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Things to do in Calgary this Christmas • Big Interactive

If you're like me you are looking to take in the Christmas Holiday's with the family. Christmas always goes by so fast so let's start celebrating early and take it all in this year. Spend as much time with our family as possible. Where are a few things I copied from some great websites to help you find places to take the kids or your special person.


See incredible twinkling lights, warm up by glowing fires, eat baked Christmas goodies, and see Santa. The Christmas season is here, and Calgary has a lot to offer when it comes to spreading the holiday spirit!

Mark this down as your holiday bucket list – here’s our list of things to do during the holidays:

Free Christmas activities and eventsChristmas in Canmore Festival

What: Over four weeks, Canmore will feature many events including advent calendar deals, Christmas block party, a Christmas night market, window decorating, outdoor movies, and progressive dinners.
Where: Downtown Canmore
When: Friday, December 4 to Thursday, December 31
High River Santa Claus Parade and Light-up George Lane Park

What: Live music, entertainment, photos with Santa, fire pits to stay warm, hot chocolate, unique vendors, what more could someone ask for at a Santa Claus Parade.
Where: Downtown High River
When: Friday, December 4 at 6:30 p.m.
Airdrie Santa Claus Parade

What: Come watch a fun filled parade featuring Santa and Mrs. Claus. Some of the floats include Frozen, Festival of Lights Train, and Mr. and Mrs. Claus’s horse drawn float.
Where: Starts at Fletcher Park – 6 Avenue NW and Main Street
When: Saturday, December 5 at 5 p.m.
Cochrane Santa Claus Parade

What: Everyone is welcome to this family-friendly parade full of many exciting floats.
Where: Historic Downtown, Cochrane
When: Saturday, December 12
Skate with Santa

What: Bring yourself and your family down to skate with Santa. Candy canes and hot chocolate will be offered to add to the holiday fun.
Where: Okotoks Rec Centre – 99 Okotoks Drive, Okotoks
When: Sunday, December 13 from 2:15 to 3:15 p.m.
Christmas lights

Zoolights at Calgary Zoo

What: Incredible lights illuminate the Calgary Zoo in almost every colour imaginable. Along with beautiful scenery you can skate on their skating rink, visit Santa, do kids activities and watch the Calgary Zoo’s new interactive light display.
Where: Calgary Zoo – 1300 Zoo Road NE, Calgary
When: Friday, November 27 to Saturday, January 2 from 6 to 9 p.m.
Cost: $14 for general admission, $11 for children, and $5 for parking.
Lion’s Festival of Lights

What: Drive by or walk by this Festival of Lights designed by Dean McKenzie and is now considered 99% green with 115,000 LED light bulbs.
Where: 14 Street NW, Calgary
When: Saturday, November 28 to Friday, January 8 at 5 p.m.
Cost: Free
Airdrie Festival of Lights

What: Celebrate 20 years of Airdrie’s Festival of Lights. You can walk around and marvel at the different light displays, go skating, and the kids can ride on a little train.
Where: Nose Creek Park, Airdrie
When: Tuesday, December 1 to Thursday, December 31 from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m.
Cost: Admission by donation
Christmas Lights at Spruce Meadows

What: Every evening a quarter of a million lights blanketing Spruce Meadows will glow. If you like skating there is a rink to skate on and if you get hungry they also serve hot chocolate, coffee and snacks.
Where: 18011 Spruce Meadows Way SW
When: Saturday, December 5 to Sunday, January 3 between 5 and 10 p.m.
Cost: Free
Downtown Calgary

What: Meander through downtown Calgary to look at the lights through Stephen Avenue, and along the river, as you will see many lights shining from skyscrapers.
Where: Downtown Calgary
When: Now through until around the beginning of January
Cost: Free
The CP Holiday Train

What: Bring heart healthy donations and watch one or both of the holiday lit CP trains. The trains start off at Montreal area and travel West bringing them to Calgary and then they continue their way to Port Coquitlam in British Columbia along the way the train will visit roughly 150 communities.
Where: Anderson C-Train Station – South C-Train parking lot, Calgary
When: Friday, December 11 from 6:45 to 7:45 p.m.
Cost: Free
Get in the Holiday Spirit

