Red Deer is tucked in between Edmonton and Calgary, but don’t over look it! Even under the snow, it has all of the amenities of a bigger city and a welcoming, laid back vibe. It’s the third largest city in Alberta and surrounded by farms and endless outdoor adventure opportunities. Check out this list of 25 Things to Do in Red Deer in Winter and head outside to enjoy the season.
Canyon Ski Resort
Just 8 minutes east of Red Deer is Canyon Ski Resort. It’s Alberta’s largest non mountain ski resort and has 20 runs. Spend a day snowboarding or skiing down the hill, go tubing with your family, or ski under the stars during the lighted night runs. Rental equipment is available for all activities and you won’t even need to bring snacks, as you’ll find plenty available for purchase in the cafeteria or Lodge.
Address: 38433 Range Rd 264A, Red Deer County
Red Deer has 76 outdoor rinks to choose from. Try them all, or find a few favorites! Pack a thermos of hot chocolate and spend and wintery day gliding over the ice. Start with Bower Ponds, a beautiful park and community area with a playground, outdoor skating, rentals, hiking trails, washrooms, and a full service café featuring favorites like maple bacon fries.
When the weather is too cold to venture outside, Red Deer has many indoor skating rinks to choose from. Try the ice at the Collicutt Center, a multipurpose recreation center with a gym, child minding, pool, waterslides and concessions. Other popular community skating includes Servus Arena, G.H. Dawe Community Center, or Kinsmens Community Arenas.
Bundle up your little ones and pull them on a sled as you take a wintery stroll through one of Rotary Picnic Park’s beautiful snowy spaces. Bundle up and head to the toboggan hills at Riverside Meadows, Bower Ponds, Rosedale Greenspace, Glendale Middle School Grounds. Young children should wear helmets, and everyone will want snow pants to keep the activity going as long as possible!
There are two easily accessible trails behind the Kerry Wood Nature Center, one trail is 1 km long and the other is about 4 km long. Rent a pair of snowshoes, or bring your own, and experience the feeling of walking over deep snow. Bring a pair of binoculars to spot birds in the Gaetz Lakes Sanctuary which is over 300 acres of protected land. Heritage Ranch has a beautiful trail system and is connected to the Red Deer Parks system.
Spend a snowy evening dashing through the snow on a two or three horse open sleigh at Heritage Ranch. Book a private sleigh ride with a special someone, or join in the festive fun for a Winter Night Light Sleigh Tour. Sip on hot chocolate and prepare to be dazzled by the magic of a sleigh ride through the woods, illuminated with glowing holiday lights.
Address: 6300 Cronquist Dr, Red Deer
Roast sausages and marshmallows under a starry winter night sky, and watch for the Northern Lights as you enjoy time with family and friends outdoors. Red Deer has fire pits and outdoor recreation spaces at Bower Ponds and Rotary Picnic Park.
Hypothermic Half MarathonThis race is meant for determined runners (all experience levels welcome) who aren’t afraid to be a little chilly! The Hypothermic Half Marathon is an annual winter event. Come for the run, stay for the brunch, volunteer, or just cheer from the sidelines with a mug of hot chocolate and a warm winter coat.
River bend Golf and Recreation Club
River Bend Golf and Recreation Club has 4 Kms of lit trails for night skiing until 9 pm. Choose from one of three trails, flip the light switch, and away you go. Nothing compares to the feeling of skiing over a well groomed track under a starry sky. The ski area has over 15 Kms of trails, and dogs are welcome as long as they do not walk over groomed trails. The Red Deer Nordic Ski Club offers programs, lessons and biathlon.
Adventure Ice Fishing
Let your guides at Adventure Ice Fishing show you how it’s done. Experience ice fishing on beautiful, frozen Gull Lake, and stay in one of 5 overnight rental cabins.
Phone: Trina at 403 392 406 or Jarod at 403 872 2499
Gaetz Lakes Sanctuary
Explore over 300 acres of pristine, protected wetlands, forests and meadows in the Gaetz Lakes Sanctuary, located next to the Kerry Wood Nature Center. The sanctuary is an ideal spot for winter birding, and quiet, as no dogs, motorized vehicles, running or bicycles are permitted in the sanctuary. Strap on a pair of snowshoes to explore the trails, or go for a quiet, winter walk. Ski the trails at Heritage Ranch, Great Chief Park, or Barrett Park.
