A Time to Play


Families in Ottawa have no choice but to make the best of winter, so it’€™s probably no coincidence that much of what’€™s going on around town for Family Day weekend focuses on outdoor adventures.
The most obvious family-friendly choice is Winterlude, as the long weekend wraps up this annual celebration of winter. Our favorite activity is the Snowflake Kingdom at Jacques-Cartier Park in Hull. Dubbed the ‘€˜biggest snow playground on the continent’€™, the kingdom offers huge snow slides, snow mazes, snow sculptures, crafts, a Kiddie Zone, an obstacle course and the ‘€˜Dance It Up’€™ Snowflake Stage.

Since you just experienced Winterlude without the canal part, take your skates to Ottawa’€™s Rink of Dreams for Mayor Jim Watson’€™s Family Day Skating Party on February 20 from 11 am to 2 pm. The new Rink of Dreams is a 12,500 square-foot skating surface with heated change huts, picnic tables and benches nearby. Good to Know: There will be hot chocolate available.

If you’€™ve got the Friday off too (note: it’€™s a PD day for Ottawa’€™s English public schools), and you’€™re a skiing family, consider hauling the gang out to Mont Ste. Marie for some downhill fun. Funds raised on February 17 will go to the Children’€™s Hospital of Eastern Ontario (CHEO), the Children’€™s Aid Foundation of Ottawa, and Club Mont Ste. Marie.

Rather be indoors? Head to the Children’€™s Museum at the Canadian Museum of Civilization to participate in an indoor snowsuit relay. A storytelling session that takes its cue from Robert Munsch’€™s Thomas’€™ Snowsuit, this event will see kids racing to put snowsuits on during relay challenges all weekend.

Last but not least, don’€™t miss the Funatorium Explorium Family Extravaganza at CE Centre from February 18 to 20. The theme is hands-on fun for parents and kids to experience together, with a massive play space, science and magic performances, circus school, prizes and a marketplace. Check out cool new equipment like the magnetic Spider Climbing Wall, Gyrogyms and Bodyzorbz, or help attempt a new Guinness World Record in the world’€™s largest streamer-string fight.

Happy bonding! Tested by Patti R., Ottawa


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