Explore Our Favourite Free Outdoor Christmas Light Displays in Calgary

‘Tis the season for snow, apple cider and neighbourhood Christmas light reconnoitring.  With five weeks to go till Christmas Eve, we’ve noticed the eager beavers in our neighbourhood already installing and powering up their glowing larger-than-life inflatables, glittering garden ornaments and twinkling light strings.  The recent mild temperatures and snow-free conditions have made it enticing to get into the yard, unravel the power leads, string up the hundreds of feet of lights, and decide whether the latest tech gadgets make it worth automating the whole shebang!  We, in our household, haven’t quite hit that milestone yet. 

In preparation for the spikes that the billions of additional neighbourhood LED illuminations, twinkles, and sparkles will have on the local power grid, we thought we’d share our favourite FREE Calgary neighbourhood Christmas light display destinations.  Perhaps a visit to any of them will spark some inspiration for you to dazzle your yard with a cheery glow in the coming weeks, as you share in the winter-warmth, cheer and neighbourliness of the Season.

NW Calgary: Lions Festival of Lights

Our favourite Christmas light extravaganza – and the one that almost didn’t happen for the first time in many years – is ON!  We’re sure glad to hear they’ll be lighting up again for the 2019 season!  Attracting more than 50,000 visitors per day to see the more than half-a-million lights, this is certainly north-Calgary’s finest free seasonal glow.

🚦 Location: Confederation Park Golf Course at the corner of 14th Street and 24th Avenue NW

🗓 30th November 2019 until 8th January 2020

⏰ 6pm to midnight

🅿️ street parking only

⚠️ wear warm boots with good soles. Consider bringing strap-on crampons since the walkways cover a variety of uneven terrain and tend to become icy with the high volume of foot traffic

⚠️ bring your toboggan and enjoy the nearby slopes

ℹ️ Event information is available here.

SW Calgary: Christmas Lights at Spruce Meadows

Marvel at the beauty of this light display from the warm comfort of your vehicle as you meander through the grounds of Spruce Meadows, from the eastern entrance on Spruce Meadows Way to the western exit on Tournament Lane.

🚦Location: Spruce Meadows

🗓 9th December 2019 until 6th January 2020

⏰ 5pm to 10pm (closed 25th December | Christmas Day)

🅿️ Parking: this is a drive-through display with some parking available should you wish to walk through the grounds

ℹ️ Event information is available here.

Downtown Calgary Christmas Light Displays:

Enjoy the sights of the numerous decorated corporate office lobbies throughout the downtown core.

Amble along Stephen Avenue.

www.IamCalgary.ca I Am Calgary YYC Staycation YYC Glow Fest Stephen Ave Snow
Stephen Avenue

Swing by Olympic Plaza. Bring your skates to enjoy free outdoor skating.

Olympic Plaza | Photo courtesy of Calgary Skate Rentals

Stroll into Prince’s Island Park. Here, too, bring your skates to enjoy free outdoor skating.

www.iamcalgary.ca Prince's Island Park Winter
The suspension pedestrian bridge linking Eau Claire to Prince’s Island Park is draped in Christmas fairy lights

Detour via the East Village.

You will be sure to discover copious quantities of Christmas Cheer and cool lights, both on and off the streets.

Community Neighbourhood Christmas Light Displays

Some of the most varied and unexpectedly impressive lighting displays can be seen in local residential neighbourhoods.  As the Season kicks into gear, visit the ever-popular LightenUP Calgary website that will feature the participating and competing homes.  More and more locations will be added as December approaches.  Be sure to check the site regularly.  As you explore you will most certainly encounter some non-participating, but equally impressive, locations.

Some of our favourite neighbourhood community displays have been in Auburn Bay, Mahogany, Citadel, Tuscany and Panorama Hills.

So, explore your local neighbourhoods this season and savour the charm while staying safe on the roads.

Extending some neighbourliness

As Christmas approaches we take for granted our health and mobility.  Might I encourage you to consider your neighbours and those around you who may not be able to get outdoors on their own to enjoy the season.  Why don’t you invite someone who has limited mobility, the elderly, those who have lost a loved one, or someone who has had a rough year to join you on your neighbourhood exploration so they, too, can enjoy the anticipation of Christmas.

Discover some of our best-loved Christmas markets here.

Look out for our upcoming blog of our favourite sponsored Christmas tree displays, the best PAID Christmas light displays, and our Calgary-and-Beyond favourite Christmas light parades.

We’d also love to find out where your favourite locations are so we can explore these ourselves. Share your comments with us below.

Featured image courtesy of Daniil Silantev on Unsplash

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