Shorter, colder days signal that winter is well on its way; with a month of celebrations, winter sports, roaring fires, and festive lights, there are so many ways to warm your toes and your spirits. In these uncertain times, we need to find creative ways to connect with our loved ones and find activities to fulfill our desire to explore. Red Deer is not short on imagination or festive spirit; here are a few ideas to celebrate this joyous season virtually or in a new light.
Play Outside Day – December 5
A great day to get the kids off their devices and outdoors for a day of outdoor fun! Red Deer is the perfect place to get outside, as the opportunities to interact and engage are endless. Head out to Canyon Ski Resort for a day of skiing and snow tubing at Alberta’s largest non-mountain resort, so close to home and so much fun. Have you ever tried fat biking? Here in Red Deer, we have almost 23 km of selected trails cleared for you to enjoy? Cross country skiing is another great way to see and enjoy the city, with several areas including Heritage Ranch and River Bend Golf and Recreation Area. Perhaps snowshoeing is more your speed, give it a try and head out to the Gaetz Lakes Sanctuary behind Kerry Wood Nature Centre; it is a great place to observe wildlife and offer rentals. How about a cozy sleigh ride amongst the twinkling winter lights at Heritage Ranch. Jule Nights are happening from 5:00 pm to 9:00 pm at The Danish Canadian Museum; enjoy their trails lit with Christmas lights, and warm up with a hot chocolate by the roaring fire. Pick up your favourite warm drink and plan a walk downtown to play amongst the Christmas lights in City Hall Park, a spectacular sight to be seen and is sure to put you in the holiday spirit. Ice Skating is another fun pastime here, with 77 outdoor ice surfaces available for public use, including Bower Ponds and Setters Place skating oval, offering plenty of space for social distancing.
Poinsettia Day – December 12
Let’s celebrate and pay tribute to this blossoming plant, the poinsettia. These festive flowers have become an essential part of the Christmas season, and their plant is almost always found placed either inside or outside the home this time of year. So why not go down to one of the nurseries in Red Deer like Parkland Nurseries & Garden Centre or Blue Grass Sod, Nursery & Garden Centre to purchase one of these beautiful plants and decorate for this festive season.
Eggnog Day – December 24
Eggnog lovers rejoice! This sweetened dairy-based beverage traditionally made with milk, cream, sugar, whipped eggs and spices are great on their own or spiced up for the adults with a little spiced rum. There are many other ways to get your eggnog fix; from cookies to specialty coffees, it’s a flavour of the season you are sure to find. Celebrate this day in Red Deer by supporting local establishments like Sweet Capone’s for an Egg Nog Cannoli or Café Vero for an Eggnog Latte, yum! Whether you are at home or out and about, take a moment this Christmas Eve to celebrate this decadent beverage.
Are you looking for ways to take the stress and mess out of cooking Christmas dinner this year? Here is a list of local restaurants that will make your Christmas dinner easy and memorable this Holiday season.
Cambridge Red Deer Hotel & Conference Centre has their Christmas Turkey Takeout available from December 23 to January 2. They have got you covered with all the fixings, including Sweet Corn Salad to Pumpkin Pie for dessert. Their dinners are sold in groups of 4, 6 and 8 with no same-day orders. Please call their front desk at 403-346-2091 to reserve, and 48 hours’ notice must be given.
Boulevard Restaurant & Lounge will also be offering Take-out Turkey Dinners this Christmas season. Stay tuned for more details.
The Red Deer Cultural Heritage Society hosts their 7th Annual Victorian Christmas Dinner at the Cronquist House on December 4th and 7th at 6:00 pm. You will enjoy a 5-course meal in the Victorian age traditions and relax in the festively decorated 108-year old heritage house in all its Christmas Glory. Tickets are $60 per person; seating is limited, so be sure to book early online or by calling 403-346-0055.
