One of the best parts about living in Edmonton is the many winter-themed activities, events and attractions that make it such a “cool” place to live. If you’re looking for a few fun, affordable, family-friendly events to add to your calendar this season, here are a few ideas:
1. Snowshoe and Stargaze
When: Saturdays, December through February 15th
Marvel at the starry night sky as you snowshoe your way around Elk Island – one of Canada’s many revered national parks and conservation reserves. This one-of-a-kind experience takes visitors on a short, guided snowshoe hike with interactive interpretation of the constellations above. Fireside snacks and refreshments are provided at no extra charge.
2. Experience the Deep Freeze
When: January 11th and 12th, 2020
The Deep Freeze Byzantine Winter Festival is a two-day event geared towards celebrating both winter and Canadian cultural heritage. This year’s festivities will showcase Ukrainian, Francophone and Indigenous themes as well as live performances, games, fireworks and, of course, authentic French and Ukrainian fare.
3. Visit a Frozen Palace
Returning to Hawrelak Park for the fifth consecutive year is the Edmonton Ice Castle – a frozen wonder comprised of lights, tunnels, slides, music and millions of pounds of ice. This award-winning attraction will open late December / early January, with official dates coming soon.
4. Glide Through an Enchanted Forest
When: Daily, 10:00 am – 10:00 pm
Colourfully lit and surrounded by forest, the Victoria Park IceWay is a stunning 400m skate trail located in downtown Edmonton. Often referred to as a “magical winter wonderland,” the IceWay is easily accessible via River Valley Road and 100% free to visit.
5. Head to Whyte Ave
When: January 23rd to February 2nd, 2020
Established in 2003, the Ice on Whyte Festival is rated one of the best winter festivals in both Canada and the world. Suitable for visitors of all ages, the ten-day event will feature ice chipping lessons, carving competitions, food trucks, games, an ice bar, DJ and much more.
6. Take Off on a Tube or Toboggan
Edmonton is home to some of the best tobogganing hills around, including Gallagher Park, Emily Murphy Park, Government House Park and many more. Easy, fun and FREE, this speedy winter activity promises fun for both children and “big kids” alike.
7. Indulge Your Sweet Tooth
When: February 1st – February 16th, 2020
Chocolate lovers unite! Starting February, you’ll have the opportunity to taste, sip and sample your way through the best hot chocolate recipes the city has to offer. Proceeds from this year’s Hot Chocolate Fest will be donated to Easter Seals Northern Alberta; be sure to check the event website for participating locations.
8. Catch a Winter Flick
When: February Dates TBD
The International Festival of Winter Cinema is the world’s only free outdoor winter film festival. For two weekends in February, the IFWC will offer filmgoers a variety of winter-themed cinematic productions (local and international) on a giant snow screen.
9. Lace-Up Your Skates
When: February 7th to 17th, 2020
Founded on Dutch winter traditions, the Silver Skate Festival is a ten-day skate-themed event that promotes art, culture and plenty of fun. Now in its 30th year, this family-friendly festival features snow sculptures, music, theatrical performances, sleigh-rides and a variety of winter sport events.
For a complete list of winter events and activities taking place in and around Edmonton, visit wintercityedmonton.ca.Terry Paranych on