Every year to kick off the holiday season, we pick out our fresh Christmas tree and head to the lake. It’s like the official ‘start-up’ of our holidays. While setting up the tree we cozy up by the fire and binge on Christmas movies, music and hot chocolate guilt-free! Our time over the holidays is best spent exploring the local area. It’s a way we connect as a family, it’s our annual tradition.
Here are some of the great activities that we just can’t get enough of, thanks to the expansive winter wonderland in and around the Estates at Waters Edge! From snowmobiling to cross-country skiing, snowshoeing to ice fishing… it’s impossible to be bored out here.
Indulge in a Country Christmas Tree Experience
Grab your boots and hat, haul your snowmobile and head out to the Whitecourt or Edson forest areas- and don’t forget your chainsaw! Spend some quality time with your family and venture into the woods to seek out that perfect Christmas tree. You can cut your own tree on Provincial Crown land within Alberta’s Green Area with a permit from Alberta Agriculture and Forestry. Visit: https://www.alberta.ca/christmas-tree-cutting.aspx and https://www.alberta.ca/tree-cutting-permit-maps.aspx for more info!
New Year’s Eve Fireworks
New Year’s at the lake always comes with an impromptu firework show. There is a great vantage point across the lake from Waters Edge, where people in the area can set off fireworks. Luckily, the homes at Waters Edge have some of the best seats in the house- there is something so magical about seeing the sky lit up above the frozen lake! The best part is that your little ones can enjoy as well, since the short days means it gets darker in the early hours. This activity can truly be enjoyed by the whole family!
Cross Country Skiing at Nearby Chickakoo Lake
Chickakoo Lake is a scenic park with plenty to explore! Enjoy 14 kms of trails that are groomed and maintained for cross-country skiing, with a variety of single and double tracks, skating lanes and even snowshoeing. Visit Edmonton Nordic Ski Guide for more information.
Skate on the Lake!
Not many people can say that they have their very own outdoor, NHL-sized ice rink complete with a warm-up facility AND skating path right in their backyard! Created every year once the ice is safe to access, it’s great fun for the whole family! Do some laps around the path or join in on that game of shinny with the neighbours- you’re going to love skating on this rink!
Sledding with Family & Friends!
Tis the season! Make it a full day of snowmobiling and access the exclusive trail system with a membership and trail pass to the Alberta Beach Snowmobile Club. For more information on snowmobiling and the trail system, visit https://absnowmobileclub.com. Coming up: Take part in their 50th Anniversary Alberta Snowmobile Club Jamboree on January 17th, 2020!
Also, mark your calendars for Alberta Beach’s SnoMo Days (Feb 15-17). 2020 marks their 41st anniversary- 41 years of excitement, adventure and entertainment that is full of family activities that will bring smiles and enjoyment to all! Visit www.snomodays.com for all the details and check out the video below!
Take in a Day of Ice Fishing
With access to the lake from the boat launch at Waters Edge, ice fishing is literally right at your doorstep. There are also plenty of other lakes in close proximity – head over to Wabamun Lake, Hasse Lake, Jackfish Lake, Lake Isle, or Spring Lake, all with great reputations for ice fishing! Visit https://www.albertafishingguide.com/ and https://www.ifishalberta.com/features.php to learn more.
Downhill Skiing, Snowboarding or Tubing
Make it a whole day of family fun at Eastlink Park in Whitecourt. They are currently offering a Family Special which includes day passes and ski equipment rentals, for $110. Here you can find over 6 acres of ski-able area, 92 ft of vertical drop, night skiing, a tube park, terrain park and outdoor firepit. For more information and pricing visit https://eastlinkpark.com/.
Looking for bigger hills? Take your adventure to Jasper’s Marmot Basin. It’s only a little over a 3 hour drive from Waters Edge. With plenty of activities for everyone… heck, make it a weekend road trip!
Light Up the Night with ELF
Only a 35 minute drive east of the Estates at Waters Edge, The Enjoy Centre is hosting the Enjoy Light Festival (ELF) from Nov 21-Jan 5. Explore an enchanted winter wonderland with an interactive light garden and lighted displays. Enjoy seasonal food and drinks, music, shopping & more! Definitely family friendly- you can even get photos with Santa if you visit before Christmas. Visit: https://enjoylightfestival.com/.
There you have it. A whole list of great ideas for enjoying this holiday season at the lake! We are so grateful for the annual traditions we have created with our families out here at Waters Edge, and we hope that with this list, you can create your own as well! Happy Holidays!