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Top 7 Calgary Winter Activities

11/12/2013 01:53 EST | Updated 01/23/2014 06:58 EST

7 Unique Winter Activities in Calgary and the Alberta Rockies

'Tis the season to do what we cannot do during the rest of the year; skiing, snowboarding, tobogganing, dog-sledding and snowmobiling are but a few of the adventurous activities made available by the winter season.

For some of Alberta's cities, towns and villages, this already short list of winter activities could become even shorter depending on their local topography. But for Calgary, the opposite is true.

Less than an hour west on the Trans-Canada Highway are the majestic Rocky Mountains. In winter, the mountainous landscapes of the Rockies become even more beautiful to behold and attract countless Calgarians looking to engage in a wide range of winter activities.

And then there are the exciting winter activities and events happening locally for those who would rather stay close to home this time of year. Here are some of the most unique (and popular) winter activities you'll find this year in Calgary and in the Rocky Mountains.

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Top Winter Activities

Mt. Norquay Snow Tubes

  • Address - Mt. Norquay, Alberta, Canada
  • Phone Number - 403-762-4421
  • Cost -$15 to $85 (single child and adult to full family pass)

Have you heard of the snow tube hill at Mt. Norquay? Located only a few minutes outside of Banff, it is one of the most unique Rocky Mountain winter activities sure to leave lasting memories in the minds of those who participate.

Flying down the hill at insane speeds, crashing and bumping into other snow tubers and having a good laugh with your friends and family are but a few of the things that await you at Mt. Norquay's snow tube hill.

This is an activity fun for all ages and the opportunity to hit the slopes before, after or intermittently between some snow tube fun is always there. The snow tube hill opens on November 29th, 2013.

Amateur and Professional Hockey

  • Address - Scotiabank Saddledome - 555 Saddledome Rise SE, Calgary, AB
  • Phone Number - 403-777-4646
  • Cost - $10 to more than $200 depending on the seats and franchise

You haven't experienced Calgary until you've experienced a Hitmen and Flames game!

Our Calgary Flames are in the rebuilding process and have recruited a full line-up of talented, young players looking to prove themselves as professionals in the National Hockey League (NHL). While our beloved Flames might not win all the time at the Saddledome, their drive to win is apparent to say the least and makes for a fun and exciting game every time.

Our Calgary Hitmen, a Western Hockey League team, also play at the Saddledome and are just as exciting to watch. These young hockey players are looking to take the next step towards becoming professionals and will go to great lengths to accomplish their dreams. Get your tickets at the Scotiabank Saddledome Website today!

Dog Sledding

  • Address - 104 - 602 Bow Valley Trail, Canmore, AB
  • Phone Number - 403-678-4369
  • Cost - contact for more information

Experience the majestic scenery of the snow covered Rocky Mountains on the back of a dog sled! This traditional winter activity is for the adventurous looking to get up close and personal with the beautiful back country of the Rockies.

One of the best companies to go with is Snowy Owl Sled Dog Tours Inc - based out of Canmore, AB, they offer a variety of tours including beginner runs, moonlight tours and even have overnight expeditions. If you do choose an overnight package, know that you'll be well taken care of by the instructor and will be provided with all the necessities.

Do something different this winter and see how our ancestors used dog sleds in the past to live, survive and traverse the great mountainous landscapes of the Rocky Mountains.

Winter Carnival

  • When - Feb 18th, 2013
  • Address - Fort Calgary, 750 9th Avenue SE, Calgary, AB
  • Phone Number - 403-290-1872
  • Cost - Free!

The Winter Carnival held at Fort Calgary is filled with fun family activities such as face painting, treasure hunts, crafts, games and an outdoor theatre featuring cartoons movies.

Outdoor games will include candy making using maple syrup and other exciting games the children will enjoy - and the best part is it's all for free!

Cross-Country Skiing

Cross country skiing is an excellent way to stay fit and active outdoors this winter. Calgary has several dedicated tracks available including...

  • Edworthy Park
  • Canada Olympic Park
  • Fish Creek Provincial Park
  • Confederation Golf Course
  • Weaslehead Natural Area
  • Shaganappi Point Golf Course
  • Maple Ridge Golf Course
  • And more..

On the other hand, there are countless trails with different difficulty levels located in the Rocky Mountains where you will find some of the best cross-country skiing in Alberta. If your planning on heading to the mountains, make sure you check the Canadian Avalanche Centre beforehand and stay on designated trails.

Mid-Winter Blues Festival

  • When - Feb 24th to March 1st, 2014
  • Address - Shaw Millennium Park, other venues
  • Contact - info@calgarybluesfest.com
  • Cost - around10 to100 (single ticket to 4 day pass)

Wash your winter woes away at Calgary's annual Mid-Winter Blues Fest. A full week in length, the festival includes concerts, workshops, dances and jams and is hosted at a variety of venues, making each of these events a unique experience of their own. Don't miss it!

Mountain Ski-Dooing

  • Contact - 403-760-5007
  • Cost - $400 to $600

Traverse undiscovered mountain terrain on the back of a powerful ski-doo this winter; it's a memorable experience no one should miss. Winter air whizzing through your nostrils, beautiful scenery passing you by and laughs with your loves ones, not to mention feeling the sheer power of your ski-doo as you push down on the throttle - does outdoor winter fun get any better than this?

If you think a Ski-Doo trip might be for you, check out Banff Tours Website today.

Winter's Almost Here

With winter just around the corner, it's best we begin to prepare ourselves for the cold. I find one of the best ways to enjoy myself is to stay engaged in a variety of winter activities and events to keep my mind off the cold. Having said that, keep it warm Calgary and enjoy your winter!

Join us at Calgaryism on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter today and get involved in the local community via social media. We will see you there.