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Halloween in Ottawa 2018: Family-friendly events around town

People go trick-or-treating at a decorated home in the Glebe neighbourhood in Ottawa on Halloween on October 31, 2016.
People go trick-or-treating at a decorated home in the Glebe neighbourhood in Ottawa on Halloween on October 31, 2016. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Justin Tang

Somehow, it’s the end of October (what happened?) and Halloween is upon us.

If you’re looking for any special (or spooky) events to check out with family and friends, below is a (non-exhaustive) list of some Halloween activities happening in the Ottawa area over the next week or so.

And, if you’ll be elsewhere in Ontario in that time, Global News has also compiled a list of Halloween haunts for adults and teenagers in Ottawa, the GTA, Hamilton, Niagara Falls and London.

READ MORE: Road trip Ontario: Terrifying Halloween haunts for adults and teens

City hall: The 12th annual trick-or-treat event with the mayor of Ottawa is taking place this Saturday evening. There will be costumed characters milling about in Marion Dewar Plaza. Kids can hang out in the “Witches’ den,” meet a cast of characters from the Land of Oz, visit the folks from Little Ray’s Reptiles and partake in pumpkin decorating.

Hot chocolate and treats will be available inside city hall. The city says admission to this event is free with a donation to the Ottawa Food Bank’s Baby Basics program (examples of needed items include non-perishable baby food, formula, cereals, diapers and wipes).

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  • Date: Saturday, Oct. 27
  • Time: 4 p.m. to 7 p.m.
  • Where: Ottawa City Hall, 110 Laurier St. W. (parking is available for free at city hall)

Elgin Street: A number of shops, restaurants and bars are partaking in “Decades on Elgin” on Saturday, revisiting the 1920s to the 2000s with costumes and music. Kids may trick-or-trick at participating businesses (look for a painted ghost in the storefront window) between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. on Saturday. A list of other family-friendly activities residents can check out on Elgin is available here and the party will continue on into the night for adults.

  • Date: Saturday, Oct. 27
  • Time: 10 a.m. to 2 a.m. on Sunday
  • Where: Elgin Street in downtown Ottawa (parking is available for free at city hall)

Rideau Hall: The grounds of the Governor General’s official workplace are open to the public for trick-or-treating on Wednesday, Oct. 31. Likely informed or inspired by Julie Payette’s career as an astronaut, #RIDEAUHALLoween 2018 is space- and extraterrestrial-themed and will feature a miniature village and space exploration demos put on by the Canada Aviation and Space Museum.

  • Date: Wednesday, Oct. 31
  • Time: 5 p.m. to 8 p.m.
  • Where: Rideau Hall, enter at the gate on Thomas Street (street parking is available in the neighbourhood)

Original Haunted Walk of Ottawa: Speaking of the Haunted Walk, the company’s original tour is a well-known activity — and not just around Halloween time. A tour guide leads you around downtown Ottawa by lantern light, sharing ghost stories and facts about landmark buildings like the Fairmont Château Laurier. The company ranks it 3/5 on the “spookiness scale” — but you can also book two special Halloween editions of the tour that rank 4/5. Tickets start at $19.75 for youth up to 17 years old and $23.75 for adults.

  • Dates and Times: April to November. Exact dates and time slots can be viewed when booking tickets here.
  • Where: Tour departs from the Haunted Walk ticket office, 46 1/2 Sparks St.
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Canadian Agriculture and Food Museum: The museum near the Central Experimental Farm is hosting a two-day “Barnyard Halloween” this weekend. A laundry list of kid-friendly activities will be ongoing both days, including pumpkin decorating, science experiment demonstrations, face painting, crafts, a dance party and a costume parade. If you’re feeling brave, take a wander through the “Spooky Barn,” open from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. (It’s recommended for teens aged 13 and up.) Entry into the event is included with museum admission. Fees can be viewed here.

  • Dates: Saturday, Oct. 27 and Sunday, Oct. 28
  • Time: 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.
  • Where: 901 Prince of Wales Dr.

Diefenbunker Museum: Speaking of the Haunted Walk, the company and Canada’s Cold War museum partnered again to host “Incident at the Bunker: A Zombie Adventure.” The, 60- to 75-minute underground experience features “storytelling, interactive challenges, unexpected surprises and of course… zombies,” according to the website, and is recommended for children ages 12 and up. Tickets cost $23.75 for youth (up to 17 years old) and $26.75 for adults.

  • Dates: Saturday, Oct. 27; Sunday, Oct. 28; and Nov. 3, 2018
  • Time: Available time slots can be viewed when booking tickets here.
  • Where: Guard House, Diefenbunker Museum, 3929 Carp Rd.

Watson’s Mill: Manotick’s historic flour and gristmill is inviting young kids to its Halloween party this Saturday. The mill promises fun games, crafts, a scavenger hunt and a photo “BOO!-th.” Admission is free and costumes are encouraged.

  • Date: Saturday, Oct. 27
  • Time: 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.
  • Where: 5524/5525 Dickinson St., Manotick
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Pumpkinferno: If you feel like making the trek to Morrisburg, Upper Canada Village is hosting the annual outdoor exhibit featuring 7,000 hand-carved pumpkins until this Sunday (take note that Saturday is sold out).

  • Dates: Select days until Sunday, Oct. 28
  • Time: 6:30 p.m. to 10 p.m. (Thursday through Sunday); ticket sales stop at 9:30 p.m.
  • Where: Upper Canada Village, Morrisburg

Cannamore Orchard: Over in Crysler, you can experience the orchard’s “Acres of Terror” (formerly known as the “Spooky Wagon Ride”). The event’s four main components are (you guessed it) a wagon ride, a “house of terror,” a “spooky village” and a fog maze. All are wheelchair accessible, according to the website. Saturdays and Sundays during the daytime are geared towards families and younger children (and anyone who scares easily). Take note the event could be cancelled in cases of severe weather. Admission prices can be viewed here:

  • Dates and Times: Select dates and times until Tuesday, Oct. 30 (the event is not open on Oct. 31)
  • Where: 1480 County Road 32, Crysler

Information on more Halloween events in the Ottawa area is available here.

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