They say that summer is the season of love, but we disagree. From light displays to ice magic, Alberta’s mountains, cities and everything in between come to life in the wintertime – and relationships? They thrive in the cold! After all, is there a better time to cozy up next to someone special than when it’s -40°C outside? This month, why not take advantage of low temperatures and fuel that warm and fuzzy feeling by checking out one of these 23 romantic things to do this winter in and around Calgary! But hurry, in order to hit all of them, you’ve got to get started crossing things off now! 

GO SKATING 

From ponds and lakes to scenic adventures and private spots, Calgary is surrounded by whimsical places to lace up a pair of skates and hit the ice. Check out the link above for our favourites!

RENT A CABIN IN THE MOUNTAINS

From Jasper to Canmore, Alberta has some pretty stunning cabins for rent on Airbnb and VRBO. This winter, pack your bags and spend a magical weekend away where the views are unparalleled and the activities are wholesome. Not sure where to book? Check out the link above for one of many that we’ve covered at Curiocity.

STROLL THE ZOOLIGHTS

It’s tradition! Starting this November, Calgarians are encouraged to clasp hands and ogle millions of enchanting lights strung through the trees at the Calgary Zoo. Grab a hot cocoa, a snack, take a seat by the fir, maybe go for a lap or two around their skating rink, or pop a squat with the big man himself. There’s nothing like it!

When: Thursday, November 19th – January 2nd
Where: 210 St. George’s Drive NE
Time: 5 pm – 9 pm
Cost: $19.95

TAKE IN THE VIEW AT MOUNTAINTOP CHRISTMAS 

This season, take your festivities to new heights with the up-and-coming Banff Gondola Mountaintop Christmas, a magical event that will knock the socks right off of your fireplace. Here, guests are invited to climb aboard one of their sky sleighs and take in the unreal mountaintop views, wildlife, and powder below. Once at the summit, you can browse Santa’s workshop, decorate cookies and roll your own maple taffy among other things. Cute right?

When: Saturday, November 20th – December 9th & December 20th – 30th
Where: 100 Mountain Ave, Banff, AB
Time: 11 am – 8 pm
Cost: $42+

SHOP UNDER THE LIGHTS OF THE INTERNATIONAL X-MAS MARKET 

Cue the adorable market shopping montage! This November, don’t miss browsing vendors, taste-testing sweets and ogling the stunning decorations among carolers, lights and more. From food to their many, many photo ops – love birds can get in on the merry fun for two weekends only, so don’t miss out!.

When: Friday, November 26th – 28th and December 3rd – 5th
Where: 18011 Spruce Meadows Way SW

HOLD HANDS THROUGH THE NIKKA YUKO JAPANESE GARDEN

For those who have never been, the Nikka Yuko Japanese Gardens are one of the most beautiful places in not just Alberta, but all of North America. Though it’s best known for its stunning flower garden in the warmer months – this winter, guests can experience the magic of its lantern and light festival which runs through December and will have your jaws on the ground. Check it out!

When: Starts Friday, November 29th
Where: Corner of 9th Ave S &, Mayor Magrath Dr. S, Lethbridge

OR SEARCH FOR THE CHRISTMAS SPIRIT IN BANFF

This November, those In Search of Christmas Spirit will likely find it in the Alberta mountain town of Banff, where a heartwarming story will be told through a brand new light display of colour, illumination, and music.

When: Various dates from November 24th – January 1st
Where: 91 Banff Ave, Banff, AB

TAKE ON THE INGLEWOOD XMAS MARKET

An indoor market? After dark? Sign us up! Every Friday until December 3rd, Calgarians are encouraged to hit the indoor edition of the Inglewood Night Market! Check it out and cross a few things off that growing Christmas gift list early – while also scoring some date points with someone special!

When: Friday, November 12th, 19th, 26th, and December 3rd
Where: 880 9th Street SE, Calgary
Time: 4 pm to 11 pm
Cost: $5

LOOK UP AT THE JASPER PLANETARIUM

In one of the most romantic, most magical events on the list – join astronomy guides on a journey through constellations, space, and time at the Jasper Planetarium. This winter, wander the beautiful grounds of the world’s largest accessible astronomy park, hear stories, and take a guided binocular tour of the milky way.

When: Tours throughout November
Where: 1 Old Lodge Road, Jasper
Cost: $40 +

VIEW THE NORTHERN LIGHTS

 

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Spontaneous? Sign up for Aurora alerts and wait for a magical late-night event to take your special someone on a date they’ll never forget. Thanks to the U of A, Calgarians are able to keep tabs on when the next stunning Northern Light show will be – so get ready and stay ready! They could show up again at any time.

DRESS DOWN FOR SPARKLE, SPARKLE, AN INDOOR LIGHT EVENT 

Held at Calgary Telus Spark Science Centre, Sparkle Sparkle is back for another year of magic, whimsy and light! Between November 25th and January 2nd Calgarians can check out an event unlike anything else in the city.

When: Thursday, November 25th – January 2ndth
Where: 220 Saint George’s Drive Northeast, Calgary
Time: 5:30 pm – 9:30 pm
Cost: $19+

TASTE TEST YOUR WAY DOWN THE HOT CHOCOLATE TRAIL

This winter, thirsty travellers are encouraged to taste test 20 different hot chocolates from cafes, restaurants, bars, and convenience stores all over Banff and Lake Louise. Each drink is uniquely themed, holiday-centric, and only available for a limited time, so mark down your favourites from the list above and head out!

When: Saturday, November 20th – January 1st
Where: See locations above

SHOP FOR A CHRISTMAS TREE TOGETHER

If you’re going to do it anyway, you may as well do it together! This winter, make a date out of shopping and decorating the Christmas tree! Brew some hot chocolate, throw on some tunes and get hanging the tinsel!

VISIT THE NORDIC SPA 

 

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Before the Christmas craziness, take a day or a weekend to enjoy the Nordic Spa. Disconnect, relax and take some time for yourselves! From facials and massages, this alpine sanctuary has everything you’ll need to revamp before things pick up for the holidays.

Where: 1 Centennial Dr, Kananaskis
Cost: Prices vary

CLIMB ABOARD A JASPER TRAIN TOUR

This winter, see everything that Jasper has to offer from behind the window of a speeding train. From forest views to mountain ranges, this incredible train tour will take you from the Historic Dunster Train Station to Mount Robson, the tallest mountain in the Canadian Rockies. Believe us when we say it’s well worth checking out!

When: See dates above
Where: 414 Connaught Street, Jasper AB
Cost: $65+

EXPLORE THE ATHABASCA ICE CAVES

Looking for something seriously magical this season? Lace up for one of the most incredible winter experiences in Alberta. Located along the Columbia icefields this one-of-a-kind spot is an iconic tourist destination – and just looking at the photo’s it’s pretty clear why. Surrounded by rich blue ice, the Athabasca caves are a sight to behold, and super-duper romantic.

Where: Directions here

CHECK OUT LEGACY COMMUNITY LIGHT DISPLAY 

Romance shouldn’t cost an arm and leg. This winter, stroll through the FREE Legacy Community Light Display! From trees and buildings, this insanely bright event will have you and that special someone in awe.

When: Monday, November 15th – January 16th
Where: Legacy Calgary – See directions here 
Cost: FREE

TAKE A DIP IN A HOT SPRINGS 

A lesser-known spot, Mystic Springs is located in Canmore and is far less busy than others in the area. An incredibly well-kept secret, guests who visit are able to relax in a quiet outdoor pool no matter the time of year in peace.

Where: 140 Kananaskis Way, Canmore

DINE IN FAIRMONT BANFF’S 360° DOME

 

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Indulge outdoors in Fairmont’s new 360° Dome dining room – an insanely romantic private venue with unreal food and a spectacular view. Located on their Upper Garden Terrace, the dome will feature a gourmet brunch, afternoon charcuterie, and an extravagant 5-course menu.

When: Year-round
Where: 405 Spray Avenue Banff, AB
Time: See times above
Cost: $125+

SNOWSHOE UNDER THE STARS

On this unique excursion, Calgarians looking for something adventurous can follow a skilled guide on a fresh, starlit tour through forest and snow, then can sip hot cocoa in a secluded meadow. They’ll bring the drinks, the lamps, and the telescope, and all you have to bring is yourself, and a good jacket!

When: Saturday, November 5th, 6th, 12th & 13th
Where: Kananaskis Village Centre- 1 Mt. Sparrowhawk Crescent
Time: 7 pm – 9 pm
Cost: $84.99

BANFF CHRISTMAS MARKET

It only makes sense that Banff has its Christmas Market. This holiday season, check out the Warner stables for live music, fantastic food and charming gifts, pieces of artwork, and more created and offered by the locals. It’s going to be enchanting!

When: November 19th – 21st and 26th – 28th
Where: 100 Sundance Rd, Banff, AB
Time: See times above
Cost: $7.50+

ENJOY THE LAKE LOUISE ICE MAGIC FESTIVAL

After having been cancelled last year due to the COVID pandemic (the least romantic thing to happen in modern history), the Banff and Lake Louise chilliest, most beautiful festival is back. This December, grab the hand of someone you love and wanted through frozen castles, drink hot cocoa and watch master carvers do their thing!

When: Wednesday, January 19th- 30th

HAVE A ‘CHRISTMAS TO REMEMBER’ AT GRANARY ROAD

Under 40 foot vaulted ceilings among lights and garland, shop the annual Christmas to Remember Market held at Calgary’s Granary Road. Featuring vendors selling everything from art to food; adorable holiday alpaca’s and of course, the big man himself – this enchanting event will bring a little magic to your winter season.

When: Saturdays and Sundays November 27th to December 19th
Where: 226066 112 St W, Foothills County, AB
Time: 9 am – 5 pm
Cost: FREE

Well, there you have it, folks. 23 romantic things to do this winter in and around Calgary. Now get out there and enjoy!