A note from Ed: With things changing daily, please double check that events and establishments are still on and open as we approach the holiday season. And stay safe!
Ed adores walking down Whyte Ave, which is dressed up with lights and other decorative baubles, cradling a cup of hot cocoa from Block 1912. Restrictions and the cold weather may be keeping everyone at home, but Ed loves the hustle and bustle of Whyte Ave and enjoys the walk through the heart of Edmonton’s cultural and food scene.
Edmonton’s favourite winter show, Luminaria, returns all month long! Spend a magical evening at the University of Alberta’s Botanic Gardens with snow spirits and lights.
Bob Fedina’s Christmas light show (7421 108 St) is all set for the December 1 premiere, and Ed can’t wait. Last year, Bob added a little bit of spice in his Christmas display with some flamingos and palm trees. Stop by the light show to see what’s in store this season.
The University of Alberta runs a live stream of Meg Braem’s play, Chrysothemis — about a girl who tries to win back her family’s affection through cooking — December 5, with a digital, on-demand performance available from December 12 to January 1. This heartwarming story will make your heart grow three sizes!
Ed always learns something new at the Telus World of Science. It has so many events, IMAX movies and exhibits going on that make it easy to spend an entire day learning — even from home! Ripley’s Believe It Or Not is on for another month and IMAX theatre is showing December favourites like The Polar Express.
Rapid Fire Theatre presents Julian Faid and Matt Schuurman who will improvise their Ted Talks online on December 12. Ed knows this show will not be like other Ted Talks — because chances are you won’t learn anything — but hey, it’s been a tough year and you deserve a laugh.
The McLeod Community Hall holds Light Up the Night, an outdoor event on December 12. Ed can’t wait to attend because the ticket also includes a warm beverage, Jackie O’s mini doughnuts and entertainment. The guided tour will also give you the chance to do some last minute shopping from Country Market Gourmet Foods.
When Ed’s staff starts to miss Game of Thrones episodes, they find themselves watching the wolves play at the Edmonton Valley Zoo (#TeamStark). In December, the zoo also runs Zoominescence, an exhibition of spectacular light displays, which run throughout the whole zoo. You can enjoy the lights, see some animals and grab a hot chocolate, too.
Forget Santa, Priyanka is coming to town! Canada’s Drag Race season one winner performs at Union Hall on December 12. The show features local queens as well like Panos and Valentina Bitton.
The Citadel offers a streaming option with its Horizon Live Series. Catch shows like A Christmas Carol from the comfort of your home and eat pizza at the same time.
The holiday season wouldn’t be complete without the Festival of Trees. Even though the festival is virtual this year, there are activities running all month long. You can virtually visit with Santa, share story time with Mrs. Claus and even have the festival delivered to you.
Ed can’t wait to explore the Winter Wonder Forest in the Rainbow Valley campground. With its drive-through format, you can enjoy a magical light display and still see Santa and Mrs. Claus. Spot the reindeer on your drive and tap along to performances by Dylan Farrell.
Go through the Gold Bar Community solving puzzles and completing tasks with your family, all ending with a final take-home activity, and a goodie bag. The first challenge starts at the Gold Bar Community League on December 13, running from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. Dress warm, and come early for the treat bags.
Take the QEII Highway and follow the gingerbread crumbs to Leduc Country Lights. From now until January 3, you can walk through the exhibit, and even though Santa won’t be able to make an appearance, the lights are sure to make you smile.
The Boot Scootin’ Boogie Dance Hall holds a Polar Express Pajama Extravaganza December 19. It’s an interactive movie night with popcorn, props, PJs and bags of goodies!
Ed loves to ski — even after last season’s pine trees incident. This year, Ed knows to bend the knees, and practices often at Snow Valley Ski Hill. Day passes are available, as are rentals, but they’re selling out fast. There are plenty of places to cross country ski, too!
In January 2020, Edmonton City encouraged everyone to try winterscaping, and if you didn’t get the chance to try it then, you can try it now! Use snow, colour and lights to brighten up your gardens this year and get your creative juices flowing.
Since 1995, Edmonton has participated in the National Audubon Society and Bird Studies Canada’s science project, and this year, the streak continues. The project is simple: you count the birds that either visit your feeder or the birds that feed along trails.
For Ed, a lockdown doesn’t mean there’s no winter fun. After all, Edmonton is home to some amazing hills and ponds. Strap on your skates, grab your sledge and stay active this winter season.
How much of Edmonton do you really know? Explore Edmonton this winter and find all its hidden gems. Downtown is great, but walk through the chic art studio style homes in Riverdale, or the buzzing Ritchie neighbourhood. Check out the art scene on Alberta Avenue and the cafes there. Or go on a hike through the river valley.
On December 1, 8 and 15, join Anne Marie Szucs for yin/yang yoga., which focuses on heat building movement and holding poses for longer.
The Edmonton Opera’s head scenic artist Megan Kumpula will help you create your very own scenic masterpiece on December 18. The event includes supplies, a drink and the piece de resistance, a treat from Duchess Bake Shop. The event is flexible so it can be held virtually as well.
Trivia Plus is partnering up with The Bear’s Den for a Christmas Movie Trivia night. This online event has everything from music to cash prizes. You can play along with your family and test your movie knowledge. And if you get hungry, grab some take out from your favourite local restaurant.
No one got to travel this year, but you still have the chance to take your taste buds to a whole new place on December 17. The Rocky Mountain Icehouse and Steven Koch bring “The Big Easy” A taste of New Orleans to Edmonton. The coursed dinner consists of flavourful food paired with an amazing drink. With limited seating and restrictions in place, you don’t want to miss out.
People keep finding new ways to celebrate Christmas, and Ed thinks that’s what the holiday season is really about. On December 21 and 22, the Edmonton Opera holds a drive-in show, with performances taking place on the roof of the Jubilee (yes, really). You can listen to the performances on the FM radio and sing along in your car.