50+ Fun Things to Do in Calgary, AB: Explore Blue Sky City

Posted by Justin Havre on Thursday, May 9th, 2024 at 8:42am.

Calgary Zoo Snow Leopard & Olympic Park Ski Hill in Calgary, AB

Calgary beckons with countless activities to suit various tastes and interests. This city has it all, whether it's outdoor adventures, cultural experiences, family-friendly attractions, or a thriving arts scene.

The best things to do ensure that Calgary is a great place to live! Ranging from historical landmarks steeped in tradition to modern-day marvels, these attractions will capture your imagination and make every day fun. Get ready to discover the countless possibilities in this dynamic Canadian city.

Outdoor Adventures: Explore Nature in Calgary

People Canoeing and Kayaking on the Elbow River in Calgary

Calgary has plenty of outdoor recreation. The best parks in Calgary include numerous gardens and nature programs encouraging exploration. For those who like the water, there are plenty of options, including nearby beaches.

For a thrilling outdoor adventure, consider biking along the scenic Bow River Pathway and exploring the UNESCO World Heritage Site: Head-Smashed-In Buffalo Jump. The Jump is a remarkable archeological site that unveils the 6,000-year-old story of indigenous Plains Buffalo culture.

For a more adrenaline-pumping experience, visit WinSport Canada Olympic Park, the venue for the 1988 Winter Olympics. The facility's activities include tubing, skiing, and snowboarding, perfect for those seeking a winter adventure in the heart of Calgary. Additionally, Spruce Meadows offers a unique opportunity to witness equestrian competitions in a vibrant green setting.

If you prefer a more laid-back outdoor experience, consider strolling through the urban oasis of Prince's Island Park. With nearly 50 acres of trails, wetlands, and woodlands, this park offers a peaceful retreat near downtown. Moreover, the Bow River Pathway provides a scenic route for cyclists and joggers. It also has boat ramps at various access points for those who enjoy rafting, kayaking, or canoeing.

Cultural Experiences: Dance, Art & More in Calgary

Calgary is home to an array of cultural venues, such as Alberta Ballet, Alberta Theatre Projects, and Arts Commons, offering diverse shows and exhibits for all tastes. The city hosts many popular events, including Taste of Calgary, Calgary's International Festival of the Arts, and the Honens International Piano Competition & Festival, bringing together local and international talent on one stage.

To fully immerse yourself in Calgary's arts and culture scene, check out some of the city's most vibrant venues. The Alberta Craft Gallery, Contemporary Calgary, and the Calgary Chinese Cultural Centre are all great places to start, as they each offer unique perspectives on creativity and heritage.

If you want to participate in some of the city's dynamic cultural events, check out Otafest, the Imaginarium by Wordfest, or the Lilac Festival. These annual festivals are a great way to engage with the community and celebrate Calgary's art and expression.

The city offers even more ways to experience its cultural scene. You can visit one of the many art galleries and theatres scattered throughout the city, catch a Broadway Across Canada show, or attend the Inglewood Sunfest. This summer festival is free to attend and hosts over 200 vendors, including food trucks, artisans, magicians, and more.

Fun For All: Best Family-Friendly Attractions in Calgary

Siberian Tiger at Calgary Zoo

Calgary is a great place to explore with your family, with plenty of attractions to choose from. You can view different kinds of animals, learn about other cultures, and enjoy the breathtaking natural scenery.

The Calgary Zoo is one of the most popular activities for kids in Calgary. It's spread over 125 acres and home to more than 1,000 animals and plants. Butterfield Acres Children's Farm is another great option for families, where children can get up close and personal with farm animals.

If you're looking for thrills and excitement, head to Calaway Park, which offers over 30 rides and entertainment for all ages. The park is open from May to October and is perfect for summer outings. If you're interested in history, there are plenty of family-friendly museums, such as the Alberta Craft Gallery and The Hangar Flight Museum.

For fitness enthusiasts, WinSport Arena is an excellent destination that offers seasonal and year-round activities, including downhill tubing or tobogganing, snowboarding, and indoor soccer. Other family-friendly activities in Calgary include the TELUS Spark Science Centre and the Heritage Park Historical Village, where visitors can enjoy bubble-themed games and rides.

