8 Holiday Activities in Calgary
We're in the home stretch of the holiday season and things may feel a little frantic right now. But before we know it, all the parties will be over, the presents unwrapped and the festive dinners eaten. And the kids will still be home from school. The holidays are all about reconnecting with family and friends, but nobody wants to get cabin fever. Check out these seasonal activities that make the most of the season.
The set designs and costumes at the Alberta Ballet's The Nutcracker are so whimsical, they'll hold a wee one's attention if the dancing doesn't.
Go for a Ride
There's no better way to add some jingle to the holiday season than on a one (or two) horse open sleigh. A visit to Horsin' Around not only includes a good old-fashioned ride, but a petting zoo, pony rides for the kids, and even a little tobogganing hill. End off the holly jolly day with some hot chocolate to celebrate the warm, winter memories.
The lagoon at Bowness Park is one of the prettiest places for outdoor ice skating in the city. It was closed last winter due to the flood, but has since reopened—just in time for the holidays. Bring your own hot dogs to roast over the open fire pits or sneak into their cafe for goodies and hot chocolate. You can rent skates on site, which is super convenient if you're bringing out of town guests.
No need to fret if you don't make it to Zoolights at the Calgary Zoo before Christmas. Since its open until January 3, it's the perfect post-Christmas outing. You need to buy separate tickets for this event, but if you arrive at the zoo in the late afternoon, you can visit the animals until the lights are illuminated around 5 pm.
Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra’s Sing-Along Messiah
Who doesn't love going to a Christmas concert? It's even better when you can sing along. This is one traditional concert that doesn't bore the pants off the tots. Just be sure to pack tissues if you're apt to get emotional when everyone joins the chorus.
Canmore Nordic Centre
Let's face it, a day of downhill can be expensive. A more affordable option is found at the Canmore Nordic Centre. Bring your own cross country skis here and cruise the well groomed trails (you can ski all the way into Banff!). If that doesn't float your boat, bring your toboggan and hit those specific slopes, skate at their outdoor rink or ogle the Olympians milling about.
Walking through Prince's Island Park is a such a treat in winter. Snow blankets the ground, the trees glisten with frost and the smell of wood smoke from River Cafe wafts across this urban oasis. We try to get to this lodge inspired restaurant for a family brunch or festive girlfriend gathering before they close for the month of January. This will likely be your most peaceful meal over the holidays.
This quaint town outside of Glacier National Park is about a five-hour drive from Calgary and best done in daylight. Once you get here, it's paradise for Albertans. Whitefish is your quintessential mountain resort town, with a laid back vibe and the prettiest Christmas decorations you ever did see. Affordable downhill skiing is had at Whitefish Mountain Resort and the shopping is pretty great, too.