24 things to do in Calgary this weekend: December 10 to 12

Dec 10 2021, 5:26 pm

Alberta has declared a state of public health emergency due to the COVID-19 pandemic. As recommended by health officials, if you choose to participate in events outside of your home, please adhere to COVID-19 health and safety measures, including proper physical distancing, mask-wearing, and frequent handwashing. Additionally, be aware that many businesses and events may be participating in the Restrictions Exemption Program and will require proof of vaccine or a negative, privately paid COVID-19 test. If you are sick, please stay home.

The Christmas holiday is only two weeks away, and there are lots of things to do in Calgary right now to help you get in the festive spirit.

As we head towards mid-December, there are plenty of both holiday and non-holiday activities going on, whether you want to get outside or opt to stay cozy indoors.

Shop local at a holiday market, catch some live music, visit an indoor Christmas light display, check out an immersive art exhibit, sample local brews against a mountain backdrop at the Banff Craft Beer Festival, and much, much more.

Here are 24 of the best things to do in and around Calgary this weekend.

Honky Tonk Holiday Toy Drive with Robert Adam and Amy Nelson

What: Join Calgary’s country angel Robert Adam and nostalgic country-folk act Amy Nelson at the King Eddy for a not-to-be-missed double-header bill and a toy drive for Inn From the Cold.

When: December 10
Time: 8:30 pm
Where: King Eddy (438 9th Avenue SE, Calgary)
Cost: Tickets are $10 if you choose to bring a toy to donate, or $15 without a toy

Whiskey Rose Saloon’s grand opening weekend

What:¬†Dust off your cowboy boots and shine up that belt buckle, because Calgary’s newest honky-tonk is officially open. Whiskey Rose Saloon is celebrating all weekend long, with live music on Friday and Saturday, followed by their first-ever Sunday Tailgate party.

When: December 8 to 12
Time: Open 3 pm to 2 am Monday through Friday, and 11 am to 2 pm on Saturday and Sunday
Where: Whiskey Rose Saloon (1012 17th Avenue SW, Calgary)
Cost: Varies by purchase

Alberta Ballet’s The Nutcracker

What: The Nutcracker, a much-loved holiday tradition put on annually in the province by the Alberta Ballet, is returning to Calgary in 2021 after a year’s hiatus due to the pandemic. The timeless classic runs on select dates from December 10 to 24 at the Southern Alberta Jubilee Auditorium, bringing all of your favourite characters back to YYC, from Clara and Drosselmeyer to the Mouse King.

When: December 10 to 24
Time: Varies by date; check ticket availability for details
Where: Southern Alberta Jubilee Auditorium (1415 14th Avenue NW, Calgary)
Cost: Available now from $62 and up

The Saskatoon Farm Christmas Market

What: This December, shop over 240 local makers, bakers, growers, and small business shakers at The Saskatoon Farm.¬†The Christmas market takes place both indoors and outside, and you’ll find everything from savoury goods and house-made sweets to local candles and homewares to children’s items and Bonfires To Go.

When: December 10, 11, and 12
Time: 9 am to 5 pm
Where: The Saskatoon Farm (#20 – 80181 338 Avenue E, Foothills County)
Cost: $7; advanced tickets required for entry

Stream The Sound of Music from home

things to do Calgary

Courtesy of StoryBook Theatre

What:¬†For more than 50 years, The¬†Sound of¬†Music¬†has been delighting audiences all over the globe, and the show will return to the StoryBook Theatre stage for another visit this holiday season. Watch the journey of the Von Trapp family and listen to classics like “Climb Ev’ry Mountain,” “My Favourite Things,” “Do Re Mi,” and “Sixteen Going on Seventeen.” In-person tickets have already sold out, but you can catch the show virtually from December 10 to 30.

When: December 10 to 30
Time: Various times available; check schedule for more details
Where: Streamed online from wherever you are
Cost: $30 per streaming device

NMC Presents: Bell Live at the King Eddy

What: The National Music Centre’s Bell Live series features jazz saxophonist and singer/songwriter Perpie performing this Saturday. Raised in Nigeria and now based in Calgary, Perpie expressively weaves pieces of her life’s experiences and dreams into her awe-inspiring music, and she has toured as the official saxophonist with TerraKulture for the extended productions of Saro and Wakaa in London.

