50 things to do in Calgary this Summer

Jun 20 2016, 10:07 pm

Summer is here and there are plenty events happening around town! We’ve got the Calgary Stampede and more (yes more happens in Calgary!) Start planning ahead and fill up your calendars.

Here are 50 things happening in Calgary this summer.

Get outside

Pool side yoga on at Hotel Arts

Grab your yoga mat and head downtown to Hotel Arts to enjoy an hour of pool side yoga Saturday and Sunday mornings at 9am. Click here to register online for the $15 class.

Make a splash at Slide The City

Slide The City returns to Calgary for another year – for only one day. Release your inner child by sliding down the longest water slide the city has to offer on July 30.

Go on a hike

With Calgary being so close to the mountains, we’d be foolish not to take advantage of them. Plus, it’s a pretty rewarding feeling to know you literally conquered a mountain. Not to mention if you find yourself sore after a long day’s hike, the hot springs are never too far away.

Enjoy Pop-up picnics all summer long

The picnics, which begin June 22 and run through August 24, are community lunch hours which take place in various locations around town. Between noon and 1 pm, organizers supply tables, chairs and entertainment; each picnic has a unique theme and will be in a different location every week.

Jump on a bike

There are beautiful bike paths in Calgary, that many of us don’t know about. So jump on your bike without the worry of vehicles whizzing past you. Click here for five beautiful bike paths in Northwest Calgary you need to experience this Summer.

Rafting down the Bow River

A perfect way to cool off and relax on a hot summer day. Grab a raft and lifejacket (yes they’re required) and sail away to leisurely paradise. You can start from Baker Park or Bowness Park and it’s free with you own raft and lifejacket or you can rent from Lazy Day Raft Rentals.

Free things to do

Suncor Stage One Festival

  • What: Nine scripts were selected for this year’s festival out of 100 which were submitted. Through the Suncor Stage One Festival, Lunchbox Theatre has become Canada’s leading development source and producer of one-act plays. At the end of each season, Lunchbox Theatre holds a series of staged readings of new works and invites audience members to give feedback during a discussion period.
  • Where: Lunchbox Theatre – 160 9th Avenue SE
  • When: June 10 to 25
  • Cost: Free

Calgary Night Market 2016

  • What: Featuring a variety of ethnic street foods, local vendors, buskers, and entertainment, the Calgary Night Market has everything from jewelry to clothes, to household items. The market is happening on the first and last Fridays of the month until September 9. Admission to the Night Market is free.
  • When: Now until September 9 from 4 to 10 pm
  • Where: Central Memorial Park – 1221 2nd Street SW
  • Event page: facebook.com

Canada Day Fireworks and events around the city

Calgary Stampede Parade

  • What: To kick off stampede week running July 8-17, Calgary’s best floats and bands will be lead by Canadian music stars Jann Arden and Paul Brandt.
  • Where: Starting point at 6th Avenue and 3rd Street SE to the official finish line at 9th Avenue and 4th Street SE.
  • When: The parade main event begins at 9 a.m. with the stampede prelude starting at 7:30 am on Friday, July 8.

Free Slurpee Day

  • What: Join in on 7Eleven’s free slurpee day which takes place every year. Hit up a 7Eleven on July 11 and get a cold one on the house.
  • Where: Participating locations in Canada
  • When: July 11 (get it? 7/11)

Fiestaval Latin Festival

  • What: Fiestaval is a free and family-oriented multicultural arts and entertainment festival highlighting Latin American Culture. The three day event will take place in the heart of downtown Calgary at the Calgary Olympic Plaza and feature over 18 authentic Latin food vendors, in addition to 60 plus community vendors.
  • When: July 22 to 24 from 11 am to 11 pm
  • Where: Olympic Plaza – 228 8th Avenue SE
  • Price: Free admission

