When faced with the cold, harsh winters typically spawned by the east-coast climate, many New Brunswickers take to hibernating, staying warm with hot chocolate and mountains of blankets while binge-watching new releases on Netflix.
Willingly braving this unforgiving weather can seem crazy to such individuals, but to others, we know there is something magical about our winters and will take advantage of every opportunity to enjoy our fresh powder, illuminated streets and flawless ice surfaces.
This winter, indulge in the snow-streaked landscapes that bless our province each year as you uncover hidden gems and celebrate the winter season with people all across Atlantic Canada.
Compiled below is a list of some of the most fun-filled winter events and activities across the province that are sure to warm your spirits in whatever city you find yourself. So strap on your snowshoes, gas up your snowmobiles and make lasting, loving memories with friends and family all over New Brunswick.
Frostival (Jan. 18 – Feb. 4)
With over 150 events, Fredericton gets crazy for winter celebrating these chilling days with thousands of Maritimers braving the cold. Some of the festival’s most anticipated events includes Shivering Songs, allowing you to join music fans for live music and storytelling in the downtown area; Frostival Ice Sculptures, offering fun for the whole family as you watch artist chisel beautiful masterpieces in a celebration of ice; the NB HopSpiel, combining outdoor curling, craft beer and chili for a day-long winter bash; and The Daily Gleaner Old-Fashioned Skating Party, where you can enjoy ice skating, hot drinks, live music and Farmers Market vendors.
With the largest vertical drop in the Maritimes, Crabbe Mountain is the ideal place for skiers and snowboarders throughout New Brunswick looking to carve through some fresh powder. Located in Central Hainesville between Fredericton and Woodstock, you can check out the mountain at any time, but if you’re planning on being in the area for Frostival, be sure to make it to Speed Week (Jan. 24 – Feb. 4) and race with experience clubs from all over Atlantic Canada.
Hubcap Comedy Festival (Feb. 7 – 17)
A weekend of laughs is in store at various Moncton venues during the annual Hubcap Comedy Festival. With over 20 hilarious acts at local theatres, bars, restaurants and schools, this festival will allow you to appreciate the rich bilingualism in New Brunswick as it showcases Canadian talent in both French and English.
Centennial Park offers plenty of outdoor activities for your afternoon’s delight, which is open all year round and at your convenience. Enjoy skating at the Oval – which lights up beautifully at night – hit the trails with your cross-country skis, play pick-up hockey on the KaBoom! outdoor rink with views of large-scale murals surrounding it, or grab your toboggan and create some lasting, winter memories down Centennial’s rolling hills.
Saint John Wine Fair (Feb. 17)
Enjoy a night of food and drink while raising money for the Canadian Red Cross at the 15th annual Saint John Wine Fair. Held at the Saint John Trade and Convention Centre, you’ll have the opportunity to taste an assortment of wines, micro-brews, cheese samplings, as well as the luscious Ganong chocolate fountain. Throw in a few door prizes (as well as a few surprises) and you’re sure to stay warm and cozy in the heart of Saint John.
Elmhurst Outdoor Adventures
Located in Erbs Cove just outside of Hampton, you’ll get exactly what the name suggests making this trek – outdoor adventures! This family-run business offers outdoor education and recreation for the entire family, with skiing, snowshoeing and maple syrup farm tours. Nothing says “Canadian,” like a visit to this sweet winter destination while you make sweet maple candy, strap on cross-country skis or snowshoe through trails under the stars.
Across the Province
Northern Odyssey loop
New Brunswick is home to more than 8,000 km of trails begging to be traversed with a fully-loaded snowmobile. Get adventurous this winter on the Northern Odyssey loop, covering 1,500 km as you ride along some of the Maritimes’ tallest mountains and beautiful bays. Along the way, you’ll be able to experience incredible provincial treasures such as Miramichi, the Acadian Peninsula, Bathurst, Campbellton and Edmunston. Check local events beforing starting your journey to make the most of this winter adventure.
Broadleaf Guest Ranch
Escape the bustling city and enjoy a winter getaway in Riverside-Albert. Broadleaf Ranch is the perfect, relaxing weekend you’ve been dreaming of with gorgeous chalets and cabins, home-cooked food, trails for snowshoeing, skiing or horseback riding as well as a campfire under the starry sky with scrumptious marshmallows and hot chocolate. Indulge in the ideal East Coast winter along the Bay of Fundy, just minutes away from the Hopewell Rocks Provincial Park.
Midland Ice Caves
Get ready to explore the frosty nature of New Brunswick as you hunt for the infamous Midland Ice Caves. Expertly hidden, save for a few small signs off Midland road in Norton, you’ll hike through a thick, luscious forest, as you search for the caves. Maps and directions are available on the web, but your inner compass will certainly be put to the test on this journey, making the treasure all the more rewarding. Ideal for nature enthusiasts, you’ll truly be able to appreciate the beauty of the caves during the winter months.
World Pond Hockey Championships (Feb. 8 – 11)
Our national game is alive and thriving at Plaster Rock each year, as hundreds of teams gather from around the world to compete in the World Pond Hockey Championship. First starting in 2002, this event began as a fundraiser for a new arena facility in Tobique River Valley, and has now grown to be the most internationally-anticipated event in New Brunswick. Played on Roulston Lake with over 20 ice surfaces, watch teams go head-to-head, bask in the camaraderie of the game and take part in a truly original, one-of-a-kind experience.
Travel blogger for thehereandwow.com and member of the Travel Media Association of Canada. Follow her adventures on twitter (@ginaalward), Facebook (The Here and Wow) and Instagram (@thehereandwow).
Note: This article has been adapted from its original, published by Telegraph-Journal on Dec. 30, 2016. Dates have been updated to reflect 2018 schedule. Click here for link.
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