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Kitchener-Waterloo Winter Activity Guide

Welcome to the Winter Wonderland of Kitchener-Waterloo, where the frosty air is filled with excitement and the landscape transforms into a snowy spectacle. As the temperature drops, our region comes alive with a myriad of winter activities that cater to every taste and age group. Whether you’re an adrenaline junkie seeking the thrill of snow sports, or a family in search of kid-friendly adventures, Kitchener-Waterloo has something special for you. Join us on a journey through this winter wonderland, where you’ll discover the best in snow sports, festive events, scenic escapes, culinary delights, and much more. Embrace the chilly embrace of winter, and let Kitchener-Waterloo be your guide to making the most of this enchanting season.

Kitchener-Waterloo Winter Activity Guide

Snow Sports Extravaganza: Embrace the Chill with Thrilling Adventures

Skiing and Snowboarding Escapades

Check out the full-filled experiences Chicopee Ski & Summer Resort has to offer. Hit the slopes for some local skiing, snowboarding and tubing, and then head inside for a little après ski!

Snowshoeing  & Cross-Country Skiing Trails

With lots of local trails running throughout the region, snowshoeing is a great way to explore the area. Grand River Conservation has a list of the conservation areas that offer cross-country skiing and snowshoeing (when conditions allow).

Sledding and Tobogganing Hotspots

Tobogganing is a classic family winter activity. Every family has their favourite hills to slide down. These are the locations that are inspected by the City of Kitchener.

Remember to practice safe sledding!

Frosty Festivities: Winter Wonderland Events for All Ages

Outdoor Ice Skating Spectaculars

Not only are there great outdoor ice rinks in Downtown Kitchener and Uptown Waterloo, but with the help of many generous volunteers, Kitchener-Waterloo has a number of neighbourhood skating rinks you can enjoy as a family. 

Check out Skate Night Date Night every Wednesday in January and February in the Waterloo Public Square!

Winter Festivals

Discover the magic of Winter at Winterloo on February 17. There are so many fun activities for the family!

Culinary Delights: Seasonal Flavors to Savor

Comfort Food and Hot Drinks

With so many amazing local restaurants, cafes and bakeries, there’s no shortage of delicious winter flavours. Check with your favourite spots to find out what’s new on their menu, and visit your go-to cafe to find out what seasonal drinks they’re offering.

Winter-themed Culinary Events

  • January 27- Uptown Waterloo Comfort Foot Crawl
    Support the Food Bank of Waterloo Region and indulge in comfort foods from Uptown Waterloo restaurants.
  • February-March – DTK Travelers Tour
    Each week, restaurants will showcase their unique cultural heritage and traditional dishes.

Nature’s Ice Sculptures: Discovering Frozen Landscapes

Snow & Ice Formations

Local snow sculptor, Matt Morris, literally brings the snow to life on his front lawn. Follow along on Instagram (or go for a stroll) to see his snowy creations, and learn how you can sculpt your own masterpiece. He’ll also be carving a giant snow sculpture during Winterloo.

Winter Hikes with Breathtaking Views

Explore all of the region’s parks and trails in the Winter. You may be familiar with your go-to Summer spots. So head out on a snow adventure and see how beautiful the region is under a snowy blanket.

Family Frolics: Kid-Friendly Winter Adventures

Snowman Building Contests

There’s lots of fun to be had without leaving your property. Get creative and host a snowman building contest.

Winter Wildlife Exploration

Whether you can see them or not, there are lots of critters scurrying around. Head outside and go on a hunt for their snowy pawprints

Cheer on the Rangers

Bundle up and head to the Aud to cheer on the Kitchener Rangers at one of their home games. 

Now get out there and enjoy the Winter in Kitchener-Waterloo!

House & Home

How To Create A Memorable Outdoor Movie Night

Movie nights are a great family activity. It’s a fun way to spend time together, relax, and enjoy a new exciting movie, or an old family favourite. During the warm summer nights, why not step up your movie-watching experience and create an outdoor theatre?

Setting up an outdoor movie night is a great way to create amazing family memories. Plus, the whole family can be involved in the planning! Here are some ideas to get you started:

The Setup

You can let your imagination run wild while planning your outdoor movie theatre setup. Maybe you want to set up a TV on the patio and sit around with some cozy blankets on your patio furniture. Or, maybe you’re thinking big, and want to set up a large screen and projector and lounge on a full yard of comfortable cushions and throws (more on the seating later).

Photo source: lifebyleanna.com

But remember, it’s not just about the screen; you want to be able to hear your movie too! Let’s take a look at some viewing and audio options for your backyard movie setup.

Photo source: jordanseasyentertaining.com
  • Bring a television outside temporarily and set it up on a coffee table
  • Set up a projector and projector screen (or a white sheet – here’s a tutorial for an easy DIY outdoor movie screen)
  • If you’re casting from your phone, test your wifi in the backyard before you hit play!
  • Test the audio and setup external speakers if needed

Other resources that can help you with your setup:

The Seating

Seating is all about personal preference: how comfortable you want to be and how much effort you want to put into it. You can always keep things simple and set up a few of your patio chairs, or you can create a comfy viewing area for your movie-goers. Here’s some inspiration to help you out.

Photo source: blesserhouse.com
Photo source: unetablebytania.com
Photo source: pmqfortwo.com

The Snacks

What you snack on is up to your family. Everyone has their own favourite movie snack. But how you set your snacks up can make your outdoor movie night extra special.

  • Set up snacks inside and offer “take-out” boxes so everyone can build their own snack box for the big show
  • Create an outdoor concession bar so snacks and drinks are close by during the movie
  • Put all the snacks on a tray that can be easily passed around
  • Maybe family outdoor movie night calls for a popcorn machine?
Photo source: unoriginalmom.com
Photo souce: sugarandcharm.com
Photo source: bhg.com
Photo source: onecrazyhouse.com

The Movie

Obviously, the movie is the main event, so you’ll want to plan it and get everyone on board! Maybe you’re going to sit down for the latest blockbuster. Perhaps you’re going to dig into the archives and watch a classic film. The possibilities are literally endless!

These days it’s easy to find and watch something new and exciting (no more loading the family into the car to head to a movie rental store, setting up the VCR, making sure you have all the cables…). Streaming services give you so many options to choose from.

Plus, if you plan your movie out in advance, you can make it a theme! Tie your snacks and decorations (if you’re going above and beyond) into the theme of your movie. You could ever have a family dress-up night if you feel so inclined.

Not sure where to start? Here are a few lists to give you some ideas.

The Extras

No, we don’t mean the people standing behind the actors. We’re talking about the little details that take your outdoor movie night to the next level. Some of these are great ideas if you’re hosting your outdoor movie night as a birthday party. Or maybe you just love the idea and want to make the night extra-special for your family.

  • Make and distribute tickets for the movie
  • Make a sign or two to label the areas of your “theatre”, i.e. a welcome sign, “Popcorn”, “Concession stand”, “Please turn off your mobile device”
  • Keep some bug spray nearby (consider setting your theatre up away from any bright light sources)
  • Try including the movie choice as part of the night’s activities. Everyone picks their choice and you find a fun way to draw or win your movie selection
  • A red carpet entrance
  • An outdoor popcorn machine
  • Cinema-themed decorations (or decorations inspired by your movie selection)

Make sure the memory lasts. Take a family picture in your outdoor theatre!

Enjoy the show!

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