Spring has finally sprung in Ottawa and Old Man Winter has slowly retreated into hibernation. It’s time to celebrate the most beautiful season of them all! There are plenty of fun family-friendly events in and around Ottawa that are perfect for ushering in the new season. Here is my list of the top events that should not be missed!
Ottawa International Children’s Festival – Since 1985, the Ottawa International Children’s Festival has put on this annual celebration that showcases the best in live performance arts for children. Tailored to those between the ages of two and 15, this festival runs May 10th to May 15th, 2016, and offers the finest in theatre, arts, dance and music from highly acclaimed local and international artists. Before and after the live performances, children and their families can take part in a variety of fun and interactive activities like creating arts and crafts, meeting large strolling puppets, getting their faces painted, interacting with instruments in the musical petting zoo, burning off some energy in the staff-lead YMCA/YWCA games and so much more! The festival takes place in LeBreton Flats Park in Gatineau, Quebec.
Canadian Tulip Festival – This annual festival is the ideal way to celebrate spring and the Ottawa area’s love affair with tulips. Since 1953, the Canadian Tulip Festival has observed the legacy of the tulip, Ottawa’s flower, which symbolizes the strong friendship between Canada and The Netherlands. This friendship was solidified due to Canada’s role in the liberation of The Netherlands during World War II. The festival is known worldwide for the spectacular display of millions of blooming tulips in public areas, including 300,000 blooms in Commissioners Park near Dows Lake. This year the festival runs from May 12th to May 23rd, 2016, and includes the brand new indoor Tulip and Sculpture Garden in the Aberdeen Pavilion at Lansdowne Park, live musical performances, floral fireworks, painting workshops, buskers in the park and special programs for kids.
Ottawa ComicCon – One of the most popular events for pop culture and entertainment, the Ottawa ComicCon features celebrity guests, personalities, exhibitors and loads of fans from the world of sci-fi, movies, TV, anime, gaming, comic books, fantasy, toys and more. This year the festival takes place from May 13th to May 15th, 2016, at Ottawa’s EY Centre. Visitors will have the chance to listen to panels, interact with their favourite celebrities, have photo ops and even shop for collectibles. Many fans join in on the fun by dressing up as their favourite character! The festival also boasts workshops, celebrity Q&A sessions, tabletop games, video games and much more. For a complete list of this year’s incredible guests click here. Get your tickets soon, as they are already selling quickly!
WESTfest – Known as the biggest free street party in Canada, WESTfest takes place from June 3rd to June 5th, 2016, in its new home at Ottawa’s Laroche Park. Over 150 Ottawa artists are featured on the main stage throughout the weekend from all different genres – see schedule here. Additional events include spoken word poetry, an artisan market and an Indigenous Pavilion where you can experience Indigenous cultures from across Canada. Children will be kept entertained at the Scotiabank Kidzone where live entertainment, climbing walls, bouncy houses, artistic workshops, face painting, obstacle courses and clowns are all featured. The very best part of this festival that it is all free and when you get hungry there will be plenty of food trucks on hand!
Franco Ontarian Festival – This annual festival is the biggest French celebration in the Ottawa area and boasts so many activities for the family to enjoy. Occurring June 16th to 18th, 2016, the Franco Ontarian Festival is the last spring festival before the official start of summer and takes place at the National Capital Commission’s Major’s Hill Park in Ottawa. Festival events include concerts and street art and entertainment celebrating Franco Ontarian culture, food and much more. Join thousands of French speakers, as well as those that love the French language and culture for an electrifying weekend of entertainment.
Franco Ontarian Festival – This annual festival is the biggest French celebration in the Ottawa area and boasts so many activities for the family to enjoy. OccurringJune 16th to 18th, 2016, the Franco Ontarian Festival is the last spring festival before the official start of summer and takes place at the National Capital Commission’s Major’s Hill Park in Ottawa. Festival events include concerts and street art and entertainment celebrating Franco Ontarian culture, food and much more. Join thousands of French speakers, as well as those that love the French language and culture for an electrifying weekend of entertainment.