The road up to Lake Louise ski hill. PHOTO: EMMA BOYNE.

We’re well into December, which means cramming for finals, busy work days, and stressful event planning for the season. But with all the stress and anxiety coming out of this month, it’s also a good time to focus on the warmth, comfort, and joyous times this season brings.

With all that in mind, we at the Calgary Journal put together some ideas for you and your loved ones to join in this winter.

Indoor Activities

Hexagon Board Game Cafe

With plenty of coffee shops around the city to warm your hands, the Hexagon Board Game Cafe might just be one of your best options. Located in Kensington, this cafe is filled with games galore to keep you entertained while you enjoy a warm drink this holiday season. Bring a friend, or even a few and check it out!

Sparkle Sparkle

After 5:00 p.m., you can head over to the Telus Spark Centre and enjoy an evening lit to perfection with the Sparkle Sparkle event. Visitors will be able to experience a whole range of events, from the magic of Goodnight Moon, holiday carollers, quirky characters on stilts, snacks, and so much more!

The Immersive Nutcracker

Designed by the creators of the Immersive Van Gogh experience, the Immersive Nutcracker is a joy for all to visit. Showing at the BMO centre until Dec. 28, you can watch your favourite Nutcracker scenes come to life in a magical and impressively technical way.

Polar Express train ride

Ever dreamed of riding on the Polar Express to see Santa at the North Pole? Well now’s your chance, because up until Dec. 24, Aspen Crossing is inviting guests to jump on a train and experience the Polar Express right here in Calgary. ​The Train ride is about one hour long, with the inclusion of a golden train ticket, hot chocolate in a ceramic Polar Express collector’s mug, a delicious cookie, and an ode to the first gift of Christmas, a silver bell.

Outdoor activities

Once Upon a Christmas

This season at Heritage Park, guests can experience the holiday season at Heritage Park, with the twinkling lights and holiday displays of Once Upon A Christmas. Bring the family this Dec. 17-18, and enjoy classic indoor and outdoor Christmas activities with the whole family like horse-drawn sleigh rides, visits with Santa, crafts, music, and more!


The Wilder Institute and Calgary Zoo’s Zoolights are back for their 26 year, and they’re better than ever. This year will feature exciting themed areas and activities, a multi-sensory experience, the Nutcracker in the ENMAX Conservatory, brand new Snow Globes for rent and some of their classic games! With over 200 light figurines, you can enjoy a walk through from 5:00 p.m. until 9:00 p.m. up until Jan. 8.

Festive lights are all around Calgary this holiday. PHOTO: EMMA BOYNE.

Horsedrawn sleigh rides

Horsin Around is inviting Calgarians to join them on a tour of the city with their holiday Horsedrawn Sleigh Rides. With an added camp fire at the end of a 30 minute ride, and a complimentary hot chocolate on the way, you won’t want to miss this fun-filled sleigh ride. But hurry quickly, as this is the last weekend to book your tickets.

Winsport tubing

Everybody loves a good toboggan run, but what’s even better is a tube flying down the hill and a magic carpet to take you to the top. Head to Winsport on the weekends for their Servus Tube park, with plenty of fun for the family to enjoy. Starting in January, Winsport will also be expanding their hours.

Outdoor skating

‘Tis the season for old and new skaters to take to the rinks! Calgary has a vast amount of outdoor skating rinks in and around the city, many with rental options and warming huts to keep you warm and ready the entire time! So make sure to check out what rinks suit you and your loved ones best, and get those skates on.

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