Calgary Turkish Festival

  • What: The Calgary Turkish Festival will feature Turkish art, folk dance, music, and gourmet food. Visitors will get an opportunity to celebrate, learn, and savour Turkish hospitality, culture, heritage, and cuisine (including sumptuous kebabs and mouth-watering pastries).
  • When: July 28 to 31
  • Where: Eau Claire Festival Plaza – 200 Barclay Parade SW
  • Price: Free admission

Marda Gras Street Festival

  • What: The streets of Marda Loop will come alive for the 32nd time with this New Orleans themed festival. A variety of high quality cultural performers, dance groups, musicians and outdoor activities will be at this fun outdoor event.
  • Where: Marda Loop – 33rd and 34th Avenues SW
  • When: Sunday, August 14 from 10 am to 5 pm

Calgary Pride Parade

  • What: Join in on one of the most colourful celebrations of the year and celebrate the tremendous diversity of Calgary’s community. This year’s parade will be led by award winning writer, musician, and filmmaker Rae Spoon.
  • Where: 9th Avenue S
  • When: September 4

Food and drink festivals

Taste of Calgary

  • What: Calgary’s beloved outdoor food fiesta returns to the city in 2016, bringing with it a smorgasbord of globally-inspired cuisine and beverages. Attendees to the Taste of Calgary will be able to sample a variety of dishes, shop at some of the most interesting marketplace vendors in the city, and enjoy a wide range of entertainment.
  • When: August 11 to 14 from 11 am to 10 pm daily
  • Where: Eau Claire Festival Plaza – 200 Barclay Parade SW
  • Price: Free admission / Taste tickets $1

Calgary Ribfest

  • What: Get your sticky on at the 1st Annual Calgary Ribfest. From August 25 to 28 experience four awesome days of grilling heaven. Ribs, BBQ chicken, and pulled pork will be headlining the festival, available from six different vendors. There will also be live music, craft beer, wine pairings, and a pulled pork eating contest. Booths for foodie and BBQ demonstrations will also be in site.
  • When: August 25 to 28 (check website for times)
  • Where: Eau Claire Market – 200 Barclay Parade SW
  • Price: Free admission / Food tickets extra

Brewery & the Beast

  • What: Brewery and the Beast is back for 2016. This outdoor, meat-focused event will take place rain or shine on August 21 and feature a line-up of local chefs from around the city, preparing and cooking the highest quality meats. In addition to serving a range of roasted, barbecued, and smoked edible delights, Phillips Brewing Company from Victoria, will offer a varied selection of their award winning beers.
  • When: Sunday, August 21 from 1 to 4:15 pm
  • Where: Pumphouse Park – 2140 Pumphouse Avenue SW
  • Price: Tickets are priced at $89.75 and can be purchased online here

BBQ on the Bow

  • What: The 24th annual BBQ on the Bow festival (the city’s oldest BBQ competition) will take place this September at the Montgomery Community Centre, and will see meat lovers from across the city gather to enjoy all things BBQ. Teams will compete over two days showing off their cooking skills on everything from Weber bullets to fancy rigs and trailers with expensive smokers built right on them.
  • When: September 3 to 4
  • Where: Montgomery Community Centre – 5003 16th Avenue NW
  • Price: Free admission

Calgary Greek Festival

  • What: This three day celebration of Greek culture is a chance for the community to come together. Attendees to this free annual event will find a range of entertainment options, traditional Greek food, dancing, and a whole lot more.
  • When: September 16 to 18
  • Where: Hellenic Community Centre – 1 Tamarac Cresent SW
  • Price: Free admission / Food tickets extra

Farmers Markets

Farmers Market on Stephen Avenue

  • What: Fresh produce and local vendors right outside your office. Twice a month, over 40 vendors will setup shop for the farmers market coming to Stephen Avenue in downtown Calgary. Check online for dates.
  • Where: On 8th Avenue between 1st Street SE and 1st Street SW
  • When: June 21 to September 20 from 10 am to 3 pm

