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53 things to do in Calgary this May

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Kristy Archibald Apr 27, 2017 1:41 pm 1,286

May is a beautiful month full of fields of rich green grass, blossoming trees, and tulips that are beginning to peek up from the beneath the soil, transforming Calgary into a colourful oasis.

It’s a month that is jam packed with festivals and events happening indoors and outdoors all throughout the city, great for the whole family to enjoy. It’s the perfect opportunity take advantage of the beginning of summer long weekends and inspiring your kid’s creativity.

It’s also the perfect opportunity to head outdoors and enjoy the warm weather, while taking in the breathtaking views that this season has to offer. However, as we all know Calgary’s weather can be extremely temperamental and unpredictable so be sure to have your umbrellas (and or snow boots) easily accessible when venturing outdoors.

Take a break from your annual spring-cleaning routine and check out these 53 fun-filled events happening this May in Calgary.

Get outdoors

Go on a Spring hike!

  • What: Now that most of the snow has cleared away, grab your hiking shoes and head up to the Rockies for some fresh mountain air and stunning scenic views – don’t forget your camera! Try Grassi Lakes, Johnston Canyon or Grotto Canyon if you’re looking for an adventure that is shorter in length, but doesn’t compromise the quality of the view. If you’re a thrill seeker and up for the challenge try out Ha Ling Peak, Crypt Lake or Aylmer Lookout, the end view will take your breath away – literally! Find more hikes to do around Alberta here!
  • Where: The Canadian Rocky Mountains

Go on a Helicopter Tour

  • What: If you’re looking for an experience of a life time then it’s time you see the Alberta landscape from a completely different view – the air! Grab up to 3 friends and take a ride in a state-of-the-art Helicopter for incredible views of the city and the surrounding Rocky Mountains.
  • Where: Takes off from the Springbank Airport or Drumheller Airport – depends on the specific tour.
  • When: Year-round
  • Cost: Between $400 – $1,6000 – rate for up to 3 passengers

Go for a Group Run

  • What: Now that the weather has warmed up and there are more hours in the day full of daylight there is no excuse to not begin getting in shape for summer. If you’re not a good self –starter, or just need the extra motivation to get you running, join one of the many free running clubs that meet around Calgary once a week. This is a great opportunity to make new friends and meet like-minded people within the city, while getting you heart rate up. All experience levels welcome!
  • Where:
  • Cost: Free

89th Annual Slush Cup

  • What: Slush Cup is a tradition unique to Sunshine Village that goes back many years – precisely 89! Have fun splashing in the melted snow, while watching live performances, participating in fun competitions and enjoying a brew at the Molson Beer Gardens. Even if you aren’t participating in the competition, be sure to dress to impress, by coming up with a creative, unique and original costume that will make you stand out amongst the rest of the wet shenanigans.
  • Where: Sunshine Village – 1 Sunshine access Road, Banff
  • When: May 22, 2017
  • Cost: Regular spring admission

Fitness Activities

Core Fitness: HIGH Fitness

  • What: Now that the snow is gone, it’s about time to get working on that bikini bod for summer! Join the CORE in Downtown Calgary, every Sunday of the month for a free high intensity group hit workout class and have some fun with your weekend sweat.
  • When: Every Sunday in May
  • Where: COREshopping – 317 7 Avenue SW
  • Cost: FREE

Movement U New RowBody Classes 

  • What: RowBody is the newest addition to the work out selection offered at Movement U and soon to be your new little secret as to where you got those killer washboard abs. As with all programs at the studio, music is the backbone to this heart-pounding, 45-minute cardio workout that focuses on full body strength training and is split between the rower and floor exercises. This workout will target and tone over 80% of the muscles in your body, giving you the results that you have been looking for!
  • Where: 16 4 Street NE
  • When: Runs at various times throughout the week. Register online or through your MindBody App. See the full schedule here!
  • Cost: RowBody is included in the price of all of the class packages available at Movement U along with Row, Spin and HIIT.

