North Bay Winter Fun Guide 2024: The Complete A to Z List

From ski hills and snowmobiles to indie films and delicious dining, North Bay knows how to make the most out of winter.
Two young people talking and smiling while riding a ski lift with their equipment on a snowy day

North Bay, Ontario delivers plenty of small-city charm combined with fantastic year-round outdoor recreation, all just a three-to-four-hour drive from Toronto or Ottawa. Discover something quirky and cool or relax and get cozy—they’ve got you covered! Read on to see what’s going on in North Bay this winter with the A to Z Guide. For more even North Bay events happening this winter, check out this calendar

A is for Art

an artist dressed in winter clothing works on an outdoor mural
Artist Laura Peturson working on an outdoor mural in North Bay.

Take a stroll around the downtown and waterfront on a free self-guided public art tour while enjoying the winter scenery.

Or, visit White Water Gallery, a not-for-profit, artist-run space that offers free workshops and a variety of exhibitions throughout the year. The WKP Kennedy Gallery is another art destination, home to everything from life drawing lessons to exhibits by northern artists. 

B is for Beer

Visiting a city’s breweries is definitely a fun way to get a sense of the place while staying cozy inside. In North Bay, take your pick from Gateway City Brewery (where you can also play a little pinball), New Ontario Brewing Co. (check out their seasonal brews) or Cecil’s Brewhouse & Kitchen (make sure to go at lunch or dinner to enjoy their popular menu—and stay for the live music).

C is for Candy

Got a sweet tooth? You're in luck. Taste-test your way through Candy Corner’s retro and nostalgic sweets, or sample homemade fudge at The Green Store, a multi-level store with a little bit of everything on the shores of Trout Lake.

D is for Dog Powered Sports

Kicksledding with Northbound Huskies in North Bay
These dogs' winter enthusiasm is contagious. // Join in with Northbound Huskies

Northbound Huskies offers kicksledding and skijoring lessons for kids of all ages. Learn about these popular dog-powered sports and then set out on a fun and exciting tour, cruising over trails and frozen lakes—followed by a well-earned hot chocolate!

E is for Escarpment

The Laurentian Escarpment is a 132-acre winter playground, with multi-use trails perfect for fat biking, hiking and snowshoeing.

F is for Fat Biking

This trending sport is a must-try to get the most out of winter. North Bay has plenty of trails, so download the trail guide and start your trip planning. You can rent from a local company like Remedy Rides.

G is for Giddyup

a line of several people riding single file on horseback through a snowy forest trail on a bright sunny day
Horseback riding offers a quiet, serene way to enjoy a beautiful winter landscape. // Von Doeler’s Ranch

Horseback riding in winter? Why not? Meander through snowy forests or beside a frozen river for a magical winter experience at Von Doeler’s Ranch, and be sure to check out their ranch experience packages too, where you can learn more about horse care, barrel racing, roping and more.

H is for Hockey

Check out a fast-paced game (and probably see some future NHLers) with the hometown team the OHL Battalions. This rink is also home to the OUA Nipissing Lakers men's and women's hockey teams. And, did you know that North Bay is the birthplace of ringette? Be sure to see where it all began!

I is for Ice Fishing

Try your hand at that quintessential northern Ontario winter pastime: ice fishing! Species include walleye, perch and whitefish. There are a number of local operators offering everything from a simple hut to fully equipped ice bungalows

two hockey players take a shot on a goalie, who kneels to block the puck a small child sitting in a miniature folding chair, gasping in surprise as they ice fish. A wooden fishing shack is in the background.
Here, we know that ice can be nice! Find your perfect ice fishing spot or grab some tickets to the next Battalions game.

J is for Java

Fuel your frosty adventures with some hot coffee from local eateries, like Twiggs, which roasts its own beans, or the Opera Bakery Café which also has plenty of housemade baked goods, soups, wraps and salads to enjoy.

K is for Kick Back and Relax

Find your perfect home base at a variety of North Bay and area accommodations. If adventure and physical activity is more your thing, however, then K is also for kicksledding! Check out Sisu Adventure Rentals for all your outdoor adventure needs including snowshoe rentals, Nordic ski outings, and loads of winter meetups and events.

L is for Live Music 

North Bay has a vibrant music scene, from punk and rock to country, blues and classical. Skip the stadium experience and go for a fun outing in a smaller setting. Learn more about why North Bay is a hot spot for music and the arts in Canada. 

M is for Museum

a woman and boy talking to each other and smiling as they look at a canoe exhibit at the North Bay Museum
Explore all the facets of North Bay's past and present by checking out the exhibits at the North Bay Museum.

