21 things to do in Calgary this long weekend: July 30 to August 2

Jul 30 2021, 5:51 pm

COVID-19 continues to present a risk to public health. While restrictions have been lifted across Alberta, it is recommended to continue practicing health and safety measures, including frequent hand-washing, wearing a mask on public transit, at City facilities, and in healthcare settings, and staying home if you are sick.

Calgary is ushering in August with a long weekend thanks to Heritage Day. The holiday celebrates the heritage of our province, from the early Indigenous peoples to the wide array of cultures that make up Alberta today.

There’s still a month left of summer before the kids start preparing to head back to school and the weather gets a little chillier, so be sure to make the most of it with all of these activities in YYC over the weekend and into August.

Here are 21 things to do in Calgary over the August long weekend.

Historic Calgary Week Festival

What:¬†Join Chinook Country Historical Society for the 31st annual Historic Calgary Week. Learn and celebrate the history, culture, and community of the Calgary area with this year‚Äôs theme ‚Äď Zooming Back: Unmasking Our History. There are virtual and in-person events throughout the festival, and with more than 55 different walks, talks, tours and presentations, there‚Äôs bound to be something for everyone.

When: July 23 to August 2
Time: Varies by event
Where: Virtual and in-person events throughout the festival
Cost: Free

King Eddy’s Homegrown Country Series

What: The King Eddy’s summer music series serves as a gathering for the Alberta country music community and spotlights some of the province’s most sought-after artists. This weekend, catch Michela Sheedy at the historic venue.

The King Eddy will also be serving up a selection of local brews, custom cocktails, comfort food classics, and shareable bites, including vegetarian options.

When: Saturdays from July 24 to August 28
Time: 7 to 9 pm (with Happy Hour pricing on from 4:30 to 6:30 pm)
Where: The King Eddy (438 9th Avenue SE)
Cost:¬†No cover charge ‚Äď first-come-first-served seating for all shows

Beyond Van Gogh Calgary exhibit

Elle McLean/Daily Hive

What: The highly anticipated immersive Van Gogh experience kicks off on Friday, featuring over 300 iconic works by the painter and taking visitors into a three-dimensional world to explore art in a completely unique way.

Projections swirl across the walls and, in some places, even the floors of the exhibition, giving visitors a truly 360¬į view. To round out this experience of the senses, the exhibit is accompanied by Van Gogh‚Äôs own words set to a symphonic score.

When: July 30 to September 6
Where: The BMO Centre at Stampede Park (20 Roundup Way SE)
Cost: Tickets start at $33.99 for adults

Loud as Hell music festival

What: Live metal music returns to Alberta this weekend with the Loud as Hell festival, western Canada‚Äôs ‚Äúdecibel-breaking metal fest.‚ÄĚ The 2021 line-up features a number of the country‚Äôs top-tier artists over three head-banging days, including Planet Eater, Arrival of Autumn, and Into Eternity with an appearance from former vocalist Stu Block.

When: July 29 to August 1
Time: Varies by show
Where: Dinosaur Downs Stampede Grounds, Drumheller
Cost: $175 for weekend passes or $80 for day passes (advance weekend passes with camping included are available now for $140)

Visit Canada’s first permanent digital immersion gallery at TELUS Spark Science Centre: Every Second¬†exhibit

Elle McLean/Daily Hive

What: Digital immersion galleries and exhibits have been travelling the country lately, but Calgary’s TELUS Spark Science Centre just opened the first permanent display in Canada. Spark’s gallery allows visitors the chance to get up close and personal with science and explore topics such as space, the human brain, and ocean life.

There will be a new show every six months, and the first one is called Every Second. The gallery brings viewers on a journey through a person’s lifetime, exploring the moments and mathematics that make up our lives through this interactive display, narrated by Italian-American actress Isabella Rossellini.

