The very best things to do in Stettler for the holidays

Whenever I need to get into the holiday spirit fast, I make for a small town. Small towns in Alberta tend to go all out with their holiday events and activities, and Stettler is no exception. In fact, I found so many festive things to do in Stettler I just had to share.

christmas in Alberta
It’s the most wonderful time of year in Stettler!
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Things to do in Stettler

There are many things to do in Stettler, but I’m going to focus on all the fun activities they have over the holiday season.

First up, you must know there’s a Christmas tree literally in the middle of Main Street. Each year they light up the tree during Moonlight Madness (put this in your calendar for next November). It feels a bit like you’re in Whoville, with all the town gathering around the tree – except here there’s no Grinch to steal Christmas.

Here’s a game plan for not-to-miss holiday events, activities and some of my favourite shops worth checking out in Stettler.

downtown Christmas tree
Stettler’s Christmas tree towers over all the buildings downtown.

The Polar Express™

If being good for Santa isn’t cutting it, try bribing the kids with a ride on The Polar Express™. Families can relive the magic of this story thanks to Alberta Prairie Railway. The journey begins mere blocks away from Stettler’s massive Christmas tree. From downtown you can walk here, but there’s also plenty of parking.

The ride features re-enactments of the book and movie, so if you do that research prior, you’ll get more out of the journey. The one-hour ride is set to the music of the motion picture soundtrack. There’s dancing in the aisles, whipped cream topped hot chocolate to sip and a visit to the North Pole. Santa just might even make an appearance, so have your cameras at the ready.

*YES, there are STILL tickets available!

things to do in Stettler
Children are beyond excited when boarding and riding The Polar Express™.

Stettler Holiday Events

Moonlight Madness has come and gone in Stettler, but that only means the holidays are in full gear. Here’s some other not too miss events.

Christmas Markets

Country Christmas at Stettler Agriplex is a two day holiday market December 10 and 11. This is the spot to finish off your holiday shopping, get pet pictures with Santa or watch the Mennonite Youth Chiro perform on the Friday night.

Nearby Stettler, there’s the Botha Christmas Market on December 4 at their Community Hall. You can easily make a weekend of it as the next day, Donalda Country Christmas runs December 5, from 12-4pm at their Community Hall on Main Street.

Light the Night

Dazzling Christmas lights are strung up along a half kilometre loop on the grounds of the Stettler Town and Country Museum. You can take in the twinkling lights from your own vehicle, on a wagon ride, or by walking. The lights run from 5:30-9pm: Dec 3, 4, 10, 11, 17, 18, 21, 22, 23 and 24. Admission is by donation.

The Night Before The Night Before

With a name like that, how can you not come out and celebrate? The Night Before The Night Before runs December 23 with a free holiday movie, train rides and late night shopping.

Stettler Shopping

Many of the shops along Main Street (56 Avenue) are decked out with evergreen boughs and Christmas decorations, so you can’t help but catch the holiday spirit. I found my Stettler shopping experience to be a real pleasure and so much less stressful than hunting for a parking spot in the city.

christmas in Stettler
Just look how festive the streets of Stettler are!

The Fresh Wife Collective

This modern day mercantile makes an effort to source from small businesses and that attention to quality goods is evident everywhere in this pretty store. I walked away from The Fresh Wife Collective with two long $5 cutting boards (for making Pinterest-worthy hot chocolate boards, natch!), some gourmet popcorn (gingerbread flavour!) and a lovely bar of house-made, cinnamon scented Christmas soap.

For the rest of you, there’s plenty of bath products, including cute bath bombs for kids. I found super soft Turkish towels, homemade caramels and lots of pretty jewelry. If anyone you know has had a baby recently, you’ll be impressed with their lovely selection of baby clothes and toys.

stettler shopping
The Fresh Wife Collective is a must visit shop in Stettler!

Home and Hobby

Part Michaels part Dollar Store, Home and Hobby has corned the market on everything craft related, but also stocks board games, children’s toys (including Schleich horses) and all the supplies you need for the holidays. A good portion of the store is devoted to home decor and I spotted some cool textured plant pots, plus a wooden armoire I desperately wanted.

cute salt and pepper shakers
How cute are these salt and pepper shakers found at Home and Hobby.

Grate Kitchen shoppe

I never met a kitchen shop I didn’t like and Grate Kitchen Shoppe is no exception. Here, I found a good selection of Le Creuset cookware, German knives and a cool crepe pan. Also stocked are plenty of stocking stuffers like mini whisks and tiny cheese graters.

Le Creuset merchandizing
No need to travel to the city when you can find high quality goods throughout Stettler.

Sweet Home

The edit could not be anymore spot on at Sweet Home. If you’re hunting for holiday decorations or looking for home decor inspiration, you’ll find it here.

farm christmas village
Yet more items I’m kicking myself for not buying. Beautiful holiday decorations are found at Sweet Home.

There’s quite a bit of range in this store. Pretty much everything women are into can be found there. There’s a candle bar, trendy women’s clothing including maternity wear and holiday decorations that aren’t at all tacky.

Best is the children’s play area so mama can shop. Second best is the coffee bar at the back of the shop with cupcakes, tarts and macarons.

holiday shopping
You’ll actually enjoy shopping with the kids at Sweet Home.

Suzanne and Jenny’s

I almost walked away with a gorgeous $60 tartan winter jacket and I’m still not sure I made the right decision. Fortunately they have a few left. If you love a bargain, Suzanne and Jenny’s is the spot to find discounted women’s clothing.

The Shoe Closet

You wouldn’t expect to find cute winter pyjamas inside a shoe store, but The Shoe Closet has plenty of them. They offer quite a few notable shoe brands including Timberland, plus good quality leather gloves and winter jackets. If you’re looking for a new outfit to wear over the holidays, you just mind find it in here, as The Shoe Closet sports way more than just shoes and boots. 

red buffalo plaid
Red buffalo plaid is both festive and Canadian!

Patchouli and Mint

This day spa also double as a gift shop selling hot chocolate, jewelry, skincare and bath products, including Jack 59, a female owned Edmonton business generating a lot of buzz.

As far as spa services go, you’ll think you’ve hit the jackpot with a one-hour RMT massage sub $80. Tack on a steam shower and you’ll have had a deeply relaxing spa afternoon to rid you of all those holiday stressors.

For experience gifts, consider purchasing a tarot card or tea leaf reading, both of which are available at  Patchouli and Mint.

More shopping

If you enjoy hunting for vintage finds, swing by Consignment Closet and pick up that electric blue leather jacket I was coveting, will you? 

Besides downtown, you can also check out the Stettler Mall for their holiday markets that run December 4 and 18 from 11-4.

Where to eat in Stettler

Brenda’s Cozy Cafe serves up a variety of salads, from scratch soups and sandwiches on homemade bread. On special nights they offer a food truck menu with fun eats like pulled pork mac and cheese and fried dill pickle spears. For something sweet, there’s a gluten-free chocolate almond torte and carrot cake made from mom’s recipe.

You can’t leave Stettler without a box filled with treats from Blokes Bakery. Crowd favourites are their cream filled long johns and Bismarck donuts. Be sure to also snag a loaf of real fruit cake, because how else will your kids ever know what that is?

Christmas in Alberta
Celebrate the holidays in Alberta!


Holiday shopping in Alberta small towns

What it’s like riding The Polar Express™

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