Bike To Work Day

  • What: As Calgary begins to embrace it’s shiny new bike lanes, cycling is becoming more of a priority in many Calgarians every day lives. Come together with like-minded Calgarians to celebrate this low-cost, socially responsible way of getting around and help to encourage others to join this green bandwagon.
  • Where: Eau Claire Market – Centre Court and North Plaza – 200 Barclay Road SW
  • When: May 5, 2017
  • Cost: FREE

Yeezy Yoga

  • What: Yoga, Kanye and brunch, is there any better combination you can think of for a Saturday morning sweat sesh? Join Jameson’s 17th Ave as they transform their pub into a candle-lit yoga studio and do their downward dog to smooth beats by Kanye West. Afterwards, enjoy a delicious brunch paired with a Velvet Fog Beermosa!
  • Where: Jameson’s Pubs – 1230 17 Avenue SW
  • When: May 13, 2017
  • Cost: $20-$33

The 2nd Annual Banff Yoga Festival

  • What: During this 3-day festival, learn from exceptional yoga practitioners, while practicing meditation and mindfulness in the midst of Alberta’s Rocky Mountains. Through yoga classes, hiking, canoeing, cultural and social interactions and woodland adventures, you’ll leave the weekend feeling relaxed, refreshed and renewed!
  • Where: Fenlands Recreational Centre – 100 Mount Norquay Road
  • When: May 26 – 28
  • Cost: $78 and up

Scotiabank Calgary Marathon

  • What: In honour of Canada’s 150th Birthday, the Calgary Marathon is hosting a fun birthday bash! In true Canadian style, fuel up with maple syrup waffles. Then be sure to grab a race-day shirt, as they have partnered up with David Crighton, a Canadia artist, to bring to you commemorative birthday t-shirts and Toonie finisher medals. Come celebrate our nation’s birthday and enjoy a day of festivities, while raising money for a good cause and making new records in your personal running score.
  • Where: All race day activities will start and finish in Stampede Park – 1410 Olympic Way SE
  • When: May 25 – 28
  • Cost: $90-$120

Free Things To Do

Jane’s Walk

  • What: Celebrate your neighborhood in the 9th annual Jane’s Walk on May 5-7. This is a great opportunity to meet your neighbors and create new friendships, while learning funny, informative and exploratory facts about your neighborhood, while sharing with others the unique knowledge that you know. Everyone should be an expert on the place where they live!
  • Where: Various Locations
  • When: May 5-7
  • Cost: FREE

Andrew Obrecht: Motivation

  • What: Oh behalf of Canada’s 150 Birthday, My Sporting Life is hosting a series of exciting and inspiring talks with local ambassadors. This month, join Andrew Obrecht, founder and motivator at YYC Cycle, and leave feeling motivated and driven in all areas of your life!
  • Where: Sporting Life, Southcentre Mall – 100 Anderson Road SE
  • When: May 6
  • Cost: FREE

Calgary Bike Swap

  • What: Both of the founders of the Calgary Bike Swap, Christ and Laura Grant, have a personal connection to biking and feel that biking is extremely empowering for people. So whether you’re looking to make a few dollars on your bike, or looking to find yourself a new set of wheels to get around this summer, they will ensure that you leave with a guaranteed smile on your face!
  • Where: City Centre Parkade – 340 10 Avenue SW
  • When: May 6
  • Cost: $2 admission

Arts and Theatre

Alberta Ballet Presents: Our Canada

  • What: Come and celebrate both Canada’s 150th Birthday and Alberta Ballet’s 50th Birthday in this beautiful ballet married to the music of Canadian Legend, Gordon Lightfoot. You will be transported on a journey through our province and country as the secrets of our nation are portrayed through a series of visual poems and intimate duets.
  • Where: Southern Alberta Jubilee Auditorium – 1415 14 Avenue NW
  • When: May 4 – 6
  • Cost: $29 and up

Modern Vaudevillians

  • What: In Decidedly Jazz’s Spring show you will be transported into a world of Vaudeville entertainment, featuring a twist of circus acts and burlesque technics in a boisterous, disorderly performance.
  • Where: DJD Dance Centre – 111 12 Avenue SE
  • When: April 20 – May 5
  • Cost: $29-$69

NYC Meets YYC

  • What: Before the arrival of their first child native Calgarians, Ken and Patti are embarking on a fun-filled adventure in New York City. However, nothing goes quiet as they had planned. Join them on their travels in this brilliant musical, as they encounter an assortment of New York personalities, including a heartbroken cab driver, a homeless stockbroker, an illegal riverboat captain, and mobsters from Jersey!
  • Where: Mamdani Opera Centre – 1315 7 Street SW
  • When: April 27 – May 5
  • Cost: $20

Arts Commons Presents the Blues: Popa Chubby

  • What: Theodore Joeseph Horowitz, aka Popa Chubby is coming to town! Straight from the Bronx, he boasts over 25 years of hard-rocking electric blues and is known as an innovative trailblazer of postmodern blues-rock. Prepare yourself for a night you will surely never forget!
  • Where: Engineered Air Theatre
  • When: May 5 & 6
    Cost: $45

