Winter in YYC is jam-packed with holiday festivities. From twinkling lights to markets, musicals and visit with Santa and all his pals, you and your family will have plenty of opportunities to soak up the magic of the season in Calgary this December! Don’t forget to grab your real Christmas tree! Check out our roundup of awesome family events happening in December 2022 — why not outsource your holiday dinner so you can enjoy them all…
Spruce Meadows International Christmas Market | sprucemeadows.com
Friday, December 2 until Sunday, December 4
It wouldn’t be Calgary in December without the Spruce Meadows International Christmas Market. It’s a must-visit market filled with incredible vendors, delicious food, fun activities, crackling bonfires, and beautiful lights to get you in the spirit of the season. Check their website for updates on vendor and activity information. Admission for children 3-12 is $10.79 and general admission is $16.19. Parking is included in your admission.
A Christmas To Remember at Granary Road | granaryroad.com
Weekends in December until December 18
For a one-of-a-kind holiday photo op, head to Granary Road’s Christmas to Remember celebration! Not only can you pre-register for an alpaca photo shoot, but you can also get a shot with jolly old St. Nick himself! In addition to the perfect picture, the market will also have wagon rides, s’more making, cookies and milk with Mrs. Claus (a paid babysitting service so parents can shop the market), and breakfast with Santa! All activities require pre-registration on the website (with the exception of shopping their beautiful and extensive market!) Check out the website for more activity information.
Home Alone In Concert | calgaryphil.com
Friday, December 9 and Saturday, December 10
The only thing better than watching the holiday classic Home Alone is watching it as the Calgary Philharmonic brings John Williams’ incredible score to life as it plays. Take in Kevin McAllister’s hilarious antics as he battles the wet bandits on the big screen, while the talent of the Calgary Philharmonic shines beneath it. Tickets start at $24.
Shriners Santa Photos | santaphotoscalgary.ca
December 4, 10, 11, 17 and 18 pending availability
Are you looking for a chance to snap the perfect photo with the man in red? Head to Santa’s Village at the Calgary Shrine Center for your opportunity to take some photos by the fire with Santa. You can even bring along your four-legged family members! During your 10 minute session, you’ll also have the chance to read The Night Before Christmas, decorate the tree, or just have a visit with Santa. All photos will be shared on a USB stick. Sessions cost $99 + GST – book yours before they’re gone!
Once Upon a Christmas at Heritage Park | heritagepark.ca
Saturday, November 26 until Saturday, December 18
If you’ve always wanted to experience a traditional Christmas celebration, there’s no better place to do it than Heritage Park! Your biggest challenge will be deciding what to do first. Will you check in for a visit with Santa (and maybe get a photo or two)? Will you head to Gasoline Alley to join in on photo ops and fun activities with Christmas storybook characters, write a litter to Santa, or head out on a reindeer scavenger hunt? Maybe you’d rather start with some gingerbread decorating or crafting, or would like to sing along with the roving carollers. If starting (or finishing up!) your Christmas shopping is on your to-do list, be sure to visit the Haskayne Mercantile Block and Village Shops, the Kids’ Only Story and the Christmas Market before you head home! Admission is $14.95 for kids 3-15 and $19.95 for visitors 16 and up.
Glow YYC Presents: Christmas Around The World | glowyyc.ca
Daily throughout December (excluding December 5, 6, 12, 13 and 25)
Get ready to join in the fun of Calgary’s newest holiday celebration! The glow of a million twinkle lights illuminates Christmas magic from across the globe all the way from China, India, Mexico, and the Netherlands straight to the North Pole! This indoor winter wonderland spans over 70,000 square feet and has attractions for everyone including light gardens, children’s activities, live entertainment, a market, and food and beverages. Family passes for 2 general admission and 3 children/senior admission are $85.74. General admission is $28.21 and Children and Senior admission is $21.69. Children under 3 are free.
The Nutcracker by Alberta Ballet | albertaballet.com
Friday, December 16 to Saturday, December 24
Over 120 performers from The Alberta Ballet join the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra to bring this classic holiday story to life for ten showings in the afternoon and evening. This event will dazzle all members of your family, but has a particular aim to inspire the youngest audience members, as they delight in the magic of their first ballet.
Lions Festival Of Lights | lionsfestivaloflights.ca
Nightly Throughout December
The Lions Festival of Lights has been a December in Calgary holiday staple for the past 35 years. Over 650,000 lights shine brightly each night from 5:30 pm until midnight in this spectacular, free drive-by display.
Santa’s Wonderland at Bass Pro Shops and Cabela’s | basspro.com
Daily until Saturday, December 24
It turns out that Santa loves shopping for adventures in the great outdoors just as much as the rest of us! Be sure to get your free 4×6 photo by making a reservation online (not required, but recommended!) While you’re visiting Santa’s Wonderland, don’t forget to mail your letter to Santa and enjoy some of the free giveaways taking place in store (while supplies last).
The Polar Express at Alberta Prairie Railway | absteamtrain.com
Select Dates Until Thursday, December 22
For a holiday adventure that your family will be dreaming of all season long, join Alberta Prairie Railway for a ride on the Polar Express! Relive the magic of the story as you listen to the movie soundtrack, munch on a cookie and sip hot chocolate from your souvenir mug. Santa will board the train at the North Pole and gives each passenger a silver sleigh bell – the first gift of Christmas. Tickets sell quickly, so reserve your dates soon by calling 1-800-282-3994. Fares for adults 12 and over are $38, and children 11 and under are $47 + GST.
Zoolights | calgaryzoo.com
Friday, November 18 until Sunday, January 8
Calgary in December means Calgary Zoo’s magical display of over 2 million lights is back, and now for its 25th year! This year’s Zoolights celebration includes themed areas and activities including a new story in Prehistoric Park, a new Polar Wonderland, a multi-sensory experience in the gorilla amphitheater, the Nutcracker in the ENMAX Conservatory, brand new Snow Globes for rent, and more. And all the classic activities are back, including the “Tunnel of Light”, Skating Rink, Firepits, and Rival Axe Throwing.
Tickets for Zoolights must be purchased in advance, and regular day admission cannot be used towards your Zoolights experience. Calgary Zoo Inspire Members can get free admission to Zoolights, while Engage and Child Members receive 50% off.
What events are you looking forward to this December in Calgary? Did we forget any great ones? Let us know in the comments!