Christmas in Calgary 2020: what’s on and what’s online
Christmas looks a little different in Calgary this year, but there’s still plenty to enjoy. So why not wrap up warm, mask up, pocket a bottle of hand sanitizer, and head out to enjoy the Christmas markets, lights, and shopping. And if public events outside don’t feel quite right for you yet, some classic Calgary Christmas events have moved online so you can enjoy them in your home instead.
Please note, all events listed were happening at time of writing, so check that’s still the case before you travel. The current Face Coverings Bylaw in Calgary requires you to wear a face covering or mask in indoor public areas and public vehicles. You should wear your face covering inside any attractions, in shopping centres, or in restaurants before you site down to eat.
Christmas Markets in Calgary
The Calgary Christmas Market at the Farmers’ Market is now in full swing, open until 23 December from 9am to 5pm for food, gifts, jewelry and Christmas trees. The Food Hall is open with required COVID-19 measures in place.
At the Granary Road Christmas Market, kids can tell Santa their wish list and have a photo with the man himself (socially distanced of course!). You can also pre-book a private photoshoot with the friendly alpacas too! Open Saturdays and Sundays, 9am to 5pm, until 20th December tickets for Santa and Alpaca photos.
MARKT. by Spruce Meadows It’s a sign of the times. As the website says, “We’ve reimagined the local shopping experience and have brought the very best products to you. This holiday season, the renowned International Christmas Market, presented by TELUS, will operate purely online and at MARKT. by Spruce Meadows.” Fill your virtual basket with unusual local gifts, delivered to your door.
Calgary Zoo lights is a city tradition that continues in 2020 for its 24th year. Enjoy the outdoor spectacle in a socially-distanced way, and support wildlife conservation at the same time. Please note that all buildings are closed except for the café and the washrooms.
Every day from 5pm to 9pm, until 3 January 2021, except Dec 25th. Entry by timed tickets only. Separate ticket required for December 31 and the family-friendly Zoo Year’s Eve.
The Best Residential Christmas Light Displays
It never fails to impress when you see the amazing displays people have created on, in and around their own homes. This year, you’re encouraged to view the spectacle from your car, so it’s as much senior-friendly as kids’ friendly! Find the display map for your neighbourhood at Lighten Up Calgary, and check the lights timings as some end earlier than others.
Christmas Theatre and Music
Bah, humbug! Scrooge is back despite COVID-19 in a digital production from theatre:Calgary. The talented cast of just three actors take on every character in the Dickens classic from the Christmas spirits to Tiny Tim. You can book access and view online anytime to 31st December 2020. You can even order dinner in from the theatre’s partner caterer!
Holiday Favourites with the Calgary Phil has also gone online, and it’s free if you pre-register. On Saturday December 12, join the orchestra and singers Ellen Doty and Wyatt C Louis for festive music, carols and song.
Candy Cane Kids the Musical is playing right now online. Why not watch this fun musical with your grandkids – them at their home and you at your home! Group tickets are available for a hour of festive cheer for all the family, wherever they may be.
It’s a Wonderful Life – on the radio! Vertigo Theatre and Lunchbox Theatre bring the classic to life in the style of a 1940’s radio broadcast. Buy your tickets and tune in to watch on Vimeo anytime between 15-24 December 2020.
Winter activities in Calgary and surrounding areas
Want to drive a sled team, snowshoe across a frozen lake, ride the Banff Gondola, toboggan down a hill, or just walk along a snowy trail? Enjoy the great outdoors in glorious winter sunshine and boost your Vitamin D levels! More details at the Visit Calgary website.
Finally, it’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas!