Expensive reader: This text comprises hyperlinks to services and products that I could also be compensated for, at no additional value to you.
When you’re searching for enjoyable issues to do in Edmonton in winter, you’ll be spoiled for selections. Your solely problem will likely be getting out of the entrance door of your home!
Born and raised in Edmonton, I now move the frosty winters in Edmonton exploring the town and getting outdoors with my children. We truly love the winter right here, whether or not or not that makes us loopy…
On this article, I’ve compiled a few of Edmonton’s finest winter actions. I’ve cut up these into outside actions, Christmas lights viewing, winter festivals and occasions, indoor winter actions (as a result of, let’s be sincere, generally it’s simply too chilly to be outdoors for lengthy), and extra concepts for issues to do in winter in Edmonton on the finish.
Outside Winter Actions
Minus 30 levels? That doesn’t cease some Edmontonians from getting outdoors to take pleasure in the next outside actions (OK, so it truly does cease most of us…I like to recommend saving these for a not-so-cold day!)
Our of our favourite winter actions in Edmonton is ice skating. This turned very true in the previous couple of years when so many different issues shut down due to COVID; I even constructed somewhat rink in our yard.
Our top-3 favourite outside skating rinks in Edmonton are:
- Rundle Park: for its superior skating path by the forest and a devoted hockey/shinny rink
- Victoria Park: one other giant rink plus skating path within the Edmonton River Valley
- William Hawrelak Park: the biggest outside skating rink in Edmonton
There are a number of smaller skating rinks in Edmonton, together with ones in nearly each neighborhood centre. Indoor rinks will also be present in West Edmonton Mall, Coronation, Clareview, and several other different recreation centres.
Flying down a snow-covered hill on a loopy carpet or GT Snowracer is many a child’s favourite winter exercise in Edmonton.
Among the finest tobogganing hills in Edmonton at Rundle Park (which has two completely different fairly giant ones), Authorities Home Park (one other very huge one), smaller Emily Murphy Park (which has outside and sheltered campfire spots proper subsequent to it), and Griesbach Central Park (additionally good for youthful children).
However for probably the most epic of toboggan runs within the metropolis, nothing beats the big hill at Gallagher Park within the River Valley. It’s so giant that there’s truly a ski resort, Edmonton Ski Membership, sharing the identical hill (see picture under). The one problem is strolling again up the hill!
Snowboarding, Snowboarding & Snow Tubing
Ski and snowboard-loving households have a number of selections in and round Edmonton. All are the proper measurement for younger rookies to hone their expertise earlier than heading to the larger ski resorts within the Rocky Mountains.
A little bit out of city close to Devon, Rabbit Hill Snow Resort, additionally within the North Saskatchewan River Valley earlier than it reaches the town, has barely bigger hills, making it the decide of the bunch.
All 4 ski areas additionally supply snow tubing runs.
For the final couple years now, Edmonton Ski Membership has additionally provided the prospect to attempt mountain climbing in Edmonton. Referred to as the YEG ACC Ice Wall, it’s run by the Alpine Membership of Canada.
1.5-hour mountain climbing classes can be found and the minimal age is 14. Climbing the ice wall after darkish is an particularly cool expertise, when it’s lit up with colourful lights from behind.
On in the future each winter, the ice wall can also be the location of the YEG Ice Fest (see winter occasions part under), when you possibly can attempt climbing the wall at no cost!
Cross Nation Snowboarding
Moreover downhill snowboarding, there are a great deal of cross-country snowboarding trails in Edmonton, too. These are largely situated within the Edmonton River Valley. They’re usually maintained, free, and accessible to everybody.
Among the finest cross-country ski runs might be discovered at Victoria Park, Sir Wilfred Laurier Park, William Hawrelak Park, and Gold Bar Park. See extra info and areas right here.
One other winter sport that has been gaining reputation in recent times in snowshoeing. You might be allowed to snowshoe at any park in Edmonton, nevertheless it’s necessary to notice that you simply shouldn’t snowshoe on the cross-country snowboarding trails as a result of it messes them up. Borden Park, Rundle Park, William Hawrelak Park, and Victoria Park have numerous area.
We particularly advocate heading to one of many many parks and recreation areas outdoors of the town, corresponding to Elk Island Nationwide Park, Chickakoo Lake Recreation Space, Cooking Lake-Blackfoot Provincial Recreation Space, or Lois Gap Centennial Provincial Park.
Recognizing Northern Lights
Edmonton is likely one of the finest giant cities from the place Northern Lights are often seen. The truth is, there’s an official Darkish Sky Protect proper on Edmonton’s doorstep, which is named Beaver Hills Darkish Sky Protect.
Beaver Hills is simply east of Edmonton, encompassing Elk Island Nationwide Park, Cooking Lake-Blackfoot Provincial Recreation Space, Beaver Hills Lake, and Miquelon Lake. What this implies is that these are all wonderful areas for stargazing and seeing Northern Lights, with low ranges of sunshine air pollution.