Youth Singers of Calgary #IAmMusic

  • What: What does it mean to be a young, Canadian artist in the digital age? During this commemorative show for Canada’s 150th Birthday, the Youth Singers of Calgary will put their voices together and answer this question in a performance that represents their long, proud history as an ambassador of true Canadian Spirit.
  • Where: Southern Alberta Jubilee Auditorium – 1415 14 Avenue NW
  • When: May 13
  • Cost: $20-$34

 Crazy for You

  • What: Follow along a young banker as he is sent to the small town of Deadrock to foreclose a rundown theatre, little does he know this is an experience that will change his life forever. As you sit in the theatre you will be swept away by the hilarious antics, musical spirit, high-energy dance numbers, all paired with old-fashioned classics that compliment the storyline of this lively show!
  • Where: Max Bell Theatre – 240 9 Avenue SE
  • When: April 18 – May 20
  • Cost: $59-$136

Jay Leno

  • What: Join the former Tonight Show host, Jay Leno in a show that takes him back to the very beginning of his comedy career. Little do most people know, before his days with NBC, Leno was one of the trailblazing comedy voices of standup comedy during the 70’s and 80’s. Prepare for a night of stomach aching laughs, as Jay Leno reminds us why he started!
  • Where: Grey Eagle Event Centre – 3777 Grey Eagle Drive SW
  • When: May 25
  • Cost: $72-$104

May Markets

Greater Goods Monthly Pop-up Series: Inspired Findings

  • What: Come shop the beautiful repurposed décor, created by Inspired Findings throughout the Month of May, at Greater Goods Boutique and Tea Bar, located in Bridgeland. You’ll be supporting an extremely talented local creative, while purchasing an inspiring and unique piece for your home.
  • Where: Greater Goods – #8 606 Meredith Road NE
  • When: The entire month of May

Market Collective

  • What: Shop all of your favourite local artists, makers and brands at the May Edition of Market Collective. Also, don’t forget to check out the delicious Food Truck Rally that will be happening outside on 1st Street SW, there will be over 10 of Calgary’s best food trucks for you to choose from each day!
  • Where: Chinese Cultural Centre – 197 1 Street SE
  • When: May 5-7
  • Cost: $5

The Alberta Dames Modern Vintage Market

  • What: If you’re looking to venture out of the city a for a small adventure, chck out this amazing local market. There will be a ton unique artists and vendors from around the area, along with food vendors and bakers. From Quilts to mis-matched socks, to soaps and body care products – you’ll find it all at this little country market.
  • Where: Crossfield Community Centre – 900 Mountain Avenue, Crossfield AB
  • When: May 6
  • Cost: $5 admission, Children 12 and under are free

Master Chocolat Pop-up at Greater Goods

  • What: If anyone knows chocolate, it’s Bernard Callebaut, Calgary’s famous Chocolatier! Either make a day of it and bring your bring your mum to shop his new chocolate collection while also browsing all of the neat local goodies found at Greater Goods, or bring her home a delicious treat that shows how much you love her on this special weekend!
  • Where: Greater Goods – #8 606 Meredith Road NE
  • When: May 12

Sugar Cube Pop-up at Greater Goods

  • What: Nothing say’s “Thank you Mom,” better than surprising her with her favourite sweet treat. Be sure to check out the Sugar Cube pop-up happening on May 13th and get your mom the gift of candy.
  • Where: Greater Goods – #8 606 Meredith Road NE
  • When: May 13

May Workshops

Maker YYC Flower Crown Workshop

Photo: Maker YYC/ Facebook

Flower Crowns

  • Where: Craft Beer Market – 345 10 Avenue SW
  • When: May 7
  • Cost: $50

Italian Cooking Class

  • Where: 529 17 Avenue SW
  • When: May 8
  • Cost: $60 per person or $120 per couple

Edible Planters

  • Where: South Health Campus – 4448 Front Street & The Calgary Farmers Market – 510 77 Avenue SE
  • When: May 10 and 13
  • Cost: $50

Willow Park Village Presents: Maker’s Watercolour Pillowcases

  • Where: Willow Park Village
  • When: May 13
  • Cost: $25

Geometric Terrariums

  • Where: Wurst – 2437 4 Street SW
  • When: May 16
  • Cost: $70

Folded Book Workshop by Marnie Schneider – Creations to Treasure

  • Where: Outside the Shape
  • When: May 23
  • Cost: $55

Macaron Baking 101

  • What: Between May 1st and May 14th, receive 20% off when booking two or more classes.
  • Where: Ollia Macarons and Tea – 810c 16 Avenue SW
  • When: May 23
  • Cost: $100 + GST

