By Erin Gardner, Contributing Blogger
I don’t hate winter. Perhaps this is not a shocking statement in and of itself, but truly, I am one of those people that actually embrace the four seasons.
I enjoy spring for its fresh, sweet air, the new buds on the trees and the colourful April flowers poking through the earth. I adore summer for the trips to the cottage, extended time with my husband, son and daughter at the neighborhood parks, and the abundance of BBQs and pool time fun we have on the weekends. Fall is a fleeting but magical season full of exceptional beauty. As a family, we enjoy walking the many nearby hiking trails, take an annual trip to the apple orchard, enjoy a wonderful Thanksgiving weekend with family and of course, I’m a huge fan of Halloween. A pumpkin patch visit and jack-o-lantern carvings are some of my favourite fall activities. And yes. I even love winter.
Winter takes a lot of abuse. I used to resent the cold, harshness of this season as well. As a parent, we try to expose our children to lots of different experiences and activities. And by doing this, I became a huge fan of winter.
In Ottawa, winter is the season of Winterlude and skating on the Rideau Canal; the time of snowman making and downhill skiing; it’s also the time for Sugar Bushes and sledding.
Winterlude and the Rideau Canal draw thousands of tourists each year. At 7.8 km long, it becomes the world’s largest skating rink. Throughout the month of March and first week of April, The Log Farm on Cedarview Road, which is accessible off of Highway 416, offers an all day breakfast buffet, maple taffy on a stick and a historic walk through the Bradley Lodge and Farm. Further down Cedarview Road lies Bruce Pit. It boasts a very large sledding hill and is unique to Ottawa in that it is the largest dog park where owners can have their dogs off the leash amid wonderful National Capital Commission nature trails.
As we near the month of April, I look back and I think that my family enjoyed many activities together as a family this winter. It makes me proud to see my 3-year-old daughter Claire bombing down that extra large sledding hill at Bruce Pit. It warms my heart to see my husband, Dennis, and our 6-year-old son spend Sunday mornings at the Vorlage ski hill in Wakefield. And although we will be tipping our hat to Jack Frost and saying farewell to the snow over the next few weeks, I’m so happy to know that the Gardners had one of the best winter seasons yet.