Wintertime in Canada can get downright blustery and drive many people indoors. However, just because it’s cold outside doesn’t mean outdoor activities have to stop! In fact, once the temperatures consistently dip below freezing, this starts an all-new season of winter activities for the whole family to enjoy.

If you’re planning on taking on some winter activities when the cold weather arrives, we created a list of the 12 best winter activities in Canada to help with your plans.

1. Go Skiing and Snowboarding

Canada is fortunate to have some of the world’s most incredible skiing and snowboarding locations. These ski destinations range from snow-capped mountains to ski resorts that feature accommodations ranging from rustic to luxurious to fit every type of visitor. From ski resorts like Whistler Blackcomb and Mont Tremblant, you can enjoy coast-to-coast skiing all winter long in Canada.

On the west coast, you can choose from various popular skiing and snowboarding locations, such as Whistler Blackcomb (as mentioned), Revelstoke, Sun Peaks, and Big White in British Columbia. If you’re heading toward Alberta, you can check out Lake Louise in Banff National Park, Sunshine Village, or Marmot Basin for incredible skiing and accommodations.

If you’re in eastern Canada, Quebec has loads to offer the avid skier, including Mont-Tremblant, Mont Sainte Anne, and Le Massif. If you’re heading through Ontario, you can also have a skiing getaway at Blue Mountain.

2. Check Out the Aurora Borealis (Northern Lights)

The Northern Lights — officially known as Aurora Borealis — is a stunning natural light display in the nighttime sky. You can only view this stunning natural beauty in the Northern Hemisphere.

The best part about the Northern Lights is they are 100% free to view, and you can see them from multiple places throughout Canada in the winter.

Some of the best places to view the Northern Lights include Yellowknife, Goose Bay in Labrador, Manitoba’s Hudson Bay, and the prairie provinces of Canada. You can also catch glimpses of this natural beauty near Alberta’s Jasper National Park and Banff National Park as well as Churchill Wild.

3. Go Ice Skating on the Rideau Canal

One of the most legendary winter activities in Canada is ice skating on the Rideau Canal. The ice skating season at Rideau Canal typically begins during Winterlude, Ottawa’s winter carnival. At the canal, you can get a pair of rental ice skates and go ice skating on the largest skating rink in the world.

The canal’s skating surface stretches for miles and features warming stations offering frozen maple syrup and beavertails. You’ll also find plenty of adventures along the Rideau Canal, as it carves its way through Ottawa.

4. Check Out Dog Sledding Tours

Another legendary winter adventure you can enjoy during the wintertime in Canada is Dog sledding. All 13 Canadian provinces and territories offer dog sledding, but the sledding season will vary due to slight climate variations nationwide. For example, if you want to get in on mushing early, Whitehorse in Yukon offers dog sledding from November to March. However, the ideal mushing time in Quebec is from January to March.

What are a few great dog sledding locations in Canada? There are plenty of them, but some highlights include Winterdance Dogsledding in Haliburton, Ontario; SimRik Dogsledding in the Great Divide; and various destinations in the Laurentians in Quebec.

5. Go Snowmobiling

If you’re not up for a day full of skiing or snowboarding, you can try snowmobiling instead. All across Canada, there are kilometres of trails perfect for snowmobiling. One incredible option is the Trans Canada Trail, which connects the country with over a 21,500 km-long trail.

Another solid option is the snowmobile route in Quebec that starts in Quebec City and meanders to Hudson Bay in the north. Prefer a very backcountry snowmobile experience? Check out the trails in British Columbia’s Whistler.

6. Try Ice Fishing

Though temperatures fall sharply during the wintertime, this doesn’t cool off the fishing in Canada. On the contrary, ice fishing is a popular and unique experience that involves trekking across a frozen lake, drilling a hole in the ice, and dropping your fishing line in the frigid waters.

The wind can get whipping on a frozen lake, resulting in bone-chilling wind-chill factors, so most Canadians like to set up their fishing camp in a warm fishing hut. However, some more adventurous spirits prefer roughing it in the bitter cold. You can pick whichever is best suited for you.

You can find loads of ice fishing destinations in Canada, including Lake Simcoe just north of Toronto and Tobin Lake in Manitoba. You can also head to British Columbia or Quebec and find good ice fishing.

