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Great Outdoors, Events, Life

12 outdoor activities to do in Calgary this winter

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Kristy Archibald Dec 01, 2017 10:15 am 284

The weather may have turned chilly a little earlier than we anticipated this year, but that only means that there is all the more time for snowy adventures.

With the Rocky Mountains only a short drive away, we truly are lucky here in Calgary. There is no excuse not to take advantage of all of the exciting outdoor activities that we have right at our finger tips.

Bundle up in your scarf, torque, mitts, and parka, and head on out to enjoy some wintertime fun in and around the city this season.

No hibernating allowed!

See also

Winter ice skating at Olympic Plaza

  • What: Skate amid the beauty of downtown Calgary at everyone’s favourite outdoor rink.
  • When: Monday, November 20 to mid-March
  • Time: Weather dependent, from 10 am to 9 pm
  • Where: Olympic Plaza – 228 8th Avenue SE
  • Cost: Free!

Go Tubing at Canada Olympic Park

  • What: Calgary’s only tube park is the largest of its kind in Western Canada and now boasts 12 lanes, a four person tube option, and a dedicated magic carpet. A village including a food trailer, a deck with heaters, a fire pit, and washrooms have also been added for the 2017 season.
  • When: During the winter season
  • WhereWinSport’s Canada Olympic Park, The Acura Tube Park – 88 Canada Olympic Road SW
  • Admission: Tickets cost $28 for an adult to slide for two hours, and senior, youth, and family discounts are available.

Go skating on Lake Louise

  • What: Lake Louise was rated as the World’s most Beautiful Skating Rink in 2014 and trust us, it definitely lives up to its reputation. Glide hand in hand with your special someone as you enjoy the tranquil views and take in the fresh mountain air. The lake is even lit during the evening so you can skate under the stars and then warm up by a cozy campfire. Skate rentals are available.
  • Where: 111 Lake Louise Drive
  • Admission: Email or call the Concierge Team for prices and ice conditions before heading up.

Northern Lights Window Exhibition

A post shared by Buds of Buds (@budsofbuds) on

  • What: Downtown Calgary shop windows will be getting a makeover this December, and it’ll be more than just a bit of paint. Using an Augmented Reality enabled app on your phone, you’ll be able to interact and experience each painted window destination, that will reflect various Christmas stories and memories of local artists. Don’t forget to vote for your favourite window through the app!
  • When: Friday, December 1 to Sunday, December 31
  • Where: In and around Calgary’s downtown core
  • Admission: Free!

Toonie Day

  • What: Ski Mt. Norquay for only $2 on December 13 – yes that is less than a cup of coffee! If you thought this deal couldn’t get any better, then think again. Not only do you ski for $2, but your money is also donated to a local charity at the end of the season. Help them beat their $20,000 total from last year!
  • When: Wednesday, December 13
  • Time: All day long
  • Where: Mt. Norquay – 1520 Banff, AB
  • Admission: $2

Rockies Run Collective

  • What: Join Lululemon every Saturday morning for a fun morning run through iconic mountain landscapes and a chance to escape the hustle and bustle of the busy town streets!
  • When: Every Saturday morning
  • Time: 9 am
  • Where: Lululemon Banff – 121 Banff Avenue, Banff
  • Admission: Free!

Spruce Meadows Run Series – Dashing Through the Glow

Christmas

Santa Shuffle (StockPhotosLV/ Shutterstock)

  • What: Dash through the dark winter wonderland in this 10 km, 5 km or 2 km run held by the Running Room and Spruce Meadows.
  • When: Friday, December 8
  • Time: 7 pm
  • Where: Equiplex Building, Spruce Meadows – 18011 Spruce Meadows Way SW
  • Cost: $55 and up

