Cures for the Winter Blues

Author: Esther Gutman

For many, the new year brings inspiration to embark on personal growth or start an adventure. For others, January can be a challenging time with the winter holidays in the rear view mirror.

Whether you want to try something new or cure a case of the winter blues – we hear you! Embrace the season with this list of fun Calgary activities all winter long.

Arts and Cultural Festivals

East Village Hygge Hut: until March 2022

Cozy up with this contemporary, Scandinavian-style gathering space featuring weekly ice carving demonstrations, games area, fireside storytime, live performances and more – full schedule is in the Events Calendar

Chinese New Year Festival 2022 at the Calgary Chinese Cultural Centre: January 28 – 30

Celebrate the Year of the Tiger at the Lunar New Year lantern exhibition and festival marketplace with food trucks, food kiosks, artisan crafts, Calligraphy demonstration and more! Keep your eye out for potential ice sculptures in Chinatown (depending on weather conditions). 

Banff SnowDays: January 19 – 30

Visit Banff and Lake Louise for their annual Snowdays winter celebration where downtown Banff is filled with giant snow sculptures, family fun activities at the Snowdays Play Zone, and specialty cocktails and menus at the Tribute Craft Spirits Festival

Vertigo Theatre presents Cipher: January 15 – February 13

A body. A secret code. A conspiracy that will change their lives forever. Will you be able to solve the mystery?

Calgary Opera: The Merry Widow: January 29 – February 4 

A lavish and light escape into Art Nouveau high society brimming with fun, fashion and frivolity.

Alberta Theatre Projects: Undressed: January 26 – February 13

This hilarious, heartfelt solo World Premiere show asks, “what do you do with a used wedding dress?” set to a cabaret-style stage in one act.

Schipp$ Creek Calgary Dinner Show:  January 22 – March 19

Jubilations Dinner Theatre presents Schipp$ Creek, an interactive dinner theatre show running weekly from Wednesday to Sunday.

Chinook Blast: February 4 – 27

Experience the vibrancy of our city with the best of Calgary’s art, music, theatre, sport, and recreation on display! 

Northern Reflections: January 21 – February 28

As part of Chinook Blast, eleven teams of artists have taken over business windows in Inglewood to celebrate the power of music, art and local business with six-week augmented reality exhibition. 

GlowFest: February 10 – 12 & February 17 – 19

Downtown Calgary transforms into a warm, dynamic world of light with immersive activations, performances and art installations with extended patios, fire pits, and outdoor seating. 

Blockheater 7.0: February 17 – 20

Tune in for a free Black History Month panel discussion and free outdoor shows at the Olympic Plaza. Check out the full line-up of storytellers from our backyard, Canada and the US. 

 

Outdoor Winter Activities

Penguin Walk at the Calgary Zoo

Head to the Calgary Zoo this winter until mid-March to watch the daily king penguin colony march. Please note that the Penguin Walk is dependent on weather conditions and penguin inclination. Check the zoo’s homepage and social media for updates to the walk.

Outdoor ice skating

Did you know that Calgary has outdoor skating rinks that are free to use all throughout the city? City of Calgary outdoor skating rinks are open through February on a first come first serve basis. Olympic Plaza is a refrigerating ice surface and is often available until mid-March. Kick off the new year by exploring the two new ice trails now open within the city!

Cross-country skiing & Snowshoeing

Cross-country skiing and snowshoeing are both great options to be active in the winter!

While Cross-country skiing and snowshoeing are welcome in any Calgary park, there are specialized trails dedicated to cross-country skiing like the East Village Nordic Loop.

Fatbiking

You don’t have to put your bike away for the winter. Instead, take a fat bike with studded winter tires out for a spin on Calgary’s urban pathways and bikeways – the most extensive in North America.  

Or, head to the mountains and explore endless fat biking trails in Banff, Canmore and Kananaskis Country!

Servus Tube Park at WinSport

Tubing is an action-packed activity that’s perfect for spending time outside with your family! The Servus Tube Park at WinSport is one of the largest of its kind in Western Canada featuring eight lanes, a magic carpet experience that brings you and your tube back to the top of the lane. The park is open from Friday to Sunday including Family Day and Spring Break.   

Banff Upper Hot Springs

Plan a winter mountain-getaway at Banff National Park! The water at the Banff Upper Hot Springs is 100% natural mineral water ranging between 37 and 40 degrees Celsius. 

Catch the Northern Lights

Fun fact: Alberta has some of the world’s largest dark sky preserves so you may catch the Northern Lights! The best chance to see aurora borealis is September through mid-May. Join Calgary Aurora Chasers on Facebook for the latest updates on locating Aurora around Calgary. 

Fire pit booking

Bring your marshmallows and gather around one of the fire pits around all quadrants in Calgary! Fire pits are available between 10 a.m. – 9 p.m. on weekdays and weekends. Before booking a spot, review City of Calgary guidelines for fire pit use

Yamnuska Wolfdog Sanctuary

Less than an hour outside of Calgary, you can meet wolfdogs, tour the sanctuary, learn about and conservation efforts. The Yamnuska Wolfdog Sanctuary is open 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. from Thursday to Monday. 

 

Entertainment

YYC Hot Chocolate Festival: February 1 – 28

Is there anything more festive than sipping a hot chocolate on a winter day? Enjoy a month full of indulgent, hand-crafted hot chocolates from a list of participating cafes, restaurants, and chocolatiers competing to win Calgary’s favourite hot chocolate! 

Get Off The Apps And Onto The Ave: January 7 – February 28

17th Ave Retail & Entertainment district is bringing a unique calendar of events for single Calgarians looking to get off the dating apps and meet people the old-fashioned way! Events include workshops, social mixers and more. 

Fall Down the Rabbit Hole at the Alice Popup: January 27 – March 31

Get ready for an immersive cocktail adventure! Visit Sunny Cider House to experience a 90-minute topsy-turvy journey into the magical realm of Wonderland. 

 

Anything we missed? You can submit community events to Calgary Economic Development’s Events page

Discover festivals and activities in Calgary all winter

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