Jingle those bells, elves, it’s here! The holly jolliest month of the year has finally hit the calendar and we are ready to bundle up for the lights, the markets, and the outdoor events that are sure to warm us from the inside out. Not sure what to do or where to go first? Here are 31 things to do in Calgary this December.
MARKETS AND LIGHT DISPLAYS
VISIT THE CHRISTMAS MARKET
This winter, check out the Kensington market, where attendees can bundle up, enjoy tasty treats and find the perfect gift for a loved one or friend. For more information check out the link above!
When: Friday, December 3rd – 4th
Where: 1205 Kensington Road NW (parking lot)
Time: Friday from 4 pm – 9 pm | Saturday from 11 pm – 4 pm
OR THE SASKATOON FARM CHRISTMAS MARKET
This Christmas, shoppers can enjoy the holiday season with goods made by local artists, bakers, and pro crafters at the Saskatoon Farm Christmas Market! Meet and greet special guests, including Santa Claus and the Grinch, and indulge in some incredible tasty snacks! We’re talking fresh mini donuts, kettle corn, soft pretzels, and cinnamon buns (just to name a few). Yum!
When: Friday, December 3rd – 5th and 10th – 12th
Where: 80181 338 Ave East Foothills, AB
Time: See times above
HAVE A ‘CHRISTMAS TO REMEMBER’ AT GRANARY ROAD
This season, shop the annual Christmas to Remember Market’ 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 until December 19th
Where: 226066 112 St W, Foothills County, AB
Time: 9 am – 5 pm
SHOP THE MARKET COLLECTIVE HOLIDAY SERIES
This December, support local businesses at the annual Holiday Market Collective! Bring your friends, family, and credit card (of course) and enjoy the many vendors, the endless items, and the spirit of Christmas. Just make sure you save some dough for eating and drinking afterward though – you’ll more than likely work up an appetite.
When: Friday, December 10th – 12th and 17th – 19th
Where: 20 Roundup Way SE, Calgary (Hall B and C)
Time: See times above
Cost: $6 for the weekend
HIT THE INGLEWOOD HOLIDAY NIGHT MARKET
This holiday season, shop local – after dark! For the last time this season, Calgarians are encouraged to hit the indoor edition of the Inglewood Night Market on Friday, December 3rd – because why not check it out and cross a few things off that growing Christmas gift list early? The big day will be here before you know it!
When: Friday, December 3rd
Where: 880 9th Street SE, Calgary
Time: 4 pm to 11 pm
WALK LEGACY’S LIGHT DISPLAY
Fill a to-go mug and bundle up because the Legacy community light walk has kicked off in YYC. Until January 16th, this FREE event with light the night with over a million tiny bulbs strung up on everything from the clock tower to the houses. Don’t miss it!
When: Until, January 16th
Where: Legacy Calgary – See directions here
WANDER THE SPARKLE, SPARKLE INDOOR LIGHT EVENT
Held at Calgary Telus Spark Science Centre, Sparkle Sparkle is back for another year of magic, whimsy and light! This season until January 2nd Calgarians can check out an event unlike anything else in the city and maybe score some date-night points in the process.
When: Until January 2nd
Where: 220 Saint George’s Drive Northeast, Calgary
Time: 5:30 pm – 9:30 pm
STROLL CALGARY’S ZOOLIGHTS
It’s back! This month ogle millions of enchanting lights strung through the trees at the Calgary Zoo, grab a hot cocoa, a snack and take a seat by the fire – it is tradition after all! Heck, while you’re there, maybe go for a lap or two around their skating rink, or pop a squat with the big man himself.
When: Until January 2nd
Where:210 St. George’s Drive NE
Time: 5 pm – 9 pm
SHOP UNDER THE LIGHTS OF THE INTERNATIONAL X-MAS MARKET
Showcasing vendors, stunning decorations, carolers, and more, this particular festivity was sorely missed in the wake of the pandemic – but alas, it’s finally back in person! From food to their many, many photo ops – guests can get in on the merry fun for one weekend only, so don’t miss out!.
When: Friday, December 3rd – 5th
Where: 18011 Spruce Meadows Way SW
VISIT THE NIKKA YUKO JAPANESE GARDEN FOR ITS HOLIDAY DISPLAY
Looking for something magical? This month, check out the Nikka Yuko Japanese Gardens -one of the most beautiful places not just in Alberta, but all of North America! Though its best known for its flower gardens, this winter – guests can actually experience the magic of its lantern and light festival – an event that will take your breath away.
When: Starts Friday, November 29th
Where: Corner of 9th Ave S &, Mayor Magrath Dr. S, Lethbridge
WANDER THE CALGARY CHRISTMAS MARKET
The Calgary Farmers’ Market has once again turned into a winter wonderland this holiday season! With thoughtfully crafted goods from all the OG vendors, you know & love, 12 additional seasonal vendors, fresh Christmas trees, and tons of unreal food – the market is the perfect place to hit up this weekend to get in the holiday spirit and start crossing off your Christmas list. Plus, they’ve got tons of activities for kiddos going on too!
When: Until December 23rd
Where: Calgary Farmers Market, 510 77th Avenue SE, Calgary
BEAR STREET HOLIDAY MARKET
Grab yourself a hot chocolate and take a long stroll through the beautiful (and new) Bear Street Holiday market in Alberta’s beautiful mountain town, Banff! Check out food stalls, local vendors, and more on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays until December 24th.
When: Until December 24th
Where: Bear Street – Banff, Alberta
ARTS AND CULTURE
BINGE NETFLIX’S DECEMBER RELEASES
From classics to holiday faves and originals, Netflix will be delivering hours of entertainment to get us through the chillier season. This December, those who would prefer to stay indoors can binge their way through fall with a ton of new releases!
CHECK OUT THE NATIONAL MUSIC CENTRE
Can’t wait until the 25th to receive a gift? Christmas has come early at Calgary’s National Music Centre where they’ll actually be offering free admission Saturdays and Sundays in celebration of Studio Bell’s 5th anniversary- check out the link above for more information!
Where: 850 4 St SE, Calgary, AB
CLIMB ABOARD THE POLAR EXPRESS
Despite knowing that your family and friends make the holidays as cozy as they are, there’s no denying that whimsical events help to make the season bright. From lights and cookies to red suits and music, magical experiences – no matter how grand – will give you the warm fuzzies, especially when they’re well planned! This winter, sip hot chocolate, mingle with Kris Kringle and relive a childhood favourite aboard Aspen Crossing’s Polar Express Train!
When: Fridays – Sundays Until December 12th | December 17th – 24th
Where: Aspen Crossing – Box 30 Mossleigh, AB
CATCH USS LIVE
Miss live music? So did we – which is why you won’t want to miss this one, folks! On Saturday, December 4th check out USS live at Commonwealth Calgary and get back to the things you love with the people you like the most.
When: Saturday, December 4th
Where: 731 10 Ave SW, Calgary
Time: 9 pm
OR JULY TALK AT THE GREY EAGLE
Known for popular songs like Push + Pull and Picturing Love, singer-songwriters July Talk will take over the Grey Eagle Theatre for one night this month. Grab a drink and check it out Calgary! You won’t want to miss out!
When: Saturday, December 18th
Where: 3777 Grey Eagle Dr, Calgary
Time: 8 pm
‘GET TOGETHER’ IN EDMONTON
Even in the dead of winter, live music lives! This December, if you manage to keep ’em defrosted, dance your butts off at ‘Get Together,’ a 2-day EDM festival showcasing a lineup of popular artists and local talent.
When: Tuesday, December 28th – 29th
Where: 9797 Jasper Ave, Edmonton, AB
Time: 8 pm – 2 am
RIDE THE ALBERTA PRAIRIE RAILWAY TO THE NORTH POLE
Inspired by the popular movie Polar Express, and set to the acclaimed soundtrack, the folks behind this enchanting ride have coordinated an evening taken right from the pages of the classic children’s story by Chris Van Allsburg. Climb aboard and experience the magic!
