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35+ Fun Things to do in Edmonton in Winter: Activities, Events & More

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Looking for all the fun things to do in Edmonton in winter? You have come to the right place! We have the most comprehensive list of Edmonton winter activities, festivals, events, and more!

Things to do in Edmonton in winter: XMAS Market Edmonton winter activities

Edmonton is the northernmost metropolis and the capital city of the Canadian province of Alberta. Edmonton is often called the “City of Festivals” and rightly so, as this place is full of events and festivities on a regular basis.

We have been living in Edmonton since 2015, and when the snow falls here, you enter into a winter wonderland of festivities. There is just so much to do and enjoy in this amazing Canadian capital city.

35+ Fun Things to do in Edmonton in Winter: Winter Activities in Edmonton

Things to do in Edmonton Winter
Things to do in Edmonton Winter

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. If you click one of them, we may receive a small commission at no extra cost to you. 

This list is in no particular order. We will take you through the festivals and lights events first, which are all outdoors. And then share the winter trails, ice skating and other natural areas to experience the snow, followed by indoor attractions and travel tips!

Because the festival and events dates change very year, we have created a table below with dates starting from November to February (chronological order).

We have listed some of the best Edmonton winter activities for every traveler. Hope you like it!

1. Christmas Lights at Alberta Legislature Grounds

Edmonton is the capital city of the province of Alberta. The Alberta Legislature building or the ledge is beautifully decorated during the winter season for Christmas. You can take a stroll, get pictures, and enjoy the winter with a hot cup of cocoa.

It is located right in front of the legislature building and is easily accessible by public transit (Grandin Station).

There are tons of fun things to do in Edmonton winter like chasing northern lights, snowshoeing, skiing, ice castles and other special winter events.
Alberta Legislature Grounds: Things to do in Edmonton in winter

The Christmas lights are lit up at the beginning of December by the Alberta Premier in the evening.

From the beginning to the week leading to Christmas Eve, the Legislature grounds are filled with winter activities and Christmas festivities.

There are performances by dozens of local musical ensembles. Performances are usually at 12 pm on weekdays and 6:30 pm daily in the Grand Rotunda.

At the Legislature grounds, you can enjoy a skate on the outdoor rink, or do some shopping at the Alberta Branded store in the Visitor’s Centre.

  • Cost: Free
  • Dates: Starts December 02, 2022, to January 31, 2023 (2023/4 TBD)
  • Typical Hours: Evenings to late at night. 
  • How to get there? Transit services are available, including LRT (Stop: Grandin Station Government Centre). Car. 
Christmas at the Legislature Edmonton
Christmas at the Legislature Edmonton winter activities

2. Castrol Raceway Magic of Lights

Castrol Raceway tracks are located near the Edmonton International Airport, in Leduc. The raceway is illuminated with LED lights to ring in the Christmas season.

Driving through Magic of Lights Edmonton winter
Driving through Magic of Lights Edmonton winter

It is a perfect Christmas display, which you can experience without freezing in the cold. From the comfort of your vehicle, you can drive through the 2.7 km (1.6 miles) stretch and enjoy the hundreds of thousands of sparkling lights.

We also opted for a Santa Photo Pass ($63 which includes the vehicle entry) and had our pictures taken with Santa Claus. It was a fun add-on, and just took a few minutes – you don’t have to leave the vehicle for photos!

  • Cost: $33 CAD+. Tickets here
  • Dates: November 24, 2022, to January 01, 2023
  • Typical Hours: 05:00 pm to 10:00 pm
  • How to reach there? Car only

3. Candy Cane Lane – Christmas Decorations Across the City 

The Candy Cane tradition started over 40 years ago by a small group of residents in Crestwood Community in Edmonton. Over the years, Candy Cane Lane has grown in size. It is located at 148 Street from 99th to 92nd Avenue.

The residents here display the impressive lights and sounds during December month in the spirit of Christmas fun.

Candy cane lane Edmonton winter sign
Candy Cane Lane
Lights at residential buildings at Candy cane lane
Things to do in Edmonton in winter
  • Cost: Free (donation accepted for local Food Bank)
  • Dates: December 9 2023 to January 01, 2024
  • Typical Hours: Evenings till late night, 06:00 pm to 10:00 pm
  • How to reach there? Car. On certain days vehicle access is restricted for walkthroughs

4. YEG XMAS Market

Edmonton Christmas Market is an annual holiday market and festival that features local vendors, lights and decorations, food experiences, etc. in both indoor and outdoor environments.

