Winter is long on the prairies, but in the City of St. Albert, located west of Edmonton, there is plenty to keep you occupied all season long! Take your family to “The Hill” as the locals call it, and spend a frosty day sledding in the winter sunshine. If you’d rather stay indoors, there are local markets to visit, indoor festivals and theatre as well. St. Albert is also home to galleries, museums, nature trails and activities for families.
Toboggan down Mission Hill
Bundle up and head for “The Hill” or “Seven Hills” as the locals call it. Mission Hill (13 Mission Ave, St. Albert) is known as the best toboggan hill in the city. It’s a collection of sloping hills featuring something for all skill levels.Adventurous thrill seekers can slide down right from the top, while families with younger children can start closer to the base of the hill on one of the smaller mounds.
Skiing St. Albert Nordic Ski Club
Imagine the crunch of fresh powder under your skis as you glide over the snow.St. Albert has an extensive collection of groomed cross country ski trails for you to enjoy, proudly maintained by St. Albert Nordic.
Red Willow Trail System
The Red Willow Trail System features 99.5 kilometers of multi use, recreational trails. Strap on a pair of snowshoes or warm winter hiking boots, and get ready to explore. The trails link many of St. Albert’s major parks, neighborhoods and recreation areas.
Step back in time as you embark on the Founders Walk, following in the footsteps of St. Albert’s founders. Start at the St. Albert clock tower, pass the Healing Garden up to the Father Lacombe Chapel and finish off at the Grain Elevator Park. Printable maps are available and you’ll be able to learn some of the rich history and heritage that shaped the community into what it is today.
Snowshoeing and cross country skiing is a great way to get outdoors and enjoy some winter activity and fresh air. Riverlot 56 (Poundmaker Road, St. Albert) is a quiet, natural recreation area suited to a variety of all season uses. Explore snow covered meadows and quiet aspen and pine forests. Create your own path, no matter how deep the snow.
The dazzling centerpiece of the Lois Hole Centennial Provincial Park is Big Lake. The lake is 8 kms long, 3 kms wide, and home to all kinds of shorebirds, waterfowl and wildlife. The Park is easily accessed through the Red Willow Trail system or by car. Walk across the wooden boardwalks over the John E. Pool Wetland on the shore of Big Lake, and be sure to bring a pair of binoculars with you to catch a glimpse of birds that winter locally like white-breasted nuthatch.
Ice fishing is permitted at Big Lake. Bundle up warmly and pack a thermos of hot chocolate to sip as you try to catch Pike and Walleye. Be sure to acquire a license and always adhere to catch and release guidelines for the area, as well as taking safety precautions on the ice.
During family day weekend, you can fish without a license in Alberta (except National Parks).
Every November, residents and guests in St. Albert gather downtown for the annual Snowflake Festival. Go for a horse drawn wagon ride, sip hot chocolate, visit the petting zoo, and marvel and the beautiful Christmas lights.The Snowflake Festival takes place on November 22 from 6:30 – 9:30 pm.
Fire and Ice Festival
Lacombe Lake is turned into a festive community gathering during Family Day! The Fire and Ice Festival is hosted by St. Albert Firefighters and is a fundraiser for muscular dystrophy. Skate, watch fire performances, visit the petting zoo, sip on hot chocolate and coffee, snack on free hot dogs, play games and try the obstacle course. Dogs are permitted on site and there is something for everyone.
Enjoy Light Festival
The Enjoy Center will transform into a magical, light filled holiday experience from November 21 to January 5. Stroll through glowing Christmas light displays at the Enjoy Light Festival, sip on hot drinks, snap photos, taste gourmet offerings from food vendors, visit the market, or wander through the light tunnel.
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St. Albert Indie Craft Fair
Browse a stunning collection of handmade items from local artisans. The St. Albert Indie Craft Fair is an annual market, located in the spacious Enjoy Center. Prepare to be dazzled with the selection of woodworking, sterling silver jewelry, art, clothing, handmade books, and more treasures than you could possibly imagine.
St Albert New Year’s Eve Fireworks
Head to Mission Park and watch the sparkling display with family and friends and celebrate the start of the new year.
Bundling up for a winter walk can still be a treat, especially when the destination involves a delicious evening meal. Sushi Park restaurant might be one of St. Albert’s best kept secrets. With a relaxed, cozy atmosphere, and authentic sushi and sake, you’ll forget all about the cold weather outside.
