47 things to do in Calgary in January

Dec 28 2018, 9:21 am

Welcome to 2019, everyone! Start the new year with our checklist of 47 things to do in January around Calgary. Polar Dip, Calgary Flames, and more.

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

See also

Holiday Lights



Zoolights at the Calgary Zoo (The Calgary Zoo)

What: Experience how 2+ million lights, 200 displays, crackling fire pits, and fun-filled activity zones (with many new additions), transform the Calgary Zoo into a magical winter wonderland.

When: Now to Saturday, January 5, 2019
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

Christmas Lights at Spruce Meadows

What: This two-kilometre drive through in Spruce Meadows is lit up so festively that it’s undeniably special for anybody to see.

When: Now to Sunday, January 6, 2018
Time: 5 to 10 pm
Where: 18011 Spruce Meadows Way SW, Calgary
Admission: Free

Lion’s Festival of Lights

What: The Lions Festival of Lights is back for their 32nd year to brighten up Calgary’s 14th Street NW with over 450,000 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 to Tuesday, January 8, 2019
Time: 6 pm to midnight daily
Where: Confederation Park – 14th Street NW, north of 24th Avenue, Calgary
Admission: Free

Nikka Yuko Winter Lights Festival

What: Throughout the months of December, January, and February, Nikka Yuko Japanese Garden comes alight with intricately places bulbs, casting a new glow on the already-astounding sights. Over 115,000 lights have been set up in a display that is sure to delight.

When: Select nights from now to February 2, 2019
Time: 6 to 9 pm
Where: Nikka Yuko Japanese Garden — Mayor Magrath Dr S, Lethbridge
Tickets: Available online, $8

Get Outside

Calgary Ice Breaker Polar Dip

Image: Calgary Icebreaker Polar Dip / Facebook

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 Mahogany Home Owner’s Beach Club.

When: Tuesday, January 1, 2019
Time: Dipping begins at 1 pm
Where: Mahogany Home Owner’s Beach Club – 29 Masters Park SE, Calgary
Register or Donate: Online

2nd Annual Outdoor Skating Party

What: Brentwood Community Association’s 2nd annual outdoor skating party features free hot chocolate and treats.
Plus the KidSport Mobile Shake Shack will be there to supply skates and helmet in various sizes.

When: Tuesday, January 1, 2019
Time: 1 to 3 pm
Where: Brentwood Community Association Outdoor Rink – 5107 33 Street NW, Calgary
Admission: Free

Ice Magic Festival Banff 2019

What: The Ice Magic Festival in Banff is like nothing you’ve ever seen before. Running 12 days long from January 16 to 27, the Ice Magic Festival hosts 10 teams of two in a competition to create the most stunningly shiny work of frozen art. The artwork will then be on display until the end of the festival on January 27, accompanied by live DJs and nighttime lighting displays. Snowshoeing, skiing, ice skating, and sleigh riding could also fill your days – while you aren’t sitting cozily by the fire, that is – as Banff is home to many great wintertime activities.

When: Wednesday, January 16 to Sunday, January 27, 2019
Time: Times vary, check schedule for details
Where: Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise – 111 Lake Louise Drive, Lake Louise
Tickets: Online, $9.99 (tickets only needed for weekend days, weekdays are free to attend)

Winter ice skating at Olympic Plaza

november 24

Skating at Olympic Plaza (danielaislas/Instagram)

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: Now to mid-March
Time: 10 am to 9 pm, Weather dependent
Where: Olympic Plaza – 228 8th Avenue SE
Admission: Free. Skates are also available for rent – $12 for adults

Brewster Banff Gondola

What: Head to the summit for an unreal view above the treetops and a birds-eye view of six different mountain ranges, while sipping on coffee or a refreshing glass of wine. Start with a walk along the Sulphur Mountain Boardwalk to learn more about Canada’s first national park, or go indoors to sample from three restaurant menus. Then get hands-on in the world-class interpretive centre and theatre.

When: Daily until April 18, 2019. Closed for maintenance January 7 to January 18, 2019
Time: Various
Where: 100 Mountain Avenue, Banff
TicketsOnline, various prices

Kananaskis After Dark: Stargazing and Photography Tour

What: Join Kananaskis’ skilled guide on a star and moonlit hike through the Kananaskis forest. In an open meadow by the river, the group will pause to relax and take in the night sky; guests are welcome to bring a camera and tripod to try out some astrophotography or to just hang out with the group, peek through the telescope and chat about astronomy.

