What's on between Christmas and New Year's Day
There’s lots to do between Christmas and New Year’s. Show your house guests around! This opportunity comes but once a year!
ENJOY A SNOW DAY
MAGICAL LIGHT DISPLAYS
If there’s one magical place during the holiday season, it’s Parliament Hill after dark. (By the way, these days it gets dark around 4:30 p.m.) Christmas lights are everywhere, and the (free) multimedia show projected on the front of the Parliament Buildings is well worth seeing. Note also that the Centre Block will soon close for major renovations … for 10 years! You have until the end of January to visit it before the makeover begins.
LACE UP YOUR SKATES
Forty-five minutes from Gatineau, the Lac des Loups skate trail has quickly become a classic. Gliding along a 3‑km ice path winding through an evergreen forest—now that’s magical!
As for the Brewery Creek Skating Rink (if the weather cooperates), it’s minutes away from Les Brasseurs du Temps microbrewery and pub and Soif wine bar—another winning combination of fresh air, exercise and good food!
SKIING, SNOWSHOEING, OR BOTH
For snowshoeing or cross-country skiing, we immediately think of majestic Gatineau Park, right next door to the city. But have you ever considered venturing off the beaten trail (pardon the expression)?
Off the beaten trail
The Route des Zingues is considered one of the most beautiful sections of the Quebec National Trail. In the municipality of Duhamel, you’re almost sure to meet deer on the trail. Another good spot is the Ripon Black Mountains Park, home to the second highest peak in the region after Mont-Tremblant! There are heated shelters, perfect for taking a break between activities.
Did you know that on Friday nights from January 5, to March 9, you can snowshoe under the stars in Gatineau Park?
Air Eau Bois
For hyperactive types
For fans of downhill skiing, Mont Cascades Resort is a great mountain just 20 minutes from Gatineau. About 15 trails are open for night skiing.
For the indecisive (or hyperactive), the Air-Eau-Bois outdoor sports base invites visitors to practise a variety of winter sports. From cross-country skiing and snowshoeing to Ski-Hok (check it out!) and tube sliding, everything is provided. You can even spend the night! Ask about the packages available.
Good to know: You and your guests don’t have your own sports equipment? Rent it from Sport Échange Outaouais.
RUNNING WITH WOLVES!
The family spirit runs strong in the Tanwen Pack. (Now there’s a beautiful value in harmony with the holiday season!) Each dog has its place in the pack, and they seem more than happy to do their job: pulling you along! Drive your own team or relax in the passenger seat; either way, you’ll have a marvellous time.
WARM UP INDOORS ON A CHILLY DAY
MEDITATION AT THE NAC
To ease gently into the holiday season, head to the National Arts Centre on December 24 at 7:30 a.m. for NAC Movement in Meditation, an exercise session that combines breathing, visualization and meditation in the magnificent Glass Thorsteinson Staircase. You don’t have to be an expert or even wear a special outfit. Visualize your next New Year’s Eve, inhale, make peace with the turkey and stuffing … and exhale.
From December 27 to 30, inside the Branchaud-Brière Complex, you’ll find inflatable games, active games, games of skill, games, games, and more games. The Playground Festival is aptly named: 67,000 square feet and four days of family fun.
BISTRO AND BOARD GAMES
Speaking of games, do you like board games? Local board games hangout L’As des jeux recently opened its sister bistro, the Pärlē. Try out a new game while enjoying a beer!
THREE MUSEUMS IN THREE DAYS
Three consecutive days, three museums, $35: the Museums Passport is a heck of a deal! And there’s more: each accompanying child (age 17 and under) receives a minimum 30% discount on general admission. Choose among 7 national museums and have a blast!
If time is no object, have a look at our list of 11 indoor family activities for dreary days.
So—what are your plans for the holidays?