Over a hundred years ago, curling was played on the Red Deer River. A few things have changed since then, and now beginners and seasoned pros can enjoy curling at the Pidherney Center, which offers learn to curl sessions, children’s lessons and professional tournaments. Try this winter sport today.
Address: 4725 43 St, Red Deer
Red Lodge Guest Ranch
The Red Lodge Guest Ranch offers indoor and outdoor riding for children and adults, pony rides, and sleigh and wagon rides. Stay as long as you like in one of the private rental cabins, and eat in the lodge restaurant. Perfect for families, vacations, or hosting your own event or retreat.
Address: 34502 Rge Rd 22, Red Deer County
Sylvan Lake is just 20 minutes west of Red Deer. Visit this beautiful lake for many winter activities such as fireworks on NYE, Family Sledding and Skating Party in January, ice fishing, and annualWinterfest Festivaland Polar Bear dip.
Alberta Sports Hall of Fame
Interactive. Informative. Inspiring. Have fun exploring the interactive games, exhibits, and galleries while discovering Alberta’s sport heroes. With a vision to preserve and celebrate Alberta’s rich sports history for all to enjoy, and with over 7,000 square feet of exhibit space, the Alberta Sports Hall of Fame and Museum is an interactive, hands-on celebration of Alberta’s sporting history.
Address: #102 4200 HWY 2 Red Deer
Red Deer Museum and Gallery
When it’s too cold to play with snow, bring your kids to an art class at the Red Deer Museum and Gallery, or drop in for a chance to explore works of art by local artisans. Some of this winter’s exhibits include a history of Anne Frank, artworks by painter Dave More, and Remarkable Red Deer: Stories from the Heart of the Parkland. Check out the A+ Art Gallery and Unique Collections, or The Hub On Ross.
Address: 5205 – 48 Avenue
Central Alberta Vendors Market
In winter, the Central Alberta Vendors Market moves indoors at the Eastview Community Hall, although kids are still welcome to play on the playground outdoors! Browse art and crafts from local artisans, produce, items from farms and purchase concessions with proceeds going to charity.
Address: 120 Ellenwood, T4R 2N2, Red Deer
Hours: Fridays 3pm-7pm
Red Deer Symphony OrchestraExperience the magic and emotion of live music at a performance by the Red Deer Symphony Orchestra. The symphony has many shows to pick from this winter. Join them for holiday performances and carols, or shows including greatest hits On Broadway, and Water Music by Pachebel, Handel, and Albioni.
Address: 5205 48 Ave, Red Deer
Totally Refreshed Steam, Spa and Salon
Cold, dry winter temperatures can wreck havoc with skin and nails. Pamper yourself at the Totally Refreshed Steam, Spa and Salon. You won’t even need to leave the city to experience the rejuvenation that comes from a hot steam bath, massage, cupping, skincare or a manicure.
Address: 2, 6200 67A Street, Red Deer
Try one of the famous sweet treats at Sweet Capone’s Italian Bakery and Cannoli Shop. Visit Messinger Meats Artisan Butcher Bistro and Café for an incredible breakfast or lunch. Try the winter hot dog and mashed potatoes, or apple bacon chicken wrap. Whatever you taste, you can likely buy the ingredients and try to recreate the experience at home.
Winter? What winter? Step into a whole new world at Ctrl V Virtual Reality arcade, the first one to open in Canada! Leave the snow behind as you practice ninja moves, or journey to unknown lands.
Address: 5402 47 St, Red Deer
Phone: 403-341-6565 ext.5
Warm up with a pint of some of Alberta’s finest craft beers, teas, and other beverages at the Troubled Monk. Tour the brewery, learn about Red Deer’s blossoming craft brewery industry, or stop by the taproom for a Sylan Star Cheese Tray, Pot Black Popcorn Cone, or Viva Deli dried sausage.
Address: 5551 45 St, Red Deer
A gluten free veggie burger and an 8 oz prime beef patty can sit at the same table at crowd pleasing Boulevard Restaurant. Try the Alsatian Salad, with red and green spinach, candied nuts, blue cheese and slivered onions, or try adding maple smoked bacon to anything on the menu.
Address: 33 Petrolia Drive, Red Deer County