22 FREE things to do in Calgary this November

Oct 24 2018, 10:30 pm

Enjoy your November without breaking the bank! From Winter ice skating to Remembrance Day to Holiday Shopping, here are 22 FREE events to check out in Calgary this November.

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

See also

Explore the city

Free First Thursday

What: Explore the Glenbow at your leisure for FREE on the first Thursday of every month. They are launching some neat new exhibitions this month that you won’t want to miss out on.

When: Thursday, November 1, 2018
Time: 5 pm to close
Where: Glenbow Museum – 130 9th Avenue SE
Admission: Free

Winter ice skating at Olympic Plaza


Skating (Vit Kovalcik/Shutterstock)

What: Built in 1988 for the Olympic Winter Games, Olympic Plaza has the only refrigerated outdoor ice surface in the city. You can rent skates down at the plaza if you don’t have a pair of your own. Helmets are strongly encouraged

When: Open daily from mid November to mid March
Time: 10 am to 9 pm
Where: Olympic Plaza – 228 8th Avenue SE
Admission: Free. Skates are also available for rent

New Central Library Grand Opening

What: Thursday will feature the official grand opening, which will include live music, free tours, special guests, and open doors as of 10 am sharp. The event will run until 8 pm, meaning that there will be plenty of time to witness the historical opening. From 7 to 9 pm world-famous astronaut Christ Hadfield will be on scene to give what will surely be a memorable speech, and while tickets are free, if you would like to attend the event you’ll have to register online before seats run out. Friday night will see a Lit Gala that will include different experiences to check out on all levels of the building, including performers, speakers, and delicious treats. Saturday and Sunday will be the Opening Family Fun Weekend, a family-friendly event running all day that will include free programming and tours of the brand new library. Crafts stations, live music, and other entertainment will be set up all over the building for the enjoyment of little ones and adults alike.

When: Thursday, November 1 to Sunday, November 4, 2018
Time: Various times
Where: New Central Library — 8th Avenue SE, Calgary
Tickets: Available online for $750

#LoveYYC Day

What: Tourism Calgary is urging everyone to get social and share why you #LoveYYC as they gear up for #LoveYYC Day on November 3. During this day various businesses around YYC will be hosting events and special offers, such as beer tastings, free admission to some of Calgary’s iconic historical spots and discounts on food at different spots around the city. Let’s celebrate how remarkable it is to be Calgarian!

When: Saturday, November 3, 2018
Where: Various spots around YYC
Admission: Free and discounted rates

Marda Loop Justice Film Festival

The Marda Loop Justice Film Festival has been sharing human rights, environmental, and socially significant documentary films since 2006. Screenings include post-show discussions with local and international artists and experts, and opportunities to interact and connect with community, no matter how you define it.

When: Tuesday, November 13 to Sunday, November 18, 2018
Time: Various times
Where: Various venues
Admission: Free

Santa Claus Parade Day

What: There is no better way to kick off the holiday season than with a special appearance from Kris Kringle himself, aka Santa Claus. Come down early in the day for the opportunity to get your picture taken with Santa, verify your spot on the naughty or nice list, and make a Christmas wish. Then stick around for dusk, when Banff avenue magically lights up with a procession of lively performers, colourful floats and, of course, the jolly ol’ man himself!

When: Saturday, November 17, 2018
Time: 10 am to 6:30 pm
Where: Banff Train Station (Photos with Santa), Banff Avenue (Santa Claus Parade)
Admission: Free for the parade, $10 for a photo with Santa

Lifelong Learners

Seniors are invited to join Esker Foundation for a tour and discussion of the current exhibitions in a relaxed, social environment. Explore new ideas and engage creatively with arts and culture.

When: Wednesday, November 28, 2018
Time: 2:30 to 3:15 pm
Where: Esker Foundation – 4th Floor – 1011 9th Ave SE, Calgary
Admission: Free, register by calling 403-930-2490.

Remembrance Day

Remembrance Day wreaths in front of a Lest We Forget engraving (Lester Balajadia/Shutterstock)

Remembrance Day wreaths in front of a Lest We Forget engraving (Lester Balajadia/Shutterstock)

Field of Crosses

What: At sunrise each morning from November 1 to November 11 members of the public are invited to attend a formal flag raising ceremony at the Field of Crosses.  where over 3,400 white crosses are displayed each year on November 1st and removed November 12. Each cross is inscribed with the name, rank, regiment, date of death and age at death of a Southern Alberta soldier killed in action. As part of these ceremonies, local schools participate in the singing of our national anthem.  A special Remembrance Day ceremony will be held on November 11.

When: Thursday, November 1 to Sunday, November 11, 2018
Time: Remembrance Day ceremony at 10:30 am on November 11, flag raising ceremonies at sunrise and sunset.
Where: Memorial Drive between 3rd Street NW and Centre Street

Aerospace Museum Ceremony

What: The Aerospace Museum of Calgary is hosting an outdoor Remembrance Day ceremony. They suggest arriving early to get a seat, and the ceremony will start at 10:30 am.

