20 things to do in Calgary this weekend: December 22 to 24

Dec 21 2017, 8:49 pm

Christmas is right around the corner, but not before a weekend full of awesome things to check out!

Hopefully you’ve gotten all your present shopping done beforehand so you’ll have time to attend these great events – if not… then good luck out there at the mall, you brave, brave souls.

Friday, December 22

Mountain Top Christmas

  • What: Nothing is more magical than celebrating Christmas in a wonderland of snow on the top of a mountain. Help out at Santa’s workshop, experience the Elf Interactive Centre, write Santa a letter, participate in a Christmas Treasure Hunt, stargaze with astronomers, watch Disney’s ‘Prep and Landing’ Christmas short film, and so much more. It’s truly a magical wonderland that the whole family can enjoy.
  • When: November 18 to January 7 (Varies per event)
  • Time: Varies per event
  • Where: 100 Mountain Avenue, Banff
  • TicketsOnline, Adult – $62, Child – $31

Holiday Movie Special at Buttermilk Fine Waffles


Love actually poster

  • What: It isn’t truly the Holidays without a dose of Buddy the Elf and the heart-warming Christmas romance of ‘Love Actually.’ Grab a waffle and a beer from Annex Ale Project beer and enjoy unlimited popcorn as you watch back-to-back viewings of these two holiday classics.
  • When: Friday, December 22
  • Time: 6 to 11 pm
  • Where: Buttermilk Fine Waffles – 330 17th Avenue SW
  • Admission: FREE

The Dudes Annual Christmas Special

  • What: Join local Calgary rock band, The Dudes, for a unique holiday celebration that will have you out of your seats, dancing, clapping, and laughing all night long! This is an 18+ event – a valid piece of government issued ID is required at the door.
  • When: Friday, December 22
  • Time: 9 pm
  • Where: The Palace Theatre – 219 8th Avenue SW
  • TicketsOnline, $20

Granary Road Christmas Market 

  • What: Calgary’s newest market has a whole lot of festive fun planned for this holiday season. Get your photo taken with an alpaca wearing a festive scarf, enjoy delish holiday treats, let Santa and Mrs. Claus know what is on your Christmas list, sit back and enjoy a sleigh ride, and so much more!
  • When: Every Friday to Sunday until December 23
  • Time: 9:30 am to 5:30 pm
  • Where: Granary Road – 226034 112nd Street W
  • Admission: FREE

Calgary Christmas Market – One the Table, Under the Tree

  • What: Indulge in local treats, shop for unique holiday gems, and enjoy the seasonal ambiance of the Calgary Farmers Market as they continue their annual holiday tradition.
  • When: November 16 to December 23
  • Time: Thursday to Sunday, 9 am to 5 pm
  • Where: The Calgary Farmers Market – 510 77th Avenue SW
  • Admission: Free

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 alpacas, 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.
  • 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
    • Senior (65+) – $8.75
    • Youth (7 – 15) – $6.95
    • Child (3 – 6) – $5.65
    • 2 & under – Free

Watch the Calgary Flames Play the Montreal Canadiens

  • What: Cheer on the Flames in a sea of red!
  • Where: Scotiabank Saddledome – 555 Saddledome Rise SE, Calgary
  • When: Friday, December 22 vs Montreal
  • Time: 7 pm
  • TicketsTicketmaster, $73  to $355

Saturday, December 23

Ski with Santa


Skiing with Santa (Zandyz/Shutterstock)

  • What: Head down the mountain and try not to hit Santa or Mrs. Claus – that’s one way to stay off their naughty list.
  • When: Saturday, December 23
  • Time: All Day
  • Where: Lake Louise Ski Resort – 1 Whitehorn Road
  • Admission: RFUll day – $104, half day – $84

