23 things to do in Calgary this weekend: November 19 to 21

Nov 19 2021, 5:29 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.

As we approach the holiday season in Calgary, there are plenty of things to do around the city to get in the festive mood.

If you’re feeling the “bah humbug” vibes this month, not to worry, as there are also lots of events that aren’t Christmas-themed.

Shop local at a holiday market, take in some live music, experience ZOOLIGHTS, try a game of mini golf on ice, and much more in YYC.

Here are 23 of the best things to do in and around Calgary this weekend.

The Blue Jay Sessions: Holiday Edition

things to do Calgary

Blue Jay Sessions

What: Lovers of local music, rejoice! Blue Jay Sessions: Holiday Edition will feature 24 Canadian musicians over the course of four days at the Prairie Emporium. Performers will share original tunes and tell the stories behind their songs, but they’ll also throw in a holiday tune or two to help the audience get into the festive spirit this month.

Attendees can expect holiday-inspired food and beverages at the shows, including “turkey dinner” hot dogs, Christmas ham clubhouse sandwiches, seasonal stouts and ales, mulled wine, and spiked hot chocolate. Plus, new this time around is a Sunday brunch session, complete with Eggs Benedict and mimosas.

When: November 18 to 21
Time: Varies by session; more details here
Where: The Prairie Emporium (#300 Р334 53rd Avenue SE, Calgary)
Cost: $23.75

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

Virtual BMO 1st Art! exhibition

What: Want to get cultured from the comfort of your own couch? Incredible works from the winners of this year’s BMO 1st Art! competition are available to view virtually from anywhere through the Art Museum at the University of Toronto. See national winner Anna Kuelken’s Father Like Son piece, along with works 12 regional winners from across Canada.

When: November 16 to December 8
Where: View online virtually through the Art Museum at the University of Toronto
Cost: Free

Naughty or Nice Holidrag Show

What:¬†Catch Stephanie Prince from Canada’s Drag Race Season 2 at the Blind Beggar Smokehouse for the Naughty or Nice Holidrag Show. Hosted by Kylee Roman from Virgin Radio and featuring a variety of talented drag queens, you’ll be singing, dancing, and cheering all night long, with a chance to party with Stephanie Prince and your other favourite queens after the show.

When: November 19
Time: Doors open at 6 pm, show at 8 pm
Where: Blind Beggar Smokehouse (4608 Macleod Trail SW, Calgary)
Cost: Starting at $27.66

George Canyon at Deerfoot Inn & Casino

What: Get in the holiday spirit and hear some of your favourite songs live with George Canyon’s Country Christmas concert at the Deerfoot Inn & Casino this Saturday.

When: November 20
Time: Show starts at 9 pm
Where: Chrome Showroom, Deerfoot Inn & Casino (#1000 Р1500 35th Street SE, Calgary)
Cost: Tickets starting at $49

Frozen Fairways at CF Chinook Centre

frozen fairways

Cadillac Fairview

What:¬†Outdoor mini golf in Calgary in November? On ice? It doesn’t get much more Canadian than that. Frozen Fairways is coming to CF Chinook Centre¬†this November, bringing Calgarians a chance to practice their putting with a twist.

Trade in your golf club and ball for a hockey stick and puck, and play through 9 festive holes at the southwest Calgary shopping centre. The outdoor course features nine holes in a portion of Chinook Centre’s parking lot.

When: November 17 to 21
Time: Various time slots available; reserve yours online now
Where: CF Chinook Centre (6455 Macleod Trail SW, Calgary)
Cost: $5 to reserve your tee time

Aspen Crossing Christmas Market

What: The Aspen Crossing Christmas market is back for the 16th year in a row, with over 60 artisanal vendors, warm drinks (including high-quality coffee!), and Christmas treats. Shop one-of-a-kind gifts made right here in our beautiful province at this unique venue just south of Calgary.

