As the temperature drops, Cape Breton becomes a breathtakingly beautiful winter wonderland. Get ready for cool activities and warm up at Ceilidhs. Break out your warmest clothing and get ready to embrace the coastal winter like an Islander.
1. Celebrate New Years at Cabot ShoresKick off the New Year with a getaway at Cabot Shores. Pick from a 1 Night New Years Eve and a 2 Nights New Years Eve Package. The special New Year’s Eve buffet is an evening of wonderful music and delicious food. The package also includes an invitation to the New Years Levee Celebration.
December 31, 2019 to January 1, 2020
30 Buchanan Drive, Indian Brook
2. New Waterford Coal Bowl Classic 2020
Basketball teams come from across Canada to play in this boy’s high school basketball tournament. Alongside the baseball tournament, there will be educational, social and cultural activities to keep you entertained throughout the 6 day tournament.
February 3rd to 8th, 2020
667 8th Street, New Waterford
$10 – $25
3. La Mi-Careme
La Mi-Careme Festival is one week of dressing up and celebrating mid-Lent each year. The dates change each year so the festival can be held anytime from early March to early April. Disguise yourself or participate as a ‘watcher’ and try to correctly guess who is wearing each costume. Workshops during the week allow you to experience the delicious Acadian culinary aspects of La Mi-Careme.
March 15 to 21, 2020
51 Old Cabot Trail, Grand Etang
Free to $5
4. Vince Ryan Memorial Hockey Tournament
During the Vince Ryan Hockey Tournament, it is difficult to walk around Sydney without bumping into a hockey player. Along with hockey games, there are numerous events and nightly entertainment happening across Sydney, and a dance on Saturday night at Center 200.
March 19 to 22, 2020
5. March Break Packages
March Break is the perfect time to get away and relax in a Yurt or Lodge at Cabot Shores. Cabot Shores makes March Break easy with their packages and special add-ons like children’s music workshops. It is one or two days of winter family fun.
30 Buchanan Drive, Indian Brook
6. North Highlands Nordic Cross-Country Ski FacilityCross-country ski over 10km of groomed trails in Cape North. The facility grooms the trail daily and offers a waxing room, instructional clinics and rentals. The trails are great for cross-country skiing, snowshoeing and winter walking.
29481 Cabot Trail, Cape North
7. Two Rivers Wildlife Park
During the winter, Two Rivers Wildlife Park offers sleigh rides around the park. You can go skating or snowshoeing to further enjoy the gorgeous winter wonderland.
4581 Grand Mira North Road, Huntington
8. Ski Tuonela
Cross-country ski at the Maritimes only serviced Telemark ski area. Ski to the Ski Village, which is 4km from the Cabot Trail. Ski Tuonela offers awesome outback skiing with a graded Telemark hill with a 1400’ run. There is also 18km of cross-country skiing trails for visitors to explore.
49864 Cabot Trail, Baddeck
9. Ski Cape Smokey
Ski Cape Smokey was recently purchased by Cape Smokey Holdings, and is opening for the 2020 season. There are trails for all skill levels. Ride the chairlifts to get to the top of the hills and to see the breathtaking views.
38696 Cabot Trail, Ingonish Beach
10. Warm Up at La Goelette a Pepe Cafe
Warm up with coffee, espresso, or tea and satisfy your sweet tooth with Acadian pulled toffee at La Goelette a Pepe Cafe. Relax in the cafe’s cozy seats while relaxing with a snack and enjoying the beautiful view from the large windows. They also stock local crafts, soaps, pottery and more.
2393 Highway 206, Isle Madame
11. Celtic Shores Coastal Trail
During the winter, the Celtic Shores Coastal Trail is a popular trail for snowshoeing, cross-country skiing and snowmobiling. The trail is 92km long with over 30 trailheads and easy vaccess points along the trail.
12. Go Urban Cross-Country Skiing or Snowshoeing
When you run out of storm chips or another storm essential, you may need to head out in the storm. In the height of blizzard, even the snowplows retreat from the main roads. It is a one-kind experience to ski or snowshoe in the middle of an urban area, so having the proper gear is essential.
13. Route 19 Brewing
Brewing great craft beer in Inverness, Route 19 Brewing is three floors of fun and excitement. The three-level ocean-side restaurant is an excellent place to meet up with friends and warm up with great food and drinks, like their lobster pizza and the Island’s best seafood chowder. You can also tour the brewery, or take some cans and growlers to go.
