Alberta isn't exactly known for its warm winters, but it sure is known for its beauty once the snow falls. It may be chilly, but embracing it is in our blood. There is an endless list of super fun winter activities in Alberta, and we think you should do them all this year. If you're new to the province, consider this list your right of passage to-do list. If you're a long-time local, prepare for some serious winter nostalgia. Here are 9 things to do this season that just scream "Albertan winter."
While it may be hard to believe that we were so brave and shockingly resilient as children on those sketchy tobogganing hills, it's time to give the winter pastime another go. You may have spent your younger years building snow jumps or seeing just how much speed you could get down the tobogganing hill. Still, there is actually a possibility of having a slightly less chaotic experience. Find a suitable sledding hill near you and bring your friends or family along for an afternoon of fun in the snow.
We know how to do winter right. Whether you're making the journey to Banff Upper Hot Springs or visiting a local hot tub or heated pool, there's nothing better than sitting in a warm body of water while your eyelashes collect frost. A dip in a hot spring in the dead of winter is exactly what the doctor ordered.
Nothing welcomes the holidays quite like a sleigh ride. There are tons of opportunities for holiday sleigh rides around the province. We're blessed with a pretty significant horse population here in Alberta, and some of our believed ranch owners have decided to dive into the spirit of winter in a big way. Get a blanket, a warm beverage, and a hot date for a magical sleigh ride this winter.
Similarly, you might as well get towed by a team of energetic pups while you're in the business of speeding along snowy trails. A dog sledding tour is like nothing else; everyone needs to experience it at least once. Whether you get cozy in the sled or hop on the back to try your hand at mushing, it's something you won't soon forget.
Fat Biking or Winter Hiking
There's nothing more Albertan than doing a sport or activity that most folks would deem "a summer activity." If you haven't tried fat biking or winter hiking, this is your year! We need that fresh air and sunshine. Who cares if the temperatures are below freezing?
Alberta is home to some incredible ice fishing! While it may not be an every-weekend occurrence for many of us, it's certainly worth trying. If "try new things" is going to be one of your resolutions, maybe a freezing fishing day is just the thing.
"Wild skating" is what we call ice skating on one of our beautiful, natural lakes. It's the perfect way to immerse yourself in nature while gliding across sparkling, frozen waters. Bonus points if you kick off a game of shinny.
Skiing or Snowboarding
Whether going for a downhill ski at a resort, a backcountry adventure, or a nordic extravaganza, skiing or snowboarding is on the winter to-do list. Who knows, you might find a new passion! If not, you'll absolutely have a fun day.
Holiday Light Tour
Albertans love to hop in the car on especially cold evenings to tour the neighbourhood's best holiday light displays. This one does not require physical activity or exposure to the cold. We'd call that a win, win!
Britanny Burr is a freelance writer and a contributor to Great West Media. This story was written for the 2022/23 Cool Winter Guide advertising feature. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of the editorial staff.