December 11, 2023 in ,

The perfect itinerary for the first weekend of Jasper in January

Sabrina Doyle
3 minute read
Written by Sabrina Doyle

So you want to come to the lightest, brightest, tastiest winter festival in the Canadian Rockies. Good choice. The Jasper in January festival has been a mainstay in our cozy mountain town for more than three decades, and the 2024 celebration is shaping up to be the biggest yet. The festival runs across the last three weeks of January, with most events happening on the weekends.

Get the party started with this first weekend itinerary. Featuring fun outdoor activities, mouthwatering culinary delights, nightlife and more, it’ll ensure you hit the premiere events happening between Friday, January 12 to Sunday, January 14.

Make January a month to remember instead of a time to get through. Book your winter getaway now.

Ski and Snowboard Deal Pursuit

Friday, Jan. 12

Morning & Afternoon – Skiing

This festival was born as a ski celebration, and skiing is still a huge part of Jasper’s winter culture with Marmot Basin at its heart. This resort boasts the highest base elevation in Canada and panoramic views from all over the mountain. Lifts run from 9am to 4pm; don’t forget to take breaks through the day at one of the chalets.


Evening – Time to party

Start your festival experience at the Whistle Stop Pub for their free J in J Kick-off Party! Get some complimentary appies between 5pm and 6pm, live music from Connor Shaw from 8 pm, and $7 pints on tap all night long from Wild Rose Brewing.

Or, indulge your wine craving with samples from all around the world at Wine in Winter! For an entry price of $58, mingle with friends, learn from award-winning vintners, enjoy a variety of delicious snacks and groove to the Girls Club DJs at this cocktail-style event.

Alternate: Join the Friends of Jasper National Park for an Historical Lantern Tour around town. Then, catch the Doggone Brothers playing at De’d Dog (8pm) or head to the Jasper Legion’s bar (The Stand Easy) at 9pm for Jam Night – a local fav that attracts a variety of musical performers.

Saturday, Jan. 13

Beading Workshop with Warrior Women.jpg

Morning – Indigenous Beading Workshop

Spend the morning with Indigenous Knowledge Keeper and owner of Warrior Women, Matricia Bauer, as she guides you through the time-honoured art of beading. Your $60 fee includes all materials, three hours of careful instruction (class is 10am to 1pm), and your finished product. Workshop is 21+.

Afternoon – Pyramid Lake Fete

Zip 10 minutes north of town for the Pyramid Lake Fête, happening from 2pm to 5pm. Skate atop an alpine lake with Jasper the Bear, relax on a horse-drawn sleigh ride and create winter memories in the mountains with your crew. Then, top it all off at the hot chocolate bar. This event is family friendly.

Evening – Whiskey Wine & Hops

Break out your best knits, plaids and (faux) furs for the ultimate après-ski event. It’s an evening of scotch, wines, spirits, local and international beers and a selection of delicious tapas and après snacks, plus Lucy da First at the DJ stand. The event kicks off at 6 p.m. in the Forest Park Hotel Ballroom. Tickets are $60, with $6 from every ticket donated to the Jasper Yellowhead Museum.

Alternate: Stoke your awe with the Jasper Planetarium’s Festival of Galaxies, which includes both planetarium and telescope experiences (multiple tour times available between 4:45 to 8:30pm) or head to Ursidae Lair’s Super Scotch Saturday at 8pm for a JinJ featured scotch cocktail, scotch flights and live music.

Train - JinJ.jpg

Sunday, Jan. 14

Morning – Wildlife Tour

Part of the reason Jasper was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site is because of the many wild animals that call it home. Go looking for some of Jasper’s most famous furry residents (like moose, elk, and wolves) with a 9am to 12:30pm wildlife tour from SunDog Transportation and Tour Co. Going with a guide ensures you stay safe, learn lots, and have a greater chance of spotting animals without having to worry about driving yourself.

Poutine - D'ed Dog Jasper in January

Afternoon – Poutine Showdown

Don’t miss this self-led adventure dedicated to Canada’s favourite comfort food. Multiple restaurants in Jasper will be creating their own unique and delicious takes on poutine, with an eye towards being crowned the best in town (vote online for your favourite; winner will be announced at the annual Street Party on January 27). We recommend hopping aboard this gravy train with a group so you can share dishes and thus try more before tapping out.

Evening – Lights tour and live music

After filling your belly with cheese curds, take a digestive walk around town to see all the lights and snow sculptures that decorate the town this time of year. Top spots include: the 6015 Engine, VIC Lawn, Tourism Jasper Office, CIBC Hedges, Forest Park Hotel, Connaught Drive.

Then once you’ve cleared some stomach space, head to Terra for their Sunday Supper Club, which will include live music by Michaele Rhodes. For a lighter meal (but still with show) catch Mister Bird from 7pm to 10pm in the Great Hall at Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge.