Winter has officially arrived in Edmonton – and, this is no time to hibernate! Not with an iceberg of fun events and activities taking place in every corner of our city.
Edmonton’s Downtown has come alive with bright lights, art installations and great music as part of the Holiday Light Up, where Edmontonians can grab a cup of coffee or hot chocolate while strolling the streets along Rice Howard Way and take in the festive spirit of the season.
On Saturday, December 10, don’t miss out on The Style Experience. SHREDmonton is set to host Canada’s first and largest stadium FIS Big Air World Cup. The event will feature the best snowboarders from across the globe, launching massive tricks from the very top of Commonwealth Stadium. Big stadium, big air, big vibes!
On Friday, December 16, bundle up and head to Sir Winston Churchill Square and the City Hall Plaza from 6 to 9 p.m. for Bright Light Skate Night. This free family-friendly event features skating, a DJ, free hot chocolate, a fire pit and roving performers. Be among the first to see the new temporary art installations come alive, as the works of Canadian artist Ken Hacke and Edmonton lantern creator Dylan Toymaker fill the Square with the warm glow of the holiday season.
Also making a return appearance in Churchill Square on December 16 is the popular Happy Wall installation. Created by Copenhagen artist Thomas Dambo, Happy Wall first made its home in the Square from 2018 to 2019. The interactive public art installation is 17 metres long and covered with 1,040 coloured panels of reclaimed wood that can be flipped to create images or phrases.
Exciting things are also coming to the ICE District this winter! The new Fan Park will be a multi-use space to host year-round events and programming in the Downtown core. Construction is currently underway with plans to host the first event in the new Fan Park this December.
Brush up on your skating skills and check out Downtown’s newest skating rink at the ICE District plaza from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily. Starting on Friday, December 9, the City Hall ice skating rink will be open (weather and ice conditions permitting). Free skate rentals will be available each Friday from 4 to 9 p.m., and on Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m.
And while Downtown, the new Downtown Gift Card is a great way to shop local this holiday season and support over 40 participating businesses. You can also shop local at the Downtown Farmers Market’s Christmas Market every weekend until December 23. Find the perfect gift with over 20 additional vendors.
#YegWinterPatios are also back! Celebrate the beginning of the winter patio season and support local by checking out participating patios at local restaurants, cafes and bars across the city.
Enjoy the sights and sounds of YEG Candy Cane Lane, a celebration of holiday lights along 148 Street from 92 to 100 Avenue. YEG Candy Cane Lane starts on December 9 and runs 5 p.m. to 11 p.m. nightly until January 2. During Open Streets Nights on December 10, 17, and 23 from 5 p.m. to 11 p.m., YEG Candy Cane Lane will be closed to traffic and only accessible by foot. If you can’t walk the whole length of Candy Cane Lane, you can book a ticket on Dedicated Accessible Transit Service’s (DATS) ElfMobile to ride along with the sleigh convoy! Tickets prices are the same as for the sleighs, and seats will be available on a first-come first-served basis. See the YEG Candy Cane Lane ticketing details on their website.
Residents can also lace up their skates and experience Edmonton’s river valley ice rinks now that Victoria Oval and IceWay, Hawrelak Park shelter 2 ice, and the Rundle Park IceWay have officially opened for the season. For more information about the City’s outdoor skating surfaces, pavilion hours and ice conditions, visit edmonton.ca/skating.
If tobogganing is more your style, there are a number of City-managed toboggan hills in the River Valley. To find the hill closest to you, and for current hill conditions and safety tips, visit edmonton.ca/tobogganing.
Edmonton’s river valley is also home to a large number of cross-country ski trails that are open to everyone, regularly groomed and varied to accommodate all different levels of skiers. The ski trails in Gold Bar, Goldstick and Capilano Parks are ready for you to enjoy! City crews are out in force, packing and grooming trails, so residents are encouraged to check trail options and conditions at edmonton.ca/skitrails.
Play Rangers and Outdoor Adventure Programs offer fun in the snow for all ages! Join free weekly outdoor recreational activities with Play Rangers that focus on children and family participation. Outdoor Adventure Programs provides outdoor programs to community groups, Edmonton and area schools, corporations and the general public. Spend some quality time learning a new skill that will stay with you for the rest of your life.
The City of Edmonton is proud to be a WinterCity, and we encourage Edmontonians to get out in the cold and snow and celebrate our winter identity through the arts, recreation, events, storytelling and inspired design. It’s time to embrace the “brrrr” and enjoy everything Edmonton’s winter season has to offer.
For more information: