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Winter Fun with Canadian Activities to do at Home

Try these home-based activities to keep the Canadian winter spirit alive

A young person builds an igloo out of snow

Canadians may be known for braving harsh winters, but it also translates to hibernation mode for many. Here are a few seasonally inspired pursuits to keep everyone busy and having fun.

  • Take a virtual winter hike through Banff and Lake Louise
  • Try your hand at Indigenous cuisine
  • Recreate the Nordic spa experience at home
  • Build an igloo in your backyard
  • Turn game night into a mini winter Olympics


Take a virtual winter hike through Banff and Lake Louise

No hiking boots required! Enjoy a 360° view of some of Canada’s most majestic landscapes like Banff and Lake Louise with interactive videos that can be paused so that you can fully soak in the views. Peek at the sandstone Hoodoos on the namesake Hoodos Trail, enjoy a moment of tranquility on the banks of Lake Minnnewanka and explore the natural wonder that is Johnston Canyon in Banff National Park, all from the comfort of your couch.

Try your hand at Indigenous cuisine

Mushrooms, maple syrup and salmon—many ingredients in your kitchen can be traced back to the diet of Canada’s Indigenous peoples. Pay tribute to them by filling your winter table with fresh bannock from chef Johl Whiteduck Ringuette who is Anishnawbe and Algonquin; seaweed-topped Xaxli’p salmon from chef David Wolfman, a member of the Xaxli’p First Nation, and hearty bison stew with acorn squash from Christa Bruneau-Guenther, a member of the Peguis First Nation. Your tastebuds will thank you.

Recreate the Nordic spa experience at home

Canadians, from coast to coast, have happily adopted this hot-cold hydrotherapy experience that’s popular in Scandinavia. Start with a 30-minute hot Epsom salts soak, then—depending on how brave you are—blast yourself with a cold shower for a minute or two before relaxing in a hot bath again for about 20 minutes. Use an exfoliating mitt to slough off dead skin from head to toe and then wash it all off with another quick icy shower. Finish with an application of body oil to leave your skin moisturized.

Build an igloo in your backyard

Honour the ingenuity of Canada’s Inuit people by learning their art of creating an igloo. The Inuit shaped their icy homes based on a parabola, rather than a semicircle, which prevented the top from caving in. Another key factor was laying ice blocks in a spiral moving upwards in a continuous coil. Packed snow—a minimum of two-feet deep—is required to cut building bricks. If your backyard doesn’t provide enough snow, try a more kid-friendly version crafted with sugar cubes or marshmallows.

Turn game night into a mini Winter Olympics

Unable to get to an ice rink for a friendly game of ice hockey or curling? No problem. Bring the fun indoors with the Playmobil NHL arena, which is available from Indigo—where CAA Members earn up to 5% in CAA Dollars® online through our eStore—and features players with a movable arm and hockey stick—all the better to score those goals! When your players are tuckered out, switch to a calmer game of curling with Curling Canada’s wooden tabletop board that’s easily set up on the dining table. Bonus: flip it over to play shuffleboard.

Find out how to recreate other quintessential Canadian activities in the winter 2020 issue of CAA Magazine.

Plus, talk to a CAA Travel Consultant when you’re ready to explore more of Canada.

Image credit: iStock.com/Nataliia_Makarova