Christmas in Calgary 2016: 15 family-friendly events to check out

FILE: A child and her grandfather view Christmas lights on a spruce tree. CP PHOTO/Tom Hanson

Get into the Christmas spirit by enjoying a few of the following family-friendly events happening around Calgary this year.

CP Holiday Train

The CP Holiday Train is North America’s longest rolling food bank fundraiser. Over the three weeks of the program, musicians play more than 150 concerts from a boxcar turned into a travelling stage. Performers this year include Dallas Smith and Odds.

WHEN: Saturday, Dec. 10 from 6:45 -7:45 p.m.

WHERE: The Anderson CTrain Station – south parking lot

COST: Free – but attendees are encouraged to bring either a non-perishable food item or cash donation for the Calgary Food Bank.

WEBSITE: Holiday Train

Dallas Flexhaug / Global News

A Perfectly Frank Christmas

The Calgary Jazz Orchestra performs music made famous by Frank Sinatra, including some holiday favourites.

Story continues below advertisement

WHEN: Sunday, Dec. 18 at 3 p.m. and 7 p.m.

WHERE: River Park Church

COST: $15 to $25

WEBSITE: Calgary Jazz Orchestra

Christmas in Calgary 2016: 15 family-friendly events to check out - image

Christmas at Spruce Meadows

Spruce Meadows uses a quarter of a million lights to blanket their entire facility. Hop into your car and drive the two kilometre route through the grounds to see their display, which includes Tournament Lane, The Courtyard, Traffic Circle, the Nations Flag Park, Congress Hall, Riders Chapel and the Pond.

WHEN: Dec. 10 until Jan. 8, between 5 p.m. and 10 p.m.

WHERE: Spruce Meadows

COST: Free

WEBSITE: Spruce Meadows

Festival of Crafts

According to festival organizers, the Festival of Crafts is one of Canada’s biggest holiday handcrafted shopping events. For four days, the BMO Centre at Stampede Park transforms into a marketplace featuring over 250 Canadian artists, artisans, and designers.

Story continues below advertisement

WHEN: Dec. 8 until Dec. 11.

WHERE: BMO Centre, Stampede Park

COST: Adults $7, seniors (65+) $5, youths (13-17) $5, children (12 and under) free

WEBSITE: Festival of Crafts

Once Upon a Christmas at Heritage Park

Take a trip to Heritage Park to experience Christmas from years gone by.

You can enjoy a romantic wagon ride with a loved-one or sing Christmas carols with the kids. Other activities include gingerbread cookie decorating, a petting zoo and a vintage photo parlor.

WHEN: Weekends from Nov. 10 to Dec. 28, 9:30 a.m. – 4 p.m.

WHERE: Heritage Park

COST: General gate admission (Age 15 to 64) $10.75, child (Ages three – six) $5.50, youth (ages seven – 14) $6.75, senior (65+) $8.25

WEBSITE: Heritage Park

Once Upon a Christmas at Heritage Park in Calgary. Global News

A Christmas Carol

Watch Charles Dickens’ classic novel come to life at Theatre Calgary. The play tells the story of how bitter Ebenezer Scrooge learns to open his heart and embrace the spirit of Christmas. This year will mark actor Stephen Hair’s 22nd year playing Ebenezer Scrooge.

Story continues below advertisement

WHEN: Nov. 26 until Dec. 24.

WHERE: Theatre Calgary

COST: $35 and up

WEBSITE: Theatre Calgary

WATCH: Stephen Hair returns to play the signature role of Ebenezer Scrooge for the 23rd season at Theatre Calgary. Gord Gillies talks with the long-time Calgary actor about the iconic role, how he gets into a miserly mood and how the journey to becoming a better man never fails to inspire him.

Click to play video: 'Theatre Calgary celebrates 30 years of spirited tradition with ‘A Christmas Carol’' Theatre Calgary celebrates 30 years of spirited tradition with ‘A Christmas Carol’
Theatre Calgary celebrates 30 years of spirited tradition with ‘A Christmas Carol’ – Nov 24, 2016

Lions’ Festival of Lights

Organizers say the Lions’ Festival of Lights is the largest free drive-by Christmas lights display in Calgary. It’s comprised of over 300,000 lights. The festival is 99 per cent green, with over 115,000 LED light bulbs and almost three kilometres of power chords.

