So you want to have a winter adventure but you have no desire in strapping on downhill skies or a snowboard. Luckily for you, Canada is one step ahead and has been designing winter adventure centres for the non-skiers. From tube parks to Nordic centers to a former Olympic Park, these eight winter adventure parks in Canada will have you strapping on your boots, pulling on your mittens and going out to play in the snow.
8. Whistler Blackcomb Tube Park, British Columbia
There is no special equipment or training required to ride these hills, with over 1000 feet of sliding bliss and is no shortage of fun to be had. Multiple lanes, a special conveyor lift and a park that is easily accessible from Whistler Village making this one of the most popular winter activities here, other than skiing or snowboarding of course. The Tube Park is open from December until April, weather permitting and is open at night for special sliding. There are seven lanes to enjoy, from a smaller gentle slope for the young kids to longer faster lanes. Tubes are sized for kids and adults, with double tubes also being available. With heated washrooms, food and beverages for sale, a full sound system and a fire pit with seating; it’s easy to enjoy the whole day or night here.
7. Calgary Olympic Park, Alberta
This one-of-a-kind attraction is located just 15 minutes from downtown Calgary and has been welcoming visitors since 1988, when it was the premiere site of the XV Olympic Winter Games. Yes, there are awesome ski and snowboard hills here, after all it is the second largest ski school in Canada, but there are also other awesome winter activities to take part in. Have you ever dreamed of being in a bobsled, racing down sheer ice at over 100 km an hour? Now is your chance as the fastest sport on earth is available to the public. How about taking part in the sliding sport of the Luge, an adventure that will take you through five twisting turns in just 40 seconds, also known as one of the most dangerous winter sports on earth. Olympic Park also offers public skating and two kilometers of groomed trails for cross country skiers, perfect for both day or night skiing. A whole day can be spent at this impressive venue without strapping on skies once.
6. Blue Mountain Resort, Ontario
Get the most out of winter at one of Ontario’s premier winter resorts, Blue Mountain. Here families and people of all ages can enjoy an abundance of winter activities. Blue Mountain’s newest winter activity is its Hike N’ Tube, where riders don’t have to strap on skies to experience the thrill of flying downhill. Instead they can sail down by tube, perfect for younger ones as young as three. The Ridge Runner Mountain Coaster is perhaps one of the most loved attractions at this adventure park. This winter coaster takes riders on an exhilarating experience as it twists and turns 3,560 ft. down the mountain through varied terrain. Riders control how fast they go and can expect to reach speeds up to 42 km/hr — if they are real daredevils. Snowshoeing, skating and playing in the heated outdoor aquatic center are all other awesome activities to take part in at Blue Mountain Resort.
5. Glissades, Quebec
Hailed as being one of the largest snow tubing parks in Canada, it is clear that Quebec takes its winter adventures very seriously. The snow tubing park itself boasts a whopping 32 slopes, ranging from beginner to expert along with two magic carpets and a chairlift. With a 250 vertical drop, lighted runs for evening sliding and over a thousand tubes to rent, you can be sure this will be one fun-filled day. In addition, this park boasts the opportunity to slide down one of 7 slopes with multiple people packed into winter canoes. Choose to slide down with either eight or 12 people in this epic experience. Here is also your chance to try out the four-man bobsleigh with three runs that are more than half a kilometer long. It has a unique lift that will take you to the top, provided you are wearing helmets, this sport can be safely enjoyed. With huge amounts of snow, this is one of the best winter adventure parks in the country.
4. Canmore Nordic Centre, Alberta
If you are looking for some unique winter activities to try, heading to Canmore Nordic Centre in Alberta is the right choice. Here you can take part in activities such as Winter Disc Golf. With eight holes available during the winter season and free access to the course, this otherwise summer sport is perhaps even more fun in the snow. Why not try your hand at the popular growing sport of fat biking? With designated single track trails, this hot new sport is easy to enjoy here. Ice skating, snowshoeing and tobogganing are other activities to take part in at the Nordic Centre, and the best thing about these is they are all free! Most winter enthusiasts head here for the cross-country skiing though, as there are more than 65 km of groomed nature trails to explore.
3. Cypress Nordic Area, British Columbia
Located less than 30 minutes away from Vancouver’s downtown, you will feel as though you enter a different world, one that seems more like a winter wonderland, loaded with fun activities for the whole family. The Nordic Area is where you will find plenty of access to cross country skiing- with over 19 km of groomed trails, and 11 km of snowshoeing trails that run through sub alpine meadows and snowy mountain forests. If you really want to get some thrills in though, head to Gnarly’s Tube Park where you can slip and slide your way down six different chutes that measure 100 meters in length. A tube tow does all the work bringing you back to the top and all you have to do is a pick a chute, lie back and enjoy. For the little ones who are too small to slide, they can enjoy the gentle sliding area that features a gentle slope with a 4 meter drop over 25 meters. Bring your own sled for this one or rent a crazy carpet.
2. Horseshoe Resort, Ontario
A variety of winter activities await visitors at this awesome winter resort. Winter tubing is the most popular activity here, as the adventure park features five big chutes to fly down. A magic carpet whisks riders to the top ensuring you can go time and time again, without getting tired. Open during the day and at night, sliding down is an experience not to be missed. Fat biking is also available at this park and the 20 km trail is perfect for beginners and intermediates. Ride your way through the loops and track and discover why this is one of the fastest growing winter sports. Snowshoeing can be done on the 35 km of groomed trails through the Copeland forests which offers incredible scenery and landscape. And let’s not forget about the mini-sled program where kids get to learn how to snowmobile. With all these activities, its hard to choose which to do first at this awesome adventure park.
1. Valcartier Village Vacances, Quebec
It is the largest winter adventure park in Canada, offering loads of activities for anyone of any age. Offering over thirty different tubing slides and adventures, this winter park takes the top spot on this list. Thrillseekers should head to the Himalaya slides, where the four longest and steepest slopes are houses and riders can expect to hit up to 80 km/hr. If you want fast but not that fast the Avalanche area features 9 inner tube slopes ranging from easy to difficult to very difficult. It is in this are where you will also find the Snow Rafting and Tornado slides. Two experiences that lets you take on the slopes as a group, from 12 passenger rafts to 8 passenger spinning circles of fun. With a half pipe, children’s only area, skating path and more; this is the ultimate winter playground in Canada.