1. Go Ice Skating
Located in neighborhoods throughout Ottawa are outdoor skating rinks. So get your skates and go skating! Reservations are required.
- Rink of Dreams
- Lansdowne Park Skating Court
- Ben Franklin Place Skating Rink
- Jim Tubman Chevrolet Rink
- RiverOak Estate
- Countryside Adventures
- Rideau Canal Skateway (not yet open)
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2. Enjoy Tobogganing
Tobogganing is hands down the favourite winter activity for many, especially the young ones. So why not grab your favourite sled and get ready to slide. The snowy hills at Gatineau Park offer some of the region’s best sledding experience. For sledding hills, the city has applied a the 25-person capacity. List of sledding hills in Ottawa.
3. Go on a Ride
Fat biking is a wonderful way to keep warm in winter. Head over to SJAM Winter Trail or the Britannia Winter trail. Gatineau Park also has over 30 kms of snow biking trails that can be accessed with a snow biking pass.
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4. Winter Walking
Dress warm, grab a hot cup of coffee/cocoa, and head out to enjoy a walk. Make it a family fun hikeby exploring parliament hill and easy hikes.
5. Make the Most of Winter
With lots of snow outside you don’t have to go far to enjoy a fun time. Make a maple candy, build a snow fort or snowman, enjoy a scavenger hunt, have a snowball fight, and more – all activities that can be enjoyed even in your backyard.
6. Explore Ottawa’s Greenbelt
Enjoy the winter snow, spectacular views, and great outdoor activities at the greenbelt! Activities in winterinclude sledding at Green’s Creek Hill, snowshoeing, cross-country skiing, ice-fishing, in addition to winter hiking.
7. Enjoy a Skate In the Forest
Located near Gatineau Park (45 minutes from Ottawa), Skating in the Forest offers the unique experience of skating on a 3 km nature trail. This enchanting site is also a great place to enjoy a winter walk or go snowshoeing.
8. See Birds at Mud Lake
Mud Lake located within Lac Deschênes is a major migratory corridor and is a popular site for bird watching.
9. See animals at Parc Omega
Breath in the fresh air at the Parc Omega. Drive through the nature park and observe wild animals from the northern hemisphere like wolves, elks, deer – all from the comfort of your vehicle. The snowshoe trail at the park is now accessible at zone 11. Book an overnight stay at the cozy Wolf Cabin. Located one hour from Ottawa.
10. Discover Brewery Creek on Skates
Winding through a historic portion of downtown Gatineau is the 400-meter long Brewery Creek Skating Rink. Do reserve your spot before heading out.
11. Discover Gatineau Park
Discover stunning landscapes, spectacular trails, and winter adventure at the park. This all-season park is now a winter wonderland, where you can enjoy cross-country skiing, snow biking. snowshoeing, hiking, as well as overnight camping. Plan to visit on weekdays to avoid the crowds.
12. Appreciate Public Art
There are many art installations, murals, and graffitilocated throughout the city. House of PainT has created a map you can use to tour the murals and graffiti.
13. Go Snowshoeing
Strap on a pair of snowshoes and explore the many trails within the city. Not only is this a great exercise, but also a great way to stop and appreciate the season. You can also explore Ottawa’s Greenbelt on a snowshoe. Gatineau Park also has dedicated snowshoe trailsthat can be accessed using a trail pass. Other places you can enjoy snowshoeing are Parc Omega and Arbraska Laflèche. Meandering through Wesley Clover Parks are snowshoe trails maintained by the Kanata Nordic Club that can be accessed with a day pass.
Snowshoe rentals can be obtained from Kunstadt Sports, Nakkertok Nordic (Gatineau, Quebec), and Ruckify online sharing platform.
