There is no denying the impending arrival of winter, and while curling up on the couch to watch season after season of your favourite TV shows can be a very appealing idea, getting outside and remaining active is probably the best way to please both your mind and your body while the mercury is low.
With this in mind, Grid City Magazine has compiled a list of Fredericton-area events and activities to help keep you sharp, focused and active during the cold season.
#1: Frostival – Including several established winter activities (and a few new ones too), Frostival is Atlantic Canada’s largest winter celebration. See what all the fuss is about.
#2: Go Watch a Hockey Game – Fredericton has an incredible hockey community and the ice surface to prove it. If you enjoy watching hockey on a Saturday night, or any night for that matter, Fredericton has you covered. From a full slate of junior league teams and tournaments to high school and university hockey, no one can truly say there isn’t any good hockey in this town.
#3: Cross-Country Skiing – The UNB Woodlot and Odell Park offer hours of trails for your cross-country skiing pleasure. After a major snowfall (or during one for that matter), the walking trails are the perfect place to practice your technique.
#4: Crabb Mountain – Crabb is the main destination for downhill skiers and snowboarders from the Fredericton area. Enjoy the hill or a cold pint and a bite to eat surrounded by the warmth of the lodge. Good times!
#5: Take a Stroll Down Queen Street – Let’s face it – Fredericton is beautiful, and few streets can rival the magical appearance of Queen Street in the winter. You know what we’re talking about. If you don’t, this is THE perfect opportunity to see what makes our downtown so special. It rocks!
#6: Monday Night Movies – Like foreign films? How about films made right here at home in Canada? Well, The NB Film Co-op’s Fredericton Monday Night Film Series might be just the fix you’re looking for. AND you can bring your own snacks and not feel one bit guilty about it.
#7: Shivering Songs – In just four short years, Fredericton’s Shivering Songs festival has become an important part of our cultural landscape and a great way to celebrate the halfway point of the cold weather season. And if you’ve never experienced music inside Wilmot United Church, you’re really missing something special.
#8: Sliding – Who doesn’t love sliding? Seriously. Grab your toboggan and head to one of several hills in the capital region for an exhilarating afternoon of downhill fun. Odell Park usually has a great track waiting for you.
#9: Snowshoeing – You don’t need to invest much to enjoy an afternoon of snowshoeing. Let the city’s trails and parks be your guide as you explore the beauty of fresh fallen snow. The UNB Woodlot is a dream come true for the inner-city snowshoer in you.
#10: Cineplex Theaters – Enjoy the latest feature films at Fredericton’s Cineplex Theaters. Comfy seats, tasty treats and PREVIEWS! The best part of any theatre experience. Seriously. Who doesn’t love previews?
#11: Swimming – Sometimes the pool is the best place to get you thinking about the good weather that will eventually return. While it may be a bit chilly to think about Killarney Lake or the sandy beach at Mactaquac, hit up one of the city’s several indoor pools and dream about the warm, sunny days ahead.
#12: Indoor Track – The Grant Harvey Centre and Willie O’Ree Place are just two locations offering an indoor track for your walking and running needs. Free to the public except during special events, these tracks are a great way to keep up on your exercise schedule without all the layers.
#13: Community Breakfasts – Oh man. There are so many community breakfast options during the winter months. The food’s always cheap and everyone is in a good mood at a community breakfast. After all, community and breakfast are two of the best things going. FACT.
#14: Enjoy Live Music – If live music is your thing, there is no shortage of musical events happening in Fredericton at any time of the year. Check out The Capital Complex and Dolans Pub to see who’s playing their stages this winter. You can also check Grid City on the regular. We’ll share what we can.
#15: Sleigh Rides – If you’re like us, you’ve always thought how much fun it would be to get a group of friends together and go on a sleigh ride. There’s no doubting the appeal and simplicity of a horse drawn sleigh ride through the woods. Why not make this the year you actually bring this idea to life?
