We are two weeks away from Christmas now friends, so if you were planning on seeing anyone outside of your current bubble, now is the time to stock up on comfort food and hot chocolate to self isolate for safety! With a little bit of snow on the ground, exams in the rearview and Christmas music everywhere we go, it’s easy to get into the cozy holiday spirit. If you don’t celebrate Christmas, I hope you enjoy the mild weather, and slowdown in work and school until the new year! And the food, obviously. Maybe we should all just stay home and bake again like it’s April 2020. If you are looking for non-holiday related events this weekend, I’m sorry to tell you that those are few and far between, but we tried!
The Christmas-themed events just keep on rolling! Drive-through holiday displays can be found at all corners of the city this year. The Cumberland Heritage Village is offering a quaint, romantic drive through the village accompanied by curated music and old-timey radio ads for $25 a vehicle. You can only register online, and the event sells out quickly, so make your plans right now!
The Magic of Lights at Wesley Closer Park is back with another drive-through light party, even bigger and better than previous years. Get your tickets ahead of time for a contactless purchase of $22.
New this year, from the people who brought us the Drive In Experience and Deadwood, you can find Enchanted Ottawa on Fallowfield. A bit more expensive at $48.59 per vehicle, this “experience” promises scenes and songs, in addition to drive-past lights and displays. I say, do them all. Report back.
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SPAO continues their virtual open house for the current exhibit Rem/a/inder. Featuring the photo-based work of Jennifer Stewart and Hannah Evans the exhibition explores the “ephemera of lost relationships, the tactile reminders that bind us to emotions, and the remainders of memory.” So… um… oof. Get right into your feelings and take part in the interactive portions where visitors describe their own relationship reminders.
Starting this Saturday and running until December 20th one of our favourite theatre troupes is doing something pretty remarkable. Bear & Co is starting a holiday tradition called “Catch a Caroler”. They send a caroler into your neighbourhood to sing three songs per street for one hour between 6 and 8:30 p.m. If you catch them, send an email and let them know where you heard the songs. One person per neighbourhood will win a pair of tickets to a future Bear show. It’s wild. And I love it. You can also commission a caroler to sing for you, either on your street, or as a surprise for someone else.
Pierre Brault, the one-man showman who has gotten us through our live-theatre drought these last long months, is back with A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens. Streaming live on Facebook at 8pm Friday night, Brault will walk us through the classic holiday work, playing all of the characters we know and love. (I wonder how good his Kermit impression is). There is no ticket cost to view the performance, but tips are always very welcome.
Have you been spending much of lockdown decluttering your home? If not, honestly, same. But if you have extra books stacking up with nowhere to go, take them to the Book Donation Drive-Thru for the Friends of the Ottawa Public Library on Saturday. From 10am to 3pm at 100 Tallwood Drive, volunteers will unload books from your trunk and add them to the stacks of beauties waiting to be sold at the next mammoth book sale. Make room on the shelves for some of the books that are under the tree?
The Carp Santa Claus Parade has changed things up a bit this year. Saturday at 7pm, the fairgrounds open to the public to allow for us to drive past stationary floats. This may be your only chance to see Santa this year, so it is definitely worth the drive. Entry to the grounds is a donation to the West Carleton Food Access Centre, in either non perishable food, or monetary donation. Get a hot chocolate in town, or pick up dinner from a local resto and enjoy the festivities.
At the other end of the city, Navan is hosting a similar drive-through parade at their fairgrounds. Calling it an “Upside Down” parade, local floats will be illuminated for your enjoyment, and they will be taking donations for local charities.
As part of efforts to ease back into the idea of live music, the NAC is hosting the Céleste Lévis Christmas Show, both live at the Fourth Stage and online at 8pm. Whatever your comfort level, you can enjoy some classic Christmas songs with this young talented Franco-Ontarian. Tickets start at $10.79 for the online show.
The Ottawa Farmers’ December Market is going on both Saturday and Sunday at Lansdowne Park. You can expect your favourite farmers’ market regulars, as well as a good helping of holiday shopping options. As always, the market is free to attend from 9am to 3pm. Masks are mandatory, and distancing is nice and easy in the enormous cattle palace!
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Drag Brunch is back, baby! Haus of Torres Productions is offering brunch with Scarlet Bo-Bo of Canada’s Drag Race this Sunday at the Mill Street Brew pub. Tickets are available online, for groups of 2 or 4. Shows are at 1pm and 3pm and COVID restrictions are in place.
For some cozy at-home streaming, the Good Lovelies are performing Christmas Time’s a Comin’ for the NAC starting at 7pm. This is the perfect end to a festive weekend so get your tickets online, and a portion of the sales will go towards Ottawa Riverkeeper.
For more of what’s happening in Ottawa, stay tuned to @apt613 on Twitter. Out snapping photos? Tag us on Instagram @apt613 for a chance to be featured on our feed. Be sure to use the hashtag #APT613 so we can share your photos!