So, you’ve moved to Edmonton – welcome! Edmonton is a city with four seasons, and right now we are in the middle of the coldest and darkest one – winter. If you’ve come from a warmer climate, maybe you’re thinking that it’s too cold to do anything outdoors! Even Canadians enjoy staying warm indoors or in front of a fire with some tea or hot chocolate. But winter also allows for many fun activities that can’t be done in other seasons. Here is a list of some things you can try doing this winter:
(1) Ice skating
Have you been to a hockey game? Or perhaps watched the Winter Olympics? Then you might already be familiar with skating! Skates are basically shoes with metal blades attached to the bottoms so you can move over smooth ice surfaces. Edmonton has a number of public outdoor skating rinks where you can practice your skating skills, including at City Hall and at the Alberta Legislature, as well as at a number of parks and community leagues around the city.
Skiing is so popular that people come from all over the world to ski in the Canadian Rockies. Skis are long, narrow, solid strips made of various materials that attach to the bottoms of your feet and allow you to glide smoothly along snow. There are two main types of skiing: downhill (literally, down hills or mountains) and cross-country (usually across flat or rolling terrain). Both can be done in Edmonton! There are several ski hills around the city, including Snow Valley, Edmonton Ski Club, and Sunridge Ski Area. There are also many parks and golf courses in and around Edmonton where you can practice cross-country skiing.
(3) Sledding (tobogganing)
This is one of the most fun and inexpensive winter activities. All you need is a sled and a hill and you’re good to go! Sledding is more enjoyable with a larger group of people, so make sure you invite your family and friends. Edmonton is a great place for sledding because there are so many hills everywhere, especially along the River Valley.
(4) Enjoy the outdoors!
Winter brings with it many unique outdoor possibilities. When it gets warmer and the snow is not so dry, you can make a snowman (or an army of snowmen!). If you have a lot of energy, you can build a snow fort and have a snowball fight with your friends. You can go birdwatching and even feed some wild birds (make sure you bring some seeds and nuts!). And at night, when the skies are clear, you can go stargazing and, if you’re lucky, observe the Northern Lights.
At its best, winter can be fun, beautiful, and the perfect backdrop for many warm memories.