There are lights on every corner, a chill in the air and family on the way! The holidays are nearly here and like you, we’re elfin’ excited! From markets and pop-ups to concerts and shows, it’s going to be a busy month, so buckle up! Here are 34 of the very best things to do in Calgary this December!

Inglewood Night Market

Shop Calgary – after dark! This December, those chasing that festive feeling are encouraged to hit the indoor edition of the Inglewood Night Market, a city-wide favourite.

When: Friday, December 1st and 2nd, 2023
Where:  Crossroads Farmers Market. 1235 26 Ave SE, Calgary
Time: 5 pm – 10 pm
Cost: $5

Saskatoon Farm Christmas Market

Do you have holiday shopping on your to-do list? Visit the Saskatoon Christmas market where local artists, bakers, and pro crafters will be selling their goods and services! While you’re there, why not browse around, get some fresh air and take photos? There’s nothing cuter.

When: Friday, December 1st – 3rd, 8th-10th, 2023
Where: 80181 338 Ave East Foothills, AB
Cost: $8

Sponsored pick: Once Upon a Christmas at Heritage Park

What could be more festive than a historic Christmas village? Heritage Park is back with their Once Upon A Christmas event to help Calgary kick off the holiday magic. There will be horse-drawn wagons, Christmas music, holiday crafts, and the big man himself – Santa! Enjoy classic indoor and outdoor Christmas activities every Saturday and Sunday from November 25 to December 17. Get your tickets online to save your spot!

When: Saturdays & Sundays, November 25th – December 17th, 2023
Where: Heritage Park, 1900 Heritage Dr. SW
Time: 10 am to 4 pm
Cost: General admission (16+) $19.95

Banff Christmas Market

This December, take a little drive, then enjoy the fresh air under some lights. Held at the Warner stables the Banff Christmas Market is back with live music, fantastic food, charming gifts, pieces of artwork, and food. It’s going to be enchanting!

When: Friday, December 1st-3nd, 2023
Where: Warner Stables, 100 Sundance Rd
Cost: $15+

Sponsored pick: CF Winterville at CF Market Mall and CF Chinook Centre

The holiday season is hitting malls across Canada, and that can only mean one thing… Santa pictures! Put on your toothiest smile and head down to CF Market Mall or CF Chinook Centre from Friday, November 17th until Sunday, December 24th, to get your pictures with the big jolly man in red. Celebrate the season with 5 digital photos for only $15, but book your visit soon because Santa’s schedule is filling up fast!

When: Friday, November 17th until Sunday, December 24th, 2023
Where: CF Market Mall, 3625 Shaganappi Trail NW | CF Chinook Centre, 6455 Macleod Trail
Cost: $15 for groups up to 6

Bearspaw European Village Christmas Market

Fireworks, vendors and live music? This December, visit the Bearspaw Market, a magical experience with a little something for everyone and anyone! Do NOT miss this one, friends. You’ll regret it.

When: Friday, December 1st-3rd and 8th-10th, 2023
Where: 253220 Bearspaw Road, AB
Time: Various times
Cost: $5

Sponsored pick: Moxies Winter Menu

‘Tis the season for cozy eats, which is good news because Moxies just announced their new menu for the colder season. Check out tasty new additions, like Maple Glazed Brussels Sprouts, Short Rib Bolognese, and Rigatoni Arrabbiata, along with some returning favourites from last year, like the Mushroom Mosaic Dip and Sticky Toffee Pudding. This new winter menu is available for a limited time, so don’t wait to book your reso and try it for yourself!

When: Available now until Sunday, January 14th
Where: Moxies restaurant locations across Canada

Calgary Flames

 

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Toss on a jersey and head over to the Saddledome where you’re encouraged to grab a pocket dog and a beer, then cheer the Flames to victory. For their December schedule head to the link above.

When: December 2nd, 5th, 7th, 9th, 16th, 18th, 27th, 31st 2023
Where: 555 Saddledome Rise SE
Cost: $38+

“It’s a Wonderful Life” at The Globe Cinema 

This month, you can check out a special screening of the 1946 holiday classic “It’s A Wonderful Life” starring an original Hollywood heartthrob, James Stewart. This one-time showing is not only the perfect way to celebrate the season, but also to support a good cause! You can attend by donation with all proceeds going to Made By Momma and The Children’s Cottage Society. Get your tix via donation now and consider this event a fun way for you and your friends or family to give back for the holiday season!