When: Dates throughout November and December
Where: 4611 47 Ave, Stettler, AB
FOOD, DRINK AND SHOPPING
IMMERSE YOURSELF INTO A HOLIDAY CLASSIC AT EIGHTY-EIGHT BREWING
This holiday season, in celebration of the beloved classic Home Alone, Eighty-Eight Brewing co. in Calgary will take holiday lovers beyond their living room screens for an immersive experience unlike any other. Thanks to detailed superfans and decorator extraordinaire’s, the entire YYC taphouse will be transformed floor-to-ceiling with booby traps and tinsel, garland, and balls. Heck, you may even run into a wet bandit or two! Check it out!
When: Wednesday, December 1st
Where: 2600 Portland St SE #1070, Calgary
SHOP FOR A CHRISMAS TREE
If you’re going to do it anyway, you may as well do it with someone special and make the day out of it! This winter, make an event out of shopping and decorating the Christmas tree! Check out the link above for the best spots in Calgary to get a tree, then brew some hot chocolate, throw on some tunes and get hanging the tinsel!
HAVE A SIP AT THE MIRACLE ON 1ST STREET POPUP
Serving Xmas-themed cocktails in a variety of Christmas mugs and glasses, Miracle of 1st Street will return again this year to completely transform Calgary’s Proof cocktail bar with over-the-top decorations from floor to ceiling Don’t miss out!
When: Until December 24th
Where: 1302 1 St SW, Calgary, AB
NOG YOURSELF OUT AT SIPPIN’ SANTA
With a one-of-a-kind concept, this tropical holiday pop-up will feature classic sips like their Kringle Kolada, Christmas Eve of Destruction and of course their sippin’ Santa, as well as brand new drinks like their white Russian Christmas and Yule Log Grog (just to name a few.) It’s going to be delicious!
When: Until December 31st
Where: 1530 5 St SW, Calgary, AB
OUTDOORS AND IN THE MOUNTAINS
SNOWSHOE UNDER THE STARS
This November, enjoy the great outdoors and up your next date night with this one-of-a-kind experience. On this unique excursion, Calgarians will 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: Thursday, December 23rd, 26th, 28th
Where: Kananaskis Village Centre- 1 Mt. Sparrowhawk Crescent
Time: 7 pm – 9 pm
WATCH NIGHTRISE AT THE BANFF GONDOLA
As if a ride on Banff’s gondola wasn’t already one of the most magical experiences you can have in Alberta’s Rocky Mountains this winter, Pursuit, the company behind the high climbing attraction will introduce Nightrise – an immersive activity that merges multimedia, storytelling and nature for what they’re calling a “new and inspiring perspective” at the location.
When: Thursday, December 2nd – March 12th
Where: 100 Mountain Ave, Banff, AB
Time: 5 pm
EXPLORE THE ATHABASCA ICE CAVES
Looking for something seriously magical this season? Gear 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.
Where: Directions here
TASTE TEST YOUR WAY DOWN THE HOT CHOCOLATE TRAIL
Thirsty? This December, head to Banff and wet your whistle with 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: Until January 1st
Where: See locations above
RENT A CABIN
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.
HAVE A MOUNTAINTOP CHRISTMAS
A magical event that will knock the socks right off of your fireplace, guests are invited to climb aboard one of the Banff Gondolas sky sleighs for some unreal mountaintop views of wildlife and the powder below. Once at the summit, you can browse Santa’s workshop, decorate cookies, roll your own maple taffy and watch a film in their comfy cozy theatre with the big man himself.
When: Until December 9th & December 20th – 30th
Where: 100 Mountain Ave, Banff, AB
Time: 11 am – 8 pm
RENT A FIREPIT
Bundle up, s’more lovers. After an incredibly successful 2020, the free Calgary community fire pits will soon be back and available to the public in hopes of warming the chillier months. Check out the link above for where and how you can rent one of these bad boys!
OLYMPIC PLAZA SKATING RINK
Calgarians looking to lace up and take a lap can finally feel the wind through their hair downtown! This December, Olympic Plaza, one of the city’s favourite ice skating rinks, announced that it was finally open and ready for action ahead of the winter season.
Where: 228 8 Ave. SE, Calgary
Time: 6 am – 11 pm
And there you have it, friends! 32 things to do in Calgary this December. Now get making this month’s calendar! It’s going to be a busy one!
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