#16: Bowling – We’ve got two great bowling alleys. The Main Street Bowl-a-Drome is the perfect throwback to the classic bowling alley and Kingswood is a full-blown entertainment centre with lots of options outside of the good old ten-pin game.
#17: Indoor tennis – The Abony Family Tennis Centre is your indoor tennis destination. Channel your inner McEnroe, keep fit and have fun.
#18: Basketball Games – If you enjoy watching basketball games, Fredericton has tons of options. University and high school games are open to the public and if you want to be the one on the court, check out Active Fredericton’s league information.
#19: Art Classes – We will no longer tolerate people who say things like “I wish I learned to draw” or “I always wanted to learn how to paint” because this city has an enormous amount of opportunities for people looking to get better acquainted with the right side of their brain. Fredericton Arts Alliance have up to date info on who’s teaching what where.
#20: Take a Night Class – This one’s a bit redundant but, you can pretty much take a class in anything. UNB’s College of Extended Learning is just one of several places offering a real mixed bag courses – everything from acoustic guitar to photography and writing. It’s really quite amazing.
#21: Library events – When was the last time you visited the library? That long ago? Well friends, you best go check out the recently renovated Fredericton Public Library. They have an amazing selection of DVDs, CDs, magazines, newspapers from everywhere and literally tons of books! They also host lectures, public talks and the occasional reading. Best of all, it’s all FREE! A beautiful building full of beautiful things – what’s not to love?
#22: Grab a Great Cup of Coffee – Sometimes it’s just nice to get out of the house. Why not visit one of downtown’s kickass coffee shops and sit, read a book, or bring a friend and get caught up on long overdue conversation?
#23: Volunteer – That’s right. The V word. It IS all it’s cracked up to be. Help your community and give yourself something to truly feel great about. Check out Volunteer Greater Fredericton .
#24: Dance – Shake the winter blues by learning to shake your booty! From ballroom to hip-hop and highland to ballet, Fredericton has an impressive range of dance instruction.
#25: Theatre – Did you know Fredericton has more than a half-dozen theatre companies, performing in venues all across the city? Whether you’re into well-known literary classics, off-the-wall comedies or the latest from local playwrights, we’ve got you covered. Check out a full list of upcoming productions right here.
#26: Winter Camping – That’s right. You’ve probably thought about it during those beautiful weekend summer camping trips. “Camping is so fun, I’m going to camp all year-round.” Well, it’s time to put your money where your mouth is and head to Mactaquc Provincial Park. Rumor has it you can fulfill your winter camping dreams!
#27: Go to an Art Gallery – Fredericton art galleries have a lot of treasures, boasting works from the city’s, the country’s and the world’s most respected artists. Inspiration takes many forms and spending an hour in the presence of timeless works of art just might prove to be the smartest decision you’ve made.
#28: Lecture – We have two universities in Fredericton. TWO UNIVERSITIES! We must be a pretty smart bunch, huh? If you’re still feeling intellectually inferior or if you just want to keep your brain sharp, why not sit and listen to someone smarter than you? Check out both these great school’s event calendars for upcoming lectures. STU and UNB.
#29: Meditate – Get in touch with #1. Learn to relax and filter out the day’s distractions by signing up for an hour, a day or a weekend’s escape. Better yet, learn how to make time in your daily life for doing…nothing. You won’t regret it. Visit the Fredericton Shambhala Centre.
#30: Flea Market – We’ve all heard the expression, “One person’s garbage is another person’s treasure”. If you’re in the mood for a new book, a DVD or video game, some old vinyl records from the 70s or maybe a rusty bird cage – there’s a good chance you’ll find what your life is lacking at the Fredericton Flea Market.
#31: Curling – Who hasn’t, at one time in their lives, thought about getting some friends together to hurl stones down the rink and yell at one another? Visit the Capital Winter Club and make your dreams come true. Get some friends together and organize a bonspiel. The Capital Winter Club has produced four national champions. You could be next!
