Throw on some warm layers, and don't forget your mittens. Yes, winter in Edmonton is chilly, but it most certainly isn't boring! We make Old Man Winter proud with outdoor patios, city-wide snowball fights, deep freezer races, and our spectacular view of the Northern Lights. Edmonton is the largest Northernmost metropolis in North America and the ultimate gateway to Canada’s wild, adventurous boreal landscapes. Experience the season like never before with this list of uniquely Canadian things to do!
Get Your Festival On
Just because the temperatures drop, doesn't mean the festival fun has to stop. Winter brings legendary festivals like Silver Skate where you can experience epic folk trails, long-table dinners, a snow-sculpture garden, winter sport and much more.
Flying Canoe Volant is an interactive cultural experience where you can channel your inner voyageur with music, legends and a dance party in the middle of the forest!
Ice on Whyte showcases some of the best ice artists in the world in a competition of creativity and skill alongside an incredible festival that's fun for the whole family.
Deep Freeze celebrates the “Olde New Year” and embraces our northern climate by melding artistic panache with authentic cultural and heritage winter games and fun.
Check out our list of epic winter festivals that you can look forward to this season!
Step into a Winter Wonderland
Edmonton's Ice Castles are an incredible feat of ingenuity, crafted by hand using only icicles and water. Venture through the stunning, Narnia-like display and snap a selfie in front of the waterfall or throughout the winding ice maze. This is the only place in Canada you'll find the Ice Castles, so don't miss the opportunity to see this acre-sized masterpiece!
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 and at night, there’s prospect of spotting the northern lights. Strap on a pair of snowshoes and you’re off on an exhilarating day trip through Elk Island National Park. Keep your eyes peeled for the park's Snowshoe and Stargaze events, which take place throughout the season. Elk Island also offers snowshoe rentals at the Visitor Information Centre!
Explore our very own winter wonderland located right in our backyard with Haskin Canoe and their snowshoe tours within the city. Edmonton's vast and glorious river valley is 22 times the size of Central Park, with over 150 Kilometres of trails just waiting to be explored.
The Good Ol’ Hockey Game
Edmontonians. Love. Hockey. But we didn’t need to tell you that. We 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 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 the winter and so does our Segway season. Explore North America’s longest continuous trail systems in the heart of Edmonton’s river valley with River Valley Adventure Co. It's where the bold traveller breaks off from the beaten path and makes their way into the wild no matter the weather.
Lace Up Your Skates
If one of your favourite sounds isn't of a skate gliding across the ice, then you're living your whole life wrong. 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).
Discover Metis 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 in the Tales from the Trapline experience, a 4-hour exploration of traditional Métis winter activities and skills on a historic Métis River Lot farm. Strap on a set of snowshoes, set a snare, build a survival shelter, and learn a traditional artform as you create your own unique and beautiful keepsake.
Venture Beyond at Jasper National Park
Only 3.5 scenic hours west of Edmonton lie the Rocky Mountains of Jasper National Park, one of the largest dark sky preserves in the world. Hit the slopes, take a stroll on a glacier, sample some local brews or visit the Miette natural hot springs. No matter what you get up to, this is a must-add to any visit!
Trans-Canada Highway 16, also known as the Yellowhead, runs through the Jasper National Park and is the main east-west route to and from Jasper. Car rentals are available at the Edmonton International Airport and at various locations around the city. You can also take a train with VIA Rail Canada, or travel by bus with Sundog Tours. Note that you'll need to purchase a park pass upon entering Jasper!