There are literally a million and one things we adore about the New Year. It’s a chance to start over and wipe that slate clean, gym memberships always go on sale (#score) and it’s the only time of year that rocking sequins from head-to-toe is socially acceptable. The nation’s capital has pulled through once again with some seriously sweet events to spend your last few hours of 2017. From a rejuvenating evening at the spa (with a complimentary glass of sparkling wine, of course) to a gourmet five-course dinner at the city’s most iconic hotel, here are the best New Year’s Eve events in Ottawa. Not going to be in the nation’s capital to bid farewell to this garbage fire of a year? No big. Click here for our full list of New Year’s festivities across the country.
NYE Charity Ball
Find it: 200 Coventry Rd., Ottawa Conference and Event Centre, ottawanewyearseve.ca
The low-down: Celebrate for a good cause at Ottawa’s Annual New Year’s Eve Charity Ball. Complete with a Las Vegas-inspired charity casino to a live auction and a scrumptious four-course meal, all of the proceeds from the night go to charities that help children with autism and special needs.
When: December 31, 2017 from 6 p.m. to 1:30 a.m.
Prices: $169 to $199 per person for regular tickets, $244 per person for VIP tickets
Dress code: Black tie attire for this extravagant ball, like an embellished gown or a gorg pantsuit to stand out in the sea of dresses
NYE on Parliament Hill – Canada 150 Closing Celebrations
Find it: Wellington St., ottawatourism.ca
The low-down: Everyone in the nation’s capital knows that Parliament Hill hill is *the* place to be when ringing in the new year. From the brand new rink on the Hill to an endless list of must-see DJs and performers (we see you, Kardinal Offishall), the city is bringing all of the festivities to end this monumental year with a bang.
When: December 30 to December 31, 2017 from 9 a.m. to 12:20 a.m.
Dress code: Warmth is key when it comes to enjoying these outdoor festivities, especially when the winds pick up in the Ottawa Valley (bundle up for skating, dancing along to the live music and walking around downtown which is lit up with twinkling lights)
NYE Five-Course Dinner
Find it: 1 Rideau St., Fairmont Château Laurier, Wilfred’s Restaurant, fairmont.com
The low-down: To start, you’ll be served a decadent Atlantic lobster bisque or a celeriac (root veggie) soup and a baby kale salad with fried oysters and pancetta dressed in a lemon vinaigrette. For the main, you have a choice between the Alberta beef tenderloin, pan-roasted sablefish and roasted duck. And to end the night on a sweet note, you can either sink your teeth into a decadent chocolate cake or a raspberry mille-feuille (layered custard pastry) with vanilla cream.
When: December 31, 2017 from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. for early seating and 8 p.m. to 10 p.m. for late-night diners
Prices: $189 per person
Dress code: The Château is v. elegant, so a chic dress or tailored cropped trousers and a silky tank combo should be perfect (ICYMI, make sure your bottoms have some stretch for all of the delish food)
NYE Gourmet Spa Package
Find it: 16 Chemin Nordik, Chelsea, Nordik Spa-Nature, chelsea.lenordik.com
The low-down: Is there any better way to spend the last few hours of 2017 than getting a soothing deep tissue massage as you sip on a glass of sparkling wine? We think not. This luxurious spa in Chelsea (a quick 20 minute drive from Ottawa) offers a gourmet package for NYE, which includes a three‑course table d’hôte meal with wine pairings and the thermal experience: a cycle of saunas, cool baths and relaxation areas. Sign us up!
When: December 31, 2017, All day
Prices: $195 per person
Dress code: A fluffy white bathrobe, flip-flops and a bathing suit—talk about livin’ that #wellness life
Light the Lantern
Find it: 1 Elgin St., National Arts Centre, Canal Foyer, nac-cna.ca
The low-down: This très elegant formal dinner and dance in the newly renovated foyer at the National Arts Centre is the perf evening for those wanting an excuse to get dressed up and eat delicious food (so like all of us?). The Canadian-inspired menu boasts a roasted pumpkin, ginger and pear bisque to start and ends with a Belgian chocolate and hazelnut mousse.
When: December 31, 2017 at 7 p.m.
Prices: $199 per pair
Dress code: Semi-formal to formal attire—anything from a short sequin number to a timeless full-length dress with tons of movement for dancing