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Brrrrr, it’s cold outside! Winter has finally arrived in Ottawa after a particularly warm fall, and despite the chilly temperatures, no one can deny that Ottawa is spectacularly beautiful covered with a blanket of snow. The winter months may seem long, but there is always something fun you can do to pass the time. Whether you are the outdoorsy type, one that leans towards cozy hibernation or someone that prefers a mixture of both, here are some ideas to get you through this winter.


Outdoor Activities in and around Ottawa

Winterlude, one of the Capital’s most popular annual festivals, runs from January 29th to February 15th, 2016. There is no better way to celebrate winter in Ottawa – Gatineau than partaking in one of the many events and activities like skating on the world’s largest skating rink (the Rideau Canal), checking out the ice sculpture competitions and heading to the Snowflake Kingdom in Gatineau. The Snowflake Kingdom is situated in Jacques-Cartier Park and offers myriad attractions like giant slides, snow sculptures that are lit up at night, live entertainment and the popular Ice Hogs mascots. Winterlude is so much fun that you might even forget that the weather is chilly!


If you know how to bundle up warmly, want to burn some calories and ultimately whole-heartedly embrace the outdoors, then why not head to the slopes this winter? There are several ski hills within easy driving distance of Ottawa including Mount Pakenham, Mont Cascades, Ski Vorlage and Camp Fortune. There’s nothing quite like a day spent on fresh powder.


There are many other fun activities in Ottawa for the outdoor adventurer like tobogganing, tubing, cross-country skiing, dogsledding and sleigh rides. So put on your warmest clothes and embrace this beautiful season, because before you know it… winter 2016 will just be a distant memory.


Pretend it’s not winter (and embrace the indoors)

Ok, ok… I know that everyone isn’t cut out to be an outdoor enthusiast in sub-zero temperatures. So how can you pass your time this winter? Ottawa is home to an impressive array of world-class National Museums, each one providing countless hours of indoor entertainment. There are also plenty of shopping centres, movie theatres and live entertainment venues that offer a distraction from the cold. However, sometimes the best thing to do in the winter is to hibernate. We all long for those days where we can curl up in front of the fire and stay in our warm and cozy home on a cold winter’s day. At-home activities can be just as enjoyable as those that take us on outdoor adventures.


Do you dream about curling up in a cozy blanket in front of a fire, enjoying a cup of coffee or a glass of wine and reading a fabulous book? This is one of the best ways to combat winter in Ottawa without even leaving your home! If you’re unsure what to read this winter, here are some new books to add to your list in 2016.


Nothing says winter like comfort food! If the weather is frightful, why not concentrate your energy on creating some delightful home cooked meals? It is said that comfort food got its name because it literally comforts you, ultimately lifting your spirits! It is no surprise then that a delicious homemade meal can truly combat the winter blues. If you Google “comfort food recipes” you will find thousands of ideas. To give you a little inspiration I’ve shared one of my favourites – Beer Beef Stew.

Rose Anne Freedman's Favourite Beer Beef Stew


So Ottawa, whether you choose to brave the cold or opt for cozy hibernation, I hope these ideas will help you survive winter 2016!

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