We can probably all agree that fall is one of the best seasons here in Calgary – cue cozy knit sweaters, pumpkin spice lattes, pumpkin picking, corn maze adventuring, and leaf stomping!
Although the season may be short and sweet here in YYC there is definitely no shortage of fun adventures to be had. This is the time to spend as much time outside enjoying the beautiful weather before the cold hits, so be sure to head up to the mountains for a hike or two, or try your luck at one of the many 5K or 10K runs happening around the city in support of some tremendous causes.
In lieu of Thanksgiving and Halloween, there are a ton of pumpkin-themed events, delicious food festivals, and a ton of spooky family fun to be had.
Here are a ton of fun things to do in fall in Calgary that guarantee a good time and exciting memories!
What: It’s larch season! Grab your cameras and hiking gear and enjoy the picturesque fall views from the top of a mountain. If you haven’t checked out Larch Valley and Sentinel Pass then you must move it to the top of your bucket list. Be sure to be prepared to expect all sorts of weather patterns throughout the day.
What: There is no better way to welcome fall then heading out to one of Calgary’s many corn mazes and enjoying a fun-filled farm adventure. Don’t forget to check out the Kangaroo Petting Zoo new to Cobb’s Adventure Park and Corn Maze!
What: Join Parts + Labour founder, Jennifer Mehlko as she collaborates with various fitness studios around the city to bring you a fun workout series. Come sweat it out with her and then shop her athleisure “Heart Work” collection afterward in a fun studio pop-up.
What: Dress up in your best Halloween Costume (that allows you to move) and come on down to the annual run and walk in support of life-diabetes research. Last year they raised $110,000 – let’s make this year even better!
What: Breath, restore and rebalance at this three-day yoga retreat at Mount Engadine Lodge. You will enjoy both Asana & Nidra Yoga, along with Pranayama Meditation, self-guided cross-country skiing and snowshoeing.
What: The wait is finally over! Granary Road Farmers Market is finally open. Come explore their Active Learning Park, while munching on delicious eats from The Loft Lounge and checking out the fantastic local vendors in the Public Market!
What: 12 makers, 12 shipping containers, and one parking lot makes for the best retail shopping Calgary has ever seen. There are also various performances, a pop-up library, Junction jams and group runs hosted by Lululemon happening at different times throughout each week, so you just have to go more than once!
What: Established in 1988, this annual market is one you’ll want to make the treck out for! You’ll have the opportunity to enjoy four exciting days of lights, food, hay rides, photos with Santa and his reindeer, roast chestnuts and a live nativity while picking up treasures from your favourite local seasonal vendors.
Where: Millarville Racing and Agricultural Society – Box 68 Millarville, AB
What: Join the Calgary Farmers Market and Calgary Food Tours as they bring to you a very special Sunday brunch. You will have the opportunity to listen to 10 various Alberta ranchers as they explain what it takes to bring their products to the market, sample their produce and leave feeling inspired to fill your shopping bag with fresh goodies.
Where: 510 – 77 Street SE – off Blackfoot Trail and close to Heritage Drive SE
What: Calling all burger lovers! Chef Ryan at The Guild has worked hard to bring you 9 gourmet takes on a classic juicy burger available throughout September 15 to October 3. They have come up with a unique creation to cover breakfast, brunch, lunch, and dinner, so this is your chance to eat a burger for literally every meal of the day. You know you wanna!
What: Get Thanksgiving started early this year by sampling 5 delicious pie’s made from the market vendors and voting for your favourite in support of the Calgary Food Bank. The winning vendor will be given the opportunity to take home the trophy and bragging rights for the BEST pie in the market.
Where: The Calgary Farmers Market – 510 77 Avenue SE
What: Join Vine Arts on 17 Avenue for their first ever Natural Wine Festival, featuring a festival-style wine tasting from some of their favourite importers, wineries, and winemakers specializing in natural wines.
What: As the sixth largest film festival in Canada, this 12-day showcase will feature up to 200 multi-genre feature and short films from over 45 countries including Canada. Come support and engage with local artists of the big screen and come together with the like-minded community who share your love of film!
What: 17 Avenue is a downtown street that prides itself in always bringing people together! So, in lieu of the reconstruction of the ave, the businesses are throwing a Backyard Alley Party featuring patio hangs, shopping, yoga classes, outdoor movies, local art and SO much more. See the list of participating businesses here.
What: Join Canadian Business Chicks as they honour and celebrate 150 empowering, inspiring and motivating Women leaders from across Canada. There will be a White Hat Ceremony awarded to 11 deserving women, along with inspirational keynote speaker Amanda Lindhout and live performances by Shobha, Sophie Serafino, Christine Hart and Chloe Shingoose. Come celebrate some of Canada’s most inspiring #ladybosses who are killing it!
Where: Calgary TELUS Convention Centre – 120 9 Avenue SE
What: Calling all fashionistas! Enjoy this luxury art and fashion show featuring some of Canada’s best high-end fashion designers and artists, such as Paul Hardy, Lauren Bagliore, House of Nonie and more. Come and celebrate the Canadain fashion industry at Calgary’s best, most exquisite fashion event of the year!
