With the holidays just behind us, everyone can benefit from saving a little extra cash. And while it may seem like you need to live the "high life" to get the most out of Edmonton, there are actually tons of cheap activities in and around Edmonton that will keep you entertained all winter long!
Here are 10 fun things to do in Edmonton for less than $20:
This stunning acre-sized ice castle is like stepping into a real-life fairy tale! Until March 10, 2019 at Hawrelak Park, you can venture through the winding maze, snap a selfie on the ice throne, or gaze in awe at the waterfall. Online tickets are $13.95 for weekday passes and $17.95 for weekend visits, so don’t miss the opportunity to experience this magical winter wonderland!
2. Boardwalk Ice On Whyte Festival
The 16th annual ice carving festival will be held on two separate weekends this winter: January 24 to 27, and January 31 to February 3, 2019. There's a little something for every one with live music, an ice bar serving local craft beverages, ice carving contests, and so much more. Tickets are available online or at the gate, and cost $4 for children and $7 for adults.
3. Go Skating on the Victoria Park IceWay
Located in the heart of downtown Edmonton, the IceWay is a 3 km skating trail that takes you through the lush forests of Victoria Park. A truly magical winter experience that’s absolutely free! Strap on your skates and take advantage of the beautiful track every day from 10am to 10pm.
4. Go Snowshoeing in Elk Island National Park
Located 35 km east of Edmonton, this gorgeous national park is an important reserve for bison, elk, and over 250 bird species. Snowshoeing is one of the best ways to explore this winter wonderland, and it costs only $14 to rent equipment. Otherwise, there’s no fee to access the trails. Elk Island National Park falls within the Beaver Hills Dark Sky Preserve, which means you might even catch a glimpse of the aurora borealis!
Credit: Travel Alberta
5. Visit the Art Gallery of Alberta
Calling all art lovers! Every Tuesday and Wednesday evening from 5 to 8pm, admission to the Art Gallery of Alberta is absolutely free! And if you're a student at an Alberta post-secondary school, you can admire the 6000+ artworks for free every single day. Even standard adult admission fees are extremely affordable at just $12.50. The perfect way to be classy and save money!
6. The Old Strathcona Farmers’ Market
You might think that the days of perusing farmer's markets are long gone now that the cold weather has arrived. But the Old Strathcona Farmers' Marketis indoors and open year-round! Located just off Whyte Ave, you'll find over 130 vendors selling hand-made crafts, locally grown produce, specialty foods, jewelry, clothing, and much more. Bonus: there's even free parking.
Credit: The Old Strathcona Farmers’ Market
7. Catch a Movie at Metro Cinema
The Metro Cinema is your go-to spot to catch independent, educational, and culturally significant films in downtown Edmonton. Along with their usual programming, they'll also be playing classic holiday flicks all December long like A Christmas Story, National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation, and Home Alone. Admission fees are cheaper than Cineplex theatres at $13 for adults and $8 for children and students.
8. Tour the Alberta Legislature Building
Free guided tours are offered every hour at this stunning government building. Not only will you have tons of Instagram-worthy pics of marble pillars and trees lit up for the holidays, but you'll also gain lots of knowledge about the history of Alberta politics.
Credit: Rob Moses Photography
This collection of 20 historic neon signs is the only one of its kind in Canada! Each of the displays were restored and installed on the east wall of the TELUS building and the south wall of the Mercer Warehouse building on 104 Street and 104 Avenue. It's outdoors, free, and open 24/7. Obviously, the signs look much cooler when its dark out, so be sure to check them out at night!
With its four glass pyramids that define the Edmonton skyline, the Muttart Conservatory is one of the city's most iconic structures. The stunning botanical garden is home to thousands of species of plants, and each pyramid represents a different jungle-like environment. It's open year-round and tickets are just $12.50 for adults.