Experience the joys of winter in your favourite Parks Canada places. On the agenda: a wide variety of activities and special events. Let the memories begin!

  • Christmas bird counts

    A mother and son use their binoculars in the winter.

    Annual Fundy Christmas Bird Count

    Fundy National Park

    December 14

    Take part in of one of Fundy’s longest running traditions! At this day-long event, volunteers help park staff to record bird sightings and contribute to data about the distribution, species and number of winter birds in the region. Everyone is welcome - birding experience is not required.

    Christmas Bird Count at Waterton Lakes National Park

    Waterton Lakes National Park

    December 15

    You'll be surprised at how many different birds can be seen at the start of a Waterton winter! Ninety-two different bird species have been recorded here in winter, so there's always the allure of the rare one or two that no other Alberta location gets on their count! Organized by the Crowsnest Conservation Society in collaboration with Waterton Lakes National Park.

    67th Annual Christmas Bird Count

    Point Pelee National Park

    December 17

    Come participate in the 67th annual Christmas Bird Count, the longest running citizen science program in North America. Join volunteers from across the continent and count as many individuals and species of birds as you can. No prior experience is necessary. At the end of the day, participants will gather at the Visitor Centre for a chili dinner, hosted by the Friends of Point Pelee, and we'll compile the results of the day's effort.

    Participants must register by Friday December 14, 2018. Call 519-322-2365 ext 0 or email us at pelee.info@pc.gc.ca to register or for more information.

    Thousand Islands Christmas bird count

    Thousand Islands National Park

    December 20

    Contact the park to learn more about the Christmas bird count.

    Kouchibouguac Christmas Bird Count

    Kouchibouguac National Park

    December 20

    There may be fewer birds around in winter, but with no leaves on the trees, they’re easier to see! You may encounter a Northern Saw-whet owl, a black-capped chickadee, or even a mourning dove.

    Friends of Elk Island Society Annual Bird Count

    Elk Island National Park

    December 26

    Join the Friends of Elk Island Society for the annual Boxing Day Bird Count. Visit the Friends of Elk Island Society webpage for more information.

  • Victorian Christmas

    Costumed interpreter and young girl in front of a Christmas tree.

    29th Annual Victorian Christmas

    Halifax Citadel National Historic Site

    November 24-25

    Make your way to the Halifax Citadel as the historic fort takes on a festive air with Victorian carols, crafts, games and, of course, Father Christmas. Enjoy some hot cider and don’t miss the Parks Canada Victorian photo booth - it’s the perfect way to capture some holiday magic to share with family and friends. Event runs 12 noon to 4 pm both days and admission is free with a donation to FEED NOVA SCOTIA (non-perishable food item or cash donation).

    Victorian Christmas

    Woodside National Historic Site

    November 28 - December 23

    Feel the magic of the season as you walk through the richly decorated rooms of Woodside! Savour the seasonal delights of a Victorian Christmas and learn how the King family celebrated this festive time of year.

    Champagne, Charlotte and Crinoline

    Sir George-Étienne Cartier National Historic Site

    Saturdays and Sundays in December

    Dive into the festivities of a 19th century bourgeois Christmas and discover the fascinating origins of a multitude of holiday traditions still practiced today. A magical and memorable experience awaits!

    Christmas Mementos

    Woodside National Historic Site

    December 1-2

    Discover the enchantment of a Victorian Christmas morning. Dip a pen in ink and write a letter to Santa Claus while sampling seasonal cookies and apple cider. Decorate a cookie ornament to take home and hang on your tree. Book your tickets from November 15-25 by calling 519-571-5684.

    "In Time for Christmas": A Christmas Adventure presented by Live History

    Woodside National Historic Site

    December 8-9, 1 pm to 5 pm

    Experience Christmas in a new way as Woodside’s incredible historic house provides the festive setting for a unique and interactive theatre experience! As you are guided through the house by Live History actors you will work together to solve puzzles and unravel a story. Reservations are encouraged as spaces are limited! Book your tickets starting November 8 by calling 519-571-5684.

Events by province

  • Prince Edward Island

    Jour du Souvenir Acadien
    Credit: Société Saint-Thomas-d'Aquin

    Jour du Souvenir Acadien (Acadian Day of Remembrance)

    Prince Edward Island National Park

    December 13

    This annual commemoration is designed to be a day of remembrance, but also celebrates the richness and the dynamism of the Acadian people as a model of courage and perseverance.

  • Quebec

    Tour de la Gaspésie participants ski along the shore.

