1. Celebrate the Season
Where: Alberta Legislature Building, 10800-97 Ave.
When: December 5 – 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: www.assembly.ab.ca/visitor
2. All Is Bright on 124 St.
Where: 124 St. between 102 & 108 Ave.
When: Saturday, November 23, 12 pm – Late
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: allisbright124.ca
3. Christmas on the Square Holiday Light Up
Where: Churchill Sq. Downtown
When: Saturday, November 16, 4 pm – 6:30 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 carolers, 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: www.edmontondowntown.com
Cost: $10.95 Adult; $8.95 Senior; Children 7-12 $6.15; Children 6 and under are free
When: December 7 & 8, 5 – 9 pm nightly
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 get them at the gate.
More Info: www.devonian.ualberta.ca
5. Festival of Light
Cost: $5 General Admisson; $20 per Family
When: December 6 – 15, 5 – 10 pm nightly
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. Plus, be among the first to experience the grand opening of the brand new Phase II of III in the $50 million rejuvenation of the zoo! See the brand new entrance, gift shoppe, cafe, zoo school, multipurpose room, and The Wander pathway.
More Info: http://buildingourzoo.com/events/festival-of-light/
6. Cory Christopher Christmas Market & Holiday Workshops
Cost: Free to browse the market; prices vary for workshops and special events
When: November 14 – 30
Where: 10914 105 Ave.
About: A treasure trove of yuletide delights awaits shoppers, showcasing the talents of local and Canadian artists and designers. Enjoy fresh 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 month; get creative and get in the spirit of the season!
More Info: www.corychristopher.ca
7. Jingle On Indoor Santa Clause Parade
When: Sunday, December 1, 10 am
Where: Downtown Indoor Pedway System: Begins at Commerce Place, to Manulife Place, to Edmonton City Centre West, to City Centre East.
About: The 26th Annual Jingle On Indoor Santa Claus Parade will be a sight of colourful mascots, floats, marching bands, and Santa Claus — of course!
More Info: www.edmontondowntown.com
8. Candy Cane Lane
Cost: Free, though donations for the Edmonton Food Bank are accepted and appreciated. Extra fee for sleigh rides.
When: December 6 – January 2, 2014
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: candycanelane.ca
9. Festival of Trees
Cost: $7 Adult, $3 Senior (65+), $3 Youth (13-17), $2 Children (2-12).
When: November 28 – December 1
Where: Shaw Conference Centre, 9797 Jasper Ave.
About: The University Hospital Foundation’s annual fundraiser (this year in support of the Mazankowski Alberta Heart Institute) 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: www.festivaloftrees.ca
10. The Best Little Newfoundland Christmas Pageant Ever
Cost: $20 – $22
When: December 19 – 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: www.tixonthesquare.com
11. With Bells On
Cost: $20 General Admission
When: December 10 – 22
Where: Roxy Theatre, 10708-124 St.
About: This hilarious holiday play details the story of an unlikely partnership between a mild-mannered accountant and a 7-foot tall Glamazon who must work together to escape from a broken elevator in order for her to claim the coveted crown at the Christmas Queen Pageant.
More Info: www.theatrenetwork.ca
12. West Edmonton Mall Playtime: Ornament Making
When: November 19, 10 am & 11 am
Where: West Edmonton Mall, 8882-170 St.
About: Just for kids, get crafty and make your own tree ornament to celebrate the holiday season!
More Info: www.wem.ca
13. A Merry Mercer Collective
Cost: Free to browse! Free children’s activities and live music, too.
When: December 7 & 8, 14 & 15; 10 am – 5 pm
Where: Mercer Warehouse, 10359-104 St.
About: Shop for unique handmade goods made by artists, designers, crafty folk, artisans, writers, and bakers in a boutique-like setting — everything is handmade, there are no re-sold products. Live music and a children’s activity table means you can really enjoy your shopping experience!
More Info: www.mercercollective.com
14. Jack Frost Holiday
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 8, 12 pm – 4 pm
Where: Muttart Conservatory, 9626 – 96A St.
About: Jack Frost might be alive and well outside, but inside it’s tropical, temperate and even a little bit arid. Kick off your holiday fun with a craft, tours, and Christmas cactus planting at the Muttart Conservatory. Ringing hand-bells will fill the air in Centre Court, and the Feature Pyramid, “Jack Frost Nipping at Your Nose” will be alive with hundreds of Poinsettias in a spectrum of colours and shapes. You can even purchase a Muttart-grown poinsettia to take home!
More Info: www.edmonton.ca
15. Bright Lights: Print Affair
Cost: $15 – $20
When: Saturday, November 23, 7 pm
Where: SNAP Gallery
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, an interactive printmaking workshop, photo booth, 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: snapartists.com
16. The Edmonton Christmas Show
Cost: $15 Adult; $12 Senior (60+); $9 Youth (9-16); Children 8 and under are free
When: November 28 – December 1
Where: Edmonton Expo Centre, 7515-118 Ave.
About: This family friendly Christmas show will put you in the spirit of the season! Shop for unique gift ideas and holiday décor, take a photo with Santa, enjoy children’s activities like crafts and face painting, enjoy live music and entertainment, meet Amber Marshal (the star of Heartland) and Dora and Diego (from Dora the Explorer).
More Info: www.edmontonchristmasshow.com
17. Chocolate Orange Porter Cask Night
Cost: Under $10 per pint
When: Thursday, November 21, 6 pm
Where: The Sugar Bowl, 10922 88 Ave.
About: Enjoy a pint of a cask version of Alley Kat Brewery’s seasonal specialty brew, the Chocolate Orange Porter. Reminiscent of a favourite holiday candy, this hearty dark beer is malty goodness with notes of curacao oranges. Can’t make it to cask night? Pick up some bottles of the brew to use at your own holiday gathering at the brewery, 9929-60th Ave.
More Info: www.alleykatbeer.com
18. Whyte Christmas Sleigh Ride Shuttle
Cost: $2 Adult; $1 Child
When: November 30 & December 7, 14, 21; 1 pm – 5 pm daily
Where: Old Strathcona
About: Experience the sights and sounds of the holidays along Whyte Ave. in Old Strathcona with a sleigh ride! Each family will receive a swag bag with products and information showcasing some of your favourite Old Strathcona businesses, and hop on-and-off the sleigh as you stop for shopping and dining in the area.
More Info: www.oldstrathcona.ca
19. Edmonton Oil Kings “Sing for Santa”
Cost: Tickets start at $20
When: Sunday, December 8, 4 pm
Where: Rexall Place
About: Watch WHL hockey teams Edmonton Oil Kings vs. Medicine Hat Tigers and enjoy special Family Fun-Day holiday themed entertainment.
More Info: www.oilkings.ca
20. Christmas Reflections
Cost: $15.75 General Admission
When: December 4 – 23; 5 – 9 pm weekdays, 2 – 6 pm weekends
Where: Fort Edmonton Park, 7000-143 St.
Step back in time to a Christmas’ past! Bundle up and get together with your friends and family to view charming Christmas displays, savour a warm cup of cider or hot chocolate, visit costumed interpreters along 1905 and 1920 Street, sample baking from the wood stove, construct Christmas crafts, and much more.
More Info: www.fortedmontonpark.ca
— Breanna Mroczek