The Lions Festival of Lights is Calgary’s biggest drive-by light show featuring 500,000 lights! The 2023/2024 season marks the 37th year of this beautiful colourful festival.

Christmas Lights across the city are popular among all the locals in Calgary. More and more lights pop up every year, but one thing is sure every year – Lions Festival of Lights will light up Confederation Park.

While you can drive by the park and see some lights, it’s nothing compared to visiting the actual park.

Lions Festival of Lights details:

  • Dates: November 25, 2023 – January 8, 2024
  • GRAND OPENING: November 25th, starting at 5 pm with hot chocolate, ice sculptures, and fireworks
  • Time: 5:30 pm – 12 am
  • Location: Corner of 14 Street & 24 Avenue NW, Calgary
  • Entrance: Free

Lions Festival of Lights, Calgary

Visiting the festival is our winter tradition with our little boy. He’s mesmerized by all the lights at Christmas, and I think all parents agree that seeing your kid’s face light up from happiness is the best thing ever.

We liked Zoolights as well, but the Lions Festival of Lights is much bigger with a cozy family charm, so we visit the Calgary Zoo for animals.

I love several things about the festival:

  • The light display is massive
  • It’s 99% green
  • It’s a free event run entirely by volunteers
  • You can sled down the hill with colourful lights around you
  • You can cross-country ski across the park

Apart from classic Christmas figures, you can see several light displays with “Merry Christmas” in different languages, lit-up teepee, many trees with Christmas lights, and a giant lit-up bear on the hill (reindeer is from the previous year).

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Tips for visiting

  1. For the exact directions to the Lions Festival of Lights, click on this pin on the map; it’s the main entrance.
  2. There’s no dedicated parking for the Lions Festival of Lights. Parking on the streets fills up quickly, so I recommend arriving in daylight, going sledding, waiting until dark to see the lights, or driving around to find a spot.
  3. Bring hot chocolate in a thermos to fully immerse yourself in the Christmas spirit.
  4. I’m happy to say that this season, there are toilet booths by the entrance! So you can spend hours having fun sledding or watching the lights and don’t have to worry about finding a place to go, especially if you visit with kids. That’s a great improvement to this already amazing event.
  5. If you’re visiting with kids, it takes approximately 2 hours to walk around all the light displays.
  6. There’s a trail for cross-country skiing around the park that is free to use.
  7. I highly recommend bringing sleds; it’s the prettiest sledding hill in Calgary at night.

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Pictures of the Lions Festival of Lights shortly after sunset and in the dark (season 2021/2022)

Lions Festival of Lights shortly after sunset

Lions Festival of Lights shortly after sunset

Lions Festival of Lights, Calgary

Lights as seen from the street:

New pictures & displays at the Lions Festival of Lights added in season 2022/2023

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About Maya Steiningerova

Heyo, I’m Maya! An adventure athlete currently living near the Canadian Rockies with my partner in crime Michal. I love running in the mountains, jumping in the ice cold lakes, mountain biking and trying not so common activities, such as mountaineering. By showing that an ordinary person can live an extraordinary life, my hope is to inspire you to live an adventurous life and provide you with tips and tools for your own adventure.

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