Calgary Christmas markets
by Agnes Chung
It is Christmas time. Nowhere else buzzes with more festivity than the Christmas markets. Experience the season’s sounds, scents, and sights, while browsing for unique gifts and savouring scrumptious treats. Here are two popular family-friendly markets that make for unbeatable festive ambience.
Heritage Park Historical Village
Spread over 127 acres, the park is a treasure trove of Western Canadian life from the 1860s to 1950s. Canada’s largest living history museum is a year-round destination in its own right.
But from November 24 to December 23, the museum turns into a charming Western Canadian Christmas village with its annual celebration, Once Upon A Christmas at Heritage Park.
Start your day with a festive breakfast buffet at the Wainwright Hotel or Gunn’s Dairy Barn. Or grab lunch, freshly baked treats and beverages at the Railway Cafe and Club Cafe.
Hop on a horse-drawn wagon ride, sing carols, say hello to Santa or enjoy the Christmas train display. Visit historical homes and buildings, and immerse youeself in true Western Canadian yuletide traditions.
Canmore Opera House runs the 35-minute live musical, Once Upon A Christmas four times a day. Kids will love the gingerbread cookie decorating and craft-making.
New this year: Acclamation Handbell Choir performance, snowshoe race, sidewalk art and snow painting, Calgary Carvers woodwork demonstrations, snap a photo with the holiday horses.
Browse stores like Corner Emporium, Plaza Mercantile, Antiques and Collectables and Toy Shoppe for rare holiday treasures. Adult ticket is $11 and kids age two and under are free. Info: heritagepark.ca.
Calgary Christmas Market
Looking to taste and bring home the flavours of the Rocky Mountains? The yearround market just off of Blackfoot Trail and Heritage Drive sells fresh homegrown produce and different types of handicrafts.
This popular city attraction transforms into a Christmas market from November 15 to December 23. Over 80 regular and seasonal vendors offer everything from yuletide gifts, food and drinks, jewelry, décor and more.
Eat and shop to the sounds of live holiday entertainment. Special events include Santa and cookie decorating, tea with Mrs. Claus, live ice carving and viewing Santa’s Reindeer. There is no admission fee and parking is free. Info: calgaryfarmersmarket.ca