Regions: Watson Lake Region, Whitehorse Region Communities: Watson Lake, Whitehorse
Themes: Natural Wonders Categories: Festivals and Events, Natural Wonders, Northern Lights

A night when the north turns nocturnal.

With the sun setting at 3:46 pm during the winter solstice, the northern lights come out to play well before your bedtime, your dinner time, and even before happy hour at the local pub. The night lasts for over 18 hours so once you’re done oohing and aahing at the sky, you’ll still have plenty of time to experience the other activities we’re recommending.

01 Activity

Stargazing at Watson Lake

The Canadian Space Agency recently rated Watson Lake as one of the top places to turn your eyes to the sky and marvel at the universe around us. That’s why it’s home to the Northern Lights Space and Science Centre, a unique facility filled with exhibits on the northern lights, the contents of constellations and a gift shop with more postcards than stars in the Milky Way. If you’re a cosmic tourist looking for a uniquely Yukon experience of the night sky, turn your telescope towards Watson Lake.

02 Activity

The Annual Winter Solstice Run

Running in the summer months is a breeze compared to a gruelling jog up Grey Mountain in below zero conditions, but how many people have Instagram posts of that. Athletes who are brave enough to compete in the annual Winter Solstice Run leave the warmth of their homes to slip and slide along a 12-kilometre route with nothing but a hot chocolate at the finish line. The event takes place the weekend before the solstice, so there’s plenty of time to warm up inside before the celebrations start on the 21st of December.

03 Activity

Celebrating at the Yukon Arts Centre

There’s only one problem if you want to see the Problematic Orchestra play on the winter solstice—and that’s not getting your tickets fast enough. But once you do, ready yourself for the longest night of songs this side of the border. The orchestra will be belting out original scores, contemporary arrangements and a few favourites to get the crowd singing along like the front row of a Justin Bieber concert—minus the tweens.

04 Activity

Enjoying an extended night

The longest night of the year is here, giving you the chance to turn your daytime adventures into nighttime activities. Head out for a skate under the stars, go fishing with a flashlight or try your hand at assembling a snowman with nothing but the aurora lighting your way. The darkness continues until 10:09 in the morning, giving you more than enough time to see all things nocturnal, like red foxes scavenging for food, white owls hunting for breakfast, and attractive vampires fighting with werewolves—if you believe in that sort of thing.

Northern Lights Centre

Grey Mountain Road

Yukon Arts Centre

Fish Lake outside of Whitehorse