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Young Father And Son On Winter Vacation

10 Family Adventures to Make you Love Winter

Sue Riedl

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It’s a funny thing about winter. If you just hide under a blanket and pretend it doesn’t exist you’ll have a long, boring hibernation. But embrace the snow and you can create some of your best family memories. Bundle up, eat well and you’ll be ready to keep moving through everything the Canadian winter has to offer families.

  1. Winter Carnivals: Head out as a group to check out the fun. Some options include Quebec’s Winter Carnival, Ottawa’s Winterlude, the Vernon Winter Carnival in BC, Silver Skate in Alberta or the Children’s Winterfest in PEI.
  2. Dogsledding: This family trip will get you moving and keep you laughing. You can choose to dogsled for an afternoon or even spend a few days in the outback.
  3. Skating: Ottawa’s Rideau Canal makes a great weekend destination. Just under 5 miles long, it’s the world’s largest skating rink. Skate rentals and sleigh rentals (for pulling younger kids) are available. In Montréal, you’ll love the skating rink located in the Old Port.
  4. Skiing and Snowboarding: Whether you’re a beginner or a pro, Canada offers some thrilling runs, from BC’s Whistler Blackcomb to Banff, Alberta and Quebec’s Mont Tremblant.
  5. Winter Rail Vacation: Book vacation time in the winter and take a winter train trip through the Rockies. Enjoy spectacular views and stay fit by exploring some of the beautiful scenic trails along the way.
  6. Ice Fishing: Ice fishing gets you in touch with nature and its peace and beauty. Combine your fishing trip with hikes on surrounding trails and you’ll work up quite an appetite for that fresh-caught pickerel, cooked over an open-fire.
  7. Québec’s Hôtel de Glace: For an unforgettable experience, take the family for a stay at Québec’s ice hotel. Rebuilt each year, it is open only from January to April.
  8. Zip Lining: if you’re really looking for a thrill, try winter zip lining at Marble Mountain. It has the longest and highest runs in Canada, and kids 6 and up can participate.
  9. Sledding: You can’t ignore sledding in the winter. The best thing to do is to have a crazy carpet in the car at all time. So wherever you go, be it the local park or winter camping, you’re always ready to find the biggest and best hills.
  10. Niagara Falls: It’s not just a summer destination. The CAA Winter Festival of Lights turns Niagara Falls into a sparkling wonderland—and you can still hit the waterparks and nearby Niagara-on-the-Lake.

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