‘Tis the season! The holidays are just around the corner, and with this merry and bright time upon us, an abundance of events and activities are coming to the Edmonton area. From shopping for gifts at a holiday market to taking the kids to see Santa, or humming along to holly jolly holiday music, there’s no shortage of ways to have festive fun in the coming weeks. Use this guide to help you decide where to go and what to do before, after, or during holidays, as well as ways to create new family traditions. In case of cancellations or schedule changes, always check times and dates before you go.
- GLOW Edmonton
Starting Nov. 28, 2019, all the way to Jan. 4, 2020, experience a family-friendly indoor wonderland as you follow Santa on his journey to deliver presents in six different countries! With interactive light gardens, illuminated structures, food, festive drinks, and daily live entertainment all under the twinkle of a million lights, this is sure to be a family favourite. For times, ticket pricing, and additional information, head to glowedmonton.com.
- The Blank Who Stole Christmas
On Dec. 7, the Rapid Fire Theatre introduces the world premiere of a new Edmonton holiday tradition! It’ll start off with a happy, musical Christmas town that might seem familiar. The twist? Each show is invaded by a different guest improviser playing a villain of their choosing, hell-bent on stealing Christmas! Witness the chaos of this a semi-scripted, semi-improvised new show as it’s sure to kill you with laughter and fill your soul with Christmas cheer. Tickets are $15, $25 if purchased at the door. Go to https://www.showpass.com/blankwhostolechristmas-191207/ for more information.
- 2019 Cineplex Community Day
On Dec. 7, enjoy a morning of festive fun and free movies! Cineplex has partnered with Warner Bros. Pictures Canada to offer a line-up of favourite holiday flicks for movie-lovers of all ages such as Elf, Gremlins, The Polar Express, and more. Enjoy popcorn, soft drinks, and select candy for just $2.50 each, with all proceeds from donations and concession sales supporting the Boys and Girls Clubs of Canada.
- 50th and FINAL Edmonton Singing Christmas Tree
The Edmonton Singing Christmas Tree is held at the Northern Alberta Jubilee Auditorium on Dec. 19 to Dec. 22, 2019. It’s the longest-running Christmas Spectacular in Canada, so it’s suiting that it’s the best way to spend the holidays. This will be a concert that you definitely do not want to miss! Experience the cherry sound of their 150-voice Rock n’ Roll Choir, 38-piece orchestra, 60-voice children’s choir, Viva Dance Company, and the Edmonton Eskimos Force Drumline who will all be presenting your all-time favourite Christmas classics. All net proceeds from ticket sales go back into the community to support Mental Health Initiatives in Alberts. For more information, visit Ticketmaster Canada or Ticket City.
- Family Holiday Concert
On Sunday, Dec. 8 from 2-4 p.m., come celebrate the holiday season at the MacEwan University – Alberta College Campus with all your favourite Christmas tunes and a reception to follow. This concert will feature the student ensembles of the Conservatory of Music, including the Conservatory Orchestra, MacEwan’s Youth Jazz Orchestra, Jazz Combo Class, the Saxophone Quartet, and the Conservatory Voice Teachers Caroling Group. Tickets are $10 and can be purchased through Eventbrite at https://www.eventbrite.ca/e/family-holiday-concert-tickets-79191579145. All proceeds go towards student scholarships!
Now, between the presents, special occasion clothes and events, and the food and drinks, the Christmas season can get expensive. If you’re wondering how you’re going to keep your family entertained and pay for this holiday season, then it’s time to take a minute and get creative and make some precious memories with these free (or very cheap!) ideas.
- Make gingerbread houses. If you have the time and initiative, skip the pre-made houses from the supermarket and make your own gingerbread.
- Go on a holiday lights tour. Walk or drive to the best-decorated houses in your area with your partner and/or the whole family and decide which ones are your favourites.
- Or take a trip down Candy Cane Lane. This year the historic lane is going car-free and will be open to those walking, rolling, cycling, or cross-country skiing with the traditional sleigh rides running as well. So bundle up and stroll down the historic lane and take in the bright lights and holiday spirit Edmonton’s favourite “Christmas village” has to offer. There will also be activities and treats for all. What are you waiting for? Entry is only a food bank donation away!
- Have a holiday movie night. Gather around with a bowl of popcorn, or whatever snacks suit your fancy, and pick out your favourite holiday movies for a night that’s sure to please the whole family, both you and your partner or just you!
- Make a snowman (or snow angels or snow forts). Snowmen, snow angels, snowball fights, and snow forts offer hours of fun for all ages.
- Make cookies and other holiday treats. This one is a personal favourite of mine because eating gingerbread dough is most definitely the best part. For an even better twist, take all (or half) and deliver them to neighbours, local fire/police stations, etc. There will always be others who would appreciate this kind gesture because nothing beats the warmth of home-baked goodies.
- Host a holiday party games night. Play games like Family Feud: Christmas Edition, Christmas Charades, and Blind-folded Christmas drawing. Or, for a night strictly for the adults, choose an array of drinking games and add your own holiday twist to them. King’s Cup (a.k.a. Sociables) with rum and eggnog anyone?