Once Upon a Christmas at Heritage Park
Date: Weekends Nov 23 through December 22, 2019
Time: 9:30 am – 4:00 pm
Ages: All Ages
Activities: Gingerbread cookie decorating, snow painting, petting zoo, visit with Santa, Christmas train display, live theatre, children’s crafts, christmas shopping, a kids only store, wagon rides, Christmas carols, vintage photo parlour, handbell choir performances, holiday play in the Canmore Opera House, snow painting (weather dependent)
Cost 2019: General (15+) – $11 +gst Senior (65+) – $8.85 +gst Youth (7 -14) – $7 +gst Child (3 – 6) – $5.70 +gst
Admission to Once Upon a Christmas at Heritage Park and Gasoline Alley are included with your annual pass.
Tickets are available at the Park each day of the event.
- Dress for the weather. Although there are lots of places to warm up inside, you’ll be spending a lot of time outside.
- Consider bringing a stroller or wagon – there is a fair bit of walking from the parking lot to the gates and then again from the gates to the activities.
- The roadways inside the park can get really icy so make sure you are wearing appropriate footwear.
- You’ll find Santa at Gasoline Alley so you may want to stop there on your way into the park.
- Go to some popular spots in the morning to avoid lines – Such as wagon rides, kids only store, candy store and bakery.
Below is an example of what to expect from our visit in 2014. Things change from year to year but it’ll still give you a feel for what Once Upon a Christmas is like.
Kids crafts downstairs in the Famous 5 building.
On the wall they had each of your craft choices displayed (1 craft per child). After you picked, you can go to the table on the other side and request your craft. The crafts were fairly simple, but if you are not crafty, you may want to take a photo of the craft and instructions for reference.
Nicky was super proud of her clothespin reindeer.
Upstairs, the house was decorated for a 1920s Christmas. Four of the houses in Heritage Park were decorated for Christmas reflecting the time period of the house. They also had readings a few times during the day.
You could also see yuletide traditions in the houses of worship.
In the Opera House you could take in a Holiday play – a 25 minute Melodrama called Rollin’ In Dough Mistletoe.
There were many opportunities to shop for Christmas decorations and Christmas presents but the most adorable was definitely the Kids Only store.
Kids can pick out presents for many members all by themselves (with a little help from the Heritage Park staff).
Everyone goes in the barn and fills out a form marking down who the child is buying a present for and how much they can spend. Then the kid goes in with a basket and the money while the parents wait on the other side of the curtain.
Gordie and Nicky both wanted to get a present for Mommy and Daddy. We sent them in with $40 (all presents are $20 or less and many are $10 or less). They came out with $20, a receipt and four presents all wrapped up.
They were super excited to have a fun secret. The staff seemed to really love helping the kids – their enthusiasm was really sweet.
The Christmas model train display was really impressive. It was huge with a lot of little details and a ton of trains. I knew Gordie would love this – trains are one of his favorite things – but Nicky loved watching the trains too.
The snow painting and horse drawn wagon rides are both weather dependent. We were there on a pretty warm day so the snow was too melted for snow painting but the wagon rides were running. [this year the wagon rides are still free but require tickets before 3pm]
Gordie was thrilled that they had the wooden mazes up again. They were hands down his favorite part.
They had a short easy maze for little kids as well as a larger maze for bigger kids. Gordie and Nicky ran through both mazes together and we met them at the exit. They go through pretty much every wrong turn but loved every minute.
In the roundhouse, they had the petting zoo from Butterfield Acres and Santa himself. [this year Santa is in Gasoline Alley] My kids didn’t want to go inside to see the animals but liked seeing them from outside the fence.
The kids were both happy to go sit with Santa though. The line was short and well controlled. The kids each got a mini candy cane after seeing santa.
This was our first time going to Once Upon a Christmas at Heritage Park with our kids. We had a lovely time and are already planning to go back again next year.
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