Winter in New Brunswick is a season filled with wonder and excitement, where the blanket of snow and ice transforms the province into a winter paradise. The air is crisp, the landscape picturesque, and nature always seems to be putting on a show. Whether you’re looking for outdoor adventure, indoor entertainment, or indulging in the local cuisine and culture, New Brunswick has something for everyone during the colder months. You can also check out our post on things to do in New Brunswick if you’re looking for more ideas.
Embracing Winter in New Brunswick
New Brunswick winter has plenty of outdoor activities to keep visitors busy. The province boasts two ski hills – Crabbe Mountain and Poley Mountain, providing some of the best skiing and snowboarding experiences in Eastern Canada. If you prefer something more laidback but still active, try snowshoeing or cross-country skiing through Fundy National Park or Kouchibouguac National Park’s beautiful trails.
If fishing is your thing, strap on some skates, grab your fishing gear and head out onto one of New Brunswick’s dozens of frozen lakes. Ice fishing is one of the most popular activities during winter months here because it provides an opportunity to find peace while taking part in an exciting sport.
New Brunswick’s museums are packed with history exhibits that provide fascinating insights into this province’s past. For example, Saint John’s New Brunswick Museum offers a unique glimpse into the history of not only NB but also other parts of Canada. Fredericton’s Beaverbrook Art Gallery offers an entirely different experience with its vast collection that ranges from historic artworks to contemporary pieces.
If indoor relaxation is what you’re seeking after an adventurous day outside exploring all that New Brunswick has to offer during winter months then look no further than St. Andrews Algonquin Resort spa or any one other spa throughout the province. You will find all the relaxation you need in the hands of professional massage therapists, facialists and other wellness specialists.
Winter Festivals and Events in New Brunswick
If you’re looking to immerse yourself in New Brunswick’s winter culture, then make sure to attend one of several annual festivals. Plaster Rock hosts the World Pond Hockey Championships each February, a fun-filled event with teams from all around the world competing for championship glory on the frozen ponds of this little town. The FROSTival is another popular festival that runs throughout January.
It celebrates winter with activities like snow sculpting contests, ice slides, live music performances and many other exciting events scattered all across New Brunswick. Fredericton also hosts the Shivering Songs Festival during January, a music festival held indoors that attracts artists from all over North America.
Things to Do in New Brunswick in Winter
New Brunswick has something for everyone during winter months. Whether you prefer outdoor or indoor activities or events and festivals celebrating this magical season, winter in New Brunswick is not just about enduring the cold but rather enjoying everything it has to offer.
Skiing and Snowboarding at Crabbe Mountain or Poley Mountain
New Brunswick is home to two fantastic ski resorts where visitors can enjoy a day on the slopes. Crabbe Mountain, located in Central Hainesville, boasts 34 runs and two terrain parks. The resort offers skiing and snowboarding lessons for all skill levels, making it a great place for beginners to learn.
More experienced skiers will appreciate the challenging runs like Jay Peak and Dover’s Dip. Crabbe Mountain also has night skiing available on weekends.
Poley Mountain is another must-visit ski destination in New Brunswick. Located just outside of Sussex, this resort boasts 29 runs and four terrain parks.
Skiing and snowboarding lessons are available for all skill levels with highly trained instructors. The resort also has night skiing available on Thursdays through Saturdays.
Snowshoeing or Cross-Country Skiing in Fundy National Park or Kouchibouguac National Park
New Brunswick’s national parks offer scenic winter landscapes that are perfect for snowshoeing or cross-country skiing. Fundy National Park is located in southern New Brunswick near Alma and offers over 50 km of groomed trails for cross-country skiing or snowshoeing through dense forests and alongside stunning coastal vistas.
Kouchibouguac National Park is located in northeastern New Brunswick near Richibucto and offers more than 25 km of groomed trails suitable for beginners to experienced winter adventurers alike. Visitors can enjoy loops around frozen lagoons, trekking along the Kouchibouguac River delta, or hiking up Kellys Hill for panoramic views of the park’s picturesque surroundings.
Ice Fishing on One of New Brunswick’s Many Lakes and Rivers
For those who love fishing, ice fishing on one of New Brunswick’s many lakes and rivers is a great way to spend a winter day. Popular fishing spots in the province include Grand Lake, Miramichi River, and Oromocto Lake.
