Wednesday, October 4, 2023

25+ Festive Issues to Do that Season

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Compiled by the Street Journey Alberta workforce

Final up to date on November 19, 2022

Christmas in Calgary is a particular time. Vacation lights are twinkling, carolers are out singing, skaters are gliding on Olympic Plaza, gift-givers are strolling by means of Christmas markets, and a lot extra. There are many methods to benefit from the Christmas season in Alberta’s greatest metropolis.

Christmas lights decorate the Jaipur Bridge in Calgary, Alberta
Christmas lights on the Jairpur Bridge – photograph through Journey Alberta credit score @photohuch

Celebrating Christmas in Calgary

Discovering the Greatest Christmas Lights in Calgary

Admiring a panoramic show of vibrant lights is a surefire approach to get within the vacation spirit, and there are many locations to see lovely vacation shows all all through Calgary. Smaller cities outdoors of town limits grow to be winter wonderlands from November by means of to December, too. The area’s drier local weather makes for a light-weight, fluffy snow, giving the Christmas mild shows a really magical really feel! Get within the vacation spirit by trying out the one nearest you, or load the household into the automobile and make a day trip of exploring someplace new.


ZOOLIGHTS has been lighting up the Calgary Zoo for the previous 26 years, and this 12 months is not any exception. Together with one of the crucial beautiful mild shows within the metropolis, ZOOLIGHTS hosts loads of enjoyable occasions and performances for kids, like a go to to Santa’s Cabin and rentable snowglobes to not point out axe throwing and enchanted dinners for an older crowd. Heat up subsequent to one in all their many firepits. With proceeds going straight to assist wildlife conservation efforts, it’s probably the greatest outside actions Calgary has to supply throughout the vacation season.

A couple walks through ZOOLIGHTS Calgary
Zoolights Calgary – photograph vai Tourism Calgary credit score Kelly Hofer

ZOOLIGHTS on the Calgary Zoo runs from November 18-January 8 and tickets promote out quick, so make sure to reserve your spot.

Legacy Group

Calgary’s residential neighbourhoods come alive with shows every winter to get you within the vacation season, however one in all them stands out above the remainder. Situated within the southeast quarter, the neighborhood of Legacy is without doubt one of the finest spots to see Christmas lights without spending a dime in Calgary. A far cry from the hustle and bustle of downtown Calgary, Legacy is a quiet neighborhood teeming with inexperienced (or white) area and over 15 km of pathways so that you can wander down with a heat drink in hand as you admire the vacation lights. The lights keep up all by means of December.

Downtown Calgary

Yearly throughout the holidays the Calgary downtown core is lit! The Winter Gentle Pageant involves downtown Calgary to have fun the festive season with the entire metropolis. Interactive LED lights make for superb shows, plus there may be heaps of dwell leisure and enjoyable actions for the youngsters, to not point out an enormous line of meals vans. Each Stephen Avenue and Olympic Plaza are embellished to the max. Olympic Plaza additionally occurs to have the one refrigerated outside ice rink within the metropolis with skate leases obtainable. And you probably have the time, make your method over to Prince’s Island and to the Jaipur Bridge for that good vacation photograph in a beautiful setting.

Christmas Lights on Stephen Avenue
Christmas lights on Stephen Avenue – photograph through Journey Alberta credit score Neil Zeller

Lions Pageant of Lights

The Lions Pageant of Lights is held yearly by the Lions Membership of Calgary as a method of giving again to Calgarians. Admittedly, it’s considerably of a smaller show than different locations on this checklist. Nevertheless, it is freed from cost, making it an inexpensive and inclusive possibility for anybody eager to get into the vacation spirit. The lights will likely be turned on beginning November 27 and run till the tip of December.

CP Vacation Prepare

Greeting Canadian Pacific Railway’s Vacation Prepare because it rolls by means of Calgary is an iconic approach to benefit from the holidays, and this 12 months will likely be no exception. Arriving on December seventh, the lit-up prepare will cease on the Anderson C-Prepare Station (South C-train parking zone) at 5:45 pm and within the hour following, will supply performances by nation music star Tenille Townes and Oji-Cree songwriter Aysanabee. That is the Twenty fourth 12 months for the CP Vacation Prepare and as at all times, donations collected onsite help meals banks throughout the nation.

