best places in canada for christmas

Winters are magical at the best places to spend Christmas in Canada! A true epitome of the most beautiful winter wonderland, Canada is the place to be for everyone who loves winter. Christmas in Canada is truly a picture book representation of winter’s best part! 

The majority of the landscapes are blanketed in fluffy white snow, and sparkling snowflakes are falling from the sky, creating the kind of enchanted scene that most people only see in movies. Although the summers are lovely and warm, Canada’s winters are exceptional.

Best Places to Spend Christmas in Canada

One of the best places to spend Christmas in Canada for a lot of people who enjoy the Christmas festival and winters in general. This list that we have curated for you, doesn’t entirely have to be visited only during Christmas in Canada, but any time of the year because of how Christmassy the place is. They reflect the holiday vibes and are thus great places to visit at any time of the year. Let’s begin with the list of the best places to spend Christmas in Canada.

  • Christmas in Canada’s Banff, Alberta

Let’s start the list of the best places to spend Christmas in Canada to celebrate Christmas with Banff, Alberta. This incredible little corner of the mountain paradise, which is arguably the finest Christmas town in the entire world, seems straight out of a movie. There are numerous hotels, eateries, and bars along the main street, which is also lined with various shops and restaurants and adorned with Christmas lights. The Rocky Mountains surround the town in every direction, towering over it. Banff is the ideal location to spend Christmas in Canada because it has a skating rink outside, a number of fantastic ski resorts, a ton of snow, and lots of things to do.

  • Christmas in Canada’s Canmore, Alberta

best places in Canada to celebrate Christmas with canmore

Another great place to be in the winter is the Canadian Rockies. But you don’t have to put up with the hordes of tourists who swarm this area when it turns into a snow-covered winter wonderland. There are some lesser-known towns you can visit that might end up being the highlight of your journey.

While the majority of tourists are making their way to Banff, the crown jewel of the Rockies, other towns that are just as charming or perhaps even more so merit a detour and a night or two spent there.

If you’re in Canmore, Alberta, the Canadian Rockies’ are an absolute must-see. Canmore is a hidden gem that is smaller in size, but the charm is still present. With endlessly picturesque views around every corner, cafes and restaurants that will satisfy any foodie, and an abundance of winter activities like dog sledding, ice skating, snowshoeing, cross-country skiing, caving, and a Winter Carnival every February, this place is a favourite of many people. However, what makes it so special is the sense of walking around a small town.

  • Christmas in Canada’s Jasper, Alberta

Christmas in Canada’s Jasper

Jasper, in Alberta, Canada, is a picturesque mountain town, similar to Banff. The famous Icefields Parkway, which begins at Lake Louise and is one of the most scenic drives in the world, passes through it, making it a very busy location in the summer. In addition to being incredibly beautiful, the Icefields Parkway is also at one end of this busy location.

Jasper, however, is less crowded in the winter than Banff. It still receives a decent amount of tourists, but owing to its smaller size and more remote location, it continues to be a peaceful community enveloped by mountain peaks and true wilderness. This contributes to the appeal. The area is known for its wonderful outdoor activities, as well as its Christmas lights and quaint shops. You can explore at your leisure in a calm environment. Anyone looking for adventure will find something in Jasper, from top-notch skiing to winter hiking.

  • Christmas in Canada’s Lake Louise, Alberta

Christmas in Canada’s Lake Louise

In the summer, Lake Louise may be best known for its stunning Instagram photos of turquoise, glacier-fed water, but in the winter, the lake is transformed into a true winter wonderland. This region’s natural surroundings are what really make it beautiful in the winter. On either side of the lake, the Canadian Rockies rise, and a glacier can be seen in the distance. In the winter, when the lake is completely frozen, a wide range of outdoor activities are made possible. There aren’t many best places to spend Christmas in Canada where you can actually walk across a frozen lake, so you can start by just strolling around the lake. You can also skate around the lake or participate in a hockey game that the Fairmont Chateau Lake-Louise has organised.

The world’s top ice carvers visit the region each year for the Ice Magic Festival to fashion spectacular ice sculptures along the lake’s shores. Since the sculptures are kept in perfect condition by the winter weather, you could still enjoy them weeks after you can’t make it during the festival. Since the lake is located within the biggest ski area in North America, the region attracts lots of skiers. Whatever you decide to do, Lake Louise will make you feel as though you have entered a wintery fairytale.

