Winterlude Festival is one of my most favorite activities we have done all winter. If you’re looking for fun outdoor winter activities with beautiful landscapes all around you, this is your activity. They also have out of this world ice sculptures. And for those thrill seeking families…… tubing hills for all levels of fun.
I was a little nervous to go knowing nothing about this festival but it was SO fun and extremely family friendly. I will give you all at the ins and out so you can plan this fun adventure next winter.
Winterlude in Ottawa Ontario Canada
What is Winterlude?
Winterlude is a festival in Ottawa, Ontario and Gatineau, Quebec that celebrates Winter. The scenes, snow covered rivers and buildings were right out of a story book. This event is known as one of the most popular in Canada.
When is Winterlude?
Winterlude takes place during the first 3 weeks of February. This festival takes place on the weekends and most of the activities are free……… BONUS!!
Where is the Best Place to Stay?
Most of the Hotels in Ottawa and Gatineau are partners with the Winterlude Festival. I would just search your favorite hotels website for deals during the time of your stay. You can also ask the hotel you would like to stay at if they are part of the Winterlude choice hotels… if they are there is usually a shuttle provided to take you to the different places. Once you get to one of the Winterlude locations there are free shuttles that take you from one place to another.
What Activities are at Winterlude for Kids?
Chrystal Garden – This area features beautiful ice sculptures created by professional carvers around the world. During competition times you can watch the carvers at work. If you have dreams of becoming a ice carver you can pre-register to enter a carving competition. Live entertainment can also be found here at the stage. They also had a few games set up for the kids to play, like curling, and ice sculpting for butterflies. My kids loved looking at all the different sculptures. They even had a story book out of ice, about lost mittens that my kiddos loved to read.
Rideau Canal Skateway– Known as one of the world’s largest skating rinks… but this one is all natural. Bring your own skates or rent some and enjoy skating along the canal. This skating rink is free day and night. Just make sure you check the ice conditions before going to make sure the ice is thick enough. Snack stands are located along the canal incase you get a little hungry. They also have wheelchair accessible areas.
Snowflake Kingdom– This area is known as the winter wonderland for kids all the way up to adults. They offer snow slides with tubes provided. Ski and snowboard lessons, an obstacle course, dog sledding and more. This area was by far our favorite area. My kids LOVED the sledding hills.
What Is the Best Attire to Wear?
Canada and especially Ottawa is super super cold. Like bone chilling cold. I made sure we had a good amount of layers on to help with the cold. It is also best if you wear your snow gear and boots, because all of Winterlude is outside in the snow. Plus the kids will be getting in and out of ice caves and sledding down snow covered hills. There is a fair amount of walking so make sure your boots are comfortable.
Is there Food available?
There are food trucks available at each area with a variety of poutine, pizza, hotdogs, beavertails, hot chocolate, and coffee. What are Beavertails you ask?? Delicious fried dough with the topping of your choice. A must when visiting Canada. Since the majority of Winterlude is downtown Ottawa … you have pretty much any kind of food you desire close by. And the food in Ottawa was delicious.
Trust me when I say you will not be disappointed traveling to Ottawa. Ottawa is the capital of Canada and Parliament is located in the heart of the city. Winterlude is located all around these iconic buildings. If you’re looking at visiting somewhere you’ve never been I hope you take the opportunity to visit Winterlude in Ottawa.
If you have any additional tips and tricks about Winterlude, please comment below.