In September and October, the Ottawa area is filled with beautiful fall colours… as well as ghosts, goblins and treats! This year, popular Halloween festivities are back (some have been modified for health and safety), plus a few new live and virtual options. Whether you want to get spooked in the city, the countryside, or at home, you’ll enjoy these Halloween-themed events and activities (in order of start date) in Canada’s capital region.
Note: The information below is valid as of October 16, 2020. Reservations are required for many if not all of the options listed below. Due to the evolving COVID-19 pandemic restrictions, please contact businesses directly to confirm details.
Haunted Walks of Ottawa – Guided tours and new virtual experiences
Various locations and dates
This year, The Haunted Walk is offering both on-location and at-home spooky fun. Join one of their popular walking tours of downtown Ottawa and follow a cloaked guide as they recount the city’s dark past. One tour takes you inside the historic Carleton County Jail-turned-hostel which is known as one of the most haunted buildings in North America. Tours are offered after dark, plus a new (less spooky) afternoon option to visit the jail.
If you prefer to stay home, you can now conduct paranormal experiments at any time with The Haunting At Home – A Paranormal Adventure (NEW!). This new online interactive audio experience features ghost stories and the chance to communicate with “the other side”.
And for a special LIVE online experience, try the new Virtual Haunted Campfires on select evenings in October (NEW!). Top storytellers, haunted tour guides and ghost researchers from around the world share some of their favourite ghost stories and terrifying tales around a virtual campfire (family-friendly, but best for ages 12 and up due to frightening content).
Proulx Maple & Berry Farm | Sept. 20 – Oct. 31, 2020 (select dates)
Each year, Proulx Maple & Berry Farm, located just 30 minutes east of downtown Ottawa, is transformed into a giant Halloween playground during the daytime. Enjoy mazes, wagon rides and other farm fun (weekends and some weekdays).
Note: The nighttime event, Skreamers – A Haunting Experience, is cancelled due to COVID-19 in 2020.
Haunting Season, Fright Fest and campfires
Saunders Farm | Sept. 25 – Nov. 1, 2020 (select dates)
The 29th Haunting Season at Saunders Farm promises daytime and nighttime fun! Daytime attractions for children include hayrides, mazes, puppet shows, play structures, jumbo pillows and The Coven (a spooky outdoor trail).
The farm’s Fright Fest offers nighttime fun for older kids and adults. This year, the farm has created one of the longest haunted drive-throughs in the world which takes you through the Cemetery, The Haunted Hayride, The Coven and The Shambles. Afterwards, you can visit the patio food and craft beverages and peruse the shop. (Fright Fest is not recommended for children under 10). Two-hour campfire sessions (NEW!) are also available on select evenings.
Upper Canada Village, Morrisburg, ON | Sept. 25 – Oct. 31, 2020 (select dates)
Stroll through Pumpkinferno, a hauntingly beautiful and spellbinding outdoor exhibit of about 7,000 hand-carved pumpkins, set against a stirring night-time backdrop just inside the gates of historic Upper Canada Village! Stroll the one-kilometre route and marvel at the eclectic scenes from exotic places and historic ages, meet up with forest animals and sea-born creatures, see story book heroes, mythical characters, cultural icons and more. Make sure to bring a camera! Special accessibility nights allow those with physical limitations to drive through the site.
Acres of Terror
Cannamore Orchard, Crysler, ON | Sept. 25 – Oct. 31, 2020 (select dates)
Cannamore Orchard, about a 40-minute drive outside of Ottawa, presents terrifying and fun programming for all ages including a Spooky Wagon Ride, House of Terror, Spooky Village and Fog Maze – and all of it is wheelchair accessible. Daytime programming is modified to be family-friendly, while the evening experience is for those who are looking for a scare.
Deadwood Haunted Drive
Wesley Clover Parks | Oct. 15 – 31, 2020 (select dates)
Get scared from the comfort of your own vehicle by taking a spin through Deadwood (NEW!), Ottawa’s first haunted drive experience at Wesley Clover Parks, just west of downtown. Once you’ve parked your vehicle at each horror set, live actors and special effects immerse you into the horrific story of the Deadwood Massacre. Recommended for ages 13 and up.
Cemetery tours and Escape room theatre
Billings Estate National Historic Site | Select dates
The Billings Estate National Historic Site, located just 15 minutes south of downtown Ottawa, is offering one-hour Historic Cemetery Tours that focus on life and loss in 19th century Ottawa (then Bytown). Tours run on select evenings, September through November, and are recommended for ages 16 and up.
Billings is also hosting a one-day special event outdoors: “A Practice of Deceit”: Escape room theatre with Live History on October 17, 2020. Guests are invited to help solve a mysterious affair inspired by true events. Daytime sessions are meant for families with children aged 7 and up, and evening sessions for adults over 18.
Cumberland Heritage Village Museum | Oct. 24-25, 2020
Visit the Cumberland Heritage Village Museum, located less than 30 minutes east of downtown Ottawa for family-friendly Halloween Hijinks. Put on your costume and enjoy outdoor fun surrounded by monsters like Frankenstein, Dracula and more.
Sparty's Safe and Not So Scary Halloween Party
Canadian Tire Centre | Oct. 31, 2020
The Ottawa Senators Hockey Club is hosting a special event of safe Trick or Treating (NEW!) at their home arena, the Canadian Tire Centre. Although admission to Sparty's Safe and Not So Scary Halloween Party is free, timed ticketing is required. Details to be confirmed.
Lansdowne | CANCELLED
Organizers of The Sawmill have postponed the new event to next year in response to COVID-19.
Ottawa has a variety of escape room attractions to choose from all year long. Visit one with a group of friends and see if you can find clues and solve puzzles that will help you escape. In Ottawa’s downtown core, you’ll find Escape Manor, Room Escape Ottawa and Jigsaw Escape Rooms.
Also, just west of Ottawa’s downtown core in Carp, Ont., you’ll find Escape the Diefenbunker. Escape Manor and the Diefenbunker: Canada’s Cold War Museum have collaborated to host the world’s largest escape room. Can you escape from a four-story underground bunker?
For more fall fun, check out our suggestions of Awesome autumn adventures and activities in Ottawa.