Until December 18 Over 100 vendors bring food, performances and family friendly workshops — among a dazzling array of lights — to Fort Edmonton Park. We recommend taking a horse wagon ride down Northern Lights Lane on your way to Yuletide Tavern, but there’s no wrong way to experience it all.
December 1 to January 1 Santa’s presents have gone missing and he needs your help! Luckily, clues lurk all around Glow’s enchanted light gardens and magic castle. Enjoy fairytale classics, meet your favourite Christmas characters and make new friends along the way.
Until January 1 Drive 2.5 kilometres under 1.5+ million bright lights, displays and animations in Magic of Lights at the RAD Torque Raceway. It’s an enchanted drive-thru your whole family can experience from the comfort (and warmth) of your car.
December 1 and 2 Two of Edmonton’s powerhouse burlesque troupes — Capital City Burlesque and House of Hush Burlesque — team up to present Holiday Liaison at Garneau Theatre. Hosted by Victoria Von Kink and LeTabby Lexington, the show will feature over 20 performers, because “a show this big takes a lot of balls.”
December 2 to 10 Harcourt House has recently gone through some tough times, but thanks to your help, the centre will run until November 2023. Help ensure it will operate indefinitely by attending it’s Art-O-Rama Art Sale Fundraiser. You’ll find original (and affordable) paintings, sculptures, photographs, jewellery and more by leading and emerging artists and designers. It’s a great way to get unique Christmas gifts and help one of Edmonton’s artistic gems shine for generations to come.
Until December 31 (closed December 24 and 25) Alberta’s largest botanic garden shines bright with Luminaria: A Winter Garden Story. Stroll along the candle-lit Kurimoto Japanese Garden down to Memory Lane where you can light a candle of your own. You can also take the Woodland Express to Sprites Hollow, then eat and drink in Holiday Square under a canopy of festive lights.
December 2 to 4, 9 to 11 and 16 to 22 The Valley Zoo gets brighter than ever with Zoominescence, an exhibition of artistic light installations that will keep you (or at least your spirits) warm. This year’s theme — Celebrating 10 Years of Light, Love, and Animal Conservation — focuses on the beauty of light and the importance of conserving all life on Earth.
December 9 You haven’t seen The Nutcracker like this before — or if you have, you live an entertaining life. House of Hush presents Nutcracker: A Burlesque at Varscona Theatre, a naughty, “cl-ass-ical” re-imagining of the Christmas classic. There will be snowflakes, the Sugar Plum Fairy and partial nudity, so This isn’t your grandma’s Nutcracker (unless your grandma’s really cool).
December 9-10 The world’s best snowboarders will climb to the top of Commonwealth Stadium, then fly down to the bottom in seconds, spending almost as much time in the air as they do on the snow for The Style Experience FIS Snowboard Big Air World Cup. In addition to live music, art and food, the massive scaffolding jump will be the main attraction turning Edmonton into Shredmonton.
December 10, 17, 22 and 29 Strap on your snowshoes and head to Elk Island National Park (or rent them once you get there) for Snowshoe and Stargaze. Take a short, guided snowshoe hike around the shore of Astotin Lake guided by Orion (and a park interpreter) as you stare up at the stars while floating atop the snow. It’s a wonderful, (mini) winter getaway and great way to see the prairie night sky.
Until April 2023 TELUS World of Science Edmonton’s Out of the Depths: The Blue Whale Story tells the tale of nine blue whales that died tragically in the Gulf of St. Lawrence in 2014, and the unprecedented scientific and conservation opportunity the terrible event presented. You’ll also learn about how whales evolved, their ability to communicate, and why they’re the largest animals to ever exist on Earth.
December 15 to 17 Lords will be a-leapin’ at Varscona Theatre as Ballet Edmonton presents Be Merry, featuring contemporary ballet set to moving seasonal music. There will be surprise musical guests, and don’t miss the signature cocktails and raffle in the lobby before and after the show.
