Things to do in Edmonton this winter

The new Freezeway skating path at Victoria Park, Edmonton. Courtesy: Chris Gibbs

EDMONTON — In a city that sees snow for nearly half the year (sometimes more), people are always looking for ways to embrace the season.

Here are a few ways to get out and enjoy winter in Edmonton.

Ice Castle

Now open to the public, the Ice Castle in Hawrelak Park was built with harvested icicles grown from more than three kilometres of sprinklers.

Story continues below advertisement

Once you arrive in the park you can’t miss the behemoth structure, which is lit up at night and synchronized to music.

Organizers recommend wearing good boots, as the floor of the castle can be uneven in spots. And be sure to buy your tickets online in advance, as they are less expensive and time slots can sell out.

Weather permitting, the winter spectacle will be open until March.

READ MORE: Massive ‘Narnia-like’ ice castle now open in Hawrelak Park


The new Victoria Park Freezeway skating path opened in late December.

Breaking news from Canada and around the world sent to your email, as it happens.

The 400-metre path winds its way through the trees next to the Victoria Park skating oval.

Story continues below advertisement

The pilot project was put together by the city, WinterCity Edmonton, Make Something Edmonton and the Edmonton Speed Skating Association.

Skating on the Freezeway is free and it’s open from 10 a.m. until 10 p.m.

READ MORE: New Freezeway skating path opens at Edmonton park

Deep Freeze: A Byzantine Winter Festival

Click to play video: 'Edmonton Deep Freeze Winter Festival'
Edmonton Deep Freeze Winter Festival

The ninth annual Deep Freeze Byzantine Winter Festival is being held on Jan. 9 and 10 on 118 Avenue between 90 and 94 Streets.

This year’s festival theme is ‘Fairies, Elves and Ogres…Oh My!’ The winter festival includes a street hockey tournament, deep freezer race and other fun outdoor events.

The winter festival is free. It runs from noon until 10 p.m. Saturday and noon to 6 p.m. Sunday.

Story continues below advertisement

Ice on Whyte

Now in its 13th year, the Ice on Whyte Festival provides Edmontonians with two weekends of winter fun.

This year’s festival has a Mardi Gras theme and offers ice carving demonstrations, a giant ice slide and an outdoor food court.

The annual festival is held at End of Steel Park in Old Strathcona from Jan. 21 to 24 and Jan. 28 to 31. It’s open from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.

Tickets can be purchased on site at the gate or online.

Flying Canoë Volant Festival

The Flying Canoë Volant Festival is a creative, interactive event celebrating everything that’s great about a long winter’s night.

Inspired by the legend of The Flying Canoe and French Canadian, First Nations and Métis traditions, the overnight event showcases Mill Creek Ravine and the city’s French Quarter.

The festival runs from 6 p.m. Feb. 5 to 12 a.m. Feb. 6.

Silver Skate Festival

Held from Feb. 12 to 21, the Silver Skate Festival combines sport, arts and culture and recreation. The 10-day festival transforms Hawrelak Park into a winter wonderland with fun for the entire family.

Story continues below advertisement

Surrounding the picturesque Ice Castle, the Silver Skate Festival offers everything from horse-drawn sleigh rides and live music to theatrical performances and bannock cooking.

Last year, more than 85,000 people took in the festival. It’s now in its 26th year in Edmonton.

Canadian Birkebeiner Ski Festival

Registration for the 2016 Canadian Birkie is now open. It’s being held on Feb. 12 and 13 with multiple events and distances.

Winter Signature Drink Contest

Edmonton now has two new signature winter drinks – a non-alcoholic beverage called “Winter’s Kiss” and a whiskey-based drink called “The Sure Thing.”

The winners of the city’s annual Winter Signature Drink Contest were announced Monday, Feb. 22. Check Elves was the mastermind behind “The Sure Thing.” Julia and Noe Cardeiro came up with “Winter’s Kiss.”

To try the drinks at home, visit the event’s website for the recipes.


Swing n’ Skate Sundays

If you like dancing and/or skating, then this is the event for you.

Story continues below advertisement

Held most Sundays throughout January and February, the event offers swing dancing to live big band music inside the City Room at City Hall.

And if you prefer to be outdoors, the music is also played outside for those who wish to skate.

The event is held from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. Skate rentals are free on a first come, first serve basis.

What’s your favourite thing to do in Edmonton during the winter? Leave it in the comments section below.

Sponsored content