In the winter, Canada is truly a winter wonderland. It’s the epitome of what we all imagine a white Christmas to be. Most landscapes are covered in soft white snow while sparkling snowflakes fall from the sky to create a magical atmosphere that many only see in the movies. Sure, the summers are beautiful and warm, but the winters are truly unique and special.
Growing up in Fort.McMurray, Alberta, a small Northern Alberta town, we had long cold winters that felt like forever at times. However, we also had some of the best Northern Lights displays in the world, and walking home underneath the Aurora made the long winters worth it. Even when it was -40 Celcius and truly too cold for comfort, I enjoyed seeing the air sparkle.
In contrast, my family-in-law is from Mexico City. They aren’t from the coast but still, they only get the dry season and the rainy season. It never snows. When they visited us during the Christmas holidays, however, they loved it. It was so different for them. One day, it began to snow and my mother-in-law caught a snowflake in her hand. She almost cried. She didn’t know that snowflakes actually do have the shape that we see in movies and TV commercials. Each snowflake really is unique.
Table of Contents
- Where to Spend Christmas in Canada
- Christmas in Banff, Alberta
- Christmas in Canmore, Alberta
- Christmas in Jasper, Alberta
- Christmas in Lake Louise, Alberta
- Abraham Lake, Alberta
- Christmas in Calgary, Alberta
- Christmas in Edmonton, Alberta
- Christmas in Whistler, BC
- Christmas in Kelowna, BC
- Christmas in Grouse Mountain, BC
- Christmas in Golden, BC
- Christmas in Revelstoke, BC
- Christmas in Fernie, BC
- Christmas in Panorama, BC
- Christmas in Whitehorse, Yukon
- Christmas in Ottawa, Ontario
- Christmas in Uxbridge, Ontario
- Christmas in Blue Mountain, Ontario
- Christmas in Kingston, Ontario
- Christmas in Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario
- Christmas in Yellowknife, NWT
- Christmas in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan
- Christmas in Quebec City, Quebec
- Rocky Mountain Train Ride
- Canada for Christmas
Where to Spend Christmas in Canada
We get lots of people asking us about the winters in Canada, so we decided to write about some of the best places to experience Christmas in Canada. We’re not just talking about the actual Christmas holidays though. We’re talking about that “Christmas vibe”. You know – snow, colourful Christmas lights, skating rinks… that sort of thing. But since we haven’t been everywhere during the winter months, we reached out to more than 15 other bloggers to see what they had to say as well.
Whether you’re looking for the best Canadian Christmas destinations or just looking for somewhere to find that winter magic, here are 22 places to consider.
Christmas in Banff, Alberta
Written by Matt of mustdocanada.com.
Let’s start the Christmas in Canada extravaganza with Banff, Alberta. Possibly the best Christmas town in the world, this amazing little slice of mountain paradise looks like it was made for a movie. The main street is dotted with shops and restaurants and Christmas lights abound, not to mention dozens of hotels, restaurants, and bars. Towering all around is the Rocky Mountains, which tower over the town in all directions. There’s also an outdoor skating rink, a variety of world-class ski resorts, lots of snow, and plenty of things to do in Banff, making this is the perfect place to spend Christmas.
Christmas in Canmore, Alberta
Written by Toni Frazer of enchantedserendipity.com
The Canadian Rockies are the only place to be in Winter. But, you don’t have to endure the flocks of tourists who descend all over this region when it becomes a snow-filled winter wonderland. You can find some lesser-known towns to visit, which can truly be the highlight of your trip.
While most travellers are heading to the jewel in the Rockies crown, Banff; towns that are just as quaint – or are maybe even more so, deserve a detour and a night spent in them too.
Canmore, Alberta is the town not to miss when visiting the Canadian Rockies. Smaller in scale, but not lacking in charm, Canmore is a real hidden gem. With endless scenic views on every street corner, cafes and restaurants that will please any foodie and endless winter activities: dog sledding, ice skating, snowshoeing, cross-country skiing, caving and a Winter Carnival every February – it’s the feeling of walking around a local town which really makes this a favourite place for all.
A visit here must include a coffee at Beamer’s, poutine and a cider at The Wood Restaurant and Lounge and a stay at the Windtower Lodge. If you want a scenic and cozy escape, Canmore has it all. You won’t get the crowds of Banff and Jasper – and that’s exactly how locals and visitors like it.