December 16 to 18 There’s probably no better place to hear expertly played classic Christmas songs than at the Winspear for the ESO’s A Very Merry Pops. With hits like O Holy Night, Winter Wonderland, The Dreidel Song, as well as selections from The Nutcracker, Rudolph, the Red-Nosed Reindeer and music from movies like Home Alone, you’ll leave full of the spirit of the season.
December 20 to 30 The creators of Jason Kenney’s Hot Boy Summer are back with a new musical satire, Die Harsh, based on their favourite Christmas movie. John McClane will need a Christmas miracle to help save the hostages and his “power-dressing” wife. It could be the start of a new Grindstone Theatre Christmas tradition.
December 21 A tale as old as time (you know, where a prince turns into a beast and must find love, lest he remain a beast forever) plus a buffet meal (featuring AAA beef and roasted potatoes, provided by The Hat Catering) comes to Festival Place with Belle and Beast Feast. Chow down then enjoy the show.
December 23 IAM – Indigenous Artist Market Collective presents a Very Indigenous Holiday Market at the Edmonton Downtown Farmers’ Market. Meet and support local Indigenous artists and entrepreneurs while picking up unique, handcrafted gifts for your friends and family (or for yourself — you deserve it). With live entertainment, a silent auction and kids craft corner, it’s a full day affair.
December 25 Ever fantasize about not cooking on Christmas? We don’t blame you. And thanks to the Fairmont Hotel Macdonald, you don’t have to — cook breakfast, that is. Take the morning off at the Empire Ballroom for a buffet with all the holiday fixings.
December 27 and 28 Edmonton’s winter massive returns with Get Together Holiday Massive at Edmonton EXPO Centre. One- and even two-name djs like Excision, Dabin, Slander, Zomboy and Zeds Dead will light up the stage and keep your body moving.
December 28 and 29 Your Edmonton Symphony Orchestra brings the music of Hollywood to you. Covering four decades of movies, including Star Wars, Toy Story, Jurassic Park and more, you’ll hear songs from all-time great soundtracks like never before.
December 30 What does millions of records sold, a couple dozen hits and a Juno award add up to? A great show at the River Cree as Trooper, one of Canada’s most prolific rock bands, takes the stage on New Year’s Eve-Eve.
December 30 The members of the ultimate Fleetwood Mac tribute band, Dreams, don’t just perform the iconic band’s songs to perfection — they do so in full costumes to give the full Fleetwood experience. Let them take you back in time at Pure Casino Yellowhead’s Pearl Showroom. This will be especially poignant with the news of Christine McVie’s passing.
December 31 And if you check out Trooper’s pre-New Year’s show, you might as well rent a room at the Cree and stay for Big Sugar. The band will ring in 2023 with all their hits as well as songs from their latest release, Eternity Now.
December 31 If you’re looking for a high-end way to ring in the new year, it doesn’t get much classier than the JW Marriott’s Fire & ICE New Year’s Eve Social. Held in the Wayne Gretzky Ballroom overlooking ICE District plaza, you’ll enjoy delicious food, Ultimate Flair Bartending by Erick Rosende and his mixologists, and performances by Sangea Academy Drummers and Firefly Circus Entertainment.
December 31 The Starlite Room won’t just sparkle this New Year’s Eve — it will shine with Cirque de la Lune, Edmonton’s night Circus. Popcorn and cotton candy will accompany music, aerial artists, jugglers, clowns and magicians in one of the city’s wildest end-of-year parties. Don’t forget you circus clothes.
December 31 Boxer Albertan Kitchen & Bar hosts two shows by House of Burlesque on New Year’s Eve. The first, which ends at 9 p.m., features a three course meal. The second, which counts down to 2023, will have tapas and a welcome drink. Both will include burlesque performers dancing among the tables. Whether it starts or ends your night, it’ll be a tasty, teasing time.