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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