Once Upon a Christmas at Heritage Park 

  • What: Decorate gingerbread cookies, get vintage photos taken, visit the alpacas, paint snow, enjoy a wagon ride, and sing Christmas carols as you experience Christmas from years gone by. You can also find some unique Holiday treasures as you peruse The Corner Emporium, Plaza Mercantile, Antiques and Collectables, Switzer’s Grocery & Confectionery, and the Toy Shoppe.
  • When: November 25 to December 17, 22 and 23
  • Time: 9:30 am to 4 pm
  • Where: Heritage Park – 1900 Heritage Drive SW, Calgary
  • Admission:
    • General (16+) – $10.95
    • Senior (65+) – $8.75
    • Youth (7 – 15) – $6.95
    • Child (3 – 6) – $5.65
    • 2 & under – Free

Bundle up and head to Zoolights

date night

The Calgary Zoo / Facebook

  • What: Experience an authentic Calgarian love story by grabbing a cuppa hot cocoa and strolling hand-in-hand through ‘lovers lane’ and the other 1.5 million dazzling lights at the zoo this holiday season. If you get chilly, just cuddle up to one of the many fires or head into the Enmax Conservatory to check out the Mad Hatter in Wonderland.
  • When: Friday, November 24 to January 6
  • Time: 6 to 9 pm
  • Where: The Calgary Zoo – 210 St. Georges Drive NE, Calgary
  • Tickets: General (16+) $14.95, Child (3-15) – $11.95

Go out and find a Christmas tree

  • What: This usually turns into a wonderful family tradition – event though finding the perfect tree can sometimes prove to be a challenge. The amazing pine aroma that fills your home will be more than worth the struggle of getting it inside in one piece!
  • Where: Here are a few spots to check out in your search for the perfect tree

Go ice fishing

  • What: Looking for a new winter activity to try your hand at? Test the waters with ice fishing. In the city try spots like Chestemere Lake, Bearspaw reservoir, Bruce Lake Ghost Lake and MORE! If you’re looking for more of an epic adventure try out one of the many lakes up in the rockies, or book a guided tour to show you the ropes!

Kananaskis After Dark: Stargazing and Photography Tour

  • What: With an interpretive guide, take a moonlit walk through the forest and feast your eyes on the beauty of the Northern Lights and a sky full of stars, while sipping on steamy hot chocolate – it really doesn’t get much better than that. All photography levels welcome.
  • When: See the schedule here!
  • Where: Kananaskis Village Center – 1 Mt. Sparrowhawk Cresent
  • Tickets: Online, $69

Hit the Slopes

Skiing at Grouse Mountain/barkerfoto

  • What: Take advantage of the fresh POW and get some great ski days in this upcoming season. Each hill also has a variety of Christmas themed activities happening throughout the holiday season, be sure to check the websites before heading up so you don’t miss the festivities.
  • Check the websites for Sunshine, Mount Norquay Naskiska Marmot Basin and Lake Louise to check hours of operation, hill conditions, snow reports and to see which trails are open!

Go for a festive wagon ride

  • What: Cuddle up with your special someone, as you sip on hot cocoa as glide through picturesque views of the Rockies – talk about holiday romance at it’s finest.  Be sure to dress accordingly.
  • When: Every Sunday between November 19 to December 17
  • Time: Noon to 4 pm
  • Where: The wagon leaves from the parking lot of the Whyte Museum – 111 Bear Streeet, Banff
  • Admission: Free

Go Snowshoeing

  • What: Take in the crisp outdoor air and the picturesque views  as you march your way through the many trails in and around the Calgary area – plus, it’s a great workout! If your are of an inner city roamer check out Fish Creek Park Or Nose Hill for some fantastic trails close to home. If you’re interested in taking a drive out to the Rockies, Canmore, Bragg Creek and Banff all boast unreal trail paths that lead to some magical destinations. Be sure to check trail reports before heading out and dress for the weather!

Go Tobogganing 

tobogganing

  • What: This fun outdoor winter activity is one that the whole family can enjoy – no one said it was reserved for children! Bundle up and grab your sled to head to one of the many city-maintained hills for a fun, snowy adrenaline filled afternoon. Don’t forget your helmet!
  • See a list of city-maintained hills here.
See also

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Kristy Archibald
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.

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