Ottawa’s Winterlude Festival Celebrates Season of Snow

From February 3 to 20, 2017, celebrate winter in Canada’s Capital during three fun-filled weekends in February, which is known as the Winterlude festival! There are so many things to see and do that celebrate Ottawa’s enchanting snow-covered season.

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. Most Winterlude activities are held on the weekends. You can learn to skate, enjoy a classic ice hockey tournament and you won’t want to miss the 37th Annual Accora Village Bed Race. In this beloved Winterlude event, costumed teams race huge decorated beds across the frozen ice. This event is fun for all ages, so make sure to bring a camera!

And if you’re in Ottawa on Feb. 3, 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 is FREE.

Also, the Snowflake Kingdom – a children’s snow playground – is offered during the week (except for Tuesday and Wednesday). And 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. For the full line up of festival events, check out the official Winterlude website.

Fast Facts

  • Winterlude takes place along the world’s largest skating rink, the Rideau Canal Skateway, and sites across the Capital.

  • Close to 600,000 people take part in Winterlude activities – most of which are free – each year.

  • Fantastic ice carvings by artists from around the world fill Confederation Park in downtown Ottawa.

  • The world’s biggest snow playground – the Snowflake Kingdom – welcomes kids of all ages to Jacques Cartier Park in downtown Gatineau.

  • The Winterlude mascots – the Ice Hogs family – are reputed to live under the ice of the frozen Rideau Canal Skateway.

  • Winterlude has been celebrated in Ottawa and Gatineau for over three decades.