Get into the Christmas spirit by enjoying some of the family-friendly holiday events happening around Calgary this year.
Head to the Calgary Zoo for their annual Christmas light display. 1.5 million twinkling lights line pathways and twist around trees, forming animals shapes and flashing to music. Dress warmly because this event is outside – but if you get cold there are fire pits to keep you warm, as well as hot chocolate.
WHEN: November 21st, 2014 – January 3rd, 2015
COST: General Admission $14.00, Child (3 – 15) $11.00, Infant (2 & under) Free
WEBSITE: Calgary Zoo
Once Upon a Christmas at Heritage Park
Take a trip to Heritage Park to experience Christmas from years gone by.
You can enjoy a romantic wagon ride with a loved-one or sing Christmas carols with the kids. Other activities include gingerbread cookie decorating, a petting zoo and snow painting.
WHEN: Weekends from November 22nd – December 21st, 2014, 9:30 a.m. – 4 p.m.
COST: General gate admission (15 – 64) $10.25, Child (3 – 6) $5.00, Youth (7 – 14) $6.35, Senior (65+) $8.15.
WEBSITE: Heritage Park
Watch the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra’s performance of Handel’s Messiah at the Jack Singer Concert Hall on Dec 12th and 13th. Or, join the crowd in a chorus of “Hallelujah” at the sing-along Messiah on the 14th.
WHEN: Dec 12th and 13th, 2014 / December 14th, 2014
COST: $25 – $90
WEBSITE: Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra
Lions’ Festival of Lights
The Festival of Lights is the largest free drive-by Christmas lights display in Calgary. Every year, volunteers help assemble over 105,000 LED lights in Confederation Park. The display draws over 55,000 visitors every day. It can be seen along 14th Street N.W., south of 24th Avenue.
WHEN: November 29th, 2014 – January 8th, 2015. 6 p.m. – Midnight
WEBSITE: Lions Festival of Lights
Country Christmas with George Canyon
Join Canadian country superstar George Canyon as he celebrates the Christmas season for just one night at the Jack Singer Concert Hall. According to the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra, his special Christmas performance will features holiday favourites along with some of his biggest hits.
WHEN: Wednesday, December 17, 2014 at 7:30 p.m.
COST: $45 – $85
WEBSITE: Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra
Christmas at Spruce Meadows
Spruce Meadows uses a quarter of a million lights to blanket their entire facility. Hop in your car and drive the 2 kilometer route through the grounds to witness their spectacular display, which includes Tournament Lane, The Courtyard, Traffic Circle, the Nations Flag Park, Congress Hall, Riders Chapel and the Pond.
WHEN: December 5th to January 4th, every evening between 5-10 p.m.
WEBSITE: Spruce Meadows
A staple among numerous ballet companies, the Nutcracker tells the tale of Klara and her Nutcracker as they battle against the evil Rat Tsar and his army of mice, set to Tchaikovsky’s score.
WHEN: Dec 18th to Dec 24th, 2014.
COST: Adult: $29 – $116, Child (12 years and under): $20 – $116, Student / Senior : $29 – $116
WEBSITE: Alberta Ballet
A Christmas Carol
Watch Charles Dickens’ classic novel come to life at Theatre Calgary. The play tells the story of how bitter Ebenezer Scrooge learns to open his heart and embrace the spirit of Christmas.
WHEN: November 27th, 2014 – December 24th, 2014.
COST: $35.00 – $116.00
WEBSITE: Theatre Calgary
CP Holiday Train
The CP Holiday Train is North America’s longest rolling food bank fundraiser. Over the three weeks of the program, musicians play more than 150 concerts from a boxcar turned into a travelling stage. Performers this year include the Odds and Jim Cuddy.
WHEN: Dec 12th, 6 p.m. at the gravel parking lot on Horton Road behind the Brick and Schanks (9511 Horton Road S.W.)
COST: Free – but attendees are encouraged to bring either a non-perishable food item or cash donation for the Calgary Food Bank.
WEBSITE: Holiday Train
Celebrate the holidays with an outdoor skate! Hold hands to keep warm – and don’t forget your helmet.
WHEN: In Calgary, outdoor skating rinks are weather dependent but are typically open mid-December through February, except for Olympic Plaza which is a refrigerated ice surface and is generally open from mid-November to mid-March.
COST: City-maintained outdoor rinks are free to use and are flooded as needed during low usage hours.
WHERE: The following outdoor skating rinks are maintained by The City:
• Big Marlborough Park – opening mid December
• Bowness Park Lagoon – opening mid December
• Carburn Park – opening mid December
• Olympic Plaza – opening mid November
• Prairie Winds Park – opening mid December
• Prince’s Island Lagoon – opening mid December