A Parent’s Guide to Winterlude!
Winterlude is a festival in Ottawa that celebrates all the best that winter has to offer. Usually February kicks off Winterlude. Having lived in Ottawa and enjoyed Winterlude for 12 years now, I have several pieces of advice for parents. All three of my children now 9, 7 and 4 have experienced Winterlude from different perspectives and look forward to the adventure each year. You will find this parent’s guide to Winterlude very handy!
We usually go once with the insane crowds, thousands of visitors and exhibits galore along the canal route. However, the best time to go is when the tourists are not. The ice is clear, smooth and inviting. The absence of crowds gives my family and I the freedom to roam along the 14 km of skating uninterrupted.
Bring Cash !
Beavertails are a rite of passage after skating on the worlds longest skating rink. Canadian invented & 100 % Canadian made these tasty oblong pastries can be purchased on the canal at the Beavertail kiosk.
Baby it’s Cold Outside
You may think because the sun is shinning the canal will be a warm place to explore, but you would be wrong. Bundle up in layers and remember cotton kills. The theory of skating 14 k with you family may seem like the idyllic way to spend a Saturday but there are drawbacks. Cold feet are the number one complaint of skaters and their little ones. Bring a wagon or sled to draw your little one down ice after they have decided they are done for the day.
Donate to a Good Cause
The canal is an amazing feat build by masterful technicians in the heart of the nations capital. Please consider donating at one the many drop boxes along the canal route.
Tired of Skating?
There are so many other activities to experience during Winterlude other than skating on the canal including Jacques Cartier park, exhibits, contests and figure skating shows don’t limit yourself to one activity enjoy them all! One word of caution, the winter weather will tucker out even the most outdoorsy family. Pack fresh fruit, veggies, cheese treat and of course water for instant energy during your Winterlude adventures. Don’t be afraid to take a break or head back at your hotel, the canal will still be there when you get back.
Souvenirs…Functional & Fashionable
One thing I have learned about souvenirs is that most are dust collectors. However, the Winterlude items serve a purpose. Several years ago I bought Ice Hogs zipper fobs for my kids winter coats. It was one of the best purchases I have made, giving my kids the ability to zip up their coats with mittens on all while sporting our Winterlude swag.
Exploring the Glebe
So I may be a little bias, but the Glebe is wonderful area to explore. Take off your skates and take a walk up the tree lined streets for a break from the canal. The beautiful four square homes, wides side walks and shops make the Glebe a family friendly area.
Enjoy this parent’s guide to Winterlude and your time in the nation’s capital. Winterlude is a fabulous place to start your family adventure just don’t forget to look at all the activities available to you and your family!