Lougheed House Christmas

What: Lougheed House will be filled to the brim with holiday decor designed by the Calgary Design Group and Eisenbergs’ Fine Furniture. During the weekends the house will also feature performances, crafts, and live music.
Where: Lougheed House, 202-13 Avenue SW, Calgary
When: Now through until Sunday, December 20
Cost: Free to $8.50
Heritage Park’s Once Upon a Christmas

What: Get into the spirit of Christmas by taking a wagon ride, singing carols and visiting Santa. Perhaps decorating gingerbread cookies or visiting the petting zoo is more your style, there are plenty of activities to do at this ongoing traditional Christmas event.
Where: Heritage Park – 1900 Heritage Drive SW
When: Saturday, November 21 to Sunday, December 20 from 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Cost: $10.50; $8.25 Senior (65+); $6.50 Youth ( 7 to 14); $5.25 Child (3 to 6) and free for ages 2 and under
Dinner Theatre Murder Mystery: Homicide for the Holidays

What: Homicide for the Holidays is where you can enjoy a meal and watch a simple Christmas Party and family reunion at Holiday’s Ranch welcome mayhem.
Where: The Barracks at Fort Calgary – 750 9 Avenue SE
When: November 25, December 1, 8, 9, and 15 from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m.
Cost: $85
Breakfast with Santa

What: Did somebody say pancakes? There will be pancakes, eggs, and fresh fruit served during the breakfast and Santa and Mrs. Claus will be there too! Remember to purchase your tickets!
Where: Silver Springs Community Association – 5720 Silver Ridge Drive NW, Calgary
When: Saturday, November 28; Breakfast begins at 9 a.m.
Cost: $10
Christmas at the Track

What: Take photos with Santa, go for a sleigh ride, pet animals at the petting zoo, get your face painted, go for a skate, and more. These are just some of the activities to do during Christmas at the Track.
Where: Winsport, Canada Olympic Park – 88 Canada Olympic Road SW, Calgary
When: Saturday, December 19 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Cost: $15 per family or $10 with a new or gently used jacket donation
Christmas Markets

Spruce Meadows International Christmas Market

What: The International Christmas Market is presented by TELUS and is held over three weekends. Over 250 vendors will be spreading Christmas cheer and selling everything from world-imported to hand-crafted items. Stop by even if it’s just to listen to their choir and instrumental performances.
Where: Spruce Meadows – 18011 Spruce Meadows Way SW
When: November 27 to 29; Fridays from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Sundays from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Cost: $12; free for seniors and children under 12
Festival of Crafts – Christmas Arts and Craft Sales

What: Known as one of Canada’s largest holiday handcrafted shopping events, Festival of Crafts runs four days showcasing items from fashion to gourmet treats from over 250 talented artisans, artists and designers.
Where: BMO Centre at Stampede Park – 20 Roundup Way SW, Calgary
When: November 26 to 29; Thursday and Friday from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m., Saturday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Cost: $7 for adults, $5 for youths aged 13 to 17 and seniors, and free for children under 12
The Ranch Christmas Market

What: Symons Valley Ranch will be hosting The Ranch Christmas Market where there will be plenty of vendors to go and enjoy. A free skating rink will be available for visitors if the weather permits.
Where: Symons Valley Ranch – 14555 Symons Valley Road NW, Calgary
When: Friday November 27 to Sunday, November 29
Cost: Free
Market Collective: Holiday Dates

What: Market Collective will be showcasing a roster of artists and musicians during each weekend and you can follow them along on social media.
Where: Chinese Cultural Centre – 197 1 Street SW
When: November 27 to 29, December 4 to 6, December 11 to 13, December 18 to 20; Fridays from 4 to 9 p.m. and Saturdays and Sundays from 10 to 6 p.m.
Cost: $5; free for kids
Etsy’s Winter of Artsy: An Oz Themed Holiday Market

