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 2023

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

Heroes of Film: January 13 – 14

Get into the heroic spirit with Heroes of Film, a concert of iconic themes from cinema and TV, conducted by John Morris Russell. Hear epic tunes from Batman, Star Trek, Indiana Jones, Star Wars: The Force Awakens, The Mandalorian, and many more.

Chinese Lunar New Year Festival 2023 at the Calgary Chinese Cultural Centre: January 14-22

Celebrate Chinese Lunar New Year in community with this free event at the Chinese Cultural Centre featuring dragon and lion dances, multicultural performances, an art exhibition, lucky draw, food stalls, games, and a marketplace. 

Banff SnowDays: January 18 – 29

Explore 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, dog sledding and more.

One Hit Wonders at Stage West Theatre: until February 5

It is said that everyone has a chance for 15 minutes of fame, and so it is with Stage West Theatre's production of One Hit Wonders. Don’t miss this musical revue by Howard Pechet and Tim French, two hours of non-stop music and great memories.

Chinook Blast: January 27 – February 12

A winter festival celebration for everyone to enjoy. Experience the vibrancy of our city with the best of Calgary’s art, music, theatre, sport, and recreation on display! 

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! 

Blockheater 8.0: February 9 – 12

Join Calgary Folk Music Festival's annual winter ritual featuring 32 artists and 12 separate events. Choose your own adventure at diverse Inglewood and downtown venues. 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.


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. 


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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