2016 Launch Market

  • What: Visit Bridgeland Riverside Farmers’ Market for their first market of the year! Enjoy eating at local vendor stations, dance to live music and shop until you drop. For the kiddos, there are free activities set up.
  • Where: Bridgeland Riverside Farmers’ Market – 917 Centre Avenue NE
  • When: Thursday, June 23 from 3:30 to 7:30 pm

Visit a Farmers’ Market

Popular among chefs, home cooks, and local gastronomes, farmers’ markets have become an integral part of Calgary’s food landscape. Not only do these community events grant local farmers, growers, and bakers the opportunity to connect with urban folk but they also provide them with a space to show off their seasonal favourites. Here’s a quick list of a few.

Art and theatre

Shakespeare by the Bow: Hamlet

  • What: To be, or not to be, that is the question… Theatre Calgary is bringing Hamlet outside, as it showcases its annual outdoor performances of Shakespeare by the Bow.
  • Where: Prince’s Island Park – 698 Eau Claire Avenue SW
  • When: Runs from June 21 to August 21, every day except Mondays; performances at 7 pm, with an extra 2pm matinee on Sundays. On hiatus between July 19 and 24.
  • More info: Theatre Calgary’s website

Bowness Movie in the Park

  • What: Watch a movie than under a starry Bowness sky with your neighbours. This year’s movie will be Zootopia.
  • Where: The green space next to the Community Centre (7904 43rd Avenue NW)
  • When: July 23 at sundown
  • Cost: Free

Watch The Book of Mormon

  • What: This hilarious Broadway musical from the creators of South Park returns to Calgary for another run this September. This outrageous musical comedy follows the misadventures of a mismatched pair of missionaries, sent halfway across the world to spread the Good Word.
  • Where: Southern Alberta Jubilee Auditorium – 1415 14th Avenue NW
  • When: September 6 to September 11
  • Tickets: Visit ticketmaster.ca for more information.

Festivals and other events

Calgary Stampede

  • What: The Greatest Outdoor Show in the world celebrates it’s 104th year in Calgary. Bring the kids, take the girlfriend or wonder solo, this is a right of passage if you’re in Calgary from July 8 to 17 this year.
  • When: July 8 to 17
  • Where: 1410 Olympic Way SE
  • Price: Park admission is $18. Tickets can be purchased online here

Expo Latino

  • What: Western Canada’s largest latin festival. Celebrating it’s 19th anniversary. Creating experiences of discovery and learning through the celebration of people, music and dance.
  • Where: Price’s Island Park – 689 Eau Claire Avenue SW
  • When: August 5 to 7


  • What: GlobalFest is “Alberta’s Most Explosive Festival!”
    Every August, GlobalFest celebrates the OneWorld and Trico Homes International Fireworks Festivals.
  • Where: Elliston Park on 17th Avenue SE
  • When: August 18 – 27
  • Cost: $20

Adults Only Night at TELUS Spark

  • What: Get hands-on with science while indulging in the adult juice. Enjoy free reign in the galleries, a fully licensed bar, and tunes all night long.
  • Where: TELUS Spark – 220 St Georges Drive NE
  • When: Select Thursdays from 6 to 10 pm
  • Cost: $19.95

Something Old, Something New: 125 Years of Wedding Fashion

  • What: See some of the most trendsetting and common wedding dresses in Alberta from the last 125 years. The exhibition features collections from the Museum of the Highwood, the Red Deer Museum, the Royal Alberta Museum, the Lougheed House Conservation Society, as well as numerous private collections.
  • Where: Lougheed House – 707 13th Avenue SW
  • When: Now until October 2
  • Cost: Regular admission $8.50

Concerts and parties

Lukes Drug Mart Sled Island

  • What: Each June, the five-day music and arts festival brings together a community of over 250 bands, comedians, filmmakers and artists as well as over 30,000 attendees in more than 35 venues, transforming the city into an arts lover’s paradise that has earned rave reviews from artists, fans and media from across the globe.
  • Where: Various venue. Click here for more information.
  • When: Wednesday, June 22 to Sunday, June 26

