Come to Prince Edward Island this winter and discover the islands off-season gems!
Fam-Jam with Jack Frost
Jack Frost Winterfest in Charlottetown is a must do for families in winter! The annual event falls on the Family Day long weekend and is full of winter fun for all ages. Kids and parents will love sliding down ice slides, tubing together, and challenging themselves at the festival’s winter obstacle course. When it’s time to warm up, head inside for some hot chocolate and other goodies from local food vendors and meet Jack Frost himself! Live entertainment will also keep the kids hopping and happy at the live family stage while parents relax. Stay at a nearby hotel for the weekend to be close to all the action.
There are over 50 lighthouses on PEI, each with their own history and style. Capture their magic this winter with your camera while you venture out on a lighthouse hunting tour. These serene, dominant structures, dotted all around Prince Edward Island coastline, are completely enchanting surrounded by winter’s snow. Seven of the lighthouses on PEI have been deemed National Historic Sites, making a trip to see them in their winter glory a must. Enjoy the quiet solitude each of these lighthouses has to offer. Grab a hot drink from a coffee shop, jump in the car and enjoy the scenic views of PEI’s winter scenery in comfort as you drive along the Atlantic coast hunting for lighthouses. When you snap the ultimate Instagram worthy lighthouse pics, keep a look out on the horizon for passing wildlife and possibly even an iceberg!
Take Refuge in a Tree house
For those wanting a quiet, romantic getaway within nature book a weekend at the unique and idyllic Tree Top Haven. Together, you and your loved one will be immersed in the forest, while keeping warm, in one of the resorts TreePods. Each of these unique tree pods has a fully equipped kitchen, a four-piece bathroom, and private hot tubs. Share you time together with an afternoon of trekking in the forest snow (snowshoes provided by the resort), away from urban distractions. Then return to your private tree pod and warm up with a soak in the hot tub! Ahhhh! Guaranteed to be an unforgettable escape together.
Hit the Slopes!
A winter getaway in Canada is not be complete without the option of a ski hill. And, Canada’s smallest province, PEI doesn’t disappoint. The Mark Arendz Provincial Ski Park at Brookvale, located just 30 minutes from Charlottetown, offers something for all winter enthusiasts. The park boasts of 15 runs for skiers and snowboarders, 24 km of cross-country trails, a tubing hill, lessons for all ages and stages, plus snowshoeing trails. From bunny slopes to an impressive alpine run with a 250ft drop, everyone from novices to experienced skier’s will enjoy their time skiing in PEI. When you’ve had enough fun playing in the snow, take a thirty-minute drive over to the island’s Green Gable Shore region for hearty local fare meal and spend the night at one of the region’s many cottages.
Robbie Burns Day in Summerside
Robbie Burns, a Scottish poet and lyricist, is celebrated in late January. With PEI’s rich folk culture and history steeped in Scottish tradition it’s no wonder Robbie Burns Day is a big day on the island in winter. Join the locals in celebrating the famous Scottish Bard for an up close and entertaining Ceilidh experience in Summerside. Summerside is home to the College of Piping which hosts the annual gala and is attended by visitors from around the Maritimes. Shuttles run between the event and Charlottetown to accommodate its popularity. While in Summerside for the bag pipe and fiddle filled traditional Scottish dinner, take a stroll at Spinnaker’s Landing, the city’s waterfront area. There you’ll find restaurants, shops, and historical points of interest; all while enjoying the ocean front views.
Forest Bathing, with Snowshoes!
Forest Bathing, is the Japanese practice of “taking in the forest atmosphere” and may have considerable health benefits. Winter in PEI provides ideal conditions to take a rejuvenating forest bath. On the eastern end of the island is the Souris Striders Ski and Snowshoe Club. There you will find 21 kilometers of well-groomed and maintained trails for cross country skiing and snowshoeing in a forested setting. Rental skis and snowshoes are available at the club’s lodge. When you consider that PEI’s average temperature in winter is 5 degrees warmer than its neighbouring provinces, you’ve realized you found an ideal place to spend some relaxing time in the woods. After you’ve had your forest bath, head on over to one of nearby towns to sample the local oysters.
Urban Winter Wonderland
Want to have a winter getaway but maintain city comforts? In Charlottetown, PEI, you will find the beauty of a winter wonderland without having to chain up your tires or careen into a ski-in-only resort. With almost 10 feet of snow falling every year in PEI, Charlottetown’s quaint and inviting appearance is only enhanced when it’s streets are lined with snow. Enjoy a quiet walk along the picturesque waterfront at Victoria Park. Visit the eclectic shops and renowned eateries in the Victoria Row district. Gasp at the breathtaking sight of St. Dunstan’s Basilica spires turned white with snow. Complete your day with a pint of ale while enjoying local live music at one of the pub’s before retiring at any one of the friendly B&B’s to be found in Charlottetown. To add a touch of the outdoors to your experience, try an outdoor Snoga class, which combines Yoga and snow!!
What better way to explore PEI’s thriving folk music scene than by attending a kitchen-party! Kitchen party’s, also called Ceilidh’s (pronounced KayLee), are hosted throughout the province for people to gather together to enjoy live music, food, and dancing. Fiddles and Celtic style music are played in a relaxed atmosphere, often at a community hall or church.
Prince Edward Island, a quiet haven within the Canadian Maritimes, is full of beautiful landscapes, crashing waves, and friendly people. Come to the island for your next winter getaway!