Monthly Archives: November 2015


The City is All Aglow With Millions of Twinkling Lights! Winter is the most beautiful time of year in Calgary. Bundle up, bring your cocoa, and enjoy the many Christmas light displays and holiday festivities across the city.

Zoolights at the Calgary Zoo to Jan. 2; 6 to 9pm – gates close at 8:30pm (closed Christmas Day and excludes Zoo Year’s Eve); Every year, people of all ages head to the Calgary Zoo to enjoy hot chocolate, fire pits, fun games and the display of 1.5 million twinkling lights. The Zoo Lights are open every day from 6pm to 9pm (gates close at 8:30pm), finishing on Sunday, January 2. Admission for adults is $14 and admission for children is $11.

Lions’ Festival of Lights – Confederation Park – 14 Street – 24 Avenue NW; For many Calgary families, the annual visit to the Lions’ annual light display marks the beginning of the Christmas Season.  Located on the east side of the Confederation Golf Course, you’ll find thousands of glowing lights displayed in beautiful Christmas themes. See Merry Christmas written in 17 languages at the 25rd Annual Lions Festival of Lights located at Confederation Park. The display is illuminated daily from 7pm to Midnight until January 8. This is a free event.

McDougall Centre – 455-6 Street SW; The Christmas Lights on these beautifully kept grounds are a joy to behold.

Olympic Plaza – 228 – 8 Avenue SE; Originally built for medal presentations during the 1988 Winter Olympics, Olympic Plaza is a great place to bring the family to enjoy a day of skating. The rink is open to the public daily from 10am to 9pm until the middle of March, depending on the weather. Grab your ice-skates and glide amongst the lights.

Airdire Festival of Lights Nose Creek Park – Airdire, Alberta; December 1 to 31, nightly from 6 to 9pm. 20 minute drive north from Calgary on QE II Highway. Experience the glow as you walk through a wintry world of twinkling holiday lights. Sip on a cup of hot chocolate while standing beside a roaring fire. Watch the glow as you gleefully ride the miniature trains around a frozen pond! For more information, visit

Downtown Calgary – Downtown Calgary lights up beautifully, enjoy twinkling office towers and the decorated lobbies of office buildings and hotels. Stephen Avenue Mall glows from top to bottom. Check out Steven Avenue because they are lighting up the Galleria Trees outside Bankers Hall with a special holiday motif for the rest of the season.

Spruce Meadows – Each evening between 5-10 pm from December 5 to January 3 – Scotiabank, Bennett Jones, ATCO Group and AKITA Drilling present Christmas Season magic with a quarter of a million lights, blanketing Spruce Meadows from west to east. The 2 kilometer drive through the grounds includes Tournament Lane, The Courtyard, Traffic Circle, the Nations Flag Park, Congress Hall, Riders Chapel and the Pond with strings of lights measuring nearly 50 kilometers.

CP Holiday Train – Each year the CP Holiday Train heads out on a three-week journey to spread some Christmas joy. This year this spectacular show will arrive in Airdrie on Wednesday, December 9, 2015 from 5:30 p.m. and then chug into Calgary on December 11, 2015 at 6:45 p.m.  Each event is free with a donation to the local food bank and features live musical. It’s a must see tradition for families.

For a fun and interactive way to plan a Christmas Light tour visit Lighten Up Calgary. They have a route planning tab and you can search for light shows in every quadrant of the city!

The Big List of Santa Locations


Santa at the Mall

BassPro Shops at CrossIron Mills
The most wonderful time of the year is almost here! Gather the family and come to experience the joy of a classic Christmas. Get a free photo with Santa then stay for FREE games, crafts and activities that celebrate the season.

When: November 14 – December 24, 2015
Location: 261055 Crossiron Blvd, Rocky View AB

Chinook Centre
Santa arrives at Chinook Centre on November 28, and would love for you to visit.

When: November 28 – December 24, 2104
Location: 6455 Macleod Trail SW, Calgary AB

Deerfoot Mall
In addition having a photo taken with Santa, bring a non-perishable food item for the Mayor’s Food Bank and you can join in the colouring and crafts in Santa’s workshop.
When: November 28 – December 24, 2015
Location: 901 64 Ave NE, Calgary AB

Market Mall
Santa will be welcoming visitors at his Playland in Market Mall. This year they are once again kicking off the Christmas season with breakfast with Santa with proceeds going to the Ronald McDonald House of Southern Alberta.

When: November 22 – December 24, 2015
Location: 3625 Shaganappi Trail NW, Calgary AB

Marlborough Mall
Visit Santa all season long.

When: November 21 – December 24, 2015
When: November 21 – December 6, 2015
Thursday – Saturday: noon – 3 pm and 4 pm – 7pm
Sunday noon – 4 pm
December 7- 24
Monday – Saturday: noon – 3 pm and 4 pm – 7pm
Sunday: noon – 4 pm
Christmas Eve
10 am – 3 pm
Location: 3800 Memorial Dr NE, Calgary, AB

Northland Village Mall
Northland Village’s Village Square will be transformed into Sugarplum Lane. Parents can bring their children for fun activities, yummy treats, and a visit with Santa! Be sure to bring your camera to take photos for free (no photographer onsite).

When: November 28 – December 24, 2015
Hours: 11 am – 1pm and 2 – 4 pm (December 24 Santa will only be available in the morning)
Location: 5111 Northland Drive NW, Calgary AB

Southcentre Mall
Santa will be here until the 24th. While waiting for Santa, your kids can watch a holiday movie at the Magic Pond, located near Santa’s Enchanted Forest. After seeing Santa, be sure to decorate your own cookie in the Cookie Kitchen.

When: Now through December 24, 2015
Location: 100 Anderson Road SE, Calgary AB

Sunridge Mall
Santa will arrive at Sunridge Mall on December 1, 2015 and they are offering Santa photos free of charge this year; just bring your own camera, camcorder or smartphone. In lieu of payment, a monetary donation to The Children’s Cottage Society is gratefully requested.

When: December 1 – 24, 2015
Hours: Monday – Saturday: 11am – 8pm    
Sundays & Christmas Eve: 12pm – 5pm
Location: 2525 36 St NE, Calgary AB

Westbrook Mall
Visit with Santa by the fountain, participate in free kids’ holiday crafts on select days and take the opportunity to drop off a new, unwrapped toy for the Toy Angels holiday campaign.

When: November 21 – December 6, 2015
Hours: Thursday – Saturday: noon – 3 pm and 4 pm – 7pm
Sunday noon – 4 pm
December 7- 23
Monday – Saturday: noon – 3 pm and 4 pm – 7pm
Sunday: noon – 4 pm
December 24
10 am – 3 pm
Location: 1200 37 St SW, Calgary AB

Other Places to See Santa:

Airdrie Santa Claus Parade
Take family and friends to the Santa Claus Parade where Santa and numerous floats roll down on Main Stree and light up the downtown. This is a fun, festive way to set the mood for your holiday.

When: December 5, 2015 – 5 p.m.
Location: Main Street – The Parade will start at Fletcher Park (6th Ave NW and Main Street) and will proceed southbound Main street to Ridgegate.
Cost: Free

Christmas at the Track – Veissmann Luge World Cup
Take photos with Santa, enjoy sleigh rides, a petting zoo, face painting, airbrush tattoo artist, cookie decorating, flip-books, ball pit, bouncy castles, family skating and come out and jump on a Springfree Trampoline! You can even catch a glimpse of exciting Luge World Cup action!

When: December 19, 2015
Location: Olympic Oval
Cost: $15 for a family or only $10 with a new or gently used jacket donation.