When: Various dates
Time: Various times
Where: Kananaskis Village Center – 1 Mt. Sparrowhawk Cresent

Explore the city

Race Issues: A Comic Series Art Exhibit

What: Over the past year, artist Eman Elkadri has been working on a comic series about the experiences of racialized youth living in Canada. See 40 unique comics about microaggressions, hear from Eman about her inspiration, as well as hear from some of the youth she worked with, plus learn more about what attendees can do. Canadian Cultural Mosaic Foundation will also be launching the Race Issues publication (thanks to a partnership with ActionDignity Youth PLACE Program).

When: Thursday, January 3, 2019
Time: 6:30 to 8:30 pm
Where: The New Gallery – 208 Centre St. SE, Calgary
Tickets: Online, Free

Beers & Cameras

What: Join The Camera Store for the first Beers and Cameras meet-up of 2019. The event starts at Merchants at 6 pm, followed by a short photo walk to Marda Loop Brewing at 8 pm. Everyone is welcome.

When: Thursday, January 3, 2019
Time: 6 to 9 pm
Where: Merchant’s Restaurant – 2118 33 Avenue Southwest, Calgary; Marda Loop Brewing – 3523 18 St SW, Calgary
Tickets: Online, Free

The 2019 Motorcycle Show

Motorcycle (Jag_ca / Shutterstock)

What: A new event is occurring every day from stunting to drag racing and is perfect for those who are into motorcycles. See all of the latest products, services, and gear while touring around.

When: Friday, January 4 to Sunday, January 6, 2019
Time: Various times
Where: BMO Centre, Stampede Park – 1410 Olympic Way SE, Calgary
Tickets: Online, $13 for adults, $11 for kids (6 to 14) and $12 for seniors (over 65)

Winter CARnival in Gasoline Alley Museum

What: Enjoy the fun of winter, minus the boots, parka and mitts at Winter CARnival in Gasoline Alley Museum at Heritage Park. Enjoy all sorts of family-friendly winter-themed games, indoors, such as floor curling, snowball toss and table hockey. Make your own snow fort and explore the museum while on a Snowbizz scavenger hunt! Games and crafts for the entire family.

When: Daily from now to Sunday, January 6, 2019
Time: 10 am to 4 pm
Where: Gasoline Alley Museum – Heritage Park – 1900 Heritage Dr SW, Calgary
Admission: Regular Gasoline Alley admission rates apply.

DJD’s $5 Class Week

What: DJD’s $5 class week offer students (and potential students) a week to try out classes to make sure they are getting the right fit before registering for a class. Classes include ballet, jazz, musical theatre, bollywood, and more. Open to all levels of adult dancers beginner to advanced.

When: Monday, January 7 to Thursday, January 10, 2019
Time: Various times
Where: DJD Dance Centre – 111 12th Avenue SE, Calgary
Price: $5

Visual Arts Open Lecture: Fatimah Tuggar

What: The Visual Arts Lecture Series presents talks by leading Canadian and international artists, curators and academics. Fatimah Tuggar, guest faculty for the Digital Promises program, is the featured speaker.

When: Tuesday, January 8, 2019
Time: 4 pm
Where: Banff Centre – Jeanne and Peter Lougheed Bldg, 204 – 107 Tunnel Mountain Dr, Banff
Register: Online, Free

Drawn to Nature at the Banff Public Library

What: Participants of all ages and levels of experience are invited to sketch and draw at Banff Centre’s free ongoing beginner-level drawing workshops. Join esteemed Teaching Artist in Residence Janice Tanton to explore different materials and techniques for mark making in this facilitated class. All classes encourage artistic exploration and conversation about the ways in which we interact with the cultural and geological landscapes of Banff National Park. The drawings and sketches produced from these sessions are invited to display in a Community Exhibition at the end of the year.

When: Wednesday, January 9, 2019
Time: 5:30 pm
Where: Banff Public Library – 101 Bear St, Banff
Register: Online, Free

The Hangover – HUMPDay HOUSE Party

What: A night of House music at Habitat Living Sound with OH FUNK and featuring Prairie Chola Ayatollah and Dj Dramatik. Hosted by J9Productions.