When: November 20 and 21
Time: 10 am to 5 pm on November 20, and 10 am to 3 pm on November 21
Where: Box 30, Mossleigh, Alberta (one kilometre west of Mossleigh on Highway #24)
Tickets: Free admission

NMC Presents: Bell Live at the King Eddy


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What: The National Music Centre’s Bell Live series features pop act Laur Elle performing this Saturday with opener Liz. Two-time Edmonton Music Award-nominated singer and songwriter Laur Elle creates ambient synth-pop with shimmering melodies and bittersweet lyrics that explore relationships with others and self. Liz is an Alberta-based pop-country artist influenced by artists such as Kacey Musgraves, Taylor Swift, and Fleetwood Mac.

When: November 19
Time: 8:30 pm
Where: King Eddy (438 9th Avenue SE, Calgary)
Cost: No cover


What: We’re not usually in a hurry for winter to start, but a new event in Calgary this month to celebrate the snowy season is making the transition a little easier. Although winter doesn’t officially kick off until December 21, the City of Calgary is holding FrostFest over two weekends in November to bring some excitement to our chilly evenings. The free event boasts carnival games, ice sculpture carving, a dazzling light art displays, a DJ spinning tunes, a licensed warming cafe to enjoy a boozy beverage, and more.

When: November 19 to 21 and November 26 to 28
Time: 4 to 9 pm
Where: Valleyview Park (3224 26th Street SE, Calgary) from November 19 to 21 and Sacramento Park (10404 Sacramento Drive SW) from November 26 to 28
Cost: FrostFest is a FREE event with no tickets or registration required


zoolights calgary


What: A Calgary favourite, ZOOLIGHTS kicks off this week, transforming the zoo into a magical winter wonderland. Check out this event for all the family-friendly fun from November 19 to January, or get a sneak preview during an adults-only night on November 16.

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

Hotels Live: Le Cirque de la Nuit Beyond Burlesque

What: Local performance group Le Cirque de la Nuit has paired up with Hotels Live to bring carnival-like wonders to YYC by way of Beyond Burlesque. This provocative and alluring adult night circus is set to be an affair like no other, with a big top display of sultry circus spectacles that are watched right from your own private hotel balcony.

When: November 19
Time: 8 pm to midnight
Where: Delta Hotels by Marriott Calgary South (227 Southland Drive SE, Calgary)
Cost: Tickets start at $50 per person, based on quad occupancy (includes performance and hotel stay)

Hygge Hut pop-up in 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

Inglewood Night Market: Holiday Edition

What: One of Calgary’s favourite night markets is back with several holiday shopping events and live music through November and December. Inglewood Night Market’s holiday edition kicks off this weekend, hosting all of the locally sourced and handmade vendors you know and love, selling a wide variety of goods, from one-of-a-kind crafts to vintage clothing, antiques and collectibles, artisan eats, and much more.

When: November 19 and 26, and December 3
Time: 4 to 11 pm
Where: South Bank Building (880 9th Street SE, Calgary)
Admission: $5

Visit Santa at Southcentre’s Enchanted Forest

What:¬†Book a visit with Santa for a physically distanced photo at Southcentre Mall’s Enchanted Forest from November 13 to December 24. A special North Pole mailbox will also be available for children to send their holiday wish lists and letters to Mr. Claus. It’s important to note that to ensure physical distancing all visits with Santa must be booked in advance.

Additionally, from Monday to Saturday between November 13 and December 24, children with sensory sensitivities and mobility issues can experience the magic of visiting Santa from 9:30 to 10 am in a sensory-friendly environment. These visits must also be booked in advance.

Want your furry friend to get in on the festive fun too? From Monday to Saturday between November 13 and December 24, owners are invited to bring their pets to experience a “Paws with Claus” for a pre-booked photo opportunity with Santa from 8 to 9 pm.

When: November 13 to December 24
Time: 10 am to 8 pm
Where: Southcentre Mall (100 Anderson Road SE, Calgary)
Cost: Photo prices starting at $7

Taste for Adventure food festival in Banff

What:¬†As if irresistible specials and drool-worthy menus created by award-winning chefs weren’t enough, a month-long festival is pairing these foodie experiences with a stunning mountain backdrop. Taste for Adventure is back in Banff and Lake Louise this fall, with 19 participating restaurants offering unique fixed-price menus or value-added offers in the iconic Rockies.

