Halloween costumes have been packed away for another year and people have started to string up the Christmas lights. While we’re grateful the cold weather held off for Halloween, it’s time to think about what fun activities you and your family can do during the winter. Trying to wrestle your children into winter jackets, snow pants, hats, mitts, and scarves is quite the task and you may find your children want to remain indoors, where it’s warm and comfortable.
Instead of staying home, bundle your children into their winter clothes and enjoy these fun activities!
Hit the Slopes
Alberta is home to one of the most beautiful mountain ranges in the world: The Rocky Mountains. Nestled within the mountain range are ski towns and resorts worth visiting. Jasper, located four hours west of Edmonton, offers the opportunity to race down the slopes at an affordable price. During the winter season, you’ll find Marmot Basin to be less crowded than Sunshine Village in Banff and can take a dip in the hot tub at Jasper’s Aquatic Centre to soothe your weary muscles while your children splash in the pool.
If you’re looking for something a little closer to home, visit Snow Valley or Rabbit Hill. The ski hills are located in Edmonton and offer rentals, lessons, and terrain parks for the more daring skiers and snowboarders.
Accompanying the cold weather is the holiday season, where stunning lights are strung around the city to create a winter wonderland. This year is going to be a little brighter with the arrival of the Glow Gardens. In 2017, Darvonda Nurseries created a magical dreamland out of their greenhouses and that magic has spread to St. Albert. From November 22 to January 19, The Enjoy Centre will host a spectacular display of 50,000 lights in a 210-foot light tunnel.
If the light tunnel isn’t of any interest to you, spend some time browsing the Christmas Market where your family can meet talented local artists or help Santa find his lost presents. Once you track down the lost gifts, you’ll earn a little present for yourself!
Edmonton Ice Castles
Bundle up your family and take a walk through the Ice Castles! By late December, Hawrelak Park will transform into a scene straight out of The Chronicles of Narnia. Created out of ice weighing 25,000,000 pounds, the Edmonton Ice Castles offer an enchanting adventure for the whole family. Throughout the Castle, you’ll find picturesque spots to snap that perfect Instagram shot; whether it be in front of the waterfall or sitting on the throne like royalty. Edmonton is the only place you’ll find this magnificent structure in Canada, so make sure your family is wearing warm clothing and you’ve purchased your tickets beforehand, otherwise you might miss out!
Ice on Whyte
Ring in the New Year at Ice on Whyte, Edmonton’s annual ice carving festival. Taking place from January 24 to 27 and January 31 to February 3, Ice on Whyte is one of only three international ice carving competitions in Canada and showcases the best ice carving talent from around the world. Previous ice sculptures include a life-size model of a giraffe and her calf, a bridge made out of ice, and a child balanced atop a reindeer. Finally, while you taste test the beverages at the ice bar, your children can learn how to carve a masterpiece of their own! Watch as your child’s fascination with the art grows and enjoy spending time outdoors, together!
Every year, the Edmonton Valley Zoo lights up in a spectacular exhibition. Commonly known as “Zoo Lights,” Zoominescence is a fundraiser hosted by the Valley Zoo Development Society with the funds being donated to the Valley Zoo. Proceeds from light festival helps to look after the precious animals who call the Zoo home and build better facilities to keep them safe. The design of the exhibition changes each year and artists from around the country come together to create a vision of light, imagination, and community spirit! Bring your family to the Zoo for an evening of skating and lights, made only better by the presence of the zoo animals. Before you head home, be sure to grab some hot chocolate to warm up your hands!
Winter may be the coldest season of the year, but it doesn’t mean you have to remain inside. Brave the cold and adventure out to places you and your family have never been before! Where is your favourite place to spend the winter days?