8 Magical Things To Do In Ottawa This Winter That Will Make You Feel Like A Kid Again

Winding skating trails, frozen waterfalls and more.❄️

Woman with a tube on a giant snow hill. Right: Man snowshoeing in Gatineau Park.
Staff Writer

Woman with a tube on a giant snow hill. Right: Man snowshoeing in Gatineau Park.

Ottawa winters are known for being cold and snowy and that means there are a ton of fun winter activities to do that will make you feel like a kid this season.

From nearby ski hills and outdoor skating trails to more unique activities like icy cave tours and massive tubing parks, here are eight incredible things to do around Ottawa this winter.

Soar down a snowy hill on a raft

Price: $27.99+ per individual rate ticket

When: Select slopes open starting November 23, 2022

Address: 440 Chem. Avila, Piedmont, QC

Why You Need To Go: Les Glissades Domaine Des Pays D'en Haut is a giant tubing park just two hours from Ottawa and it has five types of sleds for you to fly down the hills on. There are 61 different runs and according to the park, it is the largest snow park of its kind in the world.


Glide along a windy forest trail

Price: To be announced for the 2022-23 season

When: Typically the end of December, the exact date to be announced

Address: 312 Chemin Taché, Gatineau, QC

Why You Need To Go: Aside from the Rideau Canal, the Le Sentier Du Petit Pingouin is the longest skating trail in the capital region at over 5 kilometres long. You can glide past snow-covered evergreens and loop around through shortcuts along the trail. There is a food truck and a large bonfire pit where you can warm up post-skate.


Race down a snowy hill on skis

Price: $55.37+ per adult

When: Open December 17, 2022, for the season

Address: 30 Barrett Chute Rd., Calabogie, ON

Why You Need To Go: There are a number of ski hills around the city of Ottawa including Calabogie Peaks Resort. This is the tallest ski hill in the Ottawa Valley and offers ski and snowboard trails ranging from beginner to advanced levels. The winter resort also offers snowshoe treks, evening campfires and pond skating.


Hike to a row of frozen waterfalls

Price: Free

When: Open year-round

Address: 1730 Sixth Line Rd., Dunrobin, ON

Why You Need To Go: You can hike a relatively easy forested trail loop at Sheila Mckee Park that is 2 kilometres long and leads to the Ottawa River. In the winter, mini waterfalls along the escarpment freeze for a beautiful display of ice along the river shore.


Admire animals in their natural habitat

Price: $38.27+ per adult

Address: 399 QC-323, Montebello, QC

Why You Need To Go: Parc Omega is a wilderness park near Ottawa where you can discover Canadian animals in their natural habitat. You can feed some animals carrots from your car as you drive along the trail which is extra magical with a layer of snow. Depending on the weather, you can also go snowshoeing, downhill tubing and ice skating in the winter.


Explore icy caves

Price: $30 per adult

When: Select dates until the end of February 2023

Address: 255 Rte. Principale, Val-des-Monts, QC

Why You Need To Go: There are a number of exciting winter adventures to enjoy at Arbraska Laflèche including treetop courses, snowshoeing and cave exploring. The Cave Discovery Tour will take you into the largest-visited cavern in the Canadian Shield where you can admire icy formations and might even see bats.


Have a snowy adventure day

Price: $11+ per adult pass, depending on the activity

When: Weather dependent

Address: Gatineau Park Visitor Centre, 33 Chem. Scott, Chelsea, QC

Why You Need To Go: Gatineau Park is close to downtown Ottawa and offers a massive network of trails where you can hike throughout the year and enjoy snowy activities in the winter. You can purchase a daily pass online or at the Visitor Centre so you can spend the day snowshoeing, snow biking or cross-country skiing along beautiful trails.


Skate along the infamous Rideau Canal

Price: Free

When: Typically early January, to be announced

Address: Rideau Canal, Ottawa, ON

Why You Need To Go: You can glide along the largest outdoor skating rink in the world and it won't cost you a dime. Once the ice is deemed thick enough for skating, sections of the winter trail are open daily and conditions are updated online. You'll find drinks and sweets along the ice to treat yourself and it can be quite the workout if you skate the full 7.8-kilometre length.


Before you get going, check out our Responsible Travel Guide so you can be informed, be safe, be smart, and most of all, be respectful on your adventure.

Megan Johnson
Staff Writer
Megan Johnson was a Staff Writer for Narcity Canada's Ontario Desk focused on new netflix shows in Canada and things to do in Ottawa. She is based in Ottawa, Ontario.