Best Winter Festivals in Canada

Christmas is upon us! While you plan your next holiday plans away from home, consider visiting a country that becomes a winter wonderland every Christmas: Canada. The Great White North is known for its stunning snowy views, skiing on the Rockies, ice lakes and of course, its incredible winter festivals.

Canada is generally cold between the months of November to March, but that doesn’t mean Canadians stay indoors, as winter means the stage is set for some of the country’s biggest and most popular festivals and events.

Experience Canada's winter wonderland in real life this Christmas. Take a journey to this snowy wonderland with us.

Winter Festivals in Canada

Best Winter Festivals in Canada

All across Canada a number of events and festivals are held throughout the winter months, from ice sculptures to ice skating, dining, music and even beard-growing competitions. The snow-capped mountains are some of the most beautiful sights you will ever see, while the frozen lakes in certain areas bring out budding ice skaters and families.

Get in the Christmas spirit this winter in the great country of Canada. Visit this beautiful country, or even stay a little longer.

Winter festivals are a huge part of what makes Canada great. Canadian winter festivals are a chance for us to celebrate our culture and heritage in the coldest time of year. Here is our list of the best festivals you can enjoy this winter! Learn more about Canada's amazing festivals here.

Quebec Winter Carnival

This is the biggest winter festival in the world and has been a highlight of Quebec’s calendar since 1894. Taking place every January and February, the festival has become so much more than just celebrating with delicious food and drinks. The festival now has a night parade which attracts thousands of festival-goers each year, concerts, snow sculptures, sleigh rides, and an ice palace!

The Winter Festival of Lights, Niagara Falls

The Winter Festival of Lights is a spectacular display of over 120 light illuminated displays and entices over 1 million attendees every year. The festival hosts a range of activities and events including the infamous Zimmerman Fountain, the awe-inspiring Fireworks over the Falls,15 3D Canadian Wildlife displays, the iconic illuminated Skylon Tower, over 50 trees decorated in sparkling lights in Dufferin Islands, Santa's Village, the Candlelight Stroll, a Christmas concert series and much, much more. For a truly magical experience, be sure not to miss the opening ceremony in Queen Victoria Park in Ontario.


WinterFest, hosted in Canada's Wonderland, located in Vaughan, just north of Toronto, is an amusement park turned into an immersive winter festival filled with family-friendly activities such as ice skating on the Snow Flake Lake ice rink, a night lighting ceremony, enjoy over a dozen live shows, meet 20 new Winterfest characters, visit 8 whimsical Winterfest worlds and much much more. WinterFest will be returning on select dates from November 18, 2022 to December 31, 2022.


Drawing crowds of thousands of music lovers, Igloofest is an annual outdoor music festival that takes place at the Old Port of Montreal, in Montreal. The annual winter music festival runs from January to February and this will year in celebration of Montreal’s 375th anniversary the special edition Igloofest will run for 6 weekends with twelve regular night winter shows to celebrate the occasion.

The event brings together some of the best local and international electronic music DJs on a giant playground and the music festival also has some unique competitions, such as the winter wear competition colorfully named “Iglooswagg”.

Snow Days - Ice Magic Festival, Lake Louise

Snow Days is an annual celebration that draws artists from across the globe to take part in its international ice sculpting competition at Ice Magic Festival, Alberta. When you're done ogling ice and snow sculptures are sure to take in the breathtaking sights in the region and enjoy some hiking, snowshoeing, or skiing or simply unwind and enjoy signature cocktails and local culinary dishes against the backdrop of the magnificent Canadian Rockies and Lake Louise situated in Banff National Park.

Winterlude is a 3 week-long event, with activities for all ages. You can skate along the Rideau Canal, the world’s largest outdoor skating rink, enjoy eclectic concerts, take part in a bed race, or marvel over phenomenal ice sculptures.

Things to Do In Canada In Winter

This is just the tip of the iceberg of what Canada has to offer. Besides incredible festivals, great food to keep you warm, and awesome activities for the whole family, Canada also has adventurous winter activities fo you to enjoy.

Skate along the Rideau Canal in Ottawa

In winter, around January and February, this 8km river turns into an ice-skater's dream with thousands of people taking to the ice. The Canal is completely transformed into a winter wonderland with food trucks, sleighs, and plenty of hot chocolate stations to keep everybody warm.

Zipline over the snow-capped forests

Zip lining is much more fun when the landscape is blanketed in white snow. Hit the treetops of areas like Whistler, where the tours take you along breathtaking routes through the forests. The newly established Sasquatch course is one for the brave. The course runs for 2 km at 180m above the ground and also holds the record for being the longest zipline in North America.

Skiing in Whistler

There is no way that you can visit Canada without hitting the slopes of some of the most impressive mountains in the world. Whistler has become one of the prime spots for skiing and snowboarding with 8100 acres of snow-covered slopes, 16 alpine bowls, 3 glaciers, world-class terrain parks, and more than 200 marked trails to explore.

Make Canada Your Home This Winter

Imagine celebrating Christmas with your family like this every year possible by making the decision to immigrate to Canada. As professionals in Canadian immigration, the team of Regulation Canadian Immigration Consultants (RCICs) that we work with, will guide you on your journey to make Canada your home.


What happens in a winter festival?

Winter festivals have tons of activities to offer for all ages. Traditional winter activities including dog sledding, ice hockey, ice carving, skating, skiing, and snow carving are a staple of most winter carnivals.

How can I visit Canada in Winter?

To enjoy a winter festival in Canada, you’ll need a visitor's visa or an (Electronic Travel Authorization) eTA, depending on where you’re visiting from. This visa will grant you 90 days in the country. If you’d like to explore Canada for longer, you can always apply for a Working Holiday Visa if you’re from one of Canada’s partnering countries and meet the eligibility requirements.

What do people do for Christmas in Canada?

Everyone has their own Christmas traditions. Because Canada is a melting pot of cultures, you’ll find that people in Canada will celebrate Christmas in their own unique way. Generally speaking, Canadians like to decorate their houses with Christmas Trees, lights and other decorations. Because Canada experiences snow over Christmas, you’re sure to experience sledding, skiing, and in many households, Santa.