Winter in Ottawa can definitely be brutal at times. But what makes it better is the fact that we can take advantage of the weather, and make something super cool out of it. This event has been going on for 39 years, and there is no plans of stopping it anytime soon.
Winterlude, which was created to celebrate Canada's unique climate and culture, is back for another year. It will be opening this weekend, February 3rd 2017 and in Ottawa-Gatineau until the weekend of the 20th. Most of the activities are held on the weekend, but of course, you can still skate on the Rideau Canal whenever you would like.
If you've never checked out Winterlude before, this is the year to do so. With three fun-filled weekends, you can experience beautiful ice sculptures like you've never seen before, enjoy the live music they provide and new this year is the Ice Dragon Boat Festival. This will be the first time dragon boats will race down the frozen Rideau Canal–now that's something you can't miss.
Winterlude is such a fun time for those of all ages. You can grab a bunch of your friends, go with a loved one, or even check it out by yourself. The Snowflake Kingdom, which is available everyday during the week except Tuesdays and Wednesdays, is a huge snow playground that will make you feel like a kid again.
And as if we couldn't get Canadian enough, maple syrup is served on a stick at Winterlude for a nice little treat. They call it Taffy on a Stick, but we know that it's just pure maple syrup, and that's definitely okay with us. Another treat that's available is BeaverTails, which you can find while skating on the Rideau Canal. You can't skate on the canal and not get a BeaverTail, it's just not allowed. You'll also be able to find a fire pit made out of ice to roast marshmallows on. I know, confusing but also intriguing.
If you're not into the sweet treats, they also have culinary events that are taken on by Ottawa's best local restaurants. These events include wine and food pairings, demonstrations from chefs as well as winter feasts.
It's almost been 40 years since Winterlude has taken place in Ottawa, and it brings tourists from all over every single year. Almost 600k people join the festivities that Winterlude has to offer and I'm sure that number will keep on growing.
Yes, Ottawa can be boring. But winter is a huge season for us, and there is no way you can miss out on Winterlude this year. We've been lucky so far with mild weather, and that just gives you even more of a reason to check it out.
For more information on Winterlude, check out their website here.
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