January Guide: Events and Activities in Calgary

Published Dec 31, 2018 | Updated Jan 2, 2019

Check out our guide to all the best events and fun family friendly activities here in Calgary!

Now that the holidays are coming to an end, it might seem harder to know what there is to do with kids around Calgary. Fear not, we have compiled a list of all the best things to do with your family from one-off events to great indoor play places. There are also still some festive activities happening for the first week of January in case you are not quite ready to give up the holiday spirit.

1. Free First Thursday Nights at Glenbow Museum

On the First Thursday of every month, Glenbow is open late and admission is free from 5-9pm thanks to support from Servus Credit Union. If you're looking for a way to expose your children to art and culture, this is a fun (and cheap) way to do so.

When: Thursday January 3rd from 5pm-9pm
Where: Glenbow Museum
Cost: Free
More Information

2. Southwood Winter Festival

Skating and shinny, sleigh rides, Butterfield Acres petting zoo, face painting, games, crafts, and more! Join in for this winter festival fun for the whole family.

When: Saturday January 5th from 2pm to 5pm
Where: 11 Sackville Dr, SW
Cost: Free
More Information

3. Check Out Unboxed at TELUS Spark

One person’s recycling can be another person’s playground! Let your kids unleash their creativity to discover how great cardboard, tape and bubble wrap can really be as they use their hands and learn new skills to create new masterpieces. A fun exhibit at TELUS Spark.

When: Until January 6th daily, from 10am-5pm
Where: TELUS Spark
Cost: Included with regular admission
More Information

4. Visit Hide'n'Seek

The largest of the indoor playgrounds, and very clean. They have two play areas for 36 months and younger and tons to do for the older kids, from the huge multi-level play structure to arcade games with prizes. The play structure is big enough that even parents can fit! The lounge area is welcoming and the cafeteria has tasty meals and healthy snacks.

When: Open 9am - 9pm daily
Where: #18, 49 Aro Drive NE

5. Ukranian Festival at Granary Road

Join us for their 1st Annual Ukrainian Festival. There will be wagon rides, a petting zoo, crafts, activities for the kids, and special performances and vendors. There will be something for everyone! Don't forget to sign up for perogy making classes on our website ahead of time (for a cost).

When: January 11th-13th from 9:30am to 5:30pm
Where: Granary Road
Cost: Free admission
More Information

6. TommyKplay!

This indoor playground and family entertainment center is geared towards ages 0 to 12 and has an impressive amount of things to do! The Southeast location features a massive multi-level play structure, bridges and a zip-line. Around the facility is also a roller racer track, interactive game tower, toddler area, and even a laser maze. 

The Northwest location is similar featuring a similar massive multi-level play structure, roller racer track, and toddler area. But they also have TmeFreak where you can race other players in a push button challenge, and Jumpshot, an enclosed trampoline with basketball. You can upgrade your admission at this location for the K-Zone, which includes laser tag and a big climbing wall.

When: Open play 9:30am - 8:30pm daily
Southeast location: #148, 4916-130th Avenue SE
Northwest location: #830, 12024 Sarcee Trail NW

Photo shows NW location

7. Calgary Farmers' Market

Calgary Farmers' Market has an indoor area just off the food court of the Market for children to play. It’s a great spot because parents can sit nearby, enjoy a coffee, or lunch with a friend or get some work done on the free wi-fi. With the long winters in Calgary, the indoor Barnyard Kids Play Area is very popular, and best of all, free!

When: Open Jan 3rd, 9am - 5pm from Thursday - Sunday
Where: 510 77th Aveenue SE

Take advantage of discounted admission to the Discovery Centre! Crawl through a beaver lodge, step on a bog and meet over 20 different freshwater fish species in their aquariums. Visit after 5:00 pm for discounted admission.

Where: Bow Habitat Station
When: Thurs, Jan 17 from 5pm - 8pm Mon, Jan 21 from 5pm - 8pm

9. Bring a Girl to STEM Day

STEM Learning Lab Inc. and Million Women Mentors Canada are excited to announce Bring a Girl to STEM Day on Saturday, January 19, 2018. This event invites young girls from around the city to come and explore the exciting world of STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) and discover the bounty of career opportunities awaiting them in the STEM fields!

This innovative event is filled with fun hands-on STEM activities that will inspire and engage girls from Grades K-12 in early engineering through electrical circuits, computer science and coding. In addition, the event will kick-off with short motivational speeches from inspiring women within our community.

Where: STEM Head Office
When: Sat, Jan 19 from 10am - 12:30pm

10. BIG Winter Classic

BIG Winter Classic was born out of an idea to celebrate Calgary year-round, not just in the fleeting summer months. Arts, music local beer and YOU collide at BIG Winter Classic for a four-day winter wonderland weekend. They take the best and most fun people in our city and put them in a room together to create, imagine, dream, drink and play, all in the dead of winter. 

Where: Various locations. Click here.
When: Jan 24-27

11. Speaking of the Past

Drop by Gasoline Alley Museum for engaging presentations that will bring to life the people, places and events that mark Western Canada’s colourful past.

Making Progress: Clothing in the 18th and 19th centuries. While the sewing machine improved efficiency, did it make progress in how garments fit and function for everyday life? Join Meg Furler, Costume Designer for Heritage Park, for a talk on the changing sewing trade during the 18th and 19th centuries. This talk will include replica garments for a hands-on experience.

When: January 24, 2:00 PM
Where: Gasoline Alley Museum

12. Harlem Globetrotters

The tour is headed your way, Calgary! Take your family to this unforgettable event where you won't be watching the action... You'll be in the middle of it! Featuring some of the most elite dunkers on the planet, exceptional ball handlers, and Guinness World Record holders, a Globetrotters game is more than just basketball –they are the ultimate in family entertainment that will bring smiles and fan interaction to people of all ages.

When: January 23rd & January 24th, at 7pm
Where: Scotiabank Saddledome
Cost: Starting at $33
More Information & Get Tickets

13. Chinese New Year Festival

A two-part celebration for Lunar New Year 2019! Join in and celebrate the changing Chinese Zodiac from the year of the dog to the year of the pig. There will be performances, firecrackers, lion dances, lantern displays, a marketplace, and more.

When: January 26th-27th & February 2nd-3rd from noon to 6pm
Where: Calgary Chinese Cultural Centre, 197 1 St SW
Cost: Free
More Information

For anyone who is still feeling festive, there are a number of Christmas holiday activities for families continuing to happen during the first week of January:

14. Zoo Lights 

One of Calgary's favourite Holiday traditions is the annual ZOOLIGHTS event. See over 1.5 MILLION lights twisting around trees, animals, and flashing to music. New this year will be Ice Skating, Santa's Oasis, and the Singing Tree- a 16-foot voice activated tree of lights. Kids can also have fun in the newly rejuvenated Kids Zone. Dress warm, but the Zoo will bring the hot chocolate!

When: Now - January 5, nightly, from 6pm-9pm
Where: At the Calgary Zoo, click here to purchase tickets online.

15. Lions Festival of Lights 

The Festival of Lights is the largest FREE drive-by Christmas Lights showcase in Calgary. It's comprised of over 300,000 lights along 14 th St NW. Designed by James Alafriz, Creative Intelligence Agency. It is a collaborative effort that draws upon many volunteers, organizations and sponsors. Through it all, the Calgary and area Lions Clubs members and volunteers keeps things organized and on track. 

When: Open nightly 6pm-midnight until January 8th, 2019.
Where: Along 14 th St NW.

We hope you find some great things to do this January with your kids in Calgary! For a complete list of upcoming events click here.

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