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20 Holiday Activities in Edmonton Under $20 in 2014

Celebrate the season throughout December at the Alberta Legislature!

1. Celebrate the Season
Cost: Free!
Where: Alberta Legislature Building, 10800-97 Ave.
When: December 4 – 23
About: The first day of this month-long event features a choir performance and the Premier’s ceremonial turning on of the colourful lights outside the Legislature buildings. During the rest of the month, guests can enjoy afternoon and evening choir performances and hot chocolate when visiting the Legislature rotunda.
More info here!

2. All Is Bright on 124 St.
Cost: Free!
Where: 125 St. and 102 Ave.
When: Saturday, November 22, 3 pm – 8 pm
About: Celebrate the coming of winter with a stunning showcase of fashion, food, and entertainment on 124 St. Enjoy holiday-themed storefront displays, hot holiday drinks and food truck specialties, live music, sleigh rides, and a pop-up Christmas market to start your holiday shopping!
More info here!

3. Christmas on the Square Holiday Light Up
Cost: Free!
Where: Churchill Sq. Downtown
When: Saturday, November 15, 4 pm – 7 pm
About: Kick off the festive season with activities and entertainment for the whole family, including free balloon artists and face painting, stilt walkers, mascots and carollers, singers and musicians. Santa himself will be around to light up the majestic 72-foot tree adorned with more than 14,000 LED lights, cascading snowflakes and stars, followed by an impressive fireworks display.
More info here!

4. Luminaria
Cost: $11.50 Adult; $9.50 Senior; Children 7-12 $6.25; Children 6 and under are free
When: December 6 & 7, 5 – 9 pm
Where: Devonian Botanic Garden, 5 kms north of Devon on Hwy 60, 15 minutes from West Edmonton
About: Thousands of hand-lit candles sparkle along the paths of the Kurimoto Japanese Garden. Strolling singers, ice sculptures, hot apple cider at the bonfires, illuminated Snow Sprites. An enchanting display! Call for tickets 780-987-3054 ext. 2223 to avoid lineups or order them online.
More info here!

5. Festival of Light
Cost: $9.50 Adult; $5.50 Child; $30 per Family
When: December 5 – 14, 5 – 10 pm
Where: Edmonton Valley Zoo
About: The Festival of Light will stage a spectacular exhibition of artistic light installations, live music, dancers, skating, and animal encounters within the unique setting of the zoo. Be sure to check out the gift shoppe, cafe, zoo school, multi-purpose room, and The Wander pathway.
More info here!

6. Cory Christopher Christmas Market & Holiday Workshops
Cost: Free to browse the market; prices vary for workshops and special events
When: November 1 – December 23
Hours: Tues – Wed 10 am – 5 pm; Thu 10 am – 9 pm; Fri 10 am – 5 pm; Sat – Sun 10 am – 5 pm; Closed Mon
Where: 10914 105 Ave. (alley entrance)
About: A treasure trove of yuletide delights awaits shoppers, showcasing the talents of local and Canadian artists and designers. Enjoy freshly brewed apple cider as you find the perfect holiday gifts, accents for your home, and of course something special just for you! Special events and creative workshops take place throughout the market; get creative and get in the spirit of the season!
More info here!

7. Theatresports Improv
Cost: $12
When: November 7, 14, 28, December 5, 12, 19
Where: Citadel Theatre, 9828-101A Ave.
About: Edmonton’s renowned improv comedy troupe Rapid Fire Theatre performs Theatresports weekly, where teams of talented improvisers do their best to win over the audience in a series of improv challenges. Shout out your suggestions and watch a scene evolve — you never know what they might say or do, but they will make you laugh! And with the holidays on everyone’s mind, you’re sure to witness a few pokes at Christmas classics or holiday traditions.
More info here!

8. Candy Cane Lane
Cost: Free, though donations for the Edmonton Food Bank are accepted and appreciated. Extra fee for sleigh rides.
When: December 12,2014 – January 4, 2015
Where: 148 St. between 100 Ave. & 92 Ave.
About: Grab a hot chocolate and take a stroll down Candy Cane Lane — a ten-block stretch of impressive residential displays of colourful Christmas lights and decorations. Or, see the sights while taking a festive sleigh ride!
More info here!

9. Festival of Trees
Cost: $10 Adult, $5 Senior (65+), $5 Youth (13-17), $2 Children (2-12), Infants under 2 are free
When: November 27 – 30
Where: Shaw Conference Centre, 9797 Jasper Ave.
About: The University Hospital Foundation’s annual fundraiser (this year in support of a gamma knife to perform delicate brain procedures without making an incision) is a family-friendly event with magnificently decorated trees, festive displays, uniquely decorated cakes, and the most intricate gingerbread houses you have ever seen! Enjoy family scavenger hunts, live entertainment, and a special visit from Santa.
More info here!