  • Christmas in Canada’s Abraham Lake, Alberta

Christmas in Canada’s Abraham Lake

Alberta has far more Canadian winter wonderlands than is reasonable. But Abraham Lake, tucked away in between Banff and Jasper, is a treasure that many people overlook.

Abraham Lake is well-known for the mind-boggling number of methane ice bubbles that are trapped in the lake’s clear ice during the winter. Both during the months of summer and the winter, tourists flock to this incredible man-made lake located on the North Saskatchewan River in David Thompson Country.

Abraham Lake should surely be a stop on any road trip along the beautiful Icefields Parkway or while travelling between Banff and Jasper, even though it is not in Banff National Park or Jasper National Park.

  • Christmas in Canada’s Calgary, Alberta

Christmas in Canada’s Calgary

People who want to experience a true Canadian winter should definitely visit the fourth-largest city in Canada. Calgary is a fantastic destination to visit in the winter because of its nearness to the Rocky Mountains and stunning city skyline. Calgary stands to benefit from Chinooks, which are a natural phenomenon that drastically alters the weather, despite the fact that the winters there can be as cold as those in any other Canadian city. The temperature can fluctuate from a chilly -20 degrees Celsius one day to a pleasant +10 the next. This signifies that snow will occasionally come and go, but it will occasionally provide locals and visitors with a welcome respite from the chilly weather.

In Calgary, there is a ton of stuff to do. Calgary is one of the best places to spend Christmas in Canada your holidays in and to experience the winter, whether you take a leisurely stroll down Stephens Avenue, visit the Calgary Zoo to see Zoo Lights, or appreciate one of the inner-city parks such as Fish Creek Provincial Park. Additionally, beautiful Banff is only 1.5 hours away once you’ve had your fill of the city. 

  • Christmas in Canada’s Edmonton, Alberta

Christmas in Canada’s Edmonton

The capital of Alberta is Edmonton. The city resembles a winter wonderland during the winter. There are hundreds of people who come to see the lit-up legislature building. In the downtown region, which includes Winston Churchill Square as well as the North Saskatchewan River Valley, there are celebrations of every description. December and January are genuinely special times to travel. There are numerous winter light displays and activities, both free and paid, now that the holiday season has arrived. Some of the top winter and holiday attractions in Edmonton, Alberta, include Candy Cane Lane, the Ice Castles exhibition, Castrol Raceway’s holiday lighting, and the Luminaria Lights display at the Devonian Botanical Gardens.

Alberta’s winters can be very cold and dry. If you plan to explore the city, please dress appropriately and save yourself. 

  • Christmas in Canada’s Whistler, British Columbia 

Christmas in Canada’s Whistler

Whistler has drawn tourists from all over the world for many years. One of the few locations in the world in which you can go skiing while taking in spectacular views of the Pacific Ocean is close to Vancouver. This makes Whistler Village one of the most picturesque places in all of Canada to spend Christmas, in addition to the fact that it is so lovely. It’s one of those locations that makes you feel as though you’ve walked into a Christmas movie, despite the fact that it can be a costly place to visit during the holidays. In Whistler, there are a tonne of things to do. To name a few activities, there is ice skating, tobogganing, shopping, skiing, snowshoeing,  and snowboarding.

It can also be a fun destination for families with a variety of white Christmas family holiday packages, a romantic setting for a couple, and an adventurous setting for a lone traveler.

  • Christmas in Canada’s Kelowna, BC

Christmas in Canada’s Kelowna

Kelowna, British Columbia, might not come to mind as a winter getaway in Canada because of its well-known warm climate and status as the country’s top emerging wine region. That’s unfortunate, because the colder months have a lot to offer in this lake city in the interior of British Columbia. One of the most well-liked family activities in Kelowna during the winter is skating on the outdoor ice rink at Stuart Park. Skate rentals, refreshments, and a lovely waterfront view are all provided, and participation is free. One of Canada’s top ski and snowboard resorts, Big White, is only a 45-minute drive away if you’re up for an active day. Even wine enthusiasts won’t be let down by Kelowna, as a number of the city’s well-known wineries offer winter wine touring packages. After you’ve had your fill of skiing, ice skating, and touring wineries, head to Kelowna’s vibrant downtown for some delicious local fare, including farm-to-table restaurants and breweries.

