The options for winter fun in this province are practically endless. Read on to find 50 things to do in Alberta this winter.
Have you tried Ice Sailing? Get to Ghost Lake to travel on a purpose-built framework fitted with skis or runners (skates) and designed to run over ice.
Winter at Waterton National Park
Enjoy mountain scenery and the serenity of Waterton Lakes National Park during winter. The famous Akamina Parkway turns into a snowshoeing, winter walking destination, offers good opportunity for wildlife viewing and photography. If fat biking is your preference try the Red Rock Parkway.
Snowshoe at Bear Lake
Visit Bear lake in Grande Prairie. Explore this shallow lake on snowshoes. It is also a snowmobile and cross country ski destination.
Snowmobiling in Whitecourt
Snowmobiling is a favourite pastime of many Albertans. Throughout the winter season, the Whitecourt Trailblazers Association offers different snowmobiling rallies to suit different interests. In January they have their Annual VIP & Media Ride, in February they host a 3 day family snowmobile rally, and in March they offer a 2 day intermediate to advanced adventure rally.
Silver Skate Festival
Edmonton, Alberta’s 10 day Silver Skate Festival is a not to miss winter experience. Slated for February 8 -18, 2019, there is so much to do you could attend all 10 days without getting bored! Daily public skating, ice sculptures, the Dead Cold Run, snowshoe races, a winter triathlon, live performances, and more. This festival is truly for all to enjoy with family oriented activities as well as activities designated for 18+. Even better? The majority of the festival (minus race fees) is free!
The Polar Express
Take on the Polar Express will leave you and your family with a heap of Christmas Spirit. With multiple dates and times to choose from, this family friendly activity involves riding a real train while sipping hot chocolate and munching on cookies. The one hour train ride will take you to the North Pole, where you get to meet Santa, kids 12 and under receive a special little token from him, and you also get to read along to the classic book, The Polar Express. Music from the movie will be playing in the background during your trip as well.
If you’ve ever wanted to race your car on ice, then this next one is for you! The Northern Alberta Sports Car Club runs an ice driving and racing school in early February, followed up by multiple opportunities to put what you learned to the test by participating in actual ice races. Obviously there are some waiver forms and registration fees to deal with, as driving on the ice does come with a certain level of risk, but check out the website and see for yourself if this is something that you, or maybe a special someone on your Christmas list, would enjoy!
Calgary Sports Car Club organizes Ice Dice, an Ice Racing event on Ghost Lake.
Northern Spirit Light Show
If you are looking for a spectacular light show to get you into the holiday spirit look no further than Grand Prairie, Alberta. An added perk of this particular light display is that you are able to enjoy it from a horse drawn wagon. Each year this light show gets bigger and better, so it’s worth coming back to year after year.
What could possibly be more uniquely Canadian than a dog sledding adventure? For less than $200.00, you can enjoy an hour and a half dog sledding adventure thanks to the Great Divide Tour. Starting and ending at Lake Louise, not only is this a fantastically fun experience, but it is also in one of the most beautiful spots in Alberta!
Oilers vs. Flames
Scenic Snowcat Sightseeing
At Castle Mountain Resort you now have the chance to climb aboard our Powder Stagecoach for our all new Scenic Snow Cat Experience. Whisking you high onto Haig Ridge, you’ll enjoy hot chocolate and snacks at the top of the world, witnessing stunning alpine vistas while you do. This is a non-skiing activity and all that’s required is warm clothing for the chairlift ride up to meet the cat, in addition to coming in handy for when you stop ridge top, for your photo op.
Guided adventures with SkiBig3
Experience Alberta’s three iconic ski resorts, Banff Sunshine, Mt Norquay and Lake Louise Ski Resort through the eyes of a local with SkiBig3’s Guided adventures and immersed in the local ski culture. With nearly 8,000 acres of skiable terrain to cover, skiers and snowboarders can find the best spots on the mountain, uncover secret stashes and hidden powder gems and enjoy an insider’s tour led by a CSIA-certified instructor.
Pyramid Lake in Winter
Explore Pyramid Lake in Jasper during Winter. Snowshoe along the Lake trail. Ice skate or play shinny hockey on the Lake. Go for sleigh rides, cross country ski at the many trails of Pyramid bench or at the Pyramid fire road trail (15 km return). Dogs allowed at Pyramid fire road trail.