Tickets can be booked online for entry and experiences on-site. In 2021, it was held in two locations, namely Fort Edmonton Park (pictured below), and Army & Navy Whyte Ave.

Girl at the Edmonton Christmas market
Things to do in Edmonton in winter
  • Cost: $5 CAD per person for entry (food and experience are additional)
  • Dates: Fort Edmonton Park November 19 to December 17, 2023
  • Typical Hours: Mostly evenings from 5:00 to 09:00 pm
  • How to reach there? Best by car. Parking is free but limited

5. Christmas Square –Winston Churchill Square

Churchill Square is a safe, friendly, vibrant space located in the heart of Downtown Edmonton. Every year in November Winston Churchill Square is lit to welcome the Christmas spirit.

There are live performances in the square and the event kicks off with the lighting of the 72-foot Christmas tree adorned with 8-thousand LED lights!

Imagine the lit-up sky with cascading snowfalls, sparkles, and stars. The Light Up is followed by a spectacular fireworks show that illuminates the Downtown sky!

So here you will find our City Hall. The Lights Up at the Edmonton City Hall starts from the beginning of December until Christmas Eve. You can also visit the Alberta Arts Gallery nearby for some art displays.

  • Cost: Free 
  • Dates: December 3, 2022 (TBD for 2023)
  • Typical Hours: 04:00 – 10:00 pm
  • How to reach there? Car or transit (Station Churchill Square)
There are tons of fun things to do in Edmonton winter like chasing northern lights, snowshoeing, skiing, ice castles and other special winter events.
Christmas Glow in Edmonton

6. Art Gallery of Alberta

If the weather is TOO cold for you, warm up and head indoors to the Art Gallery of Alberta. Located pretty close to Winston Churchill Square, the Art Gallery of Alberta is one of the excellent centers for the visual arts in Western Canada. 

  • Cost:  $14 CAD for adults, $10 CAD for age 65+, and free for age 18 or younger (FREE on the last Thursday of the month from 04:00 – 07:00 pm) 
  • Typical Hours: 11:00 am to 05:00 pm Friday to Wednesday, 11:00 am to 07:00 pm on Thursday. More details on the website

7. The Winter Wonder Forest

2020 saw the wonderful drive-thru Holiday Light Experience in Edmonton. The Winter Wonder Forest included lights and a music show along with ice sculptures. The entire trip is not that long, you will be done in about 25 to 30 minutes, but you need to get in there early.

Winter Wander Village Edmonton
Winter Wonder Forest: Things to do in Edmonton in winter

This is a complete drive-thru event only, and hence car/vehicle is required. Tickets can be booked online.

2021 Winter Wonder Forest is back with better and newer displays and it is held in Gibbons (about 40 minutes away from Edmonton). The exact location is: Longriders RV Park, 23136 Secondary Highway 643, Gibbons, AB

  • Cost: $23 CAD for adults
  • Dates: Starts November 26, 2022 – January 2023 (dates for 2023/4 TBD)
  • Typical Hours: 04:30 – 10:30 pm
  • How to reach there? Car

8. Edmonton Christmas Glow

If you don’t like the cold weather, then the Christmas Glow is the perfect place for you. It is the largest indoor Christmas festival in Edmonton. Held at the Edmonton EXPO Centre in 2021, its exact location is 7515 118 Ave NW, Edmonton, AB AB T5B. This is the same location for 2022 and 2023.

Edmoton Glow
Edmonton Glow: Things to do in Edmonton in winter

The centre is completely illuminated by half a million lights and is a stunning space. My favorite part was the light maze, a very pretty, and great photography space.

There are Christmas markets inside as well as food vendors.

Edmonton Glow
Edmonton winter activities
There are tons of fun things to do in Edmonton winter like chasing northern lights, snowshoeing, skiing, ice castles and other special winter events.
Glow Edmonton

Tickets can be purchased online via Show Pass.

  • Cost: $22.99+ CAD (weekdays)
  • Dates: December 1, 2023, to January 1, 2024
  • Typical Hours: 04:00 – 10:00 pm (weekdays from Wednesday to Friday). Weekends and holidays start at 1:00 pm
  • How to reach there? Car

9. Winter Whyte Light Up event

Get ready to embrace the cold at Old Strathcona for the annual Winter Whyte Light Up! 

