What to do in the Mountains in December 2017

From carolling at the Cave and Basin to Santas on skis, this is what’s going down in the mountains near Calgary this month.

The Life @ Altitude 2.0 event on Monday, December 11 at artsPlace in Canmore includes a slideshow of this and other amazing images by Banff-based photographer Paul Zizka. Photo by Paul Zizka.

Bring the Kids to see A Christmas Carol at The Banff Springs

The Fairmont Banff Springs is debuting a new holiday show this year – a musical puppet production of Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol. The show runs throughout the month of December in the hotel’s Conference Centre Theatre, Wednesdays to Sundays at 8 p.m. with matinees at 2 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays as well as an additional 2 p.m. matinee on Christmas Day. (There are also 5 p.m. shows December 20 to 22). Tickets are $26 for adults; $16 for children. Pair the show with brunch or dinner at one of the hotel restaurants and get a 25-per cent discount on tickets.

405 Spray Ave., Banff


Sing Carols at the Cave and Basin

The Bow Valley Chorus will lead a sing-along of selections from Handel’s “Messiah” and well-known Christmas carols at the Cave and Basin National Historic Site on Sunday, December 3. The event will be outdoors on the former pool deck with doors at 4:30 p.m. and singing at 5 p.m. Admission is $3.90 for adults; $3.40 for seniors and $1.90 for youth (cash only) or a toy donation for Santa’s Anonymous.

311 Cave Avenue, Banff


Get Savvy About Avalanche Safety in Golden

The Kicking Horse Mountain Resort safety team along with Golden District Search and Rescue and a representative of Avalanche Canada are hosting a free, informational evening on avalanche safety on Wednesday, December 6 at 6:30 p.m. at the Golden Civic Centre. The “Staying Alive” Conference is welcome to all ages. In addition to potentially life-saving knowledge the event features prize draws for Helly Hansen jackets, avalanche safety training courses and other swag (as well as pizza and local draft beer from Whitetooth Brewing).

806 10 Ave. S., Golden, B.C.


Sip Spirits in Bragg Creek

Spirits West in Bragg Creek is hosting a wine, whisky and craft-beer tasting event on Thursday, December 7 at the Bragg Creek Community Centre. The event runs from 7 to 9 p.m. Admission is $15 and pre-registration is required. For information email info@braggcreekca.com.

23 White Avenue, Bragg Creek


See Mountain Films and a Slideshow in Canmore

Life @ Altitude 2.0 is an evening event on Monday, December 11 at artsPlace in Canmore celebrating International Mountain Day. The lineup includes a slideshow by photographer Paul Zizka (his work is all over the Banff Lake Louise Tourism website) and a selection of short films from the Banff Mountain Film and Book Festival. Showtime is at 7 p.m. Tickets are $15 and proceeds support the Banff Canmore Community Foundation.

950 8 Avenue, Canmore


Catch the CP Holiday Train in Fernie

Each year, a CP Rail train gets decorated with lights and travels through Canada and the northern U.S., stopping along the way to gather donations for community food banks. The CP Holiday Train stops in downtown Fernie on Monday, December 11 and will feature a performance by Alan Doyle starting at 5:30 p.m.

Corner of 1st Avenue and 6th Street, Fernie, B.C.


See a Unique Production of It’s A Wonderful Life in Canmore

There are few stories that resonate so strongly during the holiday season as It’s a Wonderful Life. This version of the well-known tale of redemption and hope takes the form of a radio play in which attendees become part of a live studio audience. The family show (recommended for ages six and up) will have two performances on Saturday, December 16 and Sunday, December 17 at artsPlace in Canmore. Showtime is 7:30 p.m. and tickets are $15.75, available online or by calling 403-609-2623.

950 8 Avenue, Canmore


Party in Your Ugly Sweater at Castle Mountain

Castle Mountain Resort is designating Saturday, December 23 “Ugly Sweater Day.” Skiers and snowboarders are encouraged to don ridiculous knitwear on the slopes and then come together later at the T-Bar pub for an aprs-ski ugly sweater party.


Ride for Free At Mt. Norquay (with one catch…)

The annual Santa Shreds for Free Day at Norquay is happening again on Christmas day. Show up in costume as Santa, Mrs. Claus (or an elf, or a reindeer) on Monday, December 25 and you’ll get a free full-day pass to the Banff-based resort. Full regalia is required to get the pass – merely switching out your toque for a Santa hat won’t cut it.


Wrap up Christmas Day with a Torchlight Ski at Lake Louise

Lake Louise Ski Resort’s Torchlight Dinner and Ski events start with aprs-ski drinks and appetizers at the mid-mountain Whitehorn Lodge, followed by a guided after-hours ski down a groomed run to dinner and dancing in the Sitzmark Lounge at the resort base. The Torchlight Ski on Monday, December 25 is a great way to wrap up Christmas Day. Make sure to opt in for bus service back your hotel in Lake Louise or Banff if you want to freely indulge in the Christmas cheer.


Want more suggestions for the best things to do in Calgary? Sign up for our Weekender Newsletter.

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Abby Parker

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