To seek out out when Northern Lights will likely be seen in Edmonton and space, I extremely advocate signing up at no cost e-mail alerts from Aurora Watch. You’ll get a yellow alert for seemingly occasions, and purple alert for very seemingly ones.
Wildlife Recognizing and different winter actions at Elk Island
Elk Island Nationwide Park is barely 40 kilometres east of downtown Edmonton. Regardless of being the smallest of Alberta’s 5 nationwide parks, it has performed an important position within the conservation of the plains and wooden bison.
The previous stay in the primary part of the park north of the freeway, whereas the latter stay within the smaller part to the south. I don’t assume we’ve ever been to Elk Island with out recognizing not less than one bison, if not many. We’ve additionally seen a porcupine there! The park additionally has a number of black bears, however they’re uncommon to see.
We love visiting Elk Island in winter! The park’s 11 strolling trails are all open in winter, although than can turn into messy when the snow begins melting. Elk Island can also be a implausible place for snowshoeing and cross-country snowboarding. There’s additionally normally a small ice skating rink cleared off on Astotin Lake.
Christmas Lights Viewing
Edmontonions take their Christmas lights severely, and this solely appears to be rising yearly. Listed below are a number of the finest locations to see Christmas lights in Edmonton.
Sweet Cane Lane
Sweet Cane Lane is Edmonton’s longest working neighborhood Christmas lights occasion. It goes again greater than 50 years! Yearly, all the homes on 148 avenue (from 99 to 92 avenue) go all-out with Christmas lights and decorations on their properties.
Guests are inspired to park their automobiles and stroll by, or drive by if unable to stroll. The occasion is free however meals donations are accepted for the Edmonton Meals Financial institution. The occasion normally lasts from December 10 to January 1, each night time from 6-10 PM.
Luminaria & Zoominescence
These are two Edmonton Christmas lights occasions that required paid entrance.
Luminaria is hosted by the College of Alberta Botanic Backyard simply outdoors of the town in Devon. It normally runs from the final week of November to the primary week of January. The serene show consists of actual candles within the Japanese Backyard, choreographed lights and music within the Aga Khan Backyard, and indigenous shows.
Zoominescence is hosted by the Edmonton River Valley Zoo. Go to any night in December to not solely see the prepare dinner gentle shows all through the zoo but additionally say whats up to the animal associates. The zoo can also be licensed to promote alcoholic drinks.
Magic of Lights
Rad Torque Raceway (previously Castrol Raceway) subsequent to the Edmonton Worldwide Airport hosts Edmonton’s largest annual drive-through Christmas lights show, Magic of Lights. The occasion runs from mid-November to early January. It’s a paid occasion, with the choice to take photographs with Santa.
Alberta Legislature Grounds & Edmonton Metropolis Corridor
From the start of December to the tip of January, the Alberta Legislature Grounds has lit up with tens of 1000’s of little lights, largely suspended within the timber within the water fountain space. There’s normally a lighting ceremony on the primary day, and up to now, they’ve additionally generally had ice sculptures on website.
In the meantime, Edmonton Metropolis Corridor normally options some cool lights shows of its personal and a really tall Christmas tree.
Christmas at Bob’s
One home in Edmonton that’s at all times absolutely bedazzled with Christmas lights and decorations is Christmas at Bob’s (7421 108 St NW), and sure, it’s even on GoogleMaps. Each facet of the home is enjoyable to have a look at, and the yard (which you’ll enter) can also be crammed. Donations are accepted on the official web site.
Griswold’s Christmas Lights Home
Is it well worth the drive to Spruce Gove to see the Griswold’s Christmas Lights Home? When you’re a die-hard Nationwide Lampoon’s Christmas Trip fan like we’re, then the reply is a powerful ‘sure’.
This home is absolutely decked out just like the one within the film, plus Eddy’s van and a few cardboard cut-outs of the characters are out entrance. Meals financial institution donations are accepted.
Different Winter Festivals and Occasions
The next Edmonton winter occasions and festivals are listed within the order that they arrive within the season.
All is Vivid Competition
All is Vivid is an annual one-day competition that is available in late November on 124 avenue, website of the 124 Grand Market, the most effective farmers’ markets in Edmonton. This early night occasion (normally round 4-8 PM) options music and different performances from a small stage and roaming entertainers.
The occasion facilities on Helen Nolan Park (124 st and 108 ave), however there are lovely decorations and Christmas lights alongside 124 st from 107 to 109 avenues. Final 12 months, an Indigenous Pavilion was additionally added at 103 ave.