Jam Out: The Music Scene in Calgary

For music lovers, Calgary is a must-visit destination. The city has a diverse and plentiful array of music venues, ranging from intimate jazz clubs to large concert arenas hosting some of the industry's biggest names. Calgary's local music scene is also vibrant, featuring a variety of genres such as country, rock, pop, and indie, making it a hub of musical excitement and discovery. The National Music Centre in Studio Bell is a notable destination, highlighting Canada's rich musical history. Art enthusiasts can also revel in the works of both local and international artists at galleries such as the Alberta Craft Gallery and Esker Foundation.

Moreover, Calgary's cultural calendar is brimming with events like the Lilac Festival, Otafest, and Calgary Culture Days, offering diverse experiences for visitors seeking artistic and musical fulfillment.

Yum: Best Restaurants in Calgary

Calgary Has International Flavors of Food

Whether you're a foodie, craft beer lover, or enjoy exploring local markets, Calgary's eclectic shopping and dining scene aims to please. With over 40 craft breweries, you can explore a wide selection of flavorful beer options. The best time to visit these breweries is on weekends (outside of C-Train hours) when locals gather at communal tables to watch sports on flat-screen TVs or play games.

The Calgary Farmer's Market is a must-visit if you're looking for authentic eats and a taste of Calgary's culture. With over 100 vendors across two locations, you can shop for locally sourced organic produce and enjoy live music on weekends.

When it comes to dining experiences, Cucina Market Bistro is worth noting. This restaurant offers delicious and authentic Italian cuisine in an elegant industrial setting. Exceptional customer service rounds out the experience, leaving diners satisfied and happy.

For a unique culinary experience, Calgary is famous for its delicious dishes like Alberta beef, red fife sourdough, and Calgary Greek-style pizza. Popular spots in neighbourhoods like Kensington Village, Bridgeland, and Inglewood provide a mix of parks, cafes, and restaurants for unwinding after a day of exploration

Travel Back in Time: Calgary's Historic Sites

Discover what Calgary is known for at the city's many historical sites. One of the most fascinating places to visit is the Heritage Park Historical Village. According to the city's tourism bureau, it was the second most visited attraction in Calgary in 2017, attracting over four million visitors. Admission tickets start at around $25, making it an affordable and rewarding experience.

The historical village is open daily from May to October and is especially popular among history buffs. It offers a glimpse into Calgary's rich heritage. The well-preserved buildings and engaging displays at Heritage Park enable you to step back in time and explore Calgary's history. Here, you can interact with the staff, enjoy a steam train ride, and partake in activities suitable for all ages.

Game On: Sports in Calgary

Scotiabank Saddledome in Calgary Hosts Sports, Concerts, Shows, and Other Events

Calgary is well-known for its vibrant sports culture. The Scotiabank Saddledome is a popular venue for various sports and entertainment events, seating over 19,000 spectators and hosting over 150 events annually. You can enjoy watching the Calgary Flames compete against other hockey teams or catch an exciting lacrosse match featuring the Roughnecks.

Rodeo culture is always alive and well in the West! don't miss the Calgary Stampede! This 10-day event celebrates cowboy culture through rodeos, concerts, chuckwagon racing, a parade, and more. It draws over one million visitors worldwide with its vibrant showcase of small-town charm on a grand scale.

Nightlife and Entertainment in Calgary

Calgary's bars, pubs, clubs, and music venues range from the gritty to the grand, entertaining you until the wee morning hours. Live music venues cater to various tastes and genres, from intimate settings to large stadium performances. If you're into casinos and nightclubs, the Ace Casino Blackfoot, Cowboys Casino, and Grey Eagle Resort & Casino offer late-night fun. For beer enthusiasts, Calgary's craft breweries are among the best in the country, with over 40 locations for tastings and tours on weekends.

Calgary's nightlife is more than just drinks and music; it offers a diverse range of entertainment options to suit different preferences. Whether you're seeking a cozy pub to relax, a high-energy club to dance the night away, or a trendy restaurant for a delicious meal, Calgary has everything. The city truly comes alive after dark, presenting many options to ensure a memorable evening out on the town.

