Saturday, August 27, 2016

Top 5 Winter Festivals & Events In Newfoundland & Labrador

Icebergs, whales, coastline and culture have long established Newfoundland and Labrador as a preeminent travel destination. 

But did you know that our province is also a pristine winter wonderland? NL receives an over-abundance of the white stuff with average winter snowfalls of 16 feet in some regions!

Today NL is quickly establishing itself as Canada’s next great winter destination. Adventurers and outdoor enthusiasts alike are increasingly availing themselves of our exhilarating topography, world class ski slopes and burgeoning winter foodie festival scene. 

Here are 5 of NL’s finest winter events sure to beat your winter blues!

#1. Cain’s Quest, Labrador City

Cain’s Quest is the world’s toughest and longest snowmobile endurance race. This incredible northern adventure takes you 3,500 km along some of the most remote and rugged regions of spectacular Labrador.

The event’s name itself comes from famous North American explorer Jacques Cartier whom, upon his arrival to the Labrador coast, referred to it as “The Land God Gave To Cain”.

At Cain’s Quest, teams of two battle it out in a grueling, around the clock run through thick forest, deep snow, wide open frozen lakes and wind-swept tundra as far north as remote Nain. The race is guided by GPS and gut instinct that navigates riders from checkpoint to checkpoint through darkness and stormy weather. High-tech satellite systems will provide online race updates for real time tracking.

Riders have emergency devices to beam in co-ordinates if they run into serious trouble. Canadian Rangers are also stationed along the route in the event they need to be called on for ground search and rescue.

Cain’s Quest is an experience of a life time, a world class sporting event that tests body, mind and machine in an all-out race to the finish line for your chance to secure the hefty prize purse.

The registration deadline for the full event has passed, but no worries, there is still time to register for their thrilling 1,200 km recreational run!

trail map of cain's quest snowmobile race from happy valley goose bay to wabush, NL Canada, an endurance adventure winter trek
© Cain’s Quest

2 people on snowmobile with crowds of onlookers at starting line of race in Labrador, Canada, a fun winter travel activity
© Cain’s Quest

2 snowmobiles travel across the white winter expanse of central Labrador in a competition race, an eco adventure holiday experience
© Cain’s Quest

man with snowmobile at a pit stop on race in Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada with houses in the background and snow covered hills, an exciting fun winter travel excursion
© Cain’s Quest

snowmobiles racing across snow covered Labrador with forested hills behind them, a thrilling adrenaline filled event to experience while exploring our province
© Cain’s Quest

winter sunset over Newfoundland and Labrador with hills, a tranquil travel experience
© Cain’s Quest

#2. Snow West, Corner Brook

Snow West was recently named one of Canada’s Best Winter Festivals by CTV and for obvious reasons. This 10-day extravaganza takes place in western Newfoundland, delivering the best in outdoor adventure, foodie, and entertainment. 

It is here that Western Newfoundlanders proudly exclaim “The West Coast Is The Best Coast!” During the day, there is an outstanding variety of fun winter adventures including back-country snowmobiling, skiing, mug ups, dog sledding, snowshoe tours, snow kiting and even ice sculpting just to name a few! 

During the evening, you move inside and get toasty warm with a schedule that offers exceptional local dining and nightly entertainment including comedy routines and live musical performances. 

Snow West is a premier winter adventure and foodie experience in one of the most sensational regions in all of Canada!

banner with trees, hills and family travel outing at Snow West, Corner Brook winter festival in Newfoundland
© Snow West

man uphill skiing on a wilderness outing through the forest at Snow West, Corner Brook winter festival in Newfoundland, a thrilling and health eco adventure holiday venue
Via Canadian Tourism Commission, © Gros Morne Adventures

bar tender serves a line plate of liquor shot glasses as four people with toques on drink at Snow West, Corner Brook winter festival in Newfoundland, a fun adventure holiday experience
© Snow West

ski lift carries three people into the blue sky looking over the winter ice capped hills and mountains at Snow West, Corner Brook winter festival in Newfoundland, a beautifully, amazing holiday travel winter destination
© Snow West

three women at a restaurant and bar lit with candles laughing and smiling, a happy, wellness trip to discover at Snow West, Corner Brook winter festival in Newfoundland
Via Canadian Tourism Commission, © Newfoundland & Labrador Tourism

glass of red wine and two glasses of water on a table at Snow West, Corner Brook winter festival in Newfoundland at a restaurant, a relaxing travel vacation getaway
© Snow West

outdoor female enthusiast cooking a wiener over a fire in a snow pit at Snow West, Corner Brook winter festival in Newfoundland, a fun, family travel, adventure
© Snow West

#3. Mid-Winter Bivver, Grand Falls-Windsor

Mid-Winter Bivver is Central Newfoundland’s premier snowmobile and culinary festival that takes place in the spectacular Exploits Valley during one of its finest seasons, winter!

Mid-Winter Bivver showcases some of our island’s top snowmobiling destinations coupled with sensational foodie from award-winning chefs, first class entertainment, and world-renowned Newfoundland hospitality.

Highlights include a 150+ km snowmobile ride through untouched forests (including interpretation of historic trapping routes, food sourcing, geology and traditional winter skills), bonfires, 5-course dinners with wine pairing and outdoor gourmet dining.

