Monday, December 13, 2010


 Visitors to Ottawa have plenty of choice this winter whether they want to stay inside or outside. This December, the Ottawa region will be energized by the lights of Christmas, outdoor skating, the Nutcracker and, of course, hockey! And if you book your hotel or getaway package before March 31, 2011 , you can enjoy a 3rd night free at participating hotels. Visit for full details on this as well as the other special offers and packages available.

Over the coming weeks, Ottawa will play host to Christmas Lights Across Canada; performances of The Nutcracker and Nativity: a Coyote’s Christmas at the National Arts Centre, The Bell Capital Cup hockey tournament and the 41st skating season on the Rideau Canal Skateway where visitors can skate, for free, on the world’s largest outdoor rink.

For the past 25 years, Ottawa has had a Christmas lights festival to brighten the Ottawa winter for visitors and local residents. At first, the lights were only ablaze on Parliament Hill, but since then the programme has expanded. This year, there will be over 60 spectacularly lit sites along Confederation Boulevard downtown. Christmas Lights Across Canada begins on December 2 on Parliament Hill with a free 6 pm Illumination Ceremony. Over 300,000 lights will be switched on and will make the city glow until January 7, 2011.

The National Arts Centre (NAC) in downtown Ottawa is the country’s premier performing arts complex. This winter, the NAC will stage a series of dance, music and drama performances, all marking the Holiday Traditions of Canada.

The Alberta Ballet will be on stage at the National Arts Centre December 1-5 dancing the colourful Nutcracker. From December 8 to 23, the NAC presents its own interpretation of the First Christmas as seen through the eyes of three wise coyotes! Nativity is a holiday musical comedy for the whole family. The hot ticket for cultural tourists this Christmas? The National Art Centre Orchestra's evening performances of Handel’s Messiah on December 14 and 15.

The world’s largest hockey tournament, the Bell Capital Cup, will be staged for the 12th year at ice rinks all across the Ottawa region. For spectators, this is a very affordable hockey tournament to watch—day passes start at $3 for seniors, and full tourney passports cost just $12. Children under 12 are free! Visitors to the city are welcome to watch over 2,000 players on more than 500 teams from Canada, U.S. and Europe compete December 30, 2010-January 3, 2011.

The city of Ottawa is treasured for the beautiful Rideau Canal, which winds its way through the downtown core. Each winter, once the canal freezes, thousands of visitors and locals head downtown, day and night, to skate on the 7.8 km long Rideau Canal Skateway. It is free; there are change facilities, food concessions, skate rentals and sharpening stations right on the frozen surface. Weather dictates when the canal is actually available to skaters; but it usually happens in late December or early January.

Tourists wanting information, tickets and lodging reservations for events and festivals can visit, a powerful website operated by Ottawa Tourism and supported by the region’s growing tourism industry. There are many packages available including Hockey Night in the Capital, Rendez-vous for Two, Family Discovery, and Cultural Odyssey

From Ottawa Tourism

Posted by Anne Gordon on Monday 13th December, 2010


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