Can you believe there are only a few glorious winter months left? If you’re like us, you’re scrambling to get as much use out of your long-johns, parkas and toques as possible. Cold? Yes. Boring? Never. Listen up, the chilly months are no time for hibernating. Leave that to the bears. We’ve got some great winter must-dos to help you make the most of the season before it melts away.
Deep Freeze: A Byzantine Winter Festival
Embrace our Northern climate and celebrate the Russian/Ukrainian “Olde New Year” at this multicultural winter extravaganza. 118th Avenue transforms during this two-day festival that brings together Ukrainian, Franco-Albertan, Franco-African, First Nations and South American communities to celebrate their diverse cultures, and revel in the magic the season. Deep freezer races, Olde Tyme curling, blacksmith demonstrations, log sawing and much more await!
Boardwalk Ice on Whyte
Edmonton’s winter sunshine is bright enough to light up your day at the Ice on Whyte Festival, but those rays can’t keep the cool away from one of our city’s favourite sub-zero celebrations. The canvas is all around you in Edmonton—when the temperature drops, creativity rises at the International Ice Carving Competition. You can even take in this winter must-do while sipping on a drink from the new ice bar!
January 25-28 & February 1-4
Flying Canoe Volant
Flying Canoe 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!
Silverskate in Hawrelak Park
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. You’ll see winter at its finest as you explore the Silver Skate Festival and the Ice Castles (January 5-mid march, weather permitting) in the heart of Hawrelak Park. Whether you’re carving a snow sculpture or riding in a horse drawn carriage, one thing is for sure—your winter boots will thank you.
Swing and Skate
5, 6, 7, 8 – skate! Head to City Hall any Sunday from 1:00pm-4:00pm during January and February and you’ll find local bands, swing dancers, and a rockin’ good time. The live music will be broadcast outdoors for your enjoyment while skating on the plaza, or you can head inside to learn how to jump and jive from The Sugar Swing dancers. This free event is fun for all ages and free skate rentals are available on a first come, first serve basis.
Every Sunday in January/February (weather permitting)
Crash the Party at Red bull Crashed Ice
Imagine for a second, sliding down a 60-degree pitch of man-made ice at speeds of up to 70km/hour, trying to gracefully negotiate a hairpin turn with a 220-pound Swedish man named Mattias trying to sneak past you. Yeah, I can’t imagine doing that either. Luckily we won’t have to anymore, because come March, Red Bull Crashed Ice slides in town. Get your tickets and enjoy the biggest, baddest block party the city has ever seen!
The Best Shoe is a Snowshoe
Picture yourself crossing a frozen, snowy lake as the knock-knock-knock of a woodpecker echoes from the forest beyond. If it’s daytime, you might get lucky and spot a bison plowing through the snow; at night, there’s the prospect of northern lights. Strap on a pair of snowshoes and you’re off on an exhilarating day trip through areas like Elk Island National Park... and you only have a few months left to enjoy this winter-only activity. Take that, summer!
The Good Ol’ Hockey Game
Edmontonians. Love. Hockey. But we didn't need to tell you that. We'll fill Rogers Place even if we're watching an away-game on the jumbo-tron. 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. Rogers Place is unlike any other arena you’ve been to before— what better way to watch as a beauty like Maroon lets loose on a power play, or Draisaitl buries one with seconds left in the third?
Segway the Day Away
Most people think summer when they think Segway. Pictures of sunny days and green grass come to mind. Well, in Edmonton the sunny days stretch into winter and so does our Segway season. Explore North America’s longest continuous trail system in the heart of Edmonton’s river valley with River Valley Adventure Co. It’s where the bold traveler breaks off from the beaten path and makes their way into the wild no matter the weather.
Festivals for the Artist Within
Looking for dynamic performances from around the world? Well, you'll find that and more at the Chinook Series (February 8-18) See cutting edge performances in dance and theatre, as well as some of the most acclaimed contemporary art from Alberta and beyond. Can't get enough? Head to Skirtsafire (March 8-11), a festival that empowers artists and audiences, and creates a space for female artistic excellence to be cultivated, experienced and passed on. You will be moved to laughter, to tears, to revelation, and joy, as you experience theatre, dance, film, yoga, spoken word and more.