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YK tour operator’s ‘skydome’ is a meeting place with a difference

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There’s a new place for that last-minute Christmas party. North of 60 Aurora Adventures has opened what it calls a ‘skydome’ outside Yellowknife.

The part-canvas walls of the dome give way to a range of windows looking out to the snowscape and night sky beyond, while you stay warm next to a wood-burning stove.

Owner Kelly Clarke hopes residents use the skydome not just for their next Christmas gathering but for any kind of meeting or get-together that could benefit from a different backdrop. And you can even go dog-sledding while you’re there.

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“Take in the beauty of our surroundings, our land, the trees over the lake,” said Clarke.

“Get out and get moving, especially in the winter and the darkness – get outside and stay active.”

A dogsledding tour. North of 60 Adventures/Facebook
A dogsledding tour. Photo: Supplied

North of 60 Aurora Adventures is now booking the skydome for up to 20 people (email to book) and offering a 10-percent discount on dog sled tours for locals up to January 15.

You can choose your adventure: team up your own dogs in the “U-drive” mushing experience, go stand-up sledding or select the traditional option. Aurora-viewing packages are also available.

“Each tour is about an hour long,” said Clarke. “We teach you how to harness the dogs and then you end in a heated tent with hot tea or hot chocolate and bannock.”

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On its website, the company adds: “We want to keep the cultural traditions and teachings that we have learned from our grandparents, so we decided to share it with others in an enjoyable way.

“Through our dog sledding and northern lights tours, we aim to promote respect for our culture and share the survival ways of people living in the cold subarctic areas.”

Tours take place in a secluded setting that takes in a number of lakes, with the base being about 10 minutes outside Yellowknife.

“It’s an experience you can have for a lifetime,” said Clarke, “and we strive to make sure every experience is unique and authentic to our Indigenous background.”

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This article appears as part of a paid partnership with NWT Tourism inviting northerners to Give the Gift of Experience this holiday season. Watch out for six articles highlighting different experiences you can try in the Northwest Territories, even if you already live here.