Snowy Wonderland: Winter Activities in Calgary

Outdoor Ice Skating Rink at Olympic Plaza in Calgary During the Winter

Winter in Calgary is a magical time of year, with plenty of exciting activities to make the most of the snowy landscape. If you're looking for an adrenaline rush, head to WinSport in the city's northwest quadrant for skiing or snowboarding. For a more enchanting experience, don't miss the breathtaking Glow Downtown Winter Lights Festival, where the stunning light displays and entertainment will leave you in awe.

If you're seeking a unique winter adventure, why not try go-karting on ice or downhill-karting at various locations in Calgary? You can also check out the Chinook Blast Winter Festival, featuring art installations, concerts, and festive ice-skating rinks.

Families looking to create lasting memories can head to Butterfield Acres Children's Farm, where they can engage in interactive winter activities and experience the petting zoo via the farm's mobile service. So, bundle up and prepare to make the most of Calgary's winter activities!

Fun in the Sun: Summer Activities in Calgary

Calgary summers offer an array of outdoor activities, showcasing the city's best entertainment. Take in outdoor concerts and events like the iconic Calgary Stampede, which has been celebrating Alberta's cowboy culture annually since 1923 with rodeo events and cultural displays.

During the summer, embark on outdoor adventures such as hiking, biking, and river rafting in Calgary's scenic surroundings. Explore parks like Prince's Island Park, an urban sanctuary offering over 50 acres of trails, wetlands, and woodlands. Engage in water activities along the Bow River Pathway, a scenic route operating 24/7 with no fees.

For a more relaxing summer activity in Calgary, consider the Pedal Pub Tour, where you can pedal around the city on a mobile bar while sipping on your favourite beverages. For panoramic views, head to the Calgary Tower, with its glass-floor observation deck and revolving restaurant.

Oh, and don't miss the chance to experience the city's summer festivals, including the Latin-American-themed Fiestaval, the dog-friendly Pet-A-Palooza, and the indie-eclectic Calgary Folk Music Festival.

Canadian Rockies: Travel to Banff From Calgary

Docked Kayaks at Moraine Lake in Banff National Park Near Calgary

With its proximity to the Canadian Rockies and Banff National Park, you can explore the area's natural wonders through various outdoor activities such as hiking, biking, camping, skiing, or whitewater rafting in just a short drive from Calgary.

One of the most popular day trips from Calgary is the Banff Area & Johnston Canyon tour, which takes you on a scenic hike through evergreens and waterfalls and offers the chance to explore the pristine waters of Lake Louise. For those seeking a more adventurous thrill, the Columbia Icefield Adventure provides an opportunity to walk on ancient glaciers. The Kananaskis River Rafting Adventure is perfect for water enthusiasts seeking an exhilarating experience.

Free Things to Do in Calgary

Discover Calgary without spending too much on these free activities showcasing the city's budget-friendly offerings. Start by exploring Prince's Island Park any time of year or browse the public art installations—including the captivating Wonderland sculpture—that make up some of the best things to do in Downtown Calgary. Additionally, Contemporary Calgary is free to visit on the first Thursday of every month from 5–9 p.m.

For more free attractions in Calgary, visit Glenbow at The Edison by reserving online and exploring a diverse collection of arts and objects from around the world. You can also experience Calgary's longest-running street festival, Marda Gras, featuring live music, dance, food vendors, and artisan stalls—all for free.

Take advantage of these opportunities to experience Calgary without breaking the bank. Whether you're admiring art, exploring nature, or learning about the city's history, there are plenty of enriching and cost-effective ways to make the most of your time in Calgary.

You'll Never Run Out of Things to Do in Calgary

Calgary offers abundant activities and attractions available year-round. From the world-famous Calgary Stampede in the summer to skiing in the nearby Rocky Mountains in the winter, living in Calgary means you'll be spoiled for choice. Add to this six UNESCO World Heritage Sites, twelve arenas, dozens of urban parks, and unique culinary delights, and you have all the ingredients for an unforgettable experience in Calgary.

If you're interested in Calgary real estate, contact Justin Havre Real Estate Team with eXp Realty with Calgary Homes at (403) 217-0003 to get in touch with a local real estate agent who can help you find your Calgary dream home today.

Leave a Comment