Pandemic pastimes: 8 things to do in Edmonton during the holidays

·3 min read

Classes are out, but in the midst of a pandemic, what do you do with the kids? Here's eight inexpensive, even free, ideas to help you get through the holidays in a safe, socially-distant way.

Nice Outdoor Ice

With arenas closed if you're looking to take a turn on the ice, then there are a few City of Edmonton outdoor rinks worth considering. Victoria Park skating oval and iceway, the Meadows Community Recreation Centre outdoor rink and at the Rundle Park iceway, Castle Downs and Jackie Parker parks are all open for the season. Check with your local community league about rinks in your neighbourhood but note there are limits on the number of people that can be on the ice and other changes as a result of the pandemic.

Adrienne Lamb/CBC
Adrienne Lamb/CBC

You can see more from Victoria Park Skating Oval and Ice Way on Our Edmonton at 10 a.m. Saturday, noon on Sunday and 11 a.m. on Monday on CBC TV and the CBC GEM.

A Virtual Visit to a Museum, Gallery or Science Centre

Normally, places like the Telus World of Science and the Royal Alberta Museum would be bustling with patrons and activities. Instead many of these cultural institutions, closed due to COVID-19, are offering virtual experiences. With facilities just a click away, you could also drop in at the Royal Tyrrell Museum or Calgary's Glenbow Museum.

Adrienne Lamb/CBC
Adrienne Lamb/CBC

Library Take Out

Branches of the Edmonton Public Library are closed to in-person visits over the holidays, but 13 of their locations invite you to select something online and they'll have it ready for pick up.

Park Play

If you're looking to get out to play in the snow or get a bit of fresh air, consider visiting one of the lesser-known and lesser-frequented public parks in Edmonton. Check out the above map for locations, details and amenities.

Adrienne Lamb/CBC
Adrienne Lamb/CBC

Outdoor Light Displays

From drive-thru to walking, viewing light displays is a long-standing Edmonton tradition. Visit the University of Alberta Botanic Garden, the Castrol Raceway or the Edmonton Valley Zoo. Checking the website and booking tickets ahead online for many of these events is a must.

Creative Crafting

If the video game console is working over time and movie marathons, puzzles and board games just aren't doing it, how about a creative craft or adventure? Maybe a blanket fort, a backyard scavenger hunt or building a metropolis left over from those holiday boxes. Here's a list of supplies and ideas that might spark something for you.

Adrienne Lamb/CBC
Adrienne Lamb/CBC

Outdoor Art and History Tours

In Edmonton and area we have dozens of outdoor murals and historic tours like the Edmonton Commonweatlh Walkway available year round. Admittedly more popular in the summer, they are on display year round. There are online guides to walking tours in the downtown and Old Strathcona neighbourhoods as well as towns like Stony Plain, west of Edmonton.

Season of Sliding

Ski hills in Alberta remain open under the new provincial guidelines, while hitting the nearest sliding hill might be another option. The City of Edmonton lists six toboggan hills that might give you some new spots to slide.