December is nearly here and Alberta has practically come to life! Despite the chilly temperatures and long commutes, we live for snow and ice – after all, there’s so much to do! If of course, you’re not sure what’s happening this season – here are just some of the best events, light displays and activities – all of which should definitely make it on your Alberta winter bucket list.

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In Search Of Christmas Spirit 

This holiday season, those ‘In Search of Christmas Spirit” might just find it in the Rockies where a heartwarming story will be told by the animals of Banff National Park. Described as a ‘multi-sensory’ experience, guests will follow an enchanted trail through the Cascade of Time Garden where they’ll be surrounded by captivating sound effects and illuminated sculptures of bears, owls, moose and deer.

When: Various dates until December 31st, 2023
Where: Cascades of Time Garden – Cave Avenue, Banff, Alberta
Time: 4:30 pm to 9:30 pm
Cost: FREE

Johnson Canyon Night Walk 

This winter join a tour group and trek through Johnston Canyon after the sun goes down. As you pass over suspended catwalks, you’ll be mesmerized by the light from your headlamp reflecting off the shimmering waterfalls frozen in time. To make this evening more magical, you’ll be treated to some hot chocolate and maple cookies as you take in the dusky scenery.

When: Tours start Friday, December 1st, 2023
Where: Directions here
Cost: $94

Alberta Hot Springs

Need to wind down before or after the holidays? Throw on a bathing suit and head to one or all of Alberta’s beautiful hot springs! After all, there’s really nothing like it in the wintertime.

Abraham Lake

Breathe in, grab the hand of someone special and take in the view of Alberta’s most unique ice. Deep in the mountains, between snow-covered peaks, you’ll find Abraham Lake, a hidden gem, and an Instagram dream.

Where:  Nordegg, Alberta – 35km southwest of Nordegg on Highway 11

Chateau Lake Louise Ice Bar

Drinks and a magical view? This winter head to the mountains for a day of sipping and skating with your special someone! When it opens the Chateau Lake Louise Ice Bar will be a magical must-visit.

When:  TBA
Where: 111 Lake Louise Dr, Lake Louise, AB

Lake Louise Ice Magic Festival

There’s magic in the Rockies! This winter, fun-seekers can check out the enchanting Lake Louise Ice Festival, a dazzling event featuring world-class designers, artists, and master craftsmen! It’s going to be spectacular!

When: Friday, January 26th-28th and February 2nd-4th, 2024
Where: 111 Lake Louise Dr, Lake Louise, AB
Cost: $20

Mountain Skating 

Mountain lakes don’t make for great swimming holes in the summer, but boy do they ever make for some great ice rinks in the winter. From Lake Minnewanka to Two Jack Lake, check out the link above for our favourite spots to take a stunning skate this season.

Tubing at Norquay

Looking to get your adrenaline pumping? You have to go tubing at Norquay this winter – especially if you’re not into skiing. Just because the sport isn’t your thing, doesn’t mean you should miss out on hitting the hills!

Where:  Improvement District No. 9, AB
Cost: $45+

Maligne Canyon

There is no place like the Rockies and this winter you can experience the ice and snow as if it was the very first time! With the help of a professional guide, tour 30-metre high icy cave-like passages, majestic frozen waterfalls, and the frozen canyon floor. You’ll hardly believe your eyes!

Where: Directions here – Jasper National Park, AB

The Banff 360° Dome

Indulge outdoors in Fairmont’s stunning 360° Dome dining room – an incredibly scenic, private venue with unreal food. Located on their Upper Garden Terrace, the dome will feature a gourmet brunch, afternoon charcuterie, and an extravagant 5-course menu.

When: Year-round
Where: 405 Spray Avenue Banff, AB
Time: See times above

Boundary Ranch Sleigh Rides

With a mouthful of hot cocoa and a heart full of holiday spirit, cuddle up in their old-timey sleigh and experience every peak, valley and frozen waterfall as if for the very first time.

Where:  2 Guinn’s Road,  Kananaskis, Alberta, Canada
Time: See times above
Cost: $49

Alberta Prarie Railway

This winter, board a vintage steam train see all that there is to see in and around Stettler from the comfort of your seat or snag a ticket for after dark and enjoy their enchanting Polar Express Experience.

A magical event taken straight from the pages of a children’s classic, this particular ride is set to the acclaimed movie soundtrack and is incredibly wholesome. The best part? Nearly everything that you’ll experience aboard this jolly train ride has been tailored with love and an appreciation for the original material. Don’t miss it!

Where: 4611 – 47 Avenue, Stettler, Alberta
Cost: $90+

Winter Light Festival at Nikka Yuko Garden

Though it is best known for its green grass and flowers, Nikka Yuko is an incredible spot in the wintertime. Don’t believe us? Check it out and enjoy a magical evening of lanterns, and lights.

When: TBA
Where: Corner of 9th Ave S &, Mayor Magrath Dr. S, Lethbridge
Cost: TBA

Jasper Planetarium

One of the most enchanting experiences on the list! This winter, join astronomy guides on a journey through constellations, space, and time at the Jasper Planetarium. Here you can wander the beautiful grounds of the world’s largest accessible astronomy park, hear stories, and take a guided binocular tour of the Milky Way.

Where: 1 Old Lodge Road, Jasper
Cost: $40 +

Winterfest at Sylvan Lake

Celebrating winter everything, Sylvan Lake’s Winterfest is, once again, set to take the town of Sylvan Lake this February. Featuring ice fishing competitions, sleigh rides, axe throwing, ice slides and more – you’re bound to have a blast.

When: Saturday February 17th – 20th, 2023
Where: See directions here

Stargazing Tour

Looking for something truly unique? Adventurous Albertans can follow a skilled guide on a starlit tour through forest and snow, then sip hot cocoa in a secluded meadow. They’ll bring the drinks, the lamps, and the telescope, and all you have to bring is yourself, a date, and a good jacket!

When: Dates throughout November and December
Where: Kananaskis Village Centre- 1 Mt. Sparrowhawk Crescent
Cost: $84.99

The Nordic Spa


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Before all of the holiday craziness, take a day or a weekend to enjoy the Nordic Spa. Disconnect, relax and take some time for yourselves! From facials and massages, this alpine sanctuary has everything you’ll need to revamp before things pick up for the holidays.

Where: 1 Centennial Dr, Kananaskis
Cost: Prices vary


Taking a ride on Banff’s gondola is one of the most magical things you can do while in Alberta’s Rocky Mountains and this season you can see it all in technicolour! This winter, enjoy Nightrise – an immersive activity that merges multimedia, storytelling, and nature. There’s nothing like it!

When: Until March 13th, 2023
Where: 100 Mountain Ave, Banff, AB
Cost: $44+

And there you have it, 18 Alberta adventures you should add to your winter bucket list. Enjoy and stay safe!