50 things to do in Calgary this winter

Dec 19 2017, 2:51 am

With the cold already here, there are tons of activities to brighten up your wintry days from jumping into cold water to drinking hot chocolate. Here is our list of the top events happening in Calgary over the winter season.

For a complete list of events, check out our Calgary Buzz events calendar.

Free things to do in Calgary

Fish Creek CommUnity Fair

  • What: Get the chance to learn about the different volunteer opportunities that Fish Creek Park has to offer in 2016.
  • Where: Fish Creek Environmental Learning Centre – 13931 Woodpath Road SW
  • When: Saturday, February 27 from 1 to 4 p.m.
  • Cost: Free

Family Valentine’s Day Crafts and Cookies

  • What: Celebrate family month and Valentine’s Day by making crafts and enjoying refreshments.
  • Where: Southland Leisure Centre – 2000 Southland Drive
  • When: Wednesday, February 10
  • Cost: Free

Funtastic Family Fair

  • What: Come with your whole family, participate in games, face painting, get creative with crafts and sit back and be entertained.
  • Where: Village Square Leisure Centre – 2623 56 Street NE
  • When: Wednesday, Feburary 17 6 to 8 p.m.
  • Cost: Free

Where to go outdoor skating for free

Open mid to late December

  • Big Marlborough Park
  • Bowness Park Lagoon
  • Carburn Park
  • Olympic Plaza
  • Prairie Winds Park
  • Prince’s Island Lagoon

Christmas Lights Calgary


Zoolights at Calgary Zoo

  • What: Incredible lights illuminate the Calgary Zoo in almost every colour imaginable. Along with beautiful scenery you can skate on their skating rink, visit Santa, do kids activities and watch the Calgary Zoo’s new interactive light display.
  • Where: Calgary Zoo – 1300 Zoo Road NE, Calgary
  • When: Now until Saturday, January 2 from 6 to 9 p.m.
  • Cost: $14 for general admission, $11 for children, and $5 for parking.

Lion’s Festival of Lights

  • What: Drive by or walk by this Festival of Lights designed by Dean McKenzie and it is now considered 99% green with 115,000 LED light bulbs.
  • Where: 14 Street NW, Calgary
  • When: Now until Friday, January 8 at 5 p.m.
  • Cost: Free

Airdrie Festival of Lights

  • What: Celebrate 20 years of Airdrie’s Festival of Lights. You can walk around and marvel at the different light displays, go skating, and the kids can ride on a little train.
  • Where: Nose Creek Park, Airdrie
  • When: Now until Thursday, December 31 from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m.
  • Cost: Admission by donation

Christmas Lights at Spruce Meadows

  • What: Every evening a quarter of a million lights blanketing Spruce Meadows will glow. If you like skating there is a rink to skate on and if you get hungry they also serve hot chocolate, coffee and snacks.
  • Where: 18011 Spruce Meadows Way SW
  • When: Now until Sunday, January 3 between 5 and 10 p.m.
  • Cost: Free

Ring in the new year

New Year’s Eve Outdoor Celebration

  • What: Bring your skates or borrow some from the onsite Skate Shack where the festivities start with ice sculptures, live carving demonstrations, storytelling, bonfire songs by the fire pit, music provided by a DJ and more! Fireworks are expected this year with synchronized music, if weather permits.
  • Where: Olympic Plaza – 228 8 Avenue SE
  • When: Thursday, December 31 at 8 p.m.
  • Cost: Free


Classic Hollywood Singles New Year’s Eve Gala

  • What: Feel like a celebrity and get glitzed up in your formal wear to go out for an evening of intrigue, interactive games and adventures. Both singles and couples are invited to this gala, one will wear a white rose if they are single or a red rose if they are in a relationship.
  • Where: Arts Commons’ Jack Singer Lobby – 205 8th Avenue SE
  • When: Thursday, December 31 at 9 p.m.
  • Cost: $55

