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
- What: Experience an authentic Calgarian love story by grabbing a cuppa hot cocoa and strolling hand-in-hand through ‘lovers lane’ and the other 1.5 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 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
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
- Wednesday, December 6 – A Christmas Story
- Wednesday, December 13 – A Christmas Carol (1951)
- Wednesday, December 20 – White Christmas
- Time: 7:45 pm
- Tickets: Online, $44.95 + GST per person (includes dinner + film), $8 (Film only)
- Where: The Plaza Theatre – 1133 Kensington Road NW
- Saturday, December 2 – Love Actually
- Saturday, December 9 – The Grinch
- Saturday, December 16 – Bad Santa
- Saturday, December 24 – Die Hard
- Time: 3:30 pm
- Admission: By donation
- 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
- 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: Every Sunday between November 19 to December 17
- Time: Noon to 4 pm
- Where: The wagon leaves from the parking lot of the Whyte Museum – 111 Bear St, Banff
- Admission: FREE
- What: Any excuse to dress up and hit the town during the holidays is always an exciting way to spend an evening. Plus, it’s not the Christmas season without Scrooge and his spooky ghosts this heartfelt reproduction of Dickens’ classic tale.
- When: Thursday, November 23 to December 24
- Time: 7:30 pm or 2 pm
- Where: Theatre Calgary – 220 9 Avenue SE
- Tickets: Online, $71-$135
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 15 to 17 and 21 to 24
- Where: Southern Alberta Jubilee Auditorium – 1415 14 Avenue NW
- Tickets: Ticketmaster, $25-$125
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!
- Spruce Meadows International Christmas Market – December 1 to 3
- Curated. Holiday Market – December 1 – 3, 9 – 10, 15 – 17
- Market Collective: Holiday Series – December 1 – 3, 8 – 10, 15 – 17
- Festival of Crafts – December 7 to 10
- Calgary Christmas Market – Thursday to Sunday, November 16 to December 23
- Marda Loop Christmas Market – December 2
- Holy Craft! It’s a Christmas Market! – December 1 to 2
- HustleCo Night Market – December 2
- Granary Road Christmas Market – Every Friday to Sunday, November 17 to December 23
- 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.
- 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
- 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!
- What: Downtown Calgary shop windows will be getting a makeover this December, and it’ll be more than just a bit of paint. Using an Augmented Reality enabled app on your phone, you’ll be able to interact and experience each painted window destination, that will reflect various Christmas stories and memories of local artists. Vote for your favourite window and even throw virtual snowballs at each other through the app as you make your way to each painted window.
- When: Friday, December 1 to Sunday, December 31
- Where: In and around Calgary’s downtown core
- Admission: Free!
Happy Chicken Dinner at The Nash + Notable
- What: Enjoy an impromptu Christmas Dinner for date night, 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
- 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.
- 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 20
- Time: 6 pm
- Where: CORE Shopping Centre – 324 8th Avenue SW, Calgary
- Admission: FREE!
- 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: 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