Bring your friends and family to this winter wonderland that is being curated just for you on November 26 (McIntyre Park). All outdoor activities are free and should you need any hot drinks, or sweets to warm up – they are available for purchase! 

Old Strathcona looks amazing in the winter (worth all the layers of clothing!)

  • Costs: Free
  • Dates: November 26, 2022 (2023 dates TBD)
  • Typical hours: Evenings
  • How to get there: Car

10. Old Strathcona Farmers Market

The Old Strathcona Farmers Market is a bustling, vibrant hub of activity in the heart of Edmonton’s historic district. Founded in 1983, it has grown to become one of the largest and most popular farmers markets in North America.

Every Saturday from 8 am to 3 pm, over 300 vendors gather at this market to sell their locally grown produce, homemade crafts, and freshly prepared foods. You can browse through a wide variety of goods, from fresh fruits and vegetables to artisanal cheeses and baked goods.

But the Old Strathcona Farmers Market is more than just a place to shop for groceries. It’s also a community gathering space where people come together to connect, socialize, and support local businesses.

The market is a popular spot for families, friends, and even furry companions to spend their Saturday mornings. Head there when it is super cold outside and relish homemade delicacies!

  • Costs: Free. Parking fee applies
  • Dates: Every Saturday, year long
  • Typical hours: 08:00 am to 03:00 pm
  • How to get there: Car

11. Celebration of Lights

Other light events near the city include the Celebration of Lights, held in Sherwood Park. Its exact address is Festival Place, 401 Festival Lane.

This is a completely free event where you can check out LED light shows, holiday music, pose with Santa, and more!

  • Cost: Free (donation to the Food Bank is appreciated)
  • Dates: November 20, 2023
  • Typical Hours: 05:00 – 08:00 pm
  • How to reach there? Car

12. Alberta Zoo Lights Festival – Zoominescence

There are many other light festivities in town such as Zoominescence held at the Alberta Zoo. 

You can enjoy this Festival of Lights with ice skating, DJ, and other fun festive activities. Starts from December 1, 2023, to January 1, 2024. The ticket starts from CAD $10.50/per adult.

  • Cost: $10.50+ CAD
  • Dates: December 1, 2023, to January 1, 2024
  • Typical Hours: 04:00 – 7:00 pm (every Friday, Saturday, and Sunday evening only)
  • How to reach there? Car

13. Igloos in Courtyard Riverside

The Courtyard by Marriott Hotel in downtown Edmonton sets up 3 igloos in their patio area for diners to enjoy. This has been their winter feature since the winter of 2019. 

Edmonton winter igloo
Edmonton winter igloo: Things to do in Edmonton in winter

Each igloo at the Bistro can accommodate up to 6 guests.

For 2021-22,

  • Reservations can be made for 3:00 PM, 5:00 PM, or 7:00 PM seatings. Note that you are only allowed to spend 1.50 hours inside
  • There is a minimum spend of $150 CAD (which also includes $100 CAD food and drinks credit)
  • Dates: Open through winter 2022-23 season
  • Call for reservations: 780-423-9999 or reserve on OpenTable
  • Read the full review of Winter igloos in Edmonton here
Winters in Edmonton

It is fairly warm inside the igloo. When we visited in early December 2020, a light wool coat was sufficient. There is a heater inside the igloo that keeps the space warm, and a curtain keeps the cold air out. 

14. Take a tour with River Valley Adventures

If not the igloo, join River Valley Adventures for snowshoeing, and cross-country skiing.

They organize segway tours in the summer, and in the winter you can rent equipment to experience the pristine winter wonderland. Or book snowshoe tours with River Valley Adventures

Did you know that Edmonton’s river valley is 22 times the size of New York’s Central Park? It has over 150 km of trails, making it one of the largest in the whole of North America.

15. Cross Country Skiing Edmonton Winter Guide

Edmonton is a great host for winter sports and activities. There are 3 ski resorts within the city’s limits. They are Rabbit Hill Resort, Edmonton Ski Club, and Snow Valley Ski Club.

Edmonton’s River Valley also turns into a ski and snowboarding paradise every winter. Adventurers come in to enjoy a fun morning with kick sledding and tobogganing down the snow slopes!

There are many trails in Edmonton that allow for cross-country skiing. The Edmonton Nordic Ski Club is one of the popular ones, including at Victoria Park.