Christmas in Jasper, Alberta
Written by Matt of canadianfreeflyers.com
Just like Banff, Jasper is a scenic mountain town in Alberta, Canada. It’s a very busy spot in the summer, not only because it’s so beautiful but because it’s also at one end of the world-famous Icefields Parkway, making it one of the world’s most scenic road trips starting at Lake Louise.
Unlike Banff, however, Jasper is not that busy in the wintertime. It still sees its fair share of visitors, but due to its smaller size and more isolated location, it remains a relatively quiet town surrounded by mountain peaks and full-blown wilderness. This is part of the appeal. Not only will you find Christmas lights and charming stores, but you’ll have a peaceful atmosphere to browse as you wish and partake in the various outdoor activities that make the place so great. From world-class skiing to winter hiking, Jasper has something for anyone seeking adventure.
Christmas in Lake Louise, Alberta
Sarah Coble of momentmom.com
Lake Louise may be best known for amazing Instagram posts of turquoise, glacier-fed water during the summer, but the lake transforms into a true winter wonderland during the winter months. The beauty of this area in winter really comes from the natural surroundings. The Canadian Rockies rise up on both sides of the lake with the glacier in the distance. The lake completely freezes during the winter, setting the stage for a vast assortment of outdoor activities. You can start with just walking around the lake because there aren’t too many places where you can literally walk across a frozen lake! You can also take laps around the lake ice skating or even enjoy a game of hockey set up by the Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise. The annual Ice Magic Festival brings the world’s best ice sculptors to the area to create inspiring ice sculptures along the lake’s banks. If you can’t visit during the festival, you can still enjoy the sculptures weeks later as the wintery weather keeps the lake and its surroundings in pristine condition. Many people visit the area for skiing since the lake sits in the largest ski area in North America. Regardless of the activity you choose, your time at Lake Louise is sure to feel
like you stepped right into a wintery fairytale.
Abraham Lake, Alberta
Written by Macca Sherifi of anadventurousworld.com
When it comes to winter wonderlands Alberta has more than its fair share in Canada. However, nestled halfway between Banff and Jasper is a gem that a lot of people pass by – Abraham Lake.
When I was on a road trip through Alberta, I couldn’t wait to visit Abraham Lake. First, Abraham Lake is one of the only places in Canada where you can see frozen bubbles. This is where rising methane gas rises and becomes frozen once it reaches the top of the lake creating this kaleidoscope effect of solid bubbles. Hard to describe but it’s such a fascinating sight. Also, another cool thing about Abraham Lake is you can skate there – such a Canadian thing to do during the winter!
Another reason I was really keen on visiting Abraham Lake was to go on a helicopter tour over the Rocky Mountains there. I had never been in a helicopter before, so I think this was the activity I was most looking forward to while travelling through Alberta, and wow, what an experience. Our Rockies Heli helicopter ride took us over the Rocky Mountains where we followed frozen rivers till we made it to a clearing in the middle of nowhere and the views were just unreal. This is genuinely one of the best things I’ve ever done while in Canada and I can’t recommend it enough!
Christmas in Calgary, Alberta
Written by Matt of mustdomedia.com
Canada’s fourth-biggest city is a real treat for people looking to experience a Canadian winter. Due to its proximity to the Rocky Mountains, not to mention the beautiful city skyline, Calgary is a great place to visit in the winter. While the winters can be just as cold as any other major Canadian city, Calgary benefits from Chinooks, a natural phenomenon that changes the weather quite drastically. While one day the weather can be a chilly -20 Celcius, the next day can be +10 Celcius. This means that snow comes and goes from time to time, but that gives locals and tourists a nice break from the cold weather every now and then.
There are so many things to do in Calgary. Whether you go for a scenic walk down Stephens Avenue, pay a visit to the Calgary Zoo to see Zoo Lights, or admire one of the inner-city parks like Fish Creek Provincial Park, Calgary is a wonderful Christmas holiday destination to experience the winter. Plus, when you’re done with the city, beautiful Banff is just 1.5 hours away.
Christmas in Edmonton, Alberta
Written by Mayuri and Salil of tosomeplacenew.com.
