Here are 5 ideas for a day trip or a weekend getaway in Alberta during the fourth weekend of January: week of Jan 25 to 27.
1. Ski and Snowboard at Sunshine Village
Plan a weekend at the Banff’s only ski-in, ski-out hotel and ski at Sunshine Village ski resort that boasts of three mountains with diverse terrains, and Canada’s only heated lift.
If you are visiting this weekend, then celebrate Robbie Burns Day or Australia Day at Sunshine Village. If you visit the resort on Jan 25 wearing a kilt, you can ski/snowboard for free! The resort also has planned fun activities and live entertainment on Australia Day (Jan 26). Celebrate Calgary Stampeders’ Grey Cup win on Sunday (Jan 27), as the champions will be visiting with the Grey cup. The Grey Cup will be riding down Goat’s Eye mountain and then be featured at the Sunshine Mountain Lodge hotel during lunch time.
If want to do something other than skiing and snowboarding, head to downtown Banff to discover amazing snow sculptures. The TRIBUTE to Craft Spirits Festival is holding a 2-day outdoor discovery event this weekend. This event will feature 18 stations representing 9 craft distilleries and 9 local bars & restaurants who will be offering tastings of their own spirits and hors d’oeuvres, all made with local ingredients.
2. Visit Cypress Hills Interprovincial Park
Plan a trip to Alberta side of Cypress Hills Interprovincial Park.
Thrill yourselves down the snow luge, slide along the ice skating trail, and explore the park on cross country trails or on snowshoes. If you like fat biking, you have plenty of options to do that too.
If you want to ski, head to Hidden Valley ski resort. Operated by Alberta Parks, the resort overlooking the prairies, provides you with ample downhill opportunities to ski and snowboard.
Enjoy ice fishing? Then fish for pike and perch at Elkwater Lake, rainbow trout at Reesor Lake and brook trout at Spruce Coulee Reservoir.
You can also do winter camping at Elkwater and Spruce Coulee campgrounds or stay at Elkwater Lake Lodge or Bar-Zee Bed and Breakfast. There are also options for a hot meal at the Camp Cookhouse and drinks at 12-34 Café & Pub.
3. Stay at Mount Engadine Lodge
Mount Engadine Lodge is a perfect destination for a weekend getaway or a day trip from Calgary. Whether you are looking for family fun trip or a romantic getaway (special packages are available), this backcountry lodge located in Kananaskis Country is your best bet for a weekend filled with outdoor winter adventures.
If glamping is what you are after, then the lodge surrounded by craggy mountain peaks, offers heated tents with private patio and deck overlooking serene snow laden meadows.
The lodge is your gateway to enjoying all the winter adventures Spray Valley Provincial Park offers — , traverse the mountain valleys and trails on snowshoes (rentals free if are a guest of the lodge), fat bikes, skiis or on your sturdiest winter boots!
You can also try dog sledding, guided ice fishing and helicopter tours by local outfitters.
Easily accessible from Calgary by car, the lodge also offers afternoon tea, Sunday brunch, and dinner even to day guests. So if you just visiting Kananaskis Country Parks, make your way to the lodge to replenish!
4. Tongue on Post Festival
Head to Medicine Hat for the annual, original winter music festival, Tongue on the Post. This year’s festival is one you don’t want to miss. With a strong country, bluegrass line-up; a few new surprise events; and even more shows in the iconic kiln at Medalta, you will be toasty warm on a cold January night stomping your feet to some of the best musicians Western Canada has to offer.
5. Have a Girls Weekend in Edmonton
Gather your besties and plan a trip to Edmonton and surround yourself with the best of winter at the annual Boardwalk Ice On Whyte Festival. Explore the stunning ice carvings at the festival — the International Ice Carving Competition is one of only three ice carving competitions in Canada, tipple at the Ice Bar and enjoy nightly entertainment!
The festival is offering a special girlfriends getaway package that includes discounts at spas, popular restaurants on Whyte Avenue, arcade and escape rooms and other business that call Old Strathcona home!
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