When: Every Wednesday night
Time: 9 pm to 2:15 am
Where: Habitat Living Sound – 1217 1st Street SW, Calgary
Admission: Free

Calgary Renovation Show

Home renovation/Shutterstock

What: Looking to do a few upgrades around your home? The Calgary renovation show is the perfect place to get inspiration, learn 2019’s hottest interior trends, find the perfect products and learn how to do your renovations the right way. Plus head to the MainStage for appearances by Bryan Baeumler of HGTV Canada, Jamie Banfield of Jamie Banfield Design, and more.

When: Friday January 11 to Sunday, January 13, 2019
Time: Various times
Where: BMO Centre – 20 Roundup Way SE, Calgary
Tickets: Online, $5-$9

The Bash

What: The Bash showcases some of the most innovative, and trend-setting wedding creatives you can find in Calgary.

When: January 19 and 20, 2019
Time: 6 pm (Saturday), 11 am (Sunday)
Where: Hudson 6th Floor – 200 8 Avenue SW, Calgary
TicketsOnline, $30

Banff Musicians in Residence Open Concert Featuring Brendan Canning

What: Join Brendan Canning and participants from theBanff Musicians In Residence program for an evening of musical exploration.

When: Friday, January 25, 2019
Time: 7:30 pm
Where: The Club at The Banff Centre – St Julien Way, Banff
TicketsOnline, free

Adults Only Night at Telus Spark


Photo: Telus Spark / Facebook

What: Free reign in our galleries, a fully licensed bar, dance jams and even riskier science. With no children around, Telus Spark brings out more involved challenges, invite innovative collaborators from the community and turn up the excitement.

When: The second Thursday of every month
Time: 6 to 10 pm
Where: Telus Spark – 220 St. George’s Drive NE, Calgary
TicketsOnline, $26

Eat fresh at Farmers’ Markets

Calgary Farmers’ Market

What: Explore over 80 vendors supplying customers with fresh local produce, meat, poultry, international food, organic goods, jewelry, art and more. Whether it’s the arrival of fresh produce or fun events, there’s always something happening at the Market.

When: Reopening January 3, 2019. Open year round from Thursday to Sunday
Time: 9 am to 5 pm
Address: 510 77 Avenue SE
Admission: Free

Hillhurst Sunnyside Farmers’ Market

What: Grab your weekly haul of delicious produce, eggs, baked goods, meats, preserves, florals, and more, all grown and produced on farms right here in Alberta. You can enjoy live entertainment and other fun activities happening at this quaint community farmers’ market. The market will go on rain or shine, so come prepared.

When: Every Wednesday
Time: 3 to 7 pm
Where: 1320 5th Avenue NW, Calgary
Admission: Free

Sunalta Community Mobile Food Market

What: The Community Mobile Food Market is bringing budget-friendly fruits, vegetables, and other produce to Sunalta on a weekly basis. Come hang out, pick up some groceries, and talk with their team. Everyone welcome, and please bring your own reusable bags.

When: Every Wednesday
Time: 4 to 6 pm
Where: Sunalta Community Association – 1627 10 Ave SW, Calgary
Admission: Free

Crossroads Market

What: Enjoy farm-fresh produce and tasty treats plus lost of unique finds from the large variety of vendors.

When: Fridays to Sundays
Time: 9 am to 5 pm
Where: Crossroads Market – 1235 26 Ave SE, Calgary
Admission: Free

The Mercantile at Symons Valley Ranch

What: The Mercantile at Symons Valley Ranch features over 35 vendors under one roof over one counter. Crafts, food vendors, and more.

When: Fridays to Sundays
Time: 10 am to 6 pm (Fridays), 10 am to 5 pm (Saturday to Sunday)
Where: Symons Valley Ranch – 14555 Symons Valley Road
Admission: Free

Explore Art and Culture

Salute to Vienna: New Year’s Concert

What: Usher in the New Year with a glittery celebration of singing and dancing that will delight the senses. Salute to Vienna New Year’s Concert recreates the beauty of Vienna’s golden era and its elegance charms audiences of every age. A 22-year Calgary tradition, this year’s concert will feature a brilliant new program of Strauss waltzes and sweeping melodies from beloved operettas performed by acclaimed European singers, champion ballroom dancers, ballet, and the Strauss Symphony of Canada featuring Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra.

