How are you coping at this time of year? I don’t hate winter, but two solid weeks of -20°C will do anyone’s head in. I’m trying hard not to be a grump, but it’s hard. Winter can be so long and brutal in Canada. I cope with challenging situations best when I have a game plan and lots of fun things to look forward to. With that in mind, I created a list of fun things to do over winter in Calgary. And… Heritage Park has graciously offered one Travels with Baggage reader dinner and a movie. Read on to find out how you can win.
Winter in Calgary
Ollia Macaron Baking Class
Eve and I are big fans of the Great British Bake Off, and my girl has become an excellent baker. She’s nailed the Victoria Sponge, but her macarons could use a wee bit o’ work. Since I’m no expert, I trotted us off to Ollia for their Macaron 101 Baking Class. Ollia makes the most delicious macrons in Calgary and sinfully rich hot chocolate, too.
Classes are a hoot and you learn step by step how make these magnificent morsels. Participants get to eat many a macaron during the class and you’ll walk away with approximately three dozen macarons. It’s a great date night activity as evidenced by the number of couples in our class. There were also a few kids in attendance and they were surprisingly good! I learned a ton of new techniques, like the importance of using the right almond flour! Ollia sells their own secret blend or you can pick some up on Amazon. This is a class I could see myself doing again. Especially if I need to come up with a gift for a dessert lover. Highly recommended!
Glenbow Dior Exhibit
Did you know Dior has been my favourite designer ever since I read Lace back in 1984? (Why my parents thought that was acceptable reading material for an impressionable young girl, I’ll never know….) Ever since Christian Dior launched his first haute couture collection in 1947, it’s remained a powerhouse global brand oozing elegance and luxury. Whenever I see cinched waists and just below the knee skirts, I think of that 1947 New Look he launched. I’m also reminded I bought way too many bottles of Poison perfume back in high school.
Fantastically, Calgary’s Glenbow Museum is staging an epic exhibition of Dior running until June 2, 2019. This is the first major, international fashion exhibition ever to open in Calgary. You must go! I did and I might just go again! I mean, how else am I going to get a glimpse into one of the world’s greatest couture houses?
Games Night or Dinner and a Movie at Heritage Park
My Seattle friend raves about the game Qwirkle, but I’ve never tried it. There are a lot of games I haven’t tried which is why I love going to games cafes. Better yet are the curated games nights at the Selkirk Grille at Heritage Park. These run once a month – February 28, March 28 and April 25 from 5 to 9pm.
The other thing I really want to try out there is dinner and a movie. There’s two in March and two in April, and the menu is paired with the movie. For $44 per person it’s a steal of a deal for a three course meal. I’m annoyed I wasn’t able to make Roman Holiday or Groundhog Day, but Emma, Harry Potter and Stand By Me are coming up, and I think it’s only right I introduce my daughter to these classics.
YYC Hot Chocolate Fest
The best way to get your hygge on is to get cozy. Drinking sinfully sweet, wickedly warm chocolate beverages seems like a solid way to accomplish this, don’t you think? Even better is choosing a cocoa from a participating vendor in the YYC Hot Chocolate Fest. Profits from these signature hot chocolates goes to Meals on Wheels, meaning bonus charity points for you.
If you have kids it makes for fun weekly adventures. Even if you don’t, it’s worth the calories, trust. Ollia has a fab chocolate chai hot chocolate that comes with a macaron. And Latte Art Love, a new coffee shop in Marda Loop has a cardamon favoured one with salted caramel marshmallows in the shape of a dinosaur. So cute!
We love hot chocolate so much, I bought Eve this book for Christmas.
Broadway Across Canada in Calgary
When I was in New York last month I didn’t catch one Broadway show. Not because I didn’t want to, but because every single show that was recommended to me is coming to Calgary.
Kicking off the 2019-2020 Broadway Across Canada Season is the 20th Anniversary Tour of RENT, a Tony Award®-winning musical. Next in line is WAITRESS, followed by DEAR EVAN HANSEN, winner of six 2017 TONY® Awards including Best Musical. Finishing off the season is WICKED, the untold true story of the Witches of Oz.
The big news is that HAMILTON is coming to Calgary for the 2020/2021 season!!! This is why you want to be a subscriber. They get first dibs on HAMILTON tix when they renew their full subscription for the 2020/2021 season. If you know a HAMILTON fan, this is best book! I also bought it for Eve (when she was in Grade 6!) and it was a huge hit.
Letter Writing Social
I’ve recently rediscovered the lost art of letter writing at socials in my local coffee shop. Once a month, Rite While You Can comes to Good Earth cafes around the Calary. They bring all the supplies – from retro typewriters to the most gorgeous stationary and stamps! It costs $15 and included is a bevvie from the cafe. And it doesn’t have to be coffee either, you can maximize your ticket by getting a glass of wine (and they are large pours!).
I’ve written letters to Dan’s parents, my brother and my favourite aunt. So far only the aunt has responded. Listen people, reciprocity is required if you want to keep the letter tags going!
Win dinner and a movie at Selkirk Grille
Heritage Park is offering up dinner and a movie for two (alcohol not included) at the Selkirk Grille. You can choose which date and movie you’d like to see. To win, comment below with your all time favourite snow-day movie and if you’re doing a TV dinner, what would you serve? Do this before midnight, February 26, 2019.
For me, it’s a toss up between The Sound of Music and Love Actually. I have other favourite movies, but when you’re hunkering down in winter, these are my faves. Loaded nachos is my favourite couch meal, but I wouldn’t say no to bolognese with a massive glass of red wine, either.
If you’re looking for more things to do, consider:
Disclosure: There are some affiliate links in the post above, but all are products I highly recommend. I won’t put anything on this page that hasn’t been verified or personally vetted.