Story continues below advertisement

WHEN: Nov. 26 until Jan. 8, from 5 p.m. until midnight

WHERE: Confederation Park. The display can be viewed on 14 Street N.W., north of 24 Avenue N.W.

COST: Free

WEBSITE: Lions Festival of Lights

The Lions’ Festival of Lights in Calgary. Global News


Head to the Calgary Zoo to view their annual Christmas light display. Over 1.5 million twinkling lights line pathways and twist around trees, forming animals, shapes and flashing to music. Dress warmly because this event is outside – but if you get cold there are fire pits to keep you warm, as well as hot chocolate.

WHEN: Nov. 25 until Jan. 8 from 6 p.m. until 9 p.m. (gates closes at 8:30 p.m.)

WHERE: The Calgary Zoo

COST: General Admission $14.99, child (ages three to 15) $11.99, infant (ages two and under) free.

WEBSITE: Calgary Zoo

FILE: Zoolights at the Calgary Zoo. Global News

The Nutcracker

A staple among numerous ballet companies, the Nutcracker tells the tale of Klara and her Nutcracker as they battle against the evil Rat Tsar and his army of mice, set to Tchaikovsky’s score.

Story continues below advertisement

WHEN: Dec. 16 – 24.

WHERE: Southern Alberta Jubilee Auditorium

COST: $24 – $124

WEBSITE: Arts Commons

Christmas in Calgary 2016: 15 family-friendly events to check out - image

It’s a Wonderful Life: live radio play 

A cast of five actors will perform this iconic Christmas story as a live 1940s radio broadcast. It’s a Wonderful Life tells the story of George Bailey, his guardian angel Clarenece and the town of Bedford Falls.

WHEN: Nov. 28 until Dec. 21. 

WHERE: Lunchbox Theatre

COST: $20 – $25 

WEBSITE: Lunchbox Theatre

Image result for It’s a Wonderful Life

Murder at Mistletoe Mall 

It’s murder mystery dinner theatre with a Christmas twist. During this interactive event, guests experience the Mistletoe Mall’s annual award party. The recipient of Employee of the Year receives a trip for two to Paris and $50,000. There will be one winner, and one big loser. Who will it be? 

Story continues below advertisement

WHEN: Dec. 21 until Dec. 23.

WHERE: The Barracks at Fort Calgary

COST: $85 

WEBSITE: Fort Calgary 

Recipes: What to do with holiday leftovers, besides turkey sandwiches
The price for putting Thanksgiving dinner on the table for 10 people is expected to rise slightly this year, clocking in at $49.41. AP Photo/Matthew Mead

Santa Shuffle fun run and elf walk

Organizers say the goal for the 2016 Santa Shuffle is $30,000. Money raised goes to the Salvation Army to help support their programs and services.

WHEN: Saturday, Dec. 3, 10 a.m. until 2 p.m.

WHERE: Eau Claire Market

COST: $15 and up

WEBSITE: Santa Shuffle

Christmoose Carol 

Loose Moose Theatre presents their take on Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol. Each year is slightly different, featuring unusual styles and settings for the Christmas classic.

Story continues below advertisement

WHEN: Dec. 8 -10, 15 – 17 and 21 – 23.

WHERE: Loose Moose Theatre

COST: $17 – $22

WEBSITE: Loose Moose Theatre

Dashing through the Glow 

Grab your mittens and headlamps and join this 2km/5km nighttime fun run. Money raised helps support the Senior Secret Service, who bring community spirit and cheer to isolated seniors.

WHEN: Friday, Dec. 9

WHERE: Spruce Meadows

COST: $45 plus

WEBSITE: Running Room

Christmas at Spruce Meadows. Global News

The Polar Express train ride 

Set to the sounds of the motion picture soundtrack, families can journey to the “North Pole” on a train.  Passengers will be served milk and cookies, and hear a reading of The Polar Express. Upon arrival at the North Pole, Santa will greet the children and each child will receive their own sleigh bell. 

Story continues below advertisement

WHEN: Nov. 25 to Dec. 24. 

WHERE: Aspen Crossing Railway, 1km west of Mossleigh, Alta. on Highway 24.  

COST:  $57 to $75

WEBSITE: Aspen Crossing

Christmas in Calgary 2016: 15 family-friendly events to check out - image

Sponsored content