What to do on the Family Day long weekend in Calgary: A cool light show, theatre, the music centre and more

The Family Day long weekend is fast approaching, and there are plenty of cultural events going on in Calgary. The Homestretch's Susan Holzman has a few suggestions to keep you busy.

Theatre, a light show and the National Music Centre on tap for families

Smile is just one part of the Calgary Downtown Association's GLOW winter light festival running Feb. 17 to Feb. 20, 6:30 p.m. to 11 p.m. nightly. (Mar Canet/YouTube)

The Family Day long weekend is fast approaching, and there are plenty of cultural events going on in Calgary. The Homestretch's Susan Holzman has a few suggestions to keep you busy.


Let's start with Theatre Calgary's latest production, Skylight, written by David Hare. It's an intimate play about the connection between two people, and Theatre Calgary is staging it in an intimate setting.

Instead of using the Max Bell Theatre, audience members can enjoy it in the Engineered Air Theatre, which seats only 120 people.

It's an extremely moving, challenging and thought-provoking story. There's cooking done right on the stage, and you can actually smell the garlic from your seat. You feel as though you are actually in the small London flat with the characters.

Skylight is on for a limited run through to Feb. 25 and tickets are available online.


The Calgary Downtown Association presents GLOW. It's a downtown winter light festival which runs from Feb. 17 to Feb. 20 each night between 6:30 p.m. and 11 p.m.

Public spaces throughout the core will be lit up with one-of-a-kind installations from local and international artists. They include a "light shower," where you can step inside what appears to be a shower, but instead of being showered with water, you are showered with light and sound. That's at the  Harley Hotchkiss Gardens downtown on Fourth Street S.W.

Another one is called Prismatica, which is described as a modern ice palace using prisms to create colourful reflections. You can see it this weekend at Olympic Plaza. It's already up, and organizers say kids are already going crazy over it. It's very interactive and is meant to be interacted with, not just looked at.

This is the first year of the festival and it's designed to be a shining light in a month that can be generally dark and cold.

All the festival details are online.

National Music Centre family fun

Studio Bell at the National Music Centre has plenty of options for Family Day. (National Music Centre)

If you haven't had a chance to check out the National Music Centre yet, this weekend might be a good time to go. On Monday, Studio Bell has some special programming specifically for Family Day including Indigenous hoop dancing, duelling pianos, a hip hop show with an interactive graffiti art project.

There's also an air guitar demo with Jeff Thunders, and it's a chance to show off your own air guitar skills.

For more information visit the centre's website.

Still more

Eau Claire Market is hosting a family fun day on Monday and it includes a magician, a petting zoo and carnival games. That runs from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Over a Fort Calgary, WinterFest runs Monday as well. It includes a Québécois sugar shack, a dreamcatcher-making workshop, and you can even try on a Mountie uniform. You have from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. to take it all in.

Hockey Sweater

The Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra has a special event on this weekend. It's the Hockey Sweater, a part of the CPO's Symphony Sundays for Kids. The concert starts at 3 p.m. on Sunday, but you might want to go a bit early to take in the Instrument Discovery Zoo at 2 p.m.

Everything you need to know is on the organization's website, including ticket details.

With files from The Homestretch