Deep Freeze: A Byzantine Winter Competition
The 15-year-running Deep Freeze: A Byzantine Winter Competition is the primary winter competition of the brand new 12 months. The competition celebrates the Olde New Yr and the number of cultures that make up Alberta, together with Indigenous, Inuit, Métis, French-Canadian, and Ukrainian. It takes place for 10 days beginning on January 14.
The competition normally spans a number of areas in Edmonton; at the latest one it was Borden Park and Alberta Avenue (118 ave). Borden Park hosted a set of lanterns and different inventive gentle shows (Borden park additionally has one of many finest playgrounds in Edmonton!), whereas Pipon Village (118 ave and 92 st) options tipis, storytelling, bannock, and extra.
There have been additionally musical performances and workshops at The Carrot Neighborhood Arts Coffeehouse close by.
Ice on Whyte
Ice on Whyte is one other must-see Edmonton winter competition. For round 10 days from late January to early February, a set of spectacular ice sculptures are displayed someplace on or close to Whyte Avenue in Outdated Strathcona. The newest one was held in Dr. Wilbert McIntyre Park simply off Whyte.
Moreover admiring the ice sculptures, children can full a quiz, facet down an ice slide or sit in an ice chair, or make their very own ice sculpture. There’s additionally a campfire and some meals vehicles on website.
There’s a small admission charge to enter this one.
Silver Skate Competition
One in all our favourite winter festivals in Edmonton is Silver Skate Competition. The competition revolves round ice skating and takes place on and across the big skating rink at Hawrelak Park. It normally takes place in mid-February and is Edmonton’s longest working winter competition.
Moreover skating, the competition has a snow and ice sculpture backyard, indigenous storytelling, native music and inventive performances. To complete the competition off, a big sculpture is constructed then burned on every night of the ultimate weekend.
YEG Ice Fest
YEG Ice Fest is a one-day winter occasion hosted by Edmonton Ski Membership within the River Valley. The occasion consists of actions like winter fats biking, a youngsters’s impediment course, native beer & meals sampling, and extra. It takes place in late February (final 12 months was February 26 from 10 AM to 9 PM).
The occasion is centred on the ski membership’s ice wall, the primary of its form within the metropolis. Right here’s your likelihood to attempt climbing the ice wall at no cost! (first come, first served).
Flying Canoë Volant
Flying Canoë Volant (Pimihâw Waskwayôsis) is a novel early March competition based mostly on the indigenous-influenced French-Canadian legend of the Chasse-galerie or “Flying Canoe”. The competition revolves round French-Canadian, Métis, and Indigenous tradition.
The competition consists of three areas: Canoe races down the hill at Edmonton Ski Membership (sure, members truly trip canoes down the hill!), lit up teepees and different illuminated shows representing the three cultural teams in Mill Creek Ravine, and a cabaret with stay music, ice bar, and meals at La Cité Francophone, the center of the French-Canadian neighborhood in Edmonton.
The competition spans a big space, however all three sections are related by strolling trails, so it’s potential to go to all three on foot.
Indoor Actions in Winter
Even when it’s too chilly to spend a lot time outdoors, Edmonton nonetheless abounds with indoor exercise choices. Listed below are a few of our favorites.
A few of Edmonton’s finest farmers’ markets run proper by winter. These embrace Outdated Strathcona Farmers’ Market (each Saturday 8–3) and the Edmonton Downtown Farmers’ Market (Saturdays 9–3 and Sundays 11–3).
West Edmonton Mall
Adore it or hate it, The Mall is at all times open. Fake you’re within the tropics at World Waterpark, take pleasure in at staycation with a scorching tub proper in your room at Fantasyland Lodge (we personally cherished the model new area themed rooms—right here’s my full evaluation), go bar-hopping on Bourbon Road, attempt go-karting, or simply do some good old school purchasing.
Museums & Artwork Galleries
Edmonton’s is blessed with some wonderful museums and artwork galleries. When you haven’t been to the brand new Artwork Gallery of Alberta (reopened 2010) or Royal Alberta Museum (reopened 2018), it’s time to alter that! See my information to Edmonton’s museums for some smaller ones which can be open all year long.
One other option to go to the tropics in Edmonton in winter is on the Muttart Conservatory, these 4 big glass pyramids (plus a small 5th one within the center) within the River Valley. Every pyramid options the flora of a special biome, together with arid, temperate, tropical, and a rotating one.
Extra winter indoor actions
When the winter blues kick in, it’s time to attempt one thing new. How about:
Issues to Do in Edmonton in Winter: Bonus Concepts
As my listing continue to grow, listed below are much more concepts for enjoyable issues to do in winter in Edmonton
Previous occasion: Edmonton Ice Fort
The large and really spectacular Edmonton Ice Fort occasion in Hawrelak Park was a sufferer of COVID. Operating since 2015, the American firm that places it on at half a dozen areas within the US by no means made it to Edmonton in 2021 or 2022. Let’s hope they make it again in 2023!