Compiled by the Road Trip Alberta team
Last updated on November 19, 2022
Is it just us, or do Christmas lights in Alberta seem to go up a little earlier every year? We’re not complaining – we could all certainly use a collective boost to our spirits via twinkling lights heralding in the joyous holiday season. Add in some hot chocolate and fresh sparkly snow and we’re all over a massive road trip to try and see as many lights as we can.
We’ve captured details of many of the hot spots across Alberta to enjoy some glittery festive cheer. Pack the family up in the car and start your pursuit!
The Best Christmas Lights in Alberta
- Location: Calgary Zoo
- When: November 18, 2022 – January 8, 2023 (5:00 – 9:00 p.m. Gates closed 8:30 p.m.)
- Admission: General (16+) $21.95 – Child (3-15) $14.95
- Website: https://www.calgaryzoo.com/zoolights
Back for its 26th year, the magical and sparkling Zoolights glitz up the Calgary Zoo. To celebrate the 26 years, there will be even more lights and exhibits including a Prehistoric Park, a new Polar Wonderland, snow globes for rent, and the Nutcracker in the ENMAX Conservatory. Coming back is the popular “Tunnel of Light” for that perfect Instagram selfie.
With over 2 million lights and 200 light figurines no wonder it’s magic for anyone who visits. Apart from the interactive and choreographed displays, there are plenty of activities for the family to take part in including a skating rink and firepits.
Light Up the Legislature (Edmonton)
- Location: Alberta Legislature Grounds, Edmonton
- Admission: FREE
- Website: https://www.assembly.ab.ca/visit/events/celebrate-the-season
Take in the magical Christmas light display at the Alberta Legislature. It’s been a holiday tradition for years that the Legislature buildings have been decorated with thousands of lights and displays for everyone to enjoy.
GLOW Calgary: Christmas Around The World
- Location: Nutrien Western Event Centre
- When: November 25 – December 30
- General Admission (14-64) $28.21
- Child (4-13) $21.69
- Seniors (65+) $21.69
- Family Pass (2 General & 3 Child / Senior Tickets) $85.74
- Website: https://glowyyc.ca/
Wander around in an illuminated maze of light and colour at GLOW Calgary. 70,000+ square feet of indoor space and a million twinkling bulbs have visitors surrounded in holiday spirit. It’s a perfect spot for a family Christmas photo with hanging icicle lights in the Light Gardens, a tunnel of light, LED swings, and hanging picture frames. Of course a holiday light display wouldn’t be the same without Santa, and these displays are unique. There are Christmas exhibits from around the globe, and kids can help Santa make sure to bring gifts to all the children abroad.
In Search of Christmas Spirit (Banff)
- Location: Starts at Banff Avenue Square
- When: November 23 – December 31, 2022
- Admission: FREE (but book your spot!)
- Website: https://www.banfflakelouise.com/Christmas-Spirit
This experience brings the sheer joy and cheer of Christmas to Banff National Park. On this interactive walk you will wind through an illuminated forest, feel the snow under your feet, and see the stars twinkle above the Rocky Mountains. This year it’s a story told by the animals of Banff National Park in the Cascade of Time Garden. It’s a holiday experience for the family that you don’t want to miss.
Winter Light Festival (Lethbridge)
- Location: Nikka Yuko Japanese Garden, Lethbridge
- When: November 2022 – February 2023
- Adults (17+) $13.50
- Senior (65+) $12.50
- Child (12-16) $10
- Tomodachi (Friendship) Package: $26 – 2 admission, 2 drinks, 2 cookies
- Kazoku (Family) Package: $60 – 5 admissions, cookies, and beverages
- Website: https://www.nikkayuko.com/index.asp
Over 167,000 lights scattered throughout the majestic Nikka Yuko Japanese Garden brightens up Lethbridge. Bundle up and take a walk through the winter wonderland with the trees, bridges, ice sculptures and pavilion are all decorated and aglow. New this year is the Basha Nori – a horse & wagon rides through the majestic lights.
Sparkle Sparkle (Calgary)
- Location: Telus Spark, Calgary
- When: December 1, 2022 – January 2, 2023
- Admission: Adults (16+) $26 | Child (3-17) $19 | Family general admission (up to 6 tickets) $90
- Website: https://www.sparkscience.ca/whats-on/sparkle-sparkle
Christmas cheer winds its way indoors through Telus Spark on a path full of shimmering lights. There’s a northern lights cave, an LED bonfire to warm up your hands and make a wish on a shooting star in the dome theatre. Don’t forget to stop in to the Eatery to grab a sweet treat and hot drink! It’s one of the coolest displays of Christmas lights in Alberta.
