January Guide: Events and Activities in Calgary

Published Jan 3, 2020 | Updated Feb 19, 2020

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 hard 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, just in case you're not quite ready to give up the holiday spirit.

1. Southwood Winter Festival

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

When: Saturday January 5 from noon to 4 p.m.
Where: 11 Sackville Dr, SW
Cost: Free
More Information

2. 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: Daily until January 5, from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Where: TELUS Spark
Cost: Included with regular admission
More Information

3. Visit Hide'n'Seek

Hide'n'Seek is the largest of the indoor playgrounds, and it's very clean. They have two play areas for toddlers 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 play too! The lounge area is welcoming, and the cafeteria has tasty meals and healthy snacks.

When: Open 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily
Where: #18, 49 Aero Drive NE

4. 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 year round, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. from Thursday to Sunday 
Where: 510 77th Aveenue SE

Take advantage of discounted admission to the Discovery Centre at the Bow Habitat Station! 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

6. 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. Please visit event website for more details. 
When: Jan 23 to 26 

7. 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.

On January 23, Walking Through History: East Village & Project Bookmark will be presented. It is a presentation on Project Bookmark, a charitable organization that is putting pieces of stories and poems in the exact locations where they were set.

When: January 23, 2 p.m.
Where: Gasoline Alley Museum

8. 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 24 at 7 p.m.
Where: Scotiabank Saddledome
Cost: Starting at $31.20
More Information & Get Tickets

9. Chinese New Year Festival

A two-part celebration for Lunar New Year 2019! Join in and celebrate the Year of the Rat. There will be performances, firecrackers, lion dances, lantern displays, a marketplace, and more.

When: January 18 to 19 and 24 to 26. 
Where: Calgary Chinese Cultural Centre, 197 1 St SW
Cost: Free
More Information

10. Nerf's Up

Visit the Magnolia Room at the Mahogany Home Owners Association on January 31 to participate in a Nerf gun fight. All equipment will be provided, but you're welcome to bring your own nerf guns. This event is for ages 10 and above. 

When: January 31 from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m.
Where: Magnolia Room at the Mahogany Homeowners Association

11. Calgary Icebreaker Polar Dip

This year is the 11th annual polar dip. This event raises funds to combat human trafficking. All funds raised go to the SA Foundation's global recovery programs caring for survivors and their children. So come down to the Mahogany Home Owner's Association Beach Club and make a splash.

When: January 11
Where: Mahogany Home Owner's Association Beach Club

12. Family Winter Carnival

The Mckenzie Lake Community Association is inviting families to join them for some wintery fun. There will be games, crafts, bouncy houses, and more. 

When: January 18 from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m.
Where: Mckenzie Lake Community Association

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:

13. 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 4, nightly from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m.
Where: At the Calgary Zoo

14. 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 6 p.m. to midnight until January 8
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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