This massive (and free) Ontario winter festival is a must-visit this winter

Dec 20 2019, 2:51 pm

Temperatures may start dipping on the east coast but Ottawa is about to heat up.

The nation’s capital is set to throw a massive winter festival to celebrate its enchanting snow-covered season. And it’s very much worth a little road trip.

Winterlude is an annual free festival that spans over three weekends throughout January and February, and it all begins with a massive kick-off party. The event takes place on January 31, and will include ice sculptures, live music, and an epic outdoor dance party.

And Ottawa knows how to party in the cold. The city is home to the Rideau Canal Skateway, the world’s largest skating rink. All Winterlude festivities take place along the Skateway, with the world’s biggest snow playground, The Snowflake Kingdom, taking place at the Jacques Cartier Park in downtown Gatineau.


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New to the festival in 2020 is Spark Street’s ice carving competitions including the Winterlude International Ice Carving Challenge, the Winterlude Battle of America’s Ice Carving Challenge, and the Canadian Ice Carvers Society Championship.


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All you need now is a winter road trip partner-in-crime, preferably someone who loves beavertails too.

It’s cold, might as well embrace it and join the fun.

Winterlude Ottawa

Where: Various locations, Ottawa
When: January 31 to February 17

Daily Hive StaffDaily Hive Staff

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