Edmonton is the capital city of Alberta. During the winter, the city turns into a winter wonderland. The legislature building is decorated with lights and it attracts hundreds of visitors. There are celebrations of all kinds in the Downtown area, including Winston Churchill Square and the North Saskatchewan River Valley. The months of December and January are truly special times to visit. The holiday season is here, so you’ll find a lot of free and paid winter lights shows and activities. Candy Cane Lane, the Ice Castles display, winter lights at Castrol Raceway, and the Luminaria Lights show at the Devonian Botanical Gardens are just some of the key winter and holiday highlights in Edmonton, Alberta.
My personal favourites are Candy Cane Lane and the Ice Castles Display. Candy Cane Lane is a free walking tour of Christmas decorated lanes in the north and northwest end of the city. It is a voluntary activity, which is brought to perfection by the community residents. They also take food bank donations, which is always a great cause at any time of year. The Ice Castle Display is one of a kind in Canada. There are ice castles, sculptures set up at Hawrelak Park for everyone to enjoy.
Winters in Alberta can be dry and very cold. Please wear appropriate clothing when you are out and about exploring the city. Most winter light displays are drive-through options, so come with your vehicles (with winter tires) and bring your friends and family as tickets are cheaper with a car pass.
Christmas in Whistler, BC
Written by Matt of mustdoworld.com.
World-famous Whistler has been attracting Canadians and non-Canadians for decades. Located close to Vancouver, it’s one of the only places in the world where you can go skiing while enjoying views of the Pacific Ocean. For this reason and the fact that Whistler Village is so beautiful, it’s one of the most scenic places to spend Christmas in all of Canada. While it can certainly be an expensive place to go during the holidays, it’s one of those places that feels like you’ve stepped inside a Christmas movie. There are so many things to do in Whistler. You can go ice skating, shopping, tobogganing, snowshoeing, skiing, and snowboarding just to name a few. It can also be a romantic place for a couple, an adventurous place for a solo traveller, and a fun place for families with various white Christmas family holiday packages.
Christmas in Kelowna, BC
Written by Micki of thebarefootnomad.com.
With its famously warm climate, and a reputation as Canada’s premiere up and coming wine region, Kelowna, BC, may not be the first place you think of as a Canadian winter destination. That’s too bad because this lake city in British Columbia’s interior has a lot to offer in colder months.
The outdoor ice rink at Stuart Park is one of the most popular family things to do in Kelowna in the winter. It’s free to join in, with skate rentals and snacks available, and a lovely view of the waterfront. If you’re up for a day of activity, it’s only a 45-minute drive to one of Canada’s best ski and snowboard resorts at Big White. Even wine lovers won’t be disappointed in Kelowna, as several of Kelowna’s big-name wineries offer winter wine touring packages. When you’re done skiing, skating, and taking in the wineries, stop in Kelowna’s bustling downtown for some great food and drink, featuring local distilleries, breweries, and farm to table restaurants. If you still have the energy to spare, don some snowshoes and spend some time at the scenic Kettle Valley Trail, where you’ll wander through wooden train trestles and take in spectacular mountain views.
Christmas in Grouse Mountain, BC
Written by Sinead Camplin of mapmadememories.com.
We visited Vancouver with our three young children in a wet, grey January. In the hope of seeing snow, we decided to take a trip up Grouse Mountain on the outskirts of the city. Easily accessible from the city centre by public bus, the journey is completed by an eight-minute cable car ride, which rises to over 1,200 metres. As the cable car rose, the noise of the city disappeared, and a still silence descended while the snow we had been hoping for materialized. The breathtaking view of Vancouver from Peak Chalet is not to be missed.
There are seasonal activities available on the mountain during whatever time of year you visit – such as wildlife movies, seeing the bears at the refuge and a visit to the Eye Of The Wind – but we had come to have fun in the snow. Our children attempted outdoor ice skating for the first time, we had a fun trip in a sleigh pulled by a caterpillar track vehicle, and we indulged in delicious hot chocolate. Leaving the busy ski slopes behind, we went snowshoeing for the first time, trudging through pristine snow on peaceful trails through Douglas Firs glistening with snow. We made a snowman and had snowball fights! As dusk fell, gold twinkling lights illuminated the trees and statues, such as the giant reindeer. The highlight for our city-dwelling children was renting a sled and whizzing down a slope into a mound of snow at the bottom.
Descending the mountain at the end of a fun-packed day, our tired, rosy-cheeked children chatted non stop about their ‘magical day’ in the snow.
