Each year, thousands of young hockey players from around the world come to Canada’s Capital to play in the annual Bell Capital Cup. If you’re coming to Ottawa with friends and family for the tournament this year (Dec. 28-31, 2017), extend your stay to enjoy some of the fun activities our winter wonderland has to offer! Here are just a few highlights:
Go on a skating crawl
Let your skates glide on the special Canada 150 skating rink on Parliament Hill – a once in a lifetime opportunity! Book your free skating pass (tickets are released online 48 hours prior to each available date), check the calendar of special events, and get ready for a memorable experience with the most Canadian of backdrops! The special ice skating rink is open Dec. 7, 2017 to Feb. 28, 2018. Continue checking off your bucket list by skating on the world’s largest naturally frozen skating rink, the Rideau Canal Skateway (weather dependent). Or head to a few outdoor refrigerated ice rinks like the SENS Rink of Dreams in front of City Hall, and the Lansdowne Skating Court, both open roughly from mid-November until mid-March.
See the lights
Ottawa is a colourful city that celebrates year-round with beautiful light displays. Take a stroll through downtown to enjoy hundreds of thousands of holiday lights, and stop by Parliament Hill to catch the winter lightscapes multimedia show during Christmas Lights Across Canada (Dec. 7, 2017 to Jan. 7, 2018). If you prefer a warmer experience, drive through a display of holiday-themed animations from the comfort of your own car at Magic of Lights (Nov. 16, 2017 to Jan. 6, 2018). And experience a heritage village alive with Christmas programming and nearly one million lights at Upper Canada Village during Alight at Night (Dec. 1, 2017 to Jan. 6, 2018).
Hit up the museums
Enjoy the tropical atmosphere of the Butterflies in Flight exhibit at the Canadian Museum of Nature, from Dec. 16, 2017 to Apr. 2, 2018. Walk among these beautiful live creatures and take some Instagram-worthy pictures. The Canadian Museum of History is also a hive of activity this winter: fans of speed will love the behind the scenes look into the world of racing at the Hot WheelsTM – Race to WinTM exhibition (Sept. 8, 2017 to Jan. 7, 2018); and Dreamworks Animation: The Exhibition uncovers the secrets behind some of your favourite animated movies (Dec. 8, 2017 to Apr. 8, 2018).
Score a hat trick
In addition to the traditional Bell Capital Cup fun, don’t miss the special Canada 150 division of the tournament this year. This event gathers teams of peewee boys and girls from across Canada to play on the skating rink in front of Parliament Hill! Plus, you can catch your favourite NHL hockey heroes in action at an Ottawa Senators game at the Canadian Tire Centre. They play the Columbus Blue Jackets on Dec. 29 and the Boston Bruins on Dec. 30. And get inspired by future hockey stars as the Ottawa 67’s play the Oshawa Generals at TD Place at Lansdowne on Dec. 29.
Embrace the outdoors
Whether you enjoy hiking, snowshoeing, cross-country skiing or snow biking, Gatineau Park on the Quebec side of the Ottawa River feels like a winter nirvana. Since the park is only a 15-minute drive from downtown Ottawa, you can explore its 200 km of groomed trails and then easily return to the city for some urban outdoor or indoor adventures.
For a more complete list of events taking place around the Bell Capital Cup and year-round, check out our online Event Calendar.
And for more holiday-themed activities, read our Holiday Season Mood article.
While you’re in Canada’s Capital, make sure to share your favourite moments with us on social media by using #MyOttawa!