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Don’t let the dropping temperatures bother you. When in Calgary, winters are not about staying indoors. It’s about stepping out and enjoying the snow. Create some memorable moments right here in the city. From downhill skiing to snowboarding, there are so many fun things to do in Calgary.

Winter is an integral part of Canadian life, and rather than hiding from it, we celebrate it! Step out of your comfort zone and try exhilarating outdoor adventures like skiing, snowshoeing, or ice skating. Prefer to stay warm and cozy? Curl up by the fire with a good book, explore local museums, or savor the festive atmosphere at a winter market. There’s something for everyone to enjoy this season. Here is our list of the best things to do in Calgary during winter!

Ice Skating

Ice Skating Rink, Calgary

During winters, several parks and public spaces make room for ice rinks. If ice skating is your favourite winter activity, we recommend visiting one of the nine bigger ice rinks. Most of these ice rinks are operational from November to March every year, depending on the varying temperatures. Our absolute favorites are Prince’s Island Park, Bowness Park, and Olympic plaza. 

Go tubing and skiing on the slopes near Calgary

things to do in calgary in winter - skiing at the many ski slopes near Calgary
Canada Olympic Park, Calgary, Alberta

Continuing the Olympic legacy from 1988, WinSport is your ultimate destination for winter fun. Ski hill, superpipe, terrain park, tube park – with so many different experiences, you’re sure to be spoilt for choice. If you are an adventure junkie and need more adrenaline-pumping activities, we suggest you try cruising down the largest pipe in Western Canada. 

Winter Gear Suggestions For You and Your Loved Ones

Enjoy a visit to the festival of lights.

By the end of November, most streets are lit up with Christmas lights, ready to welcome the holiday season. Be sure to visit the Lions Festival of Lights at Confederation Park and Zoolights. Lions Festival of Lights usually starts on the 27th of November, with a display of 500,000 lights and Teepees. This free event is fun to watch! 

As for Zoolights in Calgary, the event features over 2 million lights with over 200 displays, fire pits, and holiday drinks. As one of the top things to do in Calgary during winter, this is your opportunity to take your little ones out, enjoy a perfect evening out and capture some memories. 

Spot the King Penguins

Things to Do in Calgary during winter -Spot the King Penguins at Calgary Zoo

If you haven’t already, add this to your must-do things in Calgary during winter. It’s fun to watch the little penguins go on a walk through the Calgary zoo. For them, this is not just a workout, and it is also a change in views. Your little ones are sure to have fun! 

Have you tried fat biking?

Fat biking a fun thing to do in winter

There’s nothing more adventurous and fun than riding your bike through the deep snow paths of Calgary Parks. Fat biking is a unique experience and can be enjoyed the most at the Canmore Nordic Centre. It’s more than just fun, especially when you have fellow mountain bikers throwing you a challenge. Goat Creek Trail, Highline Trail, and West Brag Creek are some other trails you can try this adventure. Fat bikes can be rented at BikeBike, Rebound Cycle, and Smack Cycles. 

Marvel this architectural wonder

Calgary Central Library

If you are a bookworm, you will enjoy a tour of this architectural wonder – Calgary Central Library. From podcast studio to video game center, this massive library is equipped with it all. They also have over 450,000 books to choose your read from. One of the best things you can do indoors on a chilly winter morning in Calgary is to take a free guided tour of the Calgary Central Library. 

Top Rated Calgary Tours For You

Experience the best of winter festivals in Calgary

Most winter festivals in Calgary are family-friendly and a great way to network. From carnival games to outstanding performances by the local artists, these winter festivals are a great way to come together and enjoy the gathering over music, art, food, and dance. The streets have several pop-up art installations, sculptures, and lights. 

Enjoy the YYC hot chocolate Fest

Delicious Hot Chocolate

Winter and hot chocolate go hand in hand. So, if you are in Calgary during winter and not a part of the YYC hot chocolate Fest, that’s a total miss. Try out the different hot chocolates curated by specialty restaurants and brewers. One must-try is the Hot Chocolate Nutella with mini Bomboloni; you’ll have no regrets there. 

Visit the Calgary Tower

As the iconic part of the city, Calgary Tower is a must-visit. Adorning the city’s skyline, the view from above is spectacular. Visit the Calgary Tower observation deck to enjoy a 360° view that extends beyond the city. After visiting the observation deck, you could also relish a fine dining experience at the rotating restaurant Sky 360.

Watch the Northern Lights

Northern Lights over an Alberta Forest

Aurora or Northern light spotting must be one of the top fun things to do in Calgary . The natural wonder is a spectacle in itself. Check the pictures and updates on Calgary Aurora Chasers to see where the latest conditions are and where you can see Northern lights in Calgary. 

Calgary Mural spotting

Take a stroll around the city and spot the most vibrant murals. Don’t forget to carry your camera along to capture spectacular images. During the Bump festival, artists from all over Canada gather to create mural art on buildings across Calgary.  

Stroll alongside the Bow river

Enjoy your morning and evening walk by Calgary’s RiverWalk. Besides the stunning views and calming vibe, we promise you that every walk will have you discover something new about the city. 

Select Winter Adventures from Calgary For You

Go hiking

Hiking is not just for spring and summer. Winter hikes can be fun too. As one of the top things to do in Calgary, hiking in Nose Hill Park, Edworthy Park, or Bowmont park are all great experiences.

Explore the local Christmas market

One of the satisfying things to do in Calgary during winter is to visit the Christmas markets. They are a part of the winter fun, and most of these markets support local artisans.

Try ice-fishing

An Eskimo ice fishing tent and tip-ups set for Northern Pike fishing on the frozen Chestermere Lake in Alberta Canada

Another fun thing to do in Calgary in winter is traditional fishing over the ice. Calgary’s Ghost Reservoir, also known as the Ghost Lake, is one of the best places for this fun thing to do in Calgary. Catch different varieties of trout fishes and enjoy an outdoorsy adventure with your family. 

Calgary is a city that has new things to do every season. So, don’t limit yourselves to just these fifteen activities. Go beyond and explore the city during winter. But, if you have tried all of these fun winter activities in Canada, remember to leave an impression by making a snow angel. Calgary invites you to come and fall in love with winter. 

Check out other Travel and Destination Guides

Top 5 fun things to do in Calgary any day

Things to do in Calgary on a weekend

Most Popular Canadian Dishes You Need to Try! 

COVID-19 Resource for Travellers to Canada


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