January is such a wonderful month, as it presents an opportunity to reflect on the passed year, while marking the beginning of fresh starts, new opportunities and fun adventures that are just waiting to be had.
Whether you are looking to cross a few items off your bucket list, actually stick to your New Years resolutions (at least for a month) or try out a new experience, Calgary has a ton of fun and exciting things happening to kick off 2017 and celebrate Canada’s 150th Birthday!
Here are 52 things to check out this January in Calgary and start the New Year off right!
Begin your New Year by crossing off that pesky “get in shape” goal that seems to weasel it’s way onto your list of resolution’s every year, by hitting the slopes and spending some time in the good ol’ outdoors. There is no better feeling then coming home with rosy cheeks and lungs filled with fresh mountain air as you spend quality time with friends and family. Take a road trip and spend the day skiing or snowboarding at one of Alberta’s best hills, SunshineVillage, Lake Louise, Nakiska or Mount Norquay, or make a weekend out of it by renting a cabin in the heart of the mountains. Be sure to check the websites to see what exciting events are happening on each hill throughout the month.
What: Looking for some winter fun within the city limits? Try out the largest tube park in western Canada, speed in a bobsleigh at 100 Km/hour with an expert pilot, slide down the luge track in just 40 seconds or bring the whole family for a fun public skate all at Winsport’s public facilities. You can also grab your skis or snowboard and check out the COP hill, that also includes a Progression park, Terrain Park and Under Armor Super pipe, for those looking to further their freestyle skills. See website for costs and hours.
What: Looking for the perfect date night in the great outdoors? Grab your special someone and head out on a snowshoeing adventure through the Rocky Mountains lit by the moon and sparkling starts. It doesn’t get more romantic than that! A certified guide will lead your journey and provide you with a headlamp and snowshoes that is included in the cost of the tour.
Where: Kananaskis Village Center – 1 Mt. Sparrowhawk Crescent
What: Calling all adventure enthusiasts! This unique experience will allow you to ride through the snowy trails of Kananaskis on a Rocky Mountain Blizzard fat Bike to a beautiful frozen waterfall. Here you will have the opportunity to bask in the beauty of the falls while consuming hot chocolate and cookies. Yum!
Some biking experience is required, but there is no need to be an expert. Bikes + helmets are included, but you must bring your own goggles or sunglasses.
Where: Kananaskis Village Center – 1 Mt. Sparrowhawk Crescent
When: Saturday, January 21
Cross Country Skiing
Cross Country Skiing can be wildly underestimated as a sport, but it is really a great workout and can be a great way to be active while enjoying the beauty of the snow-covered landscape. The best part is that you don’t even have to go very far to go on a snowy cross-country skiing adventure.
Check out one of the many popular cross-country skiing areas within the city, such as Fish Creek Park, Confederation Golf Course, Lakeview Golf Course or South Glenmore Park. If you are interested in travelling a little bit further check out areas just outside of the city limits, such as West Bragg Creek, Ribbon Creek, Canmore Nordic Centre, Mt. Shark Trails or Sand McNabb. Explore more great cross-country skiing locations within the city and outside Calgary here.
What: With the assistance of a professional guide you will snowshoe through a frosty forest to a dazzling starlit meadow, where you will enjoy a hot drink and be awed by the beautiful northern lights. Snow shoes and head lamp is included in the cost of the tour.
Where: Kananaskis Village Center – 1 Mt. Sparrowhawk Cres
It doesn’t get much more Canadian then grabbing your tackle box and heading out to catch some dinner. Okay, it’s not as archaic as it sounds, but ice fishing can be a great way to spend time in the great outdoors while experiencing something different this winter.
Some popular ice fishing spots around Alberta are the Elbow River, Chestermere Lake, Eagle Lake, Ghost Lake, Gap Lake or Grotto Mountain Pond. You can check out more spots to go ice fishing here. If you are new to the sport or just want to learn the ins and outs, book an ice fishing trip with certified guides that will take you on an adventure suited for your qualifications and needs. Choose from half-day trips to multi day excursions, along with 2-hour hands-on lessons that are perfect for the whole family.
SnowShoeing and Winter Hiking
If you are an avid hiker in the summer months, chances are you a just waiting for the perfect opportunity to hit the trail again. Lucky for you, you don’t need to wait for the snow to clear away! Head out on a snowy winter hike or strap on your snowshoes and go where your hiking shoes could never take you. There are a plethora of trails to check out within Kananaskis, Canmore, Banff and Lake Louise with breathtaking frosty views – don’t forget your camera. Take a look at some popular trails here!
What: Check out Calgary’s infamous Glenbow Museum for FREE in the afterhours on the first Thursday of every month. If you haven’t been recently, this will be your last chance to see the popular exhibit, 1920’s Modernism in Montreal: The Beaver Hall Group, along with many other temporary exhibits from the Fall.
