Winter in Calgary isn't a quiet, dull and snow-covered season. Just the opposite, actually!
Take advantage of home hacks to help you save money this winter and use the extra cash to plan some fun outings! This is a time of year when countless festivals take place in and around the city. Parks are geared up for winter outdoor activities, and there are many winter travel destinations close enough for a day trip. It's also a time to enjoy spending time with the family and taking advantage of the beautiful snowfall we have each year.
Need a little more convincing?
Here are ten wonderful reasons to love the winter season here in Calgary:
1. Having Fun in the Snow
First on the list of fun things to do during the winter in Calgary is play in the snow! This natural substance lends itself to making snowmen, having snow fights, and building snow forts. Keep a supply of worn out hats, mittens, and gloves for dressing your snow person, and don't forget to take pictures. Then there's the fun of making snow cones and snow ice cream.
2. Visiting the Rockies
One of the best places to enjoy a stay in the Rocky Mountains is the picturesque town of Banff, just over an hour from Calgary. If your budget doesn't cover staying at the castle-like Fairmont Banff Springs, it's still worth taking a tour of the hotel and viewing the incredible scenery around it.
3. Exploring Nearby Attractions
While you're in Banff, go skating at Chateau Lake Louise or soak in the local hot springs. You can even rent a swimsuit and towel there. If you're up for a breathtaking adventure, take a ride on the Banff Gondola, a glass enclosed 4-passenger gondola. The ride takes you on a tour of the mountain ranges and ends up at the visitor's centre with its interactive exhibits, restaurants, and boardwalk.
4. Hosting a Movie or Game Night
Another place to find activities to get through those cold winter nights is home, sweet home. A weekly movie night is something to look forward to, with friends and family members taking turns picking the movie. You can also rotate who makes the snacks, in teams of two if you have a large group.
Game night is another fun way to spend the evening together. Card games, board games, and interactive games like charades. Any at-home activities to spend times with your kids can result in lots of laughs and treasured memories.
5. Planning an Indoor Cookout
This is a way to combine a cookout with all the comforts of home. With a sandwich rack, you can toast your favourite creation at the fireplace. For the kids, cut frankfurters into quarters part-way down each end and spear them in the middle. When these weenies get roasted, the ends curl up and they turn into spiders! Marshmallows are fun to toast in the fireplace, too. Spread a blanket on the floor to have a zone for no-mess s'mores.
6. Enjoying Winter at Calgary Parks
Calgary provides a serene setting for cross-country skiing, and you can do so in groomed areas such as certain golf courses, or ungroomed areas like Weaselhead Natural Environment Park.
There are plenty of outdoor skating rinks throughout Calgary that are typically open from mid-November to mid-March, weather permitting. There are also over a dozen parks that allow tobogganing and sledding, and don't forget to check out the tubing park at WinSport!
7. Attending Calgary Winter Festivals
Festivals take place in various locations around Calgary that are best suited for events like film screenings, theatre, music, and dance exhibitions. At the end of January, experience the annual, yummy YYC Hot Chocolate Fest that benefits Meals on Wheels.
The GLOW Winter Light Festival is another must-attend. This family-friendly celebration brings music and interactive light displays to downtown Calgary in February.
8. Visting Zoolights at the Calgary Zoo
Throughout the month of December, the Calgary Zoo sets up 200 displays with 1.5 million lights to create Zoolights, a magical event for the whole family. Warm yourselves with hot chocolate by a fire pit or check out one of the fun activities at the zoo. Santa's hanging out at the Enmax Conservatory while families are skating and building snowmen. The proceeds benefit the zoo's animal protection efforts and animal conservation around the world.
9. Using the Plus15 Pedestrian Skywalk
People who live in an area with exciting landmarks often don't appreciate them enough to visit. This winter, take the time to stroll along the 18+ kilometres of heated pedestrian skywalk that links shops, hotels, and restaurants all over downtown Calgary. Enjoy viewing the snow from 15 feet above street level in the most extensive enclosed pedestrian walkway in the world.
10. Finding Things to Do During a Chinook
When the warm, dry air comes down from the mountains and magically melts the snow, what should you do? Enjoy it, of course! This is a prime opportunity to hang out on your deck or patio again. Just throw on a warm sweater and enjoy spending time outdoors while you can. Your family can even have a meal on the deck before the warm winds disappear again.
Find Your Own Favourite Activities
With a little imagination, you can enjoy a Calgary winter in the comfort of your own home, adorned with cozy winter home décor. If you venture out, there's something for everyone to enjoy.
The outdoor enthusiast can skate, toboggan, ski, and enjoy local competitions. If you're drawn to the arts, you'll be able to enjoy music, drama, and film festivals throughout the winter months. And Calgary is a family-friendly city that hosts many children's activities in the winter.
Here's looking forward to another exciting winter season!