There are two ways to do winter right— 1) snuggling under a blanket by the fireside. And 2) Enjoying the snow blanketed outdoors to the fullest. While there is some merit to the former, no one does the latter better than us Albertans. Lucky for us, we don’t have to travel far to enjoy all the winter activities we love, courtesy of Tourism Red Deer.

Sitting halfway between Edmonton and Calgary in all its snow-capped glory, Red Deer has a whole plethora of classic snow-filled adventures to experience. Be it skiing and snowboarding or tubing and tobogganing or even ice fishing, the place has it all. And here are 5 of the many you probably don’t want to miss–

Tourism Red Deer
Photo via Deanna Hall

Skiing & Snowboarding Powdered Ski Trails

With the sheer length of ski trails here, Red Deer has a route for any experience level. The Canyon Ski Resort, the largest non-mountain ski resort in the province, alone has 23 different runs and 6 lifts. Then there is the River Bend Golf and Recreation Area which has 19 km of groomed cross-country ski trails, and an after-dark 4km lighted trail for thrill-seekers.

Ice Skating on the Many Frozen Rinks

If you thought there were too many ski trails, wait till you hear about their ice-skating rinks. The city has 77 (true figure) outdoor skating rinks. These include a speed skating oval and frozen ponds to glide over. If you’re tired of the iced-over urban rinks, you are going to love the Bower Ponds. The former even offers skate rentals, so you can pack light.

Tourism Red Deer
Photo via Kim Mortimer

Winter Walking, Snowshoeing & Fat Biking Through Countless Trails

With parks galore, the city is home to countless trails, each more beautiful and scenic than the other. And while these trails are frequented by hikers and bikers during warmer months, they are also perfect for snowshoeing, winter walking and fat biking. You’ll find popular trails at Heritage Ranch, Great Chief Park, Gaetz Lakes Sanctuary and Michael O’Brien Wetlands. FYI: You can rent electric fat bikes at Alberta Sports Hall of Fame and snowshoes at Kerry Wood Nature Centre. 

Tubing & Tobogganing Down Slopes

We loved them as kids and we love them even more as grown-ups. Tubing and tobogganing are two winter activities that have truly earned the classic status. The thrill of sliding down fluffy, snow-covered slopes never fails to give us an adrenaline rush, especially evening glow tubing on Friday nights at Canyon Ski Hill or tobogganing at Bower Ponds. 

Ice Fishing for a good catch

Ice fishing is fun, period! Whether you’re looking for some quiet me-time or a fun bonding activity for the whole family, this classic winter sport is one of the best ways to unplug and unwind. And as can be expected from a winter playground like Red Deer, there are plenty of spots to fish frosty waters here. Two of them are in the city itself— Mitchell Pond and Three Mile Bend Pond. But if you feel like venturing outside, there is also Sylvan Lake and Gull Lake.

While the snowy fun is enough to motivate us to drag ourselves out of our couches, it gets even better. Being a big city, Red Deer comes with all the creature comforts making it the perfect winter getaway. From cozy accommodations to shopping sprees to culinary indulgences, the city has everything you need your dream winter destination to have.

Check out the Tourism Red Deer website for all the info you need to plan your escape.