Considering car hire in Canada’s capital? We’ve rounded up some of the city’s most magical destinations for you to tick off your winter bucket list. From an 1860s heritage village to the world’s longest skating rink, you don’t want to miss these attractions on your next visit.

Magic Of Lights

Wesley Clover Parks

November – January (5-10 pm)

A snowy forest road in Canada's capital, illuminated by festive blue and white hanging lights and ground lights, creating a magical winter evening scene.

If you’re hiring a car on your Canada holiday, this is an event not be missed. Drive two kilometres through a tunnel adorned with hundreds of sparkling Christmas lights and fun animated displays. The Magic of Lights Ottawa takes place annually at Wesley Clover Parks Campground and is a favourite event among locals and visitors. Those who attend can also be happy in the knowledge that they are contributing to a great cause—the Ottawa Senator’s Foundation. And if you want to get out of your car and experience some of the area’s natural beauty, you can take part in a range of winter activities, including skiing, snowboarding and dog sledding.

Upper Canada Village

3740 County Road 2, Morrisburg

November – January (times vary)

A vibrant night scene of a park in Canada's capital during Christmas, showing a large tree with blue lights on the left, other trees with red lights, and a barn-like building adorned with white lights

Located 45-minutes south of Ottawa in Morrisburg, Ontario, you’ll find a beautiful 1860s heritage village decorated with almost one million twinkling lights. Upper Canada Village hosts their annual ‘Alight at Night’ event during the Christmas period, where you can enjoy a range of festive music, as well as carolers, horse-drawn wagon rides and more. During your visit, you can also dine at one of many eateries in the village, including holiday huts offering a cosy shelter to snuggle up in and the historic Willard’s Hotel, open on select evenings. Alternatively, indulge your sweet tooth with a delicious Beavertail—a Canadian pastry, hand-stretched to resemble the tail of a beaver.

Rideau Canal Skateway

January to March  (weather permitting)

Group of people walking on a frozen river under a large arched bridge in Canada's capital, bathed in sunlight. The low sun creates long shadows on the icy surface.

Undoubtedly one of Ottawa’s main attractions, the Rideau Canal transforms into the longest skating rink in the world during winter. This UNESCO World Heritage Site is beautifully illuminated at night, with special performances and events taking place on the ice during the famous Winterlude festival. What’s more, the canal conveniently winds through Downtown Ottawa and its many neighbourhoods, so you can sightsee as you skate!

Nordik Spa-Nature

16 Chemin Nordik, Chelsea

Sunday to Thursday (9 am – 11 pm) Friday and Saturday (9 am to Midnight)

A luxurious winter resort at night in Canada's capital, featuring illuminated buildings with large windows, a heated outdoor pool surrounded by snow, and trees gently dusted with snow under a serene, dark sky.

What better way to warm up this winter than by soaking in hot tubs in the great outdoors? Relax in one of the spa’s heated pools or unwind in the steamy saunas while admiring Ottawa’s snowy landscape. We also recommend trying the essential-oil-infused Aufguss ritual to cleanse and revitalise. Visiting for lunch? Take advantage of one of the spa’s restaurants. It’s also worth mentioning that there are no phones or cameras allowed in the spa, allowing you to totally disconnect from everything.

Nature Nocturne at the Museum of Nature

240 McLeod Street

A person interacts with a magical art installation featuring luminous abstract projections on pyramid-like shapes in a dimly lit room.

On the last Friday of every month, the Canadian Museum of Nature hosts an event called Nature Nocturne. It’s adults-only, with each event playing host to a different theme, and all giving you the chance to have a fun night out in one of Canada’s most beautiful museums. Tickets (which sell out quickly) give you access to multiple dance floors, as well as all exhibits at no extra cost. There is also a range of other activities taking place throughout the night. Visit the website for more details and make sure you bag tickets in time for your Canada holiday.

Omega Park

399 QC-323, Montebello, QC J0V 1L0

A majestic elk stands in a snowy landscape with trees and falling snow in the background, epitomizing Canada's winter bucket list.

Omega Park is open 365 days a year, transforming into a winter wonderland throughout Canada’s colder months, with activities such as sleigh rides and snowshoe trails also on offer. You’ll likely encounter a variety of wildlife during your visit including wolves, moose, elk, bison and even bears. Due to the sheer size of the park, its distance from Ottawa (a 60-minute drive)—and, of course for safety reasons—we advise you hire a car before visiting. And make sure you visit the sugar shack!

Book your Canada car hire online, or call our experts who will be happy to help you.

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