#32: Go to a Ceilidh (a Celtic party) – If Celtic music, dancing and a tasty pint sound appealing to you, check out the monthly ceilidhs at The James Joyce Pub, hosted by the Fredericton Society of Saint Andrew Pipe Band. You’ll be happy you did.
#33: Start Jogging – It might not look like a lot of fun, but joining a running group can prove to be one of the most rewarding activities you could do. You’ll be surprised how quickly you warm up. Seriously!
#34: Join a Gym – Burn off your holiday feasting with a regular exercise routine at one of several local gyms. Take it one step further and get a trainer to put together an exercise plan that will work for you.
#35: Learn an Instrument – It’s not too late. Music is something anyone can enjoy. There are dozens of instructors teaching private and group lessons on just about every popular instrument you can think of. Stop by your local music store and ask for a list of instructors.
#36: Kings Landing Sugar Bush – OK. This one’s a bit outside the city limits, but Kings Landing is always a good time and well-worth the short drive. Their “Sugar Bush” weekend offers a step back in time with tasty maple sugar and a big breakfast.
#37: Winter Fest – All your traditional winter fun in one location – sliding, snow tubing, dog sleds, horse drawn sleigh rides and more. They even make a snow labyrinth! Tons of parking too! Google it.
#38: Science East – There is no better place to mix fun and learning for the whole family. Science East has a regular schedule of family programming. Visit them online. You’ll be surprised and amazed.
#39: Doc Talks – Documentary film screenings, discussions and receptions. A different kind of lecture experience. Think about it.
#40: Festival of Lights – Take a relaxing drive around St. Mary’s First Nation and see some of the most spectacular holiday lights anywhere. Imagine the set of Christmas Vacation on a competitive level. #speechless
#41: Fredericton Craft Beer Fest – Expand your palette with beers from across the country. Find out what makes a beer tasty and talk to the experts to learn about new brews you’ll love. They have a website.
#42: Sports Hall of Fame – Fredericton is home to the New Brunswick Sports Hall of Fame, a unique collection of our province’s sport’s history including several exhibits, artifacts and interactive displays. Well worth a visit. AND, it’s right downtown.
#43: Skating in Officer’s Square – Every winter the good folks at the City of Fredericton flood our favourite downtown park and deck it out with lights and music, creating a winter atmosphere like something right out of Cornelius Krieghoff’s sketchbook. If you’re into skating under the stars, this is the spot for you. Dust off those blades!
#44: Yoga – Many of us are our least active during the winter months. Tons of couch time could leave your back in a twisted state. Why not invest an hour a week and help your body reconnect with its full range of strength and movement?
#45: Dodgeball – Seriously. This is a thing you can do. There’s even an organized group of dodgeball enthusiasts to help you get reacquainted with the rules and the fun. Is that crazy or what? #ilovefredericton
#46: Crossfit – Physical training in a group setting with goals you can achieve. Impress yourself, feel great and reap the benefits of a health mind and body.
#47: Visit a Museum – The Fredericton Region Museum offers a wealth of exhibits exploring the early years of life along the Saint John River and throughout the province. They also recently restored their famous WW1 trench exhibit. Winter hours are by appointment or by chance. And just outside of town, Oromocto has one of the most impressive military museums in Canada. Who knew?
#48: Grab your Camera – One of the easiest things you could do to ward off the mid-winter blues is to grab your camera and reconnect with your neighbourhood and your city. It’s SO easy and it’s SO much fun! #simplepleasures
#49: Ultimate Frisbee – Known strictly as “Ultimate” to those in the know, this sport runs year around and blends a great workout with equally strong social interaction.
#50: Read a Book: That’s right. It’s so simple. Work at your own pace! Each chapter is a mission accomplished! AND, you can save on your energy bill. Win-win!
Grid City Magazine’s 50 Things to do in Fredericton This Winter is by no means, a comprehensive list. There are hundreds of winter activities to get involved in. If you can think of some we overlooked, email us! We’re game to expand this list.