Christmas in Golden, BC
Written by Ben of horizonunknown.com.
There are not many more beautiful Canadian sights than the Rocky Mountains. One of the best places to experience these amazing natural wonders is from the tiny British Columbia town of Golden. As the snow slowly started to descend from the caps of the mountain peaks into Golden, it truly becomes a winter wonderland of Canada.
During the wintertime, Golden is full of exciting activities and stunning sights to see. Snowboarding or skiing is one of the best reasons to love the chilly climate in wintertime. Kicking Horse mountain is Golden’s answer to those fresh days when you’d rather stay indoors. With diverse terrain to suit any skill level, it’s always a great time!
Walking around the quiet streets is relaxing and beautiful with the backdrop of white mountains. With the main street covered in lights to illuminate the popular bars, locals and tourists love to visit. There is also plenty of activities to do around the area as well. Snowshoeing through the forests covered in a blanket of snow is another fantastic way to appreciate this gorgeous area of Western Canada.
Winter in Canada can be cold and painful, especially for an Australian like myself, but finding enjoyable activities and inspiring sights makes it all worthwhile. With so many things to do in Golden BC in all seasons, this winter wonderland is my favourite place to visit in Canada.
Christmas in Revelstoke, BC
Written by Philip and Thea of zentravellers.com.
Situated 7-hours east of Vancouver, British Columbia and 5-hours west of Calgary, Alberta, Revelstoke is a far-flung winter wonderland nestled against the Selkirk Mountains. Flanked by the Columbia River, the picturesque small town shines in every season but even more so in winter when snow banks pile up almost as high as the buildings nearby. The Revelstoke Mountain Resort famously receives epic dumps of powder and features the most vertical run in North America, as well as the opportunity to go cat, helicopter, and backcountry skiing from the base. Other activities offered at the resort include dog sledding, paragliding, and guided snowshoeing tours. You can even get a free legal marriage or renew your vows at the top of the gondola on Valentine’s Day. For real, I’ve been skiing there and saw people go up in their wedding finest.
If alpine skiing or snowboarding isn’t your thing, there is also the opportunity to try out cross-country skiing at the nearby trails at Mount Macpherson. The nearby parks, including Glacier National Park with its famous Rogers Pass, allow for endless backcountry ski touring and snowmobiling opportunities. Lastly, for those who love to relax in a beautiful setting, the Halcyon and Nakusp hot springs are only a short drive away. With all of these fun options, Revelstoke is a wintery delight to be enjoyed by all.
Christmas in Fernie, BC
Written by Matt Bailey of livelimitless.net.
This small beautiful mountain town is located in Southern BC, close to the Alberta border. It’s home to world-class skiing and some of Canada’s best snow. What makes Fernie a special destination for Christmas or for the winter in general, is that you can stay at the ski resort and enjoy ski-in-ski-out accommodation while being surrounded by mountain scenery and snow-covered pine trees. It’s an absolutely stunning place and nothing quite beats stepping out on to your balcony and marvelling at the breathtaking views Fernie offers.
In addition, there’s also a Vodka Ice Bar in Lizard Creek Lodge, which allows you to go inside a freezing handcrafted ice room (-13 Celcius) and try vodka the way it should be enjoyed. Trust me, it tastes better there! Don’t worry, warm jackets are provided. If you’re looking for great Christmas destinations in Canada as well as some world-class skiing and snowboarding, this is one of the best places to go.
Christmas in Panorama, BC
Written by @MatthewGBailey
As someone who lives in Calgary and regularly gets out to the mountains, Panorama is easily one of my favourite places to go. It’s a little further than places like Sunshine Village or Lake Louise, but the small village atmosphere and the ski-in-ski-out accommodations make the drive more than worth it. If we had to pick just one ski resort to call home, it would be Panorama. Every time we’ve visited Panorama Resort, it snows and snows and snows. This makes for excellent skiing and a true winter wonderland paradise. What makes it extra special is the ski-in-ski-out accommodation, the on-site restaurants and cafes, and the on-site outdoor hot pools. I’m telling you, there’s nothing quite like sitting in a hot pool surrounded by snow and mountains. There are other activities as well, including snowmobiling, snowshoeing, fat-tire biking, and helicopter tours. Go skiing, have a beer, sit in the hot tubs, and do it all again the next day. That’s my idea of a Christmas vacation in Canada.
