Every year I look forward to Ottawa’s Winterlude. I love the ice sculptures in Confederation Park at night they glitter in the lights making centretown look like a winter wonderland. On now until February 20th 2017, Winterlude is a fun time for the whole family.
My best advice if you are heading out to Winterlude with little ones is to ditch the stroller and bring a sled. Winterlude is a great activity to bring little kids to but it is simply not suited for a stroller. Trying to maneuver through Confederation Park’s deep loose snow is like walking in quicksand, pushing a stroller is nearly impossible, it turns a fun time into a logistical nightmare. A cheap plastic sled (ours was $10 at Canadian Tire) makes your Winterlude adventure lots of fun. My 3 year old isn’t reliable enough to walk the distance to City Hall but he will happily sit on the sled and has a blast the whole walk there. A big bonus is when we get to our location the sled is lightweight enough to carry and my kid is free to walk and explore. Plus if you are going to take the Sno-bus you aren’t having to haul a stroller over snow banks. Don’t get me wrong I love my stroller and we use it a lot but this winter I’m ditching it for a sled.
While at Confederation Park make sure you stop by the Metro pavilion they are giving out free hot chocolate and cookies.
Make sure you take a trip into City Hall there are kids crafts, demonstrations by the Science and Technology Museum and the Aviation Museum has brought helmets and clothes for kids to dress up in. City Hall has bathrooms and is a great place to stop and have a snack when you are out with the kids.
If the kids need an indoor break where they can get out of their snowpants the Ottawa Public Library’s Main Branch is just a block away. The children’s section has bathrooms with changing tables, kids can read stories or play video games, stopping at the Library gets you out of the cold and gives everyone a break.
This Winterlude there is no Sno-bus going to Jacques-Cartier Park. Due to a labour dispute STO is not running the Sno-bus. You can catch OC Transpo Sno-bus going from Confederation Park to Dow’s Lake but you will have to make alternate arrangements if you choose to go over to Gatineau. We found this out the hard way when we went were trying to head over to the snow slides at Jacques-Cartier and there wasn’t a bus so this week when we make the trip I will have to drive.
Winterlude is a great family outing make sure you bundle up and have lots of fun in the snow!