25+ Festive Issues to Do that Season

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Compiled by the Highway 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 by way of Journey Alberta credit score @photohuch

Celebrating Christmas in Calgary

Discovering the Greatest Christmas Lights in Calgary

Admiring a wide ranging 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 exterior of town limits turn into 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 gentle shows a really magical really feel! Get within the vacation spirit by testing the one nearest you, or load the household into the automotive and make a time out 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 probably the most gorgeous gentle shows within the metropolis, ZOOLIGHTS hosts loads of enjoyable occasions and performances for youngsters, 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 every of their many firepits. With proceeds going immediately to assist wildlife conservation efforts, it’s among the finest outside actions Calgary has to supply in the course of 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 you 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 every of them stands out above the remainder. Situated within the southeast quarter, the neighborhood of Legacy is without doubt one of the greatest 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) house 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 in the course of the holidays the Calgary downtown core is lit! The Winter Mild Competition involves downtown Calgary to have fun the festive season with the entire metropolis. Interactive LED lights make for wonderful shows, plus there may be heaps of reside leisure and enjoyable actions for the children, to not point out an enormous line of meals vehicles. 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 out there. And if in case you have the time, make your approach over to Prince’s Island and to the Jaipur Bridge for that excellent vacation photograph in a beautiful setting.

Christmas Lights on Stephen Avenue
Christmas lights on Stephen Avenue – photograph by way of Journey Alberta credit score Neil Zeller

Lions Competition of Lights

The Lions Competition of Lights is held yearly by the Lions Membership of Calgary as a approach of giving again to Calgarians. Admittedly, it’s considerably of a smaller show than different locations on this record. Nonetheless, it is freed from cost, making it an reasonably priced and inclusive choice for anybody desirous to get into the vacation spirit. The lights might be turned on beginning November 27 and run till the top of December.

CP Vacation Practice

Greeting Canadian Pacific Railway’s Vacation Practice because it rolls by means of Calgary is an iconic approach to benefit from the holidays, and this 12 months might be no exception. Arriving on December seventh, the lit-up prepare will cease on the Anderson C-Practice Station (South C-train car 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 Practice and as at all times, donations collected onsite assist meals banks throughout the nation.

CP Holiday Train
The CP Vacation Practice lit up for the vacations – photograph by way of CP Vacation Practice

The place to See Christmas Lights Round Calgary

After all, Calgary isn’t the one place to get your repair of Christmas lights. The encircling space contains smaller cities and suburban neighbourhoods with sprawling yards which are excellent for organising a show in the course of the vacation season.

Spruce Meadows Christmas Mild Drive By way of

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 automotive. This occasion is drive-through-only, and guests are requested to stay within the automotive for his or her and everybody else’s security. Basic admission to the Spruce Meadows Christmas Mild Drive-By way of 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 by way of Journey Alberta credit score Roth and Ramberg

Cochrane Mild Up

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

Mild Up Okotoks

Mild 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 buying on the artisan market, take the youngsters for a wagon journey or heat your self by the fireplace pit.

Christmas lights at Light Up Okotoks
Picture by way of Okotoks.ca

Airdrie Competition of Lights

Airdrie is a family-oriented neighborhood north of Calgary that has the excellence of internet hosting Canada’s largest free Christmas gentle 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 in search of particular present concepts for your loved ones, reside leisure, or need 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 best way 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 buying finished on the similar time, plus there are many outside actions for everybody to take pleasure in like snow portray and wagon. Inside, children can place a letter sure for the North Pole of their vintage mailbox or take pleasure in 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 common Calgary staple provides a vacation twist in the course of the month of November, internet hosting an indoor occasion that features scrumptious meals from native hotspots, reside music and leisure, and distributors promoting the whole lot 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 by way of 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 assist native Indigenous creatives. Beadwork, jewellery, books, blankets, and work are simply a number of the treasures which are 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 charge of $5 for entry, however children underneath 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

One in every 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 World 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 satisfy Santa’s reindeer. Notice that the reindeer might be on the market each Sunday.

