20 Best Things to Do in Calgary This January

This month, have fun at a new indoor park, watch a 10-minute play festival, try your luck at a new claw machine arcade and more.

Mean Girls. (L-R): Natalie Shaw (Cady Heron), Kristen Amanda Smith (Gretchen Wieners), Maya Petropoulos (Regina George) and Maryrose Brendel (Karen Smith). Photo by Jenny Anderson, 2023.

Pick up some non-alcoholic drinks for Dry January at Santé

If you’re participating in Dry January this month, you may want to visit Santé Dry Bottle Shop to stock up on non-alcoholic drink options. The shop opened in Crossroads Market last fall and carries an impressive selection of low- and no-alcohol wine, beer, cocktails and more. The market is open from Friday to Sunday, or you can order online.

Crossroads Market, 1235 26 Ave. S.E., drinksante.ca

Watch a musical about iconic boy bands

When: On now until February 4

Whether you stan The Beatles, New Kids on the Block or the Backstreet Boys, you won’t want to miss Stage West’s latest production about some of the greatest boy bands around. Step by Step promises a nostalgic night looking back on some of the bands that many of us grew up loving and their irresistibly catchy hits.

727 42 Ave. S.E., 403-243-6642, stagewestcalgary.com

 

Play virtual baseball or tennis at a new indoor sports simulator facility

Staying active and warm in the winter just got even easier with the opening of Ballstar YYC. The indoor multi-sport simulator facility lets you play baseball, lacrosse, cricket and tennis within four simulator cages. Cage bookings start at $56 or $62 for two players, depending on how many sports you want to access. Additional players are extra.

5, 1305 33 St. N.E., 403-903-9955, ballstaryyc.com

Go see an exhibit featuring graphic textiles made in Kinngait, Nunavut

 

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When: On now until March 3

Visit Glenbow’s satellite site within the Edison building to see ᖃᓪᓗᓈᖅᑕᐃᑦ ᓯᑯᓯᓛᕐᒥᑦ Printed Textiles from Kinngait Studios, an exhibition that showcases 1950s and ’60s graphic textiles crafted in Kinngait, Nunavut. The exhibit looks at the printmakers and artists behind the pieces, the cultural stories and traditions the textiles depict, and some of today’s Inuit fashion designers. Admission is free.

Glenbow at the Edison, second floor, 150 9 Ave. S.W., glenbow.org

 

Get some help planning your wedding

When: Unveiled on January 7; The Wedding Fair on January 21

Need help planning your wedding? There are two events that can help this month. On January 7, attend Unveiled at the Fairmont Palliser to meet with wedding experts and see a fashion show, or visit The Wedding Fair, Alberta’s largest wedding expo, at the BMO Centre on January 21. You can also check out the results of Avenue‘s 2024 Best Wedding Services ballot to get a sense of the best wedding vendors in Calgary.

Unveiled, Fairmont Palliser, 133 9 Ave. S.W., unveiled.ca; The Wedding Fair, BMO Centre Stampede Park, theweddingfair.ca

 

Grab a coffee at Aroma Café’s new second location

You may have visited Aroma Café within cSpace Marda Loop before, and now, you can also grab a coffee or bite from its new second location. The new café, which is also in Marda Loop, offers a bright and welcoming space with plenty of seating. Stop by to get some work done with a coffee or catch up with a friend over a Mexican torta or breakfast burrito.

1845 33 Ave. S.W., 403-355-1869, aromacafebar.ca

 

See an opera about a masquerade ball by a new classical vocal arts group

When: January 11 to 13

Calgary has a new non-profit classical vocal arts group, and you can catch its first fully staged opera this month. Alberta Vocal Arts is performing Die Fledermaus: The Champagne Operetta, an opera comedy set at a masquerade ball, from January 11 to 13. Be sure to come early, as there is a pre-show chat with the company’s director, artistic director and music director that will cover what you should know about the production starting at 7 p.m. Tickets for the show at Festival Hall start at $25.

Festival Hall, 1215 10 Ave. S.E., albertavocalarts.com

 

Stay warm at Vivo’s new indoor park

Photo by Tom Arban.

Love going to the park, but don’t love the cold? The Vivo for Healthier Generations recreation facility recently launched a new 19,500-square-foot indoor park with seating areas, green space, activity structures, loose parts play items and lots of natural light. Drop-in passes and memberships are available if you want to check out the space.

11950 Country Village Link N.E., 403-532-1013, vivo.ca

 

See a 10-minute play festival, go to a robot dance party and more at High Performance Rodeo

When: January 15 to February 4

Calgary’s art scene will be bursting with creativity this month as the 38th annual High Performance Rodeo returns. The arts festival’s 2024 lineup is full of exciting productions in a range of mediums, including a 10-minute play festival, a dance collection by Decidedly Jazz Danceworks, a night of opera and Indigenous stories with the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra, a family-friendly robot dance party and more. With more than 25 productions to choose from, there’s something for everyone.

