It’s finally the beginning of Advent this Sunday. What a better way to begin with the Festival of Trees as the headliner, with a few other wintery goodness now that the snow is set.
Festival of Trees (Nov 26-29) $
The Festival of Trees is a holiday staple in the city, beginning the advent season into Christmas. It’s the University Hospital Foundation’s largest annual fundraiser. This year it features the display of 160 uniquely decorated Christmas trees, a hall of decadent gingerbread houses, opportunities for all ages to explore the many additional interactive stations. The 31st edition will help support the trauma victims unit at the University of Alberta Hospital.
Youth and seniors is $5, adults $10. The Shaw Conference Centre Halls A,B,C will be open 9am-9pm daily, except Sunday when it closes at 5pm.
To get here by transit, take exit F3 at Churchill Station, follow the indoor path through Canada Place, and underground into the Shaw Conference Centre.
The Meadows Rec Centre Anniversary (Nov 28) Free
The Meadows Recreation Centre and Library will celebrate the 1st anniversary this Saturday with free open skate, book sale, face painting, and refreshments. The aquatic centre will not be open as it is under scheduled renovation. The anniversary celebration will be on Saturday and run from 12-4pm. Here’s a video of of the facility last year.
Crafters Christmas Sale (Nov 27-29) Free
Located at the Devonian Botanical Garden, this Christmas market is unique to handmade crafts (wreaths, potpourri, etc). Find all your seasonal needs with garden harvested goods handmade by the Devonian Botanic Garden’s Crafters Association. It will be open Friday and Sunday 1-4pm, and Saturday 10am-4pm.
Rather than taking QE2, it is faster to get there via the Cameron Heights westbound exit on Anthony Henday Drive, and head south on Highway 60 (Devonian Way).
Snow Flakes Are Falling (Ends Jan 3) $
The Muttart Conservatory’s last show of the year is always their Christmas show. The theme this year is ‘Snow Flakes Are Falling’, and runs from November 21 until January 3, 2016. Poinsettias are lined from wall to wall in their send off into the New Year.
On Dec 13, you’ll get to plant a Christmas cactus on Snowflake Sunday at Muttart Conservatory as the event to celebrate the current feature show. Santa’s Little Helpers will also be there for face painting.
A Prairie Christmas (Dec 12-13) $ Bon Accord
Since the ‘advent’ of social media, it seems like there is something going on at Prairie Gardens all year round. Enjoy a rustic family celebration with Santa and Mrs Claus, decorate cookies with elves, and ride their magical Polar Express.
Royal Bison Craft & Art Fair (Nov 27-29, Dec 4-6) $
If you want to support more local small businesses and craft work, the Old Strathcona Performing Arts Centre (8426 Gateway Blvd) is the place to be this weekend. Open Friday 5-9pm, Saturday 10am-5pm, and Sunday 10am-4pm. Admission is $3, free for youth.