What: Is one of your New Years resolutions to try something totally out of your comfort zone or to pick up an old hobby that has fallen by the wayside? If taking a dance class fit’s under one of these categories be sure to check out DJD’s $5 class week, as it is the perfect opportunity to try out a few dance classes without committing to an entire season. You will have the opportunity to try some of the classic styles, such as ballet, jazz, tap or hip hop, switch it up a bit with West African, Soca, Dance Hall and Krump or shake it like Beyonce in their fun Diva Style Hip Hop class. There is something for everyone!
What: Help kick-off of the month-long winter celebration, Snowdays, with a fun and eventful street party held in the heart of Downtown Banff. Come enjoy cultural, historical and adventurous activities for the whole family to enjoy, along with all things ice – ice carving demo, an ice bar, an ice fire pit ice-skating and an ice playground. If you come sans children enjoy a fun beer garden with tasty food vendors and a Canadian DJ and live band playing all evening long.
What: “Happy Birthday!!” They were Frosty’s first words, so naturally it would be rude not to celebrate! Join the Calgary Farmers Market for some indoor winter fun, as they raise awareness for Project Warmth and collect donations of winter gear for shelters and families in need throughout the city. Bring a donation of gently used winter clothing and receive a voucher to decorate a doughnut at Jelly Modern, between 10am-1pm. There will also be a live Frosty magic show, photobooth and more!
Where: The Calgary Farmers Market – 510 77th Avenue SE
When: Saturday, January 21
Cost: FREE – Donation of gently used winter clothing
What: Are you interested in doing some backcountry adventuring this winter? Learn safety precautions and emergency processes from Snow Safety experts and watch featured films that will highlight the associated risks of out-of-bounds travel. There will also be door prizes and an exciting tradeshow – come make a night of it!
Where: Margaret Greenham Theatre, Banff Centre – 107 Tunnel Mountain Drive, Banff
What: Yes you read that correctly! YYC Hot Chocolate Fest is back again for another year, raising money for Calgary Meals on Wheels, while giving you the opportunity to sip upon a variety of creative hot chocolates throughout the city. Join them for the launch at the Calgary Farmers Market, where you will get the chance to taste test some hot chocolate, see a showcase of participating businesses and witness the inaugural sip that will officially start this fun month-long festival of our favorite warm beverage!
Where: The Calgary Farmers Market – 510 77th Avenue SE
When: Saturday, January 28
Netflix Night In
You’re not the only one preparing for a big January. Netflix just released it’s list of upcoming films for the first month of the year and we could not be more excited. See original classics such as Christopher Reeve’s Superman film, Justin Bieber’s Documentary, Braveheart, E.T., Boogie Nights, Nancy Drew, Ocean’s Twelve and so many more!
You can also look forward to binge watching the new Netflix Original series “Frontier,” based on the North American Fur Trade and Lemony Snicket’s “Series of Unfortunate Events,” starring Neil Patrick Harris as Count Olaf – millennials rejoice. See the full list of Netflix additions here.
What: “Strong Arms. Big Hair. Can’t Loose.” If you loved Friday Night Lights, then you will be sure to love this hilarious, improvised spin off of the 2000’s TV series. Each Monday night there is a new episode that will transport you into small Town America’s Football fandom that includes harsh coaches, scatterbrained cheerleaders, stressed out quarterbacks and teenage love.
What: Take a stroll through the Window Galleries of the Arts Commons and see this beautiful exhibit that includes works by Jaime Erin Johnson, Emma Powell, and Juilee Pryor. The gallery brings together the aesthetics of the traditional photographic process of Cyanotype photography, also called blue print, and the different views of the female identity, body and spirit.
Where: Window Galleries (across from Max Bell Theatre in Arts Commons)
What: For one night only join the Queer Songbook Orchestra and special guests Katherine Duncan and Mark Tewksbury for an evening of empowering and uplifting songs that narrate personal experiences, foster connections and give a broader understanding amongst the community. This two-hour performance is a part of the 31st annual High Performance Rodeo and Calgary’s International Festival of Arts.
What: See the critically acclaimed professional actor and musician, Chase Padgett perform his award winning solo show, ‘6 Guitars.’ He initially performed this show in 2010 and it quickly became the most successful show in the history of the North American Fringe Festival circuit. During this 85-minute show Padgett will become 6 different guitar players, ranging from a 19-year-old rock prodigy to an 87 year old blues man, all with their own unique voices, views and musical styles. You will leave feeling so in love with music!