Joe Jackson

  • What: Jackson has recorded 19 studios albums and been nominated for five Grammy Awards. After gaining overnight success with his single, “Is She Really Going Out With Him?” in 1979, Jackson has become a legendary musical icon, and his tour represents a next step in his astounding legacy.
  • When: Monday, June 27 at 8 pm
  • Where: Jack Singer Concert Hall – 205 8th Avenue SE
  • Tickets: $35, $49.50, $75 via Live Nation

See also

Oxford Stomp 2016

  • What: Calgary’s 28th annual Oxford Stomp returns with the Stampede this July.Get ready to hear performances by Don Henley, Serena Ryder, Matthew Good, and Vertical Horizon, all in the name of a good cause. Tickets are on sale now online.
  • When: Friday, July 15 from 3 to 10 p.m.
  • Where: Fort Calgary – 750 9th Avenue SE
  • Website: oxfordstomp.com

Folk Music Festival

  • What: The 37th annual Calgary Folk Music Festival will have 76 icons and upstarts from 16 countries performing on 8 stages during the 3 day festival. 2016 performers include The New Pornographers, Cat Power, Braids, Lord Huron, Oyster Band and many more.
  • Where: Prince’s Island Park – 689 Eau Claire Avenue SW
  • When: July 21 to 24
  • Cost: Single day tickets from $60 to $75. Click here to buy online

Calgary Bluesfest

  • What: The 12th annual Calgary Bluesfest will feature a full week of the best in blues. Workshops, public performances and special events culminate in 4 days & nights of non-stop music on Mainstage.
  • Where: Shaw Millennium Park – 1220 9th Avenue SW
  • When: July 25 to 31
  • Cost: Single day passes from $35

Chasing Summer 2016 music festival

  • What: Chasing Summer, Western Canada’s largest EDM festival, returns to Calgary for its fourth year this summer on July 30 and 31 at a new location, and it’ll be headlined by Martin Garrix and Hardwell.
  • When: July 30 and 31
  • Where: Max Bell Centre Festival Grounds – 1001 Barlow Trail SE
  • Tickets: For more information, visit chasingsummerfestival.com.

Country Thunder

  • What: The first year of the debut inner city festival in Calgary, featuring Luke Bryan, Big & Rich, Tim McGraw and many more.
  • Where: Prairie Winds Park – 223 Castleridge Boulevard NE
  • When: August 19 to 21
  • Tickets: Available online

One Love Music Festival 2016

  • What: Western Canada’s largest hip hop music festival, One Love, is coming back to Calgary at a new location. Lil’ Wayne and Big Sean are headlining this year’s festival.
  • Where: Elliston Park – 1827 68th Street SE
  • When: September 10 and 11; gates open at 1 p.m. each day
  • Tickets: Online via LiveNation


Skyline Luge

  • What: For the more adventurous side in you, try The Skyline Luge. It’s a three-wheeled cart, part go-kart and part toboggan that is thrilling for all ages and abilities.
  • Where: Skyline Luge Calgary – 88 Canada Olympic Road SW
  • When: Now until October 9
  • Cost: $15 for 1 ride; $23 for 2 rides; $32 for 5 rides

