So yes, OK, Winterlude has been a bit of a bust this year. I even heard the term "Waterlude" the other day, which made me chuckle.
But let us not forget, dear, cold Canadians, that there are still many days left for us to enjoy the ice and snow. Many days to stand in line for overpriced fried dough, and take skates down the canal with our screaming children.
It is TRADITION.
I was really happy to get out the other day with my daughter, just before the warm weather left ice sculpture heads lying in the snow. And I realized that our previous Winterlude post needs updating (although check out Amy's post on snow tubing!)
So for those first-time parents hoping to brave the frigid (or not so frigid) temperatures, here are some tips:
Don't bring a stroller
If you want to participate in the activities at the central location at Confederation Park, the snow is so deep and slushy, it's almost impossible to navigate a stroller through there. I saw many stuck parents, weakly calling for their partners to fetch them a Beavertail.
DO bring a sled!
One of those small red sleds with the back are perfect for the wee ones who can't skate. Bundle them up well and pull them along behind you - unless you are the parents with the "crying child" who will not be happy wizzing along the frozen canal (see below.)
Don't expect your child will skate
The first year we attempted Winterlude with two kids, we ended the canal skate after about 0.4 kilometres of screaming. Their toes were cold, skating was terrible, and we were horrible parents for bringing them there. It's getting better, though, I promise! Each year we add about two feet to the skate ;)
Parents have to dress warmly too
If you think you'll get by in a pair of jeans and a warm coat, think again. Even on warmer days, kids love for you to get down on the ground and play. In the Confederation park zone, there was a great area for kids to build with coloured bricks - if I hadn't had my snowpants on, I wouldn't have been able to get down on the ground and be a kid myelf!
You must eat Beavertails and drink hot chocolate
Again...tradition!! Yes, they are $4.50 each, and you will question your sanity when buying one for each family member. And the hot chocolate is made from powdered sugar. But the good news is that you are fueled enough to withstand the frigid temperatures and crowds.
Take the bus
Finding parking is sometimes difficult, so we had a great time taking the bus from Orleans. And don't forget - there are free buses to take you to and from the different Winterlude locations. We didn't do snow tubing this time, but I'd love to check out Jacques Cartier at some point!
How do you do Winterlude? What are your tips for our readers?