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What to Do Ottawa

Ottawa Weekend Calendar for Dec. 19 to 21

Singer-songwriter David Myles performs new and classic Christmas songs at the National Arts Centre. (Photo: Hiep Vu)

Singer-songwriter David Myles performs new and classic Christmas songs at the National Arts Centre. (Photo: Hiep Vu)

Friday, Dec. 19

In Freezing, a special holiday performance presented at the Gladstone, the lovable characters that populate the Snow Globe Kingdom work together to defeat the evil Hans, who threatens peace and stability in the realm. Complete with singing, dancing, and lots of humour, it’s great fun for the whole family. Tickets are $42.

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Little Ray’s Reptile Zoo

Little Ray's has over 150 animals on display, including alligators, pythons, cobras, rattlesnakes, and more. (Photo: Matthew Belyea/MTKS Adventures)

Little Ray’s has over 150 animals on display, including alligators, pythons, cobras, rattlesnakes, and more. (Photo: Matthew Belyea/MTKS Adventures)

With the cooling weather, consider cozying up to some of the world’s cold-blooded creatures. Little Ray’s Reptile Zoo is the largest reptile rescue group in Canada, and displays over 150 live animals every day, including alligators, cobras, giant pythons, and rattlesnakes. The zoo is heavily invested in animal education and outreach, and has 25 permanent exhibits along with 20 feature exhibits that rotate every six months. —Amy Allen
•Little Ray’s Reptile Zoo, 5305 Bank St., 613-822-8924. raysreptiles.com
Map and reviews

Breeding Champions at the Canadian Museum of History

Breeding Champions explores the life of E.P. Taylor, whose prize racehorse Northern Dancer captured the Kentucky Derby. (Photo: Tony Leonard)

Breeding Champions explores the life of E.P. Taylor, whose prize racehorse Northern Dancer captured the Kentucky Derby. (Photo: Tony Leonard)

Canadian business magnate E.P. Taylor was a prolific man. He launched his career by building the largest brewing company in the world and went on to become a famous breeder of thoroughbred racehorses. His stallion Northern Dancer was the first Canadian-bred horse to win the Kentucky Derby. Breeding Champions, an ongoing exhibition at the Canadian Museum of History, explores how Taylor built his stable, Windfields Farm, and became one of the best breeders in the world. On display until Jan. 18, 2015. —Amy Allen
•Canadian Museum of History, 100, rue Laurier, Gatineau, 819-776-7000. historymuseum.ca
Map and reviews

Northern Exposure: Arctic Voices

How much do you really know about the Arctic? This exhibit at the Canadian Museum of Nature will challenge your perceptions about Canada's northern ecosystem.

How much do you really know about the Arctic? This exhibit at the Canadian Museum of Nature will challenge your perceptions about Canada’s northern ecosystem.

There’s more to the Arctic than meets the eye. It’s not a barren wasteland of ice and snow; it’s home to a surprising diversity of wildlife and many different indigenous groups. Through photographs, videos, specimens, and interactive experiences, visitors to Arctic Voices will challenge their perceptions about the Arctic and discover the ecological impact this remote northern region has on the entire planet. On view at the Canadian Museum of Nature from Dec. 5 until April 30, 2015. —Amy Allen
•Canadian Museum of Nature, 240 McLeod St., 613-566-4700. nature.ca
Map and reviews

Lifecycles: Meaghan Haughian at La Petite Mort Gallery

Meaghan Haughian's mixed media art explores the dualities of life. (Photo: Tom Evans)

Meaghan Haughian’s mixed media art explores the dualities of life. (Photo: Tom Evans)

Meaghan Haughian’s art is simultaneously personal and universal. She uses old family photographs as the basis of each work, which lends her pieces an autobiographical element. The themes she explores, however, tackle much broader issues, such as the cyclical nature of life, history, identity, and memory. On at La Petite Mort Gallery from Dec. 5 to Jan. 4, 2015. —Amy Allen
•La Petite Mort Gallery, 306 Cumberland St., 613-860-1555. lapetitemortgallery.com
Map and reviews

Lovely Lyrics With Alejandra Ribera

Alejandra Ribera performs at the National Arts Centre on Dec. 6.

Alejandra Ribera performs at the National Arts Centre on Dec. 6.