Multiple locations, oyr.org/hprodeo

 

Try pizza made with green tea dough

Pizza Maru, a newly opened Korean pizzeria that crafts its pies with green tea dough, is a must-try for any pizza aficionado. Pop in to snack on flavours like Holy Honey Sweet Potato, Korean Bulgogi or the Maru Five, a pizza with five different flavours. Complete the meal with orders of boneless chicken, spaghetti and other snacks.

4120, 4 Royal Vista Way N.W., 403-969-8008, pizzamaruab.ca

 

See an epic high school battle play out in the Mean Girls musical

When: January 16 to 21

The iconic 2004 Mean Girls film was turned into a Broadway musical back in 2018, and now, that production is making its way across the country through Broadway Across Canada. Don’t miss Cady Heron and Regina George’s epic battle to rule the school in this show written by Hollywood comedian and actor Tina Fey, which arrives in Calgary for eight shows from January 16 to 21. In a fun twist, the musical’s film adaptation is also set to hit theatres this month, so fans can get a double dose of high school drama.

Southern Jubilee Auditorium, 1415 14 Ave. N.W., calgary.broadway.com

 

Taste delicious spirits for a good cause at a whisky festival

When: January 18

If you love whisky, you won’t want to miss the 2024 MS Calgary Whisky Festival. Supporting MS Canada, the one-night event features whisky tastings, snacks and a silent auction. Tickets are also available for classes held throughout the event where you can learn about the whisky making process.

Telus Spark, 220 St. George’s Dr. N.E., mscanada.ca

 

Snack on pastries at a new French-inspired Korean bakery

 

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The next time you’re craving carbs, head to Calgary’s first Paris Baguette location, which opened this past December. The French-inspired Korean bakery chain offers a wide range of baked goods ranging from cakes, to doughnuts, to sandwiches. There’s also plenty of seating where you can relax with a drink while you fill your belly.

H111, 11846 Sarcee Tr. N.W., 825-540-1903, parisbaguette.ca

 

Read a mountain adventure book

Experience the thrill of the mountains without leaving your couch with the help of these books recommended by Joanna Croston, who is the festival director of the Banff Centre Mountain Film and Book Festival.

Read more: 5 Mountain Adventure Books to Read This Winter

 

Enter a locally made product in the 2024 Made in Alberta Awards

In 2019, Avenue launched the Made in Alberta Awards, which recognize and celebrate locally made products from across the province. There are 11 award categories and a $5,000 cash prize for the overall winner. Entries are now open for 2024, so be sure to share the news with a local maker you know or enter your own Alberta product by February 29, 2024.

madeinalbertaawards.ca

 

Attend a play written by Hollywood comedian and actor Steve Martin

When: January 23 to February 11

This month, Theatre Calgary is taking on a play by Hollywood actor and comedian Steve Martin that promises plenty of laughs. Running from January 23 to February 11, Meteor Shower is set around a dinner party with two couples in honour of a meteor shower. But of course, the evening doesn’t go quite as planned.

Max Bell Theatre, Arts Commons, theatrecalgary.com

 

Try your luck at a new claw machine arcade

 

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When it comes to arcade games, claw machines can be tricky, but it’s extremely satisfying when you finally manage to nab a stuffed plushie. You can chase that feeling at Sumo Dino, a new claw arcade machine within Sunridge Mall. Simply purchase some tokens and try your luck — you may leave with a new stuffed best friend.

240, 2525 36 St. N.E., @sumodinosunridge 

 

Sing along at dozens of concerts during Big Winter Classic

When: January 24 to 28

Vundabar, Debby Friday, Geese, Battles — these are just a few of the more than 70 bands and artists you can see perform during Big Winter Classic. The winter arts festival is back from January 24 to 28 with tons of musical performances, as well as comedy shows, workshops, panel discussions on the arts and more. Get a full weekend pass ($95.81) to make sure you don’t miss any of the action.

Multiple locations, bigwinterclassic.com

 

Start planning your next trip to the mountains

If your New Year’s resolution was to spend more time in the mountains this year, we’ve got you covered. Avenue‘s first Best of the Mountains ballot covers the best places to dine, stay and play in destinations like Canmore, Banff, Jasper, Golden, Kimberley and more.

Read more: Best of the Mountains 2023

 

Support a good cause by participating in an eight-hour relay skating event

When: January 28

Eager to hit the ice this winter? Consider signing up for The Great Skate on January 28, a team relay skating event held at the Olympic Oval to raise funds for Inn from the Cold. Registration is open for relay teams of five to 10 skaters (and individual participants for “free agent” teams) who will take turns skating for a total of eight hours per team.

Olympic Oval, 288 Collegiate Blvd. N.W., 403-220-7954, thegreatskate.ca

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