The North Bay Museum gives a fascinating glimpse of the city’s history: First Nations communities, railways, forestry, firefighting, shipwrecks, the military and more.

N is for Nordic Skiing

Ski some beautiful cross-country trails at the North Bay Nordic Ski Club. This popular local site has more than 50 km of groomed trails for both classic and skate skiing, and rentals are available. Check out the nearby Wasi Cross Country Ski Club too. 

O is for One Night Only

an orchestra performs in front of an audience under bright spotlights
Capitol Centre, North Bay’s home for arts and entertainment.

…or, Opening Night! The historic Capitol Centre in downtown North Bay is host to films, dance, touring shows like acrobats, drag performances, music concerts, kids programming, comedy shows and more.

P is for Plane

Did you know there is a Canadian Forces Museum of Aerospace Defence in North Bay? See exhibits that span the century, from World War I, World War II, the Cold War and the present. The city is also home to a NORAD base—learn more about the history here

Q is for Quiet Time

a woman with her hair wrapped in a white towel and a relaxed look on her face receives a facial treatment at a spa
Onyx Beauty Co. can help you feel rejuvenated and refreshed this winter.

Indulge in some pampering at one of North Bay’s spas, such as Tranquility Spa & Salon or Onyx Beauty Co

R is for Rink

There are 10 outdoor skating rinks in the city, plus a very cool skating oval. Visit the city website to see locations and hours (weather permitting). Or, stop by the curling rink to watch a game or tourney and yell, “Hurry hard!”

S is for Snowmobiling

a high shot of two snowmobilers riding through a snowy valley below, the hills covered with saplings and forest in the distance, all under a blazing sun and bright blue sky.
The snowmobile trails around North Bay are simply not to be missed.

North Bay is the gateway to all kinds of northern Ontario snowmobile trails, providing a perfect jumping-off point for exploration and fun. Locally, the North Bay Snowmobile Club grooms nearly 200 km of trails around the city’s woods and waterways.

T is for Trail

 an older couple dressed in winter gear, smiling widely as they look at the snow-covered forest around them
North Bay's hiking trails are beautiful in every season.

Duschenay Falls is one of the most beautiful (and most photographed) places to hike in North Bay. In winter, the 70-metre-high waterfall is a frozen wonderland and not to be missed. Laurier Woods is also a popular spot for a stroll—this 240-acre conservation area in the heart of the city has a number of looped trails to explore.  

U is for Unique

Need a new toque to keep you toasty this season? Or a Valentine's gift for a loved one? Check out local favourite, The Farm (which stands for Fashion, Art, Retail Market). It's the perfect place to browse and buy. This shop features a wide variety of bath and body items, clothes (including North Bay apparel), candles, jewelry, décor and more, many of them locally or Canadian-made. Keep an eye out for products by Eleven North—a popular lifestyle brand based in the city. 

V is for View

Did you know dozens of holiday Hallmark movies have been filmed in North Bay? The city is home to a thriving film industry, and that translates to an interest in watching movies too. Screen an indie or mainstream film hosted by North Bay Film

W is for Water

Bring a folding chair for some quiet contemplation or some good shoes or snowshoes for shoreline walking—North Bay’s lakes offer plenty of natural beauty, no matter what the season.

X is for eXplore

a woman with her arms raised over her head cheers as she slides down a slow slide in an inner tube
There are even more adventures to be had just outside of North Bay. // Nature’s Harmony Off-Grid Ecolodge

Did someone say road trip? With North Bay as your home base, discover lots of fun experiences in nearby communities, from a distillery to a glass art studio to an off-grid eco-lodge.

Y is for Yummy

Diverse international cuisines and down-home eats are both part of the North Bay food scene. Which will be your fave? 

Z is for Zoom

a child in a pink snowsuit and ski gear high-fives their smiling ski coach on a ski hill
Flying downhill is undoubtedly one of the best things about winter! Find the fun at Laurentian Ski Hill.

The zoom that comes with downhill skiing or snowboarding, that is. Laurentian Ski Hill on the Laurentian Escarpment is a great destination for snowboarders and skiers, and rentals are very reasonable.

Plan Your Winter Adventure in North Bay Today

This winter, check out all that North Bay, Ontario has in store, indoors and out!

About Bonnie Schiedel

Bonnie Schiedel is the founder of www.tbaywithkids.ca, which covers fun family-friendly attractions, events and restaurants in Thunder Bay. She enjoys canoeing, hiking, snowshoeing and travel, and you can read more of her award-winning work at www.northstarwriting.ca.

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