Calgary Christmas Light Displays

All the best Calgary Christmas Light Displays

One of the best parts of Christmastime is seeing all the beautiful lights. Check out our picks for the best Calgary Christmas light displays.

1. Lions Festival of Lights

2021 note: The Lions Festival of Lights is walkable again this year.

Lions Festival of Lights- Calgary Christmas Light Displays - train

Location: Confederation Park: 14th Street and 24th Avenue NW
Cost: Free
Parking: Drive by only and walkable
Start Time: 6pm-midnight
2021 date: begins November 27, 2021 and runs until January 9, 2020

Gingerbread Family - Lions Festival of Lights- Calgary Christmas Light Displays

There was concern in 2019 that the Lion’s Festival of Lights wouldn’t be happening any more but thankfully it is still going ahead. It was cut back to a more limited, drive by display for 2020, but is back to the full display this year.

Giant trees at Lions Festival of Lights- Calgary Christmas Light Displays

The Lions Festival of Lights display, not just drive by display – you can also walk through it too. It’s perfect for taking the kids in a sled and many people toboggan down the hill on the west side. You can cross a bridge (behind the shed), and see some more of the lights closer to 14th St.

Lions Festival of Lights- Calgary Christmas Light Displays

The lights are lovely, it’s free, and it doesn’t take up a lot of time. The one downside is that there is nothing in the way of amenities and the parking is really just neighborhood street parking.

Entrance to Lions Festival of Lights- Calgary Christmas Light Displays

This is the area right by the entrance. It is a good spot to meet up with people.

If you go under this sign you’ll find yourself walking past the toboggan hill. If you look to the east (right) you’ll see a shallower slope.

Ice Sculptures at Lions Festival of Lights- Calgary Christmas Light Displays

Just down the hill on the South East corner you can find some ice sculptures.

Toboggan Hill at Lions Festival of Lights- Calgary Christmas Light Displays

View of the toboggan hill.

Lions Festival of Lights- Calgary Christmas Light Displays

The lights to our right are the ones you can see from 14th St. The toboggan hill is to our left.

Bridge at Lions Festival of Lights- Calgary Christmas Light Displays

You can keep walking for a fair bit and across a bridge.

Reindeer Lions Festival of Lights- Calgary Christmas Light Displays
Lions Festival of Lights- Calgary Christmas Light Displays

2. Christmas Lights at Spruce Meadows

Location: Spruce Meadows – 18011 Spruce Meadows Way SW, West Entrance
Cost: Free
Parking: visitors were asked to stay in their vehicles for the 2020 season
Time: 5pm-10pm
2021/2022 dates: Weekends starting Dec 10-January 2

Trees at Spruce Meadows - Calgary's best Christmas Light Displays

Spruce Meadows is primarily set up as a driving tour but there are places to park if you would like to walk around the centre area.

Spruce Meadows - Calgary's best Christmas Light Displays

You can enjoy a hot chocolate or coffee and a pastry in the warm comfort of the Founders Plaza from 5-8pm. [not available for 2020 season]The lights here are less varied, than some of the other spots on this list, but they are plentiful and you can drive right though.

If you live in the area I would put it on your must do Christmas list.

Spruce Meadows - Calgary's best Christmas Light Displays

3. Airdrie Festival of Lights

Location: Airdrie – Nose Creek Park
Cost: Free – donations are accepted ($10-20 per family suggested), train rides are $2 (cash only)
Parking: Free Parking lot
Time: 6pm-9pm
2021 dates: Dec 1-31

Airdrie Festival of Lights

The Airdrie Festival of Lights is a real community event. The walk through light festival features two bonfires, a miniature train the whole family can ride ($2 per person) and a concession serving hot chocolate. They also have special nights including things like crafts, visits with Santa and free hot chocolate. Check out their events calendar for specifics.

The pond is also used for skating. The lights are plentiful and in lots of different shapes. There are lots of pathways to walk around and strollers or sleds will probably work most days.

Skating at Airdrie Festival of Lights

Skating rink in the middle

Train ride at Airdrie Festival of Lights

One of the two trains running while we were there.