What: This is not your typical ballet, as you will leave feeling thoroughly entertained and full of laughter! The Trockadero is an all-male ballet company that has toured all over the world and even cracked a smile on the Queen. In this performance they will dance on point, in beautiful costumes and large wigs, to a satirical and cleverly choreographed show that takes a humorous point of view on many of the most popular ballets of all time.
Where: Southern Alberta Jubilee Auditorium 1415 – 14 Ave NW
What: Decidedly Jazz is known for their extraordinarily creative performances that allow their audiences to experience dance and music in a different, fluid and collaborative way. Join them for their second show in the new spectacular DJD Dance Centre, that will take on a unique perspective of the passionate and tragic tale of Shakesphere’s ‘Romeo and Juliet.”
What: If you saw the Netflix Original, “The Crown” you’ll be familiar with the Queen’s famous weekly meeting with the Prime Minster, called an audience. This spectacular performance will replay some of the most famous audience’s throughout Queen Elizabeth’s reign, with many familiar political faces making an appearance, such as Churchill, Thatcher, Cameron and more. Take a peak at the woman behind the crown, the most famous and influential yet private woman in the world.
What: This unforgettable musical performance is done by a group of individual performers from the Yukon, Northwest Territories and Nunavut, who call themselves the New North Collective. They come together to share their stories, influence each other and collaborate in order to paint a picture for the audience about the ideas of the ‘north’ and what it really means, through music and lyrics.
Where: Margaret Greenham Theatre, Banff Centre – 107 Tunnel Mountain Drive
Take the opportunity to learn something new this January while bonding with old friends and making new ones. Choose from a variety of different workshops happening around the city this month that will either tantalize your taste buds or give you something fun to take home that can represent the beginning of a fabulous year.
What: As part of the month long winter celebration, Snowdays, you will have the opportunity to eat and drink your way through Banff’s exquisite food scene for 5 days during the festival. On each day there will be different foodie events happening, such as the famous Grand Tasting Hall, Pins + Pints Bowl off, Rustic Italy, Chocolate – A Taste of the Past and Banff’s Best Chef Competition all at various restaurants around Banff during that 5 day period.
Where: Throughout the town of Banff
When: January 18 to 22
Check out one of Calgary’s Craft- Beer Scene on a Brewery Tour
What: Spend a day being a tourist in your own city and see YYC from a different perspective as you tour through it’s blossoming craft beer scene. This is a great way to taste the flavors that the Calgary area has to offer, while learning about the region’s rich history, craftsmanship and lengthy process that goes into creating those delightful bubbly beverages – taste tests are included in the tour of course. Check out Calgary Brewery Tours for dates and more information on their multi brewery tours. If you are looking for something a bit more low key, micro breweries within the city, such as Last Best Brewery, Trolley 5, Wildrose Brewery, Village Brewery and more, all offer separate tours that will take you through their brewing techniques and through the production of their beer and will only be about an hour or two max.
Cost: Varies depending on what tour you are interested in going on!
Date Night at Calgary’s Newest Bars + Restaurants
2016 was a good year for Calgary’s food scene, as a ton of new establishments opened up, all with their own unique concept around their dining experience. Check out a new speakeasy, Frenchi’s Wine Bar or Subrosa, for a late night charcuterie and cocktail. If you are in the mood for a sit down dinner date Royale Brasserie will transport you to Paris with its high-end French atmosphere. You can also check out some other new restaurants that are new to YYC’s foodie movement, Bridgette Bar, Trolley 5, Una Takeaway (if you are in a hurry for a slice of delicious za) or High Line Brewing, located in the heart of Historic Inglewood.
Go for brunch!
You can never go wrong with Sunday brunch, or rather brunch on any day of the week! It makes for a great date or if you looking for a place to catch up with old friends that won’t break the bank after the holidays. Bonding over benny is a real thing! Here are a few spots that are either new to Calgary’s brunch scene or are not your classic brunch spots that you have been to millions of times before.
What: Calling all of YYC’s feisty lady bosses! Join YYC Girl Gang for a fun filled event that will offer an opportunity to network with a community of business boss babes, support one another as you build your small business into an empire and inspire one another in your entrepreneurship ventures. Most of all, this event is meant to be a time where you kick off your heels and enjoy some much-needed RnR spent with likeminded humans. Stay tuned to social media for updates, ticket sales and venue announcement.
What: Help raise money for the SA (Servants Anonymous) Foundation and spread awareness for human trafficking, by taking a quick dive into the chilly waters of the Elbow Valley Residents Club. If you aren’t in Calgary on the date or plunging into chilly water is just not your thing, then be sure to register for the distance dip. This involves finding a body of water, diving in and sharing your wet experience on social media and ensuring you tag @calgaryicebreak in order to rep the movement against sex slavery globally.
