Winter activities to do in Canada

Canada is a popular destination for tourists who wish to experience the magical atmosphere of the winter season, when the country is filled with a plethora of fun activities that locals and tourists can partake in. If you’re planning to spend your holidays here in Canada, make sure that you plan your itinerary first, as some events and spots may require a little bit of travel, depending on where you’re staying. Instead of spending the entire cold season indoors by the fire, opt for the winter adventures included in this list of the best things to do in Canada during winter!

Outdoor winter activities

A touch of sunlight, fresh air, and physical activity are important during the cold winter weather for your overall wellbeing. There are lots of fun things to do in the wintertime as Canada embraces its magical snowy landscapes. Here are some activities you can do across the country this holiday season!

Skiing in the Rocky Mountains: Skiing in the mountains, while soaking in the picturesque view, will surely re-energize your mind and body. So, this winter, make sure to strap on your skis and head to the best ski resorts in the world – many of which can be found in Canada! You may choose some small, laid-back mountain trails, or head to the more famous and busier ones, such as the Whistler Blackbomb. Booking a flight to this popular resort is easier from places like Calgary, Vancouver, or Kelowna. Plan ahead, though, so you can have a more seamless trip during this peak season!
Skate on the Rideau Canal Skateway in Ottawa: The Rideau Canal in Ottawa is one of the most popular destinations for those who want to experience skating in the winter. Each year, the canal completely freezes and paves the way for the world’s largest natural skating rink, which is also located at the very heart of the city. The skateway stretches for roughly 8 kilometers while passing some of the most iconic buildings in the area. You can also treat yourself to the scenic views of the Parliament building and the Fairmont Chateau Laurier. The skateway also offers five warming huts with vendors selling hot drinks. These huts are equipped with fire pits, picnic tables, and washrooms. Lastly, don’t forget to snack on the famous Canadian Beavertail! The skating season generally lasts from January through March and remains open 24 hours a day.
Go Dog Sledding: Race across snowy terrain with a dog sled on Canada’s snowy days! Dog sledding is available mostly in rural parts of the country and is definitely a one-of-a-kind experience. Dog sledding usually involves a pack of 6 or more dogs who run as fast as they can while a musher accompanies the travellers, keeping the dogs under control while the traveller rides across the frozen land. Separate tour lengths are available for travellers; while most people prefer a couple of hours, there are more adventurous people who book a tour for several days and stay in backcountry lodging. You may choose whatever is most appealing to you!
Go Snowmobiling: Snowmobiling is one of the most popular motorised winter sports in Canada. The trails wind their way through lush forests for thousands of miles, with halts at hotels or restaurants along the way for the passengers. Some snowmobilers also test out their machines, racing across the lakes at high speeds. If this activity excites you, you can book a snowmobile tour for yourself, which is easily done in resort areas like Whistler. There are half-day and full-day tours available for different travellers, along with equipment rentals and even instructional training!

Indoor activities to do during the cold season

When the temperature drops to zero and it’s pitch dark outside most of the time, staying indoors might be a wise option for you. If boredom hits, you can use this time to do other indoor activities, such as exercising in creative and fun ways! Here are some other indoor activities to try in the winter months:

Taking the time to relax and get cozy
Reading at least one book every week
Learning a new craft
Attending indoor recreational activities such as yoga classes


1. What are examples of popular winter activities?

There are many popular winter activities – sledding, camping in the snow, skiing, ice hockey, ice skating, and more.

2. What is it like in the winter in Canada?

Canadian winters are freezing cold, and temperatures remain well below zero degrees throughout the entire season. It is usually between -5 degrees and -15, while at times, Canada also sees -20 or -30 degrees Celsius, which is followed by heavy snowfall in the months of November and December.

3. How do Canadians stay warm during the winter?

Canadians dress the part to battle the severe cold. When it comes to dressing, layering is key. On top of that, they wear thermal inners and leggings, on top of which they wear snow pants. The same goes for the upper body – thermal inner, fleece, and winter coats. Snow boots are a must for navigating on foot. While indoors, the temperature is kept warm and pleasurable due to indoor heating.

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