Okotoks Dawgs Games

  • What: Watch as the Western Major Baseball League Okotoks Dawgs try to clinch a playoff spot and prolong their season into August.
  • Where: Seaman Stadium –  2111 N Railway Street, Okotoks
  • When: 
    • Wednesday, June 29 at 7:05 pm vs Edmonton Prospects
    • Friday, July 1 at 7:05 pm vs Brooks Bombers
    • Saturday, July 2 at 7:05 pm vs Regina Red Sox
    • Sunday, July 3 at 2:05 pm vs Regina Red Sox
    • Monday, July 4 at 7:05 pm vs MelVille Millionaires
    • Tuesday, July 5 at 7:05 pm vs MelVille Millionaires
    • Tuesday, July 12 at 7:05 pm vs Lethbridge Bulls
    • Saturday, July 16 at 7:05 pm vs Yorkton Cardinals
    • Sunday, July 17 at 2:05 pm vs Yorkton Cardinals
    • Saturday, July 23 at 7:05 pm vs Edmonton Prospects
    • Tuesday, July 26 at 7:05 pm vs Fort McMurray Giants
    • Wednesday, July 27 at 7:05 pm vs Fort McMurray Giants
    • Thursday, July 28 at 7:05 pm vs Fort McMurray Giants
    • Friday, July 29 at 7:05 pm vs Medicine Hat Mavericks

Spend a day at the races

Bring out your fascinators and bowties and head to Century Downs Racetrack and Casino to take in a day at the track. Your day is sure to be a win, even if your ticket says the opposite.

Spruce Meadows North American Tournament

  • What: Witness the best show jumping athletes and horses from around the World. Enjoy shopping, pony rides, face painting, wagon rides and much more!
  • Where: 18011 Spruce Meadows Way SW
  • When: Wednesday, July 6 to Sunday, July 10
  • Cost: Varies

Calgary Dragon Boat Race & Festival

  • What: The 25th anniversary of Dragon Boating comes to town. The Calgary Dragon Boat Race & Festival draws over 1850 competitors, 4000 spectators and an abundance of excitement and cultural experiences.
  • Where: North Glenmore Park – 7305 Crowchild Trail SW
  • When: August 22 & 23

Calgary Stampeders Games

  • What: Watch as our CFL pride and joy take on their rivals this summer. Only five home games to catch, so get your tickets soon.
  • Where: McMahon Stadium – 1817 Crowchild Trail NW
  • When: 
    • Friday, July 1 at 8 pm vs Winnipeg Blue Bombers
    • Friday, July 29 at 8 pm vs BC Lions
    • Thursday, August 4 at 8 pm vs Saskatchewan Roughriders
    • Sunday, August 28 at 5 pm vs Hamilton Tiger Cats
    • Monday, September 5 at 1 pm vs Edmonton Eskimos


A Night at the Banff Mountain Film Festival

  • What: Every Thursday night in downtown Banff for 14 weeks, two identical shows per night will be shown featuring four unique film programs rotating each week.
  • Where: Lux Cinema – 229 Bear Street, Banff
  • When: Thursday, June 16 to Thursday, September 8. Shows at 7 and 9:30 pm
  • Cost: $12 can purchase online

Blue Rodeo

  • What: Overnight packages are available from The Banff Centre which will get you two tickets, accommodations, and breakfast for two starting at $369 plus fees and taxes.
  • Where: Shaw Amphitheatre – 107 Tunnel Mountain Drive, Banff
  • When: Sunday, July 10 at 6:30
  • Cost: $50

Party with Buffy Sainte-Marie and Dan Mangan

  • What: Celebrate arts and creativity with us, at this free summer concert featuring Buffy Sainte-Marie, Dan Mangan, and Seckou Keita.
  • Where: Shaw Amphitheatre – 107 Tunnel Mountain Drive, Banff
  • When: July 16 at 4 pm
  • Cost: Free

Jazz Club

  • What: Emerging musicians from The Banff Centre’s acclaimed Banff International Workshop in Jazz & Creative Music, perform with their internationally acclaimed mentors in late night jam sessions.
  • Where: The Club, Theatre Complex – 107 Tunnel Mountain Drive, Banff
  • When: August 4 to 19 at 8 pm (excluding Saturday to Monday)

Banff International String Quartet Competition

  • What: Experience a week of exceptional music-making in the Canadian Rockies as ten of the world’s best emerging string quartets vie for over $150,000 in cash and the title of first prize laureate.
  • Where: The Banff Centre – 107 Tunnel Mountain Drive, Banff
  • When: August 29 to September 4
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