Things To Do In Ottawa In Winter
Winter in Ottawa is a magical time of year, when the city transforms into a winter wonderland. With its stunning landscapes, vibrant festivals, and exciting activities, there is no shortage of things to do in Canada’s capital during the colder months. Whether you’re a local or a visitor, here are some must-try experiences that will make your winter in Ottawa truly unforgettable.
1. Skate on the World’s Largest Skating Rink
Ottawa is home to the iconic Rideau Canal Skateway, which holds the Guinness World Record for being the largest naturally frozen skating rink in the world. Stretching over 7.8 kilometers, this frozen pathway winds its way through the heart of the city, offering breathtaking views of Parliament Hill and other historic landmarks along the way. Strap on your skates, glide across the ice, and immerse yourself in the beauty of Ottawa’s winter scenery.
2. Explore Winterlude Festival
Every February, Ottawa comes alive with Winterlude, a vibrant festival celebrating all things winter. This three-week extravaganza features ice sculptures, snow slides, live performances, and delicious food stalls serving up piping hot beaver tails—a local delicacy. One of the festival’s highlights is the Crystal Garden, an enchanting display of ice carvings that will leave you in awe of the artists’ talent and creativity.
3. Visit the Canadian Museum of History
Escape the cold and step into history at the Canadian Museum of History, located just across the river in Gatineau. This world-class museum offers a fascinating journey through Canada’s past, with interactive exhibits and displays that showcase the country’s rich cultural heritage. Learn about Indigenous history, explore the Canadian History Hall, and marvel at the impressive collection of totem poles—a true testament to the artistry of First Nations peoples.
4. Take a Winter Hike in Gatineau Park
Gatineau Park, located just a short drive from downtown Ottawa, is a winter wonderland waiting to be explored. Lace up your boots and embark on a scenic hike through snow-covered trails, surrounded by towering trees and frozen lakes. As you venture deeper into the park, you might even spot some of the local wildlife, such as deer or snowshoe hares. Don’t forget to pack a thermos of hot cocoa to warm up along the way!
5. Indulge in Winter Treats
No winter experience is complete without indulging in some delicious treats. Ottawa is known for its maple syrup, so be sure to try some maple taffy—a sweet treat made by pouring hot maple syrup onto fresh snow, then rolling it onto a stick. You can find this delectable delight at various winter festivals and markets throughout the city. Additionally, cozy up in one of Ottawa’s charming cafés and sip on a steaming cup of hot chocolate topped with marshmallows—a perfect way to warm up after a day of exploring.
In conclusion, Ottawa offers a plethora of exciting activities and experiences during the winter season. From gliding along the Rideau Canal Skateway to immersing yourself in the vibrant Winterlude Festival, there is something for everyone to enjoy. So bundle up, embrace the chilly weather, and create unforgettable memories in Canada’s capital city.