    Traversée de la Gaspésie

    Forillon National Park

    March 1

    From February 23 to March 2, Traversée de la Gaspésie (TDLG) participants will ski or snowshoe from Matane all the way to Gaspé. They will be at Forillon National Park on March 1. For more information: http://tdlg.qc.ca/?lang=en

  • Ontario

    A couple walks through the forest in the snow.

    Kitchener City Hall Exhibit

    Woodside National Historic Site

    November 1-30

    Woodside is part of a very special free exhibit at Kitchener City Hall from November 1 to November 30. Stop in to learn about this hidden treasure in the city that was once called “Berlin”! Woodside was the boyhood home of William Lyon Mackenzie King and is now a national historic site for everyone to enjoy. King, Canada's 10th Prime Minister, is the longest serving one to date. His face can be found on the Canadian $50 bill.

    Retirement Party

    Woodside National Historic Site

    November 15-18

    A celebration of the 70th anniversary of William Lyon Mackenzie King’s retirement from politics.

    Dark Sky Night

    Point Pelee National Park

    December 8 at 7:00 pm

    Park is open until midnight. Join members of the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada – Windsor Centre for an evening of stargazing. Bring your own binoculars or take a look through one of the special telescopes on site for the evening.

    Fort George Garrison Christmas

    Fort George National Historic Site

    December 8-9

    Gather your family and friends and come to Fort George for an afternoon full of exciting activities, crafts, and games celebrating Christmas! This is an annual family holiday event not to be missed.


    Woodside National Historic Site

    December 13; 6:30 pm to 8:30 pm

    Behold the splendour of a Woodside Christmas by the soft glow of lamplight. Cozy up under the mistletoe and enjoy hot apple cider. Warm up by the crackling fire and sample roasted chestnuts outside on the grounds.

    Reservation: November 22 – December 9 by calling 519-571-5684. Act fast as spots fill up quick!

    New Year's Day Levee

    Fort George National Historic Site

    January 1, 3 pm to 4:30 pm

    Join Parks Canada and the Friends of Fort George as we ring in the New Year at Navy Hall! Levee celebrations start at 3 pm, and include toasts, music by the 41st Regiment Fife and Drum Corps, and a cannon firing to welcome the New Year!

  • Manitoba

    A man holding his skis on a snowy lake.

    Winter Adventure Weekend

    Riding Mountain National Park

    February 8 – 10

    Explore Riding Mountain National Park at a different time of year, winter! Ski, snowshoe, or fat bike through the park on one of our winter trails. Make sure you stop in Wasagaming to check out the full schedule of Winter Adventure Weekend activities.

  • Saskatchewan

    A young girl snowshoeing through deep snow in the woods.

    Christmas Tree Harvest

    Prince Albert National Park

    December 1 - 24

    Start a new family tradition this Christmas! Harvesting your own tree from our designated areas helps maintain the Waskesiu Community Fuel Break, which keeps our community safe in the event of wildfire. For more information: 306-663-4522.

    Oh, Christmas Tree Winter Festival

    Prince Albert National Park

    December 14 – 16

    Ring in the Yuletide with this weekend family festival featuring Mr. and Mrs. Claus. Go for a sleigh ride and a snow shoe on the lake before warming up by the bonfire with some hot chocolate! Take part in Indigenous programming, ice skating or fishing, and enjoy free entry to the park on Saturday, Dec. 15.

    Waskesiu Snow Days

    Prince Albert National Park

    February 18 – 24

    Enjoy a week of activities for families to learn and have fun together!

  • Alberta

    A family playing hockey on the frozen Pyramid Lake during the winter.

    Free Admission Day at Banff National Park

    Banff National Park

    November 23

    Breathe cool, spruce air while the winter light casts long, blue shadows at Banff National Park. Use this free admission day to explore the wonders of the park.

    Free Admission Day at Jasper National Park

    Jasper National Park

    November 23

    From our snow-covered mountain peaks to our lightly dusted forests, the landscape is a winter wonderland awaiting adventure. Use this free admission day to explore the wonders of the Jasper National Park.

    Free Admission Day at Banff Park Museum National Historic Site

    Banff Park Museum National Historic Site

    November 23

    Take the opportunity to explore the town of Banff and visit this museum of natural history. The monumental 1903 log building houses more than 5,000 historic botanical and zoological specimens!

    Christmas in the country trade fair

    Bar U Ranch National Historic Site

    December 9

    Local artisans gather at the Bar U Ranch National Historic Site to bring you “Christmas in the Country” on Sunday December 9 from 10am-5pm. The market features a variety of handcrafted objects with a distinctive western flare.