Surrounded by the mountains, Banff is one of the most scenic areas of Alberta. Add in a horse drawn sleigh ride, and you have the most romantic date night imaginable. Or, if you’d prefer, gather the entire family together to experience the sights and sounds of Banff and area while cozied up under a warm blanket.
Visit Alberta’s largest man-made lake, that carpets the side of David Thompson Highway. This ethereal blue coloured lake caused by glacial silt deposit against the backdrop of snow-covered mountains is a sight to behold in winter when methane gas released by decaying plants on the lake bed gets trapped just below the surface when the lake begins to freeze, creating an out of this world sight!
Outlaw Sled Drag Races
Tour Ice Castles
Edmonton’s Hawrelak Park will once again be the location for Edmonton’s ice castles. Tour the ice castles, which are created to look like nature has designed them and even try to make your way through the tight spaces by any means necessary. Whether you need to squeeze your way through, or army crawl, it is an amazing experience for all.
Canadian Birkebeiner Ski Festival
Another great option for those who enjoy participating or watching cross country skiing. With categories for the entire family, ranging from recreational to competitive, this event is fantastic for all levels of cross country skiers.
Nikka Yuko Festival of Lights
Lethbridge, Alberta is home to the Nikka Yuko Japanese Garden, which is a stunning location year round. What can make a beautiful place even better? Why, 100,000 LED lights of course! Running from December 1 through February 3, there is plenty of time to make a trip to Lethbridge and enjoy this marvelous light display.
The Alberta Winter Games
This year, The Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo is hosting the Alberta Winter Games. Top athletes will come from around the province to compete in a variety of different sporting events including skiing, skating; both speed skating and figure skating, hockey, ringette, as well as a number of less “wintery” type sports. So why not check out northern Alberta all while supporting some of Alberta’s youngest and strongest athletes this February 16-19?
Ice Magic Festival
Banff, Alberta is known for its picturesque mountainside town qualities. Pair that with 10 days of winter wonderland magic and you are in for a real treat. This festival will keep you busy both day and night. With opportunities to go skating on Lake Louise, watch ice carving competitions, and of course, numerous ski resorts just a hop, skip, and a jump away. Then, when you are exhausted from all the physical activity, you can enjoy live music, drinks by the fire, and even watch ski and snowboard competitions!
Jasper in January
Although Jasper is great all year long, there is truly no better time to experience Jasper than in January. Starting on January 10, 2019, with a Jasper in January Kick Off Party, and featuring events with names like “Wine in Winter,” and “Fat Bikes and Bonfires” this festival is truly 18 days of nonstop fun! Skiing, snowshoeing, sleigh rides, dog sledding, live music, and tons of food are among the many highlights of this event.
Sylvan Lake Winterfest
Family Day Weekend will go down as days to remember if you spend them at the Sylvan Lake Winterfest. For many, the highlight is the annual Polar Bear Dip, but there are also lots of activities for the entire family. End your evening with a wonderful fireworks display that begins at 7pm, early enough that even your little ones can enjoy it!
Banff Upper Hot Springs
Rain or snow, relax in the soothing Hot springs pool where travellers have come to “take the waters” for over a century.
Snowshoe and Stargaze
There’s nothing quite like studying the starry sky after treking over snow covered land. Following a short, guided snowshoeing tour you can take your time enjoying snacks and perhaps some hot cocoa while sitting around a campfire and learning about the sky above you. For less than $30.00 a person, with multiple dates available, this is a perfect date night opportunity at Elk Island National Park.
Ice on Whyte
Alberta is known for its amazing festivals. Spring, summer, fall, and winter Alberta has a unique and exciting festival for you! One not-to-miss experience is Ice on Whyte, in Edmonton. This festival has something for everyone, from ice carving competitions and lesson, to live blues music, to crafts and activities, and of course, the famous ice bar, you will not be disappointed with all this festival has to offer.
When all the Christmas festivities are said and done, a person can start to get sick of winter. Bring the win back to winter with Deep Freezer races–literally racing in deep freezers– as well as many performances from a variety of artists. This Edmonton event is sure to bring a smile to your face!
Ski-joring in Kananaskis Country
Mad Dogs and Englishmen can teach you how to combine two famous winter pastimes: skiing and dog sledding. Skijoring is a Scandinavian tradition that is just beginning to grow in popularity in Alberta.
Try Out Luge or Bobsledding
Canada Olympic Park has been put to great use since the Calgary Olympics of 1988. Now, you can spend a fun-filled day here with your friends and loved ones. Go tubing, try out luge or bobsledding, or enjoy some skating or hockey. Spend the day or just a couple of hours, the choice is up to you!