CP Holiday Train
The CP Vacation Prepare lit up for the vacations – photograph through CP Vacation Prepare

The place to See Christmas Lights Round Calgary

In fact, Calgary isn’t the one place to get your repair of Christmas lights. The encircling space consists of smaller cities and suburban neighbourhoods with sprawling yards which can be good for organising a show throughout the vacation season.

Spruce Meadows Christmas Gentle Drive Via

Drive south out of Calgary to succeed in the city of Spruce Meadows and take within the sights from the consolation and heat of your automobile. This occasion is drive-through-only, and guests are requested to stay within the automobile for his or her and everybody else’s security. Normal admission to the Spruce Meadows Christmas Gentle Drive-Via is freed from cost and it’s open each weekend in December.

Christmas lights and bonfires at Spruce Meadows over Christmas
Worldwide Christmas Market at Spruce Meadows – photograph through Journey Alberta credit score Roth and Ramberg

Cochrane Gentle Up

Cochrane Gentle Up is a big vacation occasion that takes place simply west of Calgary locally of Cochrane. With the capability to accommodate over 10,000 individuals, Gentle Up hosts occasions to go well with the entire household sponsored by native companies together with a fireplace pot, gingerbread home show, and an area choir.

Gentle Up Okotoks

Gentle up Okotoks is a one-day-only occasion that kicks off the vacation season in Okotoks, positioned south of Calgary. The lighting of the neighborhood Christmas tree takes place on November 18 this 12 months, however come down early to get a head begin in your vacation purchasing on the artisan market, take the kids for a wagon experience or heat your self by the fireplace pit.

Christmas lights at Light Up Okotoks
Picture through

Airdrie Pageant of Lights

Airdrie is a family-oriented neighborhood north of Calgary that has the excellence of internet hosting Canada’s largest free Christmas mild show. Operating all by means of December, occasions embody the Santa Clause Parade, a efficiency by the Airdrie Sky Twirlers, choir singers, and different particular occasions hosted by members of the neighborhood.

Visiting the Calgary Christmas Markets

Calgary’s (typically) heat but snowy climate makes wandering round a Christmas market on the weekend really feel much more particular. Whether or not you’re on the lookout for particular present concepts for your loved ones, dwell leisure, or desire a style of Christmas dinner, the Christmas markets in and round Calgary have gotten you lined.

Heritage Park As soon as Upon a Christmas

As soon as Upon A Christmas takes place all through the historic village in Heritage Park, inviting guests to step again in time and expertise Christmas the way in which it as soon as was. It runs all day, from 10 am to 4 pm, each Saturday and Sunday beginning November 27 and goes till the weekend earlier than Christmas on December 18. Assist out native artisans and get your vacation purchasing executed on the similar time, plus there are many outside actions for everybody to get pleasure from like snow portray and wagon. Inside, youngsters can place a letter certain for the North Pole of their vintage mailbox or get pleasure from a scrumptious Christmas breakfast at Gunn’s dairy barn or the Wainwright Resort.

Celebrate Christmas at Heritage Park
Christmas time in Heritage Park – photograph offered by Tourism Calgary credit score Kelly Hofer

Inglewood Evening Market

You’ll know Christmas in Calgary has formally kicked off when the Inglewood Evening Market heads indoors. This standard Calgary staple provides a vacation twist throughout the month of November, internet hosting an indoor occasion that features scrumptious meals from native hotspots, dwell music and leisure, and distributors promoting all the things from home made items to electronics to antiques. The Inglewood Evening Market is open each Friday and Saturday in December from 5pm – 10 pm. Tickets are simply $5 and proceeds go to charities that function out of town.

Christmas Market Calgary
Discover one thing particular at one of many Christmas markets in Calgary – photograph through Tourism Calgary credit score Roth & Ramberg

Authentically Indigenous

Established in 2015, the Authentically Indigenous Market is the place individuals of all walks of life can come to study and have fun Indigenous tradition and help native Indigenous creatives. Beadwork, jewellery, books, blankets, and work are simply a few of the treasures which can be ready to be discovered. The market is positioned at Kerby Centre in SW Calgary and is open from 10 am til 5 pm on December 10 and 11. There’s a small payment of $5 for entry, however youngsters below the age of 12 are free and weekend passes can be found for simply $8.

