Sometimes it seems like the only season here in Ottawa is winter. It seems to begin early and drag on late. The good news is that our awesome city has lots of great outdoor activities that you can enjoy in the snow! With the mild temperatures we are having this year, getting outdoors is easier than usual and you might as well embrace it! So strap on your skates, grab a friend and check out Ottawa’s top winter outdoor activities!
This is sure to be a fan favourite. One of the most unique parts about Ottawa is our canal. With boating in the summer and skating in the winter, it is a year long playground for us. Don’t have a pair of skates or forgot yours? Not to worry, there are skate rentals available! Enjoy a well maintained surface that is groomed regularly. With plenty of rest areas along the way, you can warm up with a hot chocolate and enjoy a Beavertail while gliding with your friends from Dow’s Lake to downtown. So strap on your skates and enjoy this 50 year old tradition with your family and friends! This is definitely Ottawa’s top winter activity!
With over 60kms of beautiful trails in Gatineau Park, your family is sure to enjoy a day out on their snowshoes. The trails range in difficulty from beginner to expert so you can decide how adventurous you want to be. They are also maintained and patrolled by professional patrollers. Walk through the forest and spot animal tracks and enjoy some laughs as you stay healthy by exercising and enjoying the great outdoors! Bring your own showshoes or rent some from the Gatineau Park Visitor Centre in Chelsea. Feeling extra adventurous? Why not rent a cabin in the woods so you don’t have to leave the calming atmosphere of the park. Daily passes for adults are $20 per person.
Cross-country ski in Wesley Clover Park
With Kanata Nordic at Wesley Clover Parks you can enjoy classic cross-country skiing as well as skate skiing on 18kms of well maintained trails. Trails are groomed 3 times per week by volunteer groomers.
Ski passes are $10 per day.
Private lessons are $70 / lesson per person or $90 / lesson per couple.
Don’t have a pair of skiis? No problem! You can rent them at the ski shop at Kanata Nordic. PRO TIP: If you have a Kanata Nordic membership, you will receive a discount on ski rentals from select outdoor retail shops such as Bushtukah, MEC, Fresh Air Experience and Kunstadt Sports.
What better way to enjoy a snowy day than to relax in a bath robe at North America’s largest spa Nordik Spa-Nature in Old Chelsea, Quebec! It’s so peaceful to sit in a hot tub and watch the snow falling. Only a short 20 minute drive from downtown Ottawa, you can experience this amazing Scandinavian spa and all of its tranquil treatments. The spa offers a multisensory experience in a beautiful natural setting and contributes to the health and well-being of its guests. Enjoy thermal treatments of hot and cold pools, sauna’s and hot tubs. Enjoy soothing essential oil infused massages, rituals and saunas. You are sure to leave this place feeling relaxed and at peace. Don’t feel like leaving? You don’t have to! Rent out an on-site cottage surrounded by nature or rent a room at one of Nordik’s preferred partner hotels nearby.
With over 20kms of trails, Mer Bleue offers hiking, cross-country skiing and snowshoeing all while being surrounded by the sights and sounds of nature. Be sure to bring some birdseed as the chickadees will be eager to eat right out of your hand! The scenery is sure to wow you with its northern boreal landscape located minutes from downtown. The picturesque boardwalk is always fun for the kids and grown ups alike!
What can be more Canadian than learning about how maple syrup is made? Ottawa has plenty of great sugar bushes that you can go to with your family to enjoy the day. The best time to visit is once the weather starts warming up, typically late February – early March. Many of our local sugar bushes are family ran and have lots of history you can learn about while touring through their facility. You will also have the chance to try some delicious maple treats! Lots of these venues also serve breakfast or brunch featuring their delicious maple syrup! Though this activity doesn’t begin until the end of winter, it still makes it into Ottawa’s top winter activities because its so delicious… and Canadian!
Maybe outdoor activities aren’t your thing? That’s okay! It can be hard to get out into the cold, wet white stuff! We have a great list of Ottawa’s best indoor activities as well that can be found at the following link. No matter what your adventure level is, Ottawa has something fun for you and your family!