Light Up Okotoks (Okotoks)
- Location: Downton Okotoks
- Admission: FREE
- Website: Light Up Okotoks
Back for the 30th year, celebrate the festive season by wandering through the cute downtown streets of Okotoks, Alberta. The annual Christmas tree light-up happens on November 18 from 5:30pm – 9:30pm and there will be wagon rides, carol singing by choirs and the Spirit of Christmas Artisan Market to find that perfect holiday gift plus much more. Santa will be there for photos and if you stick around to the end, there will be a fireworks celebration. Need not worry if you can’t make it down for the lighting. You can enjoy gorgeous holiday lights all season long.
Lions Festival of Lights (Calgary)
- Location: 14 St NW, North of 24 Avenue, Calgary
- When: TBD
- Admission: FREE
- Website: http://www.lionsfestivaloflights.ca/
For 34 years the Lions Festival of Lights Society has been lighting up Calgary with festive cheer as a way to give back to the city. Traditionally there are over 650,000 bulbs on 25,000 strings, and the festival is 99% green.
Winter Night Lights (Red Deer)
- Location: Heritage Ranch, Red Deer
- Admission: Private sleigh ride – $199 for 2 / $299 up to 6 people
- Website: https://www.heritageranch.ca/experiences/seasonal/
Can you think of a better way to see holiday lights than being pulled on a 30-minute horse-drawn sleigh ride while sipping on hot chocolate? We couldn’t either! You’ll see over 40,000 lights as the sled winds in their winter wonderland.
Magic of Lights (Leduc)
- Location: Castrol Raceway
- When: November 24, 2022 – January 1, 2023
- Admission: Car $30 | Limo $75 | Bus $125
- Website: https://magicoflights.com/events/edmonton/
Magic of Lights operates in 21 different spots across North America and this year they’re coming to Leduc! Imagine driving through a magical display of holiday scenes, animations and thousands of lights. It’s a perfect night out for the family at the Magic of Lights holiday lights experience at the Castrol Raceway outside of Leduc, Alberta.
- Location: University of Alberta Botanic Garden
- When: November 23, 2022 – December 31, 2022 5:00pm – 10:00pm
- Adults $24
- Seniors $17 Students $17
- Child under 12 Free
- Website: https://luminaria.ualberta.ca/
A new winter experience comes to the University of Alberta Bontanic Garden. Bundle up with your warm coat, mitts, and boots to experience Luminaria – A Winter Garden Story. Throughout the month of December, the gardens are transformed by candlelight, starlight, peace, and tranquility. As per their tagline: “This is winter. Extraordinary. Beautiful. Redefined.”
Glow Christmas Holiday Festival of Lights (Edmonton)
- Location: Edmonton Expo Centre
- When: December 1, 2022 – January 1, 2023
- Admission: Super Flex Pass $35.99 General (14-64) $25.99 Seniors and Children $19.99 Family Pass $89.99
- Website: https://glowyeg.ca/
This year GLOW returns to Edmonton with “A Fairytale Christmas”. There is over 100,000 square feet and one million twinkling lights to liven up your Christmas cheer at the Holiday Festival of Lights. There is plenty of entertainment, food, drinks, and endless selfie opportunities including hanging frames, LED swings, light gardens and the very popular Tunnel of Light. Be sure to check out their calendar of events for markets, dance parties, and lots of other fun happenings throughout December.
Leduc Country Lights (Calmar)
- Location: 49541, Range Rd 260, Calmar, AB T0C 0V0
- When: To be announced….
- Admission: $2.00
- Website: https://leduccountrylights.ca/
For 16 years the Leduc Country Lights has been the county’s premiere Christmas tradition. Bundle up and bring the family down to take in a festive walk on paths lit up by thousands of glimmering lights, interactive displays and holiday spirit.
Zoominescence – Festival of Lights (Edmonton)
- Location: Edmonton Valley Zoo
- When: December 2, 2022 – January 1, 2023
- Admission: Adult $8.50 / Child $6
- Website: https://www.buildingourzoo.com/events/zoominescence/
Glow up at one of Edmonton’s favourite holiday traditions complete with light displays, local artist performances, and other entertainment at Zoominescence. The Festival of Lights is a way to see the Edmonton Valley Zoo in a whole new perspective with their exhibition of artistic light installations. It’s an evening of magical light, drinking hot chocolate, and fun for the whole family!