When: July 29, 2021, to January 30, 2022
Time:¬†Spark is open 9 am to 5 pm Tuesday through Saturday, and 10 am to 4 pm on Sundays and Mondays ‚Ästreserve your half-hour time slot online¬†to view the exhibit
Where: TELUS Spark Science Centre (220 St. George’s Drive NE)
Cost: Included with general admission ($26 for adults, $19 for children three and over)

Calgary Fringe Festival

What: Calgary Fringe Festival’s 15th annual summer event brings live indie theatre back to the community in a number of formats. Take in performances indoors, outside, and online, depending on what works best for you. Featuring shows from local artists, A Levity Theatre Co., a one-time performance called 1,000 Monkeys Project, and a limited edition live stream all the way from Estonia, with Dan Le Man presenting DICEY-ONLINE!

When: July 30 to August 7
Time: Varies by show
Where: Festival Hall (1215 10th Avenue SE), Gopher Park (corner of 11th Avenue and 11th Street SE, across from Cold Garden), and virtually
Cost: $20

Shakespeare by the Bow

What: The Shakespeare by the Bow performances that Calgarians know and love are going on the road this summer with ‚ÄúShakespeare on the Go.‚ÄĚ Shows will pop up at a variety of Calgary and area locations, offering over 30 opportunities for the public to enjoy live theatre during the month of August.

When: July 31 to August 29
Time: TBA
Where: A City of Calgary park (details to come)
Cost: By donation

Calgary International Blues Festival

What: Head to Shaw Millenium Park for four days of music from blues icons and up-and-coming stars. During the festival week, there will also be free performances at venues like The King Eddy and Heritage Posters & Music.

When: July 26 to August 1
Time: Varies by show
Where: Varies by event
Cost: Some free events, with $149 four-day passes available to access all shows, and single day passes for $35 on July 29 and 30 and $65 on July 31 and August 1

Shop local at the Calgary Night Market

What: Shop local goods, listen to some beats, and enjoy dinner from one of YYC’s food trucks at the Calgary Night Market this long weekend.

When: July 31
4 to 10 pm
Where: Eau Claire Market (200 Barclay Parade SW)
Cost: Varies by purchase

Explore the Calgary Zoo after hours during ZooNights


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What: Enjoy extended hours at the Calgary Zoo this weekend. The zoo will be open until 8 pm during ZooNights to allow guests extra time to visit their favourite animals and explore the gardens and grounds.

When: July 30 and 31
Time: 5 to 8 pm
Where: The Calgary Zoo (210 St. George’s Drive NE)
Cost: $24.95 for adults and $14.95 for children

Rockin’ the Jukebox at Jubilations Dinner Theatre

What: Join Jubilations for dinner and a show! Rockin’ the Jukebox tells the story of local teens in the sleepy town of Lakewood who are literally dying of boredom, until one day they wander into an old boarded-up diner and find a strange-looking device…

A three-course meal is paired with the show, and you can expect lasting memories from this dinner theatre.

When: Wednesday through Sunday from July 10 to August 14
Time: 6:15 pm Wednesday through Saturday, and 5 pm on Sundays
Where: Jubilations Dinner Theatre (1002 37th Street SW)
Cost: Tickets from $69.95

Banff Gondola Sunset Festival

What: Fancy a little road trip? The Sunset Festival at the top of the Banff Gondola runs through the summer and gives visitors the chance to enjoy one of Banff’s best views during golden hour. Toast a sunset in the mountains, snack on a Canadian-inspired BBQ menu, sip local craft beverages, and catch live entertainment each evening.

When: July 9 to September 6
Time: 5:30 to 9:30 pm
Where: At the top of Sulphur Mountain (accessible by gondola at 100 Mountain Avenue, Banff)
Cost: Gondola tickets are available from $44

Catch a live show at the Grey Eagle Drive-In

What:¬†Join the Grey Eagle Resort & Casino at southern Alberta‚Äôs largest drive-in venue to watch a live concert. This weekend features¬†YYC ‚Äď Calgary‚Äôs Premier RUSH Experience.

