12 places to go in Calgary for the perfect holiday date night

Dec 5 2018, 10:26 pm

Sparks fly during the holiday season, so it’s the perfect time of year to cozy up with your significant other and enjoy the lively yuletide festivities.

Whether you like to head outdoors for a snowy endeavour or stay in and celebrate with a classic holiday flick, there are always a ton of adventures in and around the city to take up in pairs during this joyous time of year.

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First date, tinder date, or romantic date night, you name it – Calgary offers a number of holiday-themed activities that will make any winter affair a memorable one!

Bundle up and head to Zoolights


The Calgary Zoo / Facebook

What: Experience an authentic Calgarian love story by grabbing a cuppa hot cocoa and strolling hand-in-hand through ‘lovers lane’ and the other 2 million dazzling lights at the zoo this holiday season. If you get chilly cuddle up to one of the many fires or head into the Enmax Conservatory to check out the Mad Hatter in Wonderland.

When: Friday, November 23 to Saturday, January 5, 2018 (closed on Christmas Day)

Time: 6 to 9 pm (gates close at 8:30 pm)

Where: The Calgary Zoo — 1300 Zoo Road NE, Calgary

Tickets: Adults $19.95, kids $14.95 – available online or at the gate

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!

Where: Gasoline Alley – 1900 Heritage Drive SW, Calgary


Tuesday, December 11 – The Muppet Christmas Carole

Tuesday, December 18 — Miracle on 34th St.

Time: 7:45 pm

Tickets: Online, $44.95 + GST per person (includes dinner + film), $8 (Film only)

Volunteer together!

What: Instead of getting caught up in the stress of the holidays find ways that you and you’re significant other can shift date night into an opportunity to give back by lending a hand to those in the city that could use some holiday cheer. You can be sure to leave with your hearts full and invaluable memories of the time you spent together.

Where: The Salvation Army, Inn From the Cold, The Calgary Drop-In Centre 

Go for a festive wagon ride

What: Cuddle up with your special someone, as you sip on hot cocoa as glide through picturesque views of the Rockies — talk about holiday romance at it’s finest.  Be sure to dress accordingly.

When: Weekends, November 17 to January 1

Time: Noon to 4 pm

Where: The wagon leaves from the parking lot of the Whyte Museum – 111 Bear St, Banff

Admission: FREE

Attend the ballet


Alberta Ballet Facebook

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 14 to 16 and December 20 to 24

Where: Southern Alberta Jubilee Auditorium – 1415 14th Avenue NW

Tickets: Ticketmaster, $41+

Peruse a Christmas Market

What: Spend time market hopping as you both work on slaying your Christmas lists. Discover new products, shop local and find the perfect gift for everyone while experiencing the magical holiday ambiance that each market strives to recreate. There are also usually various Christmas themed activities going on at the same time, such as fun photo ops, festive performances, light spectacles and so much more!

Go skating on Lake Louise

What: Lake Louise was rated by CNN and HuffPost as 2014 World’s most Beautiful Skating Rink and trust us, it definitely lives up to its reputation. Glide hand in hand with your special someone as you enjoy the tranquil views and take in the fresh mountain air. The lake is even lit during the evening so you can skate under the stars and then warm up by a cozy campfire. Skate rentals are available.

Where: 111 Lake Louise Drive

Admission: Email or call the Concierge Team for prices and ice conditions before heading up.

Decorate gingerbread houses

What: Double up with other couples and work as a team, or create a bit of game out of it and both do your own. Regardless, there are sure to be some laughs, amazing memories and Instagram worthy stories that come from this festive evening.

Where: Michaels Canada – various locations around the city

Drinks and board games


Board games (Artem Oleshko/Shutterstock)

What: This can often make a great first date, as there are lots of icebreaker opportunities that will make it very obvious if there will be a second afterward. It’s also a fun way to get to know someone you’ve been dating for a little bit in a more casual atmosphere over drinks or coffee. Plus, there is nothing wrong with a little healthy competition.

Where: Hexagon Board Game Cafe – #200 1140 Kensington Road NW

Go visit Santa

What: No one said that a visit with Santa was strictly reserved for children. Have a few laughs visiting this jolly ol’ man and sneakily figure out what each of you wants for Christmas in the process. Plus, you’ll likely receive a memorable photo that can go up on your mantle as a permanent decoration.

Canadian Pacific Holiday Train

What: The Canadian Holiday train will pass by looking like a scene straight out of a Christmas, and will be presenting a boxcar stage, musical performances, and an important contribution to the local food bank. This is surely a night that you and your significant other won’t want to miss out on.

When: Saturday, December 9,  2017

Time: 6:45 to 7:45 pm

Where: Anderson C-Train Station – South C-train parking lot

Admission: Free! Bring non-perishable donations to support your local food bank.

CORE Shopping Centre Find Christmas Downtown 2018


Christmas trees (CORE Shopping Centre/Facebook)

What: Take a break from the Holiday shopping hustle and take a stroll through the 45-foot tree decorated in the midst of the CORE shopping centre, along 150 other sparkling trees in the surrounding area. There is no better way to get in the mood for a little holiday romance.

When: Until December 24

Time: 6 pm

Where: CORE Shopping Centre – 324 8th Avenue SW, Calgary

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 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: Saturdays and Sundays, November 24 to December 23

Time: 9:30 am to 4 pm

Where: Heritage Park – 1900 Heritage Drive SW, Calgary

Admission: General (16+) $11

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Kristy ArchibaldKristy Archibald

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