Winterlude is back! This annual celebration of winter (yes, we celebrate it here in Ottawa) will be happening from February 1 until February 18, making the Family Day long weekend even more enjoyable! Plus, Winterlude is the perfect time to grab your skates and helmets and plan your family skate on the Rideau Canal.
If you haven’t attended before with the kids, or have visitors coming from out of town, we’ve gathered up some information to help make your planning during those few weeks easier.
Here’s what you need to know about Winterlude 2019
Where is it located and what is the schedule?
Winterlude activities take place across the city. There are some signature locations, like Snowflake Kingdom, but special activities and one-day-only events have been planned at various Ottawa locations.
For example, Shenkman Arts Centre has their Fete Frissons event (for free) on February 2nd. This event will feature storytelling and puppet shows, maple taffy on the snow, arts and crafts, music and delicious food.
On February 3rd, at the Canadian History Museum, there is a Winterlude Pow Wow. Your family can be immersed in First Nations culture and learn about the histories of dancing and drumming. This event is also free.
Another limited time activity to check out will be the outdoor movie screening outside of the Horticulture Building at Lansdowne Park. Asinabka Film & Media Arts Festival presents Unikkaaqtuarniq: Stories from the North. These films will highlight Indigenous filmmaking from the Arctic and the theatre is made of snow. Showtimes are Friday, February 1st until Sunday, February 3rd at 3 pm, 6 pm and 9 pm daily.
What can the kids do?
If you start your Winterlude adventures at Snowflake Kingdom, we think the kids will love the super slides! The tube slides will give your entire family a speedy rush and we know there will be plenty of laughs along the way. The super slides are not available on Tuesdays and Wednesdays, but during the rest of the week you can enjoy them between 9 am and 9 pm, and they’re free of charge.
For a fee, you can purchase your way onto the zip line that will send you (or the kids, who need to be at least 42 inches tall to participate) zipping over Snowflake Kingdom. This is the most unique and adventurous way to see the space! Tickets are $10 per ride, but there’s also an unlimited ticket available for $30 or $35. The zip line is only open on weekends and the Family Day Monday.
Every weekend during Winterlude, drop into the Ottawa Art Gallery for some special winter art and activities for all ages. The drop in takes place between 10 am and 12 pm, and in addition to the weekends, it will be open on the Family Day Monday.
Throughout The Glebe, your kids may delight in seeing the snowpeople who will be showing up in the village! We can’t wait to see what they all look like (and you’ll want to read the story about why the snowpeople are arriving on the website.) We love a great story to share with the kids!
Other information to know before you go
Your best place for information about Winterlude during the entire event is their website. There’s a handy calendar of events so you can refer to it on the days you want to take part to double check what time activities are open (keep in mind, some events are for only one day or one weekend, and others aren’t open during certain days of the week.) Plus, with the Family Day long weekend, the holiday Monday provides a bonus day of fun.
In addition, we love the interactive, online map that is available from the Winterlude website too. It breaks down all of the different areas hosting events (like the Byward Market, the Glebe, Snowflake Kingdom and more) and provides information about the area, points of interest and more.
This year’s Winterlude is shaping up to a snow-filled and fun event.