Snow Much Fun: Plenty of free winter activities near your Ottawa home

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Don’t let cabin fever and winter blues get you and your family down. The CIty of Ottawa’s local parks, rinks and trails are your close-to-home winter escape for “Snow Much Fun.” The City has plenty of free and safe activities to allow you to get out for a change of scenery, away from the video games and binging on several seasons of a TV series.

Check it all out at and download and print the Snow Much Fun colouring book so your kids can colour all the winter activities as they do them.

Wax up those cross-country skis or fasten those snowshoes

The City and the National Capital Commission have partnered with the Urban Winter Trails Alliance (link is external) whose member groups maintain the scenic urban trails for a wide range of activities. The trails include: Sir John A. Macdonald (SJAM), Britannia Winter Trail, Kanata Nordic, Orléans Ski Club, Ski Heritage East and the Rideau Winter Trail. Additionally, the Mooney’s Bay Ski Centre at the Terry Fox Athletic Facility has a groomed and well-lit trail.

Lace up those skates

For skaters, the City offers 45-minute reserved skating times at its four outdoor refrigerated rinks, including City Hall’s Rink of Dreams, and first-come, first-served skating at its more than 260 community outdoor rinks. Visit community rink locations and reservations for our outdoor refrigerated rinks – which can be booked up to two days in advance.

And for those who just want the rest of winter to slide, has a list of authorized sledding hills across the city for your family’s fun and safety.

Rink ambassadors animate your local parks

The City’s Rink Ambassadors will be visiting your local rinks and parks to organize some fun and safe activities for the kids. Sure, we have to keep our two-metre distance, but that doesn’t mean we have can’t have some fun games for some social interaction.

Kids can get more colouring than just rosy cheeks

When the kids get enough colouring on their cheeks, they can colour on the Snow Much Fun colouring book and help Dexter the Park-o-saurus enjoy outdoor activities. Get your copy through the rink ambassadors or download it online at

Your fun and health remain our priority

Staying active is important for both your and your family’s physical and mental well-being. That’s why the City of Ottawa has worked hard to adjust and provide safe and fun activities to provide some normalcy to our far-from-normal lives.

Ottawa Public Health (OPH) recommends choosing activities that are as safe as possible, preferably outdoor activities that you can participate with members of your own household. Be sure to:

  • Respect rink and sledding hill’s 25-person capacities, and 12 on puddle rinks.
  • Stay two metres from people who are outside your household.
  • Wear a mask in the 15-metre area around the rink surface and Ottawa Public Health suggests wearing one on the ice for added protection.
  • Be courteous and be mindful of your ice time when it’s busy so everyone can enjoy a skate.
  • Stay home if you’re sick.
  • Avoid crowds and come back later if it’s busy.

Unfortunately, provincial measures prohibit any team or group sports play – which includes our beloved hockey. To help prevent any situation that may evolve into any shinny or team play – whether it’s two or 10 people – the City does not allow any sticks, pucks, or any sports equipment on the ice. This straightforward rule takes away any grey areas that may cause confusion – making it much easier to follow and understand.

SOURCE City of Ottawa

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