NEW YEAR’S EVE
Join the Track on 2 for their Black Tie evening to celebrate the end of 2020. Chef Pete has created an upscale dinner buffet (served by staff); enjoy live music throughout the evening featuring the Joe Nolan Band! If the event is cancelled, you will be refunded your ticket purchase in full. With six months of experience hosting large public events during the pandemic, they have procedures in place to keep everyone safe! Tables will be sold in tables of 4 or 6; singles or couples can be added to a table of 4 ONLY. Purchase your tickets HERE.
EVENTS & ACTIVITIES
First Friday is where we join the galleries in downtown Red Deer in celebration of our local, regional and national artistic talent. This year it will be done a little differently with a virtual video gallery presented by The Red Deer Arts Council; stay tuned for details.
It’s a Very Virtual Holiday with Bower Place Shopping Centre this year. Santa has parked his sleigh at the North Pole but is available for virtual visits from December 1 to 24. You can reserve your visit by going to Bower Place A Very Virtual Holiday.
Although Santa will not be coming to Parkland Mall this year, they offer kids (and kids at heart) Santa’s Online Countdown Calendar with daily festive activities for your entertainment.
Explore Downtown Red Deer’s Glass Front Galleries, participate in their Scavenger Hunt running from December 1 to 14, with two draw dates December 7 & 14. Check out The Red Deer Arts Council for details and enjoy this self-guided event while taking in beautiful art.
Jule Nights at The Danish Canadian Museum will be lighting up this Christmas season every Friday and Saturday evening from 5:00 pm to 9:00 pm until December 12. Their beautiful trails will be lit up with Christmas lights, and you can warm up by the fire with a hot beverage and snack. There is no cost to attend; however, cash donations are greatly appreciated. Don’t miss out on Jule Fest, the last night of their Jule Nights, with additional surprises. You can also make a reservation for a special Danish Christmas dinner or dessert in the Saga Café!
The CP Holiday Train is going virtual this December 12 at 6:00 pm. Serena Ryer and The Trews will headline CP’s 2020 “Holiday Train at Home” concert, which will stream on CP’s Facebook page, including performances by JoJo Mason, Logan Staats and Kelly Prescott. CP Holiday Train Fans will be able to view the concert by visiting CP’s Facebook page at show start time. For those who miss it, an archived version of the show will remain on the page for later viewing.
Santa Clause is coming to Red Deer via the Stantec Santa Bus, Saturday, December 5 and 12. Since he cannot visit you in person at City Hall Park, he will be touring local neighbourhoods. Children of all ages are invited to watch from the window to see Santa wave as the bus drives by. Stay tuned for a complete schedule on the City of Red Deer’s website.
Red Deer College presents The Nutcracker Ballet online, from the comfort of your living room. Set on the backdrop of historical Red Deer, bring the holidays’ warmth and spirit into your home! Filmed on location in Red Deer and edited by students at the School of Creative Arts at RDC. Get wrapped up in the magic of the holiday season with this narrated wintery production! Details on how to access this production will be available on December 14, 2020. Click here for more information.
Central Alberta Theatre presents a Miracle on 34th Street ,”update” it now has been postponed to January 15 & 16 at the Red Deer Memorial Centre. This is a tale that we want to believe in, that creates a world we seem to desperately desire, free of the blatant commercialism that surrounds us, where love and decency and generosity of spirit are their own rewards. Tickets sold by donation and seating will be limited to meet COVID-19 safety guidelines, subject to change with very short notice. For guests that have currently purchased tickets for the December shows, they will be honouring those tickets for the postponed dates.
Stay tuned for the 2020 Ice Sculptures display coming to Parkland Nurseries & Garden Centre this Holiday Season. Each year their sculptor creates a new theme and brings it to life; these beautiful ice sculpture displays will be scheduled for sometime between December 10 – 15, dependent on the weather and will be open to the public for viewing.
Kerry Wood Nature Centre is hosting a Snowshoeing Adventure Time on December 19, 20, 26 and 27. This is a great time to head out with the family or on your own for a snow adventure in the Gaetz Lakes Sanctuary.
To find the latest regarding Alberta’s Enhanced Public Health Measures please see this link.
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