1.Take the Kids to Jack Frost WinterFest, Feb 15 – 18, 2019
Atlantic Canada’s biggest winter celebration, Jack Frost Winterfest, takes place February 15th – 18th, 2019. Expanding to four days, the Festival will bring back perennial favourites and include exciting, new features for families. The always-popular Outdoor Snow Kingdom will return with an abundance of snow and ice-inspired fun, food vendors, and more. The Eastlink Centre will play host to a line-up of highly-anticipated children’s entertainers and an Indoor Playland filled with bouncies and inflatables. New in 2019, the Outdoor Kingdom will remain open on Monday, February 18th for Family Day, providing families an extra day to experience the joy and wonder of ice slides, ice sculpting and much more. All Inclusive 3 day, 2 night and all NEW 4 day, 3 night Jack Frost Hotel Packages offer festival-goers family-friendly accommodation options at different price points. They are also the ONLY way to access VIP tickets to the event!
2. Feast on Culinary Delights During WinterDine
Discover why PEI is known as Canada’s Food Island and explore Downtown Charlottetown’s diverse restaurant scene during Winter Dine (Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays from Jan 24 to Feb 9). Treat yourself to a carefully-curated 3-course feast inspired by local ingredients and created by talented chefs at one of the many participating restaurants. Round out your foodie getaway with a visit to the Charlottetown Farmers’ Market on Saturday morning, afternoon tea or coffee at one of the city’s many cafes and a sampling of craft brews at one (or more!) of Charlottetown’s breweries.
3. Explore the City and Beyond by Snowshoe
Charlottetown’s accommodation providers and Discover Charlottetown want you to enjoy a unique winter experience with their Snowshoes in the City initiative! Book your stay with a participating hotel or inn and you can take advantage of complimentary loaner snowshoes during your visit. Trek around the city after a fresh snowfall or venture into the countryside and discover the vast beauty of PEI under a blanket of white. You’ll even get a curated trail guide to help you navigate your snowshoeing adventure!
4. Ring in the New Year with The East Pointers, Joel Plaskett and Hillsburn!
The East Coast Music Association is teaming up with Delta Hotels by Marriott Prince Edward to host an unforgettable New Year’s Eve Bash at the waterfront hotel. The lineup will feature Joel Plaskett, The East Pointers and Hillsburn. General admission and VIP tickets are available, plus the Delta is offering special hotel packages for 2- and 3-night stays. The NYE bash is a precursor to the 5-day kitchen party (aka The East Coast Music Awards!) that Charlottetown will host from May 1 – 5, 2019. That’s right, now you have good reason to visit Charlottetown again in the spring!
5. Take Part in a New Year’s Day Island Tradition – Levees
Not to be confused with the ‘embankment built to prevent the overflow from a river’, a New Year’s Day levee on PEI is a social affair that may, in some cases, involve an overflow of good cheer. A time-honoured tradition amongst Islanders of welcoming in the new year, levees refer to receptions and open houses hosted by dignitaries, institutions, community organizations and businesses as means of connecting with old friends and making new ones. Many levees are child-friendly and all are guaranteed to be filled with warmth and laughter. Here’s a handy guide courtesy of local levee maven, Peter Rukavina, to help you learn ‘How to Levee’. Peter also creates a handy levee schedule each year to help you plan your day!
6. Take in the Lively Arts and Music Scene
Charlottetown’s live music and arts scene knows no rest. During the winter, venues across the city continue to host a myriad of live events, from concerts to comedy to art battles and more. Live @ the Centre! Brings musicians and other performers to the Confederation Centre of the Arts all winter long, including Jenn Grant, Serena Ryder, Alan Doyle, Gadfly and more. A visit to the Centre’s National Art Gallery is also a ‘must’, and features the works of accomplished Canadian artists throughout the year. Across the street at The Guild, you’ll discover exhibitions of local art as well as plenty of community-based theatre and music on offer at the black box theatre. Live music is on tap at plenty of the city’s bars and pubs, including The Old Triangle, the Olde Dublin Pub, PEI Brewing Co., Water’s Edge, Baba’s Lounge, Hunter’s Ale House and John Brown Grille. And if the idea of watching artists battle it out against each other and the clock, check out the PEI Brewing Company’s schedule of Art Battles and plan your trip accordingly!
7. Embrace This Special Season of Snow with WinterLove PEI!
WinterLove PEI is one part festival and one part philosophy. Created by a group of passionate Islanders, Winterlove PEI is a celebration of the magical season that brings us snow days, tobogganing, trees dusted in sparkling white, outdoor skating rinks, snowmen and snow angels, excuses to drink hot chocolate, snowshoeing, big wooly scarves, and a sense of renewal. Throughout the month of February, Winterlove PEI hosts and promotes several events and activities pretty much guaranteed to have you falling in love with winter – from Speed Skating 101 to a tubing night at Brookvale Provincial Ski Park to an outdoor disco skate at Founders’ Hall to Curling for Beginners and more. Of course, your winter love need not be bound to the month of February – you’ll find plenty of winter activities to take part in all season long. Share your love on Instagram using #WinterLovePEI.
8. Celebrate the Magical Holiday Season at Victorian Christmas Weekend
Immerse yourself in an old-fashioned, storybook Christmas setting filled with timeless holiday traditions during Victorian Christmas Weekend in historic downtown Charlottetown. The kick off to the holiday season, Victorian Christmas Weekend features three fun-filled days of celebration and activities for the whole family. A highlight of the Weekend is the open-air Victorian Christmas Market. Reminiscent of European Christmas markets, it feature a treasure trove of artisan wares, local crafts, and delicious foods in a friendly, enjoyable shopping atmosphere complete with a Christmas-themed petting zoo, fire pits, carolers, and visits from Santa and Mrs. Claus! The Weekend also feature plenty of other holiday-inspired activities including the Charlottetown Christmas Parade, classic Christmas movies, horse-drawn wagon rides, walking tours of the city, Christmas sing-a-longs and more.
9. Join the Polar Bear Swim in the Charlottetown Harbour on New Year’s Day
For those who want to ring in the new year by ticking off a bucket list goal, the Annual Polar Bear Swim offers brave folks a chance to do just that. Head to the Charlottetown Yacht Club for the official swim (ok, let’s be honest, for most it’s going to more of a ‘dip’ than a swim!) at 10am and get ready to run into the icy cold waters of the Charlottetown waters. To officially be considered a successful polar bear dip, you must get wet up to your neck! Dress appropriately (water footwear is recommended) and bring a friend along to hold a big warm towel for you to run into after the dip! The PEI Polar Bear Club is the official host of this exhilarating event, which doubles as a charity fundraiser for the food bank. Non-perishable food items and/or monetary donations for the Food Bank are welcomed.
10. Check Off 101 Things to do in Charlottetown this Winter
No matter when you visit Charlottetown this winter, there’s plenty to see and do all through the season. Be sure to check out our 101 list and check off as many as you can!