25 Things To Do In Edmonton This December

All is bright in Edmonton this holiday season

Courtesy Glow Gardens

Get your glow on

‘Tis the season for selfies all month long at Glow Gardens, Edmonton’s largest indoor Christmas festival and premier Instagram hotspot. Playgrounds and interactive features keep kids busy while adults enjoy food, beverages and live music. And don’t forget the Christmas Market that showcases great gifts from local artists and businesses.

Edmonton EXPO Centre, 7515 118 Avenue, 780-471-7377, glowgardens.com

Trek the enchanted forest

Throughout December, Fort Saskatchewan’s Enchanted Forest lights up with Christmas colours to celebrate the community’s diverse and vibrant community. From The Dow Centennial Centre and Sherritt Cultural Pavilion, to City Hall and the Public Library, local organizations and businesses display unique Christmas trees that reflect the colours and themes of the holiday season.

Enchanted Forest, Fort Saskatchewan (various locations), fortsask.ca

Have a holy ball

The Art Gallery of Alberta’s Holy Ball happens December 1. It supports the AGA’s exhibitions and community outreach, and it’s a hot ticket each year. With a menu by Executive Chef Doreen Prei and entertainment by Swing Time (plus a chance to take home 25 to 100 bottles of wine courtesy of Color de Vino), it’s a great way to start the holiday season.

Art Gallery of Alberta, 2 Sir Winston Churchill Square, 780-425-5379, youraga.ca

Dash through the snow

Kick off December by strapping on skis or a snowboard at Snow Valley’s Winterfest. Starting Friday afternoon (November 29), the weekend will feature a kids’ obstacle course, scavenger hunt, and toasty outdoor fire with free hot chocolate to stay warm.

Snow Valley, 119 Whitemud Drive NW, 780-434-3991, snowvalley.ca

The need for lit up speed

Take your own vehicle to — and on — 2 kms of the Canadian Tire Magic of Lights track, illuminated with hundreds of thousands of sparkling LED lights and a 200′ light tunnel. Race on until January 4.

Castrol Raceway, AB-19, Leduc County, 780-461-5801, castrolraceway.com

A Christmas show by one of Canada’s best

One of Canada’s most unique artists, Susan Aglukark will blend the Inuktitut and English languages to tell the stories of her people, the Inuit of Arctic Canada, combined with contemporary pop music arrangements, December 1 in Sherwood Park.

Festival Place, 100 Festival Way, Sherwood Park, 780-449-3378, festivalplace.ab.ca

Ho ho hotcakes

Have breakfast with Santa at the Festival of Trees on December 1 and enjoy family entertainment and crafts, along with door prizes and gifts for each child.

Festival of Trees, Edmonton Convention Centre, 9797 Jasper Avenue, festivaloftrees.ca

The festival place for folk

Identical twins David and Adam Moss — aka The Brother Brothers — will share their fraternal harmonies from their debut full-length folk album, Some People I Know, December 1 at Festival Place.

Festival Place, 100 Festival Way, Sherwood Park, 780-449-3378, festivalplace.ab.ca

Order up

Jenna is a waitress and expert pie maker who dreams of a way out of her small town and loveless marriage, when a baking contest offers her a fresh start, in Waitress, closing December 1.

Northern Alberta Jubilee Auditorium, 11455 87 Avenue, 780-427-2760, jubileeauditorium.com

It was the best of times …

Dickens Fest returns to the Citadel Theatre (in association with the Downtown Business Association) until December 8, with the Pavilion of Lights, a holiday market, holiday teas and dinners. Don’t forget your Dickensian outfit!

Citadel Theatre, 9828 101 A Avenue, 780-425-1820, citadeltheatre.com

A Christmas Carol retold

See the newest adaptation of the cherished Christmas tale as the Citadel Theatre celebrates its 20th year showing of A Christmas Carol. Packed with your favourite classic Christmas tunes, you’ll be whisked away into the beloved tale of a miserable old man and the ghosts who haunt him, until December 23.

Citadel Theatre, 9828 101A Avenue, 780-425-1820, citadeltheatre.com

Experience a timeless tale

Alberta Ballet’s The Nutcracker, at the Jubilee from December 4 to 8, features a live orchestra and a cast of more than 120 dancers, with dazzling sets and costumes designed by Emmy-award winning designer Zack Brown. With new cast members, whimsical costumes and even lobby activities for the kids, it will feel like the first time.

Northern Alberta Jubilee Auditorium, 11455 87 Avenue, 780-427-2760, jubileeauditorium.com

Hear a sacred work

Handel’s Messiah, conducted by Music Director Emeritus Bill Eddins, returns in its entirety to the Winspear Centre December 6 to 8. It’s a beautiful, somber holiday tradition you won’t want to miss.

