Winter Fun in Lethbridge, Alberta

by - Friday, October 12, 2018

With a colorful history and wealth of cultural and recreational opportunities, Lethbridge is a fun winter road trip destination only two and a quarter hours from Calgary.

Galt Gardens, Lethbridge
Galt Gardens, Lethbridge
As the sun sets on the Old Man River Valley, the Lethbridge Viaduct, hills, and coulees are bathed in golden light. It's easy to see why First Nations called this place "steep banks" or "painted rock."1 Tomorrow we will explore the "big bridge" (tallest and highest steel trestle bridge in the world!) and riverside parks. Tonight, we have a festival to go to!

Winter Lights Festival at Nikka Yuko Japanese Garden, Lethbridge
Winter Lights Festival at Nikka Yuko Japanese Garden, Lethbridge
Michelle Day, Executive Director, warmly greets us at Nikka Yuko Japanese Garden for a sneak peek of the Winter Lights Festival. She's proud to share what her staff have been up to for the past several weeks. Over 100,000 lights adorn the trees, shrubs and buildings of the garden transforming it into a winter wonderland. We pose under the Romance Tree, ring the Friendship Bell, check out Mount Fuji, then enjoy some hot green tea.

Winter Lights Festival at Nikka Yuko Japanese Garden, Lethbridge
Winter Lights Festival at Nikka Yuko Japanese Garden, Lethbridge
The Winter Lights Festival runs from November 2018 - February 2019. Visit the Nikka Yuko Japanese Garden - Events page for more information. Special friends and family packages are available as well as private bookings for corporate events / family reunions.

Coast Lethbridge Hotel & Conference Centre
Checking in to the Coast Lethbridge Hotel & Conference Centre
Evening finds us in the swimming pool at the Coast Hotel & Conference Centre... well the kids and my husband, anyways. I prefer the hot tub! Since the hotel restaurant, Firestone Restaurant & Bar, is full with a one-hour wait, we grab some Greek food at Opa! (always yummy!) and call it a night.

Chef Stella Diner, Lethbridge
Deliciousness at Chef Stella Diner, Lethbridge
Morning arrives bright and frosty. After a scrumptious brunch at Chef Stella Diner, we explore the historic downtown and Galt Gardens, then head to Get Air Trampoline Park to warm up. We discover that two hours is plenty of time to get a great workout! Tip: Bring grippy socks if you have them; otherwise you will have to purchase some.


Get Air Lethbridge Trampoline Park
Get Air Lethbridge Trampoline Park
All that jumping has left us feeling peckish, so our next stop is Edible Elegance. Choosing a treat takes time as everything is so beautiful, but in the end, we all find something we love. I'm happy to report that everything tastes as good as it looks!

Enjoying treats at Edible Elegance, Lethbridge
Enjoying treats at Edible Elegance, Lethbridge
(Sorry Mom, did you want a photo before we started eating?)
Afternoon finds us at the Helen Schuler Nature Centre (admission by donation, see website for hours), located in Lethbridge Nature Reserve Park. Watched over by the Lethbridge Viaduct, aka High Level Bridge, and surrounded by coulees on the bank of the Old Man River, the city feels far away (really it's minutes away). We explore the indoor exhibits, then check out the Coal Banks Kiosk and hike the Coulee Climb Trail for a closer look at the bridge. The hike is short and steep (has stairs - not stroller friendly), but rewarding.

Lethbridge Viaduct from Coulee Climb Lookout
Lethbridge Viaduct from Coulee Climb Lookout
For the best pizza in town, Two Guys And a Pizza Place is the place to go (rated #1 Lethbridge restaurant on TripAdvisor). The menu is huge, food is delicious, and they even have gluten-free pizza crust!

We loved friendly Lethbridge and look forward to visiting The Galt Museum and ice skating at Henderson Lake next time (For current ice conditions, visit City of Lethbridge-Lake Ice.). What are your favorite winter activities in Lethbridge?

Winter fun in Lethbridge, Alberta - Pinterest pin
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Location

Lethbridge is located 212 kilometres south of Calgary. Allow 2 hours and 15 minutes to get there.

Acknowledgements

Thank you to Visit Lethbridge and ZenSeekers for making this trip possible! All words and opinions are my own.

For More Information

Check out Visit Lethbridge for more fun things to do in Lethbridge.

References

  1. Lethbridge history: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lethbridge 

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