Ottawa Irish Festival a 12 day carnival with music, dancing, art, food & drinks >

Hotel Blog

Photo by Matthew Fournier 


For those still seeking a winter wonderland, make your way to the Northwest for a truly magnificent Canadian winter experience. Major cities like Ottawa celebrate the season with grandiose festivals and planned winter activities. With these upcoming events, you'll be excited to embrace the cold each day. 



The ultimate winter festival takes place in Ottawa from January 31 to February 17. Winterlude is an extravagant annual event showcasing Canada's diverse cultural and artistic winter traditions with programs and activities set up at multiple sites across Ottawa. Winterlude is free for all to attend.


Rideau Canal Skateway

A highlight of the festival is the opening of the Rideau Canal Skateway, the world’s largest naturally frozen skating rink and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The 7.8 kilometre long ice rink winds its way through Ottawa and is accessible to everyone 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and is free of charge. As you glide through downtown Ottawa, there will be many food vendors along the way offering hot chocolate, poutine and delicious beaver tail-shaped pastries to hungry skaters.


Special Winterlude programming includes a Winter Triathalon on February 1st and the BeaverTails Ottawa Ice Dragon Boat Festival on February 7-8, where colourful dragon boats are outfitted with special blades for an exhilarating race down the skateway. 


Jacques Cartier Park

As part of Winterlude, Jacques Cartier Park transforms into the ultimate winter's playground called Snowflake Kingdom. Guests of all ages can participate in fun activities such as tube sliding, taking ski and snowboard lessons, zip lining, viewing incredible performances by Indigenous artists, and marveling at beautiful snow sculptures. As well, there's a Kiddie Zone specifically designated for young children. You'll also meet the mascots of Snowflake Kingdom, the Ice Hogs family who love to meet and greet all visitors to their domain.


Free transportation between sites

During Winterlude, festival attendees can take advantage of the free shuttle busses transporting guests between the official sites. The free OLG Sno-Bus is the most convenient and affordable way to fully experience Winterlude without the worry of navigating traffic.


Find more information about Winterlude programming. 


When you're ready to warm up from the cold and the day's adventures at Winterlude, make your way to the Best Western Plus Ottawa City Centre Hotel — located in the heart of the city for your travel convenience. Find exceptionally comfortable rooms, walking distance from numerous shops, restaurants, and popular attractions. You'll also have great amenities at your disposal such as free high-speed Wi-Fi, fitness centre, onsite dining facilities, an electric car charging station and more. Book your stay with us today!

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