This is of a list of 23 family winter events and activities around Ottawa you can plan to do this winter! There are so many things to do in Ottawa this winter!
Activities in 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. Ottawa has plenty of winter activities to get you to enjoy the coldest of seasons!
Family Winter Events and Activities in Ottawa
Most attractions in Ottawa will require you to purchase your tickets in advance on their websites. Please make sure you check out the websites before heading out to see any of these Ottawa winter activities happening near you.
Skating in Ottawa
1. Rideau Canal Skateway
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. City of Ottawa Rinks
Get the family outside for a fun day on Ottawa skating rinks or the inaugural season of skating at Lansdowne Park! This is a free activity, weather permitting. Click on the link for more information.
Hills, Hills and More Hills!
3. 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 Ottawa hills available for revelers to use during the winter and have a great time!
Ottawa outdoor winter activities
The region becomes a playground with the festivals happening throughout the season! Make plans to revel in any of these Ottawa family events and festivities! The family can also take part in many outdoor activities like snowshoeing or cross-country skiing.
4. Parc Omega Sleigh Dogs
From January to March, rediscover Parc Oméga aboard a sled pulled by a pack of dogs through the forest roads. Parc Omega admission fees apply as well as $ 25 per adult and $ 15 per child. Available depending on weather conditions.
5. Renards Blancs
The Renards Blancs trail network located in L’Ange-Gardien gives you access to 15 km of mechanically maintained cross-country ski trails and 10 km of snowshoe trails. Whether you are a beginner, intermediate or advanced level, you will find a route to your liking!
Once of Canada’s favourite celebrations will be back to entertain and enlighten revelers! From skating on the Rideau Canal, watching ice sculpting competitions or playing at North America’s largest playground. There are so many fun and different activities for families attending Winterlude in the Ottawa-Gatineau region!
7. Ice Dragon Boat Festival
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 Ottawa Ice Dragon Boat Festival. This festival is part of the festivities of Winterlude. Free concerts and other activities will also be happening to keep the crowd moving!
8. Centre de plein air du Lac-Leamy
In the heart of the Gatineau sector, the centre de plein air du Lac-Leamy is a splendid place where you can discover the wonders of nature and the outdoors.
9. Gatineau Park – Throughout the season
Gatineau Park is the National Capital Region’s conservation park. Please take note that there is a fee to access the cross-country ski, snowshoe and snow biking trails in Gatineau Park. You can purchase a daily pass, or save with a season pass.
10. Lac-Beauchamp Park
Gatineau Parks 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!
11. Fête Frissons
Shenkman Arts Centre – February 11, 2023
As the weather gets colder it means one thing, it’s time for our annual Fête Frissons event! This free Ottawa family event is open to all with performances, art making, workshops, storytelling, dancing and of course, outdoor fun in the snow.
12. MAGIC OF LIGHTS OTTAWA
November 18th, 2022 to January 7th, 2023 – 5 pm to 10 pm
The National Capital Region’s favourite holiday tradition is back! Magic of Lights Ottawa is a remarkable drive-through experience, offering guests the opportunity to enjoy festive and vibrant LED light displays from the comfort of their own car. The Wesley Clover Parks Campground will be opening its doors to invite guests to tour along a route stretching more than two kilometers and featuring over a million gleaming lights. The magical route will include fan favourite displays including the Enchanting Tunnel of Lights, Snowflake Forest and Candy Cane Lane, along with new festive displays!
13. Winter LIGHTS ACROSS CANADA
December 8, 2022 – January 8, 2023 – On Parliament Hill, downtown Ottawa – Every evening, from 5:30 pm to 1 am
In Canada’s Capital, the winter landscape glows with over 300,000 multicoloured lights during the holiday season. The Christmas Lights Across Canada brighten Confederation Boulevard, Canada’s ceremonial route circling the heart of the Capital. The Boulevard encompasses Wellington Street, Mackenzie Street, Elgin Street, and Sussex Drive in downtown Ottawa, as well as Laurier Street in Gatineau and the Alexandra Bridge. A virtual version of the tour will also be available.
Sugar Bushes in Ottawa
Want to satisfy your sweet tooth this winter? These sugar bushes below can help! They offer activities and events available for visitors to take part in to ensure a sweet trip. Have a look at each of them to see what is in store for you on your visit!
15. Stanley’s Olde Maple Lane Farm
16. Proulx Maple & Berry Farm
Want to get out of the house, but want to stay warm this winter? These Ottawa museums have exhibitions and demonstrations for visitors to enjoy while staying out of the cold.
17. National Gallery of Canada
18. Canadian Museum of History
19. Canadian Museum of Nature
20. Canada Agriculture and Food Museum
21. Canadian War Museum
22. Canada Science and Technology Museum
23. The Diefenbunker
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!
You can also view these 22 Fall Family Activities in Ottawa or 15 Family Holiday Events and Activities In Ottawa!
Which Ottawa family activities do you like to take part during the winter? Comment below!
Revised November 20th, 2022.
Skating on the Rideau Canal would be so much fun. I would love to take a trip to Ottawa during Winterlude.
Me too! Hoping it will be hoping soon, but with this mild weather not sure there will be a Winterlude!
I would love to go skating on the Rideau Canal Skateway
there is so many great and fun activities to do there! my family has yet to visit Ottawa but it is top of the list for our family
I miss Ottawa so much, my son learned to skate on the Rideau when he was 4 and we loved the Winterlude and eating BeaverTails on the canal.
We are planning on setting up a homemade rink this year but the weather is being unpredictable here in Northeastern Ontario.
We haven’t built one in a few years now for the same reason.
The Rideau Canal Skateway sounds like fun.
It would be a lot of fun to visit some of these events
So many great family activities to do in Ottawa. Would love to visit there.
What a great list!! I have always wanted to go on the RIDEAU CANAL SKATEWAY but as I kept reading the list kept getting great!!! Hope to try these one year!
Hope you do come to Ottawa for a trip!
So many fun activities. I am really interested in the Parc Omega Sleigh Dogs ride. That is something that I have been interested in doing. I am definitely going to try that this winter.