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Three Events to Warm Up a Frozen February in Canada

Where: Canada
January 23, 2014 at 3:05 PM | by | ()

It might be cold in your neighborhood, but we’d be willing to bet it’s even colder across much of Canada. The country certainly knows all about winter weather, but instead of staying inside and binge watching Netflix programming they get outdoors and enjoy it. If you want to check things out for yourself—and embrace the winter—here’s three winter festivals to do just that:

Winterlude – Ottawa, Ontario & Gatineau, Quebec

The fun starts on January 31, and it runs through three weekends during February. Residents and tourists alike bundle up and take to the outdoors, as they enjoy things like the world’s largest skating rink over at the Rideau Canal Skateway. Slip, slide, and skate your way through portions of the city all while checking out the goodies that Canada’s capital has to offer.

There’s ice carvings over at Confederation Park, and the world’s biggest snow playground—they call it Snowflake Kingdom—does its thing over at Jacques Cartier Park in nearby Gatineau. Most of the activities are free, but be sure to bring to bring along some extra cash for a BeaverTail or two.

Carnaval de Quebec – Quebec City, Quebec

The winter party kicks off this weekend, as the Carnaval de Quebec fun runs through February 16. They’ve celebrating the season for well over 100 years, so at this point we can only imagine that they’ve got things pretty much figured out. Admission comes in the form of an entry pass or The Effigy—it takes its look from the festival’s mascot Bonhomme—and it will set you back $15. Wearing this will get you access to pretty much everything the festival has to offer.

That includes visits to the ice palace, chances to watch the canoe and sled races, and the opportunity to take in the sights, sounds, and floats of the night parades. If you’re really into things you can always spend the night over at Hôtel de Glace—the Ice Hotel—but just be sure to pay a little extra for one of the rooms with a fireplace. Otherwise you can just swing by and take a tour for around $15.

Festival Du Voyageur – Winnipeg, Manitoba

Every year—this year they are celebrating number 45—the city’s French quarter becomes the destination in Western Canada, as the place is transformed into a celebration of all things winter. This year the party is scheduled to run between February 14 and February 23, as music, food, and plenty of snow and ice sculptures do their thing in and around the city. Speaking of sculptures some of the best can be found over in Voyageur Park, as there you will stumble upon some around 50-feet long and up to 18-feet high.

Teams from around the world even gather for a little bit of a friendly competition, so you know this winter festival takes things seriously. As you work up an appetite just be sure to save some room for plenty of festival snacks, as it sounds like they’ll have plenty of maple taffy, poutine, and other goodies on hand. Ten-day tickets will set you back $28, but if you’re looking to visit Voyageur Park for just the day it’ll be $15.

[Photos: Canadian Heritage - Patrimoine canadien & Jamie In Bytown]

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