When: December 11
Time: 8:30 pm
Where: The King Eddy (438 9th Avenue SE, Calgary)
Cost: No cover charge

Downstage’s Climate Change Theatre Action

What: Downstage’s Climate Change Theatre Action presents a live staged-reading of short plays about climate change followed by a panel discussion, tackling the challenging conversation around climate change and tapping into the creative minds of playwrights from around the world to envision possibilities for our future. Upon entry to the Engineered Air Theatre, audience members will also be able to shop for handmade goods and art pieces from immigrant makers who reside and create on Treaty 7 land.

When: December 9 and 10
Time: 7:30 pm
Where: Engineered Air Theatre, Arts Commons (205 8th Avenue SE, Calgary)
Cost: $20 to $40

TELUS Spark’s Sparkle Sparkle

sparkle sparkle

TELUS Spark (sparkscience.ca)

What: TELUS Spark Science Centre is brightening up the holidays with Sparkle Sparkle, an incredible indoor light display boasting thousands of LED lights, all arranged to create a magical (and warm) winter experience and plenty of Instagram-worthy photo ops.

At 5:30 pm on select days between November 25 and January 2, the science centre transforms into a twinkling wonderland, featuring a glowing LED fire to ‚Äúwarm up‚ÄĚ near, a massive shimmering winter palace, and more.

When: Wednesday through Sunday from November 25 to December 19, daily from December 20 to January 2 (closed December 24, 25, and 31)
Time: 5:30 to 9:30 pm
Where: TELUS Spark Science Centre (220 St. George’s Drive NE, Calgary)
Tickets: $19 for adults, $13 for youth (ages three to 17)

Theatre Calgary’s A Christmas Carol

What:¬†A Christmas Carol is always a holiday classic, and you can carry on the tradition this year with Theatre Calgary’s performance of the iconic tale. Follow the journey of Ebenezer Scrooge, Tiny Tim, and the spirits of Christmas Past, Present and Future this season.

When: November 30 to December 24 (or view it online from December 2 to 31)
Time: Varies by performance; see schedule for dates and times
Where: Max Bell Theatre, Arts Commons (205 8th Avenue SE, Calgary)
Cost: Tickets starting at $48, or $30 per household for virtual access

Get into Studio Bell for free

What: Studio Bell, home of the National Music Centre, celebrates its five-year anniversary with free admission through the rest of the year. Take advantage of the final month of this offer, and check out new and updated exhibits, catch instrument show-and-tells, and delve into the history of iconic Canadian musicians.

When: December 11, 12, and 18 to 31
Time: December 11, 12, 18, and 19 from 10 am to 5 pm, December 20 to 24 from 11 am to 3 pm, and December 26 to 31 from 11 am to 3 pm. The museum will be closed on December 25 and January 1
Where: Studio Bell (850 4th Street SE, Calgary)
Cost: Free; reserve your tickets online now

Drive through the Christmas lights at Spruce Meadows

things to do Calgary

Spruce Meadows (sprucemeadows.com)

What: Stay cozy and warm in your car while getting in the festive spirit. Drive through stunning displays of Christmas lights at Spruce Meadows without having to set foot outside during Calgary’s chilly winter evenings.

When: Friday through Sunday from December 10, 2021, to January 2, 2022 (closed on Christmas Day)
Time: 5 to 10 pm
Where: Spruce Meadows (18011 Spruce Meadows Way SW, Calgary)

Meals on Wheels Holiday Cookie Kitchen

What: Want to enjoy delicious baked goods while supporting a good cause? The Southcentre Mall Cookie Kitchen returns this year in support of Meals on Wheels, with treats made by the local bakery, Bakeri by Jess. Stop by the Cookie Kitchen to decorate a cookie in exchange for a donation to Meals on Wheels, and help the organization reach its $16,000 fundraising goal. Decorate your cookie onsite or take a decorating kit home.

