25 Things to Do During Winterlude in Ottawa 2020

25 Things to Do During Winterlude in Ottawa 2019

Photo Credit: Canadian Heritage

A list of 25 things to do during 2020 Edition of Winterlude that celebrates Canada’s Diversity.

Winterlude kicks off on January 31, lighting up the capital during the festival’s 41st annual celebration with spectacular ice sculptures, rocking entertainment, and great family fun!

1. Join for Winterlude Kickoff Party

Winterlude’skickoff party featuring performances by Sarahmée, DJ NDN and Virginia to Vegas. The evening will also include a special number to highlight the important role that the Métis Nation played in Manitoba’s entry into Confederation 150 years ago.

Friday, January 31, 2020 | 7:00 pm to 10:30 pm @ Sparks Street, Ottawa

2.Taste yummy creations by award winning chefs

Twelve gold medal-winning chefs from across Canada will take part in the Canadian Culinary Championships. Taste chefs’ creations, enjoy performances by iconic musicians and meet elite athletes.

Jan. 31-Feb. 1, 2020 @ Various Venues, Ottawa

3. Get all the stew you can eat during ByWard Market Annual Winterlude Stew Cook-Off

Join us on York Street for the 29th Annual ByWard Market Winterlude Stew Cook-off. For only $10 get all the stew you can eat from over 20 ByWard Market restaurants.

Friday, January 31, 2020 @ 11:30 AM to 2 PM @ CTV Parking Lot, 62 York Street

4. Join for Winter Pride!

Put on your finest rainbow attire and brave the cold as waves of diversity, pride and solidarity unfold over Canada’s Capital Region! Capital Pride will be welcoming speaker jaye simpson, an Oji-Cree non-binary trans woman writer whose roots hail from Sapotaweyak Cree Nation, Treaty 4.

February 4-9 @ Ottawa Art Gallery and other venues, Ottawa

5. Celebrate the warmth and the chill of the winter season with Fire & Ice Festival

Join Downtown Bank Street B.I.A. for this free festival, taking place between Wellington and Catherine St. with over 400 businesses to visit – shop, tour and eat.

For the first time ever, Fire & Ice will bring a skating rink to the street, open to all ages. After stepping off the ice, festival attendees can enter the Quiet Events Silent Disco for a Deep Therapy event.

Friday and Saturday, February 8th and 9th, 2020 @ Bank Street

6. See amazing ice sculptures carved during International Ice Carving Challenge


Photo Credit: Canadian Heritage

Marvel at the ice sculptures carved during International Ice Carving Challenge, the Battle of the Americas Ice Carving Challenge and the Canadian Ice Carvers Society’s Ice-Carving Speed Challenge.

  • International Ice Carving Challenge — January 31 to February 2, 2020 @ Sparks Street
  • Battle of Americas Ice Carving Challenge — February 7 to 9, 2020 @ Sparks Street
  • Canadian Ice Carvers’ Society’s Ice-Carving Speed Challenge — February 15, 2020 @ Sparks Street

7. Be the first to run 5km through the Rideau and Shaw Centre

Join for Unique Indoor race called BougeBougeOttawa.

Sunday February 16, 2020 @ 55 Colonel By Drive Ottawa

8. Be a child at Snowflake Kingdom.


Credit: Canadian Heritage

Zoom down the tube slides, take a selfie amongst gigantic snow sculptures or scale, crawl, climb and dive through challenging obstacle course and more!

January 31 to February 17 @ Jacques-Cartier Park, Gatineau

9. Jive with Ottawa Winter Jazz Festfeaturing a diverse lineup of world renowned players in the Jazz music scene!

Thursday January 30, 2020 to Saturday February 1, 2020 @ Arts Court Ottawa, 2 Daly Ave #240

10. Rock out with Dwayne Gretzky and Kira Isabella

Enjoy free indoor concertsfrom headliners Dwayne Gretzky and Kira Isabella during Ottawa Ice Dragon Boat Festival. The all Canadian lineup that includes performances from Old Man Grant, Silent Winters, Boyhood, and DJ Noypi.

February 7 & 8, 2020 @ Rideau Canal Skateway at Dow’s Lake,1001 Queen Elizabeth Dr, Ottawa

11. See ice dragon boats racing down the frozen Rideau Canal Skateway.

Boats are equipped with skate-like blades and participants propel themselves along the 200-meter race course using spiked ice-picks, to the delight of record crowds in excess of 25,000. This year’s Ottawa Ice Dragon Boat Festival will host the IIDBF World Club Crew Ice Dragon Boat Championships.

February 7 & 8, 2020 @ Rideau Canal Skateway at Dow’s Lake,1001 Queen Elizabeth Dr, Ottawa

12. Learn and experience whisky during Women & Whisky

Join Ottawa Beer Fest friends for a Winterlude Warm Up event! Six Masterclasses over two Winterlude weekends! Learn and experience whisky in this just- for- the- ladies space while enjoying light snacks.