Spruce Meadows Christmas Market
Spruce Meadows Christmas Market – photograph by way of Tourism Calgary credit score Roth & Ramberg

The place to Discover Santa in Calgary

It’s straightforward to seek out Santa in Calgary in the course of the Christmas season! He’ll be making appearances at each shopping center all through December and at numerous Christmas markets all through city. If you happen to’re in search of 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 children will get an opportunity to satisfy Santa and inform him precisely what they need this Christmas. Time slots are reserved prematurely, and specifically priced photograph packages be certain 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 by way of Journey Alberta credit score Colin Means

Granary Highway Christmas Market

Granary Highway‘s A Christmas to Bear in mind’ pageant is the proper place for photograph ops with Santa. The expansive market might be filled with distributors so yow will discover that excellent present, and there might be a variety of enjoyable outside actions like wagon rides, alpaca photograph ops, and s’extra making. A particular breakfast with Santa might 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 you reserve your spot.

Visit Santa at Granary Road this year!
Go to Santa at Granary Highway – photograph by way of 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 beloved vacation tales is coming December 1 to the BMO Centre with over 500,000 cubic ft of surprise. Friends might be handled to the music of Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky’s and his iconic alternatives akin to “The March of the Toys” and “The Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy”. There might be numerous particular results, a giant-sized Nutcracker, and loads of possibilities for photographs. E-book tickets for this magical expertise as we speak!

Immersive Nutcracker Calgary
Immersive Nutcracker Calgary – photograph by way of 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 ‘House Alone in Live performance‘ set to reside 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 in the course of the week as a substitute 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 you get your tickets early.

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

Max Bell Theatre

If you happen to’re in search of extra recommendations than simply Christmas-themed exhibits in Calgary, then you must try this season’s lineup on the Max Bell Theatre. Theatre Calgary has a powerful choice this winter, together with a efficiency of Little Girls 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 might be carried out on the Southern Alberta Jubilee Auditorium in the course of the third week in December, from the Sixteenth-Twenty fourth.

Alberta Ballet presents The Nutcracker
Alberta Ballet presents The Nutcracker – photograph by way of Alberta Ballet

Christmas Procuring in Calgary

There are many spots all through Calgary to seek out that excellent Christmas present. If you happen to don’t discover what you’re in search of on the Christmas Markets, try these common malls and retailers.

CF Market Mall

CF Market Mall, positioned within the northwest suburban neigbourhood of Varsity, is one in every of 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 the whole lot you want to get a head begin in your vacation buying. Test the web site for a full record of retail areas out there and to seek out out their prolonged vacation hours, together with Christmas Eve hours for these last-minute consumers.

Christmas Shopping in Calgary
Christmas Procuring in Calgary – photograph by way of Tourism Calgary credit score Roth & Ramberg

Deerfoot Metropolis Mall

Deerfoot Metropolis Mall is a large outside buying centre in Calgary’s northeastern quadrant. With over 1 million sq. ft of retail house, the place is full of retail retailers, eating places, specialty grocery shops, and extra. You’re positive to seek out one thing for everybody in your record 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-Practice, the buying centre boasts tons of of retail areas to select from. They actually have all of it right here, from high-end department shops to seasonal pop-up shops and the whole lot in between. It’s additionally an area favorite for Boxing Day gross sales, however you’ll have to be there nicely earlier than opening hours to order your spot in line.

Christmas shopping at Chinook Mall in Calgary
Christmas buying in Calgary – photograph by way of Tourism Calgary credit score Roth and Ramberg

CrossIron Mills Mall

Lastly, CrossIron Mills mall is a bit out of the best way, positioned north of town between Calgary and Airdrie. Nonetheless, the abundance of outlets, together with model names and outlet shops, make the trek nicely value it. Go to their web site to seek 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 vivid. ‘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 by way of sparkscience.ca


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? Regardless of the place you reside, there’s positive to be an out of doors skating rink close by. Make sure to try 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 by way of Journey Alberta credit score Neil Zeller


Arms down, sledding is without doubt one of the greatest 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 youths can take pleasure in this park. Removed from busy streets, the park can also be filled with scenic strolling trails and even a few outside skating rinks, utterly freed from cost.

Tobogganing in Calgary
Tobogganing in Calgary

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