It’s essential to check the ice conditions before venturing out for safety reasons, but once you’re ready to go, all you need is warm clothing and some patience while waiting for fish to bite. Many local outfitters offer ice fishing equipment rentals and guide services if you’re new to the sport or looking for some expert advice.
Overall, New Brunswick’s winter landscapes provide ample opportunities for outdoor activities that cater to both adrenaline seekers and nature lovers alike. Whether skiing down a mountain or trekking through snow-covered forests, visitors are sure to find plenty of ways to enjoy the great outdoors during their winter trip.
Visiting the New Brunswick Museum in Saint John
The New Brunswick Museum in Saint John (one of the things to do in Saint John you don’t want to miss) is a must-visit destination for anyone interested in the province’s rich history and culture. The museum features exhibits on a wide range of topics, including natural history, geology, and local industry.
Visitors can explore interactive exhibits that showcase everything from fossils to vintage cars. In addition to its permanent collection, the museum also hosts temporary exhibits that change throughout the year.
Recent exhibits have focused on topics such as women’s suffrage and the impact of climate change on marine life. Guided tours are available for those who want more in-depth information about the exhibits.
Exploring the Beaverbrook Art Gallery in Fredericton
The Beaverbrook Art Gallery is an excellent destination for art lovers visiting Fredericton during winter. The gallery houses an extensive collection of Canadian and international art spanning centuries of artistic expression. Highlights include works by famous Canadian artists such as Tom Thomson and Emily Carr as well as contemporary pieces by emerging talent.
In addition to its permanent collection, the gallery hosts rotating exhibitions featuring local artists as well as touring shows from other galleries across Canada. Visitors can also attend workshops or lectures hosted by the gallery’s knowledgeable staff members.
Relaxing at one of New Brunswick’s many spas
If your idea of indoor fun involves relaxation and pampering, you’re in luck: New Brunswick is home to several top-notch spas that offer everything from massage therapy to hydrotherapy. One excellent option is the Algonquin Resort in St. Andrews, a luxurious spa hotel that offers a wide range of treatments designed to help you feel rejuvenated and refreshed.
Other popular spas in the province include the Spa at the Delta in Saint John and the Kingsbrae Garden Spa in St. Andrews. Services offered vary from one spa to another, but many offer packages that include multiple treatments for a full day of indulgence.
Overall, winter visitors to New Brunswick have plenty of indoor activities to choose from when they need a break from the cold. Whether you’re interested in history, art, or simply relaxing, there’s something for everyone.
The World Pond Hockey Championships in Plaster Rock
For hockey enthusiasts, the World Pond Hockey Championships held annually in Plaster Rock is a must-see event. Every February, teams from around the world gather on frozen ponds to compete in this unique and exciting tournament.
The event attracts thousands of visitors each year, creating a lively atmosphere in the otherwise quiet town of Plaster Rock. Even if you are not an avid hockey fan, watching these skilled players navigate the ice while surrounded by stunning winter scenery is an unforgettable experience.
Aside from the main tournament, there are various activities to enjoy throughout the weekend. There are outdoor concerts, bonfires to keep warm by and plenty of food and drink vendors to sample local cuisine.
Visitors can also participate in side competitions such as a chili cook-off or a curling tournament. The World Pond Hockey Championships is an event that showcases New Brunswick’s love for hockey and its appreciation for community events that bring people together.
The FROSTival, a month-long celebration of winter with events throughout the province
FROSTival is not just another winter festival; it’s a month-long celebration that takes place throughout New Brunswick during January and February. The festival features over 100 events that showcase everything from art exhibits to outdoor activities such as skiing and snowshoeing. Many of these events are free or have minimal fees so everyone can participate.
Some notable events during FROSTival include Snowshoe Sundays at Fundy National Park where visitors can explore scenic trails on snowshoes while enjoying hot chocolate at various stops along the way. The Fredericton FROSTival Chili Challenge is also a crowd pleaser where local restaurants compete for bragging rights with their signature chili recipes.
FROSTival culminates with Shivering Songs Festival finale weekend which features musical performances across various venues in Fredericton. It’s a great opportunity to experience local musicians and enjoy the city’s lively arts scene.
The Shivering Songs Festival, a music festival held indoors across Fredericton
The Shivering Songs Festival is one of those unique Fredericton events that takes place in various venues across Fredericton. The festival showcases some of Canada’s most talented artists who perform in intimate settings such as churches, galleries and even living rooms. Unlike traditional music festivals, Shivering Songs takes place indoors, making it the perfect way to escape the cold winter weather.