Winter Festival of Speed
Located in Lac La Biche, the Winter Festival of Speed, which is held at the end of February to Beginning of March is an exhilarating experience for all involved. Unlike most events, this particular one includes car, quad, motorcycle, and snowmobile races… on ice! A refreshing twist from other winter festivals, make sure you don’t miss out!
Okay, you can snowshoe at any of the parks in Alberta, but what about a Canadian Signature Experience at Lake Louise Ski Resort!
Go on a guided snowshoe sightseeing tours are designed to take anyone to explore some of the most breathtaking scenic vantage points in the Canadian Rockies. Journey to some of the most thrilling panoramic winter views formerly only available to skiers and riders. You can choose from Scenic Snowshoe Tour or Winter Wildlife Snowshoe Tour.
The Sundre Pioneer Museum hosts Winterfest during Family Day weekend. With an artist and artisan show, wagon rides, family entertainment, and more, this is a fantastic option for those who enjoy the small town feel of life.
Visiting a waterfall is always a breathtaking experience, but visiting one in the winter is even more breathtaking. There are plenty of options across Alberta where you can enjoy delightful frozen creations.
Canmore Nordic Centre
The Canmore Nordic Centre is an year round attraction, but more so in winter. With more than 65 km of groomed machine-made and natural snow based trails and purpose built facilities for winter activities like Biathlon, Winter Disc Golf, Ice Skating, and family fun stuff like Tobogganing, you are sure to have a good time there. Fat Biking is also permitted at designated trails! It is also the venue for many professional sporting events which are free for spectators!
Small Town Hockey
Marmot Basin Ski Resort
One of the very best locations in all of Alberta to go skiing, just being on the side of a mountain is enough to take your breath away. Pair that with fresh powder, fantastic lifts, and more trails than you can even imagine, there is no lack of options for even the most avid skier or snowboarder.
Canmore Cave Tours
Not many people can say that they have explored a cave, let alone a cave in the wintertime! With Canmore Cave Tours you can explore Rat’s Nest Cave under Grotto Mountain and live to tell the tale! They also have various events throughout the year, so be sure to check this company out!
Polar Bear Plunge
Ready to be crazy and taste Alberta’s freezing waters all for a good cause? Then from January 1 to March 1st week, hurl yourselves into a hole dug in the ice. The event is held at various locations in Alberta.
Sunshine Village Ski Resort
Visit one of the best ski resorts in Canada, delight in the thrill of skiing and snowboarding, go snowshoeing or just visit the park to enjoy winter sightseeing.
Experience the unique Ice walk activity at Maligne Canyon in Jasper or Johnston Canyon in Banff. Explore a rocky maze of sculptures, ice caves and fossils, along with spectacular waterfalls naturally frozen in time. The Maligne Canyon Icewalk is designated as a signature experience by the Canadian Tourism Commission.
Winter Night Lights Tour
Take your date on a cozy horse-drawn sleigh will take you through our display of over 20,000 winter lights at Heritage Ranch in Red Deer. Hot chocolate and blankets are provided. To top the evening have dinner at Westlake Grill. Lights are on until January end.
Book your next winter adventure with Yamnuska Mountain Adventures and learn how to ice climb! From beginner to advanced there are options for everyone. There is a lot of technique involved in safe and proper ice climbing and the professionals at Yamnuska Mountain Adventures will make sure you learn everything you need for a safe and fun climbing adventure.
There is something serene and tranquil about just taking a few days to get away from it all. Whether you come to ski or just relax, the Skoki Lodge is about as remote as you are going to find. Accessible only by foot, over 10 km from the nearest road, with no access to the modern conveniences of wifi or cell phone service, you might not want to stay too long or you will get used to this simple way of living.
Tongue on the Post Winter Music Festival
Cheer Alberta’s Only NLL Team
Canada’s summer game starts the season in the thick of winter! So get to Scotiabank Saddledome to cheer Calgary Roughnecks! With a party like atmosphere, jubilant crowds, great half time entertainment and low ticket prices, it is one of the best sports night out, one can have as a whole family!
Explore Alberta Parks in Winter
Who needs a tropical vacation when you live in a winter paradise? Don’t miss your chance to explore some of Alberta’s parks this winter.
February is the official month for love! Celebrate the love of your life with these winter getaways!