Top Cultural Winter Experiences in Canada




Photo by Laura Lefurgey-Smith on Unsplash


A winter experience in Canada isn’t just for the thrill seekers who find passion in snowboarding and and skiing. The beauties of a Canadian winter are also those imbued with culture, experiences meant to energize the senses in other forms. “Canadian winter is a time of seasonal celebrations… including sleigh rides, cross country ski races, skating, bonfires, fireworks, and plenty of food and hot drinks.” Delectable foods will delight. Horse drawn sleigh rides will make you believe in romance. A dark sky festival is just as magical as it sounds.

We took to the challenge of finding those welcoming cultural and cuisine experiences to delight your wanderlust senses and cover you in snow lit wonder. Only the top experiences made the cut and we are happy to help fill your winter itinerary. Here lies winter Canada in a new light from snow covered steep hills. This Canada is one welcoming those who desire incredible cultural journeys and the chance to always find thrill in a cozy night in.


Cuisine Tours:

1. Days of Wine and Chocolate | 2. Eating a BeaverTails Pastry | 3. Great Canadian Lobster Fishing Feast | 4. Niagara Falls Icewine Festival | 5. Horse Drawn Sleigh Dining Tour | 6. RAW: churchill


1. Escape to Brentwood Bay | 2. SkiTuonela Cross Country Ski Resort | 3. Rundlestone Lodge

Cultural Experiences:

1. Hatfield Farm Cowboy Adventures | 2. Jasper Dark Sky Festival | 3. Ontario Power Generation Winter Festival of Lights



Cuisine Tours:

1. Days of Wine and Chocolate



True merriment comes from the perfect pairing of smooth, rich chocolate with deeply flavored, vibrant wine. Some may see the best winter afternoon flourishing in a relaxing environment while the smells, sights, and tastes of these culinary items lavishes you in wonder. Welcome to the Wineries of Niagara on the Lake which offers exactly that: mouth watering combinations of wine and chocolate to enjoy with laughter and delight. Over 20 wineries are featured in this end of winter experience while you bask in the beauties of snow-covered vineyards. Wineries of Niagara on the Lake are located in the city by the same name and runs these events from every weekend in February. The pass is $45 per person which gains you access to one weekend or all of them.


2. Eating a BeaverTails Pastry



A winter spent in Canada cannot be complete without trying the most iconic desserts of them all. BeaverTails Pastries is a secret known all to well by the locals for their melt in the mouth pastries and welcoming atmosphere. Started in 1978, BeaverTails Pastry knows how to warm you up after a long day of ice skating or simple basking in the snowy lands. BeaverTails can be found in most tourist areas and are in business from December to March. Go grab a pastry and warm those frosty fingers.


3. Great Canadian Lobster Fishing Feast



Did you know Canada has a really vast market for lobster? Now you do and you know to take part in White Point Beach Resort’s Great Canadian Lobster Fishing Feast and get first hand experience in the industry. This experience allows you to be a critical member in a lobster fishing adventure, helping Captain Crouse and his team gather only the best. After you day at sea, you will be gathered at an oceanside bonfire and watch your masterpiece fishing come to life as Red Seal Executive Chef Alan Crosby cooks up a delectable lobster feast. Cozy up at the White Point Beach Resort as this experience includes the coziest of stays. Located in White Point/Liverpool, Nova Scotia, White Point Beach Resort is the home of your winter Canada dreams. Specific dates are reserved for this experience from March 23 to May 8 and cost $699 per person (double occupancy). 


4. Niagara Falls Icewine Festival



A trip to Canada is always hallmarked by seeing the Niagara Falls. This is paramount in winter as the frost and snow settle to create a scene meant for winter romance. The Niagara Icewine Festival only heightens the experience with the best glasses of wine you will come across. Reds and whites delight while live music keeps you swaying to a beautiful beat, food tantalizes every tastebud, and sculpture and lights twinkle in front of you. Visit the Icewine Festival in Niagara Falls, Ontario, at the end of January for $65 – you’ll never want your winter experience to end.


5. Horse Drawn Sleigh Dining Tour



Can you picture a magical horse drawn sleigh, slowly transporting you from one beautiful snowed in scene to the next, while you can hear the sizzle of lovingly cooked food being prepared for you? If yes, Big White’s Horse Drawn Sleigh Dining Tour was created especially for you. An old-fashioned sleigh takes you to a warmly lit and intimately designed cabin in the woods where a full Canadian, traditional breakfast awaits you. Every second of this experience is meant to excite with cultural thrills, stunning views, and the best food by Kettle Valley Steak House. This excursion finds it home in Big White, British Columbia, and welcomes any guest from December 16-April 1 for $38.50 or $65.00 depending on the meal of choice.


