Even though Santa decided to cast his lot with reindeers, the good people of cowtown do not hold this against him. The city of Calgary sets the Christmas ball rolling in the second week of November and sleigh ride right into the New Year. For the person spending Christmas 2011 in the Greater Calgary Area, here are the parades and events worth visiting
Waldorf Faire: This is an annual event that takes place at the Calgary Waldorf School. The faire is in it’s 27th year and the 2011 theme is “A Festival of Joy”. This is a family friendly event that will feature kids’ activities as well as live entertainment. Date: 19 November. Time: 10am to 5pm. Venue: 515 Cougar Ridge Drive SW. Admission is $2 but children under 15 can enter free. Parking: The school has an expansive parking lot and free street parking is also available. More details at www.calgarywaldorf.org
Lougheed House: The Loughheed House is a national historic site and museum but during this season, it plays host to a lot of activities. “Christmas All Through the House” is in it’s 3rd year as a fundraising event. The rooms of the house are transformed to reflect Christmas themes and visitors get to have sing-a-longs and a free photo with a Victorian-era Santa. Date: 19-27 November excluding Mondays and Tuesdays. Time: 11am to 4pm. Venue: 707 – 13 Avenue SW. Admission: Adults $15, Seniors $10, Children $5, Children under 6 enter free. Parking is available right beside the venue. www.lougheedhouse.com
Heritage Park Historical Village: “Once Upon a Christmas” at the Heritage park includes rides on a horse-drawn wagon as well as Christmas carols in the park church. Date: 19 November to 18 December, weekends only. Time: 9:30am to 4pm. Venue: 1900 Heritage Drive SW. Admission: Adults $8, Children $6, Children under 2 enter free. www.heritagepark.ca
Calgary Zoo’s “Zoolights”: This is an event no child will want to miss. It includes ice carving demonstrations on the weekend, activities at the Penguin Plunge kids zone and SantaVision – kids get to talk directly to Santa at the North Pole. Recordings of the conversation are available to give to family members. Date: 25 November to 7 January, weekends only. Time: 6pm to 9pm. Admission: Adults $10, Children $7. Parking fee is $5 and included in the adult fare. www.calgaryzoo.org
Vesta Airdrie “Festival of Lights”: The Nosecreek park is transformed with lights that can be seen on train rides around the frozen pond. Date: 1-31 December. Time: 6-9pm. Venue: Nosecreek park, Airdrie Parking: Available at parking lot behind the Nose Creek Valley Museum. It’ll be a 5-10 minute walk to get to the park itself but assistance will be provided for those who need it. www.airdriefestivaloflights.com
Cardel Place “Winter Wonderland”: This is a one day indoor event featuring a petting zoo, crafts, climbing wall and water games. It’s one for the very active family. Date: 3 December. Time: 12:30-4:30 pm. Venue: 11950 Country Village Link NE Admission: $25 per family.www.cardelplace.com
For music lovers, Calgary hosts enough carols and festivals to make a heart sing. Mark the following dates on your calendar
1-31 December. “A Christmas Carol” by the Calgary Theater. Showings will be at the Epcor Center, 829 Macleod Trail SE.
4 December at 4pm, the Youth Singers of Calgary present “Elves… it’s reality” at The Souther Jubilee Auditorium
7 & 8 December at 7pm and 10 December at 2pm, The Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra presents “A Traditional Christmas” at the Grace Presbyterian Church
17 December at 7:30pm, the Cantare Children’s Choir presents “Celebrate the Seasons” at the Knox United Church.