What to do in Ottawa: 5 cool outdoor activities to try this winter

If you feel like getting active this winter, there are some fun and unique activities that versatile CTV News Ottawa reporters recently highlighted for you to try.

These activities are family friendly and safe. Be sure to check the COVID-19 restrictions in your area before heading out and have fun!

A full list of Quebec restrictions can be found here. A full list of Ontario restrictions can be found here.


It’s a bit like curling and a bit like pétanque, but it’s a sport in its own right.

Ice stock is a popular winter sport in Europe and growing in popularity here in Canada. It is played by throwing stones on the ice towards a puck-shaped target.

In the Kingston area, a local club will travel to the world championships next month to represent Canada on the world stage in Italy.

You can find out more from the Canadian Ice Stock Federation.

And read Kimberley Johnson’s story here.


It may be the dead of winter, but there’s something Canadian about gathering outside around a cozy fire and sharing a meal.

If you already love the outdoors, you might want to try a winter patio. Area restaurants are accommodating closed dining rooms by offering an al fresco dining experience using fire pits, heat lamps and more.

CTV’s Dylan Dyson reviewed some patios in Calabogie, Ont., while CTV’s Jackie Perez took a look at an outdoor patio in Ottawa this week.

Hunter's Public House


There are plenty of rinks to skate on around Ottawa – which will soon require reservations – but if you’re in the mood for a more scenic setting, there are tree-lined skating rinks that might suit your fancy. .

Located just outside of Metcalfe in a place called York’s Corners, the RiverOak Skate Trail is filled with winter fun where you can skate through the woods. CTV’s Peter Szperling took a look at it recently.

Meanwhile, the enchanting and peaceful Patinage en Forêt, in Lac-Des-Loups, Quebec, located about 45 minutes from downtown Ottawa, offers skating through a dense landscape of spruce and balsam trees. . CTV’s Tyler Fleming got his shoes on to skate through the trees.

Skating in the Forest


A scavenger hunt can be a year-round activity, but this winter there are miniature gnomes popping up all over Ottawa that you can try to find.

You can find one with help from the creator’s Instagram account, @findinggnomey.

They are about the size of a loon. They can be found all over the city, from Kanata to Orléans, via Barrhaven and Stittsville.

You can read CTV’s Peter Szperling’s story about the mysterious gnomes and their equally enigmatic creator here.

miniature dwarfs


It is a Finnish version of luge. Scooters are becoming a popular activity this winter.

The sleds feature a wooden chair at the front and long skis at the bottom, with a handle on top. One person stands in the back kicking to move the sled, and another can step onto the chair.

Mad River Paddling Co. in Calabogie, Ontario. says they received three new scooters to rent over the holidays and have already ordered more stock.

CTV’s Dylan Dyson tried them out recently. You can see his story here.


For more winter activities, check out our list of what’s happening in Ottawa this weekend.