18 Winter Family Fun Events and Activities Around Ottawa

| January 11, 2018 | 5 Comments

18 Winter Family Fun Events and Activities Around Ottawa


The longer, colder days are making way for the change of the season! Winter is here! Just because the temperatures are dropping doesn’t mean that you and your family have to be stuck inside during winter. The Ottawa-Gatineau region has plenty of events and activities to get you to enjoy the coldest of seasons! Here is of a list of things you can plan to do this winter!



18 Winter Family Fun Events and Activities Around Ottawa

Woman skating


1. Rideau Canal Skateway – January 5 – March 4, 2018
Take in the world’s largest ice rink with your family and plan a day along the Rideau Canal Skateway! 7.8 km of this famous waterway becomes a playground of ice for locals and visitors alike! There are four heated change rooms along the Skateway, as well as skate and other rental facilities, food and beverages and washrooms to make skating a fun experience.

2. Canada 150 Rink at Parliament Hill – Unitl February 25, 2018, 8 am  – 8 pm (depending on availability)

Bring the family to skate at one of the last Canada 150 events in Ottawa. Set up in front of one of Canada’s most iconic buildings: Parliament Hill.

3. Lansdowne Park Skating Court – now until March 2018, from 6 am-11 pm
Get the family outside for a fun day on the rink for the inaugural season of skating at Lansdowne Park! There are heated changing facilities open from 8 am – 11 pm. This is a free activity, weather permitting. Click on the link for more information.

4.  Senators’ Rink of Dreams, Ottawa City Hall -Until March 2018, from 6 am  – 11 pm

In the downtown area of Ottawa and want to go for a bit of a skate? The Senator’s Rink of Dreams is open this winter for skaters to have a good time! It is a refrigerated outdoor rink equipped with LED lights, a heated changing hut to keep skaters warm while they change (these facilities are available from 8 am – 11 pm) and picnic tables and benches to enjoy a snack or to get a rest from the fun!

5. Patinoire du ruisseau de la Brasserie (Skateway Brewery Creek) – January to March 2018, from 7 am -10 pm
Located in downtown Gatineau, visitors can have fun skating outdoors. Skate rentals, washrooms, and other amenities are available. Hot chocolate is even on hand during some weekends on the Water Tower located at 170 Montcalm Street.

Hills, Hills and More Hills!


18 Winter Family Fun Events and Activities Around Ottawa

Children sledding in a snowy hill.


6. Tobogganing/Sledding Hills – Throughout Ottawa
The City of Ottawa offers many sites to take your family to have a great day flying down their hills. Check out the hills available for revelers to use during the winter and have a great time!

Outdoor Fun

The region becomes a playground with the festivals happening throughout the season! Make plans to revel in the festivities!

7.  Kanata Nordic Snow Day – Wesley Clovers Park Campground, January 21, 2018, from 6 am – 9 pm

Who loves snow play? Well bundle up and be a part of all of the fun of the Kanata Nordic Snow Day! Visitors can have a free day of nordic fun, from cross-country, snowshoeing, skijoring, and fun ski antics visitors big an dsmall will love!

8.  Mosaïvernales – Jacques-Cartier Park, Gatineau, Quebec, January 26 – March 4, 2018

Did you love visiting Mosaïcanada 150 this past summer? Whether you had a chance to take in this spectacle or had just missed out on viewing it, Mosaïvernales will allow you to view the wonder of this festival in a whole new light. Now you can see these sculptures in the magical setting of winter at Jacques-Cartier Park. Below are the hours this festival will be open to the public to view:

Monday – Friday 4 pm – 10 pm, Weekends – 2 pm – 10 pm

9.  Rideau Hall Winter Family Activities
The residence of the Governor-General always has something for visitors to do and see during the winter to get people active, having fun and spending time together as a family. The traditional Rideau Hall Skating Rink will be open for public skating times on Saturdays and Sundays from December 9, 2017 – March 15, 2018, from noon – 5 pm (weather permitting). Families can also take part in the Winter Celebration on January 27, 2018, from 12:30 pm – 4 pm, where visitors experience Nordic sports and traditions. Guided tours of the residence will also be available at 1 pm, 2 pm, 3 pm and 4 pm. No reservation is required.