    Winter Carnival

    Cave and Basin National Historic Site

    December 15 – March 31

    Immerse yourself in the magic of winter and let the snow fly! The Banff Winter Carnival Returns to the Cave and Basin this December with fun activities for all ages. Try your hand at curling, challenge your family and friends to wild and wacky outdoor games, and check out vintage films and media from the Banff Winter Carnival's glory days. Adults: $3.90, Seniors: $3.40

    Free Admission Day at Elk Island National Park

    Elk Island National Park

    December 22

    Winter is a fabulous time to enjoy the wilderness of Elk Island National Park. Use this free admission day to explore the wonders of the park.

    Snowshoe & Stargaze

    Elk Island National Park

    December 22 & 29, January 5, 12, 19 & 26, February 2, 9, 16 & 23

    Following a short guided hike on snowshoes, enjoy snacks around a fire and learn about the night sky above. Max 20 participants. Register by calling 780-299-5790.

    Family Day 2019

    Elk Island National Park

    February 18

    Spend time with friends and family in the great outdoors on Family Day. Elk Island will be celebrating with snow games, treats roasted over the fire, and snowshoe rentals at the Astotin Recreation area! Fun continues through the park with snowshoeing, skating, and wildlife viewing.

  • British Columbia

    Santa Claus sitting between two Christmas trees.
    Credit : Sandra Steier

    The day in honor of James Douglas

    Fort Langley National Historic Site

    November 18

    On November 19, 1858, Sir James Douglas proclaimed the British Crown Colony in the Fort Langley Big House. Learn more about BC’s history with some fun activities.

    Free Admission Day at Kootenay National Park

    Kootenay National Park

    November 23

    Kootenay National Park is a place of unique contrasts, from icy mountain rivers to steamy hot springs. There’s a new surprise around every bend! Use this free admission day to discover the wonders of the park.

    Free Admission Day at Yoho National Park

    Yoho National Park

    November 23

    Take in Canada’s alpine majesty at Yoho National Park. Each national park, marine conservation area and historic site will offer a day where you can visit at no admission cost. What better way to say “thank you” to our visitors? The Free Admission Day varies depending on the location and is offered in addition to the Canada Day free admission.

    Santa at the Cannery / Steveston Festival of Trees

    Gulf of Georgia Cannery National Historic Site

    December 2

    The holiday spirit comes to Steveston with the arrival of Santa by boat! After his arrival, Santa will make his way to the Cannery to take photos with the kids! And don’t miss the annual Steveston Festival of Trees, on display inside the Cannery from December 1-31st.

    Cannery Farmers’ Market

    Gulf of Georgia Cannery National Historic Site

    December 2, 9 and 16

    Held indoors in the Gulf of Georgia Cannery National Historic Site, this winter market offers visitors the chance to wander among tables featuring local produce, baked goods, preserves and handcrafted items.

    Christmas by Candlelight

    Fort Langley National Historic Site

    December 15

    Join in a magical evening of carols, musical performances and a Dickens reading inside Fort Langley’s historic walls. A costumed guide will whisk your group from building to building to get the full experience. Get a free photo of your party at our professional photo booth. Sign a card with a fountain pen, sample heritage hot chocolate, and admire the big Christmas tree. Rain, snow or shine! Advance tickets will go on sale November 15.

    A Fort Langley Christmas

    Fort Langley National Historic Site

    December 21-23 and 27-30

    Hear stories by the fire, taste a chestnut roasted over the fire and make a craft. Take a guided tour, enjoy our daily feature and see what our interpreters have baked up in the outdoor oven. Admire the charming holiday ambiance and take family snapshots at various scenic spots on site.

    Vive les voyageurs French-Canadian Festival

    Fort Langley National Historic Site

    January 19-20

    Tap your feet and clap to the beat of French Canada at Fort Langley National Historic Site’s annual winter festival. Enliven a grey January weekend with the unique folklore and culture of the voyageurs and fur traders who lived at 19th-century Fort Langley. Learn a Métis dance, attend a French 101 lesson, join our Fur Trade Wedding and fill up on delicious maple taffy and poutine while listening to live Voyageur-style music.

    Family Day

    Fort Langley National Historic Site

    February 18

    Come and learn the traditions of the families at Fort Langley – from varied backgrounds like Scottish, Hawaiian, First Nations and Metis to name a few, the workers embraced their cultures here! Join us for our Feature presentation on First Nations resources, make some Scottish bannock during our Food Program, or challenge your skills playing ‘Ulu Maika – a game meant to train Hawaiian warriors!

    Spring Break

    Fort Langley National Historic Site

    March 16-31

    Join us for great old-fashioned activities during spring break.