By MICHAELA RITCHIE and SILVIA PIKAL
It’s the final countdown of the year! From traditional parties complete with fireworks and fizz, to more quirky festivities for family and friends alike, here’s some fun ways to ring in 2018 in Calgary.
Party in the Park
A local tradition, City of Calgary hosts a free New Year’s Eve celebration at Olympic Plaza and City Hall. Take in live ice carving demonstrations, music and more. An early countdown for the kids will mark the minutes down to 9 pm. The party will keep going until midnight—don’t miss the fireworks display.
Olympic Plaza, 228 8 Ave SE, 403-268-2489, calgary.ca
Dining in ’60s Style
No matter what hour of the night you want to drop in, The Wednesday Room has a table ready for you. Calgary’s new ’60s inspired lounge invites guests to book at 5 pm or 7 pm to enjoy offerings from their eclectic menu. For $65, participate in a tasting menu of chef Derek Wilkin’s favourite dishes at 9 pm, followed by a Veuve Clicquot champagne toast when the clock strikes midnight. There will be a DJ spinning genre-bending tunes, so get ready to dance the night away!
The Wednesday Room, 100 – 118 8 Ave SW, 403-452-5080, wednesdayroom.com
A Luminous New Year’s Eve
Chime in the changing calendar with Calgary’s Luminous Voices chamber choir. They will perform an exciting blend of holiday classics and popular music at the Bella Concert Hall. Works by Monteverdi, Edward Elgar, Erik Esenvalds and even Van Morrison will be featured. The show begins at 8 pm, and finishes at 10:30 pm—just enough time for you to catch a live countdown to end the evening.
Bella Concert Hall, 4825 Mt Royal Gate SW, 403-440-6111, luminousvoices.com/season
Noon Year’s Eve
Perfect for tiny Calgarians with early bedtimes, this countdown at TELUS Spark takes place twelve hours before the real deal, giving the whole family a chance to ring in the New Year without staying up. Doors open at 10 am, with the mid-day countdown to begin at 11:45 am. Watch the clock as a fiery performance takes over centre stage, and celebrate with a bubble-wrap dance party after noon strikes.
TELUS Spark, Calgary’s Science Centre, 220 St Georges Dr NE, 403-817-6800, sparkscience.ca
Unmasking the New Year
Ring in the New Year in decadent style at Sub Rosa with their masquerade ball. Arrive dressed to impress, and be ready to remove your disguise when the clock strikes midnight! If you’re not in the mood to dance the night away, partner restaurant The Guild is set to serve an indulgent prix fixe menu upstairs starting at 5 pm.
Pool Party Countdown
Start the New Year off with a splash at the Village Square and Southland Leisure Centres. For the usual price of admission, enjoy obstacle courses, arts and crafts, a bouncy castle and sprawling waterparks complete with wave pools, hot tubs and waterslides. Cap the night off with a pool party from 5:30 pm to 8:30 pm, with an early New Year’s countdown for the little ones.
Happy Zoo Year
Once our city’s coolest creatures go to bed, Zoolights transforms the zoo pathways into a dazzling winter wonderland with more than 1.5 million sparkling lights. Enjoy ice-skating, a dance party in Zooville and free face painting!
Calgary Zoo, 210 St. George’s Drive NE, 403-232-9300, calgaryzoo.com
British New Year’s
Ring in the New Year in time with our neighbours across the pond at The Ship and Anchor pub—perfect for partygoers who want an early night, but are still looking to keep things lively. Doors open at 11 am, with a countdown right before 5 pm. Bubbles, party favours, no cover charge—and did we mention you can stick around to celebrate a second time when our Canadian clocks catch up?
The Ship & Anchor, 534 17 Ave SW, 403-245-3333, shipandanchor.com
Good Ol’ Hockey Game
You’re sure to have an action-packed celebration when you ring in the New Year with Canada’s favourite game. Take your seats and get ready to cheer as the Calgary Flames take on the Chicago Blackhawks at the Scotiabank Saddledome. The puck drops at 7 pm—we’ll see if overtime can last us until midnight.
Scotiabank Saddledome, 555 Saddledome Rise SE, 403-777-4646, nhl.com
Without Papers Burlesque Ball
What better way to ring in 2018 than with pizza and a burlesque show? Calgary burlesque troupe The Garter Girls will be performing a show to celebrate New Year’s Eve at Without Papers Pizza restaurant. Tickets to the show are $50, which includes a pizza of your choice and bubbles to celebrate.
Without Papers Pizza, 1216 – 9 Ave SE, eventbrite.ca