  • Christmas in Canada’s Grouse Mountain, BC

Christmas in Canada’s Grouse Mountain

In a wet, gloomy January, we travelled to Vancouver with our three young children. We made the decision to drive up Grouse Mountain, which is located outside of the city, in the hopes of seeing snow. An 8 minute cable car ride that ascends to a height of more than 1,200 metres completes the journey, which is readily available from the city centre by using public transportation. The city’s commotion vanished as the cable car climbed, and a calm silence descended as the snow arrived. Peak Chalet offers a breathtaking view of Vancouver, which should not be missed.

No matter what time of year you visit, there are a few seasonal activities on the mountain, including wildlife documentaries, bear viewings at the refuge, and trips to the Eye of the Wind.

  • Christmas in Canada’s Golden, BC

Christmas in Canada’s Golden

The Rocky Mountains are one of Canada’s most breathtaking natural attractions. From Golden, a small town in British Columbia, you can travel to some of the best locations to experience these incredible natural wonders. It truly transforms into a Canadian winter wonderland as the snow slowly begins to fall from the peaks into Golden.

Golden is teeming with thrilling events and breath-taking sights to see in the winter. One of the top reasons to enjoy the chilly weather in the winter is snowboarding or skiing. Golden’s response to those chilly days when you’d prefer to stay inside is Kicking Horse mountain. It’s always a blast, with varied terrain to suit all skill levels!

Walking through the peaceful streets while the white mountains serve as a backdrop is soothing and lovely. Locals and visitors alike enjoy visiting the main street because it is lit up to highlight the popular bars. There are many things to do in the surrounding area as well. Another great way to appreciate this stunning region of Western Canada is to go snowshoeing through the thick forests that are covered in a fresh layer of snow.

  • Christmas in Canada’s Revelstoke, BC

Christmas in Canada’s Revelstoke

Revelstoke is a remote winter wonderland tucked away against the Selkirk Mountains, located 7 hours east of Vancouver, British Columbia, and 5 hours west of Calgary, Alberta. The charming small town, which is bordered by the Columbia River, shines all year round but especially in the winter when snow banks build up to almost the same height as the nearby structures. It is a well-known fact that the Revelstoke Mountain Resort experiences epic snowfall, has the highest vertical run in North America, and offers base-level access to cat skiing, helicopter skiing, and backcountry skiing. The resort also provides guided snowshoe tours, dog sledding, and paragliding.

  • Christmas in Canada’s Fernie, BC

Christmas in Canada’s Fernie

This charming little mountain town is situated in southern British Columbia, not far from the Alberta border. It has some of Canada’s best snow and top-notch skiing. The fact that you can also stay at the resort and enjoy ski-in, ski-out accommodations while being enclosed by mountain scenery and snow-covered pine trees makes Fernie an interesting and one of the best best christmas destinations for Christmas or for winters in general. Nothing compares to stepping out onto your balcony and taking in the stunning view Fernie has to offer. It’s a truly beautiful place.

In addition, Lizard Creek Lodge has a Vodka Ice Bar where you can enter a chilly, hand-crafted ice room (-13 degrees Celsius) and sample vodka the right way. It tastes better there, I promise! Fear not—warm jackets are available. This is one of the best places to visit if you’re looking for fantastic Christmas vacation spots in Canada that also offer world-class skiing and snowboarding.

  • Christmas in Canada’s Panorama, BC

best place to spend Christmas in Panorama

Compared to locations like Sunshine Village or Lake Louise, Panorama is a little farther, but the quaint village setting and ski-in/ski-out accommodations make the trip well worth it. If we had to choose just one ski area to call home, Panorama would be it. We’ve been to Panorama Resort several times, and each time it keeps snowing. Outstanding skiing and an authentic winter wonderland paradise result from this. The ski-in/ski-out accommodations, on-site eateries and cafes, and on-site outdoor hot pools add to its allure.

Other activities include fat-tire biking, snowshoeing, snowmobiling, and helicopter tours. The next day, repeat the process by going skiing, drinking a beer, and relaxing in the hot tubs.