14. Go Cross-country Skiing
There are hundreds of kilometers of groomed, scenic trails to enjoy in Ottawa including:
- Gatineau Park
- Mooney’s Bay Ski Centre
- Britannia Winter Trail
- Wesley Clover Parks
- Sir John A. Macdonald Winter Trail
- Rideau Winter Trail
- Ski Heritage East
- Ottawa West Winter Trail
- Ottawa’s Greenbelt
15. Hunt for Geocaches
Explore the many geocaches lo
cated throughout the city. If you though geocaching is challenging, try geocaching in winter! This family-friendly activity uses a mobile app or a GPS device. Check out the trails where you can enjoy Geocaching Trails.
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16. Bird Watching
Hike through the city parks looking for winter birds.
17. Winter Fun at RiverOak Estate
With trails that pass through orchards, forests, and meadows, it is no surprise that the winter trails at RiverOak Estates are so popular. Grab your skates or snowshoes, hockey or ringette sticks, and enjoy your time outdoors. Located 30 minutes from downtown Ottawa.
18. Get Ready for an Adventure
Experience winter with Countryside Adventures. Located 45 minutes east of Ottawa is a place where families, couples, or groups can enjoy a day out in the open. You can enjoy skating, snowshoeing, and cross-country skiing.
19. Enjoy Night Skiing
Head over to Camp Fortune with 12 lit runs to enjoy night skiing and boarding. Night skiing can also be enjoyed at Mont Cascades.
20. Zoom on a Snowmobile
21. Experience Nature Walks
Experience and get to know nature! There are plenty of opportunities for you to explore and enjoy nature in the Ottawa area.
22. Mer Bleue Conservation Area
Cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, hiking are activities to enjoy in winter at Mer Bleue Conservation Area.
23. Go Fishing
Looking for a great fishing spot to call your own in Ottawa? Cast a line at:
- West Carleton—Morris Island Conservation Area, Fitzroy Harbour, Fitzroy Provincial Park, MacLaren’s Landing, Buckham’s Bay Port of Call marina
- Nepean North—Shirley’s Bay, Crystal Beach, Dick Bell Park, Champlain Bridge
- Ottawa East—Rockcliffe Yacht Club, Blair Road
- Orléans East—Petrie Island
- Vanier Parkway—New Edinburgh Park, Riverain Park
- Downtown—Dow’s Lake, Brewer Park, Billings Bridge Plaza area, Windsor Park, Brantwood Park, OC Transpo Bridge (between Lees and Hurdman Stations)
- Hunt Club Bridge South to Manotick—Eccolands Park, Black Rapids locks, Chapman Mills Conservation Area, Riverside Park
- Manotick Area—Walter Upton-Collins Park, Rideau Township marina
- Kars and Osgoode Area—Long Island marina, Kars recreation area, Kars public wharf, W.A. Taylor Conservation Area
- Dilworth Road, off Highway #416—Baxter Conservation Area, Reeve Craig boat launch
- Kemptville and Kemptville Creek—Rideau River Provincial Park, Muldoon Launch, Pirate Cove Marina, Curry Park
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24. Take Winter Pictures
Pack your camera and test out your photography skills.
25. Mill of Kintail Conservation Area
Embrace winter and the great outdoors at the Mill of Kintail Conservation Area. The beautiful trails here are perfect for a family getaway. Located 45 minutes from Ottawa.
26. Enjoy a Picnic
A picnic in winter may sound unusual, but believe me, this is a really fun way to enjoy winter. So dress warm, pack hot food and drink, and head to your favourite picnic spot.
27. Enjoy a Snowman Adventure
Enjoy snowshoe trails, tours of the Laflèche Cave, and more at Arbraska Laflèche.
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28. Enjoy a Quarantine Concert
There are many free concerts live-streamed every day. Check them out.
29. Enjoy Live Theatre from around the World
With COVID-19 pandemic forcing theatres to shut their doors, many performing art centres have taken to being open virtually.
30. Explore Canada or the World From Home
Explore Canada’s arctic, Winnipeg, National Parks andmany more places from Home. Travel tointernational or outer space destinations like the international space station, discover Egypt’s Heritage Sites from tombs to monasteries or take a trip on scenic trains in Europe virtually.