December 19, 2023 in ,

The perfect itinerary for the second weekend of Jasper in January

Sabrina Doyle
4 minute read
Written by Sabrina Doyle

By the second weekend of the Jasper in January festival, things really start to ramp up. The music is rocking, the après drinks are flowing, and people are coming from all over in search of amazing skiing.

For more than three decades, the Jasper in January festival has delivered the best that winter has to offer. The festival runs across the last three weeks of January, with most events happening on the weekends. Kick things off with this first weekend itinerary, or scroll down to get your plan for the second weekend. This sample itinerary doesn’t include everything on offer (you’ll have to dive into the full event listing for that) but it’ll get you to some of the top highlights while maximizing your time and seeing as much of Jasper as possible.

So without further ado, here’s a preview of your future memories for Thursday, January 18 to Sunday, January 21. Book your winter getaway now.

Fairmont Jasper in January Deals

All weekend long

Pond Hockey Tournament

Play hockey as it deserves to be played at the Jasper Pond Hockey Tournament. Happening on Lake Mildred at Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge, this challenge will bring Canada's favourite game to one of Canada's most scenic venues. Cheer on the sidelines or sign up to be among the 20+ teams that will compete.

Jasper in January Theater Tour.jpg

Thursday, Jan. 18

Evening – Improv Night

Kick off the weekend a smidge early with this unique (and new!) cultural event. Jasper Theater Productions’ Improv Night includes a hilarious comedy program, plus special guests' performances and live music after the show. Don’t miss this terrific showcase of Jasper’s diverse local talent. Event goes from 7pm to 9pm and is only offered during Jasper in January.

Alternate: Bingo at the Jasper Brewing Co.! Gather your smartest friends for $10 Steins and bingo starting at 9pm.

Friday, Jan. 19

Morning – Breakfast at Aalto

Rise and shine with a gourmet breakfast at one of Jasper’s newest restaurants. Aalto is located at the Pyramid Lake Lodge and boasts scenic views, Scandinavian-influenced design and an exquisite menu. Opens for breakfast at 8am.

Ice Climbing - Rockaboo Jasper in January

Afternoon – Ice Climbing

Experience the unforgettable thrill of climbing a frozen waterfall via Ice Climbing 101. This fun, safe, thrilling experience lets you explore places that are inaccessible to most park visitors. The six-hour tour (10am to 4pm) begins at the Rockaboo Mountain Adventures office in Jasper where you’ll meet your guide and get your gear. Then travel to the climbing site, chosen each day based on weather: Maligne Canyon, Tangle Falls, or Edge of the World.

Evening – Curling Competition

There’s a few different ways this night could go. Still have energy after ice climbing? Strut your stuff at the Curling Hot Shots Competition.

Feeling creative? Stop by the opening reception for The Buzz: a multi-media community exhibit put on by the Jasper Artist Guild.

Just want to sit back with a bevvie and watch some live music? The After Dark music series will have shows at the Whistle Stop (5pm – Travis Matthews), Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge (7pm – Mister Bird), Athabasca Hotel (9pm – Sons & Daughter), De’d Dog (9pm – Greetings), and The Stand Easy (9pm – Jam Night).

Snowshoeing Jasper

Saturday, Jan. 20

Morning – Learn something new

Workshop time! Head out with local photographer Luuk Wijk in small, intimate groups to capture winter landscapes. From 8am to 11am, this tour will showcase Jasper’s best spots to snap natural ice sculptures and wildlife. Price: $130. Transportation provided.

Another unique opportunity is to join Indigenous Knowledge Keeper Matricia Bauer for a beading workshop. The $60 ticket includes all materials and personal instruction from 10am to 1pm.

Or, join a Parks Canada interpreter for a free two-hour snowshoe along Maligne Lake and discover how wildlife biologists use technology to keep tabs on Jasper’s wildlife. 10:45am to 1pm.

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.

Alternate: Marmot Basin’s Avalanche Awareness Days (10:30-2) or an UpLift! Mural Tour at 2pm.

Mountain Malanka Jasper

Evening – Time to party

Bring your vyshyvanka and jeans for a night of Ukrainian culture, food, music & celebration at Mountain Malanka. This guaranteed fun time is a fundraising initiative to assist with putting on the annual UFest Edmonton Ukrainian Festival. Things kick off with 5pm cocktails, followed by 6pm dinner and performances at 7:30pm. At 9pm, hit the dance floor.

Or, switch borscht for fun beats at the Battle Royale, where folk musicians will vie for a spot on-stage at the 2024 Jasper Folk Festival! Doors open at the D'ed Dog at 8pm, with music starting at 9pm. Don’t forget to make as much noise as possible for the Audience Approval judging category!

More live music will be on throughout town at the Jasper Inn & Suites (4pm – Pete Chernaiwsky), the Whistle Stop (6pm – Travis Matthews), Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge (7pm – Mister Bird), Ursidae Lair (8pm – Pete Cherniawsky) and Loud & Proud at 10pm.

Poutine - D'ed Dog Jasper in January

Sunday, Jan. 21

Morning – Demo Days & 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.

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.

Train - JinJ.jpg

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 Marie Pierre. For a lighter meal (but still with show) catch Mister Bird from 7pm to 10pm in the Great Hall at Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge. Later in the eve, Fall of Earth will be playing at Whistle Stop.