It’s almost Winter Break, which means you’ll soon have time to check out some of the many family-friendly activities that Calgary has to offer. If Mother Nature has beautiful winter weather in store, skating, skiing and tobogganing are just a few fun ideas put at the top of your list of things to try, but if the weather outside is frightful, there are plenty of indoor options to keep you toasty and entertained, too! We’ve even got a few ideas for ringing in the New Year that everyone in the family can enjoy (and stay up for!)
Race to the bottom of Western Canada’s largest tube park! There are 10 lanes that are each roughly 200 metres in length, and riders have the option of choosing how fast they want to go based on the slope of each lane. If climbing back up to the top of the hill is your least favourite part of tobogganing, this is the place for you! Take the magic carpet to the top of the hill, pick your tube, and slide down on your own or link tubes with a group. A ticket gets anyone 36 inches and taller into the park for a three-hour time slot, and family rates are available. This is the perfect outing for everyone in the family!
If you’d rather ride on skis or a snowboard than on a tube, Winsport has you covered here, too. Whether you’re just learning to ride or you’ve been at it for years, there are trails and terrain parks available for all skill levels. There’s even a superpipe if that’s your thing! Don’t worry if you don’t have your own equipment, either. Winsport has everything you need to hit the slopes available for rent at very reasonable rates. Take a lesson or take to the runs on your own – there’s nothing better than a day at the ski hill!
Looking for something free to do with the family? Calgary has 35 different outdoor skating rinks across the city, 7 of which are regularly flooded and maintained by the city. Olympic Plaza and Bowness Park Lagoon both offer rentals of everything you’ll need to get on the ice, from skates to helmets, and have a skate sharpening service as well. Outdoor rinks are open dependent on the weather, so be sure to check the website before heading out to skate!
Is there anything more fun on a snowy winter’s day than jumping on a toboggan and zipping down the biggest hill you can find? This handy article has rounded up the 8 best toboggan hills in Calgary so you don’t have to waste any time finding the perfect spot to slide! Once you’re worn out, warm up with a cup of hot chocolate on the ride home!
How do you feel about dashing through the snow on a two-horse open sleigh? Horsin’ Around has Christmas sleigh rides available for booking on December 21, 22, 24, 26, 28 and 29 between 10 am and 4 pm. Sleigh rides are 30 minutes long and can be booked privately for up to 12 riders or general admission tickets can be purchased as well.
On January 4 from 12-4 pm, the Southwood Community Association will be hosting a Winter Festival with activities for the whole family including free skate rentals for skating and shinny, sleigh rides, a petting zoo, face painting, games, crafts and more! Donations for the Calgary Food Bank are gratefully accepted.
Did you know that the first Thursday night of the month (from 5-9 pm) is always free at the Glenbow Museum? Explore fascinating exhibits featuring artifacts in the museum collection, a variety of prints, drawings and paintings in the art collection, unpublished documents and photographs in the archives collection, and books, pamphlets, journals and maps in the library collection.
If a winter carnival sounds like your idea of a good time, you won’t want to miss this event at Heritage Park! From December 27-31 and January 2-5 between 10 am and 4 pm, join in the fun in Gasoline Alley. Games like stuff your stocking guessing game, “pin the heart on the Grinch”, floor curling, table hockey and more will keep everyone in the family entertained. Dress up in old-timey winter gear before taking a selfie, build a fort, explore the museum and have a bite to eat at the Railway Café. It’s guaranteed to be a great time!
Play an instrument, mix a track, and sing along in a vocal booth before touring five floors of exhibitions that tell the story of music in Canada. Studio Bell has something fun to see and do for all of the music lovers in your family. Time is almost up to see the Homegrown Country and Geddy Lee exhibits, so get there before they disappear on January 6!
There’s so much to do this holiday season at Telus Spark! Catch a festive movie (like Home Alone, How The Grinch Stole Christmas, Elf and more) on December 20, December 27, and January 3 in western Canada’s largest dome theatre. Admission for Festive Movie Fridays is $5 for kids and regular admission prices for adults. In addition, kids’ $5 admission is valid between 4 and 9 pm on those days, so take some time to explore the exhibits before and after the show. Don’t forget to snap a picture with the 26 foot light up tree!
Do you have what it takes to find the priceless Santa figurine hidden at the fictitious Maxim Buckerson’s luxurious cocktail party? Bring your group of up to 10 people to solve puzzles to see if you can get your hands on the prize before the 60-minute time limit runs out!
Fireworks will be lighting up the sky at midnight as they’re shot off from the Calgary tower. Enjoy free public skating until midnight at Olympic Plaza while you wait to ring in the new year!
Village Square Leisure Centre and Southland Leisure Centre New Year’s Eve Family Events
From 4-6 pm at Village Square and 6-8 pm at Southland Leisure Centre, party in the pool as a DJ pumps out all your favourite tunes. Stick around for the pool party countdown at the end! Whether you want to get home early or are heading out afterwards to check out the fireworks, this is the perfect way to kick off your New Year’s Evening!
Visit the Central Library between 12 – 4 pm on New Year’s Eve to enjoy family-friendly performances, activities, games, and a holiday dance party!
Count down to the other 12 o’clock at this family-friendly New Year’s Eve Celebration at Southcentre Mall! Kids 0-12 will have tons of fun partying from 10 am – 12:30 pm in the Centre Court. There will be a DJ dance party and fun for everyone in the family as you wait for the balloon drop countdown at noon.
What are your favourite things to do in Calgary over winter break? Do you have any great ideas that we should add to our list? We’d love to hear them in the comments!