Food and drink festivals

New Year’s Day Brunch Buffet at the Fairmont Palliser

  • What: The Fairmont Palliser is hosting a brunch buffet and includes a glass of champagne to celebrate the new year.
  • Where: Fairmont Palliser – 133 9 Avenue SW
  • When: Friday, January 1 between 11 a.m. until 3 p.m.
  • Cost: $75

YYC Hot Chocolate Fest

  • What: During February participating Calgary cafes and restaurants craft some of the best and unique Hot Chocolates to support Calgary Meals on Wheels.
  • Where: Various venues
  • When: Monday, February 1 to Tuesday, February 29
  • Cost: Prices Vary


  • What: Spend an evening at the Glenbow to support the museum, for one night the Glenbow is transformed into a party space. There will be local performers, incredible food and cutting-edge music.
  • Where: Glenbow Museum – 130 9 Avenue SE
  • When: Saturday, February 6 at 8:30 p.m.
  • Cost: $250

The Big Taste Calgary

  • What: For 10 days, Calgary’s finest foodies will will come to downtown in celebration of world-class cuisine. Participating restaurants will be offering prix fixe menus, giving Calgarians the chance to try the best each restaurant.
  • Where: Various venues
  • When: Friday, March 4 to Sunday, March 13
  • Cost: Varies

Festivals and other events

10-Minute Play Festival

  • What: The annual performance rodeo favourite is back, where theater companies are given 24 hours to create a 10-minute play using a prop and a line of text given to them the night before the show.
  • Where: The Boyce Theatre – 1410 Olympic Way SE
  • When: January 9 at 7 p.m.
  • Cost: $35

Adults Only Night: Party with Parasites

  • What: You have an opportunity to learn all about the parasites that live in and around us. The University of Calgary will to host the Parasite Interaction Program.
  • Where: TELUS Spark – 220 St Georges Drive NE
  • When: Thursday, January 14 from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m.
  • Cost: $20

The Bash

  • What: Calgary’s newest wedding event is here, and it is not your typical wedding event. They are showcasing some of the most innovative, and trend-setting wedding creatives you can find in Calgary.
  • Where: 1215 10 Avenue SE
  • When: Saturday, January 23 at 6 p.m.
  • Cost: $20

Body Worlds Vital

  • What: Celebrating the human body in its healthy, vibrant, and optimal self. Body Worlds is one of the first showcases to provide human specimens on display.
  • Where: TELUS Science Centre – 220 St. George’s Drive NE
  • When: January 16 to May 31
  • Cost: $24.95 for adults (18 to 64), $22.95 for seniors (65 and over), $20.95 for youth (13 to 17), $17.95 for children (3 to 12)

Banff Mountain Film Festival World Tour: Calgary for 2016

  • What: The Banff Mountain Book and Film Festival will be showcasing the Best of the Banff Mountain Film Festival in Calgary.
  • Where: Roza Theatre, University of Calgary – 2500 University Drive NW
    John Dutton Theatre – 616 Macleod Trail SE
  • When: January 18 to 31
  • Cost: $20

Block Heater: A Winter Music Extravaganza

  • What: Occurring at three live music venues on the Music Mile in Inglewood, throughout the Family Day long weekend, over 20 national and international artists will perform concerts.
  • Where: Festival Hall – 1215 10 Avenue SE, the Inglewood Music Club – 1401 10 Avenue SE, and Ironwood Stage and Grill – 1229 9 Avenue SE
  • When: Friday, February 12 to 14
  • Cost: Varies

24 Annual $100 Film Festival

  • What: The only celluloid-based film festival, where the idea is to shoot a short film on four rolls of Super 8 tailoring to the cost of $100.
  • Where: Arts Commons – 205 8 Avenue SE
  • When: Thursday, February 25 to 27
  • Cost: Varies

Cowtown Cabaret

  • What: Cowtown Cabaret is a night for the young at heart and is an evening full of variety.
  • Where: Festival Hall – 1215 10 Ave SE
  • When: Friday, February 25 at 7:30 to 10 p.m.
  • Cost: $38 for adults; $20 for students