Aside from musical performances, there are also workshops where visitors can learn about songwriting or attend seminars with industry professionals. Visitors have the chance to interact with artists and gain insights into their creative processes.
The festival has an intimate feel that makes it stand out from other music festivals. It’s a chance to discover new talent and take part in a vibrant cultural experience that celebrates New Brunswick’s rich artistic scene. Check out our post on other things to do in Fredericton for more helpful travel info.
Trying Traditional Acadian Dishes
New Brunswick is known for its rich cultural heritage, and that includes its food. One of the must-try dishes in the province during winter is poutine râpée.
This traditional Acadian dish is made by grating raw potatoes and mixing them with salted pork, onions, and seasoning before rolling them into balls and boiling them until they are cooked through. It may not sound glamorous, but this hearty meal will warm you up on a cold winter’s day.
Another popular dish to try while in New Brunswick is fricot. This stew-like soup is made from chicken or game meat, root vegetables like carrots and turnips, dumplings, butter, thyme or savory, and often has a potato base.
The dish has evolved over time but still carries the essence of the Acadian culture. To experience these traditional dishes in their truest form it’s recommended to visit restaurants that specialize in these regional staples like Bistro Le Chat Bleu in Tracadie–Sheila or La Sagouine restaurant in Bouctouche.
Sampling Craft Beer at Breweries
New Brunswick boasts a thriving craft beer scene that has been growing steadily over the past few years. If you’re a beer lover who enjoys trying new flavors then sampling locally brewed beers at one of New Brunswick’s breweries should definitely be on your list of things to do. One recommendation is Picaroons Brewing Company based out of Fredericton which offers year-round favorites like their Yippee IPA as well as seasonal brews like their Winter Warmer Ale made for cold days with notes of cinnamon and vanilla.
Another brewery worth visiting during your New Brunswick trip would be Moosehead Brewery located in Saint John – Canada’s oldest independent brewery established 1867. Moosehead offers guided tours around their modern facility, providing visitors with a glimpse of their traditional brewing methods.
Indulging in Maple Syrup Treats
Maple syrup is not just for pancakes, waffles or french toast. During winter in New Brunswick, this natural sweetener takes center stage as it’s used to make maple taffy on snow. This unique Canadian confectionery is made by pouring hot maple syrup onto clean snow to create a sticky, chewy candy that is best enjoyed outside.
Aside from the classic taffy on snow, there are other maple syrup-infused treats worth seeking out while exploring the province. Be sure to visit seasonal sugar shacks where you can indulge in all-you-can-eat pancake breakfasts drizzled with fresh syrup or purchase high-quality maple products like butter and candies at local farmer’s markets.
New Brunswick offers a lot of unique and delicious foodie experiences during its winter months – from traditional Acadian dishes like poutine râpée and fricot to craft beer tastings and the sweetness of real Canadian maple syrup. Make sure to include these culinary activities on your itinerary when planning your next New Brunswick trip!
Making the Most of New Brunswick in the Winter
New Brunswick may be known for its summer beauty, but winter brings its own unique charm to the province. With a wide range of outdoor and indoor activities, festivals, and culinary experiences, there is plenty to enjoy during the colder months.
During the winter months, New Brunswick transforms into a winter wonderland with endless opportunities for outdoor adventures. Ski or snowboard at one of the province’s ski hills, go snowshoeing or cross-country skiing in one of New Brunswick’s National Parks, or try your hand at ice fishing on one of the many lakes and rivers in the province. No matter how you choose to explore outdoors in New Brunswick during winter, you’ll be rewarded with breathtaking views.
When it’s just too cold outside, take refuge indoors and explore all that New Brunswick has to offer. Visit the historic New Brunswick Museum in Saint John to learn about maritime history and culture or escape into art at Fredericton’s Beaverbrook Art Gallery. For those seeking relaxation and pampering opportunities, be sure to check out one of New Brunswick’s many spas such as The Algonquin Resort.
Winter is a season full of celebration in New Brunswick! Don’t miss out on events like The World Pond Hockey Championships held annually in Plaster Rock or FROSTival—a month-long celebration held across multiple cities throughout January. —The Shivering Songs Festival brings music lovers together across Fredericton—providing an impressive line up year after year.