25 things to do in Calgary this weekend: December 21 to 23

Dec 18 2018, 11:32 pm

The first weekend of winter is here! Fill your festive season with these 25 great Calgary events happening on Friday, December 21, Saturday, December 22, and Sunday, December 23. Nikka Yuko Winter Lights Festival, The Nutcracker, and more.

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

Friday, December 21, 2018

Nikka Yuko Winter Lights Festival 2018/2019

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

The Dudes Annual Christmas Special

The Dudes

The Dudes / Facebook

What: Calgary rockers The Dudes are hosting their annual Christmas Special with Charlie Handsome, The Brats and 36?

When: Friday, December 21, 2018
Time: 9 pm
Where: The Palace Theatre – 219 8 Avenue SW, Calgary
Tickets: Online, $20

Making Spirits Bright Comedy Night

What: An evening of hilarious comedy with Ophira Eisenberg, Cory Mack and special guests. Ophira Eisenberg is a comedian, author and host of NPR’s comedy quiz podcast and radio show Ask Me Another. She has appeared on Comedy Central, Live From the Comedy Cellar, HBO’s Girls, The Late Late Show, The Today Show, Gotham Live, The New Yorker Festival and more. Cory Mack is a comedian, writer and farmer’s daughter. Performance highlights over the last 29 years include entertaining starring in her own Comedy Now special and being featured on CBC Radio’s The Debaters, Laugh Out Loud, The Go! Show and Madly Off in All Directions.

When: Friday, December 21, 2018
Time: 7 to 10 pm
Where: Festival Hall – 1215 10 Avenue SE, Calgary
Tickets: Online, $20

Leila Forouhar

What:  Leila Forouhar is an Iranian pop and classical singer. She performs live in Calgary at the Mt Royal University Bella Concert Hall.

When: Friday, December 21, 2018
Time: 8 pm
Where: Mt Royal University Bella Concert Hall – 4825 Mount Royal Gate SW, Calgary
Tickets: Online

Cole Bradley

What: Cole Bradley is a country singer and songwriter who was a finalist in the inaugural year of Project Wild, one of Canada’s biggest artist development programs, and was also nominated for Fan’s Choice at the Alberta Country Music Association Awards.

When: Friday, December 21, 2018
Time: 9 pm
Where: King Eddy – 438 9 Ave SE, Calgary
Tickets: Online

Saturday, December 22, 2018

Christmas in Kensington

What: Santa Clause and sleigh rides — that’s what you can expect at Christmas in Kensington. Grab the family and head down to spread Christmas cheer. Stay and catch a holiday movie at 3:30 pm as well!

When: Every Saturday to December 22, 2018
Time: 12 to 4 pm
Where: Kensington Calgary — Kensington Rd and 10th Street NW, Calgary
Tickets: By donation

Calgary Flames vs St. Louis Blues

Image: Calgary Flames / Twitter

What: The Flames take on the Blues at Scotiabank Saddledome.

When: Saturday, December 22, 2018
Time: 2 pm
Where: Scotiabank Saddledome – 555 Saddledome Rise SE
Tickets: Online

Twisted Sisters : 1 Year Anniversary

What: Calgary’s only LGBTQ+ comedy show featuring standup, music and drag. Hosted by Channing Taintum, with special guest Visa De’Klein, plus Brittany Lyseng, Linnea WArd, Mark Hallworth, Mason Jenkins, Amy Bugg, and Emily Shem.

When: Saturday, December 22, 2018
Time: 7:30 to 9:30 pm.
Where: Twisted Element – 1006 11 Avenue Southwest, Calgary
Tickets: Online, $15

National Music Centre AiR Workshop: Reuben and the Dark

What: The National Music Centre closes out its 2018 artist residency season with Calgary’s own, Reuben and the Dark. Reuben and the Dark is a collection of five multi-instrumentalists and vocalists led by Reuben Bullock. See the band share its creative process and provide a taste of new music at this public workshop at Studio Bell, home of the National Music Centre.

