15 Holiday Light Displays in Alberta You Don't Want to Miss

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If you live in Alberta, you know how holiday lights transform those wintery nights as the season unfolds, and this year, you won't want to miss these spectacular displays.

From illuminated botanical gardens to glowing villages, there's plenty to see and do for the whole family. Check them out below.

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1. Christmas Lights at Spruce Meadows

Like many towns in Western Canada, the spirit of Christmas is a cherished tradition in Spruce Meadows. This year, embark on a leisurely stroll or stay warm and cozy in your car as you make your way through the illuminated Christmas Lights. Stop to enjoy ice skating on the lake, piping hot chocolate, and delicious treats that help make the season bright.

When: December 8th through 31st, 2023

Where: Spruce Meadows in Calgary

Cost: Free

2. ZooLights

Zoolights at Calgary Zoo celebrates its 27th year, and you can expect even more stunning lights and exhibits than in years past. Rent a snow globe or head through the Tunnel of Light to enjoy more than 1 million lights, 250 lit figures, and a thrilling arctic aurora borealis theme. This experience is great for dates, families, and group trips and costs less than $25 per person.

When: November 17, 2023 through January 7, 2024, from 5 to 9 p.m.

Where: Calgary Zoo

Cost: Adult $21.95 / Child $14.95

3. Airdrie Festival of Lights

The Airdrie Festival of Lights is also celebrating an anniversary and has earned the title of Western Canada's biggest free outdoor Christmas lights display for the past 28 years. Warm up by renting a fire pit or send the kids on a miniature train ride to see the twinkling lights against the backdrop of a perfect night sky. The town spends all year prepping for this event, so you don't want to miss out!

When: December 1st through December 31st, 2023 from 6 to 9 p.m.

Where: Nose Creek Regional Park in Airdrie

Cost: Free, donations are encouraged

4. Glow Christmas

Glow Christmas is a great stop for festive fun indoors. Warm up after a trip to one of the other outdoor displays on this list and take in artisan foods, charming market stalls, and holiday cocktails for the adults. With more than a million holiday lights featured across the Expo Centre, this is one of the largest displays in the area and definitely worth a day trip.

When: December 1, 2023, through January 1, 2024

Where: Edmonton Expo Centre

Cost: General admission $22.99 / Super Flex Pass $35.99 / Family Pass $75.99

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5. Winter Night Lights at Heritage Ranch

If you're planning a romantic holiday date night, there's nowhere better to go than on the Winter Night Lights tour at Heritage Ranch. See more than 60,000 lights from the comfort of your own private horse-drawn carriage while you sip complimentary hot chocolate. This experience is more expensive than others on this list but is absolutely unforgettable.

When: Now through January 31, 2024

Where: Heritage Ranch at 6300 Cronquist Dr in Red Deer

Cost: $249 per couple

6. Candy Cane Lane in Edmonton

Candy Cane Lane is a 50-year-long Edmonton holiday tradition and is a great option for families on a budget. The event is operated by residents and volunteers and guests can walk or drive through the display at their leisure. Admission is just a non-perishable food item either per person or per car and goes towards helping disadvantaged families in Edmonton meet their nutritional needs.

When: December 8th 2023 through January 1, 2024, from dusk to 11 p.m.

Where: Along 148th Street between 99 Avenue and 92 Avenue

Cost: Non-perishable food donation / Sleigh rides $25 per person on December 8th to 10th, 15th to 17th, 21st to 23rd, and 27th to 29th

7. Northern Spirit Light Show

The Northern Spirit Light Show is a drive or ride-through holiday experience with over 150 separate light displays to enjoy. Horses are permitted between 6 to 9 p.m. and vehicles are permitted from 6 to 10 p.m. Guests can bring non-perishable food items to donate, but there is still a cost for tickets to go through the display.

When: November 16th through December 31st, 2023

Where: Evergreen Park at 55051 Township Road 710 in Grande Prairie

Cost: $15 per vehicle

8. Winter Light Festival

If you thought the Nikka Yuko Japanese Garden was beautiful before the holidays, their annual Winter Light Festival event takes things to a whole new level. With more than 170,000 twinkling lights to brighten the night, this event is a must on your calendar. This year, the Garden will feature light displays that represent each of the four seasons in a beautiful new way.