When: November 12 to December 24
Time: Monday to Saturday from 9:45 am to 8 pm, Sundays from 10:45 am to 6 pm
Where: Located on the mall’s main level across from RW&Co, Southcentre Mall (100 Anderson Road SE, Calgary)
Cost: Cookie kits are purchased with a suggested donation of $2 each

A Christmas to Remember at Granary Road

What: Visit Granary Road’s Christmas market for an enchanting holiday celebration. Find Christmas carols playing throughout the market, beautifully decorated trees, strings upon strings of Christmas lights, and other festive décor, making Granary Road a destination for Christmas shoppers, foodies, and families alike.

For added fees, visitors can take photos with Santa and with the attraction’s alpacas, a wagon ride, s’more making, breakfast with Santa, and a class in Santa’s workshop.

When: Saturdays and Sundays from November 27 to December 19
Time: 9 am to 5 pm
Where: Granary Road (226066 112th Street West, Calgary)
Cost: Free admission to the market

View the Naughty… but Nice! Vaccin8! show

What:¬†Naughty…¬†but¬†Nice! Vaccin8! is back with some new songs, a new cast, and a lot of your old favourites from years past. Stream the performance from the comfort of your own couch and experience the 2021 Rosie Award-winning show for yourself.

When: December 3 to 19
Time: 8 pm Wednesday through Sunday and at 2 pm on Saturdays
Where: Virtually
Cost: $20

Once Upon a Christmas at Heritage Park

Heritage Park

What: Once Upon a Christmas at Heritage Park offers ten days of entertainment and activity full of old-fashioned Christmas charm. In addition to family favourites like the Kids Only Store and visits with Santa, this year’s event introduces the Roundhouse Christmas Market, featuring unique gift items from local artisans and vendors.

The event includes glimpses into historical celebrations of Chanukah, Christmas, Boxing Day and Hogmanay ‚Äď a Scottish New Year tradition ‚Äď through decorations of the Park‚Äôs historical homes, theatrical performances, radio plays, woodcarving demonstrations and roaming carolers. Plus, guests who reserve a family-friendly breakfast buffet at the Wainwright Hotel or Gunn‚Äôs Dairy Barn will receive a discount on admission.¬†

When: Saturdays and Sundays from December 4 to 19, and daily from December 20 to 23
Time: 10 am to 4 pm
Where: 1900 Heritage Drive SW, Calgary
Tickets: $19.95 for adults, $14.95 for children

Banff Craft Beer Festival

What: It doesn’t get much better than sipping a cold brew against a mountain backdrop. Held partially outdoors, the Banff Craft Beer Festival allows you to sample delicious Alberta-made craft beer and spirits along the reconstructed and reimagined Bear Street, which now boasts a pedestrian plaza feel.

When: December 9, 10, and 11
Time: Varies by date; check event listing for details
Where: 212 Bear Street, Banff
Tickets: $29.99 for admission, additional cost for sample tokens

Market Collective 2021 Holiday Edition

What: Get ready to shop (local) till you drop and celebrate the return of Market Collective’s massive in-person event this December! The beloved market is known for offering a landing place for all things local, from talented artists and makers to innovative Calgary businesses and live music to food and beverage. This year’s winter market will run over two weekends in December to help you get all your holiday shopping in and support small makers at the same time.

When: December 10 to 12 and 17 to 19
Time: 4 to 9 pm on Friday, 10 am to 6 pm on Saturday and Sunday
Where: BMO Centre Hall B + C (20 Round Up Way SE, Calgary)
Admission: $6 for the weekend

Nightrise at the Banff Gondola

Banff events

Pursuit (banffjaspercollection.com)

What: Pursuit’s latest experience, Nightrise, combines multimedia, storytelling, and nature at the Banff Gondola for an immersive, multi-sensory journey like no other. The event will bring light and sound together to share a new and inspiring perspective in the heart of the Rockies. At Sulphur Mountain’s peak, guests can explore the many levels of the summit building and enjoy Rockies-inspired eats and drinks. Outside on the viewing decks, guests will discover wonders that only emerge as the night begins to rise.

