Free or Low Cost Holiday Activities

The holiday season is a wonderful time to connect with family and friends, but can often be stressful on the bank account. We've compiled a list of free or low cost events happening across the city in the month of December 2017 to help you explore the city and enjoy the season.

UA International Holiday Party

It is your chance to spend time with friends, old and new, play games and kick off the winter festivities! Party highlights include FREE food, Canadian folk music, Aboriginal dance and culture, gingerbread cookie decoration, human bingo, and the annual favourite photo booth.

When: December 8, 2017 from 4:30 - 8 p.m.
Where: Telus Atrium, North Campus
Cost: FREE

RSVP and learn more at


Alberta Legislature Celebrate the Season

Check out the gorgeous Christmas lights at the Legislative Assembly of Alberta. Activities include: choirs singing carols in the majestic setting on the staircase in the Grand Rotunda (check the website for the choir schedule), skating at the rink, and made in Alberta items in the Gift Shop in the new Visitor’s Centre.

When: December 7 - 23, 2017
Where: Legislative Assembly of Alberta, 107 Street and 97 Avenue, Edmonton AB
Cost: FREE

For questions and more information, visit or call 780-427-7362.

Night Sky at the U of A Observatory

Take in the beautiful views of the night sky at the Observatory of UAlberta. There will be astronomers on hand to discuss their research, and each evening will host a speaker for the first half of the session. Adults & older kids (over 7). The telescopes are in an unheated dome, so make sure to bundle up!

When: December 7, 2017 from 7 - 8 p.m.
Where: U of A Observatory, 5th Floor CCIS Building, North Campus
Cost: FREE

For questions, email


Callingwood Hayrides and Santa Photos

Bring the family to meet Santa Claus. Get your photo taken with him and get it printed instantly. Then hop on a horse-drawn hayride.

When: Saturday, December 9 and 16, 2017 from 12 - 3 p.m.
Where: Lobby of the Professional Centre, 6650 - 177 Street
Cost: FREE (photo is $18)

For more information, visit

Candy Cane Lane

Take part in an Edmonton Christmas tradition! Candy Cane lane is a beautiful lights display which was started over 40 years ago by a small group of residents in the Crestwood community. Take a stroll around the neighbourhood and see what the residents have done this year. You can even book a sleigh ride on the website! Please bring a donation for the Edmonton Food Bank.

When: Every night in December 2017 from dark until midnight
Where: 148 St. between 100 Ave. to 92 Ave.
Cost: Optional donation to the Food Bank

For more information, visit


Zoominescence, A Festival of Light

Visit the zoo for Zoominescence! Be re-energized by the artistic light displays and take in the beautiful setting of the zoo after dark! Tickets are available in advance online.

When: Friday, Saturday, and Sunday all December from 5 - 9 p.m.
Where: Edmonton Valley Zoo, 13315 Buena Vista Road, Edmonton AB
Cost: Adults: $7.50, kids: $5

For more information, visit

Christmas at Bob's

All lovingly hand crafted, the Christmas lights display near Old Strathcona takes the term “labour of love” to a whole new level! Walk through the tunnel of lights and witness the giant snowman that had to be installed by a crane! There is even a soundtrack (88.5 FM) to add to the magic!

When: Every night in December from 5 - 11 p.m.
Where: Bob's House on the corner of 75th Ave and 108 Street
Cost: Donation to the Edmonton Food Bank

For more information, visit


Christmas Reflections at Fort Edmonton Park

Experience an old-fashioned Christmas with all the trimmings; decorations, games, storytelling, treats and much more. Create a new holiday tradition with family and friends this festive season. 

When: December 16 - 23, 2017 from 12 - 4 p.m. or 5 - 9 p.m.
Where: Fort Edmonton Park
Cost: Adults: $15 + GST, Children/Youth: $10 + GST

Holiday Magic at City Hall

Ring in the holiday season at City Hall with choral and handbell performances by elementary and junior high school classes from across Edmonton.

When: December 4 - 8, 2017 from 10 a.m. - 2 p.m.
Where: City Room, City Hall
Cost: FREE


U of A Annual Christmas Concert "Silent Night"

A Benefit concert in support of the Campus Food Bank at the University of Alberta. Bringing together Central European community choirs from around Alberta, as well as distinguished classical musicians, this yearly holiday concert is designed to warm the spirit and fill the Hall with the sounds of Christmastime in Central Europe.

When: December 10, 2017 from 3 - 5 p.m.
Where: Convocation Hall (Old Arts Building), North Campus
Cost: Donation to the Food Bank

New Years Eve Fireworks

This free, fun-filled, non-alcoholic family event will start with family friendly activities before the fireworks.

When: December 31, 2017 from 6 p.m. - 12:15 a.m.
Where: Alberta Legislature Grounds
Cost: FREE

For more information, visit


Other Guides to Free and Low Cost Holiday Season Activities

Happy Holidays and Winter Break!

Please note that most university services will be closed December 23, 2017 - Janaury 1, 2018. Services will resume January 2, 2018.
Quad Lights at the University of Alberta