Bonfire at Airdrie Festival of Lights


sleigh photo op at Airdrie Festival of Lights

They also have some photo-ops set up like this sleigh and a number of those cut-outs where you stick your head through. I would absolutely recommend making the trip up. It has become my favorite of the ones on this list.

4. Zoolights

Location: Calgary Zoo – North gate entrance only
Cost: Adults(16+) – $21.95 +gst, kids(3-15) – $14.95+gst Must be purchased in advance. In the past members could stay at the zoo and take in zoo lights but this will not be possible this year.
Parking: Parking $12 (Inspire and Engage memberships park for free)
Time: 5pm-9pm (gates close at 8:30)
2021/2022 dates:  Nov 19-January 2. (excluding Christmas Day).

Zoolights is back again this year and if you like Christmas lights, zoolights really is something to see. Not only does it have a lot of lights, they are shaped into amazing (often animal themed) decorations.

In addition, they have fun activities, a skating rink, fire pit, axe throwing, a holiday zoo market, visits with Santa and more. This year they also have a very special “Dinos in the Dark” experience.

They zoo is changing up their sensory experience this year for sensory sensitive guests. This year, instead of Sensory Sundays, they are offering free rentals of sensory bags that include items like headphones, fidget spinners and more. There is a map available that provides route information and locations of flashing or moving lights. You can also download ZOOLIGHTS 2021: A Teaching Story, a resource to help prepare sensory sensitive guests in advance, on their website.

Here’s some pictures I took a few years ago. This is only a small portion of what you’d see there.

Note: the animals are not on display during zoolights and their buildings are closed.

Zoolights - bees- Calgary's best light displays
flamingos at Zoolights

5. Do a residential house tour

Many people put a lot of work and effort into making amazing Christmas displays at their own homes. Check out to help you find some great picks

Christmas Lights in Calgary

6. Go Downtown

I’ve seen downtown suggested a lot as a place to see Christmas lights. There are usually some really beautiful displays to check out, especially if you are already in the area. Here are some suggestions for spots that usually have some nice displays [photos are from 2016]

Downtown lights

The Core – Bankers Hall

Inside The Core shopping centre you can often find a beautiful display.

East Village – 7th Ave and 5th St. SE

If you are near the East Village, they have had a really cute display with trees and presents. You can also see the skyline with the Calgary tower as well as the decorations on the Telus building from here.

East Village presents

The Calgary Tower

While you are downtown, be sure to take a look at the Calgary Tower. You can get a great view from all kinds of places – it’s not necessary to go right to the tower.

Calgary Tower at Christmas

Eau Claire Bridge

The bridge from Eau Claire to Prince’s Island is beautifully lit. There’s also some nice lights on Prince’s Island too.

Eau Claire Christmas Lights

McDougall Centre – 4th Ave and 6th St.

Both sides of the McDougall Centre look beautiful.

McDougall Centre - Christmas lights

City Hall – 800 Mcleod Trail

City Hall is my favorite spot downtown, it’s right by Olympic Plaza so if you are over there skating make sure to walk over.

Calgary City Hall Christmas Lights

Olympic Plaza – 228 8 Ave SE

Olympic Plaza has some beautiful wreaths, a lit tree and free public skating too.

Olympic Plaza at Christmas

8th Avenue

Driving or walking West along 8th avenue from Olympic Plaza is lovely with light strung across the street.

8th avenue Christmas Lights

Crescent Road

From Crescent Road you can get a pretty view of downtown and a great view of the Telus building decorations.

Crescent Road in Calgary at Christmastime

5. NOËL CHRISTMAS – Indoor Light Park & Christmas Market

Noel Christmas will not be returning for the 2021/2022 season, but last plans to return the following year, in late 2022.

Please Note: 

We do our best to ensure the information on Calgary Playground Review is accurate, however information and events are subject to change. Please contact the organizations directly to avoid disappointment.

Can you help make this article better?
If you have noticed an error, have additional information or would like to share a comment you can:
E-mail us at
Find us on Facebook: CalgaryPlaygroundReview
Find us on Instagram: YYCdana
Tweet us: YYCdana

We are not affiliated with any venues, attractions or organizations. Please message them directly if you have questions or concerns.

2 thoughts on “Calgary Christmas Light Displays”

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.