19 free things to do in Calgary in February

Feb 4 2021, 12:40 am

As recommended by health officials, if you choose to participate in events outside of your home, please adhere to COVID-19 health and safety measures, including proper physical distancing, mask-wearing, and frequent handwashing. If you are sick, please stay home.

February is the month of celebrating love, but that doesn’t mean you have to break the bank. There are lots of budget-friendly things to check out this winter, both indoors and outside.

Chinook Blast

What: Calgary’s newest mid-winter art roundup, celebrating the season and showing the world that we’re not afraid of a little cold! Installations created by local artists light up winter weekend nights.

When: Friday through Sunday from February 12 to 28
Time: 3 to 9 pm
Where: The Chinook Blast Hub runs west from Fort Calgary to Municipal Plaza, and then continues along Stephen Avenue before turning north up 3rd Street SW

Skate The Boulevard at Deerfoot City

What: Try skating on synthetic ice on The Boulevard’s outdoor rink. Be sure to book your time slot online prior to arriving!

When: 2 to 6 pm on Wednesdays, 11 am to 6 pm on Thursdays, 11 am to 7 pm on Fridays and Saturdays, and 11 am to 5 pm on Sundays
Where: The Boulevard at Deerfoot City (901 64th Avenue NE)

High Performance Rodeo

What: In honour of the 35th anniversary of Calgary’s International Festival of the Arts, join High Performance Rodeo for a free virtual festival featuring videos of 35 artists answering the question “Who are you now?”

When: Now until February 14
Time: Times vary, check lineup for details
Where: Online via the HPR website

Cross-country ski at East Village’s Nordic Loop

What: Dust off your skis and try a few laps on East Village’s groomed 1 km track, running beside Fort Calgary and the Bow River. When you get cold, check out their Hygge Hut and firepits to warm up (weekends only).

When: Open daily, weather permitting
Time: 7 am to 10 pm
Where: In the field beside Fort Calgary (750 9th Ave SE)

Northern Reflections in Inglewood

Northern Reflections


What: Murals have been painted in local businesses’ windows and matched with music to create a one-of-a-kind art experience when viewed with free augmented reality app Augle. The art exhibits are seen from the outside, and together they make up a self-guided art tour in Inglewood.

When: Now until February 28
Time: Self-guided
Where: In Inglewood business windows, running along 9th Avenue between 10th Street and 13th Street SE

Skate the ice trail at North Glenmore Park

What: New in Calgary this year, the ice trail allows visitors to skate over 730 metres of connected track through North Glenmore park. There’s also an attached skating rink in the centre.

When: Daily
Time: 11 am to 10 pm
Where: North Glenmore Park (parking lots accessed at 7305 Crowchild Trail SW)

Chinese Lunar New Year Festival

What: Bring in the Year of the Ox virtually with the Calgary Chinese Cultural Centre! Celebrate the Lunar New Year through programming and contests run on the CCCC’s website.

When: February 5 to 14
Time: Programming varies, check website for details
Where: Online

The Kensington Valentine’s Market

What: Support local businesses and celebrate the month of love at the Valentine’s Day edition of the Kensington Market. Pick up a gift for your special someone, a friend, or yourself!

When: February 13
Time: 11 am to 4 pm
Where: The Tim Horton’s parking lot at Kensington Rd NW

Arts Commons Presents National Geographic Live

What: Arts Commons is taking their their tenth annual National Geographic Live series online this year! In this livestream, you’ll hear molecular biologist turned-photographer Prasenjeet Yadav and photographer Anand Varma talk about the intersection of science and photography.

When: February 8
Time: 7 pm
Where: Online
Tickets: Free, with advanced registration required

Visit Devonian Gardens

What: Feel like you’re in a tropical paradise within downtown Calgary at Devonian Gardens! Stroll the boardwalk, take in the plants and ponds, and grab a quick bite at the food court.

When: Daily
Time: 11 am to 5 pm Monday through Saturday, and noon to 5 pm on Sundays
Where: 4th floor of the CORE Shopping Centre (400 – 317 7th Avenue SW)

Go tobogganing on The Rise at St. Patrick’s Island Park

What: At nine metres high, this sledding hill is perfect for those of all ages. Enjoy a high speed ride down, run back up, and repeat!

When: Daily
Time: Park hours (5 am to 11 pm)
Where: 1300 Zoo Road NE

Kensington Love

What: Kensington Love is a series of outdoor activations during the month of February, in partnership with Chinook Blast. Go on a self-guided art walk and explore over 30 installations and murals, warm up by the firepits (weekends only), and snap some photos with fun art pieces!

When: February 1 to 28
Time: Firepits from noon to 5 pm on Saturday and Sunday, art tour is self-guided using the Kensington Art Walk Map.
Where: Firepits are on the Kensington Plaza (1133 Kensington Road NW), art walk runs primarily along Kensington Road and 10th Street NW.

Crossroads Market

What: This isn’t your traditional farmers’ market! Along with fresh produce and local eats, shoppers will find comics, jewellery, vintage items, a hair salon and more at Crossroads Market.

When: Weekly from Friday to Sunday
Time: 9 am to 5 pm
Where: 1235 26th Avenue SE

Check out High Park

What: High Park offers downtown views, adorable string lights, colourful picnic tables, and fun signs to take photos with – on top of a parking garage in the Beltline! Have a winter picnic six floors above street level and grab some cool photos while you’re at it. 

When: Open daily
Time: 7 am to 11 pm
Where: The top level of the Centre City Parkade at 340 10th Avenue SW

Crescent Moon Festival in Crescent Heights Village

What: Join Crescent Heights Village for a celebration of art, light, and diversity! The BIA will light up 10 art benches throughout the community for self-guided tours all weekend, as part of Chinook Blast.

When: February 12 to 14
Time: All weekend long, although best viewed in the dark!
Where: Throughout the Crescent Heights neighbourhood

Block Heater

What: One of Calgary’s favourite music festivals is bringing their programming online this year. Join Block Heater for five days of shows viewed from the comfort of your couch (or bed), featuring Albertan, Canadian, and international roots, blues, and indie artists.

When: February 16 to 20
Time: Schedule varies, view the lineup for details
Where: Online
Tickets: Free/by donation

Valentine’s & Family Day Market at the Inn on Officers’ Garden

What: Find local businesses and unique items at the Inn on Officers’ Garden’s new Valentine’s & Family Day Market and celebrate love in all of its forms.

When: February 6
Time: 10 am to 3 pm
Where:  The Inn on Officers’ Garden (150 Dieppe Drive SW)

Calgary Farmers’ Market

What: Pick up farm-fresh produce, warm and delicious baked goods, and locally-produced artisan goods at the Calgary Farmers’ Market. Pet products, coffee and tea, and flowers are also available to purchase!

When: Thursday to Sunday weekly
Time: 9 am to 5 pm
Where: 510 77th Avenue SE

Snap photos at PARK PARK

What: PARK PARK took an urban parking lot in Inglewood and turned it into a modern play space. Visitors will find life-size symbols of a tree, a phone, a picnic table, a bike, a book, and more. Each of these colourful symbols also contains a useful feature integrated that relates to what they depict – check out these curiosities and be amazed!

When: Open daily
Where: CPA Lot 43 at 880 11th Street SE

Elle McLeanElle McLean

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