Things to do in Winter in Newfoundland and Labrador

Things to Do in Winter in Newfoundland and Labrador

Last Updated: November 17, 2023By

Winter in Newfoundland and Labrador transforms this Canadian province into a magical wonderland, offering a myriad of activities and experiences for those willing to embrace the cold. From vibrant winter festivals to outdoor adventures in breathtaking landscapes, there’s no shortage of things to do during the snowy season. Let’s dive into the heart of winter in Newfoundland and Labrador and discover the unique charm it has to offer.

Winter Festivals and Events

Winter in Newfoundland and Labrador is synonymous with lively celebrations, and at the heart of it all is the St. John’s Winter Carnival. This iconic event, held annually, transforms the provincial capital into a hub of cultural vibrancy and excitement. The carnival kicks off with colorful parades winding through snow-lined streets, featuring intricately crafted floats and enthusiastic participants adorned in winter-themed costumes. The atmosphere is electric, with the infectious beat of music filling the air and spectators wrapped in the warmth of shared joy.

Concerts are a focal point of the festivities, showcasing local talents and international acts that amplify the region’s diverse musical heritage. From foot-stomping folk tunes to soulful ballads, the carnival’s musical repertoire mirrors the rich tapestry of Newfoundland and Labrador’s cultural identity.

Outdoor activities are woven into the fabric of the celebration, with families and friends gathering for traditional winter games and sports. From friendly snowball fights to exhilarating sled races, the carnival provides a platform for both locals and visitors to partake in the shared joy of winter revelry.

Beyond St. John’s, communities across Newfoundland and Labrador proudly host their own winter celebrations, each infused with a unique local flavor. These events range from intimate gatherings highlighting age-old customs to larger festivals that draw inspiration from the region’s history and folklore. Whether it’s the lighting of community bonfires or the hosting of traditional feasts, these celebrations offer an authentic glimpse into the warmth of Newfoundland and Labrador’s winter community spirit.

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Outdoor Winter Activities In Newfoundland and Labrador


In Newfoundland and Labrador, winter unfolds as a playground for outdoor enthusiasts, offering a myriad of activities set against the backdrop of snow-covered landscapes. Hiking trails that once displayed the vibrant hues of autumn are now blanketed in serene white, inviting avid hikers to explore a transformed winter wonderland. The crisp air and the muffled sound of snow underfoot create an immersive experience as you navigate through forests and along coastal paths, discovering a unique beauty exclusive to the winter season.

Frozen lakes become natural ice rinks, beckoning visitors to lace up their skates for a day of gliding through a winter wonderland. The sheer thrill of carving intricate patterns on the smooth, frozen surface is an exhilarating experience, surrounded by the quietude of a winter’s day.

For those seeking an adrenaline rush, the snow-covered hills of Newfoundland and Labrador offer a perfect canvas for skiing and snowboarding. Whether you’re a seasoned pro or a novice, there are slopes catering to all skill levels, providing an exciting and picturesque descent through the snowy terrain.

For a taste of tradition and a connection to the province’s history, consider the unique adventure of dog sledding. This traditional mode of transportation in snowy terrains allows you to harness the boundless energy of a team of sled dogs, creating memories that harken back to a time when dog sleds were vital for transportation in these rugged landscapes.

As night falls, a whole new spectacle awaits. Look to the sky for a chance to witness the breathtaking Northern Lights. The dance of vibrant colors against the dark winter night is a celestial display that adds a touch of magic to an already enchanting outdoor experience. Whether you’re an avid adventurer or a casual stroller, Newfoundland and Labrador’s winter landscape offers a wealth of opportunities to connect with nature and relish the unique experiences only winter can provide.


Indoor Attractions


Indoor attractions in Newfoundland and Labrador provide a welcome respite from the winter chill, inviting visitors to delve into the province’s rich history and cultural tapestry. Museums and historical sites become immersive portals, transporting you through time as you explore exhibits that narrate the captivating stories woven into the fabric of Newfoundland and Labrador.

