Compiled by the Road Trip Alberta team
Last updated on November 29, 2020
If you think that you’ve seen Christmas lights in Alberta up a little earlier this year, it’s because they are. This year, more than ever, we could all certainly use a collective boost to our spirits via twinkling lights heralding in the joyous holiday season. It seems that our neighbours and businesses throughout the province feel the same way, and efforts to light up communities are going strong.
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
- Admission: General (16+) $19.95 – Child (3-15) $14.95 *Note that no tickets will be sold onsite and need to be purchased in advance.
- Website: https://www.calgaryzoo.com/zoolights
Back for its 24th year, the magical and sparkling Zoolights glitz up the Calgary Zoo. With over 2 million lights and 200 light figures 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.
In Search of Christmas Spirit (Banff)
- Location: Starts at Banff Avenue Square
- Admission: FREE (but tickets are required)
- 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. 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
- Adults (16+) $10
- Child (6-15) $7 – child admission includes hot beverage.
- Tomodachi (Friendship) Package: $24 – 2 admission, 2 drinks, 2 cookies
- Kazoku (Family) Package: $55 – 5 admissions, five Matcha Maple cookies, and 5 regular beverages
- *Note that no tickets will be sold onsite and need to be purchased in advance.
- 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.
Sparkle Sparkle (Calgary)
- Location: Telus Spark, Calgary
- Admission: Adults (16+) $18.95 – Child (3-17) $12.95 (Spark members get 40% off)
- 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!
Lions Festival of Lights (Calgary)
- Location: 14 St NW, North of 24 Avenue, Calgary
- 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. 2020/2021 will be a little different with no walkable displays, but it will be a full drive-by display. Traditionally there are over 650,000 bulbs on 25,000 strings, and the festival is 99% green. 2020 will bring a different look with a scaled-down display along 14th street, with hopes that things will return to normal for 2021.
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.
Winter Wonder Forest (Edmonton)
- Location: Rainbow Valley Campground
- Admission: $30 per vehicle pass
- Website: https://www.winterwonderforest.ca/
Touted as “Edmonton’s Enchanted Drive Thru Holiday Light Experience”, the Rainbow Valley Campground will be transformed into 115,000 square feet of enchanting illuminated forest. In the comfort of your own vehicle you will marvel at the lights, ice sculptures and if you plan it right you may even see Santa and his reindeer!
- Location: University of Alberta Botanic Garden
- Admission: Adults $20, Seniors and Students $15, Child 3-12 $10
- Website: https://luminaria.ualberta.ca/
Bundle up with your warm coat, mitts, and boots to experience Luminaria. 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 (Edmonton)
- Location: Edmonton Expo Centre
- Admission: General (14-64) $25.99 Seniors and Children $18.99 Family Pass $84.99
- Website: https://glowyeg.ca/
Over 90,000 square feet and one million twinkling lights will liven up your Christmas cheer. There is plenty of entertainment, food, drinks, and even selfie walls to take holiday pictures with loved ones. New this year is helping Santa find his lost reindeer in a maze and finish off visiting the big guy himself!
Leduc Country Lights (Calmar)
- Location: 49541, Range Rd 260, Calmar, AB T0C 0V0
- Admission: $2.00
- Website: https://leduccountrylights.ca/
For 15 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
- 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, but 2020 is drive-thru traffic only.
Northern Spirit Light Show (Grande Prairie)
- Location: Evergreen Park, Grande Prairie
- Admission: $15 per vehicle, food donations accepted
- Website: https://www.facebook.com/events/evergreen-park/northern-spirit-light-show/935602933239062/
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, but due to restrictions 2020 will be a drive-thru display only.
Royal Garden (Fort McMurray)
- Location: 128 Royal Garden, Fort McMurray
- Admission: FREE
- Website: https://www.facebook.com/LightsAtRoyalGarden
One Fort McMurray resident takes Christmas to a whole new level. It’s Fort McMurray’s first fully digital Christmas lights show, with thousands of blinking lights and displays. The show brings out the spirit of the community as thousands of residents flock down to see the show every year!
Airdrie Festival of Lights (Airdrie)
- Location: Nose Creek Regional Park, Airdrie
- Admission: FREE, monetary donations are encouraged
- Website: https://airdrielights.com/
The Airdrie Festival of Lights is celebrating its milestone 25th 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.
Other Popular Displays of Christmas Lights in Alberta
Enjoy the Christmas market, a warm cup of cocoa, and the display of lights at Spruce Meadows.
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.
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.