When: Wednesday, December 20th, 2023
Where: The Globe Cinema
Time: Doors open at 7:00 PM 
Cost:
Entry by donation with all proceeds going to Made By Momma and The Children’s Cottage Society

Films at the Fork

Happy Holidays! Films at the Fork is back with a series of classic movies including Home Alone and Die Hard. For tickets and showtimes visit the link above and enjoy!

When:  December 2nd, 3rd, 9th, 10th and 16th, 2023
Where: 750 9 Avenue SE, Calgary
Cost: $12

Calgary Hitmen

Craving a pocket dog? This December, cheer on the Calgary Hitmen as they take on various teams in the iconic Scotiabank Saddledome! The very best part? Tickets are affordable – so check them out!

When: December 3rd, 6th, 13th, 15th, 17th, 2023
Where: 555 Saddledome Rise SE, Calgary
Cost: $17+

Market Collective Holiday Series

Support local businesses at the annual Holiday Market Collective this December! Bring your friends, family, and credit card (of course) and enjoy the many vendors, the endless items, and the spirit of Christmas.

When:  Friday, December 8th-10th and 15th-17th, 2023
Where: BMO Centre – 20 Roundup Way SE, Calgary (Hall B and C)
Time: See times above
Cost: $7

CP Holiday Train

Feeling festive? The iconic CP Holiday Train is chugging around Canada again and this December it’ll be back in Calgary! Bundle up and enjoy live music, lights and hot cocoa in support of Canadian food banks.

When: Saturday, December 9th, 2023
Where: Anderson C-Train Station South Parking Lot
Time: 5:45 pm
Cost: Free (donations encouraged)

The Nutcracker

 

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They have beauty, they have grace! Featuring dancers from the Alberta Ballet Company and the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra, The Nutcracker is back and better than ever. A long-standing tradition and a family favourite, tickets are sure to go quickly – so don’t hesitate to check out the link above!

When: Friday, December 15th – 24th, 2023
Where: 1415 14 Ave NW, Calgary
Time: See times above
Cost: $69+

S!ck!ck

Canadian DJ S!ck!ck best known for his viral remix of Bruno Mar’s Talking to The Moon will take Calgary’s Back Alley this month. For more information and tickets, check out the link above.

When: Friday, December 15th, 2023
Where: The Back Alley – 4630 MacLeod Trail South, Calgary
Time: 9 pm
Cost: $33+

Miracle on 1st Street

Dig to the back of the closet, Calgary. You’ve got an ugly sweater to rock! This month, enjoy festive cocktails served in a variety of Christmas mugs and glasses. Miracle of 1st Street has returned and Proof has been covered in over-the-top decorations from floor to ceiling.

When: Until December 24th, 2023
Where: 1302 1 St SW, Calgary, AB
Cost: Prices vary

Zoolights

It’s back and brighter than ever, Calgary! This December, see the millions of lights strung through trees at the Calgary Zoo. Grab a hot cocoa, a snack and take a seat by the fire.

When: Until January 7th, 2024
Where: Calgary Zoo, 210 St. George’s Drive NE
Cost: $21.95+

Banff Hot Chocolate Trail

Headed to the Rockies? This December, wet your whistle with several 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. Drink up!

When: Until December 31st, 2023
Where: Various locations
Cost: Prices vary

Sippin’ Santa

Need a vacation? This December, get tropical at Sippin’ Santa! With funky decorations and Christmas lights, guests can enjoy holly sips, music, ugly sweaters, and fun festive mugs.

When: Until December 31st, 2023
Where: 1530 5 St SW, Calgary, AB
Cost: Prices vary

Lions Festival of Lights

Prepare to be dazzled, Calgary! This December, grab a friend, a family member or a hot date, and take in the beautiful lights along 14th Street. Dress warm, grab a hot chocolate and enjoy Calgary’s incredible display – for free!

When: Until January 8th, 2024
Where: Confederation Golf Course – 14th Street NW, Calgary
Time:  6 pm – 12 am
Cost: Free

Home Alone at Eighty-Eight Brewing Company

The Wet Bandits are back, Calgary! This December, fans can check out the Home Alone pop-up at Eighty-Eight Brewing Co. Hurry though! You’ll only have until  December 31st to have a drink or take part in some of their fun activities.