Indigenous Market in Calgary
Indigenous Market in Calgary – photograph offered by Journey Alberta credit score Britta Kokemor

Spruce Meadows Worldwide Christmas Market

Considered one of Spruce Meadows’ most particular occasions, the Worldwide Christmas Market offers guests an opportunity to pattern staple Christmas meals from all around the globe. The International Meals Market & Concession hosts native distributors promoting worldwide delights from Canada to the Caribbean to Burma and past. Fill your stomach, then head to the Driving Corridor to fulfill Santa’s reindeer. Notice that the reindeer will likely be on the market each Sunday.

Spruce Meadows Christmas Market
Spruce Meadows Christmas Market – photograph through Tourism Calgary credit score Roth & Ramberg

The place to Discover Santa in Calgary

It’s simple to search out Santa in Calgary throughout the Christmas season! He’ll be making appearances at each shopping center all through December and at varied Christmas markets all through city. When you’re on the lookout for a particular spot for that annual household photograph with Santa we suggest the next.

Homestead Market

Go to Homestead Markets in Airdrie for The 2022 Final Santa Expertise. Throughout choose weekends within the months of November and December, the farm turns into Santa’s Workshop and your youngsters will get an opportunity to fulfill Santa and inform him precisely what they need this Christmas. Time slots are reserved prematurely, and specifically priced photograph packages make sure that it received’t be a second they quickly neglect. Go to the craft desk afterward and produce dwelling a specially-made Christmas treasure.

Christmas with Santa
Visiting Santa Claus – photograph through Journey Alberta credit score Colin Means

Granary Street Christmas Market

Granary Street‘s A Christmas to Keep in mind’ competition is the right place for photograph ops with Santa. The expansive market will likely be stuffed with distributors so you will discover that good present, and there will likely be a variety of enjoyable outside actions like wagon rides, alpaca photograph ops, and s’extra making. A particular breakfast with Santa will likely be held every weekend main as much as Christmas day on the market. Pre-registration is required for this and different actions, however entrance to the market itself is totally free. A day of enjoyable is all however assured, so make sure to reserve your spot.

Visit Santa at Granary Road this year!
Go to Santa at Granary Street – photograph through Fb @granaryroad

Christmas Carols, Performs, and Live shows in Calgary

The Immersive Nutcracker – A Winter Miracle

From the producers of the favored ‘Immersive Van Gogh’ comes ‘The Immersive Nutcracker‘. Some of the liked vacation tales is coming December 1 to the BMO Centre with over 500,000 cubic ft of surprise. Visitors will likely be handled to the music of Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky’s and his iconic choices akin to “The March of the Toys” and “The Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy”. There will likely be a number of particular results, a giant-sized Nutcracker, and loads of probabilities for photographs. Ebook tickets for this magical expertise immediately!

Immersive Nutcracker Calgary
Immersive Nutcracker Calgary – photograph through Immersive Nutcracker

The Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra

Take within the soothing sound of Christmas carols sung by the Calgary Philharmonic and Calgary Women Choir. First, watch the Christmas traditional ‘Dwelling Alone in Live performance‘ set to dwell music carried out by the Calgary Phil on Friday, December ninth, or Saturday, December tenth. Ticket costs vary from $24-$89. Or take within the ‘Conventional Christmas‘ present throughout the week as an alternative on the Grace Presbyterian Church and luxuriate in traditional Christmas carols carried out by the Calgary Phil and Calgary Women Choir. This is without doubt one of the hottest occasions within the metropolis, so make sure to get your tickets early.

Holidays with the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra
Have a good time the vacations with the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra – photograph through Fb @calgaryphil

Max Bell Theatre

When you’re on the lookout for extra ideas than simply Christmas-themed reveals in Calgary, then it’s best to take a look at this season’s lineup on the Max Bell Theatre. Theatre Calgary has a powerful choice this winter, together with a efficiency of Little Ladies that runs all by means of December beginning on the seventh.

