Share this post!

Last Modified: January 26, 2024
Ideas for staying cozy (and busy) on the most frigid days in Alberta.

Photo credit: Kelly Hofer / Tourism Calgary

By Elle McLean

It’s that time of year: the temperatures dip wildly low (often without warning), half a foot of snow covers every surface and everyone is going a little stir-crazy hiding at home from the weather. Luckily, there are plenty of indoor activities in Alberta to help keep you entertained (and warm) during the less-than-ideal weather.

Visit a Gallery or Museum

Alberta is home to a number of spectacular indoor cultural experiences. Whether you’re into art, music, history, science or sports, there’s sure to be a gallery or museum for you. Learn something new at TELUS World of Science, the Military Museums or Studio Bell, home of the National Music Centre. Score a home run in athletic history at the Alberta Sports Hall of Fame. Discover niche interests at the World Famous Gopher Hole Museum in Torrington or Drumheller’s Royal Tyrrell Museum. Explore art at the Royal Alberta Museum, the Leighton Art Centre, and Glenbow at the Edison’s latest pop-up exhibit, ᖃᓪᓗᓈᖅᑕᐃᑦ ᓯᑯᓯᓛᕐᒥᑦ Printed Textiles from Kinngait Studios, detailed here by Galleries West.

Get Your Sweat on

Whether you’re new to building muscle or an old pro, there’s no better way to stay warm in the winter than with a good old-fashioned workout. Take Avenue’s quiz to determine which indoor workout you should try this month, then get ready to sweat. Choices include everything from indoor rock climbing to speed skating to swimming, along with other indoor activities designed to get your heart pumping. Looking for something a little more classic with a twist? Try Impact Magazine’s eccentric resistance training, which not only warms you up and keeps you in shape, but also helps benefit your day-to-day activities.

Try a New Restaurant

Everybody’s got to eat, so you might as well make it interesting and sample new cuisine during a cold snap! Support local and treat your tastebuds at one of Calgary’s new restaurants (here are a few of the best, according to Avenue), or check out one of the hidden gems found in a neighbourhood strip mall from Savour Calgary’s list. Looking for a specific suggestion? Info Edmonton recommends Guru Fine Indian Cuisine for spice lovers, and you can taste authentic Ukrainian dishes at Ukrainian Coffee House, according to Savour Calgary. Restaurants provide a cozy atmosphere and everything from a home-cooked meal to new-to-you creations and offer a welcome escape during the cold season.

Take the Kids to an Indoor Park

If there are little ones in your house, chances are they’re going just as stir-crazy as you are, if not more. Bring them to a new space where they can burn off some of that energy while checking out something unique, at Vivo for Healthier Generation’s indoor park. Avenue describes the recreation centre as “providing everyone with a comfortable space to stay active regardless of the weather.” A first-of-its-kind for Calgary, the park is 19,500 square feet in size and includes green space, picnic benches, fitness areas and more. What better way to pretend it’s summer again than by spending a day at the park?

Go to a Play

One of the best things about winter in Alberta is that theatre companies’ seasons are in full swing. Get cultured while staying warm inside a cozy playhouse or a packed auditorium, surrounded by fellow drama lovers. Laugh, cry and give a standing ovation to talented Albertans for making you forget about the frigid temperatures outside. Hit a Broadway Across Canada production, enjoy a play with your food at a local dinner theatre show, check out Shadow Theatre’s The Drawer Boy (reviewed here by Edify), or even take the kids to an improv class to hone their own acting skills, as Edify encourages.

Elle is a graduate of SAIT’s Travel and Tourism program, currently working in marketing for Calgary’s tourism industry. She is passionate about sharing cool things to see and do in Alberta and, despite her love of travel, thinks that the best experiences are right in our own backyard. Elle has previously been a contributing writer for Daily Hive, Tourism Calgary, Curiocity Calgary, Local Drop Magazine, and Scripted Laces. In her spare time, you’ll find Elle cuddling with her cat, Marvin, at spin class, reading, taking photos, and checking out a local brewery or coffee shop. @ellewritenow