When: Until December 31st, 2023
Where: 2600 Portland St SE #1070, Calgary
Cost: Prices vary

A Christmas to Remember

70 vendors?! Under vaulted ceilings among lights and garland, shop the annual Christmas to Remember Market held at Calgary’s Granary Road! Here guests can explore arts and crafts, take magical wagon rides, grab a hot chocolate or take pictures with their alpacas.

When: Until December, 17th 2023
Where: 226066 112 St W, Foothills County, AB
Time: 10 am – 5 pm
Cost: FREE

Johnson Canyon Night Walk 

This winter, join a tour group and trek through Johnston Canyon after the sun goes down. As you pass over suspended catwalks, you’ll be mesmerized by the light from your headlamp reflecting off the shimmering waterfalls frozen in time. To make this evening more magical, you’ll be treated to some hot chocolate and maple cookies as you take in the dusky scenery.

When: Tours start Friday, December 1st, 2023
Where: Directions here
Cost: $94

Olympic Plaza

Feel the wind through your hair and enjoy a lap around an ice rink! The Olympic Plaza skating rink is finally open for the season and you’ll want to check it out sooner rather than later.

When: Now Open
Where:
 228 8 Ave. SE, Calgary
Cost: FREE

Firepit Rentals

Love s’mores.? The FREE Calgary community fire pits are now available to the public. Check out the link above for where and how you can rent one for you and yours this season.

Cost: FREE

Top Gun: A Maverick Musicals

Another month, another chance to see the Top Gun musical! This December, check out Jubilation Dinner Theatre’s new musical based on the beloved movie. For more information or to get your tickets now, check out the link above!

When: Until January 13th, 2024
Where: 1002 – 37th Street SW Calgary
Cost: $75+

Tubing at Norquay

Looking to get your adrenaline pumping? You have to go tubing at Norquay this winter – especially if you’re not into skiing. Just because the sport isn’t your thing, doesn’t mean you should miss out on hitting the hills!

Where:  Improvement District No. 9, AB
Cost: $45+

Nightrise

Feeling festive and need a trip out of the city? Banff is one of the most magical places on Earth and the best way to see it is from above. This December, let the gondola take you to new heights and totally change your point of view of the Rocky Mountains during Nightrise.

When: Until March 30th, 2024
Where: 100 Mountain Ave, Banff
Cost: $60+

In search of Christmas Spirit

This holiday season, celebrate the season in Banff, where a heartwarming story will be told through colour, illumination, and music. Though tickets will be required, this event is totally FREE to attend so don’t miss it!

When: Various dates from November 17th and December 31st, 2023
Where: Cascades of Time Garden – Cave Avenue, Banff, Alberta
Time: 4:30 pm to 9:30 pm
Cost: FREE

Legacy Lights

Celebrate community! Legacy’s Community Light Display will kick off again this December and you won’t want to miss it. This FREE event will light the night with over a million tiny bulbs strung up on everything from the clock tower to the houses and it’s going to be breathtaking!

When: Friday December 1st, 2023 – January 14th, 2024
Where: Legacy Calgary – See directions here 
Cost: FREE

Alberta Prarie Railway’s Polar Express

A magical event taken straight from the pages of a children’s classic, this particular ride is set to the acclaimed movie soundtrack and is incredibly wholesome. The best part? Nearly everything that you’ll experience aboard this jolly train ride has been tailored with love and an appreciation for the original material. Don’t miss it!

When: Various dates
Where:
4611 – 47 Avenue, Stettler, Alberta
Cost: $90+

Skating in the Mountains

Alberta is packed full of mountain skating spots that are practically to die for! Not sure where to lace up your skates? Check the link above for 10 gorgeous mountain skating spots in Alberta that you should check out this winter!

City of Calgary New Years

2024 is going to be our year! Though the ‘when and where’ has yet to be confirmed, this December Calgarians will likely be encouraged to enjoy another year where the city’s annual New Year’s spectacular lights the night. Stay tuned!

When: Sunday, December 31st
Where: TBC
Time: 11:55 pm
Cost: FREE

And here you have it, Calgary, 34 amazing things to do this December. What will you check out first?