If there's one thing we do right in Canada, it's winter. And with February finally here, we're just getting to the best parts of it. What better way to celebrate the Great White North and enjoy this beautiful season than a (mostly) outdoor festival? It's time to fall in love with winter all over again at Winterlude!
Head to Canada's Capital Region, Ottawa-Gatineau, and rejoice in three weekends of winter fun. From the Winterlude Battle of Americas Ice Carving Challenge brought to you by your fave coffee and donut shop, Tim Hortons, to the Fire & Ice Winter Festival on Bank Street, Winterlude has activities to get your friends, your date, and your fam outside and basking in the wonders of winter. Just think of the Instagram photo ops!
Channel your inner Tessa and Scott on the Rideau Canal Skateway — this classic Canadian destination is a winter rite of passage. What's a better excuse than the Canal’s 50th season of skating to finally learn how to stop on skates?!
If skating isn't your thing, check out the Snowflake Kingdom and hunt for treasure, hold on to your tube and hurtle down the slopes, or spend a few dollars and get your zipline on! The Kingdom is also the perfect spot for a family snow sesh with the Kiddie Zone — fun for even the littlest snowpeople.
On February 8 and 9, celebrate awesome local hockey stories and live out all your NHL® dreams at Ottawa City Hall with the Rogers Hometown Hockey Tour. You can watch Sportsnet hosts Ron MacLean and Tara Slone broadcast live while enjoying live music, games, and much more.
Don't worry about getting around in between events — the OLG Sno-Bus is your (free!) warm, toasty carriage between events every Saturday and Sunday and on Family Day. Winter is nothing without some interactive light structures to add a touch of colour and light to the urban winter landscape, so be sure to check out the Lights & Interactivity Path on Sparks Street — the perfect spot to reignite the sparks between you and your love.
With many free events and chances to warm up, Winterlude is easy on the budget and is the perfect mid-winter pick-me-up. To get the ice scoop on everything Winterlude, check out their official website!
Ottawa's 2020 Winterlude Festival
Where: Ottawa-Gatineau's Winterlude Destinations: Sparks Street, Snowflake Kingdom, Rideau Canal Skateway, Byward Market, Bank Street, The Glebe, and Downtown Rideau.
When: Until February 17, 2020 — be sure to check out the full calendar of events.
Cost: Most activities are FREE! Yes, free! There are a handful of ticketed/admission based events, too. Paid events also occur at local museums and venues.
Why You Need To Go: To bask in the ultimate celebration of Canada's unique northern culture, climate, and diversity!