City of Edmonton, situated in the province of Alberta in Canada is a treat for winter-loving travelers. From brightly lit lanes and gardens to shopping arenas, to Ice Castles ~ this capital city has it all.
Reason # 1 Winter Gardens – Luminaria
The Devonian Botanic Garden is Canada’s most northerly botanical garden. It was set up by the University of Alberta. Located in Parkland County – only 15 minutes from West Edmonton Mall or SW Edmonton (5 km north of Devon on Highway 60), the garden lits up for its annual Christmas festival called the Luminaria.
Recent Luminaria festival was held from December 02 to December 04 2016. Tickets can be purchased online.
Cost: 10-15 CAD
Reason # 2 Candy Cane Lane
Started over 40 years ago by a small group of residents in Crestwood Community in Edmonton, the Candy Cane lane has grown in size.Candy Cane Lane is located at 148 Street between 100 Avenue to 92 Avenue.The residents here display the impressive lights and sounds during the December month in the spirit of Christmas fun.
Cost: Free (donation accepted for local Food Bank)
Reason # 3 Legislature Building
Edmonton is the capital city of Alberta. The 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. Location is 10800 97 Ave NW, Edmonton, AB T5K 2B6
Reason # 4 Ice Castles
Ice Castles ~ are created and set up for display at the William Hawrelak Park (9330 Groat Road, Edmonton, AB T6G 2A8). This year, the event started on 30 December 2016 and is open until March 15 2017 (depends on winter conditions)
Its a fun way to enjoy the winter and ring in the New Year! Read more about the event here
Cost: 10-15 CAD
Reason # 5 WEM
West Edmonton Mall is a shopper’s paradise. And Christmas is the best season to visit this retail kingdom. There are lights, Christmas decorations, events all across the mall. Good time to also shop till you drop! WEM is located at 8882 170 St NW, Edmonton, AB T5T 4J2
Dont forget to get pictures with Santa!
Reason # 6 Ice on Whyte Festival
Located on Gateway Boulevard Tommy Bank Way, Ice on Whyte is a ice craving festival. International artists arrive in Edmonton to carve ice and display them during this festival. This is a must visit item! This year’s event is on January 26th-29th and February 2nd-5th 2017.
Ice Craving competitions are held at the same festival every year. The festival boosts of a giant ice slide, delicious food & ice sculptures!
Cost: $5-7 CAD
Reason #7 Winter Sports
Edmonton is a great host for winter sports and activities.There are 3 ski resorts within the city’s limits (Rabbit Hill Resort, Edmonton Ski Club and Snow Valley Ski Club).
Edmonton’s River valley turns into a ski and snow boarding paradise every winter. Adventurers come in to enjoy a fun morning with kicksledding and tobogganing down the snow slopes!
Winter sports festival like the Silver Skate festival (same location as Ice Castles) welcomes over 106,000+ attendees. This year the event is hosted from February 10th – 20th, 2017. Silver Skate Festival is rooted in Dutch winter traditions and the festival combines sport (especially skating), arts and culture, and recreation.
Reason# 8 Fort Edmonton Park
A living history museum, Fort Edmonton Park travels through time and takes you to an old-fashioned Christmas era. Experience Christmas of a special kind at the Christmas Reflections, Fort Edmonton Park. Located on 7000 143 Street, Edmonton, AB T6H 4P3
This event was hosted from December 16 – 23 in 2016
Cost: 15- 22 CAD
Reason#9 Winter Festivals & Events
There are tons of winter festivals in Edmonton to satisfy every traveler.
Santa’s Parade of Lights, November 19 2016 – Santa’s Parade of Lights starts in Jasper Ave and 100 ST, to welcome the wonder of winter and the arrival of Santa Claus!
- 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 (8th December 2016). Bands that are on the train will perform a 30-minute concert, and then there are presentations with local food banks before the train pulls out to its next stop.
- Deep Freeze Byzantine Winter Festival, January 14-15th 2017 – The Deep Freeze Byzantine Winter Festival is a free family event uniting Ukrainian, Franco-Albertan, Franco-African, First Nations, Chinese and Acadian/East cultures.
Reason 10# Churchill Square
Churchill Square is a safe, friendly, vibrant space located in the heart of Downtown Edmonton. Every year in November the Churchill Square is lit to welcome the Christmas spirit. This year, the lights were lit on November 12 2016.
There are live performances in the square and the event kicks off with the lighting of the 72 foot Christmas tree adorned with 14-thousand LED lights! Imagine the lit-up sky with cascading snowfalls, sparkles and stars. The Light Up was followed by a spectacular fireworks show that illuminated the Downtown sky!
On New Year’s eve, you can enjoy a gorgeous firework display over-top the Churchill Square with the stunning City Hall as a backdrop.