10. The Best Little Newfoundland Christmas Pageant Ever
Cost: $20 – $22
When: December 18 – 22
Where: Varscona Theatre, 10329 83 Ave.
About: What could be so hard about directing a Christmas pageant? It’s always the story with the same carols. But no one was expecting the Herdmans — “the worst kids in the world” — to show up for auditions! What has the potential to be the worst pageant ever turns out to be the best one as everyone learns the true meaning of Christmas in this funny, heartwarming play.
More info here!

11. Santa’s Arrival at West Edmonton Mall
Cost: Free
When: November 15, 10 am – 8 pm
Where: North Pole Place, West Edmonton Mall, 8882-170 St.
About: Come and welcome Santa to his home-away-from-home for the holiday season! Exciting entertainment includes a magician, face painters, a balloon artist, and Rapid Fire Theatre will be there with a special improv performance of Disney’s Frozen!
More info here!

12. Crafters Christmas Sale
Cost: Free!
When: November 28 – 30
Where: Devonian Botanic Garden, 5 kms north of Devon on Hwy 60, 15 minutes from West Edmonton
About: Shop for seasonal handmade crafts like wreaths, centrepieces, dried floral arrangements, potpourri, candles, cards, unique gifts, cookbooks, and much more. Products are handmade by members of the Devonian Botanic Garden’s Crafters Association, many with materials harvested at the garden.
More info here!

13. Holiday Bazaar at The Roxy!
Cost: Free to browse!
When: December 4; 5 pm – 9 pm
Where: Roxy Theatre, 10708-124 St.
About: Join the 124 Grand Street Market for a holiday-themed market place with festive energy and grand vendors, in a unique theatre setting! Fill your bags with quality goodies from local makers that will impress all your secret santa’s with a one-of-a-kind gift.
More info here!

14. North Pole Christmas
Cost: $12 Adult; $10.60 Senior (65+); $10.60 Student (13-17); $6.50 Child (2-12): Children under 2 are free.
When: Sunday, December 14, 12 pm – 4 pm
Where: Muttart Conservatory, 9626 – 96A St.
About: The Muttart Conservatory is throwing an event to get you into the Christmas spirit! Activities include a seasonal craft, face painting, and Christmas cactus planting! And live music will fill Centre Court with the warmth of the season. You can even pick up a Muttart Conservatory–grown poinsettia!
More info here!

15. Print Affair: Pretty Paper
Cost: $20 (for members, $25 regular)
When: Saturday, December 6, 8 pm
Where: SNAP Gallery, 10123 121 St.
About: Enjoy a fun and elegant evening of holiday cheer with a community of members, volunteers, artists and art patrons. Enjoy great music from local DJs, wonderful food, exquisite drinks and, of course, high-caliber contemporary print art. This event focuses on the sale of contemporary print works at all price ranges and the Edmonton community is encouraged to support local arts and culture by purchasing art as gifts this holiday season.
More info here!

16. Royal Bison Craft & Art Fair
Cost: $2 General, Kids get in free!
When: November 28 – 30 & December 5 – 7
Where: Old Strathcona Performing Arts Centre, 8426 Gateway Blvd.
About: Browse the beautiful boutique-like displays from local, independent vendors selling unique handmade clothing, jewellery, accessories, artwork, toys, and zines. This is the perfect fair to find a speciality, hand-made holiday gift! New this year: the fair will run for a second weekend in December that will feature the best crafts and wares from across the prairies!
More info here!

17. A Prairie Christmas
Cost: $12
When: December 13 & 14
Where: Prairie Gardens & Adventure Farm, 56311 Lily Lake Rd., Bon Accord, 25 km north of Edmonton
About: Bundle up and enjoy some seasonal family fun at the cozy, rustic setting of Prairie Gardens and Adventure Farm. Decorate cookies with the elves, ride the magical Polar Express, get a family photo with Santa, make ornaments and gifts at the craft station, and enjoy hot chocolate and other treats in Mrs. Claus’ kitchen.
More info here!

18. Whyte Christmas Sleigh Ride Shuttle
Cost: Rides by donation in support of the Schizophrenia Society of Alberta
When: November 29 & December 6, 13, 20; 1 pm – 5 pm
Where: Old Strathcona
About: Experience the sights and sounds of the holidays along Whyte Ave. in Old Strathcona with a sleigh ride! And watch carefully because you may spot Santa roaming around Old Strathcona one of those days!
More info here!

19. Edmonton Oil Kings “Sing for Santa”
Cost: Tickets start at $18
When: Saturday, December 6, 4 pm
Where: Rexall Place
About: Watch WHL hockey teams Edmonton Oil Kings vs. Moose Jaw Warriors and enjoy special holiday-themed entertainment.
More info here!

20. It’s a Wonderful Life Radio Show
Cost: $18
When: December 17 – 23; 8 pm
Where: Fort Edmonton Park, 7000-143 St.
Watch the classic holiday tale of despair and redemption performed as a 1940s radio broadcast by a cast in full period costume with live music and sound effects. It’s a perfect holiday treat with classic holiday music and hilarious commercial breaks.
More info here!

— Matthew Stepanic

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