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Yep, It's Time To Plan Your Winter Getaway. This Year, Try Canada

By Sponsor in Arts & Entertainment on Sep 19, 2017 5:00AM

Photo by Travel Alberta

With the city’s commitment to spreading the love, fun, and the spirit of the winter season through nature, arts and culture, festivals, and other cool activities, Alberta’s capital city of Edmonton is the ultimate winter playground.

Rather than hunker down for the winter and binge every show they can find on Netflix, Edmontonians fill the city’s streets and wild spaces, beckoning fellow adventure seekers to go play outside.

Ready to experience the True North strong and free? Start planning your Canadian adventure and see what winter truly has to offer.

Explore the Activities at the Silver Skate Festival

Photo by IQRemix via Flickr

The ideal time to visit is during the city’s longest running winter festival, the Silver Skate Festival, which runs every February at Hawrelak Park in Edmonton’s scenic river valley. Watch ice skaters dash past one another as they race across the lake, catch a live performance by local folk groups, and delight in the epic fire structures that light up the venue at night. Hot tip: hop on a horse drawn carriage for a perfect tour of this winter wonderland extravaganza.

See Ice Carvings at Ice on Whyte

In January and February, guests can enjoy magical works of art in a winter dream at the Ice on Whyte festival at End of Steel Park in Old Strathcona, an arts and entertainment district home to shopping, dining, and live shows. The festival hosts the annual International Ice Carving Competition, where professional artists from around the world compete. Ice on Whyte attendees can also get in on the outdoor winter fun through the festival’s giant ice slide and sleigh rides.

Savor Delicious Winter Dishes

Uccellino_RandeeLee Armstrong.jpg
Photo by Randee Lee Armstrong / Uccellino

Edmonton provides a wide variety of unique dining and drinking options in the city’s finest restaurants. CafĂ© Linnea serves up local, seasonal dishes inspired by traditional Scandinavian and French cuisine. The chic, minimalist space itself is worth the trip to this culinary hot spot. For a refreshing sip after a day of adventure, order a cocktail at Bar Clementine, a trendy spot with a food and drink menu that changes with the seasons. If you want to truly do as the locals do, pop into the Italian trattoria, Uccellino, and treat yourself to a glass of red or white.

Skate the IceWay Skating Trail

Enjoy outdoor skating at IceWay, the three-loop skating trail that weaves through the forests of Victoria Park in downtown Edmonton. The free trail offers visitors a scenic and special winter experience, and during the holiday season, the freezeway trail is illuminated with a kaleidoscope of colored lights. The IceWay is directly connected to the Victoria Park Oval, a large outdoor ice surface also open to the public.

Visit the Art Gallery of Alberta

Photo by Edmonton Tourism

Established in 1924, the Art Gallery of Alberta is Edmonton’s oldest cultural institution. The space maintains a permanent collection of visual arts with a focus on work by Western Canadian artists from the late 1800s to the present. This winter, the gallery welcomes a new exhibition entitled Turbulent Landings, which features a diverse spectrum of works including paintings, sketches, sculptures, photography, video and mixed-media installations.

Snowshoe in the Edmonton River Valley

Embark on a thrilling day trip snowshoeing through Edmonton’s River Valley. With 90 miles of interconnected trails across 7,400 hectares of land, you can discover the largest expanse of urban parkland in North America. Snowshoeing offers a unique opportunity to marvel over the glistening white terrain and view the Canadian wilderness in all of its stark beauty. Hawrelak Park, Fort Edmonton Park, and the John Janzen Nature Centre are some of the many spots open for exploration.

Attend an Oilers Game at Rogers Place

Photo by Edmonton Tourism

As Canada’s favorite national pastime, hockey is serious business for Canadians. Roger's Place, the home of the Edmonton Oilers, is located in the Ice District in the heart of downtown. Whether you’re an avid hockey follower or not, watching a game during NHL season with thousands of passionate fans is an experience not to be missed. Alberta’s newest amazing stadium also hosts concerts and events, and was nominated for the 2016 Best New Major Concert Venue award by Pollstar.

The abundance of recreational highlights makes Alberta’s capital the ultimate destination for winter fun. It’s one of the things they do best, so this season, trust the experts.

This post is a sponsored collaboration between Destination Canada and Gothamist staff.