Winterlude is just around the corner!
- Tuesday, 06 December 2011 16:38
- Written by Jantine Van Kregten
The snow has started to fall in Ottawa and thoughts are turning to Christmas, the holidays and the whole winter season!
This winter marks the 42nd season of organized ice skating on the frozen Rideau Canal Skateway. The Canal snakes 7.8 km (4.8 miles) through downtown Ottawa— kids skate to school, people skate to work! It’s the equivalent in size to 90 Olympic-sized ice rinks, giving it the Guinness World Record for the world’s largest naturally frozen skating rink.
It takes several consecutive days of -15° Celsius (-5° Fahrenheit) or colder temperatures to ensure that the ice is at least a foot thick. That’s when the National Capital Commission deems it safe enough to open to the public — usually in late December or early January.
Skating on the Rideau Canal is the centrepiece activity of Winterlude, the capital region’s annual celebration of all things winter. The event takes place February 3 to 20, 2012.
Most activities are held on the weekends— learn-to-skate clinics, a hockey tournament, a winter triathlon, children’s entertainment—but the ice sculptures, skating on the Rideau Canal and the Snowflake Kingdom children’s snow playground are offered during the week as well (except Tuesday and Wednesday for Snowflake Kingdom). Best of all, most activities are free!
Foodies will love Taste of Winterlude, which runs from January 26 through February 20. Some of the capital’s best local restaurants create unique culinary events—wine and food pairings, chef demonstrations, walkabout winter feasts and more.
Book your visit to Ottawa with the Winterlude Rendezvous for Two package or the Winterlude Family Getaway! And don’t forget, participating Ottawa-area hotels are offering Third Night Free for travel until March 31, 2012.