Located at the confluence of the Elbow River and the Bow River, the city of Calgary is part of a province called Alberta in Canada. It has a cosmopolitan look with innumerable skyscrapers due to the fast development for being the hub of the oil industry in Canada. Also referred to as the “Gateway to the Rockies”, it attracts visitors for its happening outdoor life and picturesque scenery. While this booming city has a small-town heart, it does not lack the diversions of a big city. Between nightlife, festivals, and outdoor activities, the city has a play-hard, work-hard approach in its veins. Because the city has no dearth of luxury hotels, you can plan an indulgent stay here. For a homier experience, there are plenty of Airbnbs with a pool as well. Planning a trip soon? Scroll down to discover the best things to do in winter in Calgary, Canada.
1. Meet the animals at the Calgary Zoo
One of the best places to visit in winter in Calgary is the Calgary Zoo. It is a fantastic destination for travelers due to its diverse and captivating experiences. The zoo offers an immersive journey through various ecosystems, showcasing over 1,000 animals from around the globe. Visitors can encounter rare and endangered species, learn about wildlife conservation, and deepen their understanding of the natural world. The zoo’s well-designed exhibits and interactive encounters make it enjoyable for families, couples, and solo adventurers alike.
Additionally, the beautifully landscaped gardens and picturesque surroundings provide a serene escape within the bustling city. With seasonal events, educational programs, and engaging attractions, the Calgary Zoo promises an unforgettable and enriching experience for visitors of all ages.
Address: 210 St. George’s Drive NE, Calgary, AB T2E 7V6, Canada
Website: Calgary Zoo
Opening hours: 9am - 6pm (daily)
2. See the bird’s-eye view of Calgary at the Calgary Tower
Editor's Note: Photo taken from the establishment's official social account
Visiting the Calgary Tower in winter is one of the must-try activities in Calgary, Canada. This one is a delightful experience, offering a unique blend of excitement and breathtaking winter views. The observation deck provides a 360-degree panorama of the snow-covered cityscape, creating a magical atmosphere. The city’s twinkling lights and festive decorations add to the charm, making it a perfect spot for holiday photos. The cold weather also means fewer crowds, allowing for a more intimate and serene visit.
Inside, the warm and cozy environment of the tower’s restaurant provides an excellent setting to savor delicious meals while gazing at the winter wonderland below. For adventurous souls, the Glass Floor allows you to witness the city from a new perspective.
Address: 101 9 Ave SW, Calgary, AB T2P 1J9, Canada
Website: Calgary Tower
Opening hours: 10am - 9pm (daily)
You can reach Peyto Lake in a little more than an hour by a van trip along the picturesque Iceland Parkway. Learn the basic skills of snowshoeing in this tour as you visit one of the finest areas in the Canadian Rockies. Bow Summit is at a high altitude that signifies there is snow all through the year. This trek takes around 45 minutes one way while you cover your journey to the fantastic viewpoint that overlooks one of the Rockies’ best lakes called Peyto Lake.
Duration: 6 to 7 hours (Approx.)
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4. In for some outdoor snow activities
Are you fond of cross-country skiing, skating, and tobogganing but do not want to leave the city of Calgary? There are plenty of options to do so in this tourist-friendly city. Activities like snowshoeing and cross-country skiing in the city is a great way to remain active while enjoying the beauty of the snow-covered landscapes. You can do these exhilarating activities in any park. Also, there are many dedicated tracks for cross-country skiing in and around the city.
5. Go skating at the Spruce Meadows
In case you are looking for outdoor activities in Calgary and visiting the city with your entire family, particularly during the winters, which also happen to be the holiday season, then Spruce Meadows is a great choice for you. Also, when the budget is a constraint, enjoy a cost-free and unique outing here with your dear ones. You can do skating or even enjoy a leisurely stroll at Spruce Meadows. The site boasts one of Calgary’s finest outdoor rinks and is open for skating for your entire family.
