The Christmas season is upon us! And after a stressful pandemic and social distancing-filled couple of years, the prospect of a fun and busy holiday season surrounded by loved ones is just what the proverbial doctor ordered! Fortunately, Calgary (and area) has no shortage of festive ways to enjoy the season, all with COVID safety protocols and measures in place!
Rosebud Theatre’s A Christmas Carol
Dates: November 12 – 14, November 17 – 21, November 24 – 28, December 1 – 5, December 8 – 12, December 15 – 19, December 22 & 23
Located in Rosebud, Alberta (approximately one hour and fifteen minutes from Calgary), Rosebud Theatre’s production of A Christmas Carol is a story about new beginnings, a fitting way to welcome their audiences back to the theatre
The Calgary Zoo’s Zoolights
Dates: November 19 – 27, November 29, December 1 & 2, December 4 – 24, December 26 – January 2
That Calgary Christmas staple, Zoolights, is celebrating its 25th anniversary this year. Special features this year include a 25th-anniversary memory lane, the Nutcracker in the ENMAX Conservatory, the ‘Tunnel of Light’ tribute to Canada’s wetlands, a Christmas zoo market, skating rink, firepits, and axe throwing.
The East Village Hygge Hut
Dates: November 19 – 21, November 26 – 28, December 3 – 5, December 10 – 12, December 17 – 19,
The East Village is bringing cozy back with a Hygge Hun in C-Square at 4th Street SE and 7th Avenue SE. Inspired by the Danish idea of Hygge (which translates to a special kind of cozy well-being), this firepit is a gathering place to enjoy a warm drink and take in some of the festivities, including ice carving demonstrations, fireside storytime, wreath making, live musical performances, and more.
Mountaintop Christmas in Banff
Dates: November 20 & 21, November 27 & 28, December 4 & 5, December 11 & 12, December 18 – 30
The Banff Gondola is transformed into a magical winter wonderland this Christmas season, complete with all sorts of delights including Santa’s workshop, ice sculptures, carolers, cookie decorating, sugar shack maple toffee, pictures with Santa, and more.
Jubilations Junior Dinner Theatre Production of Beauty and the Grinch
Dates: November 20, November 27, December 4, December 11, December 18, December 23, December 30, January 8
Live theatre in a kid-friendly environment. This production of Beauty and the Grinch combines Beauty and the Beast with The Grinch Who Stole Christmas. Along with a three-course lunch and interactive character servers.
Sparkle, Sparkle at Telus Spark Science Centre
Dates: November 25 – 28, December 1 – 5, December 8 – 12, December 15 – 23, December 26 – 30, January 1 & 2. Brand new this year is Telus Spark’s Sparkle Sparkle event. The first floor of the Telus Spark Science Centre has been transformed into a magical celebration of lights in the evenings. Santa in his robot workshop, a giant LED fire, sweet treats, and glowing drinks are just some of the fun things in store.
Aspen Crossing’s Polar Express Train Ride
Dates: November 26 – 28, December 3 – 5, December 10 – 12, December 17 – 24
Recapture the magic of the classic Polar Express children’s tale at Mossleigh’s Aspen Crossing train ride. Dressed in their comfiest pajamas, families have been taking part in this annual train ride for years. The train ride is one hour long and includes cookies, hot chocolate, a ceramic collector’s mug, and a silver bell for those who believe (just like the movie).
Santa’s Holiday Homestead at the Calgary Farmer’s Market
Dates: November 26 – 28 and December 3 – 5
Held at the Calgary Farmers Market (near Blackfoot Trail and Heritage Drive), for two weekends visitors can get photos with Santa and also give his reindeer a pet before doing some holiday shopping at the market.
Spruce Meadows International Christmas Market
Dates: November 26 – 28 and December 3 – 5
This curated market of Christmas shopping delight is hosting over 200 businesses and artisans. The Spruce Meadows International Christmas Market prides itself on a unique shopping experience in a winter wonderland guaranteed to get you in the Christmas spirit.