Canning and Preserving with a Twist: Fermented Beverages

  • Where: The Edge Kitchen at The Shooting Edge – 510 77th Avenue SE
  • When: May 27
  • Cost: $65

Food and Drink Festivities

YYC Taco Fiesta

  • What: Participating eateries (which are to be announced) will offer either individual tacos for $4 to $6, or a larger taco platter that will be anywhere from $12 to $18.
  • When: Friday, April 28 to Sunday, May 7
  • Where: Over 30 participating restaurant in Calgary and the surrounding area

Gluten Free Dinner at Cibo

  • What: Gluten-free foodies rejoice! Cibo is hosting their first annual gluten free dinner in honors of Gluten-Free Awareness Month. Chef Glen Manzer has put together a custom 4-course menu sans the dirty – G so that whether or not you’re celiac, or it’s simply a lifestyle choice, you will not have to worry about finding alternative options on the menu, for one night at least!
  • Where: Cibo – 1012 17 Avenue SW
  • When: May 2
  • Cost: $49

Alberta Theatre Projects Spring Block Party and BBQ

  • What: It’s BBQ season! Join Alberta Theatre Projects as they fire up the BBQ and celebrate the launch of their 2017-18 season lineup with free hamburgers, live music entertainment, behind the scenes theatre tours and more!
  • Where: Olympic Plaza – 215 8 Avenue SE
  • When: May 2
  • Cost: FREE

Canmore Uncorked

  • What: Eat, drink and eat some more at this annual award-winning, 12-day food festival, held in the heart of the Canadian Rocky Mountains.
  • Where: Various locations in and around Canmore
  • When: May 3 -14
  • Cost: Prices may vary

Calgary International Beerfest

  • What: If you’re a beer drinker then you absolutely can’t miss out on this festival! You will have the opportunity to sample more than 500 different types of beers from all over the world, while becoming more educated on the craft. You will also receive a sample festival mug to take home as a souvenir!
  • Where: BMO Centre, Stampede Park – 20 Roundup Way SW
  • When: May 5-6
  • Cost: Prices vary

Good Food and Wine Festival

  • What: In support of The Alex Community Food Centre, Cibo and Willow Park Wines and Spirits are hosting the Good Food and Wine Festival that will feature delicious food from some of Calgary’s top chefs and top-shelf wine pairings
  • Where: Cibo – 1012 17 Avenue SW
  • When: May 18
  • Cost: $80

Picnic in the Park

  • What: If you missed the Spring Frenzy, then you definitely can’t miss YYC Food Trucks second event of the season. There will be 15+ food trucks, live music and a ton of other mouth-watering activities for the whole family to enjoy. Cross your fingers for no rain!
  • Where: Bridgeland Murdock Park – 9 Street NE & Centre Avenue NE
  • When: May 27 and 28
  • Cost: $5 – free for kids under 14

Festivals and Other Events

Archie Party

  • What: Calling all Riverdale fans! Come celebrate the ending of the first of many seasons of this Archie Comic adapted sitcom at Tubby Dog. Dress up like your favourite character and enjoy Jughead-style burger specials, jellybeans, boozy milkshakes, diner style fries, banana splits and more!
  • Where: Tubby Dog – 103 1022 17 Avenue SW
  • When: May 4

Adults Only Night: Hack Your Brain

  • What: In partnership with the Hotchkiss Brain Institute, Telus Spark presents an Adults Only Night that explores anything and everything related to your brain. Is it possible to “hack your brain” or outsmart it? You’ll find out at this month’s event!
  • Where: Telus Spark – 220 St. George’s Drive NE
  • When: May 11
  • Cost: $19.95

Girls Nite Out in Inglewood

  • What: Grab your girlfriends and head to Calgary’s Historic Inglewood for a night full of shopping at your favourite local boutiques. Each shop will all include their own in-store specials and unique events!
  • Where: Various locations around Inglewood
  • When: May 11

Banff Centre Children’s Festival

  • What: Spend a day adventuring into the world of art and imagination through fun-filled activities and live shows. This festival is aimed at fostering imagination in children of all ages, while exploring Canada’s diverse cultural communities through dance, music, storytelling, circus school and more!
  • Where: Banff Centre – 107 Tunnel Mountain Drive
  • When: May 20
  • Cost: Varies depending on event