Christmas in Whitehorse, Yukon
Written by Christina Pfeiffer of travel2next.com.
One of the top reasons that Whitehorse, Yukon is attractive during the winter months is because it’s one of the most accessible places to see the Aurora Borealis. The Yukon Northern Lights experience is one for the bucket list. Staring up into a glowing curtain of green and blue is something you’ll never forget. Wander around the snow-covered streets of Whitehorse during the day and warm up with a hot chocolate in one of the many local cafes and learn about the region’s history in a museum.
Then head to the Yukon Wildlife Preserve to get a close look at northern animals such as wood bison, Arctic fox, Thinhorn sheep, and Snowy owls. For an enchanting winter wonderland atmosphere, plan your trip around the Yukon Quest or the Yukon Sourdough Rendezvous Festival for a bunch of quirky events, such as wood-chopping, log-tossing, and axe-throwing. The Yukon’s brand of winter wonderland is perfect for outdoorsy active travellers. Don’t miss the crowning of the Sourdough Queen, the Queen’s Fashion Show, Her Majesty’s Royal Feast, and the Queen’s Coronation Ball. These events turn Whitehorse into a winter wonderland with a royal twist!
Christmas in Ottawa, Ontario
Written by Anwar of beyondmyfrontdoor.com.
When most people think about Winter Wonderlands, Ottawa doesn’t always come to the forefront of their minds. However, Ottawa is the perfect Winter Destination for those looking for interesting and winter-like things. Yearly, the city hosts its famous Winterlude with some incredible ice sculpture artists arriving from all over the world. In addition to ice sculptures, the two-week festival features holiday lights, concerts, cultural performances, and games.
Beyond that, you can go ice skating on the Rideau Canal, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. You’ll share the canal with tourists as well as locals who are commuting to work via ice skates. It’s also great because cities in Canada are so adept at handling snow and cold that the city doesn’t go to sleep during the winter months. You’ll still see lots of activity going on in all the usual places, such as the Byward Market, which is known for its great restaurants and shops. Be sure to try Beaver Tails, the iconic pastry that is a mainstay of the Market.
In addition, the city is home to the Canadian Parliament, as well as engaging museums such as the Canadian Museum of History (technically, the museum is located across the bridge in Quebec). In the areas surrounding the city, visitors can also enjoy both alpine and cross-country skiing, as well as dog sledding and ice climbing.
Christmas in Uxbridge, Ontario
Written by Kristal of adventuredawgs.ca.
When you think of a winter wonderland, I doubt that Uxbridge, Ontario comes to mind. Uxbridge is a town approximately one-hour northeast of Toronto and is located on the Oak Ridges Moraine. It’s close enough to Toronto to be a day trip but there’s enough to keep you there for a longer visit if you choose to stay in one of the local Bed and Breakfasts. The area is an active farming community with rolling hills home to livestock and the sounds of harvesters in the summer. Once the snow falls, however, it’s a totally different landscape.
Uxbridge has been recognized as the Trail Capital of Canada for the more than 220-km of maintained trails through 8000-acres of protected land. In the winter, these trails are open for hiking, snowshoeing, and cross-country skiing. If you want a little more thrill on the hills, there are three ski resorts a short drive from Uxbridge. For anyone that wants to explore with a snowmobile, a separate trail system stretches across southern Ontario. Some large hills on the outskirts of town are open to the public if you want to ride a toboggan or inner tube. Once the centrally-located Elgin Pond freezes, the snow is cleared from several rink areas and it quickly has a steady stream of people young and old breaking out their ice skates.
Once you’ve tired yourself out on the snow and ice, head over to the York-Durham Heritage Railway station and hop onto the Santa Train where kids can ride the rails with Santa. Luckily, the station is next to a brewery for the parents to either prepare for or recover from, the ride with Santa.
After the sun goes down, the town lights up. From early December to January, Elgin Park is home to the Fantasy of Lights and the park is bedecked with strings of brightly-coloured lights. From there, it’s a short walk to the historic downtown, stopping for a hot drink and a lovely meal to warm up and refuel for another day.
Christmas in Blue Mountain, Ontario
Written by Diana of dianashealthyliving.com.