10.  Winterlude – Various locations in the Ottawa-Gatineau region – February 2 – 19, 2018
Once of Canada’s favourite celebrations will be back to entertain and enlighten revelers in its 39th season! From skating on the Rideau Canal, watching ice sculpting competitions or playing at North America’s largest playground, there are so many different activities those attending this festival can be a part of in the Ottawa-Gatineau region.

11. TD Ottawa Winter Jazz Fest – Various Locations – Feb 8-10, 2018

In 2010 the Festival celebrated its 30th anniversary of consecutive programming, boasting the largest loyal audience of its kind in eastern Ontario. The Ottawa International Jazz Festival is the premier music event to take place in downtown Ottawa and we are proud to be part of the continuing tradition of bringing jazz to the National Capital Region. Set on a bold path, trailblazing the most dynamic programming and innovations the Festival continues to present the finest musicians from across Canada and around the world in all genres and inspirations of Jazz.

12. Ice Dragon Boat Festival, Dow’s Lake, February 10, 2018

Love watching the excitement of racing over the waves at the Dragon Boat Festival in the summer? Well, hold on to your toques, as boats will be taking to the frozen surface of Dow’s Lake to race to claim top spot at the first annual Ice Dragon Boat Festival! Ottawa will be making history as this will be the first ice dragon boat races being held in North America. This festival is part of the festivities of  Winterlude, as well as one fo the many events happening as part of the Canada 150 celebrations happening this year!

13. Gatineau Park, Throughout the season

Gatineau Park has so much to offer its visitors during the winter! There are activities for families who like to explore nature at different speeds to enjoy themselves. For families that have a need for speed, Gatineau Park offers activities such as cross-country skiing, and snow biking as a pilot project this winter. For those who enjoy nature at a slower pace, there are also winter hiking trails available to discover! There are also many amenities for visitors to use while visiting the park to make their visit more comfortable and one to remember!

14. Lac-Beauchamp Parc – Throughout the Season (except for select dates during the holidays, weather permitting) from 7 am-11 pm
Lac-Beauchamp Parc also offers families outdoor activities to enjoy during the winter.
The outdoors is within reach! Activities such as cross-country skiing, hiking, skating and snowshoeing are available for visitors to do and enjoy!


18 Winter Family Fun Events and Activities Around Ottawa

Snow sculptures at Winterlude


Museum Fun

Want to get out of the house, but want to stay warm this winter? The museums around the region have exhibitions and demonstrations for visitors to enjoy while staying out of the cold

15.  National Gallery of Canada

16.  Canadian Museum of History

17.   Canadian Museum of Nature

18.  Canada Agriculture and Food Museum


Whether you are taking in a festival, a fun winter sport or one of the great museums, the Ottawa region has so many events and activities for families to do and explore! All you have to do is make a plan to be a part of all of the action this winter, and to make some memories with your family!


18 Winter Family Fun Events and Activities Around Ottawa

18 Winter Family Fun Events and Activities Around Ottawa


What kind of activities and events does your family like to take part in during the winter?


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Category: Arts/Entertainment, Attractions, Blogs, Living, Ottawa & Surrounding Area, Ottawa Events, Themes, Tips, Weekly Themes, Winter

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  1. AD says:

    We have a tendency to bunker down and not get outside during the winter months, but these are great suggestions! Thanks!

  2. Calvin says:

    So much fun to be had in the snow, I love sledding and see snow/ice sculptures. Great list of activities.

  3. Elizabeth Matthiesen says:

    Lots of events going on around Ottawa, I’m afraid that I’m not a winter person at all. I don’t skate nor ski, nor go tobogganing, nor use snowshoes. I’d much prefer to sit in front of a blazing fire reading a good book with a cup of coffee at my elbow.

  4. Sarah alexis says:

    I went to Winterlude once many years ago when I was in Ottawa and it was fantastic! Cold but so much fun and so much to do!

  5. Fan R. says:

    Those Winterlude sculptures are beautiful, so much talent!

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