One of my favourite things about Christmas is the glow of beautiful Christmas lights shining on a chilly winter night. Our family has made it an annual tradition to try to visit as many Christmas light displays as we can, and lucky for us, Calgary has them all around the city! I’ve rounded up 7 of the most popular Christmas light displays in and around Calgary to help you and your family find some new favourites of your own.
Where: 24 Ave NW & 14 St NW
When: Nightly from 6 pm-midnight from December 2 – January 8, 2020
The Lions Festival of Lights is back for another year, thanks to the amazing efforts of volunteers who keep this awesome display running each winter. 450,000 lights create the beautiful displays put on by the Lions Club for its 33rd year. We love to get bundled up and take in the lights by foot, but they can also be viewed from the warmth of your car by driving along 14 St NW, north of 24 Ave.
Where: 18011 Spruce Meadows Way SW
When: Nightly from 5-10 pm from December 8-January 5 (Closed on Christmas Day)
Stay warm and cozy in your vehicle as you drive through the grounds at Spruce Meadows, taking in the colourful lights all around you. Hot chocolate, coffee, and pastries are available in Founders Plaza between 5-9 pm, so make sure to pop out and get a treat before you finish your visit!
Where: 201 St. George’s Drive NE
When: Nightly from 6-9 pm from November 22-January 4
Cost: Children – $14.95, General – $19.95. Save $3 by purchasing your tickets online! Parking is $12. Calgary Zoo Inspire members receive unlimited free access to ZOOLIGHTS and Engage and Child members receive 50% off.
Get your winter gear on and wander through over 2 million lights at the Calgary Zoo! To celebrate its 23rd year, ZOOLIGHTS is bringing back favourite activities from past years, as well as many new and exciting ones. On Wednesdays, guests are invited to wear their best wizard-themed gear to receive a tasty, magical treat. On Sundays, between 5 – 6 pm, guests who are sensory sensitive can enjoy an altered experience suited to their needs. Guests can visit the Calm Room in the Tom Baines Classroom from 5:00 – 9:00 p.m. which features calming activities in a soothing space. Every day, all guests can learn ZOOLIGHTS history at the Zoo Pole, visit Santa, try out magical classes and crafts and take in live entertainment in the Enmax Conservatory, enjoy some outdoor skating and warm up afterwards at one of the fire pits. Don’t forget to write down a wish to tie to the wishing trees in Panda Park. This year’s event is sure to be nothing short of magic!
Where: Nose Creek Park – 1701 Main Street South, Airdrie, AB, T4B 1C5
When: Nightly from December 1-31 from 6-9 pm
Cost: No admission fee, but a suggested donation of $10-$20 per family is gratefully accepted
The Airdrie Festival of Lights is Western Canada’s largest walk-through Christmas Lights display! Since 1996, this family-friendly event has been put on by volunteers to help light up the holiday season. Kids will also love visiting with mascots like Lumi the Lightbulb who wanders the grounds nightly. All members of the family (including furry ones) are invited to take a ride on one of the 3 mini trains that make 2 separate loops around the park. Single rides are $2. There will also be fire pits for warming up, as well as drinks like cider, hot cocoa, and coffee available for $2. Enjoy a skate around Nose Creek Pond, and let the kids do a little Christmas shopping in the designated, grownup-free section of Santa’s Gift Shop, where all gifts are prices at $10 or less. On select nights, there will be kid-friendly activities and visit with Santa.
View this post on Instagram
Where: The Nutrien Centre at the Stampede Grounds (1410 Olympic Way SE, Calgary, AB)
When: Between 4-10 pm, November 28 – December 31 (Closed on Christmas)
Cost: Weekdays: $14.99 for children 6-15, students, and seniors 65+. $19.99 for adults 16+. Family pass for 2 adults and 3 children is available for $59.99. Weekends: $15.99 for children 6-15, students, and seniors 65+. $21.99 for adults 16+. Family pass for 2 adults and 3 children is available for $64.99. Children 5 and under are always free.
Four themed light parks with interactive displays, a 250-foot light tunnel, food trucks, Santa visits, a mini-market and more await you at Calgary’s only indoor light festival. Almost one million twinkling lights sparkle around you as you take in the scenery and maybe even knock a few items off of your Christmas list. Join carolers as they sing Christmas favourites, and sip on craft beer and spirits as you marvel at the most magical indoor display around.
View this post on Instagram
Where: 261055 Crossiron Blvd, Rocky View No. 44, AB
When: Monday-Saturday from 10-9 pm, Sundays 11-6 pm
Cross Iron Mills has arguably one of the most beautiful free indoor light displays around! Take a break from Christmas shopping to stand under the twinkling lights of the Enchanted Winterland in the hallway towards the food hall. This year, download the free Enchanted Winterland game and use it to collect QR codes around the mall, located at each Enchanted Winterland display. Once you’ve scanned all the unique snowflakes you can find, head to the main Winterland Experience beside Victoria’s Secret to bring the constellations you’ve collected to life by scanning them under the archway or at the three trees. As if this experience wasn’t enough fun, if you’ve managed to collect all of the animal constellations, you can enter to win a trip to Iceland to see the Northern Lights up close!
This fantastic website has compiled all of the best Christmas lights and displays around Calgary and put them on a map so you can visit them! Photos of each location are available to view on the website so you know just how to plan your route of what to see first. Make a night of it by putting on your comfiest pyjamas, making some popcorn and hot chocolate, and driving around the city to see all the great lights Calgary has to offer!