When: July 30
Time: 7 pm
Where: Grey Eagle Resort and Casino (3777 Grey Eagle Drive, Calgary)
Cost: $99 per vehicle (up to four occupants), including festival seating

INDIAN.RELAY. exhibit at Southcentre Mall

August long weekend Calgary

INDIAN. RELAY. exhibit (Courtesy of J&J Lawrence Photography/Southcentre Mall)

What: Running throughout the month of July at Southcentre is a unique art exhibit entitled INDIAN. RELAY., which tells the powerful story of North America’s oldest extreme sport through photography.

When: July 12 to 31
Time: Mall hours (11 am to 7 pm Monday through Saturday, and 11 am to 6 pm on Sundays)
Where: Southcentre Mall (100 Anderson Road SE)
Cost: Free

Kensington weekend activations

What: Free activations will run each weekend in Kensington Village through until November, bringing Calgarians a chance to enjoy live music, performers, art, and much more throughout the neighbourhood. This weekend, catch a performance from Steph Love.

When: Every Saturday from June through November
Time: 12:30 to 2:30 pm
Where:Trapped Escape Room (1139 Kensington Road NW)
Cost: Free

Check out The Dark Arts pop-up at The GRAND Theatre

What: A new interim exhibit, located inside of The GRAND Theatre, mashes up refined cocktails, a shareable menu, and works by over 20 of YYC’s most accomplished artists. The Dark Arts is an Instagrammable lounge, providing the perfect backdrop for a seated atmosphere that offers much to explore.

When: Wednesday to Saturday, from now through October
Time: 5 pm to late
Where: The GRAND Theatre (601 1st Street SW, Calgary)
Cost: No entry fee. Prices vary by food and drink item

Attend a free yoga class

What: Relax and get some fresh air with a free class through Calgary Outdoor Yoga. There are two sessions offered each Sunday at locations in Mahogany and Stanley Park. It’s important to note that pre-registration is required, and attendee numbers are limited.

When: Every Sunday through until October 2021
Time: 10 am and 1 pm
Where: Participants will receive an email the night before with the exact secret location of each class.
Cost: Free

Support local with Eat & Seek at Southcentre Mall

August long weekend Calgary

Courtesy of Brendan Klem/Southcentre Mall

What: Snap some photos of this Instagrammable spot, get some fresh air, and enjoy a meal from one of Southcentre Mall’s local eateries all at the same time. Eat & Seek is a creative new patio space designed to give guests a fun new place to explore while supporting the mall’s food court and restaurant vendors.

When: June 1 through fall 2021
Time: Mall hours (currently 11 am to 7 pm Monday through Saturday, and 11 am to 6 pm on Sundays)
Where: Southcentre Mall (100 Anderson Road SE)
Cost: Free (guests don’t need to purchase food to enjoy the patio)

The B!G Art Drive-In

What: B!G Art and TELUS Spark Science Centre have paired up again this year to bring back their epic big-screen movies and shows. This weekend’s offerings include Inside Out, Cars, Mortal Kombat, and a live drag performance entitled The Hire Heels Picture Show.

While you’re there, be sure to stop into the Rocket Fuel Cafe for some astronaut ice cream.

When: July 30 and 31
Time: Varies by show
Where: TELUS Spark Science Centre (220 St. George’s Drive NE, Calgary)
Cost: Varies by show

Snap some new content at The CORE’s Gram Garden


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What:¬†If your Instagram game has felt a little boring lately, look no further than The CORE Shopping Centre. The downtown Calgary mall has set up a picture-perfect ‚ÄúGram Garden,‚ÄĚ which will feature a series of rotating backdrops throughout the summer months.

When: June 28 to September 30
Time: Mall hours (11 am to 5 pm Monday through Saturday and noon to 5 pm on Sundays)
Where: The CORE Shopping Centre (324 8th Avenue SW, Calgary)
Cost: Free

Get into Studio Bell for free

What: Celebrate Studio Bell, home of the National Music Centre’s five-year anniversary, with free admission every weekend through the rest of the year. Check out new and updated exhibits, catch instrument show-and-tells, and delve into the history of iconic Canadian musicians. Reserve your tickets online now.

When: Weekends until the end of 2021
Time: 10 am to 5 pm
Where: Studio Bell (850 4th Street SE)
Cost: Free

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