When: November 30th, 2023 through February 24th, 2024

Where: Nikka Yuko Japanese Garden in Lethbridge

Cost: Adult $13.50 / Senior $12.50 / Child Age 5+ $10 / Child under 5 are free

9. Lions Festival of Lights

The Lions Festival of Lights has been a part of the Calgary community for 37 years and is an eco-conscious way to enjoy the beautiful lights of the season. These displays feature more than 650,000 bulbs on 25,000 different strands, which can be seen every day from 5 p.m. until midnight through the beginning of January at no charge. There will also be gorgeous ice sculptures, exciting fireworks, and hot chocolate to enjoy. Food bank donations are encouraged.

When: November 25th, 2023 through January 8th, 2024

Where: 14 St NW in Calgary

Cost: Free

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10. In Search of Christmas Spirit

Banff National Park presents its interactive holiday light display, In Search of Christmas Spirit, through the end of 2023, and you won't want to skip this breathtaking sight. Wind your way through an illuminated forest path as you see the lights reflected off the crisp, clear night sky. This season, the Park will tell a story from the perspective of community wildlife, complete with one-of-a-kind light sculptures and thrilling sound effects.

When: November 17th through December 31st, 2023

Where: Banff Avenue Square

Cost: Free with tickets

11. Nightrise

Head up Sulfur Mountain in the Banff Gondola for a magical way to experience holiday lights from above. At Nightrise, guests can stop and mingle at one of four different stations, each one with its own exciting cosmic theme. Don't miss the "sonic binoculars" that let guests listen to the mountain air through a set of amplified headphones to experience the beautiful winter landscape in a whole new way.

When: November 18, 2023 through March 30, 2024

Where: The Banff Gondola at 100 Mountain Avenue in Banff

Cost: Adult $55 / Child $27.50 / Alberta residents $44 per adult and $22 per child

12. Winter Light the Night

Discovery Wildlife Park hosts its yearly holiday display Winter Light the Night until January of next year and this experience is a must-see. The display is quite spread out (more than 2 kilometers) and you can't walk the path, so a vehicle is required to get through the area. Be aware that with this exhibit, flashing lights may affect photosensitive people.

When: November 17th, 2023 through January 1st, 2024

Where: Discovery Wildlife Park at 5400 42 Ave in Innisfail

Cost: $30 per vehicle, up to 8 passengers

13. Sylvan Lake’s Winter Village

Few things are as charming during the holidays as the gorgeous Winter Village at Sylvan Lake. With more than 300,000 lights, a Christmas tree parade, an illuminated skating rink, and bonfire nights to keep warm, you can create your perfect holiday experience with friends, family, or even just by yourself. This event is walk-through only, so be sure to dress warmly.

When: December 1st, 2023 through March 2024

Where: 500 Lakeshore Drive in Sylvan Lake

Cost: Free

14. The Canadian Tire Magic of Lights

One of the best drive-through Christmas light experiences in Alberta takes place at Castrol Raceway until the first week of January. The Canadian Tire Magic of Lights is a little on the pricey side at $33 per car, but there are more than 1.5 million LED lights across a massive 2.5-kilometer pathway. The 200-foot Tunnel of Lights is picturesque and one of the best highlights of this Canadian Christmas activity.

When: November 24, 2023 through January 1, 2024

Where: Castrol Raceway in Leduc

Cost: Car $30 / Limo $75 / Bus $125

15. Zoominescence Festival of Lights

If you have kids, the Zoominescence Festival of Light is probably one of the best holiday exhibits to visit in Western Canada. Experience fun displays like Fairy Tree, Music in Motion, Twinkly Train, Light Curtains, Northern Spirits, Dancing Trees, and so much more. With more than 45 installations, you're sure to have a blast at Zoominescence.

When: December 1st, 2023 through January 3rd, 2024

Where: Edmonton Valley Zoo

Cost: Adult $15.95 / Senior and Youth $12.95 / Child $9.95

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You can enjoy the beauty of stunning holiday lights at home with Green Drop’s professional holiday lighting installation services. We work with you to design an affordable, energy-efficient display that fits your aesthetic and will install and remove your lights, so you don’t have to. Are you ready to level up your holiday lighting? Contact Green Drop’s Christmas lights installers today.

‘tis the season

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