Calaway Park Opening Weekend

  • What Everyone’s favourite outdoor theme park is finally opening for the summer and kicking off its 36th season of family fun!
  • Where: Calaway Park – 245033 Range Road 33
  • When: May 20-22
  • Cost: Regular park admission

Heritage Park Opening Weekend

  • What: Come celebrate the first long weekend of the summer at the opening of Calgary’s Heritage Park Historical Village. Take a horse-drawn wagon ride, ride the antique midway and feast on a freshly baked cheese bun and help them kick off their 53rd summer season.
  • Where: Heritage Park – 1900 Heritage Drive SW
  • When: May 20-22
  • Cost: Regular park admission

Calgary International Children’s Festival

  • What: Educate and inspire your children at this 3-day festival that encourages creative expression and stresses the importance of arts exposure for young minds. Through multiple shows and activities happening throughout the festival, Kidfest aims at “developing creative thinkers conscious of the world and their place in it.” See the full lineup of artists here!
  • Where: Various locations between Olympic Plaza and the Arts Commons
  • When: May 24-27
  • Cost: $17

PARKSHOW

  • What: PARKSHOW is an immersive cultural experience that brings together the best of Canada’s emerging fashion designers, rising artists, musical performers and culinary talents. There will be two night’s worth of fashion shows, both featuring different must-see designers, along with a market supporting local Canadian brands and makers, happening before, during and after the shows!
  • Where: The Yellow Warehouse – 1390 17 Avenue SE
  • When: May 26-28
  • Cost: $50-$275

The Canadian International Fashion Film Festival (CANIFFF)

  • What: If you live and breathe fashion, then this event will be something you can’t miss! CANIFF is aimed at putting Canada on the fashion map, while bringing fashion film to Calgary in order to develop the fashion industry here in the west. The event will feature films from some of the most creative international talents, while being judged by many notable, international fashion figures from around the world.
  • Where: Various Locations
  • When: May 26-28
  • Cost: $20-$150

Fifth Annual Splash of Red

  • What: Get all fancied up for the 5th annual Splash of Red gala that supports the HIV Community Link. At this event you can expect dancing, music and lively entertainment, while they work to raise awareness around the issues surrounding HIV and raise money to provide critical funds for their prevention, education and support programs across southeastern Alberta.
  • Where: Fairmont Palliser – 133 9 Avenue SW
  • When: May 27
  • Cost: $100

 Concerts and Performances

The Wardens – Sleeping Buffalo CD Release

  • What: The Wardens are a musical group from Canmore, that blend folk, roots and western music together to form songs that are rich with adventures and stories. Many of their lyrics transport audiences on a mythical journey from a rugged mountaintop to the forested valleys of the Rocky Mountains. Come celebrate with them as they launch their second full-length album, in a unique Albertan cultural show.
  • Where: Rolston Recital Hall Banff Centre – 107 Tunnel Mountain Drive
  • When: May 4
  • Cost: $25

Rock of Ages

  • What: Spend an evening transported back to an era of hard rock, emotional guitar solos and hair that reached exponential heights, the good ol’ 80s! This lively musical captures the beauty and innocence of small town love, while integrating the influences of classic Rock and Roll in that era. The music line-up is littered with famous songs by Pat Benatar, Twisted Sister, Journey, Bon Jovi and more, that will have you to singing and dancing along throughout the show!
  • Where: Stage West Calgary – 727 42 Avenue SE
  • When: April 21 to June 25 – occurs weekly on Sunday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday
  • Cost: $75

NeedToBreathe

  • What: NeedToBreathe is an American Christian Rock band, from Seneca, South Carolina. Join them on their tour across North America as they work to promote their new music single and video, HARDLove.
  • When: May 20
  • Where: Mac Hall – 250 University Drive NW
  • Cost: $36

The Shins

  • What: 90’s kids rejoice! The American Indie Rock band, The Shins will be making a stop in Calgary for an unforgettable performance on their International Tour around the world.
  • Where: Mac Hall – 250 University Drive NW
  • When: May 24
  • Cost: $45.50

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Kristy Archibald
Kristy is a creative Communications and PR strategist, freelance writer, coffee enthusiast and wine connoisseur who has a strong passion for travelling, art, style and fashion. Check out her blog (FloralandBows.com) for a taste of YYC through the lens of a refined, sassy, PR girl working on being a successful #girlboss.

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