If you happened to be in Ottawa in winter you will be welcomed by huge piles of snow and temperature below 0, at least -10 C. There were nights with -35 C, brrr :). But it’s not the end of the world. You still can enjoy the winter full of snow and cold weather. There are lots of fun stuff to do with and without snow in Ottawa.
- Skate on Rideau canal
Rideau canal is the longest outdoor ice rink in the world. Canal is frozen when it’s -10 for a couple of days in a row. If the temperature stays around 0 it can’t get frozen strong enough for skating. Believe me, starting from January you will have the necessary temperature for the canal and you can enjoy the canal skating. It’s one of the major activities of Ottawa people in winter. When we used to go out in those cold days there were nobody on the streets and you can find everybody on the rink. Everybody enjoys skating and some winter snacks on the rink, like maple candy, Beaver’s Tails pastry and hot chocolate. I’m not a good skater, but had chance to try skating on Rideau canal. If the canal is not ready for skating there are many outdoor rinks, one of them Sens Rink in front of the City Hall.
- WInterlude in February
Every winter there’s held an ice festival Winterlude in Commonwealth Park in February. Winterlude always has gorgeous ice sculptures. There’s also food in the festival that you can enjoy while looking at these beautiful handmade sculptures.
- Grab your skis!
If you are not a professional ski rider, you can take some classes or practice at Mooney’s Bay recreation center. They also have snowshoeing and cross-country ski trails. Or, if you prefer the mountain ski ride around 30 minutes from Ottawa to Gatineau park. There’s a Fortune Camp on the top of the mountain in Gatineau park where you can have both cross-country and mountain ski. One more place where you can enjoy the ski is Greenbelt Mer Bleue park. There’s a cross-country ski trail. Mer Bleue is the largest bog and natural area in Canada’s Capital Region where you can see a northern boreal landscape located within minutes of a large city
- Take a break in Nordik Spa in Old Chelsea
Imagine you get into outdoor hot tub when it’s -20 C outside. I can feel the freezing north air in my bones even now. But, it’s another fun and relaxation. Think like a northern, don’t let the long cold winter days ruin your active life. Once you are in a Canadian winter, get used to do everything in cold and even don’t wait for spring. This way you would waste your life waiting for late springs. Nordik Spa is a perfect place enjoy the fresh mountain air in hot tub. After the hot tub you can run into the sauna and then jump right on the massage desk. It’s a place that everyone deserves to go!
5. Visit a Senators’ hockey game
Don’t miss the chance to see Ottawa Senators hockey team on the ice rink of Canadian Tire Center in Kanata. Visiting the games was one our favorite activities. I even know all the player and the captain K.Ericksson is my favorite oneJ. Hockey nights in Canada is like a holiday, family time and happy hour all together. Hockey is a part Canadian culture and life. You will have to love it!