  • Christmas in Canada’s Whitehorse, Yukon

One of the main reasons Whitehorse, Yukon, is enticing during the winter season is that it’s one of the easiest places from which you can see the Aurora Borealis. One item for the wishlist is seeing the northern lights in Yukon. Something you’ll never forget is gazing up into a glistening curtain of beautiful shades of green and blue. During the day, stroll through the snow-covered roads of Whitehorse, warm up with a cup of hot chocolate in one of the numerous neighbourhood cafes, and discover the history of the area in a museum.

And after that, proceed to the Yukon Wildlife Preserve to get a close-up view of northern animals like wood bison, arctic fox, thinhorn sheep, and snowy owls. Arrange your trip during Yukon Quest or around the time of the Yukon Sourdough Rendezvous Festival for a variety of quirky activities like wood-chopping, log-tossing, and axe-throwing to create the atmosphere of a magical winter wonderland.

  • Christmas in Canada’s Ottawa, Ontario

Christmas in Canada’s Ottawa, Ontario

Ottawa doesn’t typically come to mind first when people consider Winter Wonderlands. However, for those seeking interesting and winter-like activities, Ottawa is the ideal, and one of the best christmas destinations. Every year, the city hosts its renowned Winterlude festival, attracting world-class ice sculpture artists. The two-week festival includes games, concerts, holiday lights, and ice sculptures in addition to these other attractions.

In addition, the Rideau Canal, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, offers ice skating. Both tourists and locals who ice skate to work will be skating alongside you on the canal. It’s also great because Canadian cities are so adept at dealing with the cold and snow that they don’t shut down during the winter. All the regular places, like the Byward Market, that is renowned for its fantastic restaurants and shops, will still be bustling with activity. Make sure to sample Beaver Tails, the market staple and well-known pastry.

  • Christmas in Canada’s Uxbridge, Ontario

best places to spend Christmas in canada Uxbridge

We doubt Uxbridge, Ontario, comes to mind when you picture a winter wonderland. On the Oak Ridges Moraine, the town of Uxbridge is located about an hour northeast of Toronto. If you choose to stay at one of the nearby bed and breakfasts, it’s near enough to Toronto to be a day trip, but there’s enough to keep you there for a longer stay. The region is a bustling agricultural community with rolling hills that are home to livestock and harvesters in the summer. But when the snow comes, the scenery is completely different.

Because of the more than 220 km of well-maintained trails that wind through 8000 acres of protected land, Uxbridge has earned the title of “Trail Capital of Canada.” These trails are accessible during the winter for cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, and hiking. Three ski resorts are accessible by car from Uxbridge if you’re looking for a little more excitement on the slopes. A different network of snowmobile trails traverses southern Ontario for anyone interested in exploring.

  • Christmas in Canada’s Blue Mountain, Ontario

Best Places to Spend Christmas in Canada Blue Mountain, Ontario

If you enjoy skiing and are a resident of the Toronto area, chances are you frequently travel to Blue Mountain to enjoy the slopes. About two hours north of Toronto, this winter wonderland offers a wide variety of winter activities. Even though I don’t ski, I still enjoy going to Blue Mountain in the winter because the mountains are so picturesque and covered in snow.

Other winter activities include skiing lessons, horse-drawn wagon rides, riding ridge runners, snowshoeing, caving, snowshoeing in vineyards, mountaintop skating, going waterfall chasing, and pampering at the well-known Scandinave Spa. Be sure to stroll Blue Mountain Village’s streets, where you can find many of the stores, to shop.

  • Christmas in Canada’s Kingston, Ontario

Kingston is one of the best places to go for Christmas

Kingston is one of the best places to spend Christmas in Canada to go if you want to experience a traditional Canadian winter destination. The city is full of history and culture due to its status as Canada’s first capital. Kingston, which is situated directly on Lake Ontario, is accustomed to receiving heavy snowfall and bitterly cold temperatures. However, Downtown Kingston is undoubtedly a winter wonderland if you can endure the chilly weather.

An open-air ice skating rink that’s also lit up at night can be found at Springer Market Square (directly behind City Hall). Princess Street, the main thoroughfare in the city, is a hub of chilly charm. Local stores, eateries, and historic pubs can be found as you stroll down the festive street. There are also quaint cafes where you can warm up if necessary.

