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Day Trip: Ice skating and luminaria

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Winter is here and we are about to feel the intensity of freezing temperatures. Taking a weekend road trip can be daunting for those who are hesitant to drive on the slick roads, but luckily, Edmonton offers a wide array of activities for those who are willing to brave the snow.

For students who are looking to take a day trip and get some physical activity in, skating is a great way to get out, socialize and have some fun. The City of Edmonton facilities are offering free drop-in skate times with no fee required. The City of Edmonton facilities are also offering free drop-in shinny hockey for those looking to play a quick game with others. For those residing further east of the city, the Glen Allan Recreation Centre in Sherwood Park is also offering free skating drop ins on Sunday afternoons between 2 and 4 p.m. You can find out more about these skate times on the Strathcona County website and the City of Edmonton website.

For those looking for a more scenic view and to get outside, Edmonton offers a couple of different iceways for people to skate on for free. Rundle Park iceway, located at 2909 113 Ave, offers a 2 km skating trail, a family rink, and a large shinny pond. There are also small shelters available to those who want to take a break, eat a snack, or warm up. The Rundle Park iceway is open from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. all month.

For those looking for something closer to the downtown area, Victoria Park offers a similar oval-shaped iceway, which takes individuals through the gorgeous wooded area. This is a perfect date idea to take that special someone on. The Victoria Trail is located at 1230 River Valley Road, and is also open from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. This will fit into anybody’s budget as the admission for this is also free.

For those looking to experience twinkling lights and a colourful array of decorations, there is also a skating area right in front of the Legislature building which is perfect for families or a date night, and the admission is also free.

For those looking for a different ‘wintry’ experience, the University of Alberta Botanic Garden, located at 512260 Hwy 60, is introducing Luminaria. Placed right in the heart of the Kurimoto Japanese Garden, individuals who visit here can experience a beautiful light display and lively music from a Cappella singers in the Aga Khan Garden. The Garden includes new sculptures, created to celebrate Indigenous culture, according to Jason Carter from the Luminaria website. There are warm winter fires and even a Wish Tree. Tickets to Luminaria can be found on their website, and will cost $21. Not to worry, they offer a student discount for only $16.

Winter weather has its ups and downs, but for those looking to make a local winter getaway for a low price, ice skating at one of the spectacular iceways, or at your local Edmonton ice rink, might just be the getaway you need. If you are looking to immerse yourself in an aesthetically beautiful cultural experience, Luminaria is the perfect choice.

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