Salted caramels, holiday parties, wine, and Christmas shopping for your loved ones (as well as yourself) are just a few things to look forward to in December. But don’t forget about the amazing selection of holiday entertainment we have here in Calgary.
Whether your jam is seeing a feel-good musical, a creative re-telling of a familiar story, or a classic presentation of a beloved tale, the Calgary arts scene has you covered.
Here are some of our top picks for local Christmas-inspired entertainment.
Charles Dicken’s famous tale has remained a holiday classic for generations. Over the past 22 years, Calgary audiences have looked forward to following Ebenezer Scrooge’s epic Christmas Eve adventure through past, present and future. This grand-scale production of A Christmas Carol brings the holiday warmth and cheer, and will move you with its inspirational message.
Where: The Max Bell Theatre, Arts Commons – 240 9 Avenue SE
When: November 24 to December 24
Tickets: From Arts Commons, $62-$132
This holiday season, experience the magic and wonder of Alberta Ballet’s The Nutcracker. Watch as Clara follows her courageous Nutcracker Prince through an enchanted land full of ridiculously fit ballet dancers who will make you feel slightly guilty for enjoying all those holiday treats. Set to Tchaikovsky’s immortal score, and featuring larger-than-life sets and costumes, Alberta Ballet’s dancers will take your breath away with this timeless ballet.
Where: Southern Alberta Jubilee Auditorium — 1415 14 Ave NW
When: December 16 to 24
Tickets: From Arts Commons, $24-$124
Slipper: A Distinctly Calgarian Cinderella Story is a modern-day fairy tale with a unique Calgary flavour. It tells the story of Cindy, a Calgary teenager with a dream of pursuing music. One day, a handsome time traveler named Eddie Prince appears and encourages her to compete in the Stampede talent show. The only thing in the way is Cindy’s stepmom who won’t allow Cindy to follow her dreams. Join Alberta Theatre Projects on this fun and zany ride.
Where: The Martha Cohen Theatre, Arts Commons — 215 8 Avenue SE
When: November 22 to December 31
Tickets: From Alberta Theatre Projects, $25-72
A time-honoured tradition at the Calgary Phil, feel your sprits lift inside the gorgeous Grace Presbyterian Church. A Traditional Christmas is led this year by young residential conductor Karl Hirzner, who’s had a busy fall conducting, among other things, the orchestra’s ever-popular Cirque Musica. Celebrate holiday favourites of all types this year at this joyous Christmas concert.
Where: Grace Presbyterian Church — 1009 15th Avenue SW
When: December 2 to 4
Tickets: From Calgary Phil, $32
What better way to enjoy this classic Christmas poem than by watching a live stage show and indulging in an all-you-can-eat buffet beforehand? The buffet serves “kids” favourites such as hot dogs, pizza, jello, ice cream and more. Seeing how many parents may enjoy this buffet selection as well, it promises to be a win-win situation for all. Ho Ho Ho!
Where: Stage West Theatre Restaurants — 727 42 Avenue SE
When: Now to December 24
Tickets: From Stage West Theatre, $35-$42
Join local TV talk show host Dave Kelly for an electrifying night of festive entertainment. The Young Canadians will sing and dance their way through some favourite holiday tunes, as well as showcase their famous Rockette-style kick line. Hometown pop sensation Jann Arden will also perform selections from her holiday album, A Jann Arden Christmas.
Where: The Jack Singer Concert Hall, Arts Commons — 205 8 Avenue SE
When: December 5
Tickets: From Arts Commons, $34-$144
Whether you’re looking for a creative idea for a romantic date, a fun time with friends, or a memorable family experience, Heritage Park Historical Village’s Once Upon A Christmas is your answer. Go back in time to Calgary’s early years and enjoy riding on a wagon, watching a live Christmas play, singing along to Christmas carols, eating old fashioned treats and more. There’s even a rumour that Old Saint Nick himself will be there.
Where: Heritage Park Historical Village — 1900 Heritage Dr SW
When: Now to December 18
Tickets: Included in admission, $5.50-$10.75
It’s a Wonderful Life is truly an iconic Christmas story. When George Bailey gets to see what things would have been like if he had never been born, he learns the true impact kindness to others can make. Lunchbox Theatre puts a fun spin on this holiday classic by presenting it as a live 1940’s radio broadcast. Five talented actors will convincingly portray all the characters and bring this story to life.
Where: Lunchbox Theatre — 160 9 Avenue SE
When: November 28 to December 21
Tickets: From Lunchbox Theatre, $20-$25