When: Saturday, December 22, 2018
Time: 12:30 to 1:30 pm
Where: National Music Centre – 850 – 4 Street SE, Calgary
Price: Event is included with admission to Studio Bell.

Beatroute’s Annual Holiday Party

What: Beatroute’s Annual Holiday Party features performances by Port Juvee, Allovers, Le Plaisir, Body lens, Old Apartments, Window Lamp, Teenage Bed (France), Witch Victim, Foldhed and Smokes Let Go.

When: Saturday, December 22, 2018
Time: Doors 7 pm
Where: Palomino Smokehouse and Social Club – 109 7 Avenue S.W, Calgary
Tickets: Online, $20-$25

Early Music Voices: Handel’s Messiah

What: A full performance of Handel’s beloved “Messiah” with guest soloists and an elite 16-voice choir made up of VoiceScapes and other professional singers. These will be joined by Rosa Barocca on period instruments, all led by Claude Lapalme.

When: Saturday, December 22, 2018
Time: Pre-concert talk 7 pm, concert at 7:30 pm
Where: Christ Church Elbow Park – 3602 8th Street SW, Calgary
Tickets: Online, $50-$60

Ray Volpe – Calgary Boodang Christmas Party

What: Boodang’s Christmas Party features headliner Ray Volpe along with Titus1 and more.

When: Saturday, December 22, 2018
Time: Doors at 9 pm
Where: The Palace Theatre – 213 10 Ave SW, Calgary
Tickets: Online, Free before 10:30 pm

The Nutcracker

date night

Alberta Ballet Facebook

What: Acclaimed as one of Canada’s finest renderings and celebrated as a delightfully traditional depiction, Edmund Stripe’s The Nutcracker celebrates its 10th anniversary this season. The Nutcracker features a cast of more than 120 performers,with sets and costumes designed by Emmy Award winner Zack Brown.

When: Now to Monday, December 24, 2018
Time: Various times
Where: Southern Alberta Jubilee Auditorium – 1415 14th Avenue NW, Calgary
Tickets: Online

Music with Mandy Holiday Sing-A-Long

What: A live, interactive concert for kids featuring Mandy Morris, Matt Morris, Kodi Hutchinson, Ian Yule and Music with Mandy Singers. Featuring lots of fun activities like games, silent auction, dance party and video shoot. A fundraiser for the Legacy Children’s Foundation Gift of Music Program.

When: Saturday, December 22, 2018
Time: 2 pm
Where: Doherty Hall – 623 13 AV SE, Calgary
Tickets: Online, $25-$40

Jingle & Mingle – Alberta Animal Rescue Crew Society Holiday Open House

What: Swing by AARCS Safe Haven for shelter tours, wishlist donation drive, hot cocoa, raffle askets, shopping, stocking stuffers and unique gifts.  Santa Paws and his sidekick Turtle will be there, and there will also be a room dedicated to puppy cuddles.

When: Saturday, December 22, 2018
Time: 11 am to 3 pm
Where: Alberta Animal Rescue Crew Society – 5060 – 74 Ave SE, Calgary
Entry: By donation

Sunday, December 23, 2018

The Mayor’s Holiday Storytime

naheed nenshi

Naheed Nenshi/Facebook

What: Join Mayor Naheed Nenshi for a special storytime at New Central Library. Enjoy holiday fun, treats and more.

When: Sunday, December 23, 2018
Time: 1 to 3 pm
Where: New Central Library – 800 3 St SE, Calgary
Admission: Free

Banff Gondola Mountaintop Christmas 2018

What: Christmas has truly come alive at the top of Sulphur Mountain, all thanks to Banff Gondola’s stunning Mountaintop Christmas event. From now until the end of December, the Banff Gondola has turned its sky-high destination into a Winter Wonderland, complete with visits from Santa, cookie decorating, star gazing, and a mulled wine bar.

