Brrrr! Bundle up at Winterlude! On February 15 and February 16, 2015, my family drove to Winterlude to discover the wonders of winter and to enjoy being outside. My family visited a lot of different sites there. My favorite site there was Crystal Garden. I also enjoyed another site named Snowflake Kingdom.
When my family arrived at Ottawa, we saw a lot of signs for Winterlude. The first site my family visited was Crystal Garden. The first activity we did there was learning the basics of ice carving and how to use a chisel. We were greeted by Kenny Hayden, the ice carving instructor, at a fountain. Around the fountain, there were a bunch of stations with a little pre-mold ice sculpture at each of them. We were handed safety goggles before we headed to our stations. My brother and I chose a puppy to carve. We were given instructions on how to carve safely with a chisel. I soon got to try ice carving on my own. It’s harder than it looks! Luckily, I was given a couple tips:
“Sometimes, you can try to push down or sideways,” said Kenny, “or you can turn the sculpture around to make it easier for you.”
At the end, we were able to chisel away the outer edge of the sculpture. It didn’t look like a major improvement, but it took us a long time just to accomplish that. We took our goggles off and went exploring the rest of Crystal Garden. Crystal Garden had so many ice sculptures! (Maybe that’s why it’s called Crystal Garden.) I saw some cool ice sculptures with… peculiar themes. One of them had a lantern shining on a hand which was trying to make a shadow puppet of an eagle. Another one looked like a tiny backyard. The ice sculptures were illuminated at night. I also had a chance to have taffy on snow. It is one of my favorite winter treats!
After we visited Crystal Garden, my family took a complimentary shuttle bus to Snowflake Kingdom. When we arrived, I saw a Winter Wonderland. The first thing I did at Snowflake Kingdom was tubing. It was my first time tubing on snow! I spun down the hills until I was tired. Ice-sliding was our next stop. My brother and I sat on top of a hill constructed with only ice and snow. My brother and I slid down hand in hand so fast. At the end of the slide, we were trying to get off but we kept on slipping as the ice was too smooth to stand on! At Snowflake Kingdom, there was also an Extreme Zone. My favorite activity was zip-lining. I had a lot of fun flying in the air. My brother and I also tried go-karting on snow and running through a cataclysmic maze. I ended up really tired at the end of the day.
During my visit, I also had the chance to skate on the Canal Rideau, the world’s largest skating rink. After I put on my skates, I glided on the bumpy ice. I felt like I was day-dreaming for a short time. Beside the ice rink, there were a bunch of food booths. There was also a booth with free hot chocolate and a photo booth. In that booth, you could also get your winter gear personalized. I really enjoyed taking selfies in the photo booth.
At last, it was time to leave. I packed my stuff and left. Winterlude was a fun experience for me. I hope I can go back someday—maybe next year?