Winterlude: Everything travellers need to know
- Ottawa Travel Guide
- Monday, 31 December 2012 16:54
Winterlude is considered to be one of the highlights of Ottawa, and this three-week celebration brings travellers from all over the globe to Canada's capital to enjoy the best aspects of winter. This year, the 35th annual event will take place from February 1 to 18, and is perfect for the whole family. Here are the four main locations that the Winterlude festivities take place in and what visitors can expect from each one:
Crystal Garden in Confederation Park
This area is the home to one of the festival's highlights - ice sculptures. Ice carvers from across the globe come to Canada's capital and start to chip away at blocks of ice to create beautiful works of art. Once the evening hits, different coloured lights highlight the gorgeous sculptures, which make for an exquisite sight.
Snowflake Kingdom in Jacques Cartier Park
Travellers with little ones - or anyone who is just young at heart - will want to check out Snowflake Kingdom, as this place has tons of activities inspired by the best Canada has to offer in the winter. There is a playground with snow slides, snow sculptures, obstacle courses, kicksleds and craft lessons. The park is closed on Tuesdays and Wednesdays throughout the festival.
Rideau Canal Skateway
The majority of visitors to Winterlude will have to check out the Rideau Canal Skateway, which turns into the world's largest skating rink, travelling nearly five miles in the heart of downtown Ottawa. There will be a number of events on the canal during the festivities including the Winterlude Triathlon, the annual Bed Race, the Great Canadian Beaver Cup Pond Hockey Classic as well as skating demonstrations and much more - so visitors should not forget their ice skates.
Marion Dewar Plaza
The Mario Dewar Plaza is in front of Ottawa City Hall, and it is the newest addition to the Winterlude festivities. Travellers can come here and enjoy the opening ceremony for the festival as well as the annual Enbridge Pancake Breakfast. There are different events held here every weekend of the festival, including music performances and outdoor dance parties. There is also an outdoor art gallery to view and the Rink of Dreams refrigerated ice rink - all of which are amazing additions to the annual Winterlude celebration.