9 Instagrammable holiday spots to visit in Calgary this year (PHOTOS)

Dec 5 2019, 11:53 pm

It’s the most wonderful time of the year in Calgary, and what better time to brighten up your Instagram than when the city is lit up for the holidays?

If you’re looking to get out into the city, spend quality time with your loved ones, and take pictures to document winter’s precious moments, we’ve got just the list of spots for you.

With no shortage of holiday decor, lights, markets, and festive cheer, these spaces around YYC will bring the spirit of the holiday season to your ‘gram in no time.

Here are some of the best spots to take pictures around the city this winter:

The Calgary Zoo


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Since November the zoo has been playing host to over two million dazzling lights as part of this year’s ZooLights display, and many Calgarians have already visited to take part in the festivities.

Every evening from 6 to 9 pm, the lights turn on and the zoo is transformed into a winter wonderland, complete with a skating rink, a 16-foot Christmas tree, and a toasty fire pit — among many other amazing attractions.

Stephen Avenue


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Stephen Avenue has gotten an extremely festive makeover for the season, with lights strung up and magic in the air, this street makes for the perfect holiday backdrop — especially right after a fresh falling of snow!

Lions Festival of Lights


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This year, the Lions Festival of Lights is back for their 33rd year to brighten up Calgary’s 14th Street NW with over 500,000 shining lights.

The display is put together by volunteers who spend thousands of hours creating the shining assortment of Christmas figures and decked-out trees — and is definitely a go to spot for that guaranteed ‘gram.

Chinook Centre


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Calgary’s largest mall flipped the switch to illuminate their four-storey-tall Christmas tree on November 15, and the place has been a hotspot for shoppers and Instagrammers alike ever since.

Alongside the humongous Christmas tree is a variety of decorations that make for a perfectly festive backdrop, including lit-up reindeer, a huge polar bear, and a place to visit the jolly man himself.

Heritage Park’s Once Upon a Christmas


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Once Upon a Christmas at Heritage Park features wagon rides, Christmas carols, and a visit by Mr. Claus himself at the historical village, and attendees will be able to learn what Christmas was like back in the day as many of the homes and buildings open their doors to the public.

New to the event for 2019 is a 1950s Storybook Christmas experience, with classic stories, interactive crafts, and visits from holiday characters from the 1950s and 1960s — meaning there are plenty of Instagram-worthy sights to see and snap!

Banff Gondola Mountaintop Christmas


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Okay, this one’s not actually in Calgary, but we couldn’t help but include it.

Banff is always a ‘gram staple, but especially when you head up to the top of the mountain for some seriously festive events!

From mid-November until the end of December, Banff Gondola turns its sky-high destination into a Winter Wonderland, complete with visits from Santa, cookie decorating, star gazing, and a mulled wine bar.

Olympic Plaza


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Definitely a staple when it comes to wintertime activities here in YYC, the Olympic Plaza skating rink is open from 10 am to 9 pm, depending on the weather, and skates can be rented for $12, while the use of the ice is free to all comers.

Honestly, you don’t even need to get on the ice to snap a quick pic at this iconic Calgary spot — but it’s a lot more fun if you do!

Winsport’s Canada Olympic Park


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Head over to Canada Olympic Park for some classic wintertime activities (skiing, snowboarding, tubing) without ever having to even leave the city.

The vantage from the top of the hill is stunning, as is that Olympic podium pic.

New Horizon Mall


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New Horizon Mall is hosting a wide variety of holiday events this December, with everything from a pet Christmas costume contest to a holiday pop-up roller rink.

Whatever event you end up attending, be sure to snap a pic of all the festive fun!

With files from Rumneek Johal.

DH Calgary StaffDH Calgary Staff

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