Is there anything dreamier and more fun than a fresh blanket of snow, clear skies, and the day still ahead of you? PEI transforms into a white winter wonderland every year and we can’t lie… we love it! Summer fun through the trails and to the beach turns into a whole new experience with a snowfall, making PEI a paradise all twelve months of the year. If you’re looking for a new kind of adventure during our chilly season, here are some new hobbies to pick up, challenges to face, and adventures to enjoy!
A Weekend Getaway to Mill River Resort
If you’re looking for the *perfect* winter weekend (or really, perfect winter any day), let us introduce you to Mill River Resort. It underwent incredible renovations in 2018 and it is, without a doubt, one of the most relaxing and gorgeous getaways that the island has to offer, with cozy rooms, a terrific restaurant, an Aquaplex, and even spa treatments! But what about winter fun? Don’t you worry. Mill River Resort shines when it comes to chilly fun! From tubing, skating, snowshoeing, skiing, to even a cozy winter bonfires, we guarantee you’re going to want to spend much more than one afternoon in O’Leary!
Winter Fun in the City
Charlottetown is ready to have a blast this season! Across the entire city you will find fun for the whole family. Lace up your skates and hit the ice! The city has multiple outdoor rinks for you to enjoy, whether it’s for a leisurely skate or a game of hockey. Looking to get a good stretch and some fresh air? Discover Charlottetown is hosting Snoga in the Park every Saturday – what a perfectly refreshing way to start your weekend! And speaking of refreshing, did you know you can try snowshoeing (with free snowshoes!) when you stay at participating Charlottetown inns and hotels, or every Sunday from 2:00-4:00pm in Victoria Park? And we couldn’t forget about the Winter Family Fun Events taking place throughout the season, with sleigh rides, skating, snowshoeing, and best yet, hot chocolate!
A Perfect Winter’s Day at Brookvale
If you love winter on PEI, you will love the Mark Arendz Provincial Ski Park at Brookvale. Chock-full of winter activity, this is the hub of snow fun. If you’re a skier, you will love to know that Brookvale has both Alpine and Nordic/Cross Country skiing. Not into skiing? That’s okay! You can zip down the 250 foot long tubing hill, trek through the wooded trail on snowshoes, explore 10 kilometres of fatbiking (winter mountain biking) trails, or participate in a biathlon, the winter sport that combines cross-country skiing with precision rifle target shooting. And if you’re looking to challenge yourself, Snow School is the place for you with classes from “Never Ever” to “Advanced” for everyone and every age! This place is a must-visit for winter fun.
Head Out on a Winter Cruise
One of the greatest parts of a good covering of snow is of course, snowmobiling! PEI is spacious… which means it’s pretty perfect for snowmobiling enthusiasts. With four main trails covering the island, you’re bound to find new routes wherever you go, just keep an eye on trail conditions! Looking to get out for a ride? The PEI Snowmobile Association sells 3-day and full season permits! New to the sport? Tranquility Cove Adventures offers “Guide Only” snowmobile tours to help you get acquainted with the trails, including the Confederation Trail that is groomed for snowmobile access.
Lovely Weather for a Sleigh Ride Together
What’s more quintessentially “winter” than a sleigh ride through the snow covered woods? Great Northern Adventures offers sleigh rides for families and groups looking to slow down and experience this unique island tradition! With sledding hills, a petting farm, pony rides, as well as the sleigh ride itself, a dreamy winter’s day is waiting here just five minutes past Charlottetown. You can also reserve a romantic sleigh ride for two where you’ll glide through the trees wrapped up together in cozy blankets before ending your evening back at the cabin for dessert by candlelight. Sounds pretty dreamy to us!
Trails, Trails Everywhere!
A little snow shouldn’t stop you from exploring – in fact, it should be an even greater incentive! The island looks magical covered in white, whether you’re at the beach, downtown, or most magical of all – among the trees! From as far east to as far west as you can go, the island is scattered with amazing trails that are so worth the adventure! The rolling hills of Bonshaw, the stunningly tall snow-covered trees of Winter River, walking parallel to the running water along the Dunk River… just a few unmissable winter experiences that will leave you feeling peaceful and refreshed! If you’re heading west, the North Cape Nature Trail can’t be missed as you can discover the very tip of the island, overlooking the ice-covered ocean while getting a chance to see in person just how epic the windmills really are. Wherever you find yourself on PEI, there’s always a new path to discover as you get outside in the crisp air!
A Magically Fun Winter Weekend
Jack Frost Winterfest PEI is Atlantic Canada’s largest winter festival and it does not disappoint, that’s for sure! Each year Charlottetown transforms into a frozen snowy kingdom, ready to entertain families from all across the maritimes. This year as the festival moves to be more accessible by focusing the fun in Downtown Charlottetown, Jack Frost will have all the fun you could dream of packed into one great weekend! With this many outdoor activities, you may not ever want to go inside. The Snow Kingdom packs a huge punch, with ice and snow slides, a snowskate park, a fatbike track, obstacle courses, lumberjack games, and even a freestyle snowmobile demo (and that’s just naming a few). When you’ve finally gotten chilly, the Indoor Playland, held at the Delta Convention Centre, will be home to all things bouncy and action-packed including inflatable games, magic shows, video games, and face-painting. Over at the Confederation Centre of the Arts will be the Live Family Stage, where you’ll find Max & Ruby and the one and only Baby Shark mini show!
Feeling hungry? No doubt! Founders’ Food Hall & Market is a great Warm-Up Zone, and is a hotspot in Charlottetown for a quick and tasty meal and shopping. And finally, when the sun sets on Saturday, make your way to Victoria Row where Downtown Charlottetown will come alive with music, fireworks, a marshmallow station, and live ice sculptures! There’s no doubt that the weekend of February 14th – 17th, Charlottetown is *the* place to be for a magical winter weekend!
Winter is Always Better When Shared!
Getting outside into the fresh air in the winter is an incredible way to stay active, and is also a great opportunity to explore new places! The City of Summerside knows the value in trying new activities and relishing in the joy of winter by making the most of the beautiful snow. All winter long they have a list of weekly activities for groups and individuals of any age, allowing the community to develop a new hobby, skill, or winter-time passion! For starters, the Credit Union Place offers free skate, nordic poles, and snowshoe loans (refundable deposit required). From there you can head wherever you like, but right in Summerside you’ll find a multitude of options! Schurman Park and The Oval at the Queen Elizabeth Park both turn into outdoor skating rinks, and Rotary Friendship Park, Heather Moyse Park, and the boardwalk (which is the best at sunset!) are all prime locations for snowshoeing all day long. The Credit Union Place also has community events to join in on, like Moonlight Snowshoeing, Under the Stars Family Skates, or Silver Social Snowshoeing for participants over 50 years old. Looking for something different? With monster snow hills, fat biking hills, and cross-country skiing, there’s no end to your winter adventures in Summerside!
As you can tell, there is no shortage of incredible activity throughout the winter season on Prince Edward Island. Not only does the island give us the beauty of the season, but it gives us ample opportunity to get out and enjoy it with all we’ve got! Now that you’ve been inspired, it’s time to bundle up and head out into the great outdoors!