As we say goodbye to an epic year of celebrating Canada’s 150th anniversary of Confederation, the fun continues as we kick off 2018 with a BANG! From free, family-friendly outings, to comedy shows, to chic VIP parties, here are just a few of the many New Year’s Eve events happening in Canada’s capital on Dec. 31, 2017.
It is advisable to avoid driving into the downtown core on New Year’s Eve as there may be road closures. Once closure details have been released, they will be posted on the City of Ottawa website.
- NOTE: Due to extreme cold weather, Dec. 31 events on Parliament Hill have been modified as follows: You can still bid farewell to an epic year of celebration by spending New Year’s Eve on Parliament Hill! Free public skating on the Canada 150 Rink is still offered, including extended hours right through to midnight (reservations required). Starting at 5:30 p.m., enjoy the Christmas Lights Across Canada programming, and a pyrotechtics and laser show just before midnight. It’s all free! (Previously planned musical entertainers and evening DJs have been cancelled.) For the full list of Canada 150-related events on Dec. 31, visit the Canadian Heritage website. If you do brave the cold, dress warmly!
- Celebrate New Year’s Eve, Scottish-style at the 6th annual Hogman-eh! party at Lansdowne’s Aberdeen Pavilion! This family-friendly party features traditional and modern Scottish music, Highland dancing, Scotch tasting sessions, Scottish food and drink, outdoor skating and even fireworks! Hogmanay aims to replicate the excitement of Edinburgh’s world famous Royal Mile as the clock strikes midnight and we enter the New Year. Admission free.
- Head to the newly renovated National Arts Centre for their Light the Lantern Savour a delectable four course meal including party favours, a sparkling toast at midnight and dance the night away to music from Big Band Ottawa.
- Treat yourself to fine cuisine at Signatures Restaurant at Le Cordon Bleu Ottawa Culinary Arts Institute. The restaurant is located in a Tudor Revival-style mansion in Sandy Hill – the perfect ambiance for Executive Chef Yannick Anton’s special seven-course menu.
- Dance the night away at the New Year’s Eve Great Gatsby Affair at the Sheraton Ottawa Enjoy cocktails, a three-course meal, DJ music, champagne and appetizers at midnight, plus prizes. A great option to gather with friends or to meet other singles. Suggested attire: flapper and sequin-style for ladies, speakeasy for men.
- Love beer? Get your tickets to CRAFT Beer Market’s inaugural New Year’s Eve Brewmaster’s Dinner which includes a four-course meal, beer pairings plus welcome beer, party favours, champagne at midnight and live DJ.
- Have a love for Latin dance? Join Rahim Salsa and Luc for the New Year’s Eve Salsa Social Dance Bash at the Glebe Community Centre. From Merengue to the Cha Cha Cha, DJ Chris Feist et DJ Rahim will ensure you have the time of your life! Cash bar and family-friendly.
- Looking for an upscale, chic event that supports a good cause? Prepare your evening gown or tuxedo for the Ottawa New Year’s Eve Charity Ball taking place at the Ottawa Conference and Event Centre, just east of downtown. Enjoy cocktails, a four-course meal, live music, and a DJ later on. Plus, try your luck at the onsite charity casino, live auction and grand prize. All proceeds benefit charities that support children with autism and special needs.
- Laugh your way into 2018 at the 7th Annual New Year’s Eve Comedy Night at the Shenkman Arts Centre in Orléans. Top Canadian comedians Ben Miner, Jessica Holmes and David Merry have some side-splitting material in store for the celebration. To make the most out of every last minute of 2017, reserve a ticket for the Comedy Night After Party.
- For a leisurely outing with the family, head just west of Ottawa to Wesley Clover Parks for Magic of Lights, a drive-through holiday light display. Nearly one million LED lights are spread over two kilometres, including a 200-foot light tunnel and large LED displays of your favourite winter characters like snowmen, elves and more. Open daily 5:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. until Jan. 6, 2018, including Dec. 31, 2017!
- Perspectives Restaurant at the Brookstreet hotel is hosting a special dinner with two dining options: a 3-course menu earlier in the evening and a 6-course menu later on. Diners can take advantage of special guestroom rates that evening. And their New Year’s day brunch is a great way to continue the celebrations!
- For a chic, swanky and sexy New Year’s Eve experience, head to the Timeless NYE Gala event at the Infinity Convention Centre, south of downtown. Put on your best outfit and enjoy a gourmet dinner, live music, DJs and late-night fun.
- For a more laid-back, family-friendly experience, head 45-minutes southof Ottawa’s downtown to Upper Canada Village. During the Alight at Night festival, the 1860’s heritage village is adorned with nearly one million twinkling lights, horse-drawn wagon rides, a life-size Toy Train that winds its way around the village, and much more. The site is open from 5:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. on Dec. 31, 2017.
- Looking for a free, family-friendly New Year’s Eve event that takes place early and is also meaningful? Head to the Canadian Museum of History from 4:00 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. for the Nimidiwin: Celebrating Our Dance from Coast to Coast to Coast You’ll see performances by Grammy nominated Northern Cree, Juno award winner Susan Aglukark, as well as Indigenous performers from across the country, plus dancing, drumming, singing and fireworks!
- For the best in fine dining, head to Le Baccara, a recipient of the CAA-AAA Five Diamond distinction located just across the Ottawa River at the Casino Lac-Leamy. The restaurant offers a four-course meal at the early 5:30 p.m. seating, or opt for seven courses and a glass of sparkling wine starting at 8:30 p.m. A reservation is recommended.
- Ring in the New Year at Arôme, another fabulous restaurant located at the Casino Lac-Leamy. Starting at 5:00 p.m., you can enjoy a three-course meal with a glass of sparkling wine. There will also be live entertainment. A reservation is recommended.
- Dance the night away in the Hilton Lac-Leamy ballroom! The 2018 Resolutionsevent starts at 10:00 p.m and features Etienne Ozborne and DJ Kleancut.
- Looking for a more relaxed New Year’s Eve experience? Head to Nordik Spa-Nature, located at about a 20-minute drive northof Ottawa’s downtown core. Welcome 2018 as you relax in a bubbling hot tub and watch Ottawa’s twinkling skyline. New Year’s Eve packages include a glass of sparkling wine at midnight and a bathrobe rental.
For even more ideas on what to do this New Year’s Eve, consult our Event Calendar. And share your moments with us by using #MyOttawa on social media!