The Snowflake Kingdom at Winterlude: fun for the whole family!
Every year, the Snowflake Kingdom, one of the Outaouais’ most popular winter features, attracts residents and visitors of all ages to a huge snowy playground. This year, it’s from February 3 to 20 that we’ll be gathering in the northern section of Jacques-Cartier Park. On the program: entertaining activities for everyone, endearing Ice Hogs, music, and a welcoming atmosphere. Bonus: it’s free!
Three weekends of fun in the snow
The Snowflake Kingdom is back this year as a Winterlude site, but in a new location! Activities will take place at the northern end of Jacques-Cartier Park in Gatineau. Conveniently close to downtown, this location promises to be lively in February!
By day or by night, take a stroll around the site and check out the activities. There are lots of options for children and their parents, including the Acoustic Zone, a showcase for live music performances. In the evening, the snow sculptures and tube slides are illuminated to keep the fun going well beyond sunset. You’ll see, the atmosphere is magical!
Programming for all ages
Several zones have been set up so that children of all ages can create lasting memories.
For toddlers, the Kids’ Zone is the place for fun and exploration. Mini-igloos, slides, play structures and a play area provide great outlets for their imagination. The Li’l Breeze Zone is an obstacle course that encourages children to use their physical and mental skills in a fun way. Children aged 5 to 8 can also learn to ski and snowboard for free with friendly instructors. Equipment is available for loan on site. In between activities, more than likely they’ll meet the Ice Hog family, those adorable mascots who welcome visitors with open arms (paws?).
There’s lots of fun for older children and parents, too. Why not try the Snow Snake, a game inspired by Indigenous traditions? Facilitators will be on hand to explain how it works and encourage youngsters to take up the challenge. Elsewhere on the site, the Ice Dig invites them to use a tool to dig into a huge block of ice in search of a hidden object, like a treasure hunt. They can also compete with their friends on the Big Blizzard obstacle course or target each other with soft foam balls in Flurry. It’s like a big snowball fight, but with obstacles! They can also find their way through the Labyrinth, engage in a tug of war, or play giant foosball or lacrosse.
Two “musts” for thrill-seekers: the zip line ($12 in advance, $15 on site) and the super slides! The zip line soars over the Snowflake Kingdom and offers a magnificent view of the Ottawa River. As for the tube slides, they’ll provide a top-speed rush and a lot of laughs! New this year: participants can slide in groups of two or three. One thing for sure: children will leave with happy hearts and lots of memories.
Tips for a successful day
We can’t say it often enough: dressing warmly is the key to enjoying winter! After a few hours of playing in the snow, a hot chocolate or a tasty BeaverTail is always welcome. Why not enjoy it while sitting in front of one of the park’s firepits?
To visit the Snowflake Kingdom without having to search for parking, we recommend the free OLG Sno-Bus shuttle service, whose route connects the various Winterlude sites. There’s also the Cobblestone tour bus, which allows you to hop on and off at any of the stops along the route, including Jacques-Cartier Park and Confederation Park.
If you’re looking for quality family time this winter, you know where to go! With its lively programming and unique winter setting, the Snowflake Kingdom is sure to be a hit.
Do the little ones still have energy to burn? We’ve put together a winter bucket list of 100 ideas for activities to make the most of winter! Be inspired by our original suggestions, from observing wolves to skating through an ice maze.
Not to be missed: from February 3 to 12, the Brewery Creek skating rink will host Aurora, a free winter nightfall experience in the heart of downtown Gatineau. Featuring a beautiful illuminated site, live music by local DJs (every Friday and Saturday), a coffee bar, interactive art and bonfires, it promises to be a unique place to gather. Gather your friends and come enjoy the winter!