Countdown to Christmas: 12 days of holiday fun in Edmonton

December 12, 2017

By Sarah Sussman

Christmas isn’t just a one-day affair – it’s called the “holiday season” for a reason. And there’s plenty to do to celebrate in Edmonton this month – from light displays and theatre performances to holiday-themed music bingo and snowshoeing expeditions, here are 12 activities to pencil in during the days leading up to Christmas. [Photo courtesy of jmv/Flickr user]

Countdown to Christmas: 12 days of holiday fun in Edmonton

#1: Dec. 12

Start your Tuesday off right by giving back at the 36th annual Christmas Bureau Breakfast at The Westin. The Christmas Bureau of Edmonton is a culturally inclusive organization that provides holiday meals to Edmontonians in need. Tickets are $90 per person with all proceeds used to help less fortunate families enjoy a festive meal. If you want to go the extra mile, you can also sponsor a hamper or volunteer your time through the organization.

#2: Dec. 13

“Walking In A Winter Wonderland" could have easily been written about Edmonton’s Candy Cane Lane –  a decked out residential display located along 148th Street between 92nd and 100th Avenues. Every year, Edmontonians trek all the way over to the Crestwood community to spend an afternoon (or evening) marvelling at the fun and festive light displays. You can even book a sleigh ride while you’re there. And make sure you stop by Café Blackbird Coffee & Wine Bar to fuel up with a cup of hot chocolate or a salted caramel coconut coffee!

#3: Dec. 14

Looking for some festive British slapstick? The Capitol Theatre at Fort Edmonton Park returns with another fun edition of its annual Christmas Pantomime with this year’s performance of Sleeping Beauty. The show runs from Dec. 14 until 31 with matinees at 12:30 and 2 p.m. and evening shows at 7:30 p.m. Celebrate the performance’s opening night over cocktails and appetizers from 6 until 7 p.m. at the Hotel Selkirk.

#4: Dec. 15

Montreal super DJ and Fool’s Gold label founder A-Trak stops through Edmonton Dec. 15 to perform at Envy Nightclub. Spend the night out on the dancefloor and make your spirits bright. Doors open at 10 p.m. Tickets are $25 and available online.

#5: Dec. 16

Whyte Avenue is one of the most festive places to be during the holiday season, and Saturdays are the best time to take it all in. Score unique last minute gift ideas at local and independent boutiques, take a sleigh ride and keep your eyes peeled for the big bearded man himself.

#6: Dec. 17

One of Edmonton’s favourite holiday traditions, Zoominscence sees the Edmonton Zoo lit up with holiday lights for the whole month of December. Stroll around the zoo from 5 until 9 p.m. nightly and enjoy the festive twinkling LED light displays.

#7: Dec. 18

Cheer on the Oilers as they face off against San Jose Dec. 18 at Rogers Place. The game starts at 7 p.m. with tickets starting at $56. Show up a couple of hours early and grab dinner nearby at Bündok, which specializes in seasonal farm-to-table dishes made with sustainable, regionally-sourced ingredients.

#8: Dec. 19

Ready to take your carolling to the next level? Stop by Rosie’s Bar & Grill on Whyte Avenue for karaoke night and get your five minutes of fame. Rosie’s hosts karaoke every week from Thursday through Sunday starting at 9:30 p.m. It’s an Edmonton staple and a great off-the-wall place to take out-of-town guests. And don’t worry if you get nervous – the drinks are always cheap.

#9: Dec. 20

Time for a drive! The Castrol Raceway in Nisku got a festive facelift this year with hundreds of thousands of sparkling LED lights. Take a two-kilometre drive through the lights in your vehicle and immerse yourself in one of the most stunning light displays around. Admission is open nightly from 5 until 11 p.m. Admission is $25 per car and can be pre-purchased online.

#10: Dec. 21

Love music? Love bingo? Love Christmas? Then you should probably go to the X-Mas Tree Edition of Music Bingo at The Pint. It all goes down at 9 p.m. on Dec. 21. It’s free to play, but you should know that The Pint has perogies and sausage on special for $4 as well as $5 domestic pints and $7 Guinness pints.

#11: Dec. 22

Into its 18th year running, A Christmas Carol returns to the Citadel Theatre this year with the classic holiday tale of Scrooge’s redemption. It’s an uplifting performance and fun for the whole family. Make sure you bring a donation for the Edmonton Food Bank, too!

#12: Dec. 23

Escape the hustle and bustle of the city and head out to Elk Island National Park for an evening to stargaze and snowshoe around the park. The expedition costs $29.80 per person and starts at 7 p.m. Call 780-922-5790 to make a booking.

Christmas Eve

Get the Christmas Eve festivities started early at Fort Edmonton Park’s holiday Sunday brunch. Enjoy a decadent spread of comfort brunch foods in the heart of one of the city’s most scenic parks. Admission is $41.34 for adults and youth and $35.07 for seniors. Pre-book your seating soon, because this brunch fills up fast.

Christmas Day

Today is all about family and gratitude. Kick back, relax and enjoy the day. Don’t want to stress over cooking Christmas dinner? Pre-order a prepared Christmas meal this year and all you’ll have to do is heat, serve and enjoy.

However you spend the 12 days leading up to Christmas this year, make sure you do it with those close to you. Happy Holidays!

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