Winterlude, Canada’s winter celebration, is held in Ottawa–Gatineau each February. The three fun-filled weekends of Winterlude are guaranteed to make the spirit of winter come alive.
History of Winterlude
Winterlude was created by the NCC in 1979 to celebrate Canada’s unique northern climate and culture.
Dates and Admission to Winterlude
The three weekends (usually starts 1st weekend in February and last 3 weekends) are filled with activities, and many venues are open daily. For the exact yearly date, please visit their website!
Most Winterlude activities are free. Some events, such as sporting competitions, require entry fees. Check out the activities HERE!
Winterlude Mascots: The Ice Hog Family
The Ice Hog Family travels to Canada’s Capital Region every winter to celebrate Winterlude. The family includes Mama and Papa Ice Hog and their children, Noumi and Nouma. They love to play in the snow, and can be found at Sun Life Snowflake Kingdom.
Ice and Snow Sculptures
Check Out Winterlude’s Ice and Snow Sculptures! The ice and snow sculptures are a highlight of Winterlude. Ice carvers from around the world turned blocks of ice into stunning works of art. At night, coloured lights reveal the magical beauty of the ice sculptures.
Snowflake Kingdom at Jacques-Cartier Park
Come Play in the Snow! Experience the fun of winter at the biggest snow playground on the continent! At Jacques-Cartier Park, you’ll find tons of activities inspired by the Canadian winter and Northern traditions.
Jacque-Cartier Park is the place to be for the young and the young at heart. The playground features snow slides, snow sculptures, obstacle courses, kicksleds, horse-drawn sleigh rides, craft lessons and more.
The Ice Hog family, beloved mascots of Winterlude, can also be found at at Jacques-Cartier Park. The Ice Hog family lives here at Jacques-Cartier Park while visiting Canada’s Capital Region each February. They love to play and give out hugs, and are happy to pose for pictures.
Skating on the Rideau Canal
Grab your skates and explore the Rideau Canal Skateway! In winter, the historic Rideau Canal becomes the world’s largest skating rink. The ice extends 7.8-kilometres and runs through the heart of downtown Ottawa. Take our virtual tour for 360° views of this famous skateway.
Vendors are located along the skateway, allowing you to rent skates or grab a warm drink right from the ice. Vendor and activity locations are marked on the Rideau Canal Skateway map.
For more information, visit the Rideau Canal Skateway. Also check out other family winter fun events and activities in Ottawa!
I wish the vendors would sell peanut free beaver tails! My child could finally have one!
A bit chilly but nice times to be had.
I love ice sculptures I think they’re amazing and I’d love to see one being made, it must be fascinating.
Those sculptures are stunning! I think my family would enjoy these activities a lot.
Looks like a lot of fun! I love ice sculptures. Skating on the Rideeau Canal is on my bucket list.
Wow! Ice sculptures with coloured lights sounds amazing! We usually go during the day but will definitely go at night to see this magical Winterlude site!
That ice dragon looks amazing! This all looks great, time for a winter roadtrip!
You have a lot of great things going on in Ottawa but I especially like the skating on the canal.
I will have to put this on my bucket list . It looks like a lot of fun and I’ve never heard of Winterlude before . Those ice sculptures are incredible.