Living in a northern climate where the winters are long and cold, it’s best to learn to celebrate the season.  The City of Edmonton is much farther north than Montreal, but certainly does not take second place to any city when it comes to winter festivals. If you think there isn’t anything fun to do in Edmonton in the winter, you’re in for a huge surprise. All that’s required is that you have the willingness to pull on some warm clothing and head outdoors. The weather is not dreadful; it’s delightful once you get out with your family and friends to enjoy the festivities.

  1. The Vikings are back! Deep Freeze, The Byzantine Winter Festival festival takes place in early January, traditionally the coldest part of winter. There is so much to see and do at this festival it’s hard to know where to start. First there’s the Art Gallery Show and Sale of local artisans who work in various mediums. You might even find a piece you can’t leave behind. The Deep Freeze Race is one of the fun activities the whole family can enjoy. It doesn't have to be a real deepfreeze. Find a large cardboard box, paint it white and there you have it...a deep freeze!

  2. Whyte Avenue is a favorite spot in Edmonton. It has become the “arts” centre of the city and has maintained that position for many years. The Ice on Whyte Festival brings the artisans that work in ice, musicians and street performers out into the cold for a week of celebrations. A great place to spend a day with family and friends perusing the many displays.

  3. Who says you can’t canoe in winter? The Flying Canoe at Mill Creek Ravine puts on a spectacular and unique performance of the legendary Flying Canoe.  There’s live music, plenty of hot chocolate, snow slides and a ton of children’s activities. Bundle up the kids and head out for this fun event. More education of some of the myths and legends of our fair city.

  4. Whether you’re of Norwegian descent or not, you’ll find the Ski the Canadian Birkebeiner a fun event to attend, or even compete in. This is a premier classic ski festival in Canada that honors the spirit of the Norwegian Birkebeiner legend and it’s held right here in our own city.

  5. Since you’ve been taking time to sharpen your skating skills for free at your local community outdoor or indoor rink, you’ll be more than ready to attend The Silver Skate Festival. From the Fire Sculpture Installation to the Olympic level competitions and folk trails…there’s plenty to see and do for the whole family at this event.

Winter in Edmonton is anything but dull, cold and drab. The city is alive with colorful lights and decorations through the Christmas season with festivals, free events, free venues and plenty of outdoor fun taking place through the entire season.  Join the hardies of Canadians, become truly Canadian this winter and take part in some or all of these wonderful winter wonderland events. You’ll find winter as enjoyable as summer once you get out and join the fun.

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