A Kids Guide to Deep Freeze: A Byzantine Winter Festival

Published Jan 9, 2015

Edmonton is living up to its name "festival city" even throughout the winter months! Don't miss out on this amazing weekend and as the viking saying goes, let your memory be your travel bag! This kids guide to Deep Freeze will help you make the most of your time at this fantastic event.

As Edmontonians, we embrace the cold climate. The 8th Annual Deep Freeze Winter Festival is a fantastic celebration this January that is free fun for the entire family. Bringing together all communities, the festival celebrates the Russian / Ukrainian "Olde New Year" and mixes artistic panache with authentic cultural and heritage winter games and fun. The Deep Freeze Winter Festival features the The RETURN of the Vikings, and will be filled with exciting experiences for all ages.

The festival is both indoors and outdoors, with a lot of the family activities taking place outside. Make sure everyone is layered up and dressed warm! There is plenty of food on site including healthy options, so you can join in for an entire day of play. 

Located at Alberta Avenue between 90 and 94 Streets, the full festival runs both Saturday, January 10th and Sunday, January 11th from Noon - 6pm. On Saturday will be some after-hours fun, like fireworks, ice skating, slides, hotdog and marshmallow roast, and more. There's also a ticketed event from 7-11pm Saturday night: The Return of the Vikings evening dance! Tickets are available for purchase at the Carrot Coffeehouse or festival info booths.

With such a huge array of fun games, activities, and things to do, we've put together a guide for families to make the most of their time. To see the full schedule, visit for full details.

Cheat Sheet: The must-see's and must-do's for a family with young children

NEW: Make sure you check out the GIANT IGLOO STAGE
 coming this year, and if you can time it right, there will be a screening of everyone's favourite movie, Frozen, inside at 6:15pm on Saturday evening. Do you wanna build a snowman?!

Fireworks: Because who doesn't love fireworks?! They will be at 6pm on Saturday at Alberta Ave Park. Psstt... The best viewing is between 92 Street & 93 Street, on 118 Avenue and into the community on 119 Avenue.

Family Ice Sculpture Games, Curling, Skating, and Ice Slides: play a frozen version of your favourite games! X's and O's, mini golf, and ring toss to name a few. Take a shot at curling, skating, or the kids will love the ice slides built just for them. This is at the Ice & Snow Kingdom behind the building at 9210-118 Ave.

Warm up with a hot dog & marshmallow roast: The Ice & Snow Kingdom will also have some tasty treats around the fire so you can relax and de-thaw after all that wintery fun.

Taste the Cabane à Sucre: A traditional French Canadian sugar snack where maple syrup is served on SNOW, mmmm...

Horse & Wagon Rides: happening along the Avenue from 12-5pm on both days. You'll hear the sleigh bells ringing! There's two drop off stops: Avenue Theatre and the Alberta Avenue Community Centre.

Family Arts Workshop: Iryna Karpenko will be doing paper crafts at the Nina Haggerty Centre for the Arts, the whole family is welcome to join in on Saturday from 12-5pm. A nice break from the snow, ice, and all that running around! Note that on Sunday from 12-6pm will be another great workshop by Edmonton Public Library with storytelling, arts & crafts, simple electronics, and programming projects.

Tobogganing: take the kids over to Alberta Ave Park between 12-5pm to slip and slide away for some tobogganing fun!

Watch the Deep Freezer Race: this is literally a deep freezer on skis, raced to a finish line! Tons of fun and one of the biggest hits of the festival. If you want to sign up a team, it's not too late, they extended the deadline to January 8th.

Volunteer Together: families can volunteer at the festival together, a great way to spend quality time with one another while teaching your kids about volunteering. The smiles on everyone's face will be oh so rewarding.

What is the suggested donation for a family?

This is a free event and everyone is welcome! There will be 'pay what you can donation tubes' located around the festival so it's no pressure. If you're wondering what would be a great donation, around $20 for a family is suggested (or whatever you're able to give!).

The money collected is used by the organizing not-profit, Arts on the Ave.

Getting There

There will be a Park & Ride shuttle this year running back and forth from the Sands Hotel on Fort Road (12340 Fort Road Northwest, Edmonton AB). It runs every hour on the hour from the Sands to the festival, and every hour on the half hour from the festival grounds to the Sands Hotel.

The event is wheelchair accessible.

And most importantly, have fun! :^)

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