25 things to do in Calgary this weekend: December 20 to 22

Dec 20 2019, 1:00 pm

It’s the last weekend before Christmas, and there’s lots of festive fun to be had in Calgary! Here are 25 things to do on December 20, December 21, and December 22, including The Nutcracker, The Heebee-jeebees, and more.

For more things happening around town, check out our events section.

Friday, December 20

What: Alberta Ballet presents the holiday tradition The Nutcracker with a live orchestra, a cast of more than 120 dancers, choreography by Edmund Stripe, and stunning sets and costumes designed by Emmy-award winning designer Zack Brown. Follow Clara and The Nutcracker as they encounter The Mouse King, The Sugar Plum Fairy, and more.

When: December 20 to 24, 2019
Time: Various times
Where: Southern Alberta Jubilee Auditorium – 1415 14th Avenue NW, Calgary
Tickets: Online

Tubing at Winsport’s Canada Olympic Park


WinSport’s Canada Olympic Park/Facebook

What: Acura Tube Park at Winsport’s Canada Olympic Park is described as one of the fastest of its kind in Western Canada! Tubers can also check out the food truck and enjoy the convenience of washrooms on site.

When: Fridays until Sundays starting December 20, 2019 and throughout the winter season. Special times are offered during the holidays and on long weekends.
Time: Various times
Where: WinSport’s Canada Olympic Park – Acura Tube Park – 88 Canada Olympic Road SW, Calgary
Admission Info: Online

Market Collective Holiday Markets

What: Market Collective Holiday Markets at BMO Centre features over 150 vendors, plus workshops, live music, food and beverages, and more to enjoy.

When: December 20 to 22, 2019
Time: 4 to 9 pm (Friday), 10 am to 6 pm (Saturday and Sunday)
Where: BMO Centre Hall C – 20 Roundup Way, Calgary
Admission: $6 for the weekend, children under 12 free

Lion’s Festival of Lights 2019

What: 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. This year’s festival is now 99% green, as it is created using LED bulbs connected by nearly three kilometres of power cords.

When: Now until January 8, 2020
Time: 6 pm to midnight daily
Where: Confederation Park – 14th Street NW, north of 24th Avenue, Calgary
Admission: Free

Calgary Night Market: Holiday Market 2019

What: Shop over 40 local vendors with everything you need for your holiday gifting. There will be crafts, baked goods, and bath and body items on sale, plus live entertainment and a DJ to keep the party going.

When: December 20, 2019
Time: 5 to 11 pm
Where: Eau Claire Market Centre Court — 200 Barclay Parade SW, Calgary
Admission: Free

Saturday, December 21

Christmas Family Sing-A-Long at New Horizon Mall

New Horizon Mall

What: Bring the whole family down to New Horizon Mall on December 21 for a Christmas Family Sing-A-Long with 2019 Canadian Entertainers of the Year, Dueling Piano Kings.

When: December 21, 2019
Time: 2 to 3 pm
Where: New Horizon Mall — 260300 Writing Creek Crescent, Rocky View County
Admission: Free

Granary Road Christmas Market

What: Granary Road Christmas Market’s features festive fun each weekend in December leading up to Christmas. Get your photo taken with an alpaca, enjoy holiday treats, visit Santa’s workshop for holiday activities, shop, and more.

When: December 21 and 22, 2019
Time: 9:30 am to 5 pm. Various times for activities
Where: Granary Road Market — 226066 112 Street West, Foothills No. 31
Admission: Free

Workshop Theatre Presents: The Kids Cushion Cabaret – Stocking Stuffer Stories

What: Workshop Theatre’s first ever Kids Cushion Cabaret features three different short stories for the whole family to enjoy. Attendees can also purchase a snack to eat while the performance is happening.

When: December 21 and 22, 2019
Time: 11:30 am (Saturday), 2 pm (Sunday)
Where: Haysboro Community Centre — 1204 89 Avenue SW, Calgary
Tickets: Online

Once Upon a Christmas at Heritage Park

What: The event will feature wagon rides, Christmas carols, and a visit by Mr. Claus himself at the historic village. Attendees will be able to learn about what Christmas was like back in the day as many of the homes and buildings will open their doors to the public. Shopping will be available at the gift shops at the front gates, hot drinks and snacks can be found at the Railway Cafe, Wainwright Hotel Bar Room, and the Club Cafe, and a Christmas breakfast buffet will be served each morning — for an additional cost.

When: Now until December 22, 2019
Time: 9:30 am to 4 pm
Where: Heritage Park – 1900 Heritage Dr SW, Calgary
Tickets: Online

The Nutcracker: A New Adventure

What: A new comedic adaptation of the holiday favourite by K.L. Eveleigh and J.L. Dunsdon, presented by Calgary’s Young People’s Theatre. Directed by Jamie Dunsdon.

When: December 21, 2019
Time: Various times
Where: West Village Theatre — 2007 10 Avenue SW, Calgary
Tickets: Online

Banff Gondola Mountaintop Christmas 2019

mountaintop christmas

Banff Gondola (argenel/Instagram)

What: The Banff Gondola will turn its sky-high destination into a Winter Wonderland, complete with visits from Santa, cookie decorating, star gazing, and a mulled wine bar. Kids get free admission (one per adult admission) if they take the gondola up before noon, and all the Christmassy goodness that awaits at the top is built into the price of the ticket.

When: Weekends until December 30, 2019 (daily for various events starting December 23)
Time: 10 am to 5 pm
Where: 100 Mountain Ave, Banff
Tickets: Available online, $58 for adults, $29 for children

Calgary Roughnecks vs Colorado Mammoth

What: Calgary Roughnecks take on the Colorado Mammoth in their National Lacrosse League home opener.