If you love to ski and you’re from the Toronto area, then you are frequently visiting Blue Mountain to hit the ski slopes. This winter wonderland is located approximately 2-hours north of Toronto and has an extensive list of winter activities. Although I don’t ski, I love visiting Blue Mountain during the winter as it looks beautiful with the white powder covered mountains.
Some of the other winter activities offered are snowshoeing, caving, snowshoe the vineyard, mountaintop skating, go chasing waterfalls, ski lessons, horse and wagon rides, ride the ridge runner ride or pamper yourself at the popular Scandinave Spa. Make sure to stroll the streets in Blue Mountain Village where you can shop at many of the stores.
There are many restaurants to choose from and something for everyone but I would highly recommend trying the famous Beaver Tails (no, we don’t really eat beaver tails!) and some of the local cider beer. If you’re looking for something more upscale, head to the chiv Oliver and Bonacini’s for a wonderful dining experience.
There is an assortment of different types of accommodations from the Westin Blue Trillium house set at the foot of Blue Mountain and steps away from the village with hot tubs and heated outdoor pools to chalet rentals to fit your entire family.
Christmas in Kingston, Ontario
Written by Eric and Lisa of Ontario Away.
If you want to experience a classic Canadian winter destination, Kingston is the place for you. As the first capital of Canada, the city is rich with history and culture. Located right on Lake Ontario, Kingston is no stranger to huge amounts of snow and cold winter weather. But, if you can brave the cold, Downtown Kingston is definitely a winter wonderland.
At Springer Market Square (right behind City Hall), you’ll find an outdoor public ice skating rink that is lit up at night for skating. The main street downtown – Princess Street – is a hub of wintery charm. As you walk along the decorated street, you’ll find local shops, restaurants, and traditional pubs. If you need to warm up, you’ll also find cozy cafes where you can grab a tea, specialty coffee, or hot chocolate!
Close to downtown, you can wander the streets like King Street, Bagot, and William Street which weave through the oldest neighbourhood in the city. The limestone and brick houses feature historic plaques from when they were built – many stating the 1800’s! These houses are always decorated for the holiday season and photograph really well!
Down at the lakefront, you can check out the old Kingston train station – now the Tourism Centre offering Canadian souvenirs. To see the icy, rocky shoreline you can walk the waterfront trails through wintery forested areas. If you’re lucky, the lake freezes over before the snow falls and you can join dozens of skaters skating as far as the eye can see.
Christmas in Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario
Luxury travellers looking to sip themselves silly on a road trip of Ontario wine country find happiness in postcard-perfect Niagara on the Lake. Located just a stone’s throw from the infamous Falls, Niagara on the Lake’s high season is traditionally in the Summer and Autumn, when carefree cyclists peddle past award-winning wineries, music festivals offer al fresco entertainment, and pretty patio’s buzz long after the sun has set.
However, there are plenty of reasons to visit the region in the winter! Boutique hotels offer great off-season deals, last minute reservations can be nabbed at buzz-worthy restaurants, winery staff has more time to give you one-on-one attention, and the annual Icewine Festival offers a seriously sweet program…not to mention the sublime landscape is blanketed in soft white snow, which makes it one of the best white Christmas holiday destinations.
One of the newest additions to Niagara on the Lake’s happening beverage scene, Wayne Gretzky Estates Winery and Distillery has crafted an innovative winter program that has the property bustling all hours of the day and night. From 12-6 pm, hockey fans can be found lacing up their skates at the winery’s al fresco rink.
On weekends a DJ plays 90’s pop hits and a giant screen plays hockey games live in the evening. Let the kids zip around the rink and watch from the sidelines while sipping a duo of cool cocktails: the cherry hibiscus and Red Cask Whisky muddled Rusty Skate or Triple-Spiced Mulled Wine featuring Gretzky’s own Chardonnay and Ice Cask Whisky.
Christmas in Yellowknife, NWT
Written by Lindsay of ivebeenbit.ca.
What’s there to do so far north in Canada? Well, besides being the northern lights capital of the world, the Northwest Territories has so much to offer. As the territory’s capital, Yellowknife is the natural destination of the Northwest Territories. Here they seriously do winter well. From amazing winter festivals like their Snow King Festival to exploring ice caves to frolicking on ice roads, the winter fun is endless. You’ll be fuelled for early mornings and late nights with a number of delicious eats (including the largest egg roll you’ve ever seen) and you can indulge in the territory’s one and only brewery!