Winspear Centre, 4 Sir Winston Churchill Square NW, 780-428-1414, winspearcentre.com

Enjoy a civic celebration

Every day, from December 7 to 23, the Alberta Legislature will Celebrate the Season with 50 musical acts from all over Alberta at the Legislature rotunda.

Alberta Legislature, 9820 107 Street, 780-427-7362, assembly.ab.ca

A season of song

Join guest conductor Robert Bernhardt for his annual visit to the Winspear with A Lightly Classical Christmas on December 12. He’ll showcase beloved songs and carols, including Ave Maria, O Holy Night, O Come, All Ye Faithful, Alleluia and more.

Winspear Centre, 4 Sir Winston Churchill Square NW, 780-428-1414, winspearcentre.com

See Oklahoma in Edmonton

It’s not often you can see a Tony, Olivier, Academy and Pulitzer Prize-winning musical, but Festival Place will give you a chance to do exactly that on December 13. See a cast of 30 and pit orchestra of 15 bring the memorable songs of Oklahoma! to life on an engaging new set.

Festival Place, 100 Festival Way, Sherwood Park, 780-449-3378, festivalplace.ab.ca

An intergalactic musical journey

Join the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra on a quest to a galaxy far, far away as they perform the iconic Oscar-winning music of Star Wars, December 13 to 15.

Winspear Centre, 4 Sir Winston Churchill Square NW, 780-428-1414, winspearcentre.com

A true holiday classic

Shumka’s Nutcracker, produced and performed by local artists along with five dancers from the renowned Kyiv Ballet, is a powerful blend of ballet, folk and character dance to Tchaikovsky’s beloved score. Runs December 14 and 15.

Northern Alberta Jubilee Auditorium, 11455 87 Avenue, 780-427-2760, jubileeauditorium.com

See the zoo in a whole new light

Zoominescence: A Festival of Light returns to the Edmonton Valley Zoo each weekend in December (and December 26). It’s a spectacular exhibition of artistic light installations among animals, plus skating, hot chocolate and a whole lot of family fun!

Edmonton Valley Zoo, 13315 Buena Vista Road & 87th Avenue NW, 780-496-6924, buildingourzoo.com

Hits and holiday songs

Alberta-born (and Country Music Hall of Famer) Paul Brandt joins the ESO December 17 to 19 for three evenings of holiday music magic mixed with his classic tunes. And $10 from each ticket sold will be donated to #NotInMyCity, a movement started by Brandt to prevent and end sexual exploitation and trafficking.

Winspear Centre, 4 Sir Winston Churchill Square NW, 780-428-1414, winspearcentre.com

Wander through a holiday market

Seasonal merriment will be alive and well each December weekend on Jasper Ave, with the first-of-its-kind indoor and outdoor Edmonton Christmas Market. The German-style Christmas Market will have brightly lit wooden outdoor huts, live entertainment, mugs of delicious Glühwein, festive light displays, Christmas Carnivals and fun activities.

ATB Place, 10025 Jasper Avenue NW, wearewildheart.com

Rock around the Christmas tree

The 35-foot holiday tradition returns for its 50th — and final — year, December 19 to 22. A 38-piece orchestra and 60-voice children’s choir will get your feet tapping and spirit soaring with your all-time favourite Christmas classics.

Northern Alberta Jubilee Auditorium, 11455 87 Avenue, 780-427-2760, jubileeauditorium.com

Top of the Christmas pops

The ESO will close the season with a holiday favourite: A Very Merry Pops, December 20 to 22. Enjoy the sounds of Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, Sleigh Ride, selections from The Nutcracker and more!

Winspear Centre, 4 Sir Winston Churchill Square NW, 780-428-1414, winspearcentre.com

The night is dark and full of stars

On December 21 and 28, head out to Elk Island for Snowshoe and Stargaze. The evenings include a short guided snowshoe hike around Astotin Lake’s shore and refreshments around a campfire under the sky at the Beaver Hills Dark Sky Preserve.

Elk Island National Park, 54401 Range Rd 203, Fort Saskatchewan, parkscanada.ca

Give a Vienna salute

End 2019 with a waltz at the Winspear, with Salute to Vienna New Year’s Concert November 29. Led by an expert in Viennese music, and backed by the Strauss Symphony of Canada, this New Year’s tradition has delighted Edmonton audiences for 23 years.

Winspear Centre, 4 Sir Winston Churchill Square NW, 780-428-1414, winspearcentre.com

 

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