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Some people hide indoors in the winter, or take a winter holiday to a tropical spot. Not us! We celebrate winter and take various kinds holidays from half day outdoor adventures to weekend getaways. Here are some of our favorite winter holidays.

 

Snowmobile Trips

Snowmobiling is our number one winter activity. The photo below was taken near Waskesiu, Saskatchewan, just outside the Prince Albert National Park. While snowmobiling isn’t allowed in the park, there are over 400 km of snowmobile trails you can access.

Winter snowmobile trip to Waskesiu, Saskatchewan.

Winter snowmobile trip to Waskesiu, Saskatchewan.

We stayed at the Elk Ridge Resort — one of the few four star destinations in northern Saskatchewan. Located just a few miles from the village of Waskesiu, Elk Ridge is a popular spot year-round for everything from conferences to weddings to quiet retreats to enjoy nature. Winter activities include such things as starlight ice skating, waterslides and hot tubs, cross-country skiing, snowshoeing and more.

Downhill Skiing

While the bunny hill is still a challenge for me, some members of our family absolutely love downhill skiing.

Downhill skiing in Alberta.

Downhill skiing in Alberta. Photo courtesy of Travel Alberta, Image Collection IV.

Banff, Alberta, is one of the most popular skiing destinations in Western Canada. On my last visit there, I took the opportunity to stay at the Banff Springs Hotel. The experience truly was like being in a winter wonderland in this beautiful, castle-like hotel! And everyone tells me the slopes were spectacular too.

Dogsledding

My first dogsledding adventure was a number of years ago in Churchill, Manitoba. And what an adventure it was!

Dogsledding in Churchill, Manitoba.

Dogsledding in Churchill, Manitoba.

There are two ways to get to Churchill, Manitoba–flying in or taking the train. Its very remoteness, on the shores of Hudson Bay, may be part of our fascination with the place that’s often called the Polar Bear Capital of the World. In addition to dogsledding, I particularly enjoyed my excursion in the Tundra Buggy and those magical nights watching the aurora borealis.

You’ll find dogsledding outfitters from the Yukon to Quebec.

Winter Carnival

Canada is home to many winter carnivals, from Winnipeg, Manitoba’s Festival du Voyageur, to Prince Albert, Saskatchewan’s Winter Festival (celebrating 49 years in 2013!), but the biggest of them all is the Quebec Carnival.

The Snow Bath event at Quebec Carnival.

The Snow Bath event at Quebec Carnival.

Quebec Carnival 2013 runs from February 1 to 17, and while I’ve already attended twice, I’d still love to go again! The snow bath pictured above (often called a Polar Bear Dip at other winter carnivals) is one of the zaniest events–this photo also shows Bonhomme, the snowman mascot or ambassador for the Carnival. From the Bonhomme’s ice palace to the dogsled races through Old Quebec to the ice sculptures, Carnival is truly an event you should do at least once in your life.

Winter Hike and Wiener Roast

There’s nothing quite as stunning as a snowy white landscape under a clear blue sky and sunshine, with the snow crunching underfoot and a dog barking along the trail. Well actually, as long as the day is relatively warm and you have friends along, a winter hike and wiener roast are still a pretty great way to spend an afternoon outdoors as you can see from this photo of one last winter!

Winter wiener roast at the Scheidt Farm at Qu'Appelle, SK.

Winter wiener roast at the Scheidt Farm at Qu’Appelle, SK.

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