If you’ve already had enough of January, and you’re bored of the cold, dark weather keeping you inside, don’t worry! Ottawa’s annual winter festival is heading back to the capital this month, and there’s two whole weeks of exciting, frosty activities to pull you out of that seasonal slump. Winterlude is back in Ottawa next week, and here’s everything you need to know.

For residents of the capital city, this festival it’s the perfect opportunity to get outside in the chilly weather and skate, tube and snowshoe those winter blues away.

While many activities come to a halt in the snowy months, this event is a celebration of all things icy, and there’s something happening for everyone to enjoy.

Whether it’s cuddling the iconic Ice Hog mascots, tasting the region’s finest winter beers, or skating along the world’s largest outdoor ice rink, it’s a pretty magical experience for locals and tourists alike.

Kicking off this year's festivities on January 31, the 2020 event will run through the first three weekends of February, drawing to a close on Family Day, February 17.

Winterlude activities will take place across the Ottawa-Gatineau region, and the best part is … most of them are completely free!


If you’ve never attended Ottawa’s Winterlude event before, there’s an incredible amount of things to taste, try, see, and do, from devouring maple taffy and beaver tails to tubing and zip-lining.


To accommodate the festival’s activities, some roads will have limited access or be completely closed across the city. 

According to a statement from Canadian Heritage, only vehicles with a circulation access pass, residents with proof of residence and emergency vehicles will be granted entry to closed streets.

Full details about Ottawa and Gatineau traffic changes can be found here.

2020 will mark the 42nd year of Winterlude, which draws tourists from across the globe.

Almost 600k visitors are expected to descend on the city over the next month, and there’s going to be plenty for everyone to see and do!

For more information on this wonderfully wintery event, check out the event schedule by clicking here.

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