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Things to Do in Edmonton in December

edmonton tourism
by Edmonton Tourism Team

Cold? Yes. Boring? Never! The holidays are upon us, and it’s time to get festive. Winter lights, starry nights and festivals worth getting chilly for… there are tons of things to do this month, so snap out of your hibernation and practice a little something we like to call winterlust.

Winter Patio Kick-Off Weekend
Does December seem a little late to keep the patio chairs and umbrellas out in Edmonton? Well, it’s not. Patios are no longer just for summer! Whether you enjoy basking in the sun, savouring the night time glow wrapped in a blanket, or warming up with a hot chocolate in the cool air, there’s a patio in Edmonton ready to help you welcome winter!
December 2-4

Let it glow, let it glow, let it glow! Take a trip to Luminaria at the Devonian Botanic Gardens and enjoy candle-lit pathways, bonfires, a capella singers and hot apple cider. Winter has gardens too you know! Make sure you get your tickets in advance, Luminaria sells out fast!
December 2-4

Devonian Botanic Garden Luminaria Festival

Whyte Wishes in Old Strathcona
Experience the magic of the season in Old Strathcona. Shop the dozens of independent boutiques along Whyte Avenue with the most stylish chauffeurs of all... horses! On Saturdays leading up to Christmas, you can hop on the sleigh ride through Old Strathcona every half hour between 12:00-4:00pm (last pick-up at approximately 3:30pm). Even Santa will be making an appearance so make sure you stop and tell him what you'd like to find under the tree!
December 3-17

The Nutcracker
Take an evening out on the town and enjoy Alberta Ballet's performance of a holiday favourite at the Jubilee Auditorium. Feel the energy of the live orchestra as dancers take the stage, the house lights glow and a magical fairy tale begins. Young and old will delight in the beauty and power of The Nutcracker, set to Tchaikovsky’s immortal score and performed live by the enormously talented Edmonton Symphony Orchestra.
December 8-11

Celebrate the Season at Alberta Legislature

Celebrate the Season at the Alberta Legislature
Every year, the Alberta Legislature lights up! Thousands of bright lights provide the perfect backdrop for a holiday stroll around the beautiful grounds. The Legislature Light-Up takes place on December 1, followed by Celebrate the Season at the Alberta Legislature from December 2-23. Choirs, sparkling trees, ice skating and the majestic Alberta Legislature await!
December 1-23

Zoominescence, A Festival of Light
Yep, it gets dark a little bit earlier than usual. Doesn’t that just mean more night to party with? Or maybe you just need to lighten up? How about Zoominescence, A Festival of Light at Edmonton Valley Zoo then! Feel the heat of fire dancers, craft it up or mingle with your favourite creatures in the true spirit of winter.
December 9-18

Christmas Reflections
People love to travel, but how many get to travel back in time? At Christmas Reflections in Fort Edmonton Park, you’ll feel like you’ve taken a trip with the ghost of Christmas past. Hop on a horse-drawn sleigh ride, warm your hands around the bonfire and munch on some baking from an old wood stove this December.
December 16-23

A Prairie Christmas
This winter, make it a Prairie Christmas. Just because it’s a little chilly doesn’t mean you and your family can’t head out to the Edmonton countryside for some holiday fun. Grab your mittens and pay a visit to Prairie Gardens and Adventure Farm for over 20 Christmas activities including photos with Santa and a Polar Express train ride.
December 10-11

A Christmas Carol
No bah-humbug here, even Ebenezer Scrooge can't resist the magic of this holiday classic. Follow Tiny Tim and the whole gang through A Christmas Carol at The Citadel Theatre. Perfect for a night out with the whole family!
November 26-December 23

Segway in the River Valley
I know what you’re thinking. How are you supposed to Segway through the River Valley with all of that snow and ice? Well, you change your car's tires for the winter and River Valley Adventure Co. does the exact same thing with their Segways. We have over 160km of river valley trails just waiting to be explored, so get rolling!
All Winter Long

Clara's Dream
Canada’s Ukrainian Shumka Dancers are thrilled to announce the return of Clara’s Dream, Edmonton’s Ukrainian Nutcracker. In celebration of the Christmas season, the show takes to the stage of the Northern Alberta Jubilee Auditorium. Joining Shumka are guest artists from Edmonton's Citie Ballet and Viter Ukrainian Folk Choir, and Ukraine's Virsky and Kyiv Ballet companies.
December 29-30

Ice Castles
It's back! This winter, explore the Ice Castles, an acre-sized winter wonderland crafted by hand using only icicles and water. Favorite photo spots can be found in the throne room, in front of the waterfall and throughout the winding ice maze. Kids will enjoy whizzing down the tubular ice slide and spelunking through small tunnels. For the second time in forever, Ice Castles will call Hawrelak Park home.
Opens in December, weather permitting.

New Year’s Eve Downtown
Five… Four… Three…Two… One…ring in the New Year in style downtown at Churchill Square. Inside City Hall, you’ll find everything from crafts and activities, to balloon artists and magicians. Outside, check out ice skating, live music and of course fireworks.
December 31

Canadian Birkebeiner Ski Festival
Trade in your winter boots for a set of skis and participate in the Canadian Birkebeiner Ski Festival! Registration is now open until the event, which takes place February 10-11.