Greater Goods Month Long Pop-Ups

  • What: Come sip on a Lavender Earl Grey Tea Latte while shopping some of the beautiful concrete gems created by the husband and wife duo behind Co|Create Co. – only during the month of December.
  • Where: 606 Meredith Road NE, Calgary
  • When: December 2 and 3: Tribes + Society (11 am – 5 pm)
    ​December 9: Inspired Findings (11 am – 5 pm / 6 – 9 pm)
    ​December 16: Prairie Bazaar (11 am – 5 pm)
    ​December 23: Pretty Sweet (11 am – 5 pm)
  • Admission: Free

Happy Chicken Dinner at The Nash + Notable

  • What: Enjoy an impromptu Christmas Dinner, without having to go to the hassle of cooking it yourself. Both The Nash and Notable Restaurant are offering a Happy Chicken Dinner to-go, which includes a wood roasted whole chicken, veggies, and all the fixings!
  • Where: The Nash – 925 11 Street SE

Christmas in Kensington 

  • What: Every Saturday until Christmas, enjoy complimentary coffee and hot chocolate, selfies with Santa, horse and wagon rides, a petting zoo, and four of your favourite Christmas classics up on the silver screen. The best part – it’s FREE!
  • When: Saturday, December 23 – Die Hard
  • Time: 3:30 pm
  • WhereThe Plaza Theatre – 1133 Kensington Road NW
  • Admission: By donation

The Santaland Diaries 

  • What: Based on David Desaris’ book chronicling his hilarious experience working as an elf at Macy’s, this one-man show is a Christmas comedy that will speak to the humbug in all of us.
  • When: November 2 to December 23
  • Time:
    • Monday to Saturday, 12 pm
    • Thursday to Friday, 6 pm
  • TicketsOnline, $155

Go Tubing at Canada Olympic Park


Snow tubing (Parilov / Shutterstock)

  • What: Calgary’s only tube park is the largest of its kind in Western Canada and now boasts 12 lanes, a four person tube option, and a dedicated magic carpet. A village including a food trailer, a deck with heaters, a fire pit, and washrooms have also been added for the 2017 season.
  • When: During the winter season
  • WhereWinSport’s Canada Olympic Park, The Acura Tube Park – 88 Canada Olympic Road SW
  • Admission: Tickets cost $28 for an adult to slide for two hours, and senior, youth, and family discounts are available.

Sunday, December 24

Hit the Slopes

  • What: Take advantage of the fresh POW and get some great ski days in this upcoming season. 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 Naskiska Marmot Basin and Lake Louiseto check hours of operation, hill conditions, snow reports and to see which trails are open!


  • 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

The Nutcracker

  • What: Add some glamour to the holiday season by getting all spiffed up and heading to this magical recreation of “The Nutcracker.” For many, Clara and her Nutcracker bring back a warm childhood nostalgia as they brave the evil army of mice and dance with the Sugar Plum Fairy. Set to the motion of Tchaikovsky’s timeless music in an authentic Russian setting, this classic will have the whole family following along in awe.
  • When: December 15 to 17 and 21 to 24
  • Where: Southern Alberta Jubilee Auditorium – 1415 14th Avenue NW
  • TicketsTicketmaster, $25 to $125

Visit with Santa


VanDusen Botanical Garden/Facebook

Step Inside a Life-Size Gingerbread House 

  • What: Bring a donation for the Calgary Food Bank and the Calgary Drop-In Centre as you experience the magic of this life-size gingerbread house at the Palliser Hotel. Yes, even the icing is real!
  • When: Until January 6
  • Where: Fairmont Palliser – 133 9th Avenue SW

Winter ice skating at Olympic Plaza


Image: crackmacs / Instagram

  • 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!

Christmas Lights at Spruce Meadows

  • What: This two-kilometer drive through in Spruce Meadows is lit up so festively that it’s undeniably special for anybody to see. Also free, this Christmas lights event will leave you feeling as though Christmas day is just one sleep away.
  • When: Saturday, December 9 to Sunday, January 7
  • Time: 5 to 10 pm
  • Where: Spruce Meadows – 18011 Spruce Meadows Way SW
  • Admission: $10 per carload