What really sets this destination apart, however, is the hospitality. Every person you meet is incredibly generous and you’ll feel like part of the family. Even if you’re only there for a few days, you’ll leave with friends and memories that’ll last a lifetime.
Christmas in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan
Written by Mayuri and Salil of tosomeplacenew.com.
The city of Saskatoon dances into joyous moods during the holiday season. Saskatoon’s Downtown, malls, and parks are all decorated with Christmas lights. There is a Christmas parade that takes place in Downtown right in front of the popular Mid Town Plaza mall, which happens during the day and lasts about 1- 2 hours. You can enjoy the parade for free, and it is a real delight for kids and adults alike.
Another must-see activity in Saskatoon during winters is the Enchanted Forest light show, which is hosted at the Saskatchewan Farm and Forestry grounds. It is a light and sound Christmas show, which is an ideal evening to late-night activity in Saskatoon and a way to enjoy a white Christmas in Canada. It is a drive-through show (no walking is allowed) and tickets are sold in most drug stores as well as at the event entrance. As always, dress well for winters. Winters in Saskatchewan are severe and on some days, temperatures drop to -45 degrees Celsius. Make sure to carry ear-muffs, gloves, and your long johns while enjoying the Christmas parade.
Christmas in Quebec City, Quebec
Written by Hannah of thatadventurer.co.uk.
Québec City is one of my favourite winter destinations. Yes, it’s super cold and snowy but that’s all part of the appeal. As long as you’re wrapped up warm, you’ll find plenty of reasons to love Québec City in the winter!
I’ve never seen such a picture-perfect city. It’s an old city, especially for North America, and dates back to 1608. It sits on the banks of the huge Saint Lawrence River in the French-speaking province of Québec. The city is made up of stone buildings, and cobbled streets and it’s all the more picturesque due to constantly being decorated in wreaths and Christmas lights during the holidays.
When you’re exploring the city, you might choose to warm up with a steaming bowl of poutine, a hot chocolate or head into a bar in the evening to watch some live music. Outside you’ll find ice fishing on the river or you could easily spend some time watching the ice crack apart and float down the river. I’ve never seen anything quite like it!
It also has a romantic vibe, which makes it one of the best Christmas holiday destinations for couples.
Rocky Mountain Train Ride
Written by Sherrie of travelbyasherrieaffair.com.
One of the most fun and beautiful experiences in Canada’s wintertime is to take a train ride through the snowcapped Canadian Rockies. The adventure begins by hopping on the train in Vancouver for an overnight excursion to Jasper.
I recommend getting a private sleeper cabin for your overnight accommodations. The cabins are small but comfortable and come with a private bathroom. At the time of booking, you will also be choosing meal times that are to be enjoyed in the dining car with other passengers. With tourists from all over the world, there is no shortage of conversation and meeting new people.
However, the best part of our trip was the observation car with clear glass ceilings and windows. The views are spectacular! Everyone in the car is on the same page as they all keep their voices down and just take in the surrounding beauty as the sound of the train makes its way through the mountains. The tall pines covered with undisturbed snow was so beautiful that it took my breath away. It was a true winter wonderland and easily one of the best Christmas getaways for couples as well.
Canada for Christmas
As you can see, there’s no shortage of Christmas destinations to visit in Canada that gives off that winter wonderland Christmas vibe. This list isn’t exhaustive either. I’m sure there are plenty of places that weren’t mentioned in this article, including all the Eastern provinces. However, whether you’re looking for some ideas for Christmas trips or places to visit in January or other cold months, this is a great place to get started.
Travel Insurance for Christmas Vacation in Canada
As always, we recommend travel insurance when visiting another country, especially if you’re partaking in activities such as skiing, snowboarding, snowmobiling, and so forth. However, make sure you ask your insurance company if those kinds of activities are covered. If it’s a short trip, your credit card might include travel insurance for these purposes, saving you hundreds of dollars. If not, we recommend World Nomads, as they offer everything above and can easily be done online in less than 10 minutes. Getting the correct travel insurance will give you peace of mind, even if you don’t need to use it. Click here for more tips for your next ski vacation.
Want more? If you like this article, you’ll probably like:
- Christmas in Canada
- Winter in Canada
- Whistler Snowmobile Tours
- Ottawa in the Winter
- Christmas in Calgary
Have you been to Canada in the winter before? What’s your favourite destination?