16. Silver Skate Festival

Winter sports festival like the Silver Skate Festival (same location as Ice Castles) welcomes over 106,000+ attendees. This year the event will be hosted from February 9th – 19th, 2024.

Silver Skate Festival is rooted in Dutch winter traditions and the festival combines sport (especially ice skating), arts and culture, and recreation – and live music.

  • Cost: Free
  • Dates: February 9 to 19, 2024
  • Typical Hours: 09:00 am to 09:00 pm (skiing hours may vary)
  • How to reach there? Car

17. International Festival of Winter Cinema

The International Festival of Winter Cinema (IFWC) is part of the Silver Skate Festival and this year it kicks off in the heart of Hawrelak Park. 

This event is completely free and held outdoors. You get to watch local and international winter, alpine, and polar cinema on giant snow screens – how cool is that?

  • Cost: Free
  • Dates: February 9 to 18, 2024
  • Typical Hours: 09:00 am to 09:00 pm (skiing hours may vary)
  • How to reach there? Car

18. Ice Skating Edmonton

Lace up and you can enjoy the stunning views of Edmonton including the river valley. There are many options to choose from, for skating options in the city, both indoor and outdoor rinks. Some of the outdoor staking rinks are located in the following areas –

  • Alberta Legislature Grounds (10:00 am – 10:00 pm)
  • William Hawrelak Park (09:00 am – 10:00 pm)
  • Rundle Park IceWay (09:00 am – until dusk)
  • Victoria Park Oval and IceWay (11:00 am – 10:00 pm)
There are tons of fun things to do in Edmonton winter like chasing northern lights, snowshoeing, skiing, ice castles and other special winter events.
Ice Rink West Edmonton Mall: Things to do in Edmonton in winter

One of the indoor ice rinks includes the Mayfield Toyota Ice Palace at the West Edmonton Mall. You can rent skates and helmets here as well. More on the ice rink here

Strathcona Wilderness Centre is a great place for ice skating and skiing in the winter. Skate lanes are hard by December, and you can also rent equipment here. You can ski here, pass can be purchased online.

Other than winter activities, during fall you can join walking tours through the trails at the Wilderness Centre. 

19. Snowshoeing Edmonton

If you want to stargaze and snowshoe – both – then head to the Elk Island National Park. This park is located about a 45 minute drive east of Edmonton city centre and is a great option for a full day or a half-day trip.

It is actually quite a fun family activity enjoying the white snow outside. You can rent snowshoes at most locations including the Elk Island National Park.

Other locations for snowshoeing include Fort Edmonton Park, Rundle Park, Millwood’s Park, Strathcona Recreation Area, William Hawrelak Park, and Capilano Park.

  • Cost: Rentals start at $7 CAD/hour or $25 CAD/day
  • Typical Hours: 10:00 am – 06:00 pm
  • How to reach there? Car, Transit Bus for some locations

20. Snow Ball Fight – Rundle Park

Rundle Park is a municipal park located in Edmonton, Canada. This beautiful park overlooks the North Saskatchewan River so you can imagine how stunning it is.

When you reach there, it is like a snowy winter wonderland waiting to kick in river valley adventure – play with snow, have winter fun here.

  • Cost: Free
  • Typical Hours: 10:00 am – 06:00 pm
  • How to reach there? Car or Transit Bus

21. Ice Castle & Ice Displays

Edmonton in winter is icy cold. But we found a great way to enjoy this biting cold. During the months of December and January, the city is turned into an ice haven.

Ice Castles are one of the popular ice sculpture displays in town that are displayed at William Hawrelak Park. They are created by ice artists and they are brought to Edmonton from Utah in the USA.

Edmonton Ice Castles Display
Edmonton Ice Castles Display: Things to do in Edmonton in winter

The Ice Castles are a trademark of Ice castles LLC and they have been setting up ice displays since 2011. Cold weather is imperative for a successful ice castle display.

In some years, the ice castles have been displayed for 4 months (from December to March) and in some years, it only lasted a month to 6 weeks.

