The weather outside may be frightful, but that doesn’t mean you have to hibernate for the season. Canada is full of winter parks offering activities like fat biking, tubing, skating and more to make the best of the outdoors even when the temperatures plummet. Here are a few of our favourites.
New to Winnipeg this year, this ice castle consists of tens of thousands of handmade icicles. Wander through tunnels and under archways and towers. Check out the throne room and ice slide. The castle—which can stretch to as high as 12 metres—overlooks the Red River in The Forks and is embedded with LED lights that dazzle with colour at night.
This British Columbia ski resort has its own tube park with seven “runs” that range from shorter kid-friendly lanes to faster 305-metre-long slides for thrill-seekers. Admission includes the use of a tube, and the park has its own lift so you can get in as many rides as possible.
Rent a fat bike at this national park’s entrance, then head out to explore 16 kilometres of dedicated fat bike trails. These bicycles with extra-wide tires are perfect for navigating the snowy paths that wind through Acadian forest. They’re also the fastest way to reach the park’s rustic shelters for an overnight stay.
In addition to its ski resort, Blue Mountain offers winter caving, snowmobile tours and even a mountain roller coaster. The must-do at this park is the new Mountaintop Skating course. Glide along the one-kilometre ice skating loop that runs through the Niagara Escarpment forest and take in unparalleled views of Georgian Bay.
Located about 30 minutes from Quebec City, Valcartier Vacation Village is the largest winter park in North America. It has more than 35 snow slides and a skating path, plus a children’s playground and Canada’s only ice hotel. Try the Tornado—a slide where the tube spins as it plummets down the slope, or the 33-metre-high Everest slide, where visitors reach speeds of up to 80 km/hour.
Located at Canada Olympic Park, WinSport operates many high-octane outdoor sports at one of the sites of the 1988 Winter Olympics. Visitors can hurtle more than 100 km/hour through 10 turns on the bobsleigh track or twist through the luge run. And don’t miss Acura Tube Park, the largest snow tube park in Western Canada. There’s also drop-in shinny, skating, skiing and more.