Get festive with holiday and winter events in Northern Alberta


Are you ready for it? Christmas and winter holidays are just weeks away. In northern Alberta, that means the return of festive events to light up those long dark nights!

There may not be a giant Christmas tree in downtown Edmonton this year, but we think these winter events in Athabasca, Grande Cache, Grande Prairie and Edmonton more than make up for it. 

So get your festive spirit primed for the season. Fill your social calendar with these concerts, shows, Christmas events and more to get into the festive spirit and get a head start on the holidays!

2022-23 Winter events in northern Alberta

Check out the events that top our list of things to do in this winter around northern Alberta. 

Grande Prairie kicks off the season this weekend with a big party! Combo it up with these two events if you are in the region or making your way there for the weekend:

Nov 24 - 27: Festival of Trees, Grande Prairie
Nov 17 - Dec 31: Northern Spirit Light Show, Grande Prairie

The Festival of Trees features a gala event, Barn Burner concert, E-gaming competition and all the Christmas trees you could ever wish for. Support Grande Prairie’s hospitals and have some festive fun at this annual event.

While you're in Grande Prairie, stick around in and check out the the Northern Spirit Light Show, Nov 17 - Dec 31, to round out your weekend. Walk the grounds or take a sleigh ride through the magical scenes staged for friends and families to enjoy, in the frosty air! 

Grande Prairie gets festive with the Northern Spirit Light Show and Festival of Trees.

Grande Prairie's winter events scene keeps on happening all season long, with skiing, snowboarding and a glow-tubing party scene at Nitehawk Year-Round Adventure Park, and the Grande North Winter Fest in the new year. (Read on for more about that.)

Dec 9 - 11: The Style Experience: FIS Snowboard Big Air World Cup, Edmonton
This is the big one: as in big big BIG air! This major international snowboard comp at Commonwealth Stadium will bring the world’s best snowboarders to Edmonton to hurl themselves down a massive ramp, into the air and throw down spins, flips and stylish tricks. 

Ya gotta go BIG in YEG, with The Style Experience international snowboard comp.

Dec 16 - 17: Santa’s Workshop, Grande Cache, AB
If you’re not following the Santa tracker, here’s the tip off you need: on Dec 16 - 17, Santa’s Workshop takes over the Grande Cache Tourism Centre. Grab your cross-country skis and head for some turns up at the Smoky River Nordic Club just above town and take in the mountain air. (Not familiar with Grande Cache? Read up on winter adventures here.) 

Photo: Paul Lavoie
A Grande Cache winter getaway could be just what the Dr (and Mrs. Claus) ordered.

Then, warm up in the workshop with gingerbread decorating, quality crafts, a hot chocolate bar, stories read by Mrs. Claus, pictures with Santa himself as well as a walk through the interpretive park adorned with Christmas lighting. 

Jan 13 - 15: Grande North Winter Fest, Grande Prairie
A city-wide party takes over Grande Prairie, with winter events spread across three different venues. Try a new winter sport like crokicurl, skate to DJ music, cheer on the local hockey team, admire the ice sculptures and raise a toast to winter in the Ice Garden.

Jan 25 - 29: Winterruption YEG, Edmonton
If you’ve got a concert lover in your life, this is the ticket you’ll want to grab them for Christmas! Yes, it isn't until the new year, but tickets are on sale now and with a lineup that includes some of Canada’s best new indie, electro, folk and pop artists, plus comedy and live wrestling (!), this event that will warm up the doldrums of winter.

Photo: Kristin Breit
Winterruption will be one of the hottest live music tickets of 2023 in Alberta!

Feb 25: Athabasca River Runners Snowmobile Rally 2023, Athabasca
With this one, we’re thinking ahead to that mid-season winter escape. If you love snowmobiling, the snowmobile rally in Athabasca is a highlight of the season. Cruise scenic lakes and trails along the regional trail system, with three check-in points to warm up by the fire. Lunch and prizes will be offered too!

Winter is here and the best way to thrive throughout the season is by getting out and active, and enjoying winter events. Indoors or out, northern Alberta offers unique settings and experiences that will leave you feeling connected and refreshed. Now bundle up and get out there!

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