11 things to do in Calgary this winter

With winter fast approaching in Calgary (yes, we have already had snow) our minds turn to ski, and apres-ski. But, this isn’t the only winter fun to be had when you head to Calgary. There is so much going on throughout the winter months that a winter vacation in Calgary is a grand idea. Here’s a round-up of super fun things to do in Calgary this winter to help you plan out your trip:

1) Start your Christmas shopping at the Make it! Market which is full of amazing and unique handmade items. The market runs Nov 2-5 at Stampede Park, and there will be more than 175 vendors selling their wares.

2) Arthouse movie lovers will adore the Calgary European Film Festival happening from Nov 5-12 at the Eau Claire Cinema. They’ll be screening movies from 18 different countries, with a variety of themes and styles in the programme.

3) Zoo Lights at the Calgary Zoo is a sweet winter tradition for Calgarians, with the zoo being lit by 1.5 million light in a number of beautiful displays. There’s also skating, hot chocolate, and warming fire pits to huddle around. Zoo lights opens on November 24 and runs right through until Jan 6 (but is closed on Christmas Day). 

4) Ski like an Olympian. Did you know that you can ski right in Calgary at Canada Olympic Park? That’s not all – once you’re there you can bobsled, luge, skate or go tubing too.

5) Skate in the heart of downtown. Olympic Plaza has the only outdoor refrigerated ice surface in Calgary, and is a fabulous place to head to for a fun skate. There are rentals available, and the rink is generally open from mid-November through to mid-March.

6) Ride the Polar Express at Aspen Crossing. Every weekend from Nov 25 through til Christmas, fans of the children’s book and movie can ride this train while visited by its characters, drinking hot chocolate and eating cookies as they go. It is a lovely experience for kids big and little (or grown-up kids).

7) Experience and old-fashioned Christmas at Heritage Park. The Once Upon a Christmas weekends run from Nov 25 – Dec 23, and a delightful way to get into the Christmas spirit. Head there to listen to carollers in period costume, get your picture taken vintage style, decorate gingerbread men, take a wagon ride, watch a Christmas play, and much more.

8) Dance your heart out at the Big Winter Classic. This music festival is a four day music fest running from Jan 18 – 21, and is heaps of fun.

9) High Performance Rodeo is Calgary’s annual festival of the arts. It is huge, spanning almost a whole month (Jan 3-28) and amazing. Expect to see incredible theatre and dance performances, comedy, music, and lots of other cool stuff.

10) Block Heater. This winter version of the Calgary Folk Fest takes place in four Inglewood venues, bringing awesome local, national, and international artists to the city. Dates are Feb 15 – 17 for next year.


11) YYC Hot Chocolate Fest is a month long celebration of the city’s best hot chocolates – including boozy ones. Many of Calgary’s restaurants and cafes create unique and absolutely delicious versions in order to be voted the best in the city (the idea is that you sample as many as you can and then vote on your favourite – doesn’t that sound fun?).

Know what the absolute best thing to do in Calgary is this winter? Stay in one of our luxurious Calgary suites so you can check out all this awesome stuff to do in comfort. We have suites that would be perfect for you! Contact us to find out how we can accommodate your needs.