5 ways to enjoy the Thanksgiving long weekend in Calgary

October 6, 2017

By Sarah Sussman

With Thanksgiving just around the corner, you may be looking for ways to spend the long weekend. Fortunately, Calgary has no shortage of family-friendly fun lined up Oct. 6 to 9 – from culture and recreation activities to harvest fun and turkey dinners, here are five ways to enjoy Thanksgiving in Calgary. [Photo credit: iStock]

5 ways to enjoy the Thanksgiving long weekend in Calgary

Get your fill of Calgary culture

Thanksgiving long weekend is prime time to enjoy the local arts scene with plenty of events and activities for the whole family.
Cinema and the symphony collide over the Thanksgiving long weekend as the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra presents Disney in Concert: The Little Mermaid. Watch the classic fan-favourite Disney film accompanied by a live CPO performance of Alan Menken’s film score.

If you want to kick off the long weekend in style, head to the Glenbow Museum’s launch party Oct. 6. Be one of the first people to see the new art exhibitions while enjoying live performances from Calgary psych-rockers Windigo and DJ Myke Atkison. There will also be Village beer on-site (for the adults) and art activities in the Discovery Room (for everyone).

One of the newest hot events to attend, The Nash & Off Cut Bar just started a weekly pop-up series called Off Cut Culture Club. The event aims to showcase local artisans and vendors during an extended happy hour. Enjoy cheap drinks and delicious noshes while shopping for the finest locally-made goods. On Oct. 7 Off Cut Culture Club hosts Adrian Martinus, a woodworking brother duo who make furniture, décor and other goodies out of reclaimed wood and recycled skateboards.

Go for a free swim or skate

Few people know the city regularly hosts free public swim and skate days on statutory holidays. Regardless of whether you’re spending the day alone, with the family or with friends, make a splash by heading to the Shouldice Aquatic Centre Oct. 9 for free pool admission.

If you’re itching for some ice time, drop into any of the city’s public arenas for free all-ages skating admission. A CSA-approved hockey helmet is recommended for all skaters and no hockey sticks or pucks will be allowed.

If you’d prefer to watch some on-ice action as a spectator, the Calgary Flames play against the Winnipeg Jets at the Scotiabank Saddledome on Oct. 7. Nosebleed seats are a great budget option if you’re bringing the whole family. And don’t forget to order the infamous Saddledome nachos from the concession stand.

Have some fall farmyard fun

Fall is the one time of year where it’s perfectly acceptable to let your pumpkin obsession get a little out of control. If you’re a pumpkin spice fanatic with a penchant for all things autumn, get out and explore the corn mazes, pumpkin patches and farmyards of the Calgary area.

Starting Oct. 7, Butterfield Acres Farm hosts harvest pumpkin hunts for kids ages 17 and younger. Head out on a tractor-pulled hay wagon ride to find your perfect little pumpkin, then bring it back to the farmyard to decorate. Parents can tag along for the ride but (unfortunately) don’t get to hunt for or decorate pumpkins.

Another local favourite, the Calgary Corn Maze offers a fun (and challenging) experience as participants try to navigate the paths without getting lost. If you show up on a Friday or Saturday, you can stay late and navigate the paths in the dark using only a flashlight. Over the long weekend the Calgary Corn Maze is also hosting its annual Autumn Pumpkin Festival with pony rides, crafts, pumpkin picking and Instagram opportunities galore.

For a no-cost option that’s closer to home, a scenic stroll in Fish Creek Park or along the Glenmore Reservoir is a wonderfully stress-free way to spend an afternoon. Don’t be afraid to get a little playful – if you come across a pile of leaves, make sure you jump in it.

Let someone else handle the cooking

If you want to enjoy the long weekend without the stress of prepping an extravagant Thanksgiving meal, let someone else handle the cooking by dining out on the town or getting a holiday takeaway meal.

From Oct. 7 to 9, Heritage Park hosts its popular Thanksgiving Weekend filled with crafts, pumpkin baking demonstrations and, most importantly, a decadent three-course Thanksgiving meal in the Wainwright Hotel Dining Room. The meal costs $25 per person or $14 for children and will be served daily from 11 a.m. until 3 p.m. Feast on Alberta Bakery rolls, butternut squash soup, turkey with all the fixings and Alberta Bakery pumpkin pie for dessert.

If you can’t make it down for lunch, The Selkirk Grille hosts a Thanksgiving dinner on Sunday evening with a gourmet spread of maple roasted free range turkey, Heritage Park garden salad and homemade pumpkin pie.

If you'd like to host Thanksgiving dinner without the hassle of putting the meal together, there are several takeout options available. Sunterra Market offers meals priced at $25.99 per person that include a choice or turkey or ham with all the fixings, vegetable soup, succotash and pumpkin pie.

The Main Dish has become increasingly popular for its grab-and-go ready-to-serve holiday meals. For $25 per person, choose from either a turkey or ham dinner with all the fixings and a choice of apple or pumpkin pie for dessert.

With so much to see and do in Calgary over the Thanksgiving long weekend, get out and enjoy all the city has to offer. Regardless of whether you’re spending the holiday by yourself or with loved ones, there’s plenty for you to see, do, eat and enjoy.

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