Looking for a magical holiday? While Christmas in the big city has its charm, there’s no place like a village, hamlet or mountain borough to jingle your bells.

From the mom-and-pop boutiques to the historic buildings, there’s no doubt you’ll find magic in the streets. This winter, take in a light display or wholesome holiday market in one of the many small towns across Alberta.


Of course, we had to kick off this list with a favourite! Located in the beautiful Rocky Mountains, Banff is one of the most popular places in the province and for good reason! Not only is it beautiful in the wintertime, they’ve got a ton of exciting events on their 2023 calendar. In addition to their holiday market (which has come and gone), guests can check out their Snow Days festival, walk the hot chocolate trail, and can go skiing, snowshoeing or take a carriage ride.



View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Jasper, Canada (@tourismjasper)

Love adventure? This holiday season check out Jasper. Located west of Edmonton, this enchanting mountain town has a ton of nearby trails, the deepest canyon in the Rockies, a world-class planetarium, and a charming main street.

Heck, you might even see some wildlife while you’re in the area!


If of course, you’re looking for a quiet getaway, Waterton is another stunning mountain town south of Calgary. Described as “ideal for the real rejuvenators,” guests are encouraged to unplug, take a walk and breathe in the frosty fresh air.

Here, you can hike, wander, eat and shop with a view worth writing home about!

Sylvan Lake 


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Visit Sylvan Lake (@visitsylvanlake)

Thought Sylvan was ideal in the summer? Think again! This charming town also sees a ton of action in the wintertime. This season, check out their Winter Village where they hold a Christmas Tree Parade, bonfire nights and light displays, or take a spin on their light-up ice rink.

Still not convinced this place is the bee’s knees? They also hold an ice fishing tournament called the Winterfest where guests will be encouraged to take part in a polar plunge, poutine eating contest, sleigh rides, arts and crafts and a firework show. They really go all out!


Not far from the town of Banff, you’ll find Canmore – a charming spot with spectacular views and a ton to do! From beautiful buildings and incredible restaurants to snow-covered mountains and adorable shops, they’ve really got it all.

This season, take a stargazing tour or visit the Canmore Christmas Artisan’s Market. You’ll be delighted!

Bragg Creek


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Bragg Creek (@visit_bragg_creek)

Need action? Bragg Creek is THE place for active Albertans looking for a fun-filled weekend away this season. Here, guests can go cross-country skiing, skating, fat biking through the snow, or just walk the town and get a bite to eat.

Can’t decide which of these small Alberta towns to visit? Why not hit them all? Heck, with months of winter ahead, you’ve got plenty of time.

Happy exploring and enjoy!