A Christmas to Remember at Granary Road
Dates: November 27 & 28, December 4 & 5, December 11 & 12, December 18 & 19
Granary Road’s celebration of the season includes a Christmas market, Christmas music and lights, breakfast with Santa, a Jingle all the Way wagon ride, smore-making, and photos with alpacas.
Christmas in Kensington
Dates: November 27, December 4, December 11, December 18
The community of Kensington has it going on this Christmas season with their Christmas in Kensington, taking place every Saturday from now until just before Christmas. Live music, free hot chocolate, a wandering Santa Claus, sleigh rides, and Christmas shopping are just some of the things in store. And don’t forget to bring a non-perishable food donation for the Calgary Veterans Food Bank.
Stage West for Kids Presents The 12 Days of Christmas
Dates: November 27, December 4, December 6, December 11, December 18, December 20, December 23 & 24
This is the junior version of Stage West, featuring kid-friendly buffet food (with kid favourites like pizza and ice cream) followed by a live child-oriented performance about siblings who are attempting to ‘out-gift’ each other. Breakfast, lunch, and dinner performances are available.
Camp Cadicasu Christmas
Date: November 28
Overnight Kananaskis Camp Cadicasu is getting into the spirit of Christmas this year with an all-day Christmas-in-the-mountains experience. The day includes lunch, snacks, hot beverages, ornament decorating, gingerbread house-making, and photos with Santa.
Holiday Wreath Workshop
Date: November 30
Lina’s Italian Market (in Brittania) is hosting a wreath-building workshop to get you ready for the Christmas season. Registration fees include pizza, wine, dessert, and a wreath-making lesson in which attendees will leave with a 16” gold hoop greens.
Theatre Calgary’s A Christmas Carol
Dates: November 30 – December 5, December 8 – 12, December 14 – 19, December 21 – 24
Theatre Calgary presents Charles Dickens A Christmas Carol, this year as a three-person cast production taking audiences through the inspiring journey of Ebenezer Scrooge, Tiny Tim, and the Spirit of Christmas Past, the Spirit of Christmas Present, and the Spirit of Christmas Future.
Airdrie Festival of Lights
Dates: December 1 – 31
For the past 25 years, Airdrie’s Nose Creek Park has become home to thousands of Christmas lights every December. The Airdrie Festival of Lights holds the distinction of being Western Canada’s largest, free, outdoor walk-through Christmas light display. Miniature train rides, open bonfires, a kids-only shopping experience, and hot chocolate round out the experience.
Skate the Boulevard at Deerfoot City
Dates: December 1 – 31
Free outdoor skating along the Boulevard is just one of the many Christmas activities that Deerfoot City has in store this holiday season. Pre-registration is required for the 30 minute skating time slots, and skaters must bring their own skates and protective equipment as rentals will not be available.
Once Upon a Christmas at Heritage Park
Dates: December 4 & 5, December 11 & 12, December 18 – 23
This holiday tradition is back! While the wagon rides are on hold this year, there is no shortage of things to see and do including take-home crafts, caroling, holiday performances, crackling fires, hot chocolate, and a kids’ only store. Buy or renew your annual membership prior to December 24th, and receive a free express guest membership.
Date: December 5
The University District is holding its fourth annual Northwestival, an outdoor festival full of roaming performers, kangaroo cuddles, maple taffy making, a frosty memories photo booth, a hot drink, and toppings station, winter workshops, live music, and more.
Christmas in Alberta Fundraiser
Date: December 6
This fundraiser, held in support of Heritage Park and the Rosebud Theatre, is taking place on Monday, December 6 at Heritage Park’s Gasoline Alley Museum starting at 6:00 pm. Tickets are $195 per person or $1,560 for a table of eight. Festivities for this semi-formal event include a four-course dinner, entertainment by Rosebud Theatre, Christmas carolers, photos with Santa Claus, live auction, online auction, and a take-home gift.
Market Collective Holiday Markets
Dates: December 10 – 12, December 17 – 19
Market Collective Holidays Markets is back at the BMO Centre this year with live music, interactive workshops, snacks, beverages, and galleries. Support local this Christmas season with access to over 150 local vendors at the event.
Enjoy the holiday season, be safe and mindful, and all the best for a wonderful and prosperous 2022.