By Expedia Team, on December 30, 2019

What to Do in Calgary in Winter

Located in Alberta, Calgary is a fun city that’s a popular destination for travellers. In winter, Calgary boasts an array of activities to make the most of the season and the great outdoors. Here are some travel tips for travelling in Calgary in winter and advice to make the most of your visit.

The Plain of the Six Glaciers Trail curves through the Rockies in Banff National Park
Plain of the Six Glaciers Trail, Calgary

Cheer on the Calgary Flames

Hockey is a big deal in Calgary, especially with the city’s home NHL team, the Calgary Flames. If you’re going to Calgary, you must see a live Calgary Flames game to experience this popular pastime and enjoy a fun night out for everyone. The Flames play at the Scotiabank Saddledome in downtown, which is easily reached by the train system. Parking is available at the stadium as well. Like other sports events, the stadium offers conventional concessions like hot dogs, fries, popcorn, and soft drinks, as well as alcoholic drinks for adults.

See the Winter Scenery from the Calgary Tower

The Calgary Tower is one of the city’s top landmarks and a popular tourist destination. Standing at 190.8 metres tall, the tower offers entertainment and dining, as well as stunning panoramic views of the city stretching out to the Rocky Mountains from its large observation deck. A revolving restaurant and a glass floor provide unique views, so you could spend hours enjoying the fine wines, cocktails, and dining in the tower and taking pictures of the skyline from above.

A view of Calgary through the windows of Calgary Tower
Calgary Tower

Shop for Unique Gifts

Though Calgary has plenty of fun activities outdoors, it can get cold. If you want to spend some time indoors, winter is a great time to get your holiday shopping in and take your time finding gifts and unique treasures. One of the most popular shopping centres in the city is CF Chinook Centre, which can be reached by car or public transport, but you’ll find a rich mix of shops throughout the city. One of the best travel tips for those looking for bargains is that sales begin in January.

Ski the Canadian Rockies

What to know about travelling to Calgary in winter is that it’s a great base camp to explore the Rocky Mountains. You’ll find plenty of ski resorts and winter sports areas in the Rockies that surround Calgary, where you can ski, snowboard, or try out other fun winter activities. For a fun day trip, take a ride to Banff to experience its spectacular ski resorts near Lake Louise. You could even stay the night to take a trip to Banff National Park and enjoy its winter scenery.

A large outdoor heated pool with adults relaxing inside against a wintry background of snow-covered evergreen trees
Canadian Rockies

Stroll along the River Walk

If you anticipate the weather conditions and pack plenty of warm clothing, you can spend time exploring Calgary’s outdoor scene without the crowds of the warmer seasons. Know before you go and be sure to pack layers and a winter jacket to walk around the city’s River Walk, a scenic area near downtown that travels along the Bow and Elbow rivers. It’s not only home to some of the best restaurants in the city, but it also has cafes, shops, and local street art and murals for fantastic photo opportunities.

Escape the cold in the Skywalk Maze

If the temperatures are too cold to walk through the city, you can see it all from above with the Skywalk Maze, an extensive elevated walkway that connects the buildings of the city. Rising roughly 4.5 metres above the ground, the skywalk gives you a chance to explore the best parts of the city, such as the city centre and the downtown area, without being exposed to the cold and wind of winter. Something you’ll wish you knew is that there are around 18 kilometres to explore, so take your time wandering through the walkway to see what you come across.

Get Outdoors in Fishcreek Provincial Park

Fishcreek Provincial Park is a green, wild oasis in the centre of the city. Even in winter, exploring the park gives you a chance to break away from the busyness of the city and relax in nature. The cold weather and sparse crowds bring out many of Canada’s most fascinating and beautiful wildlife, such as deer, beavers, and birds, which you can see while travelling on its endless system of trails near creeks. The park is a popular spot for hiking, nature walks, cross-country skiing, and snowshoeing.

Skate at the Olympic Oval

Though you could skate at the Olympic Oval year-round, there’s something especially magical about ice skating in winter. Constructed for the 1988 Olympic Games, the skating oval is used for speed skating competition and training, but the rest of the time, it is open for public skating. You’ll not only have an opportunity to enjoy a fun pastime with the family, but you’ll also skate on an ice rink used for training Olympians. The facility offers rental skates and helmets, as well as ‘ice walkers’ that help you balance and learn to skate safely.

Explore the New Calgary Central Library

If you want to get away from the cold weather, winter is a great time to visit the popular New Calgary Central Library. Known for its spectacular ship-like architecture, the building is a sight all its own. It’s designed like a public square with numerous spaces and things to do, such as technology space, learning labs, production studios, a play area for kids, a teenagers-only space, and a community living room with seating and views of the city. The library also has tour options to learn more about its history and construction.

An aerial view of downtown Calgary with its high-rise buildings

Tube at the Acura Tube Park

If you’re looking for winter fun for the whole family, there’s no better way to spend the day than at the Acura Tube Park. Known as one of the largest and fastest in Western Canada, the tube park has a variety of tubing options like single and multiple tubes or high-energy lanes. No matter the age or skill level, everyone can take part in this fun and exciting winter activity. What to know is that the park has essential amenities, such as concession stands and washrooms, so you could spend the whole day enjoying the fun outdoors.

Ready for your Adventure?

Even in winter, Calgary has no shortage of fun activities and adventures in both the indoors and outdoors. Now that you have all this essential information before visiting Calgary, you’re ready to plan your trip. Take a look at Calgary vacations on Expedia to get great deals on your travel and make the most of your time in the city!