Disclaimer: Due to COVID-19 concerns, many events might be canceled, postponed, or changed into limited versions, sometimes at very short notice. Please check with event organizers directly for the latest updates (view the "External Resources" section below).
Ottawa is a great spot to meet the New Year due to the vast amount of activities available to the general public. Canadian capital offers plenty of activities for friends, families, and all sorts of cheerful crowds.
Hogman-eh! (December 31, 2020)
Hogman-eh!, a Scottish-style Hogmanay celebration, is the place to ring in the New Year with friends and family. There is Kids Countdown at 7 pm for the youngest crowds. Midnight fireworks at TD Lansdowne Park will illuminate the skies and hearts. Scottish food and drinks, musical entertainment, and dancing—what could you add to make this night better? This party at Lansdowne’s Aberdeen Pavilion offers free admission until 9 pm and a $10 entry fee after. 2020 update: Hogman-eh! has been working hard to bring the Scottish–Canadian celebration to Ottawa this year. This year, they announced the theme "proud descendants of Scots and Scots – Fiery and Bold." Events will be split up into home celebrations, online gatherings during the days leading up to Hogman-eh! , and small socially distanced parties.
Rick Chiarelli’s Alcohol-Free New Year’s Eve (2020 TBA)
Not a huge fan of booze? Then Rick Chiarelli’s Alcohol-Free New Year’s Eve is for you! The night kicks off outside at the rink at Ben Franklin Place with a skating show by the Nepean Skating Club. Bundle up to watch the talented performers. The night ends with fascinating fireworks.
Ottawa New Year's Eve Charity Ball (December 28–31, 2020; virtual event)
Another option is Ottawa New Year's Eve Charity Ball with an exquisite 4-course meal, music, and dances at the Ottawa Conference and Event Centre. In 2020, there will be no physical gathering. Instead, the team will run the Ottawa New Year's Eve Charity Ball Virtual Auction to keep the event alive and keep providing for those with disabilities. Bids open at 9 am on December 28, 2020, and close at 9 pm on December 31, 2020.
Magic of Lights (November 13, 2020–January 9, 2021)
The Magic of Lights Ottawa is held annually at Wesley Clover Parks Campground from mid-November through early January. This magical display attracts about 230,000 people every holiday season. Thousands of LEDs illuminate a drive through—a magical route loaded with animation and popular holiday characters. The Magic of Lights Ottawa runs every night from Sunday to Thursday from 5 pm to 10 pm and Friday & Saturday from 5 pm to 11 pm.