7. Head Out Snowshoeing

Are you looking for an inexpensive, exciting, and healthy winter activity in Canada? Snowshoeing is a great cold-weather activity option due to its super-low cost and how easy it is for people of all ages to learn snowshoeing techniques. This also makes it a great winter activity for the whole family.

What’s great is you can snowshoe through a wide range of terrain, including hiking trails, forests, frozen lakes, and mountain slopes. Plus, snowshoeing is an incredible workout, making it a favourite winter outdoor activity among avid walkers, runners, and hikers.

8. Go Cross-Country Skiing

Cross-country skiing is a great alternative for those who want to ski in the winter months but aren’t up for the speed of hurtling down a mountainside. Plus, with a shallow learning curve and minimal injury risk, it’s fun for the whole family, even beginners. This popular winter sport in Canada is available virtually anywhere in the country, including at most ski resorts.

You can also take this Canadian winter adventure further by trying skijoring. This exciting activity combines skiing and dogsledding. Basically, you wear a set of cross-country skis, and tie a rope to your waist on one end and connect it to a few excited pups and have them pull you along the trail.

9. Have a Snowball fight

No wintertime is complete without at least one epic snowball fight. Make it worthwhile by inviting the whole family or the entire block into an open field. Maybe even set up a battlefield-like location with objects to hide behind and piles of premade snowballs for even more excitement.

Just make sure to do it safely by wearing face and ice protection in case someone catches a snowball in the face. Also, schedule it after fresh snowfall so the snow is soft and loose and less likely to hurt anyone.

10. Try Fat Biking

Just because most of Canada is a winter wonderland doesn’t mean you must retire your bicycle for the season. Instead, you can try out fat biking, essentially riding a mountain bike with significantly fatter rims and tires than you’d use in the summer and spring months.

These fatter tires give you additional traction and make it feel like you’re almost floating on the snow. This turns those snow-covered biking trails into spectacular options again.

Some spectacular fat biking areas include British Columbia and Rum Runner Trail, though you can find great options anywhere.

11. Go Tobogganing or Snowtubing

Another favorite winter pastime in Canada is tobogganing and snowtubing. And the great thing about tobogganing is you can head out and find great places dedicated to this winter sport or just head to a nearby park or your own backyard and create your own tobogganing track. No matter how you do it, tobogganing is loads of fun for the whole family.

If you’re looking for some great tobogganing spots in Canada that aren’t in your immediate vicinity, some great options include Gorsebrook School Hill in Halifax, Nova Scotia; Park du Mont-Royal in Montreal, Quebec; Christie Pits Park in Toronto, Ontario; and the Coca-Cola Tube Park in Whistler, British Columbia.

12. Visit Frozen Waterfalls

Canada has beautiful waterfalls that are huge tourist destinations during the summer and spring months. In the wintertime, they often freeze and become magical.

There’s no shortage of Canadian waterfalls to explore in the wintertime, but one legendary site to see is the frozen Niagara Falls. Typically a roaring horseshoe-shaped waterfall most of the year, these falls are silenced and frozen in place by the frigid Canadian winter, making for a truly unique experience.

But Niagara Falls is only one option. You can find countless beautiful frozen waterfalls throughout Canada this time of year.

Pick up a Quality Used Car for Your Fun-Filled Winter Activities

Ready to plan some exciting winter activities this year? You’ll want to make sure you have a quality used car that’ll help you get there. That’s where Clutch, Canada’s premier online used car retailer, can help. We have loads of winter-ready used vehicles in stock and ready for your next adventure.

Not sure about purchasing a used winter car online? Rest assured that we offer comprehensive, high-resolution, 360-degree photography (highlighting any imperfections) to give you a detailed look that you can flip through in your own time. 

Rest assured that every Clutch car is put through a rigorous 210-point inspection and reconditioning process, ensuring your next ride is in tip-top shape and ready for the road. 

We also include our extensive 90-Day Protection Plan free of charge on every vehicle for additional peace of mind

Best of all, every Clutch car comes with a 10-Day Money-Back Guarantee, which means that if you don’t love your  during that period, you can exchange it for a new one or return it for a no-questions-asked refund.

Check out our inventory of quality used cars today and choose a model suitable for you. You can even set up financing and get your trade-in vehicle appraised entirely online — then we’ll deliver your new ride to your door. How easy is that?