When: Tuesday, January 1, 2019
Time: 2:30 pm
Where: Jack Singer Concert Hall – 205 8 Ave SE, Calgary
Tickets: Online

Deep Freeze: a Byzantine Winter Festival

What: The 12th annual Deep Freeze: A Byzantine Winter Festival features artistic panache and authentic cultural and heritage winter games and fun. This year, Saturday will be Ukrainian Cultural Day and Sunday will be Francophone Cultural Day, with Indigenous performances all weekend long. After the fireworks on Saturday evening, several Festival Stages will feature special world music performances until 10 pm.

When: Saturday, January 12 to Sunday, January 13, 2019
Time: 12 to 10 pm (Saturday), 12 to 6 pm (Sunday)
Where: Alberta Avenue – 118 Avenue NW & 91 Street, Edmonton, Alberta
Admission: Free, donations accepted

Library Screening Series – Destiny at New Central Library

What: Calgary Cinematheque presents Library Screening Series, a screening of the film along with a short lecture and guided discussion of its cultural and artistic significance. Destiny by Egyptian director Youssef Chahine tells a story of political intrigue and sectarian tensions revolving around 12th century Arab Andalusian philosopher Averröes.

When: Sunday, January 13, 2019
Time: 2 to 5 pm
Where: New Central Library — 800 3rd Street SE, Calgary
Tickets: Online, Free

Free First Thursday

january 3

Glenbow Museum / Facebook

What: Explore the Glenbow Museum at your leisure for FREE on the first Thursday of every month.

When: The first Thursday of every month
Time: 5 pm to close
Where: Glenbow Museum – 130 9th Avenue SE
Admission: Free

High Performance Rodeo

What: The High Performance Rodeo, Calgary’s International Festival of the Arts, is an annual festival that animates the city in January with an array of live performances from around the world. Featuring theatre, music, dance, and multidisciplinary art, ‘The Rodeo’ is a showcase of the best in contemporary performance.

When: January 9 to 27, 2019
Time: Various times
Where: Various venues
Tickets: Online

Esker Foundation

What: Esker Foundation connects the public to contemporary art through relevant, accessible, and educational exhibitions, programs, and publications. The gallery reflects on current developments in local, regional, and international culture; creates opportunities for public dialogue; and supports the production of groundbreaking new work, ideas, and research. Admission is free. The gallery is barrier-free.

When: Open Tuesdays to Sundays. Closed Mondays
Time: Various times
Where: Esker Foundation – 4th Floor – 1011 9th Ave SE, Calgary
Admission: Free

Silver Springs 13th Annual LEGO Competition

What: View LEGO at its best made from people in the Silver Springs community ages two to 102. For those who love LEGO, why not join in the LEGO Completion. Space is limited so get your entry in early.

When: Saturday, January 26, 2019
Time: Public viewing from 12 to 2 pm
Where: 5720 Silver Ridge Drive NW
Price: $5 entry fee to build (register online), free entry for public viewing

Dirty Laundry: Oil Money

What: Dirty Laundry, Calgary’s only completely live, completely improvised soap opera presents their 19th season – Oil Money. It’s 1978 in Calgary, Alberta. There’s plenty of oil and plenty of money. The story centers around two feuding families who run two competing oil companies. Who’s heart will break? Who’s deal will bust? Will Calgary ever get the Olympics? Head to the show to find out.

When: Every Monday until April 15, 2019
Time: 7:30 pm
Where: Lunchbox Theatre – 160 – 115 9 Avenue SE, Calgary
Tickets: Online, $10-$16

Dierks Bentley


Dierks Bentley/Live Nation

What: Country star Dierks Bently is coming to Calgary this January for his Burning Man Tour. Along with him on tour will be special guests Jon Pardi, Tenille Towns, and Hot Country Knights.

When: Saturday, January 26, 2019
Time: 7 pm
Where: Scotiabank Saddledome – 555 Saddledome Rise SE, Calgary
Tickets: Online

Bon Appetit

The Schwarz’en’Egger Brunch & A Movie

What: Enjoy a hangover-busting Brunch at Original Joes Kensington anytime between 1 pm and 3 pm, then, get to tha choppa and enjoy Total Recall (1990) at The Plaza Theatre at 3 pm.