Address: 18011 Spruce Meadows Way SW, Calgary, AB T2X 4B7, Canada
6. Admire public art at the skywalk
A visit to downtown Calgary is a must to explore Plus 15 Skyway, which is considered as the longest, elevated, and glass-enclosed skywalk connecting more than a hundred shops, offices, hotels, cultural and convention centers through 60 bridges. It is a fabulous place to be if you are visiting a winter city such as Calgary. You will also love the wonderful public artwork integration by Derek Besant on Plus 15’s 8th Avenue.
Plus 15 Skyway
Address: Plus 15 Skywalk, Downtown Calgary
If you want to enjoy the winter season in Calgary, make sure you book yourself this guided ice-fishing tour. It is an excellent outdoor activity in the winters with your friends and family members. The package includes whatever is required for enjoying a fabulous day in ice fishing. The host will set up the necessary equipment on the lake so that you can enjoy your fishing. It is an ideal option for all those visitors who are yet to indulge in ice fishing and are visiting Calgary.
Duration: 7 hours (Approx.)
8. Enjoy 'Horsin Around' in the snow
When you find snow on the grounds in the city, you can always enjoy a sleigh ride at the city’s Horsin Around. Enjoy a dashing ride through the snow as two horses pull the sleigh and then warm yourself up with a steaming cup of coffee or hot chocolate. Meanwhile, you can let your children try out a pony ride in the heated arena to keep them engaged.
Address: Corner of Range Road 283 and Hwy 22x east
Website: Horsin Around
9. Don't miss the Calgary Flames Game
If you are a sports lover and visiting the city of Calgary in winters, you just cannot afford to miss the Calgary Flames Game at all. Visit the official site mentioned below to get the details of the matches, tickets, dates, venues, and various other interesting tidbits of the Calgary Flames Games. Visiting this thriving city in the winters has one more solid excuse now for sure. The day-wise schedule of the NHL matches is also available on the site.
Calgary Flames Game
Address: Scotiabank Saddledome @ 555 Saddledome Rise SE, Calgary, AB T2G 2W1, Canada
Website: Calgary Flames Game
10. Check out the Big Winter Classic
Music, local craft beer, and art all come together in Big Winter Classic in the city of Calgary. As is obvious from the name, this four-day extravaganza takes place in the winters. So, come in groups, taste some excellent craft beer, ignore the chill, and support the thriving music scene here, which is usually full of local talents. So, while many cities may simply baulk even at the thought of partying outdoors in the winters, residents of the city are simply not bothered about the cold, especially while enjoying live music.
Big Winter Classic
Address: Last Best Brewing & Distilling and Broken City @ 607 11 Ave SW, Calgary, AB T2R 0E1, Canada
Website: Big Winter Classic
11. Freeze a date at the Ice Magic Festival
It is a lovely experience being in Canada during the winters. The town of Lake Louise undergoes a drastic change during the Ice Magic Festival that lasts for 12 days From One Hour to One Block speed event and from One Carver to the International Ice Carving Competition, there will be plenty to do and see here in January 2019. The world-class even has a long history of more than two decades now. Ice artists from all over the planet who are highly talented in their art participate in these events. The festival starts on January 16, 2019, and will end on January 27, 2019.
Ice Magic Festival
Address: Lake Louise, Alberta
Website: Ice Magic Festival
Calgary being a cosmopolitan Canadian city owes its phenomenal economic rise due to being a hub of the oil industry in the country. The city’s natural resource has given it untold wealth and affluence. A lion’s portion of it has been utilized in its commercial and corporate potential. A major beneficiary has been a growing number of breweries in Calgary with its locals developing a taste for the craft beer. Many companies in the city are now offering beer-themed tours and brewery tours in Calgary, as well as, in its surrounding localities.
The city of Calgary invites tourists from different parts of the world throughout the year. Do not miss these fun things to do in Calgary, Canada, and enjoy a memorable vacation.
Frequently asked questions about things to do in winter in Calgary
1. What are the top festivals to attend in Calgary?
If you would like to visit some of the very popular festivals in Calgary during your stay in the city, you can freeze a date at the Ice Magic Festival.
2. What are the best indoor activities in Calgary?
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