Where: Elbow Valley Residents Club – 100 Misty Morning Drive, Elbow Valley
What: If you haven’t had the chance to catch this infamous light production you still have time! Grab your date, some hot chocolate and lots of layers and head to the Zoo for an evening full of bright lights and winter fun.
Where: 1300 Zoo Road NE
When: November 25 to January 8
Cost: General Admission (16 years and up) – $14.99 Children (3-15 years old) – $11.99
What: Winter is more than just cold and snowy, as it is a season that brings majestic frosty views, fun activities a beautiful memories at all ages. Banff National Park invites us all to celebrate the magic of winter in its month long festival of Snowdays, featuring a variety of events, shows and activities that combine history, culture and winter traditions that the whole family will enjoy. Check the website for daily events and activities!
What: Lake Louise’s Ice Magic Festival is a truly magical and unreal experience that Canadian’s look forward to year round. This event boasts over 20 years of history and it gathers talented ice artists from around the world to compete and create artistic masterpieces out of ice, within 34 hours. During this time you can watch the process in action and see the detailed sculptures unfold, while you get the unique opportunity to talk to the carvers, asking them questions and vote for your favorite masterpiece. If you miss the action you can still view the sculptures the following weekend and even get the chance to try your hand at some ice carving yourself!
Where: The Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise- 111 Lake Louise Drive, Lake Louise, AB
When: January 19-29
Cost: Adults $10 (18 – 54 years), Children $5 (3 – 17 years), Seniors $5 (55 + years), Family $25 (2 adults + up to 4 children aged 3-17 years) Tickets can be purchased here!
Cheer on the Calgary Flames
What: Wear your new jersey that you got for Christmas and help the Flames make it to the playoffs by cheering them on at the dome this January!
What: Word on the street is that boxing is the new workout trend of the New Year! If getting in shape is one of your resolutions, or you are just looking for a fun way to stay active and let out some of that built up stress, then boxing should be right up your alley. Check out Rumble Boxing studio on 17th ave for a night club boxing experience or Undrcard Boxing Studio that is a beautifully designed space by Mckinley Burkart and will be sure to get you in the zone and unleash your inner athlete.
What: Help raise money for the fight against prostate cancer by attending the 19th Annual and FINAL Bill Brooks Prostate Cancer Gala. This year the event will be themed after the Billy Horror Picture Show and be held at the infamous Hotel Arts. All ticket purchases will include cocktails, food, live music and the chance to participate in an unreal silent auction to raise additional money for the cause.
What: Join these two Canadian Juno Award nominees, CCMA Award winners and Country heartthrobs, Tim Hicks and Chad Brownlee, as their two separate tours ‘Shake These Walls Tour’ and ‘Hearts on Fire Tour’ collide into one unforgettable performance.
What: If you love R&B and want to hear music from some of the genre’s greatest legends, then this show is something you wont want to miss. Watch Ellis hall, a master of classic R&B and hear hits from Stevie Wonder, Marvin Gaye, The Temptations Earth, Wind and Fire and more of your soulful favorites through the ages!
Where: Jack Singer Concert Hall – 205 – 8 Avenue SE
What: Stomp brings the sounds of New York City, through percussion sounds and energizing beats, to the Calgary stage. Think matchboxes, brooms, garbage cans, Zippo lighters and more put together in an electrifying rhythm that tells a story in a musical and theatrical performance. This is a show like nothing you have ever seen before – literally!
Where: Southern Alberta Jubilee Auditorium – 1415 14th Avenue NW
What: Come see Ron Hawkins and The Do Good Assassins open up for the Canadian country music legendary band Blue Rodeo, as they go on tour on honor of their 14th studio album, 1000 Arms that was released on October 28th, 2016. In over 30 years the band has managed to sell over 4 million album, win various Juno Awards, receive a star on Canada’s Walk of Fame, be named to the Order of Canada and make it into the Canadian Music Hall of Fame.
Where: Southern Alberta Jubilee Auditorium – 1415 14th Avenue NW
What: Presented in partnership with Sled Island, the Canadian music Icon Joel Plaskett makes his debut with the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra. In this live performance Plaskett’s charisma will light up the stage in celebration of his twenty year long Juno award-winning career with the help of the powerful orchestral arrangements. You will get the unique opportunity to hear music from his first albums, ‘Light of the Moon and ‘Nowhere With You’ to his most recent album ‘The Park Avenue Sobriety Test.
Where: Southern Alberta Jubilee Auditorium – 1415 14 Avenue NW
When: Tuesday, January 24
Kristy is a creative Communications and PR strategist, freelance writer, coffee enthusiast and wine connoisseur who has a strong passion for travelling, art, style and fashion. Check out her blog (FloralandBows.com) for a taste of YYC through the lens of a refined, sassy, PR girl working on being a successful #girlboss.