Going Out

Horses, sleighs, bonfires, gifts — and plenty of food (and beer!) Upcoming Ottawa-area Christmas Markets

If you are a last minute-shopper, then the Holiday markets that start in October and early November are a touch too early. Many of us can’t contemplate the Holidays until the Halloween candy is all gone and there’s a dusting of snow, or at least a heavy frost. In my house, this criteria has now been met, so it’s time to get out to some of the later season Holiday markets:

Canadian Museum of History’s Christmas Market

Thursday, November 29 to Sunday, December 2
Thursday and Friday 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Saturday and Sunday 9.30 a.m. to 5 p.m.
100 Laurier St, Gatineau
— No entry charge

The magnificent Canadian Museum of History‘s First Peoples Hall is a perfect venue for a mammoth market. With views across the river to Parliament and giant totem poles behind, the museum now welcomes over 80 vendors selling festive food, Holiday decorations, woodcrafts, glass items, artisanal spirits, handcrafted jewelry and fashion accessories. The market, which began in 2009, welcomes more than 20,000 people annually.

Peabody Farm’s Christmas Market

Saturday 1, December
10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
26 Chemin Sullivan, Venosta, Quebec
— No entry charge

After a successful summer of hosting farm-to-table dinners in the barn, Peabody owners Pierre Laframboise and Sandra Marsters are hosting their second annual Holiday market on the farm. With more than 35 local vendors, including three junior entrepreneurs and producers of duck, lamb, rabbit, beef, and of course their own farm-raised pork, the market will also host arts and crafts from the creative folk of the Gatineau Hills. Visit with the pigs, sheep, and donkeys, enjoy a bonfire, sled dog demonstrations, live music, and the Peabody canteen, as well a donut making. A festive day out in the countryside!

Dominion City Brewing’s Night Market

Sunday 2, December
3 p.m. to 9 p.m.
5510 Canotek Rd. Unit 15, Ottawa
— Admission is free, but food and cash donations to the Gloucester Emergency Food Cupboard are welcome

Join the makers of good Ottawa beer for a night market, where you can quaff a pint or two, along with pizza from Ten of Cups and Holiday nibbles from Nat’s Bread Company. The market will feature everything from food to clothing, crafts, cards, and other gifts. “Short of a full on blizzard, we plan to have the parking lot licensed with warm drinks, music, and a 12-foot Christmas tree outside. Guests can browse vendors outdoors and warm up inside the brewery,” explains owner Josh McJannett.

Wakefield Christmas Market

Saturday 8, December
2 p.m. to 7 p.m.
38 chemin de la Vallée de Wakefield.
— Admission is free, but organizers are encouraging visitors to bring a non-perishable food item for the food bank and/or new/unwrapped toys for Toy Mountain

When it launched in 2013, the Wakefield Christmas market was the first outdoor European style market in the region. It’s grown exponentially and this year will welcome over 80 vendors and necessitate road closures to accommodate all the expected traffic. The road down into the village that leads to the market outside the community centre will become one way from the highway, with the exit route through the village. There will also be shuttle buses from the Vorlage ski area parking lot and Alpengruss Motel. The market will be a tuneful affair with live music in a tent and carol singers all around the market site. Photos with Santa will be on offer as a fundraiser for the Wakefield Community Emergency Fund, free face painting for kids and sleigh rides. There will also be several bonfires — perfect places to gather with a mulled wine or a beer in hand. It’s a blend of old world charm and new world creativity, where you can buy local and celebrate local talent, according to, Jess Harris, one of the organizers. It’s best to wear warm clothes, bring cash, an empty stomach and a cloth shopping bag for all those Gatineau Hills goodies.

 

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