Though some days temperatures drop below 30 degrees celsius, winter in Ottawa is one of my favourite times of the year. Now, I know you are thinking, “Carolyn, you're CRAZY! Ain't nobody got time for freezing cold temperatures that make my face hurt!!” but honestly, Ottawa is the most beautiful when the trees on Wellington St. are blanketed in snow, the 7.8 km Rideau Canal is packed with skaters sporting multicoloured toques and jackets, and the Byward Market restaurants feature Winterlude themed menus! How do I stay warm, you ask? Well, the best part about coming home after a long Sunday spent tobogganing down the big hill at Hog's Back Park is brewing a fresh pot of Teao's Mio! Organic, one of Tealee's original blends. With a ceylon black tea as the base, the rich cocoa and spicy chili peppers pair nicely to warm your whole body with each sip. I recommend grabbing a hazelnut Beaver Tail, too, as the chocolatey topping really brings out the cocoa flavour in the tea. After all that hiking back up the hill, I love to just curl up on the couch under a knitted blanket with a cup of Teao's Mio, my Beaver Tail and a good book (I recommend Terry Fallis's The Best Laid Plans, which is set in Ottawa and features the fictional scandals of Parliament Hill).
Here are 5 other ways to appreciate winter in Ottawa without freezing your toes off:
- Cuddle up to the goats, sheep, rabbits and pigs at the Agricultural Museum! From November to March, admission is FREE after 4 pm! Who doesn't love burying their frost-bitten fingers into the warm coat of a baby lamb?
- After 4pm on Thursday evenings, admission to most of Ottawa's museums and art galleries is FREE! Hide from the cold as you browse the permanent collection at the National Art Gallery, or check out the newly renovated Canadian Museum of Nature. My favourite is the Canadian War Museum, but that might just be because I am a huge history nerd.
Stanley's Olde Maple Lane Farm is a bit of a drive from downtown, but if you love good Canadian maple syrup, pancake brunches, and sleigh rides, you'll definitely want to pack the family into the mini van and head out. Syrup season is from March to the end of April, so the weather may even cooperate!
- Snuggle up with your somebody while you catch an indie flick at one of Ottawa's two historic independent film theatres – the ByTowne Cinema or the Mayfair Theatre. At both cinemas, students pay just $6 for an annual membership, which gets you $4 off the ticket price.
- Brew up a pot of your own, unique tea blend after you learn how to mix herbs, fruits, flowers and teas together at Tealee's tea blending workshop. Join us from 7-8 pm on February 3rd to discover the benefits and characteristics of each tea and ingredient. You even get to bring your blend home so you can share your signature tea with other tea-thusiasts! Check out our workshop page for more info.
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