What To Do In Calgary During Winter

Two rabbits in the snow-20c? -30? believe it or not Calgary in the winter can offer some incredible activities for you and your family. Winter is not a season to take lightly and yes it can be very cold and miserable if you are not prepared for the elements. If this is your first time experiencing winter here you will need to buy warm clothes and dress in layers. A typical day out in the winter at -20 degrees Celsius would mean you would require warm footwear (boots), snow pants and/or thermal underwear, two or three layers to protect your body (shirt, sweater, and jacket), a warm hat, and gloves or mittens.

For those who are not familiar with  Calgary it is a city that is located on the eastern side of the Rocky Mountains at an elevation of 1100 metres (3500 feet) in southern Alberta. It’s northern  location and elevation affects the climate to a large degree. The winters here are very long and snow generally falls from October to May. Being on the eastern side of the mountains causes Calgary to be very dry, and the winters usually have less snow when compared to other parts of Canada. One amazing fact of the climate in Calgary are the Chinooks: These are warm winds that blow out of the Rockies that can cause a mid-winter day to warm up 30 degrees very suddenly. It breaks up the winter and this is unique to anywhere else in Canada. Variability is the key to understanding the climate in Calgary so be prepared.

Wondering what to do in Calgary during the winter? There are many fun activities you and your family can do while enjoying the winter. Among the activities you can include in your what to do in Calgary list are;

Sports Events - Hockey is the most popular sport in Canada with the Calgary Flames being the professional team located in the city and the Calgary hitmen are the junior team.  For ticket information to see the Calgary Flames: http://flames.nhl.com/ and for the Calgary hitmen: http://www.hitmenhockey.com. Also unlike soccer where the fans are separated, the fans all sit together at these events.

Skating, Skiing & Sledding Activities – Downhill skiing and snowboarding are fun activities with 4 major ski resorts within 1 to 2 hours driving distance from Calgary that include (Nakiska, Sunshine, Mt. Norquay, Lake Louise), and one smaller hill in Calgary (Canada Olympic Park – COP). Nakiska is a great hill to learn how to ski because it has a large beginner area, and COP is convenient and a good learners hill. Mt. Norquay also has tubing, which is a fun-filled experience riding down a hill in a rubber tube. Cross country skiing is another option and is available in the city at COP and many of the city’s parks.  Within 3 hours of driving you have world renowned resorts of kicking horse, Fernie and Panorama. Snow shoeing is an activity that is fun and has been present in Canada for hundreds of years. Kids also enjoy tobogganing (using a sledge) to slide down many local hills in the city. Ice skating is also available (indoor and outdoor) throughout Calgary. That is another great advantage if you live in a lake community (ask me) as they offer a lot of these activities.


Festivals and Activities

The Calgary Zoo has zoo lights during from the end of November to the start of January and features hot chocolate, fire pits, children’s activities and the display of 1.5 million twinkling lights. Santa also makes an appearance during Christmas.

The Calgary winter festival is an 11-day festival is held in early February to commemorate the 1988 Winter Olympics and all other winter activities. Music, entertainment, sports competitions, carnivals and children’s activities can all be found at the Calgary Winter Festival.

Calgary is an interesting and exciting city to visit all year round. It is packed with activities and events that will surely create memorable experience for your family and friends.


All Hallow’s Eve

Jack O'Lantern hell

Halloween in Canada and The United States is quite a big and fun celebration for both kids and adults.  In general people put a lot of effort to celebrate Halloween by decorating their homes and gardens  with  carved lit up pumpkins, constructing life-size replica graveyards or dungeons, fake cobwebs and spiders, huge blow up decorations and some people even make small haunted houses for kids to go through when trick or treating.  Kids dress up in Halloween costumes and go door to door trick or treating and fill up their bags with a lot of candy! Many places of work will allow and encourage you to dress up in a costume for the day.

There is also a ton of events in Calgary to the run up of Halloween for adults and kids to enjoy. They have boo in the Zoo, zombie walks, haunted houses, ghost tours, screamfests and many other events to enjoy.