When: Sunday, November 11, 2018
Time: 10:20 to 11:15 am
Where: Aerospace Museum – 4629 McCall Way NE

Burnsland Cemetery Remembrance Day tour

What: Many heroes representing the Canadian Military and Royal Canadian Mounted Police have been laid to rest at the Burnsland Cemetery. Head there for a free walking tour at 2 pm to explore the history and stories behind some of the non-Canadian units whose members are buried in the Burnsland Field of Honour.

When: Sunday, November 11, 2018
Time: 2 to 3:30 pm
Where: 27th Avenue and Spiller Road SE

Battalion Park

What: Hosted by the Kings Own Calgary Regiment, the Annual Battalion Park Remembrance Day Ceremony will feature speeches, a public address, wreath laying, and a short ceremony.

When: Sunday, November 11, 2018
Time: 10:30 am
Where: 3001 Signal Hill Drive SW

Canadian Pacific Ogden Memorial

What: Everyone is invited to attend the CP’s annual Remembrance Day ceremony at the Ogden Memorial. The location for the ceremony will be at CP’s Memorial Square, which was built in commemoration of the 100th anniversary of the start of the First World War.

When: Sunday, November 11, 2018
Time: 10:40 am
Where: CP Memorial Square – adjacent to the top parking lot by the 69th Avenue SE and Ogden Dale Road SE entrance.

Fort Calgary

What: Fort Calgary is hosting a Remembrance Day service and then an artisan’s fair to follow. The service will take place at 10:30 am and the fair will run from 11:30 am to 5 pm. Admission to the fair is free if you bring along a non-perishable food item for the Veteran’s Food Bank.

When: Sunday, November 11, 2018
Time: Ceremony at 10:30 pm, artisan’s fair from 11:30 am to 5 pm
Where: 750 9th Avenue SE

Military Museums

What: The Military Museums will hold their annual Remembrance Day service and admission by donation to the museum to follow. If you’re planning on attending we suggest getting there early, as this is one of Calgary’s largest ceremonies. Bring a non-perishable food with you to the museums to donate to the Veterans’ Food Bank.

When: Sunday, November 11, 2018
Time: 10:30 am
Where: 4520 Crowchild Trail SW, Calgary

Kerby Centre

What: The Kerby Centre’s Remembrance Day Ceremony will be held in the Kerby Centre gym with doors opening at 10:15 am. Music will be provided by Johnny Summers and Egon Ukuloff and there will be refreshments to follow.

When: Sunday, November 11, 2018
Time: 10:15 to 11:15 am
Where: 1133 7th Avenue SW

You can also support veterans by donating to the Calgary Poppy Fund annual fundraising campaign and to the Canadian Legacy Project’s Veterans Food Drive.

Holiday Shopping

holiday market

Yulia Grigoryeva/ Shutterstock

Remembrance Day Service and Holiday Artisan’s Fair – Sunday, November 11, 2018
Bragg Creek Artisans Christmas Sale – Saturday, November 17 to Sunday, November 18, 2018

Calgary Night Market: Holiday Market 2018

What: On each Friday of November, search for the perfect gift at this Holiday Night Market. Shop at over 40 local vendors with amazing handmade products, plus enjoy live entertainment and a DJ.

When: Friday, November 2, Friday, November 16, and Friday, November 30, 2018
Time: 5 to 11 pm
Where: Eau Claire Market – 200 Barclay Parade SW
Admission: Free

Chestermere Christmas Craft Show

What: The 25th Annual Chestermere Christmas Artisan Show features local artisans, craftspeople and entrepreneurs.

When: Saturday, November 3, 2018
Time: 10 am to 4 pm
Where: 201 West Chestermere Drive, Chestermere
Admission: Free with a food bank donation

Eat fresh at Farmers’ Markets

The Little Vegan Fall Market

Vegan Market

Vegan salad (Shutterstock)

What: If you’re a vegan or curious about tasty vegan foods, The Little Vegan Fall Market is coming back to Calgary for its third year on November 3. The animal-cruelty free event will feature over 30 small businesses with vegan products, from treats to clothing.

When: Saturday, November 3, 2018
Time: 10 am to 3 pm
Where: Marda Loop Communities Association – 3130 16th Street SW, Calgary
Admission: Free

Hillhurst Sunnyside Farmers’ Market

What: Grab your weekly haul of delicious produce, eggs, baked goods, meats, preserves, florals, and more, all grown and produced on farms right here in Alberta. You can enjoy live entertainment and other fun activities happening at this quaint community farmers’ market. The market will go on rain or shine, so come prepared.

When: Every Wednesday
Time: 3 to 7 pm
Where: 1320 5th Avenue NW, Calgary
Admission: Free

Downtown Winter Market and Downtown Christmas Market

What: Shop for the ripest and most delicious produce from local growers, along with art, fashion and other unique gems and gifts made right here in Alberta.

When: Wednesday, November 14 and Wednesday, December 12, 2018
Time: 10 am to 2 pm
Where: Gulf Canada Square – 401 9th Avenue SW, Calgary
Admission: Free

DH Calgary StaffDH Calgary Staff

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