High River Santa Claus Parade
Join the second annual Light Up George Land Park and the 29th annual Santa Clause Parade. There will be live music, entertainment, photos with Santa, firepits, hot chocolate, unique gifts and more!

When: December 4, 2015
Location: Downtown High River
Cost: $15 for a family or only $10 with a new or gently used jacket donation.

Silver Springs Community Association’s Breakfast with Santa
When: Saturday, November 28, 2015 as Santa and Mrs. Claus  stop by for breakfast. Breakfast begins at 9am.  There will be pancakes, bacon, eggs and fresh fruit.
Location: 5720 Silver Ridge Drive NW
Cost: Ticket Sales begin November 2, 2015.Ticket must be purchased in advance. Tickets are $10 each and proceeds go toward programs at Silver Springs Community Association.

Santa Claus Parade of Lights & Festive Fun (Banff)

The flurry of festivities starts with a line-up of kid-friendly, fun-filled activities that are sure to heighten your Christmas spirit. Festive Fun with Santa is a bustling event whose name says it all. Christmas craft making, face painting, balloon twisting, carnival games and photos with Santa himself provide hours of entertainment and memories that last a lifetime.Finally, enjoy the sweet songs of roaming carolers and watch the magic and glow of the Santa Claus Parade of Lights.

When: December 5, 2015 5:30 p.m.
Location: Along Banff Avenue
Cost: Free

Skate with Santa (Okotoks)
Santa is coming to town early this year for our Annual Skate with Santa at the Okotoks Rec Centre’s Piper Arena. Candy canes and hot chocolate add to the festive fun. Bring your skates and your camera for some free family fun!

When: Sunday, December 13, 2015 – 2:15pm to 3:15pm
Location: Okotoks Recreational Centre – 99 Okotoks Drive Okotoks AB
Cost: Free




5-3-1 Go! Fair Warning Prevents Battles

When children are immersed in play they usually put their entire soul into the activity. It is this intensity that allows them to absorb so much about the world in the early years of their life. They are always learning, always taking in something new. Because of this intensity it can be very hard for a child to switch from one activity to another without first making a mental adjustment.

Kids Get Focused on Their Play

When a child is in the middle of playtime at the park, or doing a wonderful new puzzle, and a parent calls him, it’s an unusual child who can immediately hop off the swing and run to the car, or immediately drop the puzzle piece and run to the parent. (Actually, it’s a rare adult who can change course that quickly…)

Advance Alerts Permit an Adjustment

You can help your children change activities by giving them time to process the change mentally before they follow through physically. Prior to expecting action from your child, call out a 5-minute-alert, then a 3-minute-alert and finally a 1-minute-alert.

5-3-1: Watch How This Happens

Paige and Hunter are happily playing at the park while Mom is reading on a bench nearby. She gets up, comes to them, leans down, and at eye-level announces, “We’re leaving the park in five minutes.” (She holds up five fingers.)

She returns to her bench to read. A few minutes later, she calls out, “Paige! Hunter! We’re leaving in three minutes!” (Holds up three fingers.)

A few minutes later: “One minute. (One finger is raised.)

A minute later, “Do you want to have one more slide or one more swing?” After the final slide, Mom announces that it’s time to go home. If the kids don’t respond immediately she can then use one of her other tools, such as offering a choice, “Do you want to run to the car, or hop like bunnies?”

This is positive parenting!

This type of counting is extremely different than the typical countdown to disaster, “1…2…3. Okay, now you’re in trouble! Time out!” This 5-3-1 method is a respectful way of letting your children know in advance of what’s upcoming and allowing them to finish up what they’re into so that they can make the change.

5-3-1 can be used daily as a way to help your child cooperate with you on many tasks, such as getting dressed, finishing lunch, putting away toys, getting into the bathtub, getting out of the bathtub, and getting ready for bed.

