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Things to do in Alberta: November 2023

By Allison Bench

Things to do in Alberta: November 2023

November is here! As the busy holiday season approaches, Alberta has no shortage of things to do, including festive fairs, thrilling rides, and one of the province’s most anticipated rodeos.

Crafty holiday shopping

Across the province, artisans and crafters are prepping their goods for a series of fairs that will make sure you’re stocked up on gifts, décor and treats ahead of the busy holiday season.

In Edmonton, the Royal Bison Fair is an independent curated craft fair that brings some of the region’s top-notch makers together in Old Strathcona for a much-anticipated sale. And if you’ve been waiting to check it out, don’t, because this year the Royal Bison has announced they will be retiring the fair following their 2023 holiday events, which take place Nov. 24-26 and Dec. 1-3 at 8426 Gateway Blvd.

Another Edmonton craft fair classic is the Signatures Butterdome Craft Sale, a staple in the city since the ’90s and one of Alberta’s largest holiday craft sales. This year, it takes place from Nov. 30-Dec. 3 at the University of Alberta Butterdome and admission is $10.

Calgarians have some great options as well: the Art Market Craft Sale brings more than 200 artists together at the Calgary Telus Convention Centre. The event takes place from Nov. 16-Nov. 19, and your $10 ticket gets you entrance to all four days. Plus, this craft market has added a wine and cheese aspect: on Thursday, Friday and Saturday evenings, you can purchase alcoholic beverages and charcuterie boxes to enjoy before you hit the artisan stands.

Another option in Calgary is the Signatures Festival of Crafts, which gathers hundreds of vendors at the BMO Centre at Stampede Park from Nov. 2-Nov. 5, with free admission.

Of course, there are craft sales all around the province; check in with your local community leagues or online groups to see what’s happening in your region.

Get your rodeo on

It’s now one of Red Deer’s largest events of the year: the Canadian Finals Rodeo! Thousands of attendees and competitors head to Westerner Park to take part in the premiere rodeo event that serves as the grand finale of the season. This year marks the 49th year for the event, which moved to Red Deer in 2018 after previously being held in Edmonton. The bareback riding, roping, and racing take place over five days from Nov. 1-5, along with a tradeshow market featuring the latest in western fashion and products.

Take a thrill ride on a robot-coa5ter

It’s the first of its kind in Canada—and it’s moved into the Telus Spark Science Centre in Calgary. RO5IE the “robot-coa5ter” uses robotics technology to simulate the feeling of riding a roller coaster inside of the science centre. The ride is open to guests who are six years or older and offers a “gentle ride” option for the younger guests (those whose height is under four-foot-seven). Riding RO5IE is not included with Telus Spark’s regular admission and must be purchased additionally at $10 per ride.

Also at Telus Spark this November is the return of the ‘Goodnight Moon’ immersive digital experience. In the science centre’s digital immersion gallery, guests can step into and interact with character and images from the 1947 children’s classic. Entrance to the Goodnight Moon display is included with entrance to the science centre—and remember, you can show your AMA card at the front desk to save 10% on regular admission. Members can also call 403-817-6800 to book ahead.

Sip and savour

If you’re looking to enjoy some adult beverages this November, there are a couple of festivals taking place that may pique your interest. Head to the mountains for the Banff Craft Beer Festival from Nov. 23-25, which features exclusively Alberta craft beers and takes place at the Cave & Basin National Historic Site. And in Edmonton, the Rocky Mountain Wine & Food Festival takes place Nov. 3-4, promising samples of the newest wines, beers, and local food. Just be sure to consume responsibly, and don’t drink and drive.   

Snakes and Trolls at the movies

This November, there are major movies hitting the big screen that are well worth braving the colder temperatures.  On Nov. 17, for example, The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds & Snakes heads to the cinemas. The prequel to the smash-hit Hunger Games film franchise, based on the books by Suzanne Collins, takes place 64 years before the original saga that starred Katniss Everdeen. The Ballad of Snowbirds & Snakes features Tom Blyth as President Coriolanus Snow, alongside an ensemble cast that includes Rachel Zegler, Peter Dinklage, Hunter Schafer, Jason Schwartzman and Viola Davis.

And for the whole family, the third installment of the Trolls movie franchise comes out Nov. 17 with Trolls Band Together. The animated musical spectacular brings some of the biggest names in the industry together to play the iconic, spiky-haired, bright-coloured creatures. Justin Timberlake, Anna Kendrick, Camila Cabello, Eric Andre, Kid Cudi, and Daveed Diggs are just a few of the artists featured in the film. The ’90s band NSYNC even stepped forward to perform their first original song in 22 years for the movie.

Remember, you can purchase movie passes at your local AMA centre, where members save on tickets for  Landmark and Cineplex.