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Christmas Events Calgary

Published Nov 7, 2019 | Updated Feb 19, 2020

It's the most wonderful time of the year! Make sure you check our calendar of Christmas events happening in Calgary. We've made sure to grab all the best for 2019.

Tis the season to be merry!

This year, 2019, brings a new year of our favourite holiday events, as well as some fresh new ones we think you'll enjoy. This blog is just a highlight of some hand-picked events, but for the full master list of all family-friendly happenings, visit our Calendar of Christmas Events on ChatterBlock.

Spruce Meadows International Christmas Market

Plunge into the warm atmosphere that Christmas at Spruce Meadows evokes. It’s easy! You only have to visit the International Christmas Market once to discover a magical world of scents, colours and light and feel the energy associated with the anticipation of Christmas. Enjoy 250 plus vendors spreading Christmas spirit.

When: November 15-17, 22-24, and November 29 to December 1
Where: Spruce Meadows


One of Calgary's favourite holiday traditions is the annual Zoolights event, featuring 1.5 million lights twisting around trees and animals, and flashing to music. And of course, the zoo is bringing back all the classic activities that you love. New this year will be Wizarding Wednesdays, the Sugar Shack, Potions Class, and more. Don't miss out!

When: November 22, 2019 to January 2, 2020 from 6:00 p.m. to 9 p.m.
Where: Calgary Zoo

The Polar Express Train Ride

This Christmas, bring back the magic of the holiday season with the THE POLAR EXPRESS™ aboard the Aspen Crossing Railway! You and your family can share in the magic all over again, creating treasured memories for years to come! Set to the sounds of the motion picture soundtrack, passengers will relive the magic of the story as they are whisked away. Once onboard, hot chocolate and treats are served as passengers read along with the classic children’s book, The Polar Express, by Chris Van Allsburg. Santa and his helpers greet passengers at the North Pole and then board the train, where each child is given the first gift of Christmas—a silver sleigh bell. Chefs aboard each car lead passengers in singing Christmas carols on the ride back to Aspen Crossing.   

When: November 22 to December 24, but dates and times vary, must book ahead. See website for details.
Where: Aspen Crossing, Mossleigh

Once Upon a Christmas at Heritage Park

Take a step back into true holiday enchantment by going for a wagon ride, taking in live historical theatre, singing carols, or visiting jolly old Saint Nick himself at the annual Once Upon a Christmas Event at Heritage Park! Experience the magic of Christmas with your little ones at this wonderful event!

When: Every weekend from November 23 to December 22 from 9:30 a.m. to 4:00p.m.
Where: Heritage Park Historical Village

Skating with Santa

The big man has got moves! Come down to the Olympic Plaza for 1pm - 3 pm to Skate with Santa. Families can rent skates and helmets, but quantities are limited. The event will be weather dependent, but a little snow never hurt anybody... 

When: November 23 from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.
Where: Olympic Oval

Lions Festival of Lights 

The Festival of Lights is the largest free drive-by Christmas lights showcase in Calgary. It's comprised of over 500,000 lights and 3 km of power cords along 14th St NW. 

When: The light up is December 1, 2019 at 5 p.m. Then it is open nightly 6 p.m. to midnight until January 8, 2020.
Where: Along 14th St NW.

Airdrie Festival of Lights

A fabulous event that offers good fun without breaking the bank! Admission by cash donation, hot chocolate for $2 per cup, train rides $2 each, kids 2 and under ride for free! Come see the dazzling lights, and make sure you check the website for special events, like the Santa Claus Parade, Santa visits, kids crafts, movies in the park, and more! The Airdrie Festival of Lights is on for the entire month of December.

When: December 1 - 31, nightly from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m.
Where: Nose Creek Park

Santa Shuffle Calgary

Run or walk as an individual, family team, or corporate team in this years Santa Shuffle! There will be post-race refreshments, awards, and prizes too, so stick around and chat with your friends and family!

When: Saturday, December 7 at 10 a.m.
Where: Eau Claire Market

The Nutcracker (in a Nutshell) for Young Children

This adaption of a classic, The Nutcracker, is just 30 minutes and perfectly suited for babies, toddlers and children 6 and under. All ages welcome! Set to Tchaikovsky's music, The Nutcracker Prince, Rat King, Snow Queen, Sugar Plum and all her friends make an appearance. Make Christmas crafts before the show. Waltz of the flowers interactive character dance and creativity workshop follow the performance. After the short "fuss-friendly" performance, children are invited to participate in dance and imaginative play with the dancers.

November 30 to December 1 - 10:30 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. at Evergreen Community Spaces
December 6 to 8 - 10:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. at Rocky Ridge YMCA
December 13 to 15 - 10:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. at Brookfield Residential YMCA

Santa Claus Parades

With the annual Calgary Christmas Parades no longer running for a few years now, there are still parades a short drive away that you can enjoy!

  • Banff's Santa Claus Parade of Lights - November 16
  • Fort Macleod Santa Claus Parade - November 30
  • High River Santa Claus Parade - December 6
  • Airdrie Santa Claus Parade - December 7
  • Cochrane Santa Claus Parade - December 7 

Learn more about them in our blog on Santa Claus Parades near Calgary.

And remember, check out ChatterBlock's master list of Calgary Christmas events for even more holiday activities! We are adding to it daily.

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