When: December 21, 2019
Time: 7:30 pm
Where: Scotiabank Saddledome – 555 Saddledome Rise SE, Calgary
Tickets: Online

Last Christmas

What: Lunchbox Theatre presents Neil Fleming’s Last Christmas, a comedic, modern look at the joys and challenges of the holiday season, and a reminder that family just may be the greatest gift of all.

When: December 21, 2019
Time: Various times
Where: Lunchbox Theatre – 160 115 9th Avenue SE, Calgary
Tickets: Online

Elbow River Bells

What: Enjoy holiday music by Elbow River Bells at Shawnessy Public Library.

When: December 21, 2019
Time: 1 to 2 pm
Where: Shawnessy Public Library — 333 Shawville Boulevard Southeast, Calgary
More Info: Online

Rotary Festival of the Trees

What: The Canmore Rotary Club celebrates its 10th annual Festival of the Trees. Stroll through trees, wreaths, and gingerbreads decorated by local organizations, and vote for your favourite one. There will also be other festive activities happening in order to raise funds for the many programs and services that the Rotary Club of Canmore supports.

When: Now until December 31, 2019
Time: Various times
Where: Canmore Civic Center – 902 7th Avenue, Canmore
Admission: Free

Sunday, December 22

Have Yourself a Heebee-jeebee Christmas!

What: The Heebee-jeebees perform their 26th annual holiday show at the Bella Concert Hall on December 22 and 23. Expect special guests, holiday laughs, and seasonal surprises.

When: December 22 and 23, 2019
Time: 7:30 pm
Where: Bella Concert Hall — 18 Mt Royal Cir SW, Calgary
Tickets: Online

Northern Reflections: A Winter Window Exhibition

What: Buds Collective has teamed local businesses with Calgary artists and animators for a unique and immersive art experience unlike any other. Find and enjoy six murals through the AUGLE app. Then use AUGLE to see the animation through Augmented Reality.

When: Now until December 31, 2019
Time: Various times
Where: Various locations in Calgary’s downtown core
Admission: Free



Zoolights (erikasmind/Instagram)

What: The 23rd year of Zoolights features millions of lights, new themes, classic activities, and special guests. Bundle up and check out Wizarding Wednesdays, fire pits, the Wishing Tree, ice skating, and more.

When: Now until January 4, 2020
Time: 6 to 9 pm
Where: The Calgary Zoo – 210 ST. Georges Drive NE, Calgary
Tickets: Online, General (16+) $19.95, Child (3-15) – $14.95

The Lion, The Witch & The Wardrobe

What: Alberta Theatre Projects presents C.S. Lewis’ classic tale at the Martha Cohen Theatre from now until December 29. Watch as Peter, Susan, Edmund and Lucy team up with Mr. Tumnus to save Narnia from the White Witch and set the stage for the return of Aslan the Lion.

When: Now until December 29, 2019
Time: Various times
Where: Martha Cohen Theatre — 215 8th Avenue SE, Calgary
Tickets: Online

Calgary Christmas Market

What: Calgary Christmas Market features favourite market and seasonal vendors, holiday gifts, homemade crafts and more. Attendees will also get a chance to visit with Santa, decorate cookies, have tea with Mrs. Claus, enjoy Grinchmas, and more.

When: December 22, 2019
Time: 9 am to 5 pm
Where: Calgary Farmers’ Market – 510 77 Avenue SE, Calgary
Admission: Free

Junior Claus

What: StoryBook Theatre presents Junior Claus, an all-ages story of the only son of Santa and Mrs. Claus. Junior is hesitant to take over the family business and has more faith in his inventions than in Christmas magic. But when Christmas spirit levels drop, Junior must step up to grab the reins.

When: December 22, 2019
Time: 11 am and 3 pm
Where: Vertigo Studio Theatre — 115 9 Avenue SE, Calgary
Tickets: Online

PetSmart Photos With Santa

santa photo

@adventuresofbrowndog / Instagram

What: Canadian pet parents can bring their favourite four-legged friends to PetSmart locations for free Santa photos on December 22. The annual event will be taking place at all Canadian PetSmart stores.

Pet parents can get a digital photo from PetSmart taken or take photos on their own mobile devices. From dogs, cats, guinea pigs, bunnies, lizards, and more, all pets are welcome to meet Santa and let him know what is on their holiday wish list.

When: December 22, 2019
Time: 12 to 4 pm
Where: At all Canadian PetSmart stores
Price: Free

Canmore Cave Tours Spirit in the Mountain series 2019

What: For four days this December, Canmore Cave Tours will be hosting their Spirit in the Mountain concert series, which will see various music groups performing live 100 metres underground. The venue is Rat’s Nest Cave, and over the course of four days attendees can check out performances by Calgary’s own indie-rock group The Silkstones, western Canadian music duo Trundled, Canmore native Seth Anderson, and folk-rock band Elk Run & Riot. Attendees will also enjoy the thrill of descending underground into the heart of Grotto Mountain, and spending the evening in the natural cavernous halls.

When: Now until December 23, 2019
Time: All concerts/tours start at 5 pm, with performances beginning at 8 pm.
Where: Rat’s Nest Cave – 202-129 Bow Meadows Crescent, Canmore
Tickets: Online, $149

Calgary Nativity Pageant

What: The annual Calgary Nativity Pageant tells the traditional story with live actors and animals as well as outdoor lighting and sound. Each performance is 13 minutes long and begins every 20 minutes from 7 to 9 pm.

When: Now until December 24, 2019
Time: 7 to 9 pm
Where: Marina next to Heritage Park
Admission: Free

Daniel ChaiDaniel Chai

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