February 8 & 15, 2020 @ Kildare House , 323 Chapel St, Ottawa

13. Visit RCMP Rockcliffe Stables for RCMP Musical Ride Open House

Tour the stables, meet the horses and riders of the world famous Musical Ride, visit a variety of displays, and see demonstrations of RCMP activities and equipment. Don’t forget to take a non-perishable food item or a cash donation for the Ottawa Food Bank.

Saturday, February 8, from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. @ RCMP Rockcliffe Stables, 1 Sandridge Rd, Ottawa

14. Come chill out at Ottawa’s only Outdoor Ice Bar

Chill out at Ottawa’s only Outdoor Ice Bar,in the ByWard Market. 10ft bar made of crystal clear ice blocks, featuring Stoli Vodka, Bearface Whiskey, seasonal cocktails & Kichesippi Beer (Craft Brewed in Ottawa). Enjoy maple taffy & roast marshmallows around our fire pits or warm up with hot chocolate, tea and coffee.

Jan 31 – Feb 17 @ The Grand Pizzeria and Bar, George Street, Ottawa

15. Discover why Glebe is the snowman capital of planet earth!

25 Things to Do During Winterlude in Ottawa 2019

Photo Credit: Canadian Heritage

Visit Glebe and spot the larger-than-life Canadian animals carved out of snow that are scattered across the neighbourhood.

February 1 to 17 @ The Glebe

16.Celebrate the 50th skating season of Rideau Canal Skateway

NCC is offering a range of special activities on the Skateway to celebrate the 50th skating season including

  • Winter sports ice rink: Practice a winter sport like ringette or broomball, or enjoy a game of shinny hockey the old-fashioned way.
  • Skateway memories photo exhibit
  • Roving DJ: Over five Saturday nights, the roving DJ booth will make its way from the Dows Lake Pavilion to Waverley Street
  • Social media photo frame

17. Cheer the costumed teams race decorated hospital beds across the York Street during Annual Accora Village Bed Race


Photo Credit: Canadian Heritage

Saturday, February 15, 12:30 p.m. (Parade of beds) and 1 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. (Race) @ York Street, ByWard Market.

18. Zip line over Snowflake Kingdom

Saturdays, 10 am to 6 pm, Sundays, 10 am to 5 pm, and Monday, February 17 , 10 am to 5 pm @ Jacques-Cartier Park

19. Join hundreds of winter enthusiasts and participate in Winterman Marathon.

Join for Winterman Marathon, Marathon Relays, Half Marathon, and 3Km, 5Km or 10Km Running Events.

Sunday, February 16, 2020 | 8:00 am to 3:00 pm @ Canadian War Museum

20. Ring Interactive Light & Sound Installation- Chimes

Chimes comprises of more than 30 illuminated tubes and eight loudspeakers, when activated triggers a transformation of the space through sound and light.

@ ByWard Market

21. Take in winter sights at Ottawa’s tallest rooftop lounge

With heaters and fire pitsto keep you warm, you can take in the National Capital’s views with a cocktail in hand and embrace the magic of winter in a truly Canadian way. Copper on Ice will serve as a full service bar for the entire three weekends of Winterlude with special programming including “luge funneling”, live DJs, Canadian maple syrup taffy, and classic cozy cocktails inspired by JP Wisers Canadian Rye Whisky.

January 31st – February 16th — 16th floor of the hotel – Andaz Ottawa ByWard Market. Tickets can be purchased online for $10 which grants attendee’s access and maple taffy.

22. Have a gala time during BIG BANG Festival!

BIG BANGis back and it will transform the NAC into a joyful musical maze, full of adventures in sound to explore.

February 16 to 17, 2020 @ NAC

23. Take in some theatre during undercurrents festival

Produced by Ottawa Fringe, this festival shows the best original, contemporary theatre being created by Ottawa performers and visiting artists.

February 5-15, 2020 @ Arts Court Theatre and Studio, and other Venues

24. Swing to Latin Beats

The Ottawa Bachata Festival is a celebration of Latin Dance, offering three days of workshops, socials and performances over Family Day Long weekend.

February 14 to 17, 2020 @ LabO, 60 Waller Street, Ottawa

25. Take a Selfie with Ice Hog Family


Credit: Canadian Heritage


Trip Planning Winterlude:

When & Where: January 31 to February 17, 2020 @ Various Locations, Ottawa & Gatineau.

1-844-878-8333 (toll-free)

Paid Parking: Bronson Avenue, Dows Lake, Jacques-Cartier Park, National Arts Centre (NAC), Rideau Centre, World Exchange Plaza, Ottawa City Hall


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