There are tons of fun things to do in Edmonton winter like chasing northern lights, snowshoeing, skiing, ice castles and other special winter events.
Ice Castles Display: Things to do in Edmonton in winter

Ice castles ticket costs $15-20 CAD and can be purchased online. They also offer pre-sale of tickets at a discount. Tickets are offered from the first week of December onwards. Check their website for more

  • Cost: N/A
  • Dates: Canceled for 2022/3
  • Typical Hours: N/A
  • How to reach there? Car

Read about our Ice Castles Display experience and tips from our visit

22. Ice on Whyte Festivals

Located in the historic Strathcona neighborhood (at Whyte Avenue and Gateway Blvd), Ice on Whyte is an ice carving festival. International artists arrive in Edmonton to carve ice and display them during this festival. This is a must-visit item! 

Ice Carving competitions are held at the same festival every year. It is held on the last weekend of January and the first weekend of February.

The festival boasts a giant ice slide, delicious food & ice sculptures. There is an ice bar located at the event as well. 

23. Edmonton Northern Lights

Edmonton is located in the northern part of Alberta. And sighting the Northern Lights during winter is common. Find a dark scheduled place, away from the hustle-bustle of the city lights to chase the Aurora Borealis.

There are tons of fun things to do in Edmonton winter like chasing northern lights, snowshoeing, skiing, ice castles and other special winter events.
Chasing northern lights: Things to do in Edmonton in winter

From Edmonton, areas like Leduc and Elk Island National Park are very common to see northern lights dazzling the sky. Check out this website or download an Aurora app to maximize the possibility of seeing northern lights. As always dress well for winter.

For stargazers, there are a few options within the city to consider. The Telus World of Science (RASC) and the University of Alberta Observatory are great for stargazing.

The Telus World of Science is operated by the Edmonton Space & Science Foundation and also has many interactive galleries, IMAX theatres, and many other indoor activities.

Just outside the city of Edmonton, is the Elk Island National Park and it is an awesome location for stargazers. The Beaver Hills Dark Preserve is a dedicated 300 km square for maintaining dark skies, away from pollution (read zero pollution) to see stars and galaxies, including the Northern Lights.

  • Cost: Free 
  • Typical Hours: After midnight
  • How to reach there? Car

24. LuminariaSpecial Winter festivities and events

The Devonian Botanic Garden is Canada’s most northerly botanical garden. This garden is set up and maintained by the University of Alberta.

Luminaria Edmonton Winter Activities
Luminaria – Aga Khan Garden Devon

It is located in Parkland County – only 15 minutes from West Edmonton Mall or SW Edmonton (5 km north of Devon on Highway 60). The garden is lit up for its annual Christmas festival called the Luminaria.

Luminaria Edmonton Winter Activities
Luminaria – Japanese Gardens Devon

The gardens turn into a heavenly paradise with all the Christmas decorations. The event kicks off in November and lasts till December. Tickets can be purchased online

In previous years, Luminaria was a 2-day event, but for 2022 there are a lot of new additions to the winter festivities – can’t wait to go back!

  • Cost: $21 CAD
  • Dates: November 23 to December 23, 2022. Closed on December 24 and 25. Opens again from December 26 to 31st 2022.
  • Typical Hours: Between 05:00 to 10:00 pm
  • How to reach there? Car or free shuttle from Devon Shopping Center

25. Winter Festivities at the Fort Edmonton Park

A living history museum, Fort Edmonton Park travels through time and takes you to an old-fashioned Christmas era. Every year, in the week leading to Christmas Eve, the Park organizes special events called the Christmas Reflections.

As part of Christmas Reflections, you can enjoy a horse-drawn wagon ride and some hot chocolate, for $10 CAD at Fort Edmonton Park. It is located at 7000 143 Street, Edmonton. This event is called the Winter Wagon Nights (part of the Christmas Reflections celebration)

Fort Edmonton Park Brunch
Fort Edmonton Park Brunch

You can also enjoy holiday brunch at Fort Edmonton Park at the Christmas Reflections. It is also a great place for your holiday shopping and for enjoying a warm winter bonfire in the evening.

  • Cost: $10- 22 CAD
  • Typical Hours: 06:00 pm – 09:00 pm (wagon rides)
  • How to reach there? Car, Transit Bus, or LRT (South Campus/Fort Edmonton Park stop in LRT, both lines)

26. ICE District Festivities

The ICE District hosts a lot of amazing events all year round. 

This winter head over there for the Snow Way Out event, which is a cool Oilers-themed maze where you can get photos taken and also enjoy a slide

On December 23, 2022, you can also skate with Santa Claus and enjoy live entertainment. Outdoor ice skating is open from mid-December onwards (no skate rentals on-site).

