Jan 19, 2021
We might not be able to travel abroad, but that doesn’t mean we can’t have fun. Now is the perfect time to get out of the house and get to know some of Alberta’s cities more intimately. Why not plan a day trip or weekend road trip to another city to shake things up and explore other places in your own backyard? Begin your journey at Calgary Co-op’s gas station for a fuel up, and some snacks and drinks, then head out on Alberta’s open roads.
Known as a lively town, and always ready for a good time, Edmonton has plenty to offer this fall and winter. Get outside and enjoy some easy fun snow tubing at Sunridge Ski Area or try some shopping at the absolutely massive West Edmonton Mall.
In late January and early February, take part in the Ice on Whyte Festival in the Old Strathcona district. Watch professional ice carvers compete, ice skate, try and ice slide, or—if you’ve had enough of the cold—warm up by the fire and people watch.
Later in February, the city’s oldest winter event, the Silver Skate Festival, offers a snow sculpture garden, and curling lessons.
Prefer green to white? Visit the Muttart Conservatory, which is currently undergoing rehabilitation but will reopen in early 2021. This indoor tropical oasis is a stunning getaway from winter.
If you have little ones to entertain, try the Edmonton Valley Zoo, and spot Canadian lynx, Asian elephants, otters, Siberian tigers and a variety of amphibians and reptiles.
If your outing is more grown-up and you’re looking for something to warm you up on a cold day, visit one of Edmonton’s many craft breweries or try a craft brewery or distillery tour.
Enjoy a more mild winter in Lethbridge, where you can have classic fall-themed fun by trying the Lethbridge corn maze. Learn more about our past by driving an hour outside of the city and visit Writing-On-Stone Provincial Park to see the largest collection of stone drawings and carvings in North America.
Interested in art? Southern Alberta Art Gallery offers exhibitions and programming on contemporary art by local, regional and international artists. Head over to Street Legal Records, Lethbridge’s only independent record store, to nab some vinyl for days spent at home. Or you can learn about the city and southern Alberta’s history by visiting the renowned Galt Museum.
Medicine Hat is an art lover’s paradise. See modern and contemporary art in a beautiful renovated industrial setting at Medalta pottery in the Historic Clay District, or soak up a variety of arts at the Esplanade Arts and Heritage Center. Learn about the lifecycle of butterflies and see many exotic plants and insects at the Windmill Garden Centre which is the home of John’s Butterfly House.
Looking to get active on your road trip? Drive 45 minutes southeast to Hidden Valley Ski Resort for casual winter sport fun.
Or plan for the perfect picture at the Saamis Tepee, which was originally constructed for the 1988 Calgary Winter Olympic games. Southern Alberta’s only stock car track, Medicine Hat Speedway is also a fun diversion that kids will love.
If you enjoy eating farm to table, then Red Deer is exactly the place for you. With thousands of farms in the area, you can always find locally grown seasonal food. Weather permitting, test your off-road skills at the Red Deer Mountain Bike Park, where you can ride a track and enjoy plenty of dirt jumps.
An enjoyable winter activity is to visit the Alberta Sports Hall of Fame and Museum to see exhibits on some of the province’s most famous athletes and learn about different sports’ history in the province.
Get active outside at Canyon Ski Resort where you can partake in casual skiing fun. Seeking a thrill? Tryout paintball at Outcast Society Paintball Field & Store. And finally don’t leave town without grabbing a donut from the world famous Donut Mill just off the highway.
Safe Road Trip Tips
As is always necessary in these times, please follow all health and safety guidelines. Attractions may not be open or have traditional hours due to weather and public health concerns. Please check each attraction’s website or phone them to find out more information about their current hours and operating procedures.
Calgary Co-op gas stations will be transitioning to E10 ethanol blended gasoline on December 1, 2021*.
We all know Alberta’s reputation as one of the most beautiful places in the world with its badlands, prairies, glaciers, mountains, lakes, and vast forestland.
Most people forget all about their own backyards when planning vacations and getaways.