Candy Cane Lane (Edmonton)
- Location: 148 Street NW 102 Avenue, Edmonton
- Admission: Donation to Edmonton Food Bank
- Website: https://yegcandycanelane.com/
The community of Crestwood goes all out in lighting up their canopied trees to bring you ‘Candy Cane Lane’. Christmas is all around you each night from 6-10pm as the highly decorated houses are lit up for everyone to enjoy. Normally there are sleigh rides and a night dedicated to walking traffic only.
Northern Spirit Light Show (Grande Prairie)
- Location: Evergreen Park, Grande Prairie
- When: November 17 – December 31, 2022 – 6:00pm – 10:00pm
- Admission: $15 per vehicle, food donations accepted
- Website: https://www.evergreenpark.ca/upcoming-events
150 different displays of lights and figures gives families in Grande Prairie a lot of holiday cheer. There are normally horse drawn sleigh rides and hot chocolate to enjoy.
The Tupper Family Light Show (Fort McMurray)
- Location: Fort City Church, 101 Spruce Street, Fort McMurray
- When: December 5 – January 1, 2023
- Admission: FREE, monetary donations are encouraged to support Northern Lights Health Foundation
- Website: https://www.facebook.com/LightsAtRoyalGarden
The Tupper Family Light Show takes Christmas to a whole new level! Featuring over 10,000 dazzling computerized lights with over 28,800 colours, this covid-friendly holiday activity is sure to captivate the hearts of residents and visitors. With shows running daily beginning at 6:00 PM and running every half hour with the last show at 10:00 PM, people are invited to tour in their vehicles. Tune your radios to FM 105.5 for Christmas tunes and watch over 10 minutes of stunning “Great Christmas Light Fight” quality special effects, animated singing faces, and much much more.
Airdrie Festival of Lights (Airdrie)
- Location: Nose Creek Regional Park, Airdrie
- When: December 1 – 31 – 6:00pm – 9:00pm
- Admission: FREE, monetary donations are encouraged
- Website: https://airdrielights.com/
The Airdrie Festival of Lights is celebrating its milestone 26th season bringing festive cheer to the city. They boast being “Western Canada’s largest, free, outdoor walk-through Christmas Light Display”. Besides the Christmas lights brightening the city and spirits of its locals, the festival this year will be highlighted with ice-carving demonstrations and other events throughout the month.
Other Popular Displays of Christmas Lights in Alberta
CP Holiday Train
In its 24th year, the Canadian Pacific Railway Holiday Train will cross Canada and light up every stop along the way in an effort to raise money for food banks across the country. Its first stop in Alberta will be at Medicine Hat on December 7th, and its last in Banff on December 13th, with many stops in between (check the full schedule here). Not only is it a beautiful way to make Christmas memories, but you can also take in some stellar performances including from country music star Tenille Townes, Oji-Cree songwriter Aysanabee, and more.
Enjoy the Christmas market, a warm cup of cocoa, and the display of lights at Spruce Meadows.
Borealis Lights (St. Albert)
From November 18 to December 4, you can drive through thousands of twinkling lights all in the comfort of your own car at Borealis Lights. The main feature is a 100 ft tunnel with 26,000 flashing LED lights.
Lake Louise Village
The Christmas decorations at Lake Louise Village looks like something straight out of a fairy tale.
Calgary Jaipur Bridge
With the lights and decorations lighting the way to Prince’s Island Park, it’s hard not to get into the Christmas spirit.
Stettler Moonlight Madness
Every year, in the main street at 50th Street and 49th Ave, an enormous Christmas tree is lit up for the season.
Nightrise (Banff – Sulphur Mountain)
Over the Christmas holidays Sulphur Mountain is transformed into something magical. Nightrise, in partnership with Stoney Nakoda Nation is an immersive and interactive experience with lights, projections, soundscapes and much more. Each visitor will experience and interpret something unique!
Banff Springs Hotel
The Banff Springs Hotel knows how to do Christmas right.
A Christmas Vacation (Stony Plain)
An Albertan takes the Griswold Christmas decorations to heart with this amazing display including an RV and cousin Eddy! You can find it at 63 Briarwood Point in Stony Plain.