Other Special Edmonton Winter Activities & Events

There are tons of winter festivals in Edmonton to satisfy every traveler.

There are tons of fun things to do in Edmonton winter like chasing northern lights, snowshoeing, skiing, ice castles and other special winter events.
Things to do in Edmonton in winter

27. The Flying Canoe Volant

The Flying Canoe Volant is a cultural event celebrating local history. It is inspired by the legend of the Flying Canoe. The event takes place in Edmonton’s French Quarter and the trails of the Mill Creek Ravine (in the evening). 

Date: January 31 to February 3 2024

28. Santa’s Parade of Lights

Santa’s Parade of Lights is organized every year in mid-November. The parade starts at Jasper Ave and 100 ST (Edmonton City center), to welcome the wonder of winter and the arrival of Santa Claus!

Date: November 25, 2023 (single-day event)

29. CP Holiday Train

The train, which is decorated with Christmas lights, raises money, donations, and awareness for food banks across the country. The Holiday train’s journey starts in November and pulls over in Edmonton in early December.

Music bands that are on the train perform a 30-minute concert, and then there are presentations with local food banks before the train pulls out to its next stop.

Date: Early December – December 8th (Leduc), December 9th (Edmonton)

30. Deep Freeze Byzantine Winter Festival

The Deep Freeze Byzantine Winter Festival is a free 2-day family event uniting Ukrainian, Franco-Albertan, Franco-African, First Nations, Chinese, and Acadian/East cultures.

Dates: This year’s event will take place on January 21 and 22 2023 (2024 TBD)

Edmonton also organizes some very unique and special events, which you should not miss. Keep in mind, they are special events and so tickets sell out very fast. So book ahead of time.

Check out the city of Edmonton website to learn more about events.

Edmonton Winter Attractions and Activities (indoors)

31. Hang out at the Mutthart conservatory 

Wanna visit a botanical garden in the winter? Before you freeze, hahaha this is an indoor botanical garden, and one of my favorite photo spots in Edmonton. 

Inside Muttart Conservatory Edmonton
Inside Muttart Conservatory Edmonton

The Muttart Conservatory has 3 temperature-controlled pyramids and they feature over 700 plant species in the river valley. 

To enter the conservatory there is an entry fee of $12.50 CAD (adult).

32. Catch a show at the Rogers Place Ice district 

Edmonton’s Ice District is a popular hot spot in the city’s downtown area. It is home to Rogers Place, the arena of the Edmonton Oilers (ice hockey team). 

Show at the Rogers Place
Show at the Rogers Place

Rogers Place opens up for both sports and entertainment performances.

And when in town…why not catch a game, concert, or show! You will love the state-of-the-art infrastructure and warm and cozy vibes on a snowy night in Edmonton! 

33. Disney on the Ice (performance)

Disney On The Ice showcases amazing ice skating, stunts, and acrobatics in their show – Find Your Hero. 

There are a lot of cool things, from the underwater scenes of The Little Mermaid to Rapunzel long long hair and Beauty and the Beast – perfect pre-Christmas family outing (before the festive season takes us over). 

Oh…. and the ever popular Anna and Elsa will be there too! 

Dates: November 16 to 19 2023 (AB Flair Airlines Hangar at Edmonton EXPO Centre)

34. Royal Alberta Museum

The Royal Alberta Museum is a natural and human history museum located in downtown Edmonton. It is the largest museum with more than 7,600 square metres of exhibition space in western Canada. 

The renovations to the RAM were recently completed and I was delighted to visit during the opening week.  

You can visit the Royal Alberta Museum to learn about Alberta’s history and culture. They are open Wednesday to Sunday from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm and closed on Monday-Tuesday. 

Entrance tickets are $21 CAD per adult.

35. Whyte Indie Arts Craft Fair 

Visit the Christmas Edition of The Market off Whyte Indie Arts & Craft Fair this year in October!

This event is completely free to attend and show your support to local Alberta artisans, and businesses. Plus you will find tons of festive gift ideas from decor, and pottery, to clothing!

  • Cost: Free
  • Date: October 14, 2023

36. Spend time at the Mall

Do you know that Canada’s largest mall is located in Edmonton? Yes! It is. West Edmonton Mall is a shopper’s paradise with over 800 stores. And Christmas is the best season to visit this retail kingdom.

There are lights, Christmas decorations, and events all across the mall. Good time to also shop till you drop!