Here is some safety tips for trick or treating from Health Canada:

  • Go trick or treating with your children each year until they are old enough to go with a friend.  When they are old enough, make sure they go with a friend or in a group, and know the routes they will be taking. You can also follow along at a distance to keep an eye on them.
  • Tell your children to walk, not run from house to house and to stay on the sidewalk or at the side of the road facing traffic. They should only cross the road at the corner and look both ways before crossing. If you are driving on Halloween, be aware of children, drive slowly and enter and exit driveways and alleyways with caution.
  • Give each child a flashlight to carry, to make them more visible to motorists and others.
  • Tell your children to stay in well-lit areas and only visit homes that have their outside lights turned on. Make sure they know never to go inside homes or cars.
  • Take a backpack along, to empty goodies into if the loot bag becomes too heavy.
  • Tell your children not to eat any goodies until you have looked them over. Throw out any treats that are not commercially wrapped, have loose or torn wrappers or have holes in the wrappers. If you suspect tampering with any of the treats, notify the police. Serve dinner before your children go out, so that they will be less tempted to eat goodies along the way.
  • Be cautious about giving children any treats that could be potential choking hazards. Some treats such as chewy candies, peanuts and hard candies could be a choking hazard.
  • Check toys or novelty items for small parts. If they do have small parts, do not let children under three years of age play with them.
  • You might want to consider an alternative to sugar-based treats, like sugarless gum. Stickers or multi-coloured pencils can be a nice replacement for traditional treats. Ask your children for suggestions.
  • For diabetic children, monitor the treats so that they fit into their specialized meal plan. Leftover treats can be traded with other children or given away. Treats may also cause severe side effects (adverse reactions) in children who have allergies or sensitivities.
photos by: Plutor & kevin dooley

News direct from the British Consulate in Calgary

English: no original description

English: no original description (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

News direct from the British Consulate in Calgary


Press Release: Tuesday 6 August 2013




The British Government is making important changes to the passport service for British nationals living overseas. From 12 August 2013, the application process will be centralised and British nationals in Canada should submit their passport application to Her Majesty’s Passport Office in the UK.

This important change follows reviews by the National Audit Office and is designed to achieve economies of scale, greater security and consistency in decision making. All British passports have enhanced sophisticated security features designed to reduce the likelihood of identity theft and passport fraud.

Notes for Editors

Before 12 August, British nationals living in Canada submitted passport applications to a regional processing hub in Washington, United States. From 12 August, information on the UK Government website will advise British nationals on the new passport application process.

All the information required to make an application will be found at https://www.gov.uk/overseas-passports. Applicants will be required to send their applications to the Passport Customer Service Centre in Durham. There will be no change to processing times.

Fees charged to British nationals applying overseas are based on the current costs of providing the service. As overseas volumes are much less than UK volumes it is harder to gain efficiencies overseas. That is why we have taken the decision to repatriate the issuing of passports to British nationals overseas to the UK. Once this has been completed Her Majesty’s Passport Office will be seeking to create closer alignment between the two sets of fees.


For further information:

Nathan Skolski

Head of Media and Public Affairs


Tel: 613-364-6131

Cell: 613-327-0928

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English: From top left, the Saddledome and dow...
Image via Wikipedia

It’s always hard to make new friends when coming to live in a new city. Calgary Newcomers’ Club welcomes its members with opportunities for social interaction with other women of any nationality who are new to Calgary through shared interests and activities.

Founded in 1961 by Kay Dant, The Club just celebrated their 50th anniversary. Calgary Newcomers’ Club is a member of the National Newcomer’s Council of Canada.

Any woman who has moved to Calgary in the last 3 years or, by special motion of the Executive Board, within the past 5 years is eligible to join. We also accept applications from women who have experienced a major life change (employment, marital etc) who want to experience Calgary in a new way.

Some of the activities are: book clubs, mah jong, hiking and snowshoeing groups, walking groups, tennis, golf, pub night, pot luck dinner parties, wine tasting parties, lunch and coffee meetings at various locations around town.

A prospective member may attend a Hospitality Event where a member of the Club Executive Board will answer all her questions about the club. Just contact the club through the website or by phone.

There is annual fee of $40 to be a member.

Many great friendships have been made through CNC, enduring even after people leave the city. So have a look at the website, come to a hospitality event where you will be warmly welcomed into someone’s home and get meeting new friends straight away!

More information is available at www.calgarynewcomersclub.com or by calling 403-245-8993

Courtesy of Seema- a member of the Calgary Newcomers Club and also member of the Calgary British Expats Meet Up Group

Also, I have mentioned this one in a previous article- but  worth another ‘shout’ and this is the The Calgary British Expats Meet Up Group- check it out for local get together’s, be it a night at the pub, quiz, learn to dance, family outings or just a coffee, just a great way to meet new Brits and ultimately have a laugh!!

Brit newcomers always welcome- whether you have been here 1 week, month or a decade or 2!!