If you need to warm up, there are also warm cafes where you can get a cup of hot tea, specialty coffee, or even hot chocolate! 

  • Christmas in Canada’s Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario

Christmas in Canada’s Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario

The picture-perfect Niagara on the Lake is the perfect destination for upscale tourists looking to drink themselves silly while touring Ontario’s wine country. The best times to visit Niagara on the Lake, which is only a short distance from the famous Falls, are typically in the summer and fall, when carefree cyclists pedal past renowned wineries, outdoor music festivals provide entertainment, and charming patios are busy long after the sun has set. 

  • Christmas in Canada’s Yellowknife, NWT

best places to spend Christmas in Yellowknife

I wouldn’t be shocked to see images of the Northwest Territories if you searched the dictionary for “winter wonderland.” Despite being an arctic desert, the area still sees enough snow for over half the year. It is undoubtedly a lover of winter paradise!

What is there to do in Canada’s far north? The Northwest Territories, however, have a lot to offer in addition to being the world’s centre for viewing the northern lights. The Northwest Territories’ natural destination is Yellowknife, the territory’s capital. Here, people handle winter extremely well. The winter fun is endless and includes incredible winter festivals such as the Snow King Festival, exploring ice caves, and playing on ice roads.

But the hospitality is what really makes this place special. Everyone you encounter is incredibly kind, and you’ll instantly feel like a member of the family. Even if you only stay a short while, you’ll come away with friends and lifelong memories.

  • Christmas in Canada’s Saskatoon, Saskatchewan

During the holiday season, Saskatoon dances into a joyful mood. Downtown Saskatoon, shopping centres, and parks are all decked out for Christmas in Canada. In front of the well-known Midtown Plaza mall in Downtown, there is a daytime Christmas parade that lasts for about an hour and a half. The parade is free to watch and a real treat for both children and adults.

The Enchanted Forest light show, held at the Saskatchewan Farm and Forestry grounds, is another wintertime must-see event in Saskatoon. A white Christmas in Canada can be enjoyed by attending this light and sound Christmas show, and that is a great way to spend your evenings in Saskatoon.

  • Christmas in Canada’s Quebec City, Quebec 

Best Places to Spend Christmas in Canada Québec City

One of the best international vacation spots is Québec City. The fact that it’s bitterly cold and covered in snow doesn’t take away from its allure. There are lots of reasons to adore Québec City in the winter, as long as you’re cosy and prepared! The city is perfect in every way. It was founded in 1608, making it an older city than most in North America. It is located in Quebec, a province that speaks French, on the banks of the enormous Saint Lawrence River. Due to the city’s constant holiday decorating with wreaths and Christmas lights, its stone buildings and cobbled streets look even more picturesque.

  • Christmas in Canada’s Rocky Mountain Train Ride

Christmas in Canada’s Rocky Mountain Train Ride

The Canadian Rockies are covered in snow during the winter, making a train ride through them one of the most enjoyable and beautiful experiences there. The journey starts with boarding a train in Vancouver and travelling by overnight train to Jasper.

For your overnight accommodations, we suggest renting a private sleeper cabin. The cabins have a private bathroom and are compact but comfortable. You will select the meal times you want to eat with other passengers in the dining car when you make your reservation. There are plenty of opportunities for conversation and networking because of the international tourists.

To Sum it Up! 

There are plenty of best places to spend Christmas in Canada that have that “winter wonderland” feel. This list is also not exhaustive. There are undoubtedly many locations that exist in the country, just as beautiful as the ones we mentioned in the blog. Nevertheless, this is a great place to start if you’re looking for suggestions for Christmas vacations or locations to visit in January or other chilly months.

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Frequently Asked Question (FAQs)

What do Canadians refer to as Santa?

Some Canadians call Santa, Kris Kringle. Though the majority of the country calls him Santa.

What is the Canadian greeting for Christmas?

Joyeux Nol, which translates to Joyous Christmas is the season's greeting for Francophiles, and you can hear or say it in many countries around the world, including: France, of course; and much of Canada.

What is Christmas food like in Canada?

Christmas dinner in English-speaking Canada is comparable to that in Britain. Mashed potatoes, turkey with stuffing, gravy, cranberry sauce, and tasty vegetables are all staples of the Christmas dinner menu. Additionally, ham, roast beef, and other kinds of poultry are used.