15 Family-Friendly Things To Do In & Around Calgary in December
Even as the temperatures start to drop, there is no shortage of fun things to do with your kids in Calgary. This December, check out some of these awesome activities in and around the city; whether you’re in the mood to brave the cold, or would rather find something to do indoors, we’ve rounded up a list of 15 of our favourite things for you to do with your family this month!
Spruce Meadows International Christmas Market
Spruce Meadows (18011 Spruce Meadows Way SW)
November 30-December 2, Friday 10 am-8 pm, Saturday 10 am – 7 pm, Sunday 10 am – 6 pm
Over 300 vendors will be sharing their unique offerings at this fun and festive market. Performances from musicians, singers, dancers and more will keep your family entertained in the Equi-Plex throughout the weekend, and visits with Santa’s reindeer will surely be a high point of everyone’s visit! Warm up by one of the outdoor bonfires while enjoying twinkling Christmas Lights and sipping hot cocoa, and then head inside to get your Christmas shopping done!
Breakfast with Santa at the Lougheed House
The Lougheed House (303 13 Avenue SW)
December 1 & 2 at 8:30 am
Indulge in a delicious breakfast at the beautifully decorated Lougheed House before meeting Santa and getting a commemorative photo with him. After your visit, enjoy festive activities, games and entertainment provided by Santa’s Elves! This year’s décor theme is “Treats and Traditions” and was expertly designed by a team of professional interior designers.
Charlie Brown’s Christmas
Central United Church (131 7 Ave SW)
December 1 at 3:00 pm
A local children’s choir will join musicians Jerry Granelli, Simon Frisk and Chris Gestrin to perform the music from the triple-platinum holiday classic, A Charlie Brown Christmas. Drummer Jerry Granelli was a member of the group that helped to write the music for the 30-minute Christmas special in 1965!
Winter Magic at eau Claire
Eau Claire Market (200 Barclay Parade SW)
December 2, 11:00 am – 4:00 pm
This free family event at Eau Claire Market will have something for everyone to get excited about! If you love cookie decorating, crafts, live entertainment, carollers and ice sculptures, mark December 2 on your calendars for this one-day event. A donation of an unwrapped toy for The Mustard Seed Toy Drive will be gratefully accepted!
Calgary Carol Festival
Knox United Church (506-4St SW)
December 1-3, 7 pm
The Calgary Carol Festival is a favourite for many families in the city, as Calgary’s best choirs gather for three evenings of Christmas carol singing. This free event features general seating, so make sure you arrive early to get your spot! Knox United Church will be accepting non-perishable food items or Cash Donations to support the Calgary Food Bank.
Christmas Lights at Spruce Meadows
From December 9 -January 6 from 5-10 pm
Take in 250 000 sparkling lights without having to leave the warmth of your car. Admission to the Spruce Meadows Christmas lights is free, so you can even bring the dog!
Christmas Movies at the Meadows
December 7, 6 pm
Get ready for a screening of everyone’s favourite Christmas Movie – Home Alone – in the heated Equi-Plex at Spruce Meadows! Doors open at 6 and the movie starts at 7, so arrive early to view the Christmas lights on the grounds, take in some live entertainment for kids, purchase a snack, and prepare to giggle as Kevin takes on the Wet Bandits! Buy your tickets in advance online to save $5 per carload.
Market Collective 10 Year/Holiday Market
December 7-9 and 14-16, Friday 4-9 pm, Saturday and Sunday, 10-6 pm
BMO Centre Hall C (20 Roundup Way SW)
This year marks the tenth anniversary of Market Collective, and to celebrate, it will be held for the very first time at the BMO Centre! This event is going to be fun for the whole family, as it features over 150 unique vendors, live music, interactive workshops and delicious food.
CP Holiday Train
Anderson C-Train Station – South C-train parking lot
December 8 from 6:45 – 7:45 pm
The CP Holiday Trains will be making their annual trek across Canada starting on November 25 and 27th, and one of them will be stopping in Calgary on December 8! The colourful train will be lit up to raise money and collect food for local food banks while providing live entertainment by Terri Clark, Sierra Noble and Kelly Prescott. Bundle up and head to the train station early – this free event is one you definitely don’t want to miss!
University District, University of Calgary Field 9
December 9 from 1-6 pm
The U of C is the proud home of this fantastic winter festival with tons of entertainment for the whole family, Visit the Snowman Plaza and watch a race at the Fat Bikes Course. Grab a S’more, get a treat from the Cabane a Sucre, or purchase something from one of the popular food truck vendors. Listen to live music, delight in roaming performers, and hop on a holiday hayride! Snap a photo of the sled dogs and check out the axe throwing or log sawing before getting a photo at the Frosty Memories Photo Booth. This event is a combination of free and token-based activities, so bring some cash to purchase your tokens! Admission is a jar of peanut butter to support the charity I Can for Kids.
The Calgary Zoo
November 23-January 5, Nightly From 6-9 pm
There’s nothing more magical than Christmas lights, and The Calgary Zoo has a lot of them. Two million, to be exact! Gather up the whole family for the 21st annual Zoo Lights event, where you can drink hot chocolate by a warm fire, skate, craft, get a picture with Santa, kiss under the mistletoe, and check out the brand new Snow White and the Seven Stewards of the Forest exhibit in and around the ENMAX conservatory.
The Polar Express Train Ride
November 24-December 24
If you enjoyed watching or reading the Christmas classic, you are going to love being a part of the real thing! Located one hour southeast of Calgary, board the Polar Express at Aspen Crossing where you and your family can enjoy hot chocolate and cookies while listening to the motion picture soundtrack and being entertained by many of the characters from the story. Passengers will be able to hear a reading of the book on their way to the North Pole, where they’ll be greeted by Santa, who will present all believers with the gift of a silver bell. The train ride is approximately one hour long. Book your tickets soon, as many dates are sold out already!
Heritage Park Once Upon a Christmas
Saturdays and Sundays from November 24-December 23, 9:30 am-4:00 pm
Enjoy a huge variety of holiday entertainment and activities such as Santa photos, a Christmas train display, children’s crafts, wagon rides, a visit with the holiday horses, snowshoe racing, snow painting, Christmas carols and more, set in Heritage Park Historical Village! A live musical production of “A Ragtime Christmas” will be presented each day at 11 am, noon, 2 pm and 3 pm.
Theatre Calgary’s A Christmas Carol
220 9 Ave SE
November 29 – December 23 (2 pm and 7:30 pm tickets available)
The Christmas favourite is back for its 32nd year! Everyone in the family is sure to love the story of Tiny Tim and Ebenezer Scrooge, written by Charles Dickens and presented by Theatre Calgary.
Lions’ Festival of Lights
Confederation Park (along 14 St NW, North of 24 Avenue)
Opens December 1 at 5 pm, open nightly from 6-midnight until January 8
450 000 bulbs light up Confederation Park in this free event presented by the Lions Festival of Lights Society. Walk through the park while enjoying festive light displays and Christmas music. On some of our visits over the past years (we go every year!) we have also enjoyed free hot chocolate and live musical entertainment. It’s fun to be at the park just before the lights are turned on to watch everything come to life!