Welcome to winter in Strathcona County, where snow means celebrating and there are so many ice rinks to choose from, you won’t have time to try them all. Strathcona County is a vibrant community hub of 98,000 people located just east of Edmonton. Whether you prefer fine dining and the urban amenities found in Sherwood Park, or small, welcoming villages and agricultural hamlets, Strathcona County truly has a special experience in store for you!
For fun happenings and things to do during weekends in Strathcona County, see This Weekend in Edmonton.
Catch a glimpse of glowing green Aurora Borealis as it moved across the sky. Strathcona County is a great place to watch the dark night sky for geomagnetic activity and is located adjacent to the Beaver Hills Dark Sky Preserve. Check with AuroraWatch for up to date information and daily reports. Wake up early for fiery red, pink and orange winter sunrises.
Strathcona Wilderness Center
The Strathcona Wilderness Center offers cross country ski lessons for all levels of experience, and snowshoe rentals. If you’ve never skied before, sign up for the 6 week long, Adult Learn to X-C Ski course. Programs and rentals are available for groups and individuals.
Address: 52535 Range Rd 212, Ardrossan
Nothing says winter like the racing down a snowy hill on a toboggan. Strathcona County has many toboggan hills for you and your family to enjoy. Pack a few pairs of ectra mittens and a thermos of hot chocolate, and try out the hills at Cottonwood Park, Clarkdale Lake, Broadmoor Public Golf Course, McGhan Park, Greengrove Park, Florian Park, or Strathcona Althetic Park.
Outdoor Skating Pathways
Strathcona County skating pathwaysinclude Emerald Hills Skating Pathway, Arrkann Skating Pathway, Cowen Skating Pathway, Sin Bin Skate Track, and South Cooking Lake, all have heated, supervised change facilities available Monday to Friday from 4-9pm and 1pm-9pm on weekends and holidays.
Outdoor Skating Rinks
Rural Strathcona County has several outdoor skating rinks, including Adrossan Outdoor Rink, Deville North Cooking Lake, and Collingwood Cove which are lighted until 10pm and have shelters available. Sherwood Park outdoor rinks include Brentwood, Kinsmen Park, Sherwood Heights and Emerald Hills.
Beaver Hills Biodiversity Trail
Beaver Hills Biodiversity Trail is located within a protected natural reserve of over 1500 square kilometers of aspens meadows and boreal forest. Go for a winter hike, birdwatch, or stargaze under a winter night sky in the 300 square kilometer Beaver Hills Dark Sky Preserve.
Address: Range Road 211 and Township Road 530 (Baseline Road)
Elk Island National Park
Hike, ski or snowshoe at Elk Island National Park, located just east of Strathcona County. Bring binoculars for a chance to spot hundreds of species of birds and wildlife, or watch majestic bison grazing in the snow. Have a winter picnic around a crackling fire, or explore 80 kms of trails. You’ll want to return again and again.
Address: 54401 Range Rd 203, Fort Saskatchewan
Phone: Telephone: 780-922-5790 or Toll-free: 1-888-773-8888
Hours: Open 24 hours a day
Ministik Bird Sanctuary
Feeling adventurous? Pack your hiking boots and binoculars, and head to the Ministik Bird Sanctuary. This 160 acre migratory bird sanctuary is an important nature reserve and part of the Beaver Hills Biosphere. It’s not accessible by car, so you’ll need to print off the online map, if you are not familiar with the area.
Miquelon Lake Provincial ParkSnowshoe around the lake in Miquelon Lake Provincial Park, then warm up afterwards with a cracking bonfire in one of the fire pits, beneath a starlit sky. Miquelon Lake Provincial Park offers year round, full service winter camping with showers, washrooms, electricity, tenting and RV spots.
Address: 20514 SEC HWY 623, Camrose County No. 22
Cooking Lake – Blackfoot Provincial Recreation Area
There is so much to do at the Cooking Lake – Blackfoot Recreation Area in winter! The recreation area features over 125 Kms of groomed cross-country ski trails for skiers with various levels of experience. Bring your dogs and sled and race along the 40 km dog run, or snowshoe, fat bike, or snowmobile in designated areas. There is an outdoor skating rink located at the Waskahegan Staging Area.
Address: 52365 Range Rd 210, Sherwood Park
Strathcona County Museum and Archives
Experience what rural pioneer life was like in the 1900’s. Strathcona County Museum and Archives features exhibits set up to resemble a “Village Square” including an old school, post office, and general store, as well as events for families throughout the year.
Address: 913 Ash St, Sherwood Park
The Peking Acrobats will dazzle and delight as they leap through the air in a family friendly show, or catch Ashley MacIsaac on tour. Festival Place is a performance venue in the heart of Sherwood Park.
Address: 100 Festival Way, Sherwood Park
Sherwood Park Farmers Market (Community Center)
Meet local artists, farmers and neighbours at the Sherwood Park Farmers Market. The market moves indoors every winter and takes place from 4-8pm every Wednesday. This is your one stop for fresh produce, local eggs and meats, handcrafted, one of a kind jewellery and delicious samples from local vendors.
