February 10, 2019

Exploring the Joys of Winter at the Ottawa Gatineau Winterlude

We had an opportunity to celebrate the joys of winter in Canada's capital region, Ottawa-Gatineau. The annual Winterlude will be happening until February 18th. There are lots of free activities for the entire family! Check the official Winterlude site for details on hours and locations. There were a lot of fun activities to do despite the cold weather.
Jacques-Cartier Park was completely transformed to a Snowflake Kingdom. It was nice to see the difference since our summer visit during the horticultural exhibit Mosa├»Canada
We saw the amazing display of sculptures carved into the snow by professionals. We spent an afternoon zooming down in single and double tubes at the super slides. 
Everyone that visited the park was having fun fitting into the action figures carved into the snow, and taking lots of pictures!
After all the snow tubing we were able to warm ourselves with a cup of hot chocolate inside the Air Miles big blue Toque. 
There is a lot more to do at the park including opportunities to interact, learn and play Canada's National Summer sport, lacrosse with lacrosse athletes. 
We can easily spend half a day at the park, so don't forget to dress warm! 
During the Winterlude make time to visit the famous Byward market, Canada's oldest and largest public markets established in 1826. 
They have a few interesting activities for the Winterlude to engage families. 
There was a section in which we were able to watch masterpieces being carved for the 32nd edition of the Crystal garden international ice carving competition
We enjoyed making a memorable coin, courtesy of the Royal Canadian Mint. 
In the centre of the market they have the chimes interactive light and sound installation. When the chimes are touched it transforms the space through sound and light, where we can see the tubes being illuminated. 
It is a fun concept for curious individuals to see the chaos theory in action and realize small actions have bigger impacts on the environment.
We were able to interact with Bytown residents, as we visited the market during the weekend between 12 and 2 p.m. These costumed characters where roaming the market wearing clothes from the previous era. They shared some pictures from the 18th and 19th century, which gave us an idea of how the market would have looked in the past. They also directed us to visit the Bytown Museum - which is on our list for the next time we visit Ottawa. 
We also saw a couple of stilt walkers - very courageous walking on snow and ice!
Compliments of the ByWard Market BIA they had wagon rides, so we were able to enjoy a ride and become familiar with the entire market.
We also spent a lot of time at the Bank of Canada museum, as it was interactive and kept both the adults and children engaged. There are a lot of modern technology in the museum for immersive learning such as individual wrist bands that can be scanned to engage with the interactive displays.  
The galleries lets us explore the economic lives of Canadians, travel through the history of money, and discover the role of the Bank of Canada. We learned about currency from around the world, economics, and how historical events impacted money, and much more.  
Zone 1 is a mini-museum where we explored beautiful display that taught us about Viola Desmond. There was a showcase of featured artifacts and a video wall. We also learned from the display of significant women that helped make positive changes. This is a good opportunity for children to connect what is taught at school.
We really liked the layout of the museum as it is numbered, and everything was hands-on. Zone 2 makes the visitors understand about spending and saving and also how they can help forecast the financial future. It explains more about the economy, and gives insight about industries, manufactures, exports, and more. 
In Zone 3 we get to walk through economic history and see how the Bank of Canada is working for all of us and understand inflationary and deflationary forces through the interactive rocket ship.  
In Zone 4 we get to understand the basic purpose never changes whether it is made of copper, paper or plastic. The displays in Zone 5, lets us see how the banks around the world showcase art and cultural icons when they produce money. In Zone 6 we watched a multimedia presentation that was explained in basic terms for children and adults to grasp the role of banks and money.  
There was also an avatar market where children were able to practice their budgeting skills. We had the opportunity to use our smelling senses to identify some of the "currency" that was used before the introduction of money such as tea, cocoa, parmesan cheese, and salt. This museum learning about money and economics interesting! 
The museum is close to Sparks street where they have ice sculptures and activities. 
If you enjoy skating or want to watch others skate while relaxing with Beavertails and hot chocolate check out the world's largest skating rink, the Rideau Canal. 
While we enjoyed all the fun Winterlude activities in Ottawa, we stayed at Four Points by Sheraton across from the Canadian Museum of History. 
The location of the hotel is very convenient, as it was close to the Jacques-Cartier Park. We found the staff friendly and accommodating, and overall the hotel is comfortable and clean for families to enjoy while checking out Ottawa and Outaouais. 
We also had educational and fun experiences at the Museum of History and Museum of Nature. Read about the interactive and educational galleries at the Canadian Museum of Nature on this post
Disclosure: This is a sponsored post. Please note that all opinions and thoughts expressed are my own. All rights reserved on photographs and written content Createwithmom © 2010 - 2019. Please Ask First


  1. That looks like a fun trip! I love the history and education that is packed into all the fun.

  2. Certainly looks like the place to be if in the area,lots to see and do !

  3. WOW! Very insightful and great ideas to spend with kids or just a couple weekend away.

  4. This looks like so much fun! I love winter activities!

  5. Beautiful pictures. I would love to go to the see the ice carvings.
    Florence Cochrane

  6. The action figures carved into the snow is so cool !

  7. This looks like so much fun! I haven't been to Ottawa during the winter in a long time. I've visited often during the summer though.

  8. I do love all the photos you shared,sure sounds fun !

  9. Our week of Winter fun week here was ruined by a blizzard and freezing rain !

  10. I would love to see the ice carving .

  11. There would be so many outdoor activities to enjoy.


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