February 2 – 19, 2018
Come celebrate winter in Canada’s Capital during three fun-filled weekends in February, which is known as Winterlude! There are so many things to see and do that celebrate Ottawa’s enchanting snow-covered season.
If you’re in Ottawa on Feb. 2, don’t miss the Winterlude Kick-Off party! Taking place at Confederation Park amongst the beautiful ice sculptures, you can enjoy live music and an exciting outdoor dance party! This event, like most Winterlude offerings, is FREE.
Most Winterlude activities are held on the weekends. You can learn to skate and you won’t want to miss the 38th Annual Accora Village Bed Race. In this beloved Winterlude event, costumed teams race decorated hospital beds across the frozen ice. This event is fun for all ages, so make sure to bring a camera!
Don’t miss the Ice Dragon Boat Festival. For the second time in North America, dragon boats will race down the frozen Rideau Canal Skateway. Be there to cheer them on!
Admire the dazzling ice sculptures created by professional carvers from around the world, who put their talent to the test by transforming blocks of ice into magnificent sculptures during the International Ice-Carving Competition at Confederation Park’s Crystal Garden.
Also, Snowflake Kingdom – a children’s snow playground – is offered during the week (except for Tuesday and Wednesday) and on weekends.
Foodies will love unique culinary events created by some of the capital’s best local restaurants — wine and food pairings, chef demonstrations, walkabout winter feasts are all available.
Grab your skates or rent a pair when you get here and glide along the Rideau Canal Skateway! This is the world’s largest naturally frozen ice skating rink.
For the full line up of festival events, check out the official Winterlude website.
- Winterlude takes place along the world’s largest skating rink, the Rideau Canal Skateway, and sites across the Capital.
- Fantastic ice carvings by artists from around the world fill Confederation Park in downtown Ottawa.
- A gigantic snow playground – Snowflake Kingdom – welcomes kids of all ages to Jacques Cartier Park in downtown Gatineau. In 2017, you can also see magnificent snow sculptures created for the National Snow Sculpture Rendezvous!
- The Winterlude mascots – the Ice Hogs family – are reputed to live in Snowflake Kingdom where they love to play in the snow and meet families having fun. They also like to visit the other official Winterlude sites including the Rideau Canal Skateway and Confederation Park.
- Winterlude has been celebrated in Ottawa and Gatineau for nearly 40 years (2017 marks its 39th year).
- Close to 600,000 people take part in Winterlude activities – most of which are free – each year.