(Photo: Chris Amat/Travel Alberta)

Things to Do in Alberta: January 2022

By Jeff Cummings

Start 2022 by exploring everything Alberta offers in winter, from snowy winter festivals and outdoor parties to ice-skating and skiing. And don’t forget about achieving your New Year resolutions. There’s so much to do to start your year off celebrating Alberta’s winter season

There are endless opportunities for families who want to connect with nature by ice-skating outdoors. And you don’t have to travel far, either. In Calgary, Bowness Park has an ice trail that’s 1.6 km long, and North Glenmore Park has an ice trail close to seven football fields long. In Edmonton’s scenic river valley, the Victoria Park IceWay has a three-loop skating trail that winds through the forest of Victoria Park. There’s also a handful of opportunities for skating in Alberta’s national parks, particularly near Banff. Nearby Lake Minnewanka is one of the most photogenic spots for ice skating in the province. Be sure to check with Parks Canada before skating on lakes to learn about ice safety conditions. Get your Parks Canada Discovery Passes at your nearby AMA centre. Members save $10 on family passes. You can also save $4 on annual adult passes or save $2 on senior annual passes.   

Harness the rugged romance of traditional Western living at Red Deer’s Heritage Ranch. Cradle a hot mug of hot cocoa and snuggle under a blanket on a Winter Night sleigh ride. Led by a pair of sturdy horses, the half-hour trip winds its way through the ranch’s beautiful trails. After the ride, treat yourself to a five-course dining experience at the ranch’s Westlake Grill. Are you looking to add a little more excitement? Take your special someone for a day on the slopes before visiting the Heritage Ranch. Canyon Ski Resort is Alberta’s largest non-mountain ski resort, and it’s only minutes away from town. AMA members can save 10% on a full-day lift ticket. 

Alberta’s Kananaskis Country and the Canmore region isn’t just for skiers and snowshoers in the winter. It’s a prime location for fat biking. For starters, the Canmore Nordic Centre is an excellent location as it offers 60 km of groomed track for fat biking. There’s also more than a dozen mountain trails to explore in nearby Peter Lougheed Provincial Park and another 15 to discover in Kananaskis Valley.

Not sure what fat biking is? Learn more about it in AMA Insider’s winter 2021 issue

If exercise is nature’s stress reliever, then hitting the slopes at Marmot Basin near Jasper might be a cure for the winter blahs. Virtually every location on the mountain has a breathtaking viewpoint, and Marmot Basin has the highest base elevation of any major Canadian ski area. There are 91 runs at this resort, with many opportunities for any skier or snowboarder from any skill level. AMA members can get four consecutive day lift tickets for the price of three days. That’s one free day of skiing or snowboarding. Plus members can also save on daily lift tickets and Marmot Escape cards when purchased at AMA Travel. 

Dogsledding at Jasper in January (Photo: Jeff Bartlett/Travel Alberta)

Speaking of Jasper, the mountain village is celebrating its annual Jasper in January festival from Jan. 14 to Jan. 30. Celebrate adventure, appetites and arts before the festival ends with a street party and fireworks display. The large festival also includes the Jasper Pond Hockey Tournament on Lake Mildred. Plus, many of the activities, from wildlife photography to snowshoeing, are free. Check the Jasper in January site for dates and prices. Need a hotel? Don’t forget AMA members save at select hotels. Get the Best Price Guarantee for select hotels in the Canadian Rockies.

Starting a new year presents an opportunity to start something new or do something life-changing. Support your New Year’s resolution goals by flexing your way through a yoga session at Yoga You4ia in Medicine Hat or Bliss YogaSpa in Edmonton. A gym membership can also help your fitness goals in 2022. AMA members get two months free on a one-year membership at all Alberta Anytime Fitness locations. If relaxation and taking time for yourself is a goal in 2022, float in a tank. The Float Wellness & Massage spa in Sherwood Park offers float tanks that can melt your stress away. AMA members save 10% on float packages, memberships, and massages at the Float Wellness & Massage.

Sometimes the best festivals are the cold ones. Embrace winter in Edmonton’s Old Strathcona by checking out the annual Ice on Whyte Festival as it returns on Jan. 27. Visitors can watch professional ice carving teams compete against each other to create jaw-dropping icy artistry. You can also learn how to make your own ice sculpture as the event will offer classes for people of all ages. After watching the competitions, cap your day off by sipping a beer or a cocktail at the event’s ice bar.