What: See your local Etsy shops and get some Christmas shopping in without having to pay shipping fees while you’re at it. Create your own custom ornaments at the Do-It-Your-self Crafting Stations.
Where: Foothills Centennial Centre – 4 204 Community Way, Okotoks
When: Sunday, December 13 from 1 p.m. to 9 p.m.
Cost: Free
Where to go free outdoor skating

Open mid to late December

Big Marlborough Park
Bowness Park Lagoon
Carburn Park
Olympic Plaza
Prairie Winds Park
Prince’s Island Lagoon
Christmas concerts and showsA Christmas Carol by Theatre Calgary

What: A festive classic, Theatre Calgary brings the Charles Dickens’ novel to life just in time for the holiday season.
Where: 240 9th Avenue SE, Calgary
When: Thursday, November 26 to Thursday, December 24 at 2 p.m. or 7:30 p.m.
Cost: Tickets starting at $57
Cirque Musica Holiday Spectacular

What: Suspended above the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra, performers complete incredible acrobatic feats seamlessly to holiday music favourites.
Where: Jack Singer Concert Hall – 205 8 Avenue SE, Calgary
When: Friday, December 4 and Saturday, December 5 at 8pm
Cost: $25 to $85
StoryBook Theatre’s A Christmas Story: the musical

What: Hilarious is only one of the words used to describe A Christmas Story – the musical, which is based on the holiday movie favourite. It’s about a boy in the 1940s who has a huge imagination and one wish for Christmas.
Where: StoryBook Theatre, 375 Bermuda Drive NW
When: December 4 to 23; Tuesdays to Saturdays at 7 p.m., Saturdays and Sundays at 2 p.m. and Wednesdays and Thursdays at 10 a.m.
Cost: $21 for adults, $16 for children
The Nutcracker by Jeunesse Ballet

What: A ballet that is performed in two-acts and is open to your own interpretation, come and enjoy, The Nutcracker.
Where: University Theatre and Vertigo Theatre, Calgary
When: December 5, 6, 19, 19, and 20; Various times, check schedule
Cost: $10 to $45
Handel’s Messiah

What: Maestro Ivars Taurins, renowned Baroque conductor, joins the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra to perform music of faith and hope.
Where: Jack Singer Concert Hall – 205 8 Avenue SE, Calgary
When: Friday, December 11 and Saturday, December 12 at 7:30 p.m.
Cost: $25 to $85
Walk or run for a cause

Santa Shuffle (5K and 1K)

What: Support the Salvation Army to aid families and individuals in need during the holidays by participating in the 5K Santa shuffle and 1K elf walk.
Where: Eu Claire Market, Calgary
When: Saturday, December 5 at 10 a.m.
Cost: $30; $20 for children 12 and under $20
Spruce Meadows Run Series: Dashing Through the Glow (2K, 5K)

What: Run at Dashing Through The Glow to support a Senior Secret Service who brings community spirit and cheer to isolated seniors. Don’t forget to bring your mittens and headlamps because it will be held on a winters eve.
Where: 18011 Spruce Meadows Way, Calgary
When: Friday, December 4 at 7 p.m.
Cost: $55
Run Santa Run (10K, 5K, and 3K)

What: Run as Santa in support of Third Academy, a school for children with spacial education needs.
Where: Eu Claire Market, Calgary
When: Saturday, December 12 at 9 a.m.
Cost: $42; $22 for youth
Where to see Santa

Basspro Shops at CrossIron Mills
Sunridge Mall
Deerfoot Mall
Southcentre Mall
Market Mall
Chinook Centre
Marlborough Mall
Westbrook Mall
Northland Village Mall
Heritage Park Historical Village
Where to cut your own Christmas tree

Raven Ridge Tree Farm

Location: RR#3, Rocky Mountain House
Phone: 403-722-3207

Calgary Junior Forest Warden Society

Location: Powder Face Trail
Info: $5 per tree and no more than three per person

Go into the Forest

Location: Approved forested area
Info: Cut down your own tree after obtaining a $5 permit



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