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Edmonton in the winter? Yikes.
But, just hear us out! We know that Alberta can become akin to a frozen tundra from practically the end of October until the middle of April, but that doesn’t mean it's not worth a visit.
Whether you're headed there to visit family over the holidays, on business or simply looking to shake things up for a weekend, don’t write off a visit to Alberta’s capital city.
Instead, get some use out of that winter coat you spent a small fortune on. And, with the Edmonton International Airport only a short one hour and 20 minute flight away, getting there is a piece of cake. Plus, service is provided non-stop by Air Canada, Flair Airlines and WestJet with an average of nine daily flights!
Bundle up folks because here is a list of exciting activities to make the most of your visit to Edmonton, Alberta!
Get active outdoors
Just because it’s winter doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy the outdoors! There are still ways to get active in the snow in Edmonton.
For those of you who are all about adventuring, River Valley Adventure Co. has you covered. The excursion company has tons of guided and self-guided tours along with some pretty cool methods of transportation for you to take.
From snowshoes and mountain bikes to winter-ready segways, you can spend a portion of the afternoon exploring the city’s serene parks and trails to get you away from all the hustle and bustle.
Go for a skate
There is nothing like a good ol’ fashioned ice skate on a sunny winter day to get you stoked for the season. Luckily for you, the big city houses eight adorable and picturesque outdoor skating rinks to enjoy a movie-montage-worthy afternoon or evening with your pals.
The Victoria Park Oval and IceWay offers up a great spot for seasoned skaters and those who are just learning. The coolest part? At night the track is flooded with rainbow lights, providing groovy retro vibes in abundance.
Take in the seasonal sights
Below freezing temperatures aren’t all bad — without them, Edmonton would not be able to host their most popular winter attraction, the iconic Ice Castles.
During the day families can take in the wonder by crawling through the carved tunnels, slipping down the slides and even meeting the beautiful Ice Princesses.
After dark is arguably the best time to pay the regal ice fortress a visit. Under the stars you can wander through the colourfully illuminated sculptures while snapping photos of the breathtaking views and awe-inspiring fireworks
Enjoy a festival
If you can, plan your visit to the winter city between January 24 and February 3 in order to soak in yet another impressive ice themed spectacle. The Ice on Whyte Festival boasts unworldly amounts of chilly fun.
Located on Whyte Avenue throughout the Old Strathcona boardwalk, the festival houses miraculous ice sculptures carved by artists from around the world, live music, delicious eats and shopping.
And, for those of you who have always wanted to try your hand at a different artistic medium, there is even ice carving lessons to join in on!
Catch an NHL game or concert
One of Edmonton’s biggest prides has to be their beloved Oilers!
Regardless if the Oilers are your team of choice or not, you can’t deny that spending a night at the new Rogers Place watching Canada’s game would be a blast.
As a major Canadian city, Edmonton always gets the best shows. Massive acts like Drake, Fleetwood Mac and Jack White have all graced the Rogers Place stage.
Visit West Edmonton Mall
Hailed as the largest shopping mall in North America, West Edmonton Mall is a magical place.
You may want to consider bringing two suitcases if you plan on making a pitstop here. Bursting with more than 800 stores filling different themed wings and alleyways of the mall, you can bet you’ll find exactly what you’re looking for and more. And, with the holidays fast approaching, it’s a great opportunity to get your Christmas shopping done (and save on taxes… wink, wink).
If shopping isn’t your thing, don’t worry, WEM has plenty of other activities to get excited about. A visit to the World Waterpark will make you feel as though you’ve been transported to a tropical paradise. Whether you feel like wading in the wave pool or tackling one of the 14 waterslides, this family-friendly oasis is a great way to beat the winter blues.
If you want to keep riding your adrenaline rush, after you’ve dried off, take the short walk over to GalaxyLand. The space-themed amusement park boasts everything from classic carnival rides, to arcade games along with thrilling roller coasters.
Feeling extra brave? Strap in the Space Shot and be rocketed up 120 feet in the air at a speed of 55 km an hour before plummeting back down.
At Edmonton International Airport, you have more reasons to visit than just a flight with Destination EIA. Shop, stay and play to your heart's content. With Costco Wholesale and 100 brands at Premium Outlet Collection EIA, you’ll have an abundance of choices on what to buy - also, save on the provincial tax in Alberta!
If you’re not a shopper, you can visit Castrol Raceway with the Magic of Lights display or try some moonshine at Red Cup Distillery. Coming in April 2019, visit Century Mile Racetrack and Casino to pick your favourite pony or golf at RedTail Landing Golf Club. With the Renaissance Edmonton Airport Hotel, you can plan an extra day right at the airport.
Now that you know of all the enticing activities that await you in Edmonton, what are you waiting for? Book your flight to Edmonton International Airport and make the most of your winter.
You may not be able to check all of these activities off your list in one go, but you can take advantage of the excellent air service to come again as a destination or connection to over 50 non-stop destinations from Edmonton.
Plus, thanks to EIA rewards, if you’re from the Kelowna area, you can enjoy complimentary access to the Plaza Premium Lounge, savings in the terminal and be entered to win flights! And it's free to join! Click here to join.
Edmonton International Airport, is a great destination and connection hub with non-stop flights to over 50 major cities in Canada, the U.S. and internationally. With incredible service and amenities including amazing dining, shopping (including Costco Wholesale and 100 stores at the Premium Outlet Collection EIA) and even a horse racetrack and casino (opening April 2019), as well as an excellent, complimentary rewards program, EIA is a top choice for travellers.
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