Family Fun Times at Winterlude

| January 10, 2018 | 9 Comments

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.


Family Fun Times at Winterlude

Snow sculptures at Winterlude


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 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.

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.


Family Fun Times at Winterlude

Ice sculpture at Winterlude


Rogers Crystal Garden at Confederation Park

Check Out Winterlude’s Ice Sculptures!

The ice sculptures created at Confederation Park 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. Don’t miss this winter wonderland in the centre of downtown Ottawa!

Sun Life 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 Sun Life Snowflake Kingdom, you’ll find tons of activities inspired by the Canadian winter and Northern traditions.

Sun Life Snowflake Kingdom 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 Sun Life Snowflake Kingdom. 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.


Family Fun Times at Winterlude

Family Fun Times at Winterlude


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.

Activities on the Rideau Canal Skateway:

  • Winterlude Triathlon
  • Bedzzz Annual Bed Race
  • Great Canadian Beaver Cup Pond Hockey Classic
  • Eco-Art exhibition
  • skating demonstrations
  • and more!

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. For other fun events this fall/winter in the Ottawa area, check out our website!


Family Fun Times at Winterlude

Family Fun Times at Winterlude


Hoping you will attend with your family!


1. Photo by Michel_Rathwell on / CC BY

2. Photo by Jamie McCaffrey on / CC BY-NC

3. Photo by NCC – CCN on / CC BY-NC-ND

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Category: Attractions, Ottawa and Surrounding Area, Ottawa Events

Comments (9)

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  1. Sylvie says:

    I wish the vendors would sell peanut free beaver tails! My child could finally have one!

  2. Calvin says:

    A bit chilly but nice times to be had.

  3. Elizabeth Matthiesen says:

    I love ice sculptures I think they’re amazing and I’d love to see one being made, it must be fascinating.

  4. sarah says:

    Those sculptures are stunning! I think my family would enjoy these activities a lot.

  5. Kristy R says:

    Looks like a lot of fun! I love ice sculptures. Skating on the Rideeau Canal is on my bucket list.

  6. Janette C says:

    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!

  7. Brian Hwang says:

    That ice dragon looks amazing! This all looks great, time for a winter roadtrip!

  8. Debbie White-Beattie says:

    You have a lot of great things going on in Ottawa but I especially like the skating on the canal.

  9. Leanne says:

    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.

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