When: Tuesday, January 1, 2019
Time: 1 to 5 pm
Where: Original Joes Kensington, The Plaza Theatre
Tickets: Online, $20.19 for brunch and movie, $10 for just the movie

Roasterie Tour – Phil & Sebastian Coffee Roasters

What: This 20-minute tour gives attendees a look at Phil & Sebastian’s vintage retro-fitted roaster and operations, plus learn about their green coffee sourcing strategies.

When: Wednesday, January 2, 2019
Time: 12:15 to 12:35 pm
Where: Phil & Sebastian Coffee Roasters – 618 Confluence Way Southeast, Calgary
Tickets: Online, Free

Delicious Thai ~ A Vegan Cooking Class

What: Learn great Thai recipes, make them from scratch, and of course taste them. Menu includes curry paste from scratch, green papaya salad (Som Tum), creamy peanut Pad Thai, fresh salad rolls with peanut sauce, coconut lime rice, wholesome green curry, and Thai iced tea.

When: Wednesday, January 2, 2019
Time: 6 to 8:30 pm
Where: Roni’s Kitchen – 1502 27 Ave SW, Calgary
TicketsOnline, $66

Cocktail Classes

october 1

Cocktail hour. (Shutterstock)

What: Interested in upping your cocktail game? Learn the ropes from the experts at Shelter. You’ll learn everything from the comprehensive history of cocktail culture, mixology origins dating back in the 1800s and the resurgence of a craft beverage in the early 2000s. The class includes three cocktails, complimentary bar snacks, muddling, stirring, shaking, and smoking techniques. You’ll also receive your very own cocktail survival guide. Attendees must be 18+.

When: The first Tuesday of each month
Time: 5:30 and 8:30 pm
Where: Shelter – 1210 1st Street SE
Tickets: Online, $65 per person

Sunday Brunch and Market Tour

What: Join the Calgary Farmers’ Market and Calgary Food Tours as they bring to you a very special Sunday brunch. Enjoy 16 bites and treats as various Alberta ranchers explain what it takes to bring their products to the market. Sample their produce and leave feeling inspired to fill your shopping bag with fresh goodies.

When: Every Sunday
Time: 10:30 am
Where: 510, 77 Street SE – off Blackfoot Trail and close to Heritage Drive SE
TicketsOnline, $55

Healthy Entertaining Series – Mexican Theme

What: Community Natural Foods’ Healthy Entertaining Series begins with a Mexican theme. Join Chef Shane Rutledge as he demonstrates how to cook a fabulously healthy Mexican themed dinner complete with samples and recipes including both vegan and gluten-free options.

When: Wednesday, January 23, 2019
Time: 7 to 8:30 pm
Where: Community Natural Foods – 1304 10 Avenue Southwest, Calgary
Tickets: Online, Free

Cheer on the home teams

Calgary Flames


Image: Calgary Flames / Twitter

What: The Flames continue their NHL season with January home games versus the Colorado Avalanche (January 9), Detroit Red Wings (January 18), Carolina Hurricanes (January 22) and more

When: January 9, 11, 13, 16, 18 and 22, 2019
Time: Various times
Where: Scotiabank Saddledome – 555 Saddledome Rise SE
Tickets: Online

Calgary Hitmen

What: The Hitmen bring WHL action to the Saddledome throughout January, with home games against Victoria Royals (January 1), Medicine Hat Tigers (January 5), Red Deer Rebels (January 20), and more.

When: January 1, 4, 5, 20, 25, and 27, 2019
Time: Various times
Where: Scotiabank Saddledome – 555 Saddledome Rise SE
Tickets: Online

Calgary Roughnecks vs New England Black Wolves

What: The Calgary Roughnecks take on the New England Black Wolves in National Lacross League action at Scotiabank Saddledome.

When: Saturday, January 12, 2019
Time: 7 pm
Where: Scotiabank Saddledome – 555 Saddledome Rise SE
Tickets: Online

Rose Bowls 35th Annual Rose Bowl Synchronized Skating

What: Watch an intense competition in synchronized skating at the Max Bell Centre.

When: Saturday, January 12 to Sunday, January 13, 2019
Time: Various times
Where: Max Bell Centre, Arena 1  – 1001 Barlow Trail SE, Calgary
More Info: Online

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