Edmonton’s winter is cold and snowy, which means there are loads of fun activities that you can enjoy! With ice comes sliding, with snow comes sculpting, and with our long nights comes lots of opportunities to take in the lights, both natural and artificial.
Edmonton & Area Events
Elk Island National Park
This preserved piece of pristine nature is just 35 minutes east of Edmonton and is accessible all winter long. Find and follow some bison footprints in the fresh snow and learn how these incredible animals came back from near extinction. This is the perfect place for a day trip to try out a picnic in the snow.
Glow 2020 has over 90,000 SF of space for you and the family to marvel at the millions of twinkling lights in their carefully curated light gardens. With food, festive drinks, and entertainment all available at the venue, this is a great activity for families, couples, or anyone with a love of light.
Santa also needs visitors help finding all of his lost reindeer after a failed flight flung his friends to the far corners of the venue! Find them all and then cap of the night with a visit to Santa himself!
November 28, 2020 – January 3, 2021
Edmonton EXPO Centre – 7515 118 Ave, Edmonton, Alberta
Festival of Trees
The annual fundraising festival put on by the University Hospital Foundation is returning this year with a virtual event. This is a great way to continue to support an important cause during what is shaping up to be a unique holiday season.
There will be activities for all ages, including one-on-one or group video visits with Santa Clause, story time with Mrs. Clause, an online auction with more than 150 items, and Festival in a Box where you can have the spirit of the festival delivered right to your home!
November 20 – December 20, 2020 (Virtual Event)
Canadian Tire Magic of Lights
This is the perfect physically distanced holiday activity! A two and a half kilometer drive filled with thousands of sparkling LED lights. You and your crew can stay in your vehicle the entire time staying comfortable and safely separated for the entire experience. The drive includes “12 Days of Christmas,” “Winter Wonderland” and “The Night Before Christmas,” plus the new “Ornament Alley.” There’s even a 200’ tunnel of light!
November 20, 2020 – January 2, 2021
Castrol Raceway – AB-19, Leduc County, Alberta
Winter Wonder Forest
Another 100% contact free event is the Winter Wonder Forest, held at the Rainbow Valley Campground right next to the Snow Valley ski hill. For 38 days they’re transforming 115,000 SF of campground into a stunning light display with ice sculptures, wood carvings, and live music. The entire event can be enjoyed comfortably from inside your vehicle, and will offer a slightly different experience every single day.
November 27, 2020 – January 3, 2021
Rainbow Valley Campground – 13204 Rainbow Valley Road, Edmonton, Alberta
Edmonton Christmas Market
The Edmonton Christmas Market is back for another year. This time it’s been reimagined to provide a safe environment that will allow shoppers to support local businesses and artisans amid the COVID pandemic. They will be running and in-person market from Friday-Sunday starting November 27 at the old Army + Navy building on Whyte Ave. There will be online programming with free content and paid workshops and tastings.
November 27 – December 20, 2020
Online and at The Army & Navy Department Store – 10411 82 Avenue, Edmonton, Alberta
Every December the University of Alberta Botanical Gardens are transformed into a snowscape of candlelight, starlight, peace, and tranquility. Meander through the candlelit pathways of the Kurimoto Japanese Garden and enjoy the warmth of bonfires, the songs of a capella singers, and the magic of ice sculptures. COVID safety measures are being put into place to ensure groups stay physically distanced while they enjoy the magic of our winter nights. Tickets to this event consistently sell out, so grab yours today if you want to take part!
December 1 – December 31, 2020 (except December 25), from 5 to 10 pm.
University of Alberta Botanic Gardens – 51227 Hwy 60, Parkland County AB, Alberta
Zoominescence: A festival of Light
Every year the Edmonton Valley Zoo hosts its own incredible light show. The event is a celebration of light, artistry, imagination, and community. Stroll among the lights and the animals where you’ll have opportunities to enjoy hot chocolate, skate under the stars, and make some crafts with your family.
Thursday-Sunday | 3:30 PM to 9:30 PM
November 26, 2020 – January 3, 2021
Merry & Bright 2020 Light Parade
The town of Devon is taking Christmas in the Park to the streets with the Merry & Bright 2020 Light Parade. Bundle up and grab a spot along the parade route to enjoy the festive feeling of Christmas. Parade line-up includes Santa Claus, the Grinch, Transflowmation Glow Dancers, Ice Sculpture Float, and more!
Saturday, November 29, 2020 | 4:30 PM – 7:30 PM, Devon
Other Outdoor Activities
On top of the wonderful winter events put on throughout the Edmonton region, there are also lots of great outdoor activities that you can enjoy without paying an entry fee.
This year, why not bundle up with your loved ones and enjoy some time outdoors doing one of the following fun winter activities! We promise, you won’t regret it!
- Cross Country Skiing
- Ice Skating
- Snow shoeing
- Downhill skiing
- River Valley Trail Walks