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Unveiling Calgary’s Best Winter Activities (Tried and tested by us!)

Unveiling Calgary’s Best Winter Activities (Tried and tested by us!) 

‘Tis the season to be jolly, and what better way to chase away the winter blues than experiencing the best winter activities Calgary has to offer? 

From sipping on delicious brews to witnessing a fierce competition for the title of best hot chocolate, we’ve got that and plenty more (including checking out fierce polar bears)! No need to wait for the bearded man to come down your chimney, because we’re here to play Santa and give you the winter of your dreams below. 

1. Go snowboarding at Canada Olympic Park 

Address: 88 Canada Olympic Rd SW, Calgary, AB T3B 5R5, Canada
Contact details: +1 403-247-5452
Operating hours:

  • Monday to Friday – 11 AM to 9 PM
  • Saturday & Sunday – 9 AM to 5 PM 

As soon as Calgary is blanketed with snow, fun begins. Among thrilling pastimes to indulge in is snowboarding – an exciting activity readily available at Canada Olympic Park. 

Aside from this, the park also offers a multitude of winter activities including skiing, skating, and more. All outdoor sports lovers unite – we’ll meet you there!

2. Cross country ski at Foothills Nordic Ski Club

Address:  724 1 Ave NW, Calgary, AB T2N 0A1, Canada

Indulge in an exciting cross country skiing adventure at Foothills Nordic Ski Club by signing up for one of their meticulously-designed programs, tailor-made to every skill level.

While plenty of aspiring professionals use this club as a training ground, casual enthusiasts of the sports would have no problem fitting in. Everyone’s pretty chill here (pun intended).

3. Witness unparalleled views of the city at Calgary Tower 

Address: 101 9 Ave SW, Calgary, AB T2P 1J9, Canada
Contact details: +1 403-266-7171
Operating hours: Monday to Sunday – 10 AM to 9 PM 

There are plenty of spectacular viewpoints from which to appreciate the wintery Calgary skyline, but Calgary Tower remains one of the finest. 

Soaring roughly 191 meters tall, visitors have the opportunity to immerse themselves in an unhindered view of the beautiful city, capturing the spellbinding sight adored with snow. Get ready to fill your IG with shots of it!

4. Sip on a hot cup of coffee at Analog Coffee 17 Ave

Address: 740 17 Ave SW, Calgary, AB T2S 0B7, Canada
Contact details: +1 403-910-5959
Operating hours: Monday to Sunday – 7 AM to 9 PM 

Escape the coldness of winter and bask in the warmth and coziness of the ambiance at Analog Coffee 17 Ave. Order their Americano misto while you’re at it. It has the kick you want, but with less bitterness because of the milk. 

While they have plenty of stores around the city, the one at 17 Ave remains our favorite one because of its remarkable work-friendly environment. Come here if you want to do a few last things for work before getting lost in the holidays!

For more cafe recommendations, check out our other favorites here

5. Check out the Lion’s Festival of Lights

Address: 24th Avenue Northwest &, 14 St NW, Calgary, AB, Canada
Contact details: +1 403-651-6689

Lion’s Festival Lights is an annual drive-by light display, showcasing the creativity and festive spirit of the locals. 

Aside from appreciating these breathtaking displays, visitors can also enjoy intricate ice sculptures, watch mesmerizing fireworks, and sip on delicious hot chocolate. 

6. Watch majestic polar bears at Calgary Zoo 

Address: 210 St. George’s Drive NE, Calgary, AB T2E 7V6, Canada
Contact details: +1 403-232-9300
Operating hours: Monday to Sunday – 9 AM to 4 PM 

Want to see polar bears up close? You can do it at Calgary Zoo, an institution dedicated to wildlife conservation, ensuring your visit supports a noble cause. 

Aside from polar bears, a diverse array of species await beyond the doors. This includes king penguins, giraffes, lions, and more. 

We suggest allotting 2.5 to 3 hours to the visit, by the way, to be able to fully immerse yourself in the zoo’s offerings. 

7. Get a warm drink at YYC Hot Chocolate Fest 

Address: 5759 80 Ave SE, Calgary, AB T2C 4S6, Canada
Contact details: +1 403-243-2834 ext. 1004

YYC Hot Chocolate Fest is an annual event that features an exciting competition among participating local cafes and restaurants to concoct the best hot chocolate. 

While it seems like your basic winter drink, you might be surprised by what these establishments usually come up with. Try different interpretations of the classic favorite by getting a sip of the innovations of each participating venue! 

8. Attend the Globe Winter Festival 


Every year, Globe Winter Festival revamps downtown into a dazzling extravaganza through a series of art installations and light displays. 

Beyond witnessing the immersive spectacles, visitors will also get a chance to watch exciting performances and indulge in delicious offerings from food trucks.  

9. Participate in the Chinook Blast 


Chinook Blast is an exciting winter festival full of thrilling festivities that aim to bring different communities together. Among the array of exciting experiences to enjoy here are live music performances, engaging light installations, and thrilling sports games!

By the way, we wrote a comprehensive guide to Chinook Blast. Make sure to read all about it before you go.  