Where: Spruce Meadows, Equi-plex – 18011 Spruce Meadows Way SW
What: Celebrate fall in the most appropriate way possible! Every weekend in October you will have the opportunity explore the patch and pick out the perfect pumpkin to bring home, along with the Petting Zoo, Corn Maze, Fun Farm and more. Don’t miss The Great Pumpkin Explosion, where a pumpkin filled with candy is exploded daily!
Where: Calgary Corn Maze and Fun Farm – 284022 Township Road 224
What: Join Stan Foster for his riveting show “My Canada” which combines songs, stories and stunning visual images of our nations favourite music in honour of Canada’s 150 Birthday. Stan and his crew will perform songs from well-known Canadian artists, such as Gordon Lightfoot, Bryan Adams, Rita McNeil, Neil Young and so many more!
Where: Wainwright Hotel & Canmore Opera House – 1900 Heritage Drive SW
What: Celebrate the end of summer with this exciting party in the park. You will enjoy live music from featured local bands, along with popsicles, face painting and lots of exciting activities that the whole family will enjoy!
Where: Tomkins Park – 17 Avenue between 7 and 8 Street SW
What: Calling all writers, authors and all those who love and appreciate a good book – this will be 7 days you won’t want to miss out on! Celebrate the written word by experiencing live presentations, panels, industry workshops, art installations and more by 80+ International Bestselling authors and up-and-coming groundbreakers. Come prepared to be connected to with life-changing ideas and engage with like-minded people who share a love of reading and curiosity about the writing life.
What: Looking for training and motivation sales, marketing, negotiating, personal development, money, and really all things business? This is a panel you definitely won’t want to miss! This event will feature Manjit Minhas- CEO of Minhas Breweries & Star of Dragon’s Den, Edward Snowden – Former U.S Intelligence Officer and Whistleblower (live from Moscow via Beam Robot) and Larry King – legendary American television and radio host.
What: The second Thursday of every month, mark it in your calendar! This is the perfect night to schedule a babysitter, plan a date night or grab your girlfriends for an evening of risky science, innovation, and community. Don’t worry there will also be a fully licensed bar so you can start the night off with an ice cold bevy!
What: The most bodacious bash of the year is back! Shake, strut and shimmy as you celebrate a healthy active lifestyle for women to help reduce the development of breast cancer at this annual retro soiree.
What: Rupi Kaur is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of Milk and Honey. She will be presenting her second collection of poetry, “The Sun and Her Flowers” at one of the many events during Wordfest in collaboration with Chapters Indigo. You won’t be able to get a copy of the book at this event, but you’ll get a taste of what is to come very shortly!
Where: Bella Concert Hall (Mount Royal University) – 4825 Mount Royal Gate SW
What: Ever wonder what it would be like to explore the Zoo after the gates close? Now is your chance, sans the kids! At this month’s Adult Only Night celebrate Oktoberfest, just like they would in Munich. Sip on locally brewed beer while listening to live music, playing adult games and more!
What: Come move with DJD for 8 hours of fun and dance at their 24 Annual Dance Class Marathon. All dance levels and ages (13+) welcome to participate and choose from 23 different classes to fill up your day. All of the proceeds from the event will go towards the new DJD Dance Centre and help them reach 100% of their $26M goal.
What: Join Making Changes Association in a night filled with stunning fashion, live entertainment, an exciting silent auction, local pop-up shops and more! All of the proceeds will go to support the association fulfill their goal of helping over 2,300 women and teenage girls each year build confidence and find sustainable employment.
What: To no one’s surprise, The Sound of Music continues to be the most successful and popular movie musical in history. Come see this heartwarming, beloved musical story of Maria and the Von Trap Family and singalong to iconic numbers, “My Favourite Things,” “Do-Re-Mi and more!
Where: Southern Alberta Jubilee Auditorium – 1415 14 Avenue NW
What: Learn how Mary Schäffer’s art is reflective of her adventures in the Canadian Rockies back in the early-twentieth century, along with how it resonates with audiences today in the launch of this new book by Colleen Skidmore.
What: Kick off the festivities in partnership with the City of Calgary, on September 29 with food trucks, beer gardens, live music arts programming and more! Then enjoy a plethora of fun and exciting family-friendly activities, open studios, tours, interactive demos, hands-on arts experiences and more all weekend long.
What: Grab a friend (or a date) and head down to the launch of the Glenbow’s brand-new exhibits opening this October. There will be beer, live beats by Windigo and an exclusive one-night-only Discovery Room. Don’t miss out! Check out the list of new exhibitions opening this season here.
What: Enjoy a spectacular evening reliving the journey of famous figure skating routines from the past to present with pianist, Tommy Banks and host Jamie Salé, World Champion, and Olympic gold medalist.
What: See our nation reflected in this Canada’s largest orchestral production using music, photography, motion picture and 3D immersion. This piece is based on the inspiring lives of Nobel Prize-winner Alice Munro, anti-bullying advocate Amanda Todd, astronaut Roberta Bondar, and Mi’kmaw elder Rita Joe.
What: Come cheer on The Harlem Globetrotters as they make a stop in Calgary on their 2017 World Tour!
Where: Scotiabank Saddledome – 555 Saddledome Rise SE
When: September 28
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.