Anyone who has spent 20 minutes dressing infants, toddlers or preschoolers to get outside and then hear the words ‘Mommy, I have to go pee’ understands the wish to hibernate. But we know there’s really only one cure for the winter blues and that’s to get out there and have fun.
Winterlude is the perfect opportunity to do just that so we encourage you to outfit the whole family with gear designed to keep you toasty, and get out there. The fun begins on the weekend of February 6 and runs for three weeks.
If you were reading SavvyMom last year, you’ll know we prefer to leave the car at home and take the OC Transpo Sno-Bus to the festivities, but with the strike still on, it’s hard to say whether or not the bus will be an option this year. You may have to get creative with parking spots.
Lots of people assume that to get on the canal, you must search out and claim a parking spot downtown, in the Glebe, or at Dow’s Lake. But you can access the canal from points all along its length. To help you decide where to begin, we found this extremely useful map guide to the skateway, with all of its access points, change facilities, parking areas, stairs, washrooms, concession stands and first aid areas shown.
The widest range of facilities is located at the Dows Lake Pavilion, which also happens to be where you can rent sleighs for your family skate. Easy to push and fun to ride, these are roomy enough for two adults or three kids. They cost $16 an hour, or $20 for two hours. If you’re getting on the canal elsewhere or would prefer not to spend the money, it’s also easy to push a stroller along the ice, or pull a sled. (Having a stroller to grip while you skate works well for those of us whose skating skills are a bit rusty!) You can also rent skates at the Pavilion.
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