Christmas at the Edmonton Mall (2)
Christmas at the Edmonton Mall

And don’t forget to get pictures with Santa!

Local craftsmen and Christmas specialty stores are also set up in the mall for Christmas shopping.

Other malls with Christmas activities include – South Gate Mall, City Centre Mall, Kingsway Mall, and South Common Mall.

Christmas Decorations at South Gate Mall Edmonton
Christmas Decorations at South Gate Mall Edmonton
  • Cost: Free
  • Typical Hours: 09:30 am to 09:00 pm
  • How to reach there? Transit Buses, Car

37. Things to do in Edmonton in winter – adventure lovers

From laser tags, and go-karting, to bowling, there are lots of things to do in Edmonton in winter to get your adrenaline pumping (minus the cold)!

  • REC Room: With 2 locations in Edmonton, the REC Room has all the games to Canadian inspired food to keep you hooked during long winter days
  • DRIVE: Enjoy race karts in the West Edmonton Mall’s DRIVE with a fully themed New York streetscape
  • LaunchPad Trampoline Park: Enjoy indoor games, trampoline, dodge balls to neon lights LaunchPad Trampoline Park is great for a winter day out with friends and family/ 

Best Winter Activities Edmonton by Month

Nov 25, 2023Santa’s Parade
of Lights
Nov 20, 2023Celebration of Lights
Nov 24-Jan 01, 2023Castrol Raceway Lights
NovemberWinter Whyte
Lights Up
Nov 19 – Dec 17, 2023YEG XMAS Market
Dec 1 to Jan 1, 2024Glow Edmonton
DecemberChurchill Sq Christmas Tree
DecemberLights at the Ledge
Dec 1 – Jan 1, 2024Zoominescence
DecemberCP Train Holiday Events
Dec 9 – Jan 1, 2024Candy Cane Lane
Dec – FebStargazing/Snowshoeing
Elk Island NP
Canceled for 2022/3Ice Castles
Jan 24- 29, 2023Ice on Whyte
Jan 21 – 22, 2023Deep Freeze
Jan 31 – Feb 3, 2024Flying Canoe Volant
Feb 9 – 19, 2024SliverSkate Fest
Feb 9 – 19, 2024International Festival of Winter Cinema

Best places to eat in winters in Edmonton

Winters are also a time to eat and stay jolly! When the city of Edmonton is basking in Christmas lights, our dinner plates are also glorified in a variety of cuisines.

You can truly experience international cuisines in Edmonton, but don’t forget the Alberta steak.

There are tons of fun things to do in Edmonton winter like chasing northern lights, snowshoeing, skiing, ice castles and other special winter events.
Enjoy Steak in Edmonton

Few restaurants and dishes to try

Enjoying food in Edmonton doesn’t come with a hefty price tag nor does it involve pre-booking and reserving tables. We have tons of fast-food chains and bars & restaurants where you can enjoy a good steak, drinks, or any ethnic cuisine.

For the holidays, it is a great idea to dine in and play. The Rec Room in South Edmonton Common has dining options, bowling alleys, games and so much more.

You can find activity and dine-in options at various places across the city including the West Edmonton Mall or even in a Cineplex.

There are tons of fun things to do in Edmonton winter like chasing northern lights, snowshoeing, skiing, ice castles and other special winter events.
The Rec Room – South Edmonton Common

But you know, winter comes just once. So grab some hot chocolate or peppermint latte and hit the outdoors. It is truly heavenly and you must enjoy Edmonton winter this way!

Hot beverage options include Credo, Good Earth Café, Remedy Café, Nook Café, or our very own Tim Hortons and Starbucks!

Best Hotels in Edmonton for a Staycation

For some, winter is also the best time to hibernate. And why not if it is cozy, warm, and luxurious? Edmonton city has some of the finest hotels to take away the winter blues. Choose a weekend staycation or a home away from home.