6. RAW: churchill



If you are seeking a trip which expertly combines adventure and cultural exploration, look no farther than RAW: churchill. Guests will dine on incredible foods by one of Canada’s top chefs inside a 300 year old fort while the Northern Lights twinkle gently above. RAW: churchill brings the best of both worlds in its ability to capture the essence of a Canadian experience with its stunning combination of cultural landmark and top cuisine. A Tundra Buggy will then transport you back while you continue to enjoy the sights of a winter’s eve. Located in Churchill, Manitoba, RAW: churchill runs from March 2 – 10 for $350.



1. Escape to Brentwood Bay



A winter excursion to Canada will lead you to search high and low for a resort which checks all the boxes: warming comforts, ultimate accommodations, and exhilarating amenities. Brentwood Bay Resort and Spa offers all of that and so much more to its guests. The Resort is known as the perfect winter getaway and visitors agree when they are treated to OceanSuites with king sized comforts, complementary breakfast for two, apple cider and truffles upon check in, and a full service spa just waiting to pamper and indulge. Visitors can find Brentwood Bay Resort in Victoria and stay for November – March 31 for $199 a night.


2. SkiTuonela Cross Country Ski Resort


For a more traditionally adventurous resort to call home during your winter vacation in Canada, SkiTuonela Cross Country Ski Resort is a must. As a ski in, off grid establishment, SkiTuonela offers a uniquely thrilling stay in a serene environment in Baddeck, Nova Scotia. The Cape Breton Highlands frame the backdrop of this stunning resort while 30 km of backcountry trails make your stay even more exciting. SkiTuonela is open from Christmas through Easter for a cost of $295 for a two night stay.


3. Rundlestone Lodge



The glories of the Canadian Rockies intertwine with modern, luxury accommodations at the Rundlestone Lodge. Located in snow covered Banff, the Lodge is everything you want in a stay. Sleep in a variety of rooms styles to suit all comforts and individual desires. Dine at Banff’s longest standing restaurant. Open your door to the wonders of exciting winter activities. Everything is yours from the Rundlestone Lodge for $100-$475 a night depending upon accommodation chosen. This Lodge can be your stunning home for your Canadian winter from November to May.


Cultural Experiences:

1. Hatfield Farm Cowboy Adventures



A cultural winter experience has to include a horse drawn sleigh or wagon ride through powdery snows and chilly temperatures that beg for friends and family to cuddle up. The Hatfield Farm Cowboy Adventures is a perfect setting for exactly these family activities. They offer sleigh or wagon rides which show you the beauties of the land which are quickly followed by steaming hot chocolates and fun activities such as a petting zoo or playgrounds. Everyone in your party will enjoy the adventure as Hatfield makes your experience memorable. Find them in Hammonds Plains, Nova Scotia year round at $4 admissions and $14.99 HST.


2. Jasper Dark Sky Festival



Awarded by Canada’s Royal Astronomical Society for its missions towards eliminating light pollution and emphasizing star gazing, the Jasper Dark Sky Festival puts all technology to sleep while the absolutely stunning natural views of the night sky incite wonder and passion in its viewers. The grassroots festival takes place in Jasper, Alberta and welcomes all those who wan to connect to each other and the environment through the magic of star lit, winter night skies. The Festival runs two weekends in October and many of the events hosted are free to the public.


3. Ontario Power Generation Winter Festival of Lights



Niagara Falls sets a vivid picture in our imagination when illuminated with twinkling lights and stunning sights. 8 kilometres of illuminated paths stretch out near the Falls at the Ontario Power Generation Winter Festival of Lights, capturing imaginations and wonders. The Festival is made even more amazing by firework displays and sound and light shows all throughout the event. The Festival is held in Niagara Falls, Ontario, from November to January and is free to anyone who needs an unforgettable sight to remember their winter trip to Canada.


Jump to any destination here:

Cuisine Tours:

1. Days of Wine and Chocolate | 2. Eating a BeaverTails Pastry | 3. Great Canadian Lobster Fishing Feast | 4. Niagara Falls Icewine Festival | 5. Horse Drawn Sleigh Dining Tour | 6. RAW: churchill


1. Escape to Brentwood Bay | 2. SkiTuonela Cross Country Ski Resort | 3. Rundlestone Lodge

Cultural Experiences:

1. Hatfield Farm Cowboy Adventures | 2. Jasper Dark Sky Festival | 3. Ontario Power Generation Winter Festival of Lights


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About the Author: Rachel Gross

Rachel Gross is a nationally-recognized author, women’s voice advocate and proponent of self-improvement. Her work can be found in several niche-interest lifestyle publications, blogs and more. A life enthusiast and natural creative, Rachel is driven by the strength within each of us. She believes in the power of exploration, travel which excites, and a good cup of coffee.

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