Although the winters seem long in Edmonton there are plenty of wonderful activities in and outside that you can experience if you are one of those students that stay back in Edmonton over the winter break. This was now my second winter in Edmonton. I didn’t go back to my home country Germany because I participated both years in the MBA Games; it’s an annual event that takes place at the beginning of January in which MBA students from all over Canada compete in athletic, academic and spirit events. This year it was held on the beautiful Vancouver Island in Nanaimo, BC and we came in third. I can only highly recommend that you apply for next year’s MBA Games. Anyway, going back to what you can do in Edmonton while you are impatiently waiting to hop on a plane for the MBA Games, below is a list of the top 5 activities:
- The World Waterpark at West Edmonton Mall
Of course, everyone knows about West Edmonton Mall (WEM); however, before this winter I only went there for shopping and I had finally the opportunity to enjoy the water park at WEM. The indoor water park has 17 unique and amazing slides, including the Cyclone where riders can hit up to 40 mph, helping propel them through the near-vertical 360-degree loop. This was one of the most thrilling rides I have ever been on in my life. The World Waterpark is also home to the world’s largest indoor wave pool. Make sure that you book your ticket online to save a few bucks, or watch out for some special deals through the student union or other student groups.
- Ice Skating at City Hall
On a slightly warmer day (anything above -15 °C) take the LRT from University station to Churchill station and rent a pair of ice skates. In the winter, the wading pool that is just outside City Hall turns into a beautiful ice skating rink. Especially if you are from a warmer country and have never experienced ice skating before, this is a wonderful opportunity to learn how to do it while soaking in the nice views of downtown Edmonton.
- Ice Castles
This is next on my list. I have only heard positive things about Edmonton’s Ice Castles. Based on what my friends said, these structures are truly stunning. There are plenty of opportunities to take amazing pictures. You can even ride down one of the ice slides! Useful suggestion: Put on warm clothes.
- The REC Room
The REC Room is an entertainment destination that offers various activities such as bowling, pool, video games, and virtually reality activities. But I think the most exciting and unique activity is axe throwing. You can compete with friends and there are also coaches that can teach you the correct throwing technique. Perhaps one day you will become so good that you can participate in tournaments with prizes valued at over $1,000.
- North Saskatchewan River Valley
Enjoy the North Saskatchewan River Valley during the wintertime. It’s a beautiful winter wonderland. Go cross-country skiing or snowshoeing along the trails.
For more information on things to do in Edmonton, click here.
Written by Sebastien Hammacher