Just because it’s cold outside, it doesn’t mean the fun stops in our national parks and national historic sites; after all, as every Canadian knows that there’s no such thing as bad weather, just the wrong clothes! So wrap up warm, pull on a toque and mittens, and head out to enjoy a family fun day soon. Instant inspiration guaranteed with these ten winter warmers!

Banff National Park

A family skating on Lake Louise.
Alberta

The Canadian Rocky Mountains are a glorious treasure trove of exciting winter adventures from skiing, snowboarding and ice climbing to dog sledding, snowshoeing and ice skating. But did you know that the park is also home to the oldest natural history museum in Canada? The Banff Park Museum is packed to the rafters with fascinating specimens collected from the park over the past century. Get up close with a vintage stuffed grizzly or bighorn sheep, and handle antlers and furs in the Discovery room. Learning is fun here thanks to the Xplorers club booklet; complete six challenges and your junior natural historian will receive an official certificate and Parks Canada souvenir.

Gros Morne National Park

Rolling snow covered hills with three visitors snowshoeing.
Newfoundland and Labrador

Love treasure hunts? Try a modern take on an old favourite at Gros Morne, which uses GPS to locate caches hidden around the park following the story of an Arctic Tern named Jonathan Livingstearn. Pick up a copy of the storybook at the visitor centre along with a geocache passport then join in with Jonathan’s adventures and find the caches. Punch your passport then once you’ve found all five you’ll earn a limited-edition Gros Morne National Park trackable geocoin! This challenge takes in a 20.5km hike across five park trails, so works well for an active family over a weekend visit, or it’s the perfect activity for families who live close to Gros Morne who can tackle one trail at a time throughout the winter season.

Fortress of Louisbourg National Historic Site

The fortress of Louisbourg in the winter.
Nova Scotia

Want to have a fun day out but the kids are glued to their screens? No problem! With this activity, you can use a smart phone or tablet to tap into one of Canada’s historic gems. Download the Explora app and visit Louisbourg for a guided walk; as you explore the fortress and its grounds your phone or tablet will upload GPS-triggered photos, video, text and narration. Choose from two different themed walks which will immerse you into life in the 18th century and the community in Louisbourg, and also look at the challenges now faced through coastal erosion.

Forillon National Park

Two visitors fat biking in the snow at La Mauricie National Park!
Quebec

It’s the biggest trend in cycling and no wonder! Fat biking makes winter time pedaling a breeze thanks to super-wide tires which float above the snow. In Forillon fat bikers can use Le Portage trail which runs across the north and south sides of the peninsular. No bike? No problem! You can rent bikes at Centre culturel Le Griffon.

Thousand Islands National Park

Group of adults sitting on the ground at the edge of a lake. There is snow and a tripod.
Ontario

If your child is a budding ornithologist or junior scientist, then there’s no more fun activity than the annual Christmas bird count! The count is North America’s longest-running citizen science project; it began in 1900 and there are counts in more than 2000 locations throughout the Western hemisphere. Help play a part in future conservation and keep count on a fun day exploring the park between December 14 and January 5.

Riding Mountain National Park

A family cross country skiing on the trails at Riding Mountain National Park.
Manitoba

Riding Mountain National Park is going to be Good Times Central over February 8-11 thanks to the action-packed schedule of the Winter Adventure Weekend. Ideal for kids of all ages there’s something for everyone from family lake skating sessions and guided snowshoe expeditions to a bear den, to scavenger hunts, maple syrup rolling and heritage hockey games. Make it a weekend to remember, book an oTENTik and stay overnight in the park!

Kouchibouguac National Park

A family tobogganing.
New Brunswick

You’re never too young—or too old—to enjoy the giddy fast-paced thrills of a toboggan session in the snow. Earn your fun with a picturesque 2km snowshoe hike from the Pijeboogwek parking lot to Patterson hill to get your ‘boggan on this winter in Kouchibouguac. Snuggle up and share the ride, you go faster with a full load!

Radium Hot Springs, Kootenay National Park

A father and daughter enjoying the Radium Hot Springs.
British Columbia

Water babies will adore warming up throughout winter in one of British Columbia's top natural hot springs, found in Kootenay National Park. Enjoy a steamy soak in the expansive hot pool or cool off with the kids in the swimming pool after enjoying a day of dry-land activities in the Columbia Valley. Download the new Explora Kootenay App and enjoy a guided audio tour of one of BC’s most scenic highways.

La Mauricie National Park

Young adults snowshoeing at La Mauricie National Park.
Quebec

Calling sporty creative types! If you’re a family of seasoned snowshoers how about trying something new this winter with snow tagging? Create a beautiful image in the snow with nothing but your feet (and snowshoes!). Make a reservation and get ready to create beautiful temporary art at Solitaire Lake or lac aux Chevaux. The best part? Retracing your steps to the nearest lookout and taking a celebratory photo. Social media success guaranteed.

Prince Albert National Park

A mother and her child complete a snowman.
Saskatchewan

Little legs can get pretty tired playing in the snow, but Saskatchewan’s Prince Albert National Park has the ideal solution with their children’s chariots! Available to borrow along with skis and snowshoes, grown ups can hit the groomed trails to enjoy cross country skiing, and the kids can enjoy the ride—and then a nice snuggly snow-suit sleep.