Wind chill warnings and snowfall accumulations means that winter is upon us in Edmonton. With the weather changes, it is easy to feel stuck inside and bored. However, there is no reason to stay indoors when Edmonton has so many great outdoor activities that will keep you moving and warm. Burn off some of that energy and keep active with these fun Edmonton winter activities.
The city has manmade ice rinks, iceways, and maintained frozen ponds for public use. Some offer skate rentals, lessons, fire pits, warming huts, washrooms, and snacks for purchase. Edmonton has two public Iceways. The Rundle Park Iceway is the longest, with over 2 km to explore, and Victoria Park Iceway is colourfully lit at nighttime. Click here to check the ice conditions and amenities throughout the city.
Tip: When its ready for the season, Hawrelak Park’s pond is the most picturesque. This location has skate rentals, concession stand, and washrooms.
Looking to slide down a hill and feel the rush of wind against your face? Check out this list of maintained and easy to access tobogganing hills. The website regularly updates the hill conditions. All you need for an afternoon of fun is a sled and a pair of snow pants.
You do not have to go far to find a great skiing hill with chair lifts, rentals, and lessons. In the Southern area of the city is Snow Valley offering discount pricing on Fridays with a food bank donation (Servus Food Bank Fridays). In the Northeast end is Sunridge Ski area, which features snow tubing and special pricing on Monday evenings.
Hit The Trails
The River Valley has 160 km of trails to discover in Canada’s largest urban park system. Grab some snow boots, cross-country skis, or snowshoes and travel alongside the North Saskatchewan River through the city.
Keep Safe & Warm
It is important to keep warm while you are playing around outside. Keep your fingers and toes safe by making sure to wear the proper clothing for the temperature and wind chill. The warmer and more comfortable you are, the longer you can stay outside and have more fun. Click here for winter clothing tips and tricks.
Edmonton’s reputation as a festival city extends into the colder season as well. Starting in November, outdoor festivals featuring music, food, lights, skating, and ice carving go on throughout these frosty months. Find five of them highlighted here.
Explore Edmonton’s Only Castle
It is only available to visit in the winter and constructed completely from ice. Whether you visit during the day or at night, your photos will be epic. The Ice Castle has called Edmonton home since 2015. Be sure to check out all it has to offer and feel like a Queen or King.
Elk Island National Park is only a short drive away. This little park is famously known for being a bison sanctuary (article here on North American Traveller). With great views of the night skies, picnic sites with firewood, and many trails, this park is a winter adventure land.
You will find many picnic sites available for use throughout the city’s park system. Features will vary but can include picnic tables, canopies, fire pits, and power outlets. All you have to do is bring along your favourite food, drinks, and firewood to enjoy a delicious break from your outdoor fun!
Restaurant patios are not just for summer anymore. There are many outfitted with heat lamps, fire pits, and blankets to use. Find one in your area here. There’s nothing cozier on a clear winter’s night than warming up under a blanket around a fire pit with a hot chocolate in hand.
Take Indoor Breaks
Popping inside the nearest café is a great way to escape the cold. You can thaw out a bit, buy a coffee to warm up your hands, and use the washroom. Then, once you are feeling comfortable again, head back outside for more fun!
Click here for a list of hot drinks to try around Edmonton