21 things to do in Calgary this weekend: December 1 to 3

Dec 1 2017, 1:18 am

The weekend is here, and with it comes December in all of its glory!

Spend the first few days of the month enjoying the best days of the week at any of these great Calgary events.

Friday, December 1

The Polar Express Train Ride

  • What: Hop on the train and journey to the North Pole, complete with hot cocoa, cookies, and dancing waiters.
  • Where: Box 30, Mossleigh (1 km west of Mossleigh, AB on Highway #24)
  • When: December 1 to 24, 2017. Select dates and times, check website for details.
  • Tickets: Available online, $60 – $82.50 per guest (sold in sets of 2 or 4)

The 31 Annual High River Santa Claus Parade


Santa Claus/Shutterstock

  • What: A town favourite, this annual event returns to celebrate 150 years of Canadian Christmas. Be sure to not miss George Lane Park light up, performances on the Calgary Stampede Stage, carolling, hot chocolate, and other family-friendly activities.
  • When: Friday, December 1
  • Time: 6:30 pm
  • Where: High River, Alberta
  • Admission: Free!

Northern Lights Window Exhibition

  • 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!

Market Collective Holiday Series 

  • What: Market Collective is back for another year of holiday market cheer for three weekends in a row. Come shop your favourite local makers, artisans, and vendors, and make a point to shop local this holiday season. #locallove
  • When: December 1 to 3
  • Time:
    • Friday: 4 to 9 pm
    • Saturday: 10 am to 6 pm
    • Sunday: 10 am to 6 pm
  • Where: The Yellow Warehouse – 1390 17 Avenue SE
  • Cost: $5

Curated. Holiday Market

  • What: Shop over 85 different vendors for four weekends leading up to the Christmas season. Come get your photo with Santa, while enjoying live entertainment, childrens workshops and more!
  • When: December 1 to 3
  • Time:
    • Friday: 10 am to 9 pm
    • Saturday: 10 am to 6 pm
    • Sunday: 11 am to 5 pm
  • Time: Hours vary, check the schedule
  • Where: Deerfoot City – 901 64th Avenue NE
  • Tickets:$4 at the door

Spruce Meadows International Christmas Market

  • What: With over 300+ vendors, Spruce Meadows evokes a magical world of Christmas at Reindeer Alley, Candy Cane Lane, Founders Plaza, Twin Peaks, and so many more!
  • When: December 1 to  3
  • Time:
    • Friday: 10 am – 8 pm
    • Saturday: 10 am – 7 pm
    • Sunday: 10 am – 5 pm
  • Where: 18011 Spruce Meadows Way SW
  • TicketsOnline, $12 (save $2 when you buy online)

Saturday, December 2

Catch a holiday flick

  • What: Put a twist on the traditional go-to “dinner and a movie.” Grab a seasonal, candlelit dinner at one of the many delicious eateries in Calgary’s downtown core and then head to the theatre for some good old-fashioned holiday feels. The classics will never get old!
  • WhereThe Plaza Theatre – 1133 Kensington Road NW
  • When: Saturday, December 2 – Love Actually
  • Time: 3:30 pm
  • Admission: By donation

Lion’s Festival of Lights

  • What: This festival of lights is the largest drive-by Christmas lights event in Calgary (and it’s free!). With over 300,000 lights and opening fireworks to start the celebration, this is a light show you won’t want to miss.
  • When: Saturday, December 2 to Monday, January 8
  • Time: Opening day 5 pm, then 6 pm to midnight daily
  • Where: Confederation Park – 14th Street NW, north of 24th Avenue, Calgary
  • Admission: Free!

Watch the the Calgary Flames Play Edmonton


Image: Calgary Flames / Twitter

  • What: Clear eyes, full hearts, can’t lose! The Oilers don’t have a good record so far this season, so it should be an easy win for our boys, right? #GoFlamesGo
  • When: Saturday, December 2
  • Time: 8 pm
  • Where: 555 Saddledome Rise SE, Calgary
  • TicketsTicketmaster, $67+

Shop Luxury Consignment at Fond Boutique

  • What: Fond Boutique has recently settled into their new home in the always trendy Loft by Amanda Hamilton. Come grab a new look for the holidays and peruse through all of the beautiful items for both your home and life.
  • When: Saturdays
  • Time: Noon to 4 pm
  • Where: The Loft – 1122 3 Street SE (The Guardian Tower North, Tower 1)

Santa Shuffle – Fun Run and Elf Walk 

  • What: Grab the whole family and participate in this fun holiday-themed run/walk to support the Salvation Army in their fight against poverty.
  • When: Saturday, December 2
  • Time: 10 am
  • Where:  Eau Claire Market – 200 Barclay Parade SW
  • RegisterOnline, $70-$225

Sunday, December 3

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

Festive Wagon Rides

  • What: Spend the afternoon sipping on a mug of hot cocoa as you tour around Banff in a snowy wagon ride with Banff Trail Riders. 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 St, Banff
  • Admission: Free!

Any day of the week

Canadian Maple Shack: Make your own Maple Taffy

  • What: Eating maple taffy on snow is a Canadian culinary tradition and you can pour your own tire sur la neige at the Calgary Christmas Market!
  • When: Thursday to Sunday from November 16 to December 23 with the exception of November 23 to 26
  • Time: 10 am to 3 pm
  • Where: Calgary Farmers Market – 510 77th Avenue SE, Calgary
  • Admission: Free



Calgary Zoo

  • What:  The Zoolights at the Calgary Zoo never fail to amaze. Each year, this unforgettable winter tradition of fun activities and stunning lights warms the hearts of many. See the Calgary Zoo light up for seven weeks straight and help celebrate the 20th anniversary of everyone’s favourite holiday experience.
  • 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

A Christmas Carol

  • What: It’s not the Christmas season without Scrooge and this annual production of Dickens’ classic tale.
  • When: Thursday, November 23 to December 24
  • Time: 7:30 pm or 2 pm
  • Where: Theatre Calgary – 220 9 Avenue SE
  • TicketsOnline, $71-$135

Go on a holiday date night

  • What: Plan the perfect date night for that special someone by checking out our list of 16 different places in Calgary to go to get into the Christmas spirit!

Winter ice skating at Olympic Plaza

  • What: Skate amidst 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!

Hit the Slopes


Lukas Gojda / Shutterstock

  • What: Getting snow early this year means that our mountainous backyard is waiting for us with a fluffy layer of the white stuff, perfect for winter sports and activities. Take advantage and get some shredding in during this great pre-season, or take your snowshoes for an adventure around one of the many picturesque lakes that the Rockies have to offer. 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 SunshineMount Norquay and Lake Louise to check hours of operation and see which trails are open!

Try Ollia’s new “Holiday Collection”

  • What: There is nothing better than biting into a Candy Cane, Turtles, Mulled Cranberry, Tiramisu, or Eggnog flavoured macaron during the Holiday season.
  • Where: Ollia Macaron and Tea – 810C 16 Avenue SW

Experience Christmas from years gone by

  • What: Go back in time for a more traditional form of Christmas from years ago. Tap into your inner child and decorate gingerbread cookies, get vintage photos taken, visit the alpaca’s, paint snow, enjoy a wagon ride, and even sing along to some Christmas carols. 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 to add to your gifts that will simply remind you of the fun day you spent together.
  • When: November 25 to December 17, 22 and 23
  • Time: 9:30 am – 4 pm
  • Where: Heritage Park – 1900 Heritage Drive SW, Calgary
  • Admission: General (16+) $10.95
DH Calgary StaffDH Calgary Staff

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