The Rooms - Newfoundland and Labrador

Museums, such as The Rooms in St. John’s, unfold as treasure troves of artifacts and exhibits, chronicling the province’s seafaring past, indigenous heritage, and the resilient spirit of its people. Engage with interactive displays that bring history to life, allowing you to touch, feel, and experience the nuances of Newfoundland and Labrador’s unique past.

As you emerge from these captivating historical journeys, the craving for warmth finds fulfillment in the inviting ambiance of cozy cafes and restaurants. The aroma of freshly brewed coffee mingles with the scent of comforting, locally-inspired dishes. Cafes like Rocket Bakery in St. John’s or Fixed Coffee & Baking in Bonavista become havens for those seeking refuge from the winter cold. Indulge in a steaming cup of hot chocolate or a locally sourced herbal tea, savoring every sip amidst the welcoming atmosphere.

The culinary journey continues as you explore restaurants that pride themselves on showcasing the best of local cuisine. From savory seafood dishes to hearty stews featuring traditional ingredients, the menus reflect the unique flavors of Newfoundland and Labrador. Consider trying Jigg’s dinner, touton, or fisherman’s brewis for an authentic taste of the province.

In these indoor spaces, the juxtaposition of rich history and delectable cuisine creates a holistic and memorable experience. Newfoundland and Labrador’s winter not only offers outdoor adventures but also invites you to warm your soul with the stories and flavors that define this captivating region.

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Wildlife Encounters

Winter in Newfoundland and Labrador unveils a captivating realm for wildlife enthusiasts, where the province’s natural wonders take center stage against a backdrop of snow-covered landscapes. For birdwatchers, the winter season introduces a unique charm as resilient species adapt to the colder climate. Venture into the serene expanses, equipped with binoculars and a keen eye, to spot winter birds gracefully navigating the crisp air. From the elusive snowy owl to the vibrant plumage of winter finches, each sighting becomes a testament to the resilience and adaptability of these feathered inhabitants.

The coastal areas of Newfoundland and Labrador become a theatre for one of nature’s most awe-inspiring spectacles—the migration of whales. Joining a whale-watching excursion promises an unforgettable experience as these majestic marine giants navigate the icy waters. The winter habitat becomes a playground for humpback whales, minke whales, and orcas, among others, showcasing their acrobatic displays and breaching antics. Knowledgeable guides provide insights into the behavior and migration patterns of these magnificent creatures, adding depth to the spectacle unfolding before your eyes.

Choose from a variety of whale-watching tours that depart from picturesque coastal towns, such as Trinity or Bay Bulls. These excursions not only offer a front-row seat to the marine ballet but also contribute to the ongoing conservation efforts, promoting responsible and sustainable wildlife tourism.

Winter in Newfoundland and Labrador, far from being a season of hibernation for wildlife, becomes a stage for nature’s resilient performers. Embarking on a wildlife adventure in this season unveils a realm of wonders, from the graceful flight of winter birds to the majestic presence of whales navigating the icy seas, leaving indelible memories for those fortunate enough to witness these untamed spectacles.


Iceberg Alley Adventures: A visit to Newfoundland and Labrador would be incomplete without exploring Iceberg Alley. Discover the best spots for iceberg viewing and embark on guided tours or boat excursions for an up-close encounter with these frozen giants.

Winter Photography Opportunities: Capture the beauty of the season with stunning winter landscapes and wildlife photography. Learn the best strategies for photographing snow-covered scenery and wildlife in their winter habitats. Equip yourself with the necessary gear for shooting in cold conditions and make the most of the unique lighting opportunities winter provides.

Local Festive Cuisine: Warm up with traditional Newfoundland and Labrador winter dishes. Explore local eateries offering seasonal specialties, providing a perfect blend of comfort and culinary adventure.

Preparation Tips for Winter Travel: Before embarking on your winter journey, ensure you’re well-prepared with the right clothing and gear. Consider the weather conditions and follow safety tips to make the most of your winter exploration in Newfoundland and Labrador.

Conclusion: As you embark on your winter adventure in Newfoundland and Labrador, you’ll discover a province that comes alive with unique experiences and breathtaking landscapes. Embrace the cold, indulge in local festivities, and create memories that will last a lifetime in this winter wonderland.

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