When: Now until December 30, 2018
Time: 10 am to 8:30 pm from Wednesday to Sunday, and any day after December 20; 10 am to 4:30 pm on Mondays and Tuesdays.
Where: 100 Mountain Ave, Banff
Tickets: Available online, $58, or $64 at the gate. $49 admission after 5 pm

Art Acoustic Sunday Series

What: Hang out with a few of Art on 9th’s favourite art instructors for an informal discussion and hands-on activity that explores the basic elements of art and design.

When: Every Sunday to December 23, 2018
Time: 10 am to 12 pm
Where: Art On 9th – 1211 9 Ave SE, Calgary
Admission: Free

Miracle on First Street YYC

What: Inspired by quirky office Christmas parties, the halls are decked with kitschy Christmas decor. Guests are encouraged to dress in their most festive gear as they sip on seasonal cocktails, so take this opportunity to dig out your most cringe-worthy Christmas sweater and reindeer head-gear. The over-the-top atmosphere, which will be hosted at Proof Cocktail Bar, will have even the biggest Grinch feeling goofy. Whether you choose the classy Christmaspolitan or the decadent Run Run Rudolf as your drink of choice, this bar is sure to bring the holiest and jolliest of times.

When: Now to Sunday, December 23, 2018
Time: 4 pm to 1 am daily
Where: Proof Cocktail Bar – 1302 1st Street SW
Admission: Free

Calgary Christmas Market

calgary christmas market

Image: Calgary Farmers Market / Facebook

What: Dine with friends as live holiday entertainment fills the market and indulge in treats while you find the perfect gift. Featuring favourite market and seasonal vendors, Yuletide gifts, food, jewelry, décor and more. There will also be visits with Santa, cookie decorating, roaming Grinch, live ice carving, viewing Santa’s Reindeer, and more.

When: Now to Sunday, December 23, 2018
Time: 9 am to 5 pm
Where: Calgary Farmers’ Market – 510 77 Ave SE, Calgary
Admission: Free

Calgary Jazz Orchestra: Perfectly Frank Christmas 2018 Calgary

What: Calgary Jazz Orchestra’s perform the music of Sinatra and the holidays Featuring and directed by Johnny Summers. All ages are welcome.

When: Sunday, December 23, 2018
Time: 3 pm and 7 pm
Where: River Park Church – 3818 14A St SW, Calgary
Tickets: Online

Glendale Community Carnival

What: A family-friendly carnival at Optimist/Blundun Arenas with free public skating, DancyPl3y (interactive dance program), classic games, photo booth and hot chocolate.

When: Sunday, December 23, 2018
Time: 12 to 2 pm
Where: Optimist/Blundun Arenas -5020 26 Ave. S.W., Calgary
Admission: Free

Holiday Hangover Matinee

What: Celebrate the season and cure your holiday hangover with Christmas cocktails and classic flicks at Confluence Distilling. Featuring screenings of Die Hard and Batman Returns, with plenty of Christmas cocktails, treats and happy hour pricing all day long.

When: Sunday, December 23, 2018
Time: 2 to 4 pm
Where: Confluence Distilling – 507 36 Ave SE, Calgary
Admission: Free

Vegan Holiday Bake Sale

What: A vegan holiday bake sale in support of Calgary’s local farm animal sanctuaries (split between TAS, Robins Refuge, and Free Spirit) we are throwing a Christmas/holiday themed vegan bake sale. Enjoy vegan goodies, vegan milk chocolates, and more treats. Cash only.

When: Sunday, December 23, 2018
Time: 12 to 3:30 pm
Where: 508 24th ave SW, 3rd floor, Studio 307
Admission: Free

Music Calgary 3rd Annual Christmas Party

What: Music Calgary’s 3rd Annual Christmas Party features free food, free gifts from Santa JP, and free entry before 11 pm. With special guest DJ Joe Swell alongside Newboy and Amante.

When: Sunday, December 23, 2018
Time: Doors 9:30 pm
Where: Music Calgary – 1140-10th Ave SW, Calgary
Admission: Free before 11 pm

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