Here are our top 5 picks

  1. Fairmont MacDonald HotelFairy tale castle staycation
    • Located in the downtown area, overlooking the river valley, with amazing views all around
    • Perfect for a luxurious or romantic staycation
    • Great location to experience winter activities in Edmonton city
    • Book your stay here
  2. Fantasy Land HotelTakes to a different world
    • Located in the West Edmonton Mall, perfect place & reason to stay indoors
    • You can shop, dine, skate, take kids to the Galaxy land and relax at a spa here
    • Fantasy Land hotel rooms are unique. The rooms are designed to take you to a different “fantasy world”. You can choose a waterfall themed Polynesian room with a Jacuzzi or a luxurious Roman king staycation.
    • Book your stay here
  1. Union Bank InnComfort and classy
    • This stylish and classy boutique hotel is located in Downtown Edmonton
    • The hotel is housed in an old bank and is conveniently located with great access to Edmonton city must-see highlights
    • The hotel comes with evening wine and cheese 
    • Book your stay here
  2. Metterra on WhyteSleek and cool
    • Located in the historic Old Strathcona
    • Quick access to Downtown and the University of Alberta
    • Rooms come with fireplaces, whirlpool tubs & private patios
    • Book your stay here
  3. Hyatt Place Edmonton WestGreat place, great price
    • Located close to West Edmonton Mall, this a great hotel with all the amenities
    • You have access to a pool, and hot tub and the hotel provides you with free breakfast and parking
    • Rooms come with fireplaces, whirlpool tubs & private patios
    • Book your stay here

Search for more Edmonton Hotels and book here

Travel Tips for Edmonton Alberta Canada

Edmonton winter is nothing to be afraid of, but it is always better to be prepared. Here are some helpful tips for your visit to Edmonton Alberta.

Luminaria UofA
Winter Edmonton guide: Luminaria UofA

Weather and Temperature in Edmonton in winters

From October onwards, you can definitely feel the winter set in. Temperatures on some days will drop to a low of 0 degrees Celsius (32 F). You will still see fall colors this month.

From November onwards, we are in winter officially. Our first snowfall of the year happens in early November and most Christmas related activities start around this time as well.

Temperature-wise, we experience a high of 1 degree Celsius and a low of – 8 degrees Celsius (33.8 to 16.6 F). Due to the wind chill, feels like the temperature is even lower (probably around -15 degrees Celsius or so)

In December, when all of the Christmas events and winter festivals are on, the temperature drops to -7 degrees Celsius (19.4 F) and the lowest of -16 degrees Celsius (3.2 F).

In January and February, we are still enjoying winters and temperatures are at a high of -3 to a lowest of -16 degrees Celsius (26.6 to 3.2 F).

Listen to local news for any weather advisory. 

There are tons of fun things to do in Edmonton winter like chasing northern lights, snowshoeing, skiing, ice castles and other special winter events.
Edmonton Travel Tips

Best way to explore Edmonton in Winter

During winters the best way to explore the city is by car. Car rental options are available at the airport and throughout the city.

Roads could be icy when the first snowfall occurs or if temperatures are slightly warmer. So use caution when you drive and ensure winter tires are on.

Some of the winter events in Downtown Edmonton or municipal parks can be accessed by public buses (Edmonton Transit services) or LRT (Light Rail Transit). Please check the schedule and routes for buses here.

One way train or bus ride is $3.50 CAD per adult rider (in cash. With the rider card it is $2.75 CAD). Exact change is required, or you can buy a ticket at the LRT station or a pack of 10 tickets can be purchased at most gas stations and convenience stores.

Edmonton has local taxi services – Yellow Cabs, and Co-Op Taxi. Uber services are available as well.

Candy Cane Lane Merry Christmas from Edmonton, Canada

What to Pack for Edmonton Winter

Edmonton is definitely cold during winters. The wind chill in the air also makes it harder for some people to enjoy the winters here. But it is due to the cold, we also have snow all around and experience a white Christmas in most years.

So definitely pack warm clothes. Here is a handy list –

  • Winter Jacket – Warm winter jacket, wind, waterproof with a hood if possible. The one with fleece lining is great. Filled with goose down to keep you warm.
  • Thermals – It is beneficial to carry a pair of top and bottom thermals to wear underneath the jacket to keep you warm
  • Scarf – Very handy, especially with the wind chill
  • Gloves – Mandatory item
  • Beanie or warm hat
  • Warm Socks or long johns
  • Winter Boots – Lined with fleece, sturdy bottom.
  • Read: What to wear in Canadian Winters

Additional Reading – Travel Alberta Resources 

If you are visiting Edmonton or Alberta in general, you will find these posts very helpful

Hope you enjoyed our list of fun things to do in Edmonton in the winter season. Share your favorite activity below! 

Pin: Winter Activities Edmonton: Fun Things to do in Edmonton in Winter

Pin for things to do in Edmonton winters
Edmonton in winter guide

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