All you need is love – and some activities – to make this weekend special

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It may feel like COVID-19 is causing a “Total Eclipse of the Heart” this Valentine’s Day – which appropriately lands this year on Family Day weekend. But it’s a great time to get outdoors and enjoy activities that get your heart beating with people you love in your household, connect with loved ones online, and buy local.

Outdoors

Escape the indoors and go out to get fresh air, a change of scenery, and exercise – all good for your and your family’s heart.

“Because you’re mine, I Walk (ski and snowshoe) the Line”

You can visit one of the many scenic urban trails for cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, or walking, including: Sir John A. Macdonald (SJAM), Britannia Winter Trail, Kanata Nordic, Orléans Ski Club, Ski Heritage East and the Rideau Winter Trail. Additionally, the Mooney's Bay Ski Centre at the Terry Fox Athletic Facility has a groomed and well-lit trail – for a romantic evening ski.

Skating – “You’re Cold as Ice”

Lansdowne skating rink


Plenty of cold ice exists across the city and your neighbourhoods to get out and glide this weekend – including four City refrigerated rinks, more than 265 outdoor community rinks and the Rideau Canal. Only 25 skaters are permitted on the City outdoor boarded rinks at one time. Twelve skaters are permitted on puddle rinks. So, during busy periods, show love to your neighbours and be mindful of the length of time you’re spending on the ice so everybody can get a chance to skate. And a gentle reminder – no sticks, no pucks.

The City’s four outdoor refrigerated rinks are by reservation only. You can reserve online at ottawa.ca/skating to book a 45-minute skating time, and you can book up to two days in advance.

Valentine’s is a time to spread love and appreciation – not COVID-19. So, remember to wear a mask as much as possible and keep a two-metre distance from others – especially at the point where people enter and exit the Canal and lace up their skates.

Walk 500 Miles – or just a few blocks

A simple walk with the family or your partner is a great way to get outside to connect with the outdoors. Also, you can show other people you care by practising physical distancing on sidewalks, pathways and streets. It’s important to be safe, healthy and courteous.

Indoors

Connect online: I Just Called to Say I Love You


Make the day special for you and those who you care about by reaching out and connecting online. Even though we can’t share the same space under one roof, you can share your care, laughter and stories with people who you cherish in your life. It’s a big boost to your, as well as your friends and family’s mental health and outlook. Vaccines are in demand, but laughter is plentiful and remains a great medicine.

Winterlude – now virtual

Winterlude is much different this year as it is completely online. Enjoy entertainment and marvel at the ice sculptures on the Winterlude website on your computer or device, while in the warmth and comforts of your own home.

Show some love – buy local

#BuyLocal


Skip cooking at home and order in from one of our local restaurants – whether you’re looking for a taste of Italy, Thailand or Greece, or just burgers and fries. What a great way to show your loved ones and our many local businesses how much you care. Order a special gift for your Valentine by ordering online from our many local retailers.

So, Valentine’s Day and Family Day are much different this year. Although many of us need to remain apart, it should not mean that we cannot connect. And do your heart good by getting outdoors and sharing good times with the people who live with you. We are all in this together. Next year, we can celebrate in more traditional ways.

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