Family Five: Take in the chilly fun at Ice on Whyte

Enjoying some winter fun at last year's Ice on Whyte


Build a Snowman

Granted, you can build a snowman anywhere. In your backyard, a park, possibly even those little strips of land between highways if you’re very careful. However, the folks at John Janzen Nature Centre are inviting you and the family to do your snowman building in the river valley, with the bonus of snowman crafts and hot chocolate as added enticement. Of course the centre itself is nearby as an added option; register at the John Janzen section of the city website if you’re planning to go.

When: Thursday, Jan. 21, and Sunday, Jan. 24, 2 p.m. to 3: 30 p.m.

Where: John Janzen Nature Centre, 7000 143rd St.

Admission: $5 to $15; register at the website


Ice on Whyte

Adult or child, if you’re not tempted by a winter festival featuring live music, food, fashion, a giant ice slide and ice castle, and an ice carving competition, you’re truly dead inside. At Ice on Whyte, they’ll serve free hot chocolate through most of the opening day, then kick the whole thing off with a Mardi Gras parade at 1 p.m.; for a full list of activities check the calendar of events at the website.

When: Thursday, Jan. 21 to Sunday, Jan. 24, and Thursday, Jan. 28 to Sunday, Jan. 31. 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.

Where: Gateway Blvd., Tommy Banks Way

Admission: $7, adult; $4, child. Free for children 2 and under. Available at the gate or in advance from the Ice on Whyte website.



The seventh annual Ringette Scores on Cancer tournament features 20 Western Canadian teams battling it out at West Edmonton Mall for supremacy on the ice and to raise money in the fight against cancer. Last year’s tourney was a huge success, raising over $95,000 for the Cross Cancer Institute. The event, which is all ages and skill levels, is free to watch.

When: Friday, Jan. 22, 6 p.m. to 11 p.m.; Saturday, Jan. 23, 6 a.m. to 10 p.m.; Sunday, Jan. 24, 7 a.m. to 9 p.m.

Where: Ice Palace, Level One, Phase III, West Edmonton Mall

Admission: Free


Land Before Time

Ex-Disney animator Don Bluth managed the impossible in the ‘80s when he decided to leave the powerhouse company he was employed by and compete head to head with them. One of his greatest successes was The Land Before Time, a near-instant animated classic that prefigured Jurassic Park and set off a multimillion-dollar franchise that just keeps pumping out sequels, with the latest (Land Before Time VIV: Journey of the Brave) slated for February release. The first — far and away the best — is the story of young Littlefoot, a herbivore dinosaur left orphaned after his mother is killed, who attempts to find the legendary Great Valley, meeting many other dinosaurs along the way.

When: Saturday, Jan. 23 at 2 p.m.

Where: Metro Cinema, 8712 109th St.

Admission: $10, adult; $6, student, senior and child. Free admission for children 12 and under.


Family Literacy Carnival

Education and fun are inextricably linked in this year’s Family Literacy Carnival at the MacEwan University City Centre Campus. The whole family will enjoy storytelling with Edmonton Eskimos and staff, an aboriginal station, singing and rhyming. Grab a “passport” and use it to guide yourself through the interactive literacy centres; if you get all four centres stamped, you’ll receive a children’s book (while supplies last).

When: Sunday, Jan. 24, 2 p.m. to 4 p.m.

Where: Grant MacEwan University, Robbins Health Learning Centre, City Centre Campus, 109th Street & 104th Avenue.

Admission: Free



Family Five is compiled and written by Tom Murray. If you have ideas for the column, email with Family Five in the subject line.

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