The White and Black Ball

  • What: DJD’s annual party and fundraiser, the Black & White Ball, is an evening to dance and party the night away to the sounds of two live bands.
  • Where: Fairmont Palliser Hotel – 133 9 Avenue SW
  • When: Saturday, March 5 at 8 p.m.
  • Cost: $95 to $120

Art and theatre

The Christmas Carol Project

  • What: The Christmas Carol Project has been running 20 years, bringing together the original songs and narration from the Charles Dicken tale.
  • Where: Pumphouse Theatre – 2140 Pumphouse Avenue SW
  • When: December 21 to 23 at 7:30 p.m.
  • Cost: Starting at $30

Dirty Dancing

  • What: Follow Baby and Johnny on their romantic journey presented by Broadway Across Canada.
  • Where: Southern Jubilee Auditorium – 1415 14 Avenue NW
  • When: December 29 to January 3; Tuesday to Friday at 8 p.m., Saturday at 2 p.m. and 8 p.m., Sunday at 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.
  • Cost: Starting at $35

evalyn parry’s SPIN

  • What: Go on an innovative and live musical journey about women, cycling and liberation.
  • Where: Alberta Theatre Projects, Martha Cohen Theatre -220 9 Avenue SE
  • When: January 7 to 10; Thursday and Friday at 7:30 p.m., Saturday at 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. and Sunday at 2 p.m.
  • Cost: Free with admission to evalyn parry’s SPIN

Shaping Sound

  • What: An exciting combination of different dance styles mashed together and presented by the exciting and dramatic dance company of contemporary dancers.
  • Where: Southern Alberta Jubilee Auditorium – 1415 14 Avenue NW
  • When: January 15 and 16 at 7:30 p.m.
  • Cost: Starting at $29

The Little Prince – The Musical

  • What: Based on the book by Antoine de Saint and adapted by Nicholas Lloyd Webber and James D. Reid, The Little Prince – the Musical begins with a pilot who crashes his plane in the Sahara Desert and will capture your imagination.
  • Where: Max Bell Theatre – 220 9 Avenue SE Calgary
  • When: January 19 to February 28
  • Cost: Varies

Out Innerspace Dance Theatre

  • What: Focused on contemporary dance works this dance troupe showcases a brand new piece developed during a performance residency at the Banff Centre.
  • Where: Margaret Greenham Theatre, Banff Centre – 107 Tunnel Mountain Dr, Banff
  • When: January 23 at 7:30 p.m.
  • Cost: $20

The Wizard of Oz

  • What: Join Dorothy and the gang on stage, with all of the classic songs and iconic moments and remember to watch out for the wicked old witch.
  • Where: Southern Alberta Jubilee Auditorium – 1415 14th Avenue NW
  • When: Tuesday, February 16 to 21; Tuesday to Friday at 8 p.m., Saturday at 2 p.m. and 8 p.m. and Sunday at 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.
  • Cost: Varies

The Peking Acrobats

  • What: Renowned for their flexibility and balance, the Peking Acrobats are bringing their contortionists, jugglers, trick-cyclists, and gymnasts to the stage.
  • Where: Jack Singer Concert Hall – 205 8th Avenue SE
  • When: Saturday, March 3 at 8 p.m.
  • Cost: $20 to $80

Vital Few

  • What: Six performers are in constant motion to create living and moving sculptures.
  • Where: Margaret Greenham Theatre, Banff Centre
  • When: Saturday, March 5 at 7:30
  • Cost: $20

Bad Jews

  • What: Is a play about three young Jewish cousins who are forced to bunk in an apartment after their grandfather passed away and it will have you laughing.
  • Where: Max Bell Theatre – 220 9th Ave SE Calgary
  • When: March 15 to April 10
  • Cost: Varies