This is a weekend of snow, foodie, and fun not to be missed. Thrilling adventures and high-end culinary experiences through beautiful Central Newfoundland! 

banner of Mid-Winter Bivver Festival, Grand Falls-Windsor, NL, Canada with ski-doo and snowmobiles riding through the forest, a food and adventure travel thing to do
© Mid Winter Bivver

two people on snowmobile driving through the forest at Mid-Winter Bivver Festival, Grand Falls-Windsor, NL, Canada, a happy and fun experiential vacation
© Mid Winter Bivver

people serving food in lime pans to outdoor adventure enthusiasts at Mid-Winter Bivver Festival, Grand Falls-Windsor, NL, Canada, an eco-adventure food holiday trip
© Mid Winter Bivver

aerial view of snowmobiles and people in the middle of forest at site of Mid-Winter Bivver Festival, Grand Falls-Windsor, NL, Canada, a breathtaking beautiful natural travel holiday locale
© Mid Winter Bivver

band of musicians singing and playing guitar and drums at Mid-Winter Bivver Festival, Grand Falls-Windsor, NL, Canada, a cultural heritage experiential holiday event
© Mid Winter Bivver

baked meats and seafood Newfoundland scallops at Mid-Winter Bivver Festival, Grand Falls-Windsor, NL, Canada, a decadent food adventure trip to experience
© Mid Winter Bivver

team of snowmobiles ride the white rolling hills through the forest at Mid-Winter Bivver Festival, Grand Falls-Windsor, NL, Canada, a thrilling Newfoundland journey holiday
Via Canadian Tourism Commission, © Newfoundland & Labrador Tourism

#4. Eat The Hill, Clarenville

Eat The Hill is a spectacular two-day culinary and winter festival taking place at White Hills Resort, Eastern Newfoundland’s premier winter destination. Here 7 of NL’s finest chefs and musicians come together for a fabulous weekend of delicious food, desserts and nightly entertainment alongside thrilling winter activities.

Armed with your culinary passport, partake in a seven-course meal after your day on the slopes. Each course (made of local NL ingredients) is prepared by a different chef at culinary stations within the chalet. 

Mingle with each chef, learn about their interpretation of Apr├Ęs ski food and sample the local beer they have selected to pair with your dish.

This is one wonderful winter food trek not to be missed!
banner for Eat The Hill, Clarenville, Newfoundland, a culinary, cuisine, food, music and adventure festival to take in on your travels
© Eat The Hill

people snowboarding and skiing the snowy terrain overlooking the chalet at Eat The Hill, Clarenville, Newfoundland, a wonderful winter vacation activity
© Eat The Hill

skiers coming downhill at Eat The Hill, Clarenville, Newfoundland on a healthy, recreational vacation trip
© White Hills Resort

gourmet foodie dish on a culinary dining travel holiday at Eat The Hill, Clarenville, Newfoundland
© Eat The Hill

two male musicians play guitar and sing music for audience inside ski chalet at Eat The Hill, Clarenville, Newfoundland, a cultural entertainment winter event to explore on your NL trip
© Eat The Hill

two men and women sitting on top of the hill overlooking the snowy expanse at Eat The Hill, Clarenville, Newfoundland, an exciting winter adventure holiday
© White Hills Resort

man on snowboard coming down the slopes at Eat The Hill, Clarenville, Newfoundland, a fun, rewarding and exciting adventure winter travel destination
© White Hills Resort

#5. Frosty Festival, Mount Pearl

The Frosty Festival began in 1983 as a volunteer-driven initiative organized by a group of community organizations. Now entering its 34th year, it has become the largest winter event of its kind in Atlantic Canada.

This is a unique community winter carnival that runs for 10 days and is comprised of over 60 diverse events appealing to all demographics. 

There are tons of indoor and outdoor winter activities taking place as well as a wide range of social and entertainment events including variety and comedy shows, dinner theater, dances and concert performances. Admission costs are very reasonable too so that everyone can experience all the magical fun winter has to offer.

The Frosty Festival is a truly wonderful time for family, friends, and neighbors to come together to celebrate music, magic, laughter, and sportsmanship. There’s not another winter celebration quite like it!

banner for Atlantic Canada's premier winter event, the Frosty Festival, Mount Pearl, Avalon Peninsula, NL
© Frosty Festival

two men and women snowshoeing through the forest at Atlantic Canada's premier winter event, the Frosty Festival, Mount Pearl, Avalon Peninsula, NL, a couples holiday and family travel wellness activity
© Frosty Festival

father and daughter on snowmobile waving and smiling overlooking forested terrain at Atlantic Canada's premier winter event, the Frosty Festival, Mount Pearl, Avalon Peninsula, NL, a fun-filled family vacation excursion
© Frosty Festival

two women and a man scooping food up from trays at buffet at Frosty Festival, Mount Pearl, Newfoundland and Labrador, a yummy and delicious cultural holiday spot to eat
© Frosty Festival

Newfoundland music band on stage playing guitar and fiddle at Frosty Festival, Mount Pearl, NL, AN EXPERIENTIAL HOLIDAY VENUE
© Frosty Festival

group of people dancing and smiling under the lights of Mount Pearl's Frosty Festival in Newfoundland and Labrador, good times and wellness vacation entertainment
© Frosty Festival

dance troupe in pin stripe red and white outfits and pill box hats smiling at Mount Pearl's Frosty Festival in Newfoundland and Labrador, a happy travel trip to take inj
© Frosty Festival

About Us

At Experience NL, we are planners of experiences…not simply vacations.

These are compelling, personally tailored getaways for engaged, curious travelers seeking life-enhancing opportunities.

Contact Matthew or John to start planning your most exceptional journey!

Sitting in a field at Spillars Cove, Trinity Bay, Newfoundland, Canada with ocean and cliffs in the background is Matthew, Experiential Travel Planner with Experience Newfoundland and Labrador Travel Agency
Matthew Barrett, Experiential Travel Consultant

Standing next to a Leprechaun at Dublin City Center in Ireland is John, Experiential Travel Planner with Experience Newfoundland and Labrador Travel Agency
John Keough, Owner & Experiential Travel Consultant

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