, the Ottawa Christmas Market is going a little holiday crazy - not that we're complaining. This year not only are they hosting the annual lighting of Parliament Hill and transforming the park into a brightly lit winter escape with live music, interactive pianos and thousands of Christmas bulbs, but there is also a brand new German-inspired Christmas market (given the thumbs up from none other than the German ambassador to Canada), along with a 30-foot twinkling Christmas tree.
Suffice it to say, Ottawa has stepped up its Christmas cheer for 2019. If there was ever an excuse needed for a quick two and a half-hour holiday road trip, the Canadian capital may have supplied us with it.
The European market opened its doors this past Friday and is open every weekend until December 22. The market features 20 Christmas huts in a Bavarian-theme that hosts local artisans specializing in traditional foods, including soups and sausages, pastries, mulled wine and gifts for everyone.
If you want to keep to the free theme, then grab your thermos and hang out by one of the outdoor firepits while listening to live shows during the evenings.
Don't forget to make a stop at the massive Christmas tree also held at the Aberdeen Square at Lansdowne. You can't miss it.
To really take in Ottawa's Christmas chaos this year, you can also catch the official illumination ceremony near Parliament Hill on December 4, starting at 5:30 p.m. As part of Christmas Lights Across Canada event, hundreds of thousands of lights will glow through downtown Ottawa including streets, historic sites, and parks.
The event will carry on through to January 7 and you can catch a multimedia show projected onto Parliament Hill's Centre Block. The fairytale show runs on a 13-minute loop from 5:30 p.m. to 11 p.m. every night.
Not only will you be able to catch the show for free but if you get there early enough for the ceremony, free BeaverTails will also be served as long as supplies last.
While Ottawa isn't necessarily on everyone's road trip list, if you want to pack in a traditional European style market, free winter entertainment, a Christmas tree on steroids, hundreds of thousands of holiday decorations, and a chance to catch an audiovisual show displayed on Parliament Hill - then this is the place to do it all at once.
Ottawa Christmas Market & Parliament Light Show
Christmas Market: Weekends from now until December 22
Christmas Lights Across Canada: December 4 - January 7, 2020; 5:30 p.m. - 11 p.m.
Christmas Market: 1525 Princess Patricia Way, Ottawa; The Aberdeen Square
Christmas Lights Across Canada: See the website for the official lighting route