When: November 1 to 28
Where: Multiple venues in Banff and Lake Louise; complete list here
Cost: Prices vary by restaurant/special

Check out a new virtual reality exhibit at the TELUS Spark Science Centre


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What:¬†If you want to take a trip through the sky without getting on a plane, look no further than Calgary’s science centre. TELUS Spark Science Centre has launched a brand new virtual reality experience, allowing visitors to safely soar to new heights and take in the sights without leaving the city. First up on the flight plan is “Jurassic Flight,” turning people into a late Jurassic pterosaur.

When: Science centre hours; Wednesday through Friday
Time: 9 am to 4 pm Wednesdays and Thursdays, 9 am to 5 pm Friday through Sunday
Where: TELUS Spark Science Centre (220 St. George’s Drive NE, Calgary)
Cost: Included with general admission ($26 for adults, $19 for children)

Etsy Calgary’s Click & Collect Christmas Market

What: Want to do some shopping from the comfort of your own home while still supporting local? Etsy Calgary’s got you covered. Shop a broad selection of Etsy’s makers online from November 19 and 22, and then pick up your purchases in person the following weekend! The Click & Collect market makes holiday shopping super convenient, safe, and easy.

When: Shop online from November 19 to 22; pick up your purchase in person on November 27
Time: Pick up 11 am to 4 pm
Where: Order online; pick up at Golden Acre Home & Garden (620 Goddard Avenue NE, Calgary)
Admission: Free

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 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 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

Christmas in the Country at the Leighton Art Centre

What: Shop fine crafts and artwork by over 100 talented vendors and pick up holiday gifts for your loved ones (or yourself) at the Leighton Art Centre’s Christmas in the Country event. Beautiful decorations, gorgeous art, and the home’s historic ambiance combine to make visiting the centre a perfectly festive activity.

Prefer to shop from the comfort of your own home? Starting November 6, you can shop vendors online 24/7 at shop.leightoncentre.org.

When: Tuesday through Sunday from November 6 to December 22
Time: 10 am to 4 pm
Where: Leighton Art Centre (282027 144th Street West, Millarville)
Cost: Free parking and admission by donation; varies by purchase

Safari Brunch at the Calgary Zoo

What:¬†Enjoy a “wild” brunch at the Calgary Zoo. Held in the heart of Destination Africa, the zoo’s Safari Brunch features both gourmet and comfort breakfast foods, including a free-flowing chocolate fountain with fresh fruit, eggs Benedict with Canadian bacon, a Belgian waffle bar, and much, much more.

When: Every Sunday until November 21
Time: First seating 9 to 10:30 am, second seating 11 am to 12:30 pm, and third seating on select dates from 1 to 2:30 pm
Where: Calgary Zoo (210 St. George’s Drive NE, Calgary)
Cost: $44.95 for adults, $27.95 for children

Beyond Van Gogh Calgary

things to do calgary

Elle McLean/Daily Hive

What:¬†Beyond Van Gogh has reopened its immersive exhibit in Calgary after a brief hiatus. Get up close and personal this month 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: October 23 to 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

Check out The Dark Arts pop-up at The GRAND Theatre

things to do calgary

Courtesy of The Dark Arts

What: An interim exhibit inside The GRAND Theatre mashes up refined cocktails, a shareable menu, and works by some of YYC’s most accomplished artists. The Dark Arts is an Instagrammable lounge, providing the perfect backdrop for a night-out atmosphere that offers much to explore.

When: Wednesday to Saturday until the end of December
Time: 5 pm to late
Where: The GRAND Theatre (601 1st Street SW, Calgary)
Cost: No entry fee; prices vary by food and drink item

Get into Studio Bell for free

What: Studio Bell, home of the National Music Centre, celebrates its five-year anniversary with free admission every weekend through the rest of the year. Check out new and updated exhibits, catch instrument show-and-tells, and delve into the history of iconic Canadian musicians. Reserve your tickets online now.

When: Weekends until the end of 2021
Time: 10 am to 5 pm
Where: Studio Bell (850 4th Street SE, Calgary)
Cost: Free

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