Things to Do in Winter in Edmonton
Yes, winter in Edmonton is chilly, but it most certainly isn't boring. We're talking thrilling attractions, frosty events, outdoor adventure and more! Step into a winter wonderland of outdoor patios, deep freezer races, and our spectacular view of the Northern Lights when visiting Canada's northernmost metropolis.
Canada's Festival City
A Byzantine Winter Fête
Embrace our Northern climate and celebrate Ukrainian, Indigenous, and French-Canadian cultures at Deep Freeze: A Byzantine Winter Festival. Experience winter panache, food, art, culture and fun—including races in actual deep freezers! Take an amazing stroll down Alberta Avenue district and be enchanted by magnificent ice sculptures, song, dance, and tasty delights.
Ice Sculptures Galore
Chiseled: Edmonton’s International Ice Carving competition – formally Ice on Whyte – is moving to the ICE District! See the work of some of the world’s elite carvers starting January 24th. Artists have thirty-four hours to complete their work, with the full splendour revealed on January 27th! Looking to try your own hand at ice carving? Ice on Whyte – now named Activate Arts Alberta – will be returning to McIntyre Park from January 27-29, with ice sculpting demonstrations, lessons, and more.
The Legend of the Flying Canoe
Flying Canoë Volant is a creative, interactive, cultural event where you can celebrate local history and everything that is great about a long winter’s night. Inspired by the legend of The Flying Canoe and French Canadian, First Nations and Métis traditions, this event celebrates Edmonton's beautiful Mill Creek Ravine and the newly established French Quarter. Channel your inner voyageur with light, music, legends and dance!
Take On the Birkie
A classic Nordic adventure, Edmonton style! Strap on your skis and whip around the loppet when you take on the Canadian Birkebeiner: Canada’s premier classic-style cross country ski festival! This "Birkie" is one of only three Birkebeiner Loppets in the world, with Norway and the USA hosting the other two. Get outdoors, get active and embrace winter at this one-of-a-kind event!
Celebrating over 30 years, the Silver Skate Festival is an extravaganza of arts, culture, recreation, sport and culinary delights! Some call it a winter wonderland, others call it a “true Canadian experience,” and you’ll likely have your own name for it after partaking in this snowy 10-day festival. Feel the breeze on your face as you glide along the city's largest skating pond while listening to a tuneful compilation of Edmonton-based music.
The River Valley
This local attraction never closes! Embark on an adventure through the winding trails of the North Saskatchewan River Valley. Bundle-up and wear a good pair of winter boots, then head off on a serene walk through a natural oasis in the middle of the city. Feel like heading off the beaten path? Haskin Canoe offers snowshoe tours right inside the city!
In Edmonton, the sunny days stretch into the winter and so does our Segway season. Explore North America’s longest continuous trail systems with River Valley Adventure Co.
Elk Island National Park
Big adventures need big shoes! Snowshoe and Stargaze along the shore of Astotin Lake while stars twinkle overhead, with a park interpreter and Orion as your guide. Gaze up at the twinkling stars and learn to navigate the night sky of the Beaver Hills Dark Sky Preserve. There’s no better time to bundle up and watch for the northern lights dancing across the sky! Elk Island's RV and tenting sites stay open year long, so bundle up and grab the gear for an unique winter experience that will have you experiencing the park in a whole new way.
Lace Up Your Skates
Breathe in the crisp air as you drift across a glassy-smooth sheet and watch the snow spray as you skid to a stop. Hawrelak Park (9330 Groat Road), the Victoria Park Oval (12130 River Valley Road), and Rundle Park (113 Avenue and 29 Street) are just a few of the city's outdoor skating rinks (Or ODR's as we like to call them). Whether you're practicing your triple axel, or just trying to stay vertical on the ice, the skating options are endless in Edmonton!
Ski Ya Later!
Feel your energy soar as you take on a Snow Valley Ski Club run. If you’re eager to learn, Snow Valley Ski Club is a great place to gain confidence with over 20 acres of skiable terrain.
Located in the river valley, directly across from downtown Edmonton, the Edmonton Ski Club is a true urban snow sports learning centre. The Edmonton Ski Club boasts 25 skiable acres of machine-made pristine groomed snow.
Rabbit Hill is the largest ski resort in the Greater Edmonton Area. Located 15 minutes southwest of Edmonton, it is a great escape for the day or even an evening of night skiing.
Discover Métis Crossing
Métis Crossing is the first major Métis cultural interpretive centre in Alberta, sitting on 512-acres of land designed to engage and excite visitors. Take a day-trip to Métis Crossing and discover how the Métis lived as trappers. Strap on a set of snowshoes, set a snare, build a survival shelter, and learn a traditional art as you create your own unique and beautiful keepsake at Tales from the Trapline.
Cheer on Connor McDavid and our boys in blue and orange as they battle it out at Rogers Place in Edmonton’s ICE District! Join the crowd in orange and blue at an Oilers game, or cheer on the future stars of the NHL at an Edmonton Oil Kings game. Pre-game as close to the action as possible at the brand-new Canadian Icehouse or Banquet beforehand, with Rogers Place sitting just a few steps away!
There's no shortage of things to do year-round in Edmonton that will make your inner arts & culture lover jump for joy! Take a tour at the Alberta Legislature, check out the artifacts at the Royal Alberta Museum, discover over 700 species of plants at the Muttart Conservatory, or admire an exhibit at the Art Gallery of Alberta. After undergoing a massive expansion, the TELUS World of Science is back and better than ever! Don't miss Out of Depths: The Blue Whale Story, the feature exhibit.
Cozy Up to Some Great Eats
Edmonton is a culinary hot spot in Canada. Get cozy and grab a fabulous dinner at one of the city's many local eateries! Download the Explore Edmonton Downtown Dining Pass to discover the core's legendary local restaurants, the Explore Edmonton Old Strathcona Dining Pass to experience the bohemian spirit of Whyte Avenue, or the Explore Edmonton Brewery Pass for discounts to the best brewhouses in town!