There’s a lot that can be said about Ottawa’s infamous winters. However, despite any grudges you’re holding against the snowy season, there’s no denying it has its upsides too. The annual Winterlude festival, for example, is a highlight for the capital and something that residents and visitors look forward to every year. So if you’re looking for things to do at Winterlude 2020, we’ve got you covered.

This year's edition is set to kick off this coming week on Thursday, January 30, with most events occurring throughout the month of February.

So it's right around the corner!

And we’ve rounded up nine noteworthy activities happening at this year’s festival so that you don’t have to.

With the festival taking place from Ottawa to Gatineau, there’s no shortage of fun to be had. In fact, there’s so much going on, we couldn’t possibly fit it all on one list. 

You can expect festival staples like horse-drawn rides through Byward Market, breathtaking ice and snow sculptures, all the taffy-on-snow your heart can handle, and so much more.

If you’re looking for chills and thrills, then zip lining across the event needs to be on your festival bucket list as well.

There’s no time like the present to start mapping out those Winterlude plans.

Stories From The North: An Outdoor Snow-Screening

Price: Free

When: January 30 until February 2

Address: 1000 Exhibition Way, Ottawa, ON

Why You Need To Go: You can take in a movie with your BFF in a theatre made from snow. Yep, this is snow joke.


A Warm Hug

Price: Free

When: January 31 until February 9 & February 14-17

Address: Sparks St., Ottawa, ON

Why You Need To Go: To symbolize our need to be loved and to love others, this adorable little heart will light up when you give it a hug. Too cute.  


Giant Games

Price: Free

Address: 285 Laurier St., Gatineau, QC

Why You Need To Go: You can head over to the stunning Jacques-Cartier Park and play some of your favourite classic games with a giant twist. 


Geometric Crystalline

Price: Free

When: From January 31

Address: Underpass @ Rideau St. & Colonel By Dr., Ottawa, ON

Why You Need To Go: This stunning art installation will launch on January 31 and the event will feature fire juggling performers, music, swag give away, and more. The crystal will change colours and play music as well. 


Epic Snow Sculptures Live

Price: Free

When: January 31 until February 2

Address: 285 Laurier St., Gatineau, QC

Why You Need To Go: You'll be in complete awe as talented sculptors bring ordinary snowbanks to life. 


Tim Hortons Chill Zone 

Price: Free

Address: Sparks St., Ottawa, ON

Why You Need To Go: You can grab a free coffee or hot chocolate while you take a break in the Tim Hortons Chill Zone. 


Ice Sculpture Competition  

Price: Free

When: January 31 until February 2

Address: Sparks St., Ottawa, ON

Why You Need To Go: You can watch as stunning ice sculpting magic happens right before your eyes.


Beavertails, Beavertails, Beavertails!

Price: Prices vary

Address: Byward Market, Ottawa, ON

Why You Need To Go: What even is Winterlude if you don't stuff your face with at least one of these iconic treats?


Butterflies in Flight

Price: $5 + museum admission 

Address: 240 McLeod St., Ottawa, ON

Why You Need To Go: Need a break from the snow and ice? You can pop into the Canadian Museum of Nature to be transported to a tropical butterfly paradise. Spring has sprung, sort of.


Zip Line 

Price: $12

Address: 285 Laurier St., Gatineau, QC

Why You Need To Go: The adrenaline junkies among you can get a birds-eye-view of this snow festival when you zipline across Jacques-Cartier Park.


Annual Stew Cook-Off

Price: $10

When: Friday, January 31

Address: CTV Parking lot

Why You Need To Go: You can indulge in all-you-can-eat stew and vote for your favourite recipes. 


 
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