Winter markets

Calgary Farmers’ Market

  • What: Full of fresh food and free entertainment as well as many different vendors to visit this little market is the perfect spot to visit during the winter.
  • Where: 510 77 Ave SE, Calgary
  • When: Thursday to Sunday 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Closed December 24 to January 6

Crossroads Market

  • What: Posses farm-fresh produce and tasty treats plus lost of unique finds from the large variety of vendors.
  • Where: Cross Roads Market – 1235 26 Ave SE, Calgary
  • When: Friday to Sunday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Closed December 14 to January 1

Symons Valley Ranch

  • What: Visit the many different vendors and explore what the Symons Valley ranch has to offer. There is also a special Friday customer discount of every Friday this winter from January 8 to March 18 be sure to ask the vendors about their deals.
  • Where: Symons Valley Ranch – 14555 Symons Valley Road
  • When: Tuesday to Sunday, various times; Closed December 24 to January 7

Concerts and parties


  • What: Hailing from Bemboka, Australia Thomas Jack is a 20 year old on fire, using everything from sax, flutes, trumpets, and more to create unique music fit for the masses.
  • Where: BESPOKE – 736 10 Ave SW, Calgary
  • When: Wednesday, December 30 at  p.m.
  • Cost: $25; Must be 18 and over

Deep Aerobics

  • What: Death Electronic Emo Protest Aerobics is a workout that hopes to destroy technique, because who needs that anyway. Costumes are encouraged there will be costume stylist at hand to make on-site costume adjustments if necessary.
  • Where: Royal Canadian Legion No. 1 – 116 7 Avenue SE
  • When: Saturday, January 16 at 9 p.m.
  • Cost: $25; Must be 18 and over

Vance Joy concert

  • What: Vance Joy comes to the Southern Alberta Jubilee Auditorium in Calgary January 17, as part of the Fire and the Flood Tour, with stops in British Columbia, Alberta, Manitoba, Quebec, and New Brunswick.
  • When: Sunday, January 17 at 8 p.m.
  • Where: Southern Alberta Jubilee Auditorium – 1415 14 Avenue NW, Calgary
  • Cost: $79 to $338

Yamato: The Drummers of Japan – Bakuon

  • What: Yamato brings their fast paced drumming athleticism on their traditional Wadaiko drums.
  • Where: Jack Singer Concert Hall – 205 8 Avenue SE
  • When: Wednesday, February 3 at 7:30 p.m.
  • Cost: Starting at $39

The Sheepdogs concert

  • What: Canadian classic rock sensations, The Sheepdogs, are taking their old school musical styling on a tour across Canada in 2016, with stops in Quebec, Ontario, Saskatchewan, Alberta, and British Columbia.
  • When: Tuesday, February 16; Doors at 7 p.m.; Show at 9:30 p.m.
  • Where: MacEwan Hall – 402 Collegiate Boulevard North West, Calgary
  • Price: $28.50 via Union Events.

Classified concert

  • What: Canadian rapper Classified comes to Calgary this February as part of the Greatful Tour, which is taking in 25 different stops across the country.
  • When: Saturday, February 20; Doors at 7 p.m.; Show at 8 p.m.
  • Where: University of Calgary, McEwan Hall – 2500 University Dr NW
  • Price: $30 via Live Nation

Go for a winter run


Calgary Flames games

Sunday, December 27 – Edmonton Oilers at 7 p.m.
Tuesday, December 29 – Anaheim Ducks at 7 p.m.
Thursday, December 31 – Los Angeles Kings at 7 p.m.
Tuesday, January 5 – Lightning at 7 p.m.
Thursday, January 7 – Coyotes at 7 p.m.
Monday, January 11 – Sharks at 7 p.m.
Wednesday, January 13 – Panthers at 7:30 p.m.
Wednesday, January 27 – Predators at 7:30 p.m.
Wednesday, February 3 – Hurricanes at 7:30 p.m.
Friday, February 5 – Blue Jackets at 7 p.m.
Tuesday, February 9 – Maple Leafs at 7 p.m.
Monday, February 15 – Ducks at 2 p.m.
Wednesday, February 17 – Wild at 8 p.m.
Friday, February 19 – Canucks at 7 p.m.
Thursday, Feburary 25 – Islanders at 7 p.m.
Saturday, February 27 – Senators at 8 p.m.
Monday, March 7 – Sharks at 7 p.m.
Wednesday, March 9 – Predators at 7:30 p.m.
Friday, March 11 – Coyotes at 7 p.m.
Monday March 14 – Blues at 7 p.m.
Wednesday March 16 – Jets at 8 p.m.
Friday, March 18 – Avalanche at 7 p.m.
Saturday, March 26 – Blackhawks at 8 p.m.