10. Shop at the Inglewood Night Market 

Address: 1235 26 Ave SE, Calgary, AB T2G 0W5, Canada

During the winter season, Inglewood Night Market comes alive again, offering an array of unique goods including handmade items, antiques, vintage clothing, delicious food, and more. 

There are different offerings every time, so we recommend reading the list of participating vendors beforehand to get an idea. 

By the way, Inglewood is just one of our top picks for Christmas markets in the city. Check out our other favorites!

11. Watch holiday classics at Fort Calgary

Address: 750 9 Ave SE, Calgary, AB T2G 5E1, Canada
Contact details: +1 403-290-1875
Operating hours:

  • Monday to Thursday – closed
  • Friday to Sunday – 10 AM to 5 PM 

Fort Calgary is the perfect place to learn more about the local history, highlighting the influence and importance of the Indigenous people. 

Throughout the year, there are plenty of interesting events that unfold here. During the winter season, Fort Calgary comes alive with their offerings of a diverse range of exciting holiday activities. 

We particularly like watching holiday classics here during that time. If that’s not up your alley, you can also join workshops and programs focusing on crocheting, beeswax crafting, and storytelling.  

12. Cozy up indoors while playing board games at Hexagon Board Game Cafe 

Address: 1140 Kensington Rd NW #200, Calgary, AB T2N 3P3, Canada
Contact details: +1 403-209-2881
Operating hours:

  • Monday to Thursday, & Sunday – 10 AM to 11 PM
  • Friday & Saturday – 10 AM to 1 AM 

When the cold days are upon us, sometimes we just want to stay indoors. Adding a board game to that equation is the perfect ingredient to a cozy recipe. 

Hexagon Board Game Cafe boasts of an extensive game library, with almost 1,200 games available. With the right company, you might just stay here up until closing time!

13. Order a comforting bowl of soup from Lazy Loaf & Kettle 

Address: 8 Parkdale Crescent NW, Calgary, AB T2N 3T8, Canada
Contact details:  +1 403-270-7810
Operating hours: Monday to Sunday – 7 AM to 7 PM 

Lazy Loaf & Kettle is as cozy as it sounds. Offering an impeccable ambiance ideal for relaxation, customers looking to escape the cold winter day can expect to find solace here. 

Highly impressed by their decadent offerings, we definitely recommend ordering their beef + Swiss melt sandwiches paired with a side of their scrumptious soup. 

14. Relax by the fireplace at Higher Ground Cafe

Address: 1126 Kensington Rd NW, Calgary, AB T2N 3P3, Canada 
Contact details: +1 403-270-3780
Operating hours: Monday to Sunday – 8 AM to 10 PM 

Higher Ground Cafe at Kensington has this gorgeous fireplace perfect for those who want to feel cozy during winter. They have a wide array of coffee options to complete the experience.

If you’re in the mood to try something a little more unique, definitely give banana magic a try. 

It’s a mix of espresso and hot chocolate with a drizzle of dark chocolate and banana syrup. 

If you prefer the classics, the latte would also do the trick. 

15. Lend a helping hand at WINS Thrift Store

Address: 2907 Richmond Rd SW, Calgary, AB T3E 4N3, Canada
Contact details: +1 403-242-4969
Operating hours:

  • Monday to Saturday – 9 AM to 6 PM
  • Sunday – 10 Am to 5 PM 

In the season of giving, why not lend a helping hand to someone who needs it during winter? While there are plenty of opportunities to do that in the city, you might want to consider donating some goods at WINS Thrift Store. 

WINS, or Women in Need Society, aims to help families who are experiencing financial problems. They accept a variety of donations including monetary, clothing, furniture, and household items. 

16. Read a book at Bell’s Cafe

Address: 1515 34 Ave SW, Calgary, AB T2T 2B1, Canada
Contact details: +1 403-474-2233
Operating hours

  • Monday to Friday – 7:30 AM to 4 PM 
  • Saturday & Sunday – 8 AM to 4 PM 

Bell’s Cafe is a lovely neighborhood establishment often overlooked by visitors. Regardless of the time of day, this spot provides an ideal setting to read a book with a delicious cup of coffee. 

They have plenty of books available on their shelves, but don’t expect a diverse range of titles. That said, you can enjoy a variety of food offerings including pastries, bagels, toast, and so on. 

17. Enjoy tasty brews at Craft Beer Market 

Address: 345 10 Ave SW, Calgary, AB T2R 0A5, Canada
Contact details: +1 403-514-2337
Operating hours: 

  • Sunday to Wednesday – 11 AM to 12 AM
  • Thursday – 11 AM to 1 PM 
  • Friday & Saturday – 11 AM to 2 PM 

Another way to warm up your bellies during the winter season in Calgary is by enjoying the tasty brews you can find at the Craft Beer Market. 

There are plenty of alcoholic beverages to indulge in including cocktails, spirits, wine, and beer. In short, it’s the best opportunity to try something new. 

Among these diverse collections, there’s also plenty of delicious meals. The pizzas, in particular, are the standout choice to pair with your drinks. 

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