When: December 2, 2021, to March 12, 2022
Time: Gondola upload time slots between 5:10 and 8:10 pm
Where: Banff Gondola (100 Mountain Avenue, Banff)
Tickets: Starting at $56 for adults

Otipemisiwak exhibition at Fort Calgary

What: Fort Calgary has launched Otipemisiwak, an exhibition of contemporary visual art, to celebrate Métis Week (November 14 to 20) and remaining on display until June 2022. The exhibit showcases recent works by Daphne Boyer, a visual artist and plant scientist, using a photo-based technique that mirrors spectacular traditional Métis beading.

When: November 19, 2021, to June 26, 2022
Time: Fort Calgary hours (currently 11 am to 6 pm Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays)
Where: Fort Calgary (750 9th Avenue SE, Calgary)
Cost: $10 for general admission to Fort Calgary, or free for youth age 17 and under and First Nations, Métis, and Inuit community members

Beyond Van Gogh Calgary

things to do calgary

Elle McLean/Daily Hive

What:¬†Beyond Van Gogh has extended its immersive exhibit in Calgary for a final time, giving you one last chance to “Gogh” check it out before the end of the year. Get up close and personal with Van Gogh’s work through larger-than-life projections of his paintings. To round out this experience of the senses, the exhibit is accompanied by the artist’s own words, set to a symphonic score.

When: On now until December 31
Time: Varies by day; timed reservations available online
Where: The BMO Centre on Stampede Park (20 Roundup Way SE)
Tickets: Starting at $33.99 for adults, available now

In Wonderland by Alberta Theatre Projects

What: This holiday season, Alberta Theatre Projects invites families back to their playhouse with the reimagining of a nostalgic classic. In Wonderland is based on Lewis Carroll’s beloved novels and features three artists portraying all the familiar characters. The play follows a young girl navigating the topsy-turvy world of social interactions and skirting the edges of adulthood.

When: November 23 to December 26
Time: Varies by performance; find available dates and times here
Where: Proscenium Stage, Martha Cohen Theatre (215 8th Avenue SE, Calgary)
Cost: Tickets available from $25


zoolights calgary


What: A Calgary favourite, ZOOLIGHTS transforms the zoo into a magical winter wonderland. Check out this event for all the family-friendly fun and Christmas vibes from November 19 to January 2.

When: November 19, 2021, to January 2, 2022
Time: 5 to 9 pm
Where: Calgary Zoo (210 St. George’s Drive NW, Calgary)
Cost: $21.95 for general admission, $14.95 for children

Summer of ’69 at Jubilations Dinner Theatre

What: Get taken back to the Summer of ’69 in this show inspired by the popular Bryan Adams song. Watch and listen to the story of peace, love, long hair, and music that would change the world, and enjoy a delicious meal alongside your entertainment at Jubilations Dinner Theatre.

When: October 23, 2021, to January 8, 2022
Time: Varies by date
Where: Jubilations Dinner Theatre (1002 37th Street SW, Calgary)
Cost: Starting at $69.95 for adults

Hygge Hut pop-up in East Village

hygge hut

Courtesy of East Village

What: East Village is bringing snuggly vibes to Calgary with the return of its popular Hygge Hut this winter. The Scandinavian-style seasonal pop-up opened this past weekend in a new location, and it’s bigger and better than ever this year. Visitors will find the Hygge Hut in C-Square, at 4th Street and 7th Avenue SE with fire pits to warm up by, food trucks, live music, ice sculptures, and games, along with a jam-packed schedule of other community programming.

When: November 12, 2021, to March 2022
Time: Fires lit on Fridays from 2 to 7 pm and Saturdays, Sundays, and stat holidays from noon to 6 pm (weather permitting)
Where: C-Square (4th Street and 7th Avenue SE, Calgary)
Cost: FREE community programming

Elle McLeanElle McLean

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