  • Where: Scotiabank Saddledome
  • Cost: Varies

Calgary Hitmen games

Monday, December 28 – Kootenay at 7 p.m.
Wednesday, December 30 – Lethbridge at 7 p.m.
Sunday, January 3 – Brandon 4 p.m.
Friday, January 8 – Vancouver 7 p.m.
Saturday, January 13 – Edmonton at 6 p.m.
Friday, January 22 – Moose Jaw at 7 p.m.
Saturday, January 23 – Swift Current at 7 p.m.
Friday, January 29 – Prince Albert at 7 p.m.
Sunday, January 31 – Brandon 4 p.m.
Friday, February 12 – Red Deer at 7 p.m.
Sunday, February 14 – Lethbridge at 4 p.m.
Saturday, February 20 – Lethbridge at 7 p.m.
Sunday, February 21 – Medicine Hat at 4 p.m.
Tuesday, February 23 – Portland at 7 p.m.
Friday, February 26 – Victoria at 7 p.m.
Sunday, March 6 – Red Deer at 4 p.m.
Tuseday, March 8 – Saskatoon at 7 p.m.
Saturday March 12 – Edmonton at 7 p.m.
Sunday, March 13 – Medicine Hat at 4 p.m.
Sunday, March 20 – Kootenay at 1 p.m.

  • Where: Scotiabank Saddledome
  • Cost: Varies

Ultimate Cowboy

  • What: Aiming to find the ultimate cowboy, this event intends to push the professionals out of their comfort zones by making every contestant compete in every rodeo event.
  • Where: Agrium Western Event Centre – Stampede Trail SE
  • When: Thursday, December 31 at 8 p.m.
  • Cost: $75

Calgary Ice Breaker Polar Drop

  • What: Drop on by in your best dipping costume, as there is a prize for best costume, and jump into an icy pond to support SA (servants Anonymous) Foundation in their fight to stop human trafficking.
  • Where: Elbow Valley Community Centre – 100 Misty Morning Drive
  • When: Friday, January 1 at 12 p.m. to 3 p.m.
  • Cost: Free

The 2016 Motorcycle Show

  • 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.
  • Where: BMO Centre, Stampede Park – 20 Roundup Way SE
  • When: Friday, January 8 to 10; Friday from12 p.m. to 9 p.m., Saturday 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
  • Cost: $14 for adults, $10 for kids (6 to 14) and $11 for seniors (over 65)

Calgary Boat and Sportmen’s Show 2016

  • What: Perfect For the outdoor enthusiast, the show is host to all aspects of the outdoor lifestyle like boating, off-roading, fishing, hiking, camping adventure, destination travel location and more.
  • Where: Stampede BMO Centre –20 Roundup Way SW
  • When: Thursday, February 4 to 7
  • Cost: $14 for adults, $10 for seniors and $8 for kids

Calgary International Auto and Truck Show

  • What: Walk around the BMO Centre and view international vehicles from the affordable to the luxury.
  • Where: BMO Centre, Stampede Park20 Roundup Way SW
  • When: March 9 to 13; Wednesday from 3 p.m. to 10 p.m., Thursday to Saturday from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
  • Cost: $10 for adults on the weekday, and $15 for adults on the Weekend
DH Calgary StaffDH Calgary Staff

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