9 St. Anne Street, St Albert
780 418 1335
Warm up with a serving of coconut shrimp and ginger sauce, or red hot Louisiana chicken strips. The Cajun House is a family friendly restaurant in St. Albert with generous portions, a summery cocktail menu, and a welcoming, festive vibe.
7 St Anne St, St. Albert
780 460 8772
Sorrentinos is a staple in St. Albert’s restaurant scene, whether you are sharing an intimate, upscale Italian dinner for two, or lingering with family for an evening out. Savor the Ravioli Braised Short Rib, made with browned butter and fresh sage, or feast on the Penne Mediterranean chicken, topped with feta, garlic, tomatoes and white wine. Gather your friends for a group cooking class, and learn how to recreate menu items at home.
595 St. Albert Trail, St. Albert
780 459 1411
Try your hand at Poker, Blackjack or table games, or dance the night away in the Showroom. Linger over cocktails and dinner at Century Casino St Albert or unwind in the Sports Bar and Lounge. The Casino has something for everyone, and is a one stop destination for an evening out, with the option of staying in the comfortable hotel instead of catching a cab home.
The Enjoy Center is a beautiful multi use venue featuring an event space, Hole’s Greenhouse and Floral studio, Wild Earth Bakery and café, daycare, kids play area, Amarath Foods, Wellness within Heath Spa and Yoga Center, and more. It truly is a one stop shop and if the weather is bad and you don’t want to go far, you’ll be able to stop here for a wide variety of products and services, as well as enjoying delicious food and beautiful plants.
101 Riel Dr. St. Albert
780 419 6821
Alberta winters are long and cold weather and dropping temperatures can spell havoc for hair and skin. Why not treat yourself to a massage, facial, vitamin treatment, or manicure and pedicure?St. Albert has a variety of day spas ready to welcome you and help you feel your best.Visit Oksana Day Spa, Heaven Essence, or Wellness Within Health Spa and Yoga Center.
Servus Credit Union Place
Children 8 and under will appreciate the quieter, indoor playground located within Servus Credit Union Place. The colorful play space is painted with blue and green walls and will entertain your kids while you play, or relax on a bench with a book.
Servus Credit Union Place has 3 indoor ice surfaces, as well as the Ron Hodgeson Leisure Ice and many other amenities. There are plenty of change rooms, washrooms, concession areas and a café.
When the temperature is too frigid to enjoy skating outdoors, you can also head over to the Jarome Iginla and Kinex Arenas. There are change rooms, washrooms, and a concession area to enjoy snacks, whether you choose to buy them there or bring them from home.
Art Gallery of St. Albert
View the works of prolific artists such as Alex Janvier and Sydney Lancaster, or sign up for a class and create your own work of art. Try your hand at pottery, mixed media art, painting or drawing. With classes for adults and children, the Art Gallery of St. Albert offers so much to see and experience, the cold days of winter will pass in no time.
19 Perron St, St. Albert
780 460 4310
Visual Art Studio Association
The Visual Arts Studio Association isn’t a typical gallery. Each month, there is a different artist in residence who takes a turn showcasing their art in the gallery. Drop by to meet local artists, check out the gallery, or take part in an interaction art class or program.
25 Sir Winston Churchill Ave. St. Albert
780 460 5990
Visit the Arden Theater and bring your whole family to see folk singer Ginalina or the Great Balanzo.If flamenco is more your style, bring a date to catch a once in a lifetime performance by The Paco de Lucio Project, created by Javier Limon.
5 St. Anne St. St. Albert AB T8N3Z9
780 459 1500
Leave winter behind as you and your friends try to solve the puzzle and escape from an escape room at Game OVR. Play a single payer or multi player virtual reality game. Battle virtual reality pirates, or visit an island. There are family friendly or adult games, as well as a space for birthday parties, and if you’ve never tried the technology of virtual reality, there are free demos every day.
#129, 1 Hebert Rd, St. Albert, AB T8N 2E7
780 953 4263
The best way to get around in the winter is by sleigh, of course! If you are able to head north of St. Albert to Gibbons (~30 minutes drive), be sure to visit Longriders Sleigh and Wagon Rides for an unforgettable experience. The sleighs are able to accommodate up to 25 people each. Or bring the sleds to your next party or event, as the Longriders are happy to travel, and bring their wagons to you.
23136 Secondary Highway 643, Gibbons, Alberta, T0A 1N0
780 923 3300