20 things to do in Calgary this week: December 23 to 26

Dec 23 2019, 1:00 pm

Christmas week has arrived! Stay merry and bright with these 20 things to do in Calgary from December 23 to December 26, including The Nutcracker, Holly Jolly Christmas Caper, and more!

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

Monday, December 23

Winter ice skating at Olympic Plaza

What: Built in 1988 for the Olympic Winter Games, Olympic Plaza has the only refrigerated outdoor ice surface in the city. You can rent skates down at the plaza if you don’t have a pair of your own. Helmets are strongly encouraged.

When: Open daily until mid-March (check status)
Time: 6 am to 11 pm
Where: Olympic Plaza – 228 8th Avenue SE, Calgary
Admission: Free. Skates are also available to rent

Canmore Cave Tours Spirit in the Mountain series 2019


Rats Nest Cave/Canmore Cave Tours

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: 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

The Eve of Christmas Eve: A Springs Christmas Spectacular

What: Springs Church presents a family variety show with music, comedy, drama and more to celebrate the spirit of Christmas

When: December 23, 2019
Time: 7 pm
Where: Jack Singer Concert Hall — 225 8 Avenue SE, Calgary
Tickets: Online

Open Mic Night at Crafted Burgers & Beer

What: Crafted Burgers & Beer welcome musicians, comedians, and singers every Monday for an open mic night.

When: December 23 and 30, 2019
Time: 7 to 10 pm
Where: Crafted Burgers & Beer — 3975 17 Avenue SW, Calgary
Admission: Free

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

Tuesday, December 24

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

Aspen Crossing Polar Express 2019

december 18

Polar Express (Aspen Crossing/Facebook)

What: Hop on the train and journey to the North Pole, complete with hot cocoa, cookies, and dancing waiters. As the journey begins, passengers will be entertained by a reading of The Polar Express. Once you get to the North Pole, you’ll be greeted by Santa himself. From carolling to holiday entertainment, the Polar Express is a magical holiday experience for the whole family.

When: Various dates until December 24
Time: Various times
Where: Box 30, Mossleigh (1 km west of Mossleigh, AB on Highway #24)
Tickets: Available online, $75 per guest (sold in sets of two or four)

Noël Christmas Festival

What: Noël Christmas is a month-long festival filled with live music, shopping, visits with Santa, and nearly one million lights. A perfect holiday outing for the whole family.

When: Now until December 24, 2019
Time: Various times
Where: Nutrien Western Event Centre — Stampede Trail SE, Calgary
Tickets: Online

Miracle on 1st Street YYC

Miracle on 1st Street YYC


What: Proof, located at 1302 1 Street SW, will be offering its annual pop-up holiday cocktail bar, Miracle on 1st Street YYC, until Christmas Eve. The annual event will be serving up “merriment and Christmas themed cocktails and food in an over-the-top Christmas extravaganza.

When: Now until December 24, 2019
Time: 2 pm to 1 am
Where: Proof – 1302 1 Street SW, Calgary
More Info: Online

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

Wednesday, December 25

Airdrie Festival of Lights

(Airdrie Festival of Lights)

(Airdrie Festival of Lights)

What: The annual Airdrie Festival of Lights in Nose Creek Park features miniature train rides, children’s activities, live entertainment, and more. The festival is run by volunteers, with entry by donation. Donations are used for general maintenance and upkeep of displays and attractions, and portions of the proceeds go to support local non-profits and youth groups.

When: Now until December 31, 2019
Time: 6 to 9 pm
Where: Nose Creek Park – 1701 Main Street S, Airdrie
Admission: By cash donation (suggested contribution is $10–$20 per family, and $1–$5 per person on a bus). Parking is free

Gratitude Christmas Day Yoga

What: Naomi Keane leads a gratitude-filled yoga flow practice at Oranj Fitness Kensington on Christmas Day. Admission by donation.

When: December 25, 2019
Time: 10:30 to 11:30 am
Where: Oranj Fitness Kensington — 1217 Kensington Road NW, Calgary
Admission: By Donation

Christmas Day Buffet at Flower & Wolf

What: Flower & Wolf at Sheraton Suites Calgary Eau Claire hosts a Christmas Day buffet with seasonal dining favourites and more to enjoy.

When: December 25, 2019
Time: 4 to 8 pm
Where: Flower & Wolf – Sheraton Suites Calgary Eau Claire — 255 Barclay Parade SW, Calgary
Price: Adults – $95, children under 12 – $47.50

A Very (Merry!) Broken Christmas

What: Broken City hosts its first-ever orphan’s Christmas with drink specials, snacks, and Christmas movies throughout the night. Ages 18+.

When: December 25, 2019
Time: 6 pm to 2 am
Where: Broken City — 613 11 Avenue SW, Calgary
Admission: 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

Thursday, December 26

The Holly Jolly Christmas Caper 2019

lougheed house

Lougheed House (edwardross/Instagram)

What: Calgary’s Lougheed House will be taken over by Escape Capers YYC from December 26 to 30, allowing Calgarians the chance to test their wits against the puzzles, brain-teasers, and riddles that bar their freedom.

Taking a regular escape room up quite a few notches, the Holly Jolly Christmas Caper will include teams of two to nine people working their way through the house and solving clues as they go.

When: Now until December 30, 2019
Time: Multiple times available for booking
Where: The Lougheed House — 707 13th Avenue SW, Calgary
Tickets: $50 to $55, booking available online

Nikka Yuko Winter Lights Festival

What: Nikka Yuko Japanese Garden comes alight with intricately places bulbs in the fourth annual Winter Lights Festival. Note that Nikka Yuko closes when the weather drops below -25°.

When: December 26 to December 31, 2019, Every Friday and Saturday from January 3 until January 31, 2020
Time: 6 to 9 pm
Where: Nikka Yuko Japanese Garden — 9 Avenue S & Mayor Magrath Drive, Lethbridge
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

A Christmas Carol

What: Theatre Calgary’s brand-new adaptation of the classic Dickens Christmas story A Christmas Carol, where Ebenezer Scrooge is paid a visit from the spirits of Christmas Past, Present, and Future on Christmas Eve, and is forced to finally confront how his bad behaviour and attitude have affected others.

When: Now until December 28, 2019
Time: Various times
Where: Max Bell Theatre, Arts Commons
Tickets: Online

Tubing at Winsport’s Canada Olympic Park

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 on-site washrooms.

When: Various dates
Time: Various times
Where: WinSport’s Canada Olympic Park – Acura Tube Park – 88 Canada Olympic Road SW
Admission Info: Online

Daniel ChaiDaniel Chai

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