Surviving Daylight Savings Time

By Amy Lage

Revamp RoutinesSunday, November 1, marks our fall back to standard time. Fall back – woo hoo, right… an extra hour of sleep! If you don’t have children or your children are older, this is absolutely a cause for celebration. However, for those of us with young kids, it can be a bit unnerving. For a child who was waking at 6:30am pre-time change, their biological clock will now have them waking at 5:30am! For parents already short on sleep, this is a major downer. So what can you do to keep help your child adjust their biological clock and prevent these early morning wakeups?

Here are some tips to get through the time change with minimal sleep loss:

Reset their circadian rhythms. We all have internal clocks called circadian rhythms that make us feel drowsy at certain times. This clock is set by the cues we receive from dark (night)/light (day). It is easiest at these times to fall asleep and get our most restorative sleep. When we physically shift our time clocks, our body does not immediately know this change has occurred, as it needs a few days to adjust to the new cues. A great way to help accelerate your little one’s adjustment to the new time is to regulate their light exposure. As we now want them sleeping later into the morning and staying up later at night, we want to provide extra ‘darkness’ in the morning and extra ‘light’ in the late afternoon and evening. A few days prior to the shift and in the days just after, try to keep your home dim for an extra 30 to 60 minutes in the morning while you go about your routine. Keep the lights off or very low and try to just use the natural light coming in your windows. In the afternoon, get your child out and expose them to as much natural light as possible. In the evening, make sure you have your home lit with bright artificial light. These simple modifications will help your child adjust more quickly.

For older children. For children who are on one or no naps, it is easiest to just switch everything (wake-time, nap, bedtime, meals, etc.) to the new clock all at once. Start Sunday morning by trying to keep your child in their bed until as close to their usual wake-up time on the new clock as possible (for example, if wake-up time is usually 6:30am, the goal is for them to remain in their bed until 6:30am ‘new time’). If your child is still napping, move out naptime by an hour to its usual time on the new clock and do the same for bedtime. Make sure you are consistent and move out all other daily cues by an hour (like mealtimes and bath time, etc.) so your child is still able to follow these events and understand what is coming next. Children thrive on following schedules and social cues – so moving everything consistently will greatly assist them in adjusting.

For babies. If your child is still taking multiple naps during the day (or you are concerned that moving to the new time ‘cold turkey’ will be too stressful for both of you), make the move gradually in daily increments of 15 minutes. For example, the first day you will adjust all naps, meals and bedtime to be 15 minutes later than usual. On day two, you will add another 15 minutes, making all of these events 30 minutes later than usual. You will continue this in 15-minute increments until you have moved everything by one hour to the appropriate new clock time. This will help your child ease into the time change more smoothly. Again, remember we are not just changing sleep times, but moving all cues (meals, bath, etc.) in the same increments so your child has an easier time following what comes next. Over a week or so you will see that your child has adjusted and is waking and functioning at the new times.

It’s okay to leave them be. If it’s one week after the time change and your child is still having a tough time adjusting and is waking very early, your best bet is to leave them be until it reaches ‘wake-up time.’ Not only will it make your life easier when they wake at a more humane hour, but it is better for their little bodies as well. The correct biological time for a baby or young child to wake each day is sometime between 6 and 7am. For example, if your child is stuck waking every day at 5:15am, you will simply leave them be in their bed until it reaches 6am. At 6am, you will promptly enter their room, open the curtains and cheerfully announce it is time to start their day. This will act as a cue that it is now time to be awake. They may get upset the first day or two, but you will see that after just a few days, they adjust their wake-up time to meet the time in which you are leaving them.

Amy is a graduate of the University of Massachusetts, Amherst and a Family Sleep Institute certified Pediatric Sleep Consultant. She is founder of Well Rested Baby, (WRB), ( She offers a host of services including in-person, phone, email and Skype/FaceTime consultations that can be tailored to meet any family’s needs and schedule. Email her at with any questions. And be sure to follow WRB on Facebook,, for more great sleep tips!