Winter Wonderland in Downtown Edmonton

It was another unseasonably warm winter day on Friday, perfect to explore the freshly decorated Legislature grounds. It’s one of the most magical places in Edmonton in the holiday season, and taking a stroll through the tree-lined paths have become an annual tradition for us.

We first stopped at Second Cup for some hot drinks (I’m really enjoying their salted caramel hot chocolate), and en route to the Legislature, passed by the Christmas lights display at the Edmonton General.

Second Cup

A part of their Lights of Hope campaign, the continuing care facility is giving the Bright Nights displays (last seen in Hawrelak Park in 2008) new life. The 400 lights are intended to boost staff and patient morale and draw attention to the frail senior population.

Lights of Hope

Santa and his reindeer

The lights aren’t only on the front of the building, however – they line the entire perimeter of the facility, as well as the parkade behind it. We recognized some of our favourites from Bright Nights, including the hockey player who shoots and scores, and the duck-duck-goose parade.

Lights of Hope

Mack couldn’t help but pose with Santa

It was then onward to the Legislature, which had just been lit for the season on December 1. It was great to see many other couples and families enjoying the park as well that night.

Alberta Legislature

The lights are great, but I think what really makes the display special is the music that is piped in – Edmonton’s very own winter wonderland.

Alberta Legislature

A visit to Candy Cane Lane might be in your family’s holiday repertoire, but think about incorporating a stroll downtown this year as well – you won’t regret it!

Alberta Legislature

Bright Nights at the Legislature

After dinner at the Wildflower Grill, Mack and I grabbed a hot drink at the Starbucks next to the restaurant and walked to the Legislature grounds. Earlier in the day, the official light-up had taken place, but we were more than happy simply to explore the lights without the fanfare.


Approaching the Legislature

I have been to the grounds once before, but walking underneath the multicolored lights, with holiday songs piping in the background, will never get old. The ice sculptures, lit from behind, were out for display already as well.


Ice sculptures


Mack with Santa

The lights are typically on until at least the first week in January, both in the morning, from 6:30-8:30am and in the evenings from 5-11pm.

It was a pretty chilly night, so we were more than happy that the annex building was open so we could warm up a bit before heading outside again. Inside, we found a Lego-version of the Legislature building, sponsored by the Northern Alberta Lego Users Group. On a related note, watch for the Art of the Brick at the Telus World of Science, an exhibit that opens on December 20 that will feature a variety of life-size pieces built by a Lego artist.


Legislature in miniature

Make sure to take some time this holiday season to explore some of the great things to do in the city!