Alberta Ballet – The Nutcracker

Yearly, the Alberta Ballet places on a magical and enjoyable efficiency of E.T.A Hoffman’s Christmas traditional, The Nutcracker. This 12 months, followers are promised some new and thrilling components throughout Act 2’s Kingdom of the Sweets. In Calgary, the Nutcracker will likely be carried out on the Southern Alberta Jubilee Auditorium throughout the third week in December, from the Sixteenth-Twenty fourth.

Alberta Ballet presents The Nutcracker
Alberta Ballet presents The Nutcracker – photograph through Alberta Ballet

Christmas Buying in Calgary

There are many spots all through Calgary to search out that good Christmas present. When you don’t discover what you’re on the lookout for on the Christmas Markets, take a look at these standard malls and retailers.

CF Market Mall

CF Market Mall, positioned within the northwest suburban neigbourhood of Varsity, is one in all Calgary’s largest malls. The mall is open from 10 am- 9 pm all through the week, and with so many retailers to select from, they’ve all the things it’s good to get a head begin in your vacation purchasing. Examine the web site for a full checklist of retail areas obtainable and to search out out their prolonged vacation hours, together with Christmas Eve hours for these last-minute buyers.

Christmas Shopping in Calgary
Christmas Buying in Calgary – photograph through Tourism Calgary credit score Roth & Ramberg

Deerfoot Metropolis Mall

Deerfoot Metropolis Mall is a big outside purchasing centre in Calgary’s northeastern quadrant. With over 1 million sq. ft of retail area, the place is full of retail retailers, eating places, specialty grocery shops, and extra. You’re certain to search out one thing for everybody in your checklist in Deerfoot Metropolis.

CF Chinook Centre

Chinook Centre is Calgary’s greatest and arguably hottest mall. Conveniently positioned in SW Calgary, simply 5 km from town centre and steps away from the C-Prepare, the purchasing centre boasts a whole bunch of retail areas to select from. They actually have all of it right here, from high-end shops to seasonal pop-up shops and all the things in between. It’s additionally an area favorite for Boxing Day gross sales, however you’ll must be there effectively earlier than opening hours to order your spot in line.

Christmas shopping at Chinook Mall in Calgary
Christmas purchasing in Calgary – photograph through Tourism Calgary credit score Roth and Ramberg

CrossIron Mills Mall

Lastly, CrossIron Mills mall is a bit out of the way in which, positioned north of town between Calgary and Airdrie. Nevertheless, the abundance of outlets, together with model names and outlet shops, make the trek effectively value it. Go to their web site to search out out extra about unique gross sales and promotions.

Different Christmas Occasions and Enjoyable Winter Actions in Calgary

Telus Spark Science Centre

The Telus Spark Science Centre is internet hosting two occasions this winter to maintain your spirits merry and shiny. ‘Twinkle Twinkle Little Spark’ will give guests of all ages an opportunity to witness a glowing night time sky from the heat and luxury of the Infinity Dome Theatre. ‘Sparkle Sparkle‘, open from December 1st-January 2nd, is the place science meets Christmas. A totally immersive expertise, Sparkle Sparkle goals to high up your dopamine reserves as we head into the darkish days of winter.

Sparkle Sparkle at Telus Spark
Picture through


Skating is virtually synonymous with winter, and there’s no scarcity of out of doors rinks in Calgary, so why not lace up your skates for a day of enjoyable on the ice? Irrespective of the place you reside, there’s certain to be an out of doors skating rink close by. Remember to take a look at Olympic Plaza, Prince’s Island, Panorama on the North finish, or Shawnessy in SW Calgary.

Olympic Plaza Ice Skating
Ice Skating at Calgary Olympic Plaza – photograph through Journey Alberta credit score Neil Zeller


Arms down, sledding is without doubt one of the finest outside actions winter has to supply, and Calgarians know precisely the place to as soon as the snow begins to fall: Confederation Park. Situated in Calgary’s northwest quadrant, Confederation Park has a couple of hill to select from with various steepness, so each toddlers and teenagers can get pleasure from this park. Removed from busy streets, the park can also be stuffed with scenic strolling trails and even a few outside skating rinks, fully freed from cost.

Tobogganing in Calgary
Tobogganing in Calgary

Searching for extra vacation cheer?

And if you’ll be in Cowtown for the tip of the 12 months, don’t miss out on these enjoyable concepts for new 12 months’s eve in Calgary.

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