DEC. 6 Alejandra Ribera’s sound is difficult to define. She first captured public attention in 2009 with the release of her debut album, Navigator, Navigather, which was comprised mainly of untamed, Latin-styled music. Now, she’s back with album number two, La boca, and it’s a more mature, deliberate offering. While it retains some of its Latin influences, Ribera also sings in French and, primarily, English. —Amy Allen
•National Arts Centre, Studio, 53 Elgin St., 888-991-2787. nac-cna.ca
•Map and reviews

What to Do in Ottawa: Can’t Miss Events in December

The National Arts Centre English Theatre performs Alice Through the Looking Glass. (Photo: David Krovblit)

The National Arts Centre English Theatre performs Alice Through the Looking Glass. (Photo: David Krovblit)

Come December, the city’s stages play host to an assortment of holiday-themed acts. But fear not — there are plenty of non-Christmassy shows to catch if you’re not feeling the holiday spirit quite yet. (Come back on Monday for a roundup of our can’t-miss holiday events!)

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Lights in the Night

Since its launch in 1985, Christmas Lights Across Canada has been illuminating Ottawa's cold winter nights.

Since its launch in 1985, Christmas Lights Across Canada has been bringing warmth and holiday cheer to the capital.

In December 1985, the government of Canada launched a Christmas lights program on Parliament Hill to bring warmth and colour to the long winter nights. Since then, the program has expanded to include every province and territory across the country. The lights can now be seen at over 40 sites along Confederation Boulevard in Ottawa and Gatineau. An illumination ceremony on Dec. 3 will include a spectacular light show, carols, and on-site performances. See website for details. —Amy Allen
•Downtown Ottawa/Gatineau. christmaslights.gc.ca

Ski Season at Mont Tremblant

Mont Tremblant, just 152 km from downtown Ottawa, opens its ski hill to the public at the end of November. (Photo: Tremblant Resort Association)

Mont Tremblant, just 152 km from downtown Ottawa, opens its ski hill to the public at the end of November. (Photo: Tremblant Resort Association)

Strap on your skis! Select runs on the beautiful slopes of Mont Tremblant open to winter sport enthusiasts on Nov. 21. Later in the season, visitors can take advantage of 95 downhill runs, serviced by 14 lifts, or take to the surrounding areas for cross-country skiing or hiking. In addition, the resort offers activities such as ice skating, sledding, and snowshoeing, as well as spas and massages. —Amy Allen
•1000, ch. des Voyageurs, Mont Tremblant, 866-356-2233. tremblant.ca
Map and reviews

 

Gordon Lightfoot at the National Arts Centre

Gordon Lightfoot is one of the most influential folk artists of all time. He performs at the National Arts Centre.

Gordon Lightfoot is one of the most influential folk artists of all time. He performs at the National Arts Centre.

NOV. 22 As one of Canada’s most beloved singer-songwriters, Gordon Lightfoot hardly needs an introduction. With a career spanning five decades, he’s inspired everyone from Bob Dylan to Jimmy Buffett, and his songs have been covered by dozens of musicians. The legendary, 15-time Juno-winning artist brings his 2014 Canadian Tour to the capital for what’s sure to be an entertaining night. —Amy Allen
•National Arts Centre, Southam Hall, 53 Elgin St., 888-991-2787. nac-cna.ca
Map and reviews

Ottawa Weekend Calendar for Nov. 21 to 23

Adam Cohen, son of Leonard, performs at the Algonquin Commons Theatre on Saturday night.

Adam Cohen, son of Leonard, performs at the Algonquin Commons Theatre on Saturday night.

Friday, Nov. 21

Is the cold weather getting you down? No need to despair. Ottawa Bourbon Week kicks off on Friday night, with enough bourbon-inspired food and drink to put a fire in your belly. On Friday night, head over to Two Six {Ate} for some old-school bourbon cocktails with a modern twist. Admission is free. See website for other events throughout the week.

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Out of This World: Chris Hadfield at the National Arts Centre

 

Chris Hadfield, Canada's most famous astronaut, talks about his experiences at the National Arts Centre. (Photo: Victor Zelentsov)

Chris Hadfield, Canada’s most famous astronaut, talks about his experiences at the National Arts Centre. (Photo: Victor Zelentsov)

NOV. 21 Chris Hadfield is one of the world’s most famous astronauts. While serving as commander of the International Space Station, he used social media to show us what our planet looks like from orbit. He was also the first Canadian to operate the Canadarm in space and even lived briefly on the ocean floor while training for a mission. For one night only, he talks about his life on earth — and beyond — at the National Arts Centre. —Amy Allen
•National Arts Centre, Southam Hall, 53 Elgin St., 888-991-2787. nac-cna.ca
Map and reviews