What is there to do in the winter? In Calgary –  A LOT! It’s no secret that we embrace winter here, and you’ll find things to do in some of the most unexpected places – like the zoo!

We know, we know, you think the zoo is just for summertime, but that couldn’t be further from the truth! What better time than winter to see polar bears frolicking in the snow, or penguins strutting their stuff through the boulevards? Yes, you read that right. 

From the Wild Canada exhibit to the daily penguin walk that’s exactly as cute as it sounds, there’s tons to see at the zoo this winter, and no two visits are the same!

It’s A Wild Winter

Photo via Wilder Institute Calgary Zoo

Wild Canada

Say hello to the zoo’s latest redeveloped experience, with new species! Wild Canada is an exciting and immersive journey through seven of Canada’s ecological zones, featuring over 15 extraordinary species in expansive habitats that you’ll love watching them play in. 

From the majestic polar bears to the iconic woodland caribou, the experience lets you see these animals in their element while learning about the importance of biodiversity, the impacts of climate change, and the complex survival challenges facing Canadian wildlife. 

Polar Bears

Speaking of polar bears, they’re some of the newest residents! The newest additions to Wild Canada are the two male polar bears, Baffin and Siku. These guys were both orphaned at less than a year old and since survival rates for cubs orphaned that young in the wild are very slim, they were rescued and brought into human care. These boys are now 6 and 7 years old and thriving in their new home in Calgary – so come visit them! 

The Penguin Walk

It’s like fashion week – but the theme is tuxedos! This event is exclusive to the wintertime since temperatures cannot be warmer than 5° C or colder than -25° C, plus the penguins need to be in the mood, of course. 

This highly anticipated winter event allows you to see the adorable penguins waddle right in front of you as they parade around the zoo. It doesn’t matter how old you are – you will love it. The walk takes place daily at 10:30 AM from January to mid-March, so there’s no better time to see these little guys in full-waddling action!

Photo via Wilder Institute Calgary Zoo

Wild After Hours

The zoo also hosts periodic after-hours events that are 18+ and require advanced ticket purchases. Wine and dine as you get to explore the zoo in the evening with no children in sight. It’s an awesome date night idea – extra points for being unique!

All while supporting wildlife conservation

The Wilder Institute/Calgary Zoo, is committed to wildlife conservation, education, and awareness. Their goal is to engage visitors and promote a deeper understanding and appreciation for the natural world. The zoo is an accredited institution and thus must maintain rigorous standards for care, health, and habitats. 

The zoo is also actively involved in conservation work beyond its gates, advocating and supporting the restoration of wild spaces and engaging in research-based, collaborative conservation efforts both locally and globally.

Who else is pumped to visit the zoo this winter? 

It’s a time to put your phone away, be present, and rediscover your childlike curiosity. Marvel at magnificent creatures you’d never otherwise see in real life – and learn something new!

Get your tickets online to save, or at the gate. It’s time to reconnect with your wild side!


When: 9 AM – 5 PM, 7 days a week

Where: 210 St. George’s Drive NE Calgary

Cost: Dynamically priced, visit their website for day-to-day pricing