13 things to do in Edmonton in winter 2016/17
With winter right around the corner, it can often be tempting to stay inside, out of the cold. But in a city like Edmonton, which was recently named one of Canada’s best winter cities by Canadian Geographic, there’s no shortage of ways to embrace the season.
Here are a few ways to get out and enjoy winter in Edmonton.
Candy Cane Lane will light up for another colourful season on Friday, Dec. 9. It will be open until midnight Jan. 1.
The annual winter tradition started in the Crestwood Community more than 40 years ago. Now, it consumes more than 10 city blocks.
Those who visit Candy Cane Lane are encouraged to bring a donation for Edmonton’s Food Bank.
After an overwhelmingly successful first year in Edmonton, the massive “Narnia-like” Ice Castle will be back in Hawrelak Park later this year. Weather permitting, the attraction will open in late December.
Tickets go on sale in early December, weather permitting, and range in price – depending on the day and time you visit – from $9.95 – $12.95 for children and $12.95 – $16.95 for adults.
Watch below: Raw video of the 2015/2016 Edmonton ice castle
Formerly known as the Freezeway, the skating path in Victoria Park will be back this year, but it will be called the IceWay. The city said the new name better reflects the recreational nature of the ice surface.
The IceWay will also be expanded this year. It’s set to open in December and is free to access.
If you enjoying skating, why not get out and enjoy one of Edmonton’s outdoor rinks? There are several city-run rinks throughout Edmonton, which can be found on the city’s website.
The city also runs and maintains several toboggan hills in Edmonton. You can check out the current status of each hill on the city’s website.
Go off the beaten path this winter by exploring the Edmonton area by showshoe. Several Edmonton parks allow snowshoeing, but it’s usually best to snowshoe in areas where the snow hasn’t been packed down.
The city’s website has a list of great snowshoeing locations in and around Edmonton.
Of course, Edmonton wouldn’t be “festival city” without a few great winter festivals to check out.
Hit the slopes
While Snow Valley has yet to open for the season, both Sunridge and Rabbit Hill are open.
The Christmas lights at the Alberta legislative grounds were turned on for the season on Thursday, Dec.1. The highlight, of course, is the massive 61-foot spruce tree adorned with 7,000 LED lights. The lights will be on from 4:30 p.m. to midnight every evening and from 6:30 a.m. to 8:30 a.m. every morning.
Watch below: Alberta legislature grounds light up for the holiday season
The 10th annual Deep Freeze: A Byzantine Winter Festival will be held on Jan. 14 and 15, 2017 along Alberta Avenue. The yearly festival is a free family event that embraces Edmonton’s northern climate.
The 14th annual Ice on Whyte Festival will be held over two weekends this winter, from Jan. 26 to Jan. 29 and Feb. 2 to Feb. 5, 2017. From ice carving contests to ice slides, there’s a little something for everyone.
Tickets are $4 for kids aged 2 to 12 and adult tickets cost $7. They are available at the gate or online starting Dec. 1.
This winter’s Flying Canoe Volant Festival will be held in Mill Creek Ravine on Feb. 3 and 4, 2017. The event is meant to celebrate everything great about a long winter’s night.
Held between Feb. 10 and Feb. 20, 2017, the Silver Skate Festival is a family event in the city’s scenic river valley. Each year, the festival transforms Hawrelak Park into a winter wonderland with everything from winter sports and snow sculptures to horse-drawn sleigh rides and a Cree winter camp.
Last year, more than 105,000 people came out to take part in the free festival, which will celebrate its 27th year in 2017.
Watch below: Silver Skate Festival aims to get Edmontonians enjoying the outdoors
After unseasonably warm winter weather forced the cancellation of the 2016 Canadian Birkebeiner, the festival hopes to be back in action this season, with events scheduled on Feb. 10 and Feb. 11 in Strathcona County.
Registration for the birkebeiner is already open.
What’s your favourite thing to do in Edmonton during the winter? Leave it in the comments section below.
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