During the Tim Hortons Roar of the Rings (Dec. 2-10, 2017), Ottawa will be filled with some of the most fun-loving sports enthusiasts around – curling fans! While there will be plenty of entertainment on the ice at the Canadian Tire Centre and in the nearby Patch, there will be lots more going on in and around Canada’s Capital. So hurry hard to Ottawa and make sure to schedule in some of these activities:
No curling championship would be complete without parties in the legendary Patch! Each day and night of the tournament, the Patch will be full of food, beverages and live entertainment (including local legends Monkey Junk, John Carroll and The Hornettes). You’ll also have opportunities to meet your curling heroes – Team Homan, Gushue, Jones and many more! Access to the Patch is open to the public and free for everyone. The full schedule is on the official event website.
The craft beer scene in the Ottawa region is hopping and the best way to experience it is to let the folks at Brew Donkey do the driving. Join one of their tasting tours and enjoy bus transportation, behind the scenes visits at each stop, and a generous number of samples. Best of all, you’ll enjoy a generous amount of samples along the way. Multiple tours are offered each weekend, and some even include tickets and transportation to Roar of the Rings draws! Cheers!
Don’t miss the chance of a lifetime to skate on the first ever skating rink in front of Parliament Hill! Starting on Dec. 7, 2017, the site will be bustling with skating, special guests, as well as a variety of exciting events. Dec. 9-10, enjoy free samples of northern cuisine prepared by top chefs, and on Dec. 10, take part in fun programming for Canada 150 Skating Day. For the full list of events, visit the calendar. Free skating passes will be released on the Canada 150 Rink website 48 hours prior to each available date. For more ice time, head to the SENS Rink of Dreams in front of City Hall, or to the Lansdowne Skating Court. Both of these refrigerated outdoor rinks are open from roughly mid-November until mid-March each year. The world’s largest naturally frozen skating rink, the Rideau Canal Skateway, doesn’t open until later in the winter so you’ll have to come back to scratch that one off your bucket list!
Have a vehicle? Stay warm as you drive through a display of holiday-themed animations at Magic of Lights (Nov. 16, 2017 to Jan. 6, 2018). The event takes place at Wesley Clover Parks, located near the Canadian Tire Centre. Or take a short road trip to Upper Canada Village, located about an hour’s drive south of downtown Ottawa. Their Alight at Night Christmas programming features nearly one million lights and lots of holiday cheer (Dec. 1, 2017 to Jan. 6, 2018). While you’re in downtown Ottawa as of Dec. 7, 2017, you’ll see hundreds of thousands of holiday lights, plus a winter lightscapes multimedia show projected onto Parliament Hill during Christmas Lights Across Canada.
Find treasures for the loved ones on your list (and maybe yourself) at some of Ottawa’s many Christmas markets. Here are just a few taking place during Roar of the Rings:
- Christmas market in the Grand Hall of the Canadian Museum of History (Nov. 30 – Dec. 3)
- Carp Farmers’ Market: Christmas Market in the quaint rural community of Carp (Dec. 1-2)
- Christmas Craft Market at Watson’s Mill, a local historic site in the village of Manotick (Dec. 2-3)
- Ottawa Farmers’ Market – Christmas Market on weekends between Dec. 2-23 at the Aberdeen Pavilion at Lansdowne, except Dec. 16-17 at the EY Centre.
- Christmas carols and wagon rides around the ByWard Market neighbourhood (weekends, Dec. 2-17)
- 42nd annual Originals Ottawa Christmas Craft Sale at the EY Centre (Dec. 7-17)
We’ve got even more great holiday-related events and activities listed on this page.
While out on the town, you’ll have plenty of options to indulge in some of the region’s best flavours. Head to the Casino du Lac-Leamy for a high-end evening at Le Baccara, a CAA-AAA Five Diamond restaurant, and then take part in some gaming fun. For another classic experience, head to Signatures at Le Cordon Bleu Culinary Arts Institute, located in a Tudor Revival-style mansion near downtown Ottawa. For a more casual but no-less tasty meal, try The Albion Rooms, Lowertown Brewery or the Hintonburg Public House. For more culinary hotspots, see our Great Ottawa Restaurants page.
Whether you’re watching the Roar of the Rings or you’re exploring around Ottawa, share your favourite moments with us on social media by using #MyOttawa!