With the holidays just around the corner, seasonal light displays are starting to pop up. While there are resources like Lighten Up Calgary that will help you find some of the most extravagantly decorated houses around the city, you can also immerse yourself in one of the larger light displays that span over entire communities or businesses. Here are a few of those show-stopping light displays that will be set up around Calgary this year.
When: November 17, 2023 to January 7, 2024
Zoolights is back for its 27th year at the Wilder Institute/Calgary Zoo. A family-favourite, this holiday tradition features more than 250 light displays around the grounds, plus plenty of activities happening nightly. This year, the zoo is also offering a special Sunlight to Zoolights admission ticket that allows access to the grounds from 1 p.m. into the evening to experience the opening of Wild Canada and the newly added polar bear exhibits.
As always, the skating rink, firepits and Santa’s Cabin will be part of the festivities, but there are a few new experiences added to the mix this year. In the Prehistoric Park, Polar Nights follows a polar bear cub through the beginning of its life. The Dorothy Harvie Gardens will be illuminated by colourful lights and flower figures, and the Boreal Forest Trek will take you through the wild Canadian forests with displays of our most iconic animals.
210 St. George’s Dr. N.E., 403-232-9300, calgaryzoo.com
When: November 25, 2023 to January 8, 2024
Now in its 37th year, the Lions Festival of Lights Society puts on this annual light show to bring some holiday cheer to Calgarians. You can drive by the display — one of Calgary’s largest — or get out and actually walk among the lights. The lights turn on at 6 p.m. on November 25 and run from 5:30 p.m. to midnight daily after that. Admission is free.
Confederation Park Golf Course, lionsfestivaloflights.ca
When: December 1, 2023 to January 14, 2024
Grab the family, hop in the car and head to the southern community of Legacy to view this free annual light show. Put on by the Legacy Residents Association, the holiday display features more than a million lights adorning sculptures, trees and show homes around the community. There’s also an ice rink (weather permitting) and light tunnel.
The community of Legacy, legacylife.ca
When: December 7 to 31, 2023
This year, Glow Calgary presents Santa’s Sleigh Adventure, a unique indoor light display that follows Santa’s journey after his sleigh has crashed. The more than 90,000-square-foot space features magically lit displays that take you on an adventure full of Christmas spirit.
Food trucks and licensed bars will be serving snacks and drinks on-site, and special events will be happening throughout the event’s run. Admission is timed, with single tickets and group passes available.
Nutrien Western Event Centre, 1800 Stampede Tr. S.E., glowyyc.ca
When: December 8 to 31, 2023
Too cold to wander outside? Spruce Meadows has the perfect solution. Every year, its grounds are decorated with a sprawling display of twinkling lights, available to view from the comfort of your vehicle, free of charge. The lights at Spruce Meadows are open weekends only, from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m.
Spruce Meadows, 18011 Spruce Meadows Way S.W., sprucemeadows.com