One of the most magical holiday experiences in Alberta is in Lethbridge this season. The Nikka Yuko Japanese Garden is about a two-hour drive from Calgary. Alberta's Winter Lights Festival is the ultimate winter road trip experience. You can immerse yourself in the magic of holiday lights strung through a Japanese garden. It almost feels like you're in a different country.
We're beyond excited for the holidays to get here and have already been filling our Christmas bucket lists so we can squeeze the most magic out of the season. Whether you've got your eyes on the next Miracle Christmas pop-up bar or you're planning on heading to Banff to check out the castle that transforms into a Christmas daydream, we know you're looking for only the top experiences this coming season.
You definitely should add a visit to Lethbride's Winter Lights Festival to your list of cute holiday things to do this year. It's the most magical way to make use of the snowy, cold and dark winter nights in Alberta and it's not overdone at all. In fact, this place is still a hidden gem. You'll actually be able to enjoy walking through the garden rather than walking packed shoulder to shoulder with dozens of other holiday magic seekers.
This garden isn't just Japanese in name. Artisans in Kyoto actually built many of the features inside the garden. Plus, people from Osaka University designed the garden drawing from traditional Japanese design aesthetics. You'll actually feel like you're in a Japanese village in the middle of winter when you go to the Winter Lights Festival.
Unlike other holiday events, the Winter Lights Festival is surprisingly affordable. The Tomodachi experience is great for couples or for splitting with your bestie. You get treated to admission for two, hot chocolate plus matcha maple cookies for $20. It's the perfect cheap date night experience.
If you live in Alberta and can't get enough magical holiday garden experiences, then you have to go to Edmonton's Luminaria festival where garden paths are lit with candles.
The Winter Lights Festival in Lethbridge starts at the end of November and tickets will go on sale soon.
Winter Lights Festival
When: Opens on Friday, November 29
Address: Nikka Yuko Japanese Garden, Corner of 9th Ave. S &, Mayor Magrath Dr. S, Lethbridge, AB
Why You Need To Go: Experience winter in Japan at this gorgeous winter garden light festival.