One of the great things about living in the Nation’s Capital is the amount of events that take place all year round. While summer in Ottawa is so good it convinces us all to stick around through the harsh winters, we tend to hibernate through them instead of enjoying them. But, the amount of great activities going on in the city don’t stop just because we’d prefer to stay wrapped up indoors.

Here are some of the reasons we’re getting out of the house and braving the cold this month:

Winterlude: February 1 – February 18

The event Ottawa Tourism calls The Capital’s Winter Celebration! No list of activities is complete without mentioning this 3-week winter festival. The event features everything from ice sculpture competitions, sporting events, and more. On February 2nd, beginning at Dow’s Lake Pavillion, athletes participate in the Winterlude Triathlon: 8km skate, 8km ski, and a 5km run. Honestly, where else but in Ottawa can you participate in a winter-themed triathlon along the world’s longest skating rink?

Skate the Rideau Canal

Speaking of, skating on the world’s longest skating rink is an activity not to miss all on it’s own! With Beavertails and hot chocolate stands lining the canal which you can skate right up to, and the city lights guiding you along on nighttime rides, what’s not to like? If you don’t have skates, you can rent them from Capital Skates at Rideau and Fifth Ave locations. Check out ice conditions here.

Snowshoe Under the Stars

Take a guided hike with a Friends of Gatineau Park nature interpreter through the park, to learn about how plants and animals survive the winter weather and the challenges it imposes. The 3km hike ends with hot chocolate by the woodstove, in the Sugarbush Shelter. Check dates and ticket information here.

Accora Village Bed Race

A can’t miss event! Watch as 50 teams made up of four runners and one rider race decorated, modified beds along York Street in the Byward Market. Teams compete for prizes for the fastest bed, the best decorated bed, and the best fundraisers – with all proceeds going to the Kiwanis Club of Ottawa.

TD Ottawa Winter Jazz Fest

A three-day line-up of world-renowned Jazz players, featuring sounds from Modern, Latin, Swing, Funk, Contemporary, Afro Cuban, Avante-Garde, and more! Get the full line-up and ticket information here.

Have another event you’re excited about? What gets you excited about winter in Ottawa? Let us know, and we hope to see you out there soon!