16030 Centre Avenue, Inverness
14. Stay and Play Winter PackageThe Seaweed and Sod Farm is just far enough off the beaten path to be the perfect winter getaway. Pack your snowshoes and head to Seaweed and Sod Farm for a night or two with their ‘Stay and Play’ Winter package. There are 3km trails around the farm that you can snowshoe around on.
January thru March 2020
7952 Kempt Head Rd, Kempt Head
15. Ski Ben Eoin
Hit the slopes on Cape Breton at Ski Ben Eoin. Whether you are new to skiing or snowboarding or skilled, Ski Ben Eoin offers an experience for the whole family. Ski Ben Eoin is a short drive from Sydney.
5101 Highway 4, Ben Eoin
16. Big Spruce Brewing
Visit Atlantic Canada’s only organic, on-farm craft brewery and hop yard this winter. Big Spruce Brewing is constantly brewing up excellent craft brews for you to sample and take some home with you.
64 Yankee Line Road, Baddeck
17. Cape Breton Farmers’ Market
Even in the winter, the Cape Breton Farmers’ Market is open on Saturday mornings and hosts around 50 vendors from across the island. Farmers, bakers, crafters, jewellers and more vendors showcase their hard work to the thousands of visitors every week.
15 Falmouth Street, Sydney
18. Ugly Mug Cafe and Emporium
From great brunches and lunches to excellent coffee and sweet treats, the Ugly Mug Cafe and Emporium is the perfect place to warm up on a cold winter day. Warm up next to the fire place or do some shopping at the Emporium in the cafe.
1290 Kings Rd, Sydney
19. Breton Brewing Co.
Head to Breton Brewing Co on Thursday nights for Trivia Nights from 7pm to 9pm and Friday evening from 4pm to 10pm for live music. Visit the taproom for a cold pint or grab some fresh beer.
364 Keltic drive, Sydney
20. Keltic Quay
Experience what Cape Breton winter wonderland has to offer at Keltic Quay. Stay inside and play a game of pool, or warm up by the fire with a midnight snack. Keltic Quay offers plenty of culture-rich activities to enjoy. No need to leave your furry friends at home, as they are pet-friendly.
90 Main Street, Whycocomagh
21. Snowshoeing at Uisge Ban Falls
If you know how to snowshoe, one of the best places to snowshoe is Uisge Ban Falls. Take the hike to see one of Cape Breton’s most visited falls while it has natural ice sculptures and crystallized trees.
715 North Branch Road, Baddeck Forks
22. Hike around Petersfield Provincial Park
Overlooking Sydney Harbour is Petersfield Provincial Park, which is a great place for new snowshoers and winter hikers because it is close to the city. The network of trails totals 7km. Chickadees and squirrels are common sights, so bring some bird feed to get a better look at the local wildlife.
1126 Westmount Road, Sydney
23. Iona Heights Inn
Make sure to pack your dancing shoes if you are planning to stay at the Iona Heights Inn. There is no shortage of live entertainment, brews and eats at the inn. The inn overlooks the Bras d’Or Lake and hosts a Ceilidh every weekend in the pub.
4115 Highway 223 Iona
24. Charlene’s Bayside Restaurant and Cafe
Warm up with Charlene’s Famous Seafood Chowder after a day of playing in the winter wonderland. Stop by for the renowned service and amazing food. It can be busy at times because it is popular with locals and travellers.
9657 NS Highway 105, Whycocomagh
25. See Dalem Lake Frozen
During winter, Dalem Lake freezes over and becomes a frozen gem. The 2.5km trail loop gives you an amazing 360-degree view of the frozen lake. The park is a short drive from Sydney and North Sydney, so grabbing a hot meal is easy.
220 New Dominion Road, Dalem Lake
26. Cape Breton Highlands National ParkOne of Canada’s most famous National Park is open during winter for visitors to enjoy winter activities like snowshoeing, tobogganing and cross country skiing. The trails are not maintained (no park services available) but all roads are maintained and plowed. You can enjoy activities at easily accessible trails especially from Ingonish or Cheticamp.
27. Highlands Hostel
Enjoy all that Cape Breton Highlands National Park and Cape Breton have to offer with a stay at Highlands Hostel. With rates as low as $50/night a bed, this is a cheap getaway you are looking for with all the winter fun extravaganza the region offers — from skiing Cape Smokey to going cross country skiing, snowshoeing at the North highlands Nordic Ski trail.
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