Top 10 Things To Do This Winter in Ottawa

By Anabel Chung on Feb 26 2021

Bagsort knows the climate can get pretty cold in Ottawa and that to enjoy this weather properly, there are thousands of activities to help us keep warm and have fun while in the cold. But due to the pandemic, many winter activities we all used to look forward to were sadly cancelled. Finding safe things to do during this winter can be difficult, which is why Bagsort has curated 10 fun and safe activities for you and your family to do this winter in Ottawa. While at the same time keeping you and your loved ones safe and the people in your community as well. Do remember to wear masks and make sure you maintain social distancing at all times!

Here you have the top 10 activities to do this winter in Ottawa!

1. Ice Skating at one of Ottawa’s Outdoor Rinks

Source: getty images

Skating during these times can be one of the best options when you want to leave your house while being safe at the same time. Take a break from your daily routine, pack your skates and go for a spin! Besides the most well-known Rideau Canal Skateway, where most go skating, there are many other outdoor skating rinks located throughout Ottawa.

Jim Tubman Chevrolet Rink

Lansdowne Park Skating Court

•Ben Franklin Place Skating Rink (closed)

City Hall Rink of Dreams

RiverOak Skating Trail

Countryside Adventures

• Rideau Canal Skateway (closed)

**Note that reservations may be required 

2. Tobogganing

Source: Trevor McKinnon / unsplash

Tobogganing, without a doubt, is one of the favorite winter activities, from adults to teenagers to children, especially children. This specific activity allows your whole family to have fun together. All you need is to do is grab your sled, dress warmly, and get ready to slide and have fun. Here are some hills for you to have the best tobogganing/sledding experience. Do note that some sledding hills have up to 25 persons capacity in Ottawa. • Carlington Park

• Toboggan Hill

• Ski Hill Park

• Green’s Creek Sliding Hill

• Grasshopper Hill Park

3. Fat Biking

Source: Tim Foster / unsplash

If you want to stay fit during the winter without going into the gym and enjoy the outdoors, fat biking allows you to exercise outside. Additionally, they provide tough workouts. You can burn up to 1,500 calories an hour! Besides being an excellent option for outdoor exercise, fat biking is an activity you can do this winter in Ottawa for fun, which is also a great way to keep warm during these chilly days. If the temperature is sufficient, the following areas are perfect for fat bike riding around Ottawa-Gatineau.

Where to ride:

• The SJAM Ottawa River Parkway Trail

• Almonte Riverside Trail west of Ottawa

• South March Highlands in Kanata

• Centre de plein air du Lac-Leamy in Gatineau

• The 60-Series trail in south Gatineau Park

• The 70-Series trail in south Gatineau Park

• The Larose Forest Trails east of Ottawa

4. Winter Walking or Hiking & Take Winter Pictures

Source: Lindsay Raymond / getty images

Another fun activity to relax and exercise a bit would be to go out and enjoy a walk. Dress warm, prepare a hot cup of cocoa or coffee, and head out for a walk. You can even stop by a coffee shop and buy something warm to drink. Also, you can walk by yourself, listen to a podcast or music and clear your mind, or make it a family fun walk/hike anywhere close to your house or head to a park with easy hikes to take a breather, exercise, and admire nature. If you have a camera, pack it, and practice your photography skills. Take pictures along the way!

5. Animals at Parc Omega

Source: Ali Kazal / unsplash

Parc Omega is one hour from Ottawa, and it gives you the chance to drive through the safari park to see wild animals from the northern hemisphere, including wolves, deers, elks, from the comfort of your car. You can even feed the deers who will come to you for a carrot. You even have the option to make it an overnight stay or even a day trip for yourself and your family.

6. Gatineau Park

Source: Ali Kazal / unsplash

Gatineau Park has spectacular views, trails, and landscapes all year round. Right now, it’s a winter wonderland there. It doesn’t matter if you are on vacation or are working or have classes. A quick trip to Gatineau Park will certainly ensure a good time. Gatineau Park is the National Capital Region’s conservation park. Whether you are looking for outdoorsy activities or want to walk around, Gatineau Park has it all. You will be able to enjoy outdoor activities, including snow biking, snowshoeing, cross-country skiing, hiking and walking, overnight camping, among others. If you want to avoid crowds or a lot of people, weekdays are less busy.

7. Enjoy a Picnic

Source: CasarsaGuru / getty images

One of the first things that may pop up in your mind with the word picnic would be outdoors right, and the idea of a picnic outdoors, with such cold weather, might sound even crazier, but a picnic can be a fun way to enjoy winter with your loved ones during these times. Dress warm, pack hot food and drinks, go to any of your favourite picnic spots, and have a great time. Children can run around, build snowmen if there is enough snow, while adults can enjoy themselves with a hot cup of coffee or tea.

8. Fishing

Source: Rémi Jacquaint / unsplash Ottawa has numerous places for city fishing. You can fish from shore or launch a kayak, a boat, or a canoe. It doesn’t matter what season, going fishing is always a good idea. Fishing in the cold weather is as great as fishing in the summer. Winter is a great time to fish, mainly because freshwater species are together, which means more fish at once.

Ottawa River Where to fish:

• Port of Call marina

• Ottawa East—Rockcliffe Yacht Club, Blair Road

• Orléans East—Petrie Island

• Nepean North—Shirley’s Bay, Crystal Beach, Dick Bell Park, Champlain Bridge

• West Carleton—Morris Island Conservation Area, Fitzroy Habour, Buckham’s Bay, Fitzroy Provincial Park

Rideau River Where to fish:

• Vanier Parkway—New Edinburgh Park, Riverain Park

• Downtown—Dow’s Lake, Brewer Park, Windsor Park, Brantwood Park

• Hunt Club Bridge South to Manotick—Eccolands Park, Chapman Mills Conservation Area, Riverside Park

• Kars and Osgood Area—Long Island marina, Kars public wharf, W.A. Taylor Conservation Area You can find more information here

9. Enjoy a Game Night While Being Cozy Indoors

Source: getty images

With the ongoing pandemic, many do not feel like leaving their houses if it is not necessary. Plus, it is cold outside too. Therefore, a fun activity many can enjoy this winter could be to enjoy a game night while being cozy indoors. Pre COVID-19, many would go to escape rooms or board game lounges to have a good time with friends. Now, the closest to this would be virtual escape rooms or playing board games with people in your bubble. Even though things have changed, it is still possible to have a good time being cozy indoors with a hot cup of cocoa while playing games with your bubble or virtually with your friends.

10. Enjoy the Delights of Winter

Source: quokkabottles / unsplash

With everything going on in the world, it can be scary to leave your house and be near bigger groups of people. But with so much snow outside, you don’t even have to go far to have a blast. From the comfort of your house, you can make apple cider, a hot cup of hot chocolate or coffee, or even maple candy. In the comfort of your front yard or backyard, you can enjoy a snowball fight, make a snowman, play in the snow, or even prepare a scavenger hunt to have a good time and enjoy the delights of winter.