It can be hard to avoid going into full hibernation mode during Ottawa’s winters. After all, curling up under a blanket with your favourite Netflix series is always a tempting option. But, the downside is it can become a bit too habitual, and being stuck inside for such long durations is never good for our physical or mental health. So, why not try to get out and have more fun this winter season? We’re here to show you why Ottawa’s winter doesn’t need to keep you cooped up inside. You can find an enticing list of activities and events below that will inspire even the biggest couch potatoes to get up and get outside.
Of course, we had to start off with the main winter event that the city is renowned for. As Canadians, we know the only way to beat the winter blues is to try and enjoy the season, and there’s no better way to do that than by checking out the annual Winterlude. Every year, the event takes place from February 1st to 18th and transforms Ottawa/Gatineau into a magical winter wonderland. You can check out ice sculptures created by the best international carvers, let your little ones run around at the Snowflake Kingdom, go skating, watch different sporting events, view cook-offs, and do plenty more to keep you entertained and distracted from the cold. Don’t forget to bundle up!
When’s the last time you strapped on a pair of skates? If it’s been a while, do something ultra Canadian by taking on the largest natural skating rink in the world! The Rideau Canal Skateway is open daily from late December until late February with skate rentals available right near the canal. It’s also free (although the Beavertails aren’t).
Another fun way to beat Ottawa’s winter while staying warm and active is by hitting the slopes. When you’re living in Ottawa, you have so many different options available to you — Camp Fortune is only 15 minutes from downtown and has 20 different downhill runs to get your adrenaline pumping. There’s also Mont Cascades located 30 minutes away with night skiing available, and Ski Vorlage in Wakefield, Quebec, which is 20 minutes away.
If you’re thinking “Been there, done that!” then maybe it’s time to try something new and adventurous like dog sledding! Located about an hour and 15 minutes away from the city, Escapade Eskimo lets you experience winter in true Eskimo style with dog sledding, snowshoeing, tours, private hot tub packages, and more.
Get out from under those blankets and add some more fun and adventure to your winter season. With so many ways to stay entertained and active, you’ll see that Ottawa’s winter really isn’t all that bad when you learn to make the most of it.