25 Things To Do In Calgary This December

Tubing, theatre, dining — we have 25 recommendations for how to fill your December calendar.


[Ed. note: This article is from December 2013. For the 2016 version, click here.]


Think there's nothing to do in December but curl up in front of the fireplace? Think again. We have 25 other fun, exciting and delicious options — though curling up in front of a fireplace is valid as well. 

1. Stuart Mclean: Vinyl Café Christmas 

One of Canada’s best storytellers comes to the Jubilee. Hear what Dave and Morley are up to this season. December 5 and December 6.

(Southern Alberta Jubilee Auditorium, 1415 14 Ave. N.W., jubileeauditorium.com

2. Telus Science Centre: Nature Unleashed

There’s a new travelling exhibition at the Telus Spark Science Centre. Opening on Boxing Day, Nature Unleashed: Inside Natural Disasters is an interactive exhibition that teaches visitors the science behind natural disasters all over the world. General admission price.

(Telus Spark Science Centre, 220 St. George’s Dr. N.E., sparkscience.ca)

3. Watch a Calgary Inferno Hockey Game

Don’t want to spend the money to watch the Flames? Watched the Hitmen more times than you can count? This month, support the Calgary Inferno, a women’s pro league that plays at the Markin MacPhail Centre. Best of all, you can watch quality hockey for just $10 and parking is free.


4. Snow Tubing at Mount Norquay

Not a fan of the athleticism that skiing and snowboarding requires? Try flying down a snowy hill in an inflatable tube instead. Adult full day $30.


5. Theatre Calgary’s A Christmas Carol

December wouldn’t be complete without watching Theatre Calgary’s adaptation of Charles Dickens’ Christmas classic A Christmas Carol. Director Dennis Garnhum’s adaptation is unlike any version of the play you’ve ever seen. Think falling snow, ice-skating and moving Victorian cityscapes. The show runs until December 24. Tickets from $35.

(Epcor Centre, 205 8 Ave. S.E., theatrecalgary.com

6. Zoolights

The Zoo reopens just in time for its annual Christmas tradition where over 1.5 million lights are strung throughout the grounds. Don’t leave without visiting Candy Cane Lane or catching an ice carving demonstration. Adult tickets $12.

(Calgary Zoo, 1300 Zoo Rd. N.E., calgaryzoo.com

7. Go Sledding

Finish off the year with a ride that makes the adrenaline flow. Whatever your favourite hill — Stanley Park, Signal Hill or Confederation Park — it’s a fun way to enjoy icy weather.

8. Calgary Olympic Park Ski Jump Tower Tour

Get ready for Sochi by taking a tour of Calgary’s ski jump tower. Ride a glass elevator to the top of the largest ski jump tower for fantastic views of the city and see Olympic ski jumping memorabilia on the observation level. $7. 

(Canada Olympic Park, 88 Canada Olympic Rd. S.W., winsportcanada.ca)

9. A Relaxing Spa Day

You deserve a break. Book a therapeutic massage at The Spa Ritual. $135 for 60 minutes.

(The Spa Ritual, 106 Crowfoot Terrace N.W., thesparitual.com)

10. Try a New Cocktail

Beet Lemonade from Model Milk. Photography by Jared Sych.

The festive season is all about eating and drinking, of course. Treat yourself to a cocktail you’ve never tried before. We recommend the Perfect Palliser from the Fairmont Palliser or the Beet Lemonade from Model Milk. 

11. See a Movie

Escape the cold and curl up in a cozy theatre watching a great movie. This month, American Hustle, The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug and Anchorman 2 are all released.


12. Visit the Art Gallery of Calgary 

Be a tourist in your own city and revisit the AGC. The Kingston Prize: Canada’s Portrait Competition showcases the work of 30 finalists from a national portrait competition. Open until January 25. 

(117 8 Ave. S.W., artgalleryofcalgary.org)

13. A Christmas Spectacular

The Young Canadians of the Calgary Stampede celebrate the Christmas season with everyone’s favourite seasonal songs. $20. 

(205 8 Ave. S.E., epcorcentre.org)

14. Have Dinner at the River Café 

Image supplied by the River Cafe.

Before you eat your fill of turkey, try the River Café’s noble farms duck breast ($44) as you watch the snow fall on the Bow River. A great choice for date night.

(25 Prince’s Island Park, river-cafe.com)

15. The Nutcracker by the Alberta Ballet

Travel back to 19th century Russia as you watch the Alberta Ballet’s version of Marius Petipa’s The Nutcracker. Catch the dance of the Sugarplum Fairy from December 19 to 24. 

(Southern Alberta Jubilee Auditorium, 1415 14 Ave. N.W., jubileeauditorium.com

16. Winter CARnival

Refuel this holiday season at Heritage Park’s Gasoline Alley Museum. Historic cars and winter games that are perfect for passing away the afternoon. From December 27 until January 5. General admission prices.

(Gasoline Alley Museum, 1900 Heritage Dr. S.W., heritagepark.ca)

17. The After Party

What happens when the office IT guy and the cleaning lady are the only two members of staff working late after the office Christmas party? The comedic play by Neil Fleming runs until December 21. $22.

(Lunchbox Theatre, 115 9 Ave. S.E., lunchboxtheatre.com)

18. Outdoor Ice-Skating

Dust off those ice-skates and head to Calgary’s newest outdoor rink. Gliding on the skating rink right on 17 Ave. is a fun way to work up an appetite before finding a restaurant for a bite to eat.


19. Around the World in 80 Days

Photo by Trudie Lee Photography.

This season, ATP’s stage production is a family-friendly adaptation of Jules Vernes’ famous novel. Travel around the world and still be able to make it home for dinner. ATP’s production runs until December 20. 

(220 9 Ave. S.E., atplive.com)

20. Lougheed House Christmas

Experience a Victorian Christmas at the Lougheed House. Carols on an old Steinway piano, warm apple cider and Victorian Santa: a perfect way to get into the festive swing of things.

(Lougheed House, 707 13 Ave. S.W., lougheedhouse.com)

21. CPO’s Handel’s Messiah

Feel some Christmas joy. Ivars Taurins conducts Christmas music of George Handel, a German-born Baroque musician and composer. Tickets from $25.

(Jack Singer Concert Hall, Epcor Centre, 205 8 Ave. S.E., cpo-live.com)

22. Winterstart Festival 

Get out of the city and celebrate the snowy season in Banff and Lake Louise. Watch winter films, catch World Cup skiing events or relax with a warm beverage while enjoying the picturesque view. This festival runs until December 21.


23. Eat a Burger 

With all the holiday parties and get-togethers, it’s easy to quickly get sick of turkey, stuffing and potatoes. Head to Clive burger for a change of pace, or if you feel like there’s been too much meat on the menu, go for a Buddha Burger from Café Koi.

24. Canmore Santa Fun Run

It’s never too cold to get outside for a jog!  On December 21, walk or run with Santa and his elves through the town of Canmore. Bonus: the event includes free hot chocolate and marshmallows. Entry fee $20.

(Canmore Civic Centre, 902 7 Ave., grizzlyevents.ca)

25. Kananaskis Sleigh Rides


Image supplied by Travelalberta.com 

Head to Boundary Ranch for the ultimate winter experience: a ride in a horse-drawn carriage through the pristine mountainous landscape. Adult tickets $25.


For more things to do, visit our Events Calendar.

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