Ottawa has been setting records with our frigid temperatures over the past few weeks. As we head into another weekend of subarctic climes, sometimes it feels like our city is making it hard to love. Fear not, I’ve compiled a list of activities to keep you entertained in the National Capital this winter, whether you’re prepared to venture out into the cold, or not.
Marvel a Mosaïvernales
Hopefully you had a chance to take in MosaiCanada at Jacques Cartier Park in 2017, if not, all the more reason to explore Mosaïvernales, the winter equivalent. The master sculptors are at it again, this time using ice as their medium. If it’s anything like it’s summer predecessor, this show is sure to wow. The show opens on January 26th and runs until March 4th. Tickets will be $10 each, children under 12 get in free.
Feed the animals at Parc Omega
Experience the outdoors and the charming, occasionally bold, fauna from the comfort of your car at Parc Omega. Tickets are $10.44 for kids 5 and under, $20 for children 6-15 and $23.45 for adults.
Make a terrarium
We can all use a little more green in our life, whether it’s in our diet or in our space. Flowers Talk Tivoli is offering workshops throughout the winter to help you create your own succulent and cacti terrarium or spring arrangement. Workshops are $75 per person.
Discover your new favourite pint at Festibière
This Gatineau Beer Festival is back for its winter edition on February 2nd and 3rd at the Canadian Museum of History. With over 100 beers on offer, from 35 different breweries you’re bound to find a new porter/ale/gose to float your boat until spring. One-day tickets are on presale for $14.99 until January 28th, after that, the price goes up to $21.74.
Whether you’re a big kid or you have kids, there’s something about the thrill of speeding down a snowy slope with little to no control of your trajectory or velocity that is guaranteed to get your heart pumping and put a smile on your face. Try to avoid a crash course with any toddlers or pets. Check out this comprehensive list of the best hills in Ottawa from SavvyMom to plan your next weekend/snow day outing.
Make some comfort food at a cooking class at La Bottega Nicastro
Nothing warms you up on a cold winter’s day like a big bowl of pasta and fresh bread. Step up your carb game with a cooking class at La Bottega Nicastro. All cooking classes feature a three-course meal and two glasses of wine. Cooking classes are $70 per person, wine classes start at $59.
Hit the slopes
The last time I went snowboarding, I broke my tailbone. Let this be a lesson to you to wear as much safety equipment as possible, even if it means stuffing a pillow down your pants to prevent posterior injury. That being said, I’m sure you’ll have better luck than I did. I’ll meet you in the chalet for après-ski. Local ski hills include Camp Fortune, Edelweiss Valley, Ski Vorlage, Mont Cascades, Calabogie Peaks, and more. Prices vary.
Skate on the Rideau Canal
It’s in all our tourism collateral for a reason, right? Do it for the ‘gram. Reward yourself for risking frostbite by closing out your skate with a Beavertail and a hot chocolate, preferably with booze in it. Skating is FREE!
Dogsledding in Outaouais with Escapade Eskimo
Experience the exhilaration of dogsledding in Outaouais. With a variety of options from a 1-hour long sprint to a 2-day excursion, Escapade Eskimo lets you choose your own adventure. A great way to get the most out of our Canadian winters and something new to try with friends and family. Fees starting from $35 for adults and $25 for children.
Escape the Diefenbunker and then find a cozy corner in the Cheshire Cat Pub
Escape rooms are probably my favourite form of indoor recess. The immersive Escape Manor experience at the Diefenbunker is A LOT of fun. This enormous subterranean bunker, turned playground, requires 12 people to mount a successful escape. Afterwards, celebrate your victory or commiserate your loss with a hearty meal and tasty stout at the nearby Cheshire Cat Pub. Escape Manor in the Diefenbunker with run you $30 per person.
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