Whether you want to stay indoors and hide from the cold, or you want to head outside and embrace the crisp breeze of the cooler season, there are many ways to enjoy winter in Ottawa! From indoor activities such as visiting a National Museum – we have seven – or going shopping, to fabulous hiking, skiing and skating, Canada’s Capital is sure to have a winter activity to suit your mood. And as Ottawa gets covered in shiny, crystal-like ice and fluffy snow, you can’t help but be enchanted by the beauty of Canada’s sophisticated Capital city.
Want to get out and about in Ottawa this season? Check out this list of great winter activities. Whether you’re outside or not, you’re guaranteed to have some fun!
The Blizzard of Oz: Jan. 3 – 8, 2017
This Ottawa Musicals production is being presented at the Gladstone Theatre, 910 Gladstone Ave. Follow the heroine, Dottie, as she makes her way through a snowstorm and into a strange land. This is a family-friendly presentation.
Onegin: Jan. 21 – 29, 2017
The National Ballet of Canada will present Onegin at the National Arts Centre (NAC). Enjoy beautiful costumes and sets as the National Ballet tells the story of an arrogant Russian aristocrat and a passionate landowner’s daughter. Discover a classic ballet set in Imperial Russia.
Winterlude: Feb. 3 – 20, 2017
This festival is Ottawa’s biggest winter season event! Over three fun-filled weekends in February, you can enjoy everything Canada’s enchanting winter season has to offer from the giant ice slides of Winterlude’s Snowflake Kingdom, to beautiful ice sculptures, to skating all along the famous Rideau Canal Skateway. Lace up a pair of skates and see if you can glide across the Canal’s entire 7.8 kilometres (4.8 miles), which stretch from Ottawa’s lovely downtown core to Dows Lake. And the best part of Winterlude? Most of the events are FREE! You won’t be disappointed; close to 600,000 people take part in Winterlude activities each year.
New this year: Don’t miss the Ice Dragon Boat Festival on Feb. 17-18, 2017. For the first time in North America, dragon boats will race down the frozen Rideau Canal Skateway. Be there to cheer them on!
Alterna Savings Crackup – Comedy Festival: Feb. 4 – 18, 2017
Taking place at various venues throughout the city, this comedy festival offers a little something for everyone from improv to stand-up, to intimate and interactive shows. Featured comics for this year’s festival include Ron James, Mary Walsh, Johnny Harris, Derek Seguin, Mark Forward and many more! For more programming information or to purchase tickets, visit the official festival website.
TD Ottawa Winter Jazz Festival: Feb. 9 – 12, 2017
Taking place at the newly renovated La Nouvelle Scène, the Winter Jazz Fest offers jazz artists of international acclaim as well as local talent. Featured artists for this year’s festival include Atlantis Jazz Ensemble, Tia Brazda, The Mark Ferguson Quartet and Emilie-Claire Barlow, among many others. For more programming information or to purchase tickets, visit the official festival website.
Ottawa Winter Brewfest: Feb. 17 – 19, 2017
If you like craft beer, this is where you’ll want to be! Taking place at Lansdowne in the Horticulture Building, this three-day festival brings the Ottawa and surrounding area’s best craft breweries together. More than 25 breweries will be in attendance offering delicious brews. Sip great beers and enjoy live music! Visit the Winter Brewfest website for tickets.
Hockey Day in Ottawa 2017: Feb. 18, 2017
Enjoy a day in Canada’s Capital that celebrates all things hockey! Throughout Ottawa, people of all ages and of all levels of ability can enjoy skating, pick-up hockey and more at Ottawa’s more than 250 outdoor rinks. FREE activities will take place at various rinks from 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. Visit the City of Ottawa’s website for more information.
Girls Getaway at Nordik Spa-Nature: Every Tuesday
Why not get a mix of hot and cold temperatures on a night out with the girls at Nordik Spa-Nature this season? Nordik is North America’s largest outdoor spa! Here, you’ll find hot tubs, saunas and steam rooms that all invite you to relax in a unique, Scandinavian-inspired experience. On Tuesdays, enjoy Nordik’s famous thermal experience along with sparkling wine, a tapas platter and homemade dessert for $82.95 CDN per person. This package also includes a bathrobe rental. Visit Nordik’s website for more information.
This is only a snapshot of all the great activities that are going on in Ottawa this season! To find out more about what there is to see and do, browse Ottawa Tourism’s website and explore our Event Calendar.