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Castle features snowy garden of fun

Accompanied by an honour party of flag-waving youngsters and romping neighbourhood dogs, Snowbuddy’s Winter Garden opened this year on March 1. © FrameFrame (Bill Braden) (4)

The annual Snowking’s Winter Festival in Yellowknife, Northwest Territories, has been revamped this year into an ‘open‐air winter garden,’ due to COVID‐19. Called the “Snowbuddy’s Winter Garden,” this year’s castle will feature a slide built from snow and seating areas for visitors with their “bubble” of close contacts as well as a dinosaur ‘farm’ carved into the walls and a snow maze. 

This year, visits to the castle are free, but you’ll need to pre‐register. Registration for tickets each week opens online every Sunday night, and visitors will have to book a time slot and show up five to ten minutes in advance. No food is allowed on‐site, and you’ll need to wear a mask at all times. 

The ‘open-air winter garden’ includes a slide built from snow.

New this year will be the first local carving competition. Eight local teams will spend until March 15 working on their masterpieces, which will be displayed to the public outside the garden walls. No registration is necessary to view the sculptures. 

The garden will also take reservations for private group events, like birthdays and weddings, for groups under 20 people. Class groups are welcome to book the garden, even if they go above the 20‐person limit. 

The castle is open until March 28 Tuesday through Sunday from 2:30 to 5 pm. Weekends it’s open from 12 to 5 pm. Weekday and Sunday visits allow for 90 minutes in the castle. Saturday evening slots are 60 minutes long. The garden is limited to 75 people.