Things to do in Ottawa New Year’s Day

OTTAWA — Large gatherings are prohibited in Ottawa, eastern Ontario and western Quebec on New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day due to the COVID-19 pandemic. looks at things to do with the family on New Year Eve and New Year’s Day.

Lace up the skates

Outdoor community and refrigerated skating rinks in Ottawa will remain open for skating only, weather permitting.

The city is recommending you wear a mask while skating on the outdoor rinks, and maintain a two-metre distance from other skaters outside your household.

The Sens Rink of Dreams at Ottawa City Hall is open daily from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m.

The Lansdowne Park Skating Court is open daily from 6 a.m. to 11 p.m.

Ben Franklin Place Skating Rink is open 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. New Year’s Eve and 1 p.m. to 11 p.m. on New Year’s Day.

The Jim Tubman Chevrolet Rink is open daily. For information on skating times, visit

Enjoy the outdoors

The National Capital Commission invites you to get outdoors this winter.

“With over 450 km of trails for skiing, snowshoeing, snow biking, walking and hiking, hills for tobogganing and fire pits to warm up by, there’s something for everyone to enjoy in our ‘Winter Capital,'” says the NCC.

Check out the NCC’s Winter Capital interactive map to find suggested routes. Visit:

A reminder that interprovincial travel is strongly discouraged. Residents are asked to remain on their respective sides of the Ottawa River as much as possible and to travel only for essential reasons.

City of Ottawa park amenities remain open for public use. Residents are reminded to follow public health guidelines and maintain physical distancing.

According to the provincial government, the following outdoor amenities are permitted to open during the shutdown:

  • Parks and recreational areas
  • Ice rinks
  • Snowmobile, cross country, dogsledding, ice-skating and snow-shoe trails
  • Playgrounds
  • Portions of parks or recreational areas containing outdoor fitness equipment
  • Tobogganing hills and skating trails 

Ski season

Camp Fortune is open. For more information, visit

Mont Ste. Marie is open for the season. For hours of operation, visit

Health officials in Ontario and Quebec ask residents to avoid non-essential travel out of the province during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Christmas Lights Across Canada

The 36th edition of Christmas Lights Across Canada runs nightly from 5:30 p.m. to 1 a.m. until Jan. 7.

Enjoy the pathway of lights that brighten Confederation Boulevard, Canada’s ceremonial route that circles the heart of the capital. Follow the route and admire the illuminated sites including the National War Memorial, the Garden of Provinces and Territories and the view from the Alexandra Bridge.

Christmas Lights Across Canada and the pathway of lights can be experienced virtually on the Ministry of Heritage’s website

Virtual Holiday Activities at the Canada Agriculture and Food Museum

The Canada Agriculture and Food Museum hosts virtual holiday activities for families.

Checkout recipes and winter craft suggestions.

For more information, visit

Special Delivery from the Canada Aviation and Space Museum

The Canada Aviation and Space Museum has created a “special delivery” collection of online activities for families to do at home.

Build your own aircraft, build edible biplanes and create aviation themed cards.

For more information, visit

Escape From Quarantine

Escape from Quarantine has launched “Through the Wormhole”, a new virtual escape room fundraiser.

Proceeds support CHEO and Canada’s Children’s Hospital Foundations.

For more information, visit

Thirteen Strings

The Ottawa chamber orchestra Thirteen Strings offers virtual concerts to watch on its website.

For more information, visit

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