Address: 401 Festival Lane, Sherwood Park
Hours: Wednesdays 4-8pm
Broadmoor Lake Park is located in the heart of Sherwood Park. It’s a vibrant community hub and great winter destination for young families, with a skating rink, toboggan hill, huge playground, and easy walking path that loops around the lake. The park is located adjacent to the Kinsmen Leisure Center and Festival Place, as well as the Sherwood Park Arena.
Address: Oak Street, Sherwood Park
Millennium PlaceWhen it’s too cold to play outside, (or maybe when you just need a break from tobogganing around the corner!) Millenium Place is a one stop recreation center. With an arena, leisure Ice, skate rentals, an indoor playground, aquatic center, hot tub, gym, concessions and a coffee shop. There is ample seating room for you and your family to take breaks and have snacks.
Address: 2000 Premier Way, Sherwood Park, AB T8H 2G4
Fun Park Amusement Center
Leap and twist through the air on a trampoline at Fun Park Amusement Center, or test your strength in the ninja course. Older kids and adults will love the open jump park, and toddlers and kids 12 and under can explore the colorful indoor playground.
Address: 3001 Buckingham Dr #180, Sherwood Park, AB T8H 2N4
Indoor Fun for Little Ones
Sometimes there is just too much ice and snow to play outside. Kids 7 and under will love the indoor playground at Millenium Place, and the Kinsmen Leisure Center, and the science based play area at the Ardrossan Recreation Center.
Kinsmen Leisure Center
The Kinsmen Leisure Center is operating with limited facilities this winter as it undergoes upgrades. The lane pool, waterslide, indoor playground and most classes are still running.
Address: 2001 Oak Street (Vic Bidzinski Way), Sherwood Park, AB T8A 0W9
Smeltzer House Center for Arts and Culture
Smeltzer House for Arts and Culture operates out of a stunning 1920’s red brick heritage house, with white columns lining the front porch and a gazebo available for bookings. Choose from a variety of adults or children’s art classes, pottery, and glass fusing. The Clay Hut is a pottery studio offering classes for adults and children and operates out of what was formerly a carriage house on the property.
Address: 1 Broadmoor Blvd, Sherwood Park
Cafe Haven is so much more than just a restaurant, it’s a community staple. Try the delicious weekend brunch featuring locally sourced ham and eggs, seasoned potatoes, and fresh fruit, or a spinach and feta Eggs Benedict, topped with hollandaise sauce and served with an English muffin. Families will appreciate the welcoming vibe, even if you are just stopping in for coffee at one of the beautiful mosaic tables, and musically inclined patrons can visit for the Thursday Night Jam sessions from 7-10pm.
Address: 9 Sioux Rd, Sherwood Park
Vicky’s Bistro and Wine BarEscape the winter chill at Vicky’s Bistro and Wine Bar. Share the charcuterie board or the Mediterranean Flatbread, topped with olives, tomatoes, artichoke, feta cheese and prosciutto. Savor a bowl of lemon chicken soup and linger over a glass of wine. Vicky’s Bistro offers lunch and dinner in an elegant setting with vegetarian and gluten free dining options.
Address: 501 Festival Ave #100, Sherwood Park
Hours: Monday to Saturday 11am-11pm, Sundays 10am-4pm
Christmas in the Heartland
Christmas in the Heartland is a self directed winter celebration. Local venues and churches will be set up with artisans, crafters, children’s workshops, perogy lunches, visits with Santa, fireworks, ice carving, storytelling, a nutcracker display, rope twisting, free hot chocolate and more! Bussing is available from Sherwood Park and there is an interactive online map.
New Year’s Eve
Ring in the New Year with FREE family fun. Wear your favourite aloha or floral shirts and dress in layers to enjoy indoor and outdoor activities. This year’s activities include snowshoeing, shinny hockey, remote control bobsled races, LED and fire dancer shows, hula dancers, mechanical surfing, glow and tropical-themed crafts, face painting, live performances, skating and more!
Canadian Birkebeiner Ski Festival
The Canadian Birkebeiner Ski Festivalis one of three such events in the world. This celebration of winter and skiing has something for everyone! Whether you are a seasoned Nordic skier, or have never touched skis in your life. Try a lesson, or compete in a race. Bring the whole family for the Viking’s Feast buffet style dinner.
Millenium Place and Ardrossan Recreation Complex both offer indoor skating surfaces and skate rentals, as well as change rooms and concessions. Broadmoor Arena offers public skating (check times). Strathcona Olympiette Center has an indoor rink, practice ice surface, and curling rink.
Dick Laurin’s Hay and Sleigh Rides
Go for a horse drawn sleigh ride through snow covered forests and fields, and finish off the experience with a crackling winter bonfire. Dick Laurin’s Hay and Sleigh Rides has many experiences to choose from, whether it’s a family or group trip, or an intimate outing for two. Wood and benches are provided for bonfires, all you need to do is bring the hotdogs and snacks.
Address: 530048 Range Rd 183, Edmonton