19 things to do in Calgary this Family Day long weekend

Feb 18 2022, 6:16 pm

The Family Day long weekend has finally arrived, and there are plenty of things to do in Calgary right now while you spend time with your loved ones.

You can shop at a local market, do an Olympic Torch run with one of Calgary’s best breweries, take a “sound walk,” check out 16 augmented reality art and music exhibits in the heart of the city, and much more.

The weather forecast isn’t looking as nice as it’s been for the past few weeks, but we’re still avoiding the polar vortex that can often hit YYC this time of year, so make plans with your family (or those friends that feel like family) and get out there to make the most of it!

Here are 19 of the best things to do in and around Calgary this Family Day weekend.

Make the most of the season during the 4th Street Winterlude

What: This Saturday evening, Calgarians can pause for a “Winterlude” and celebrate elements of winter projected by a light and laser display. Winter themes, moving shapes, and 3D designs will be synced to Vivaldi’s classical composition of “Winter: from The Four Seasons” and projected on the south wall of the Rideau Medical Centre. This outdoor, family- and dog-friendly, physically distanced five-minute performance will play on a loop every 15 minutes from 6 to 9 pm, and there will be gift card giveaways, glow sticks, and dog treats provided throughout the evening.

When: February 19
Time: 6 to 9 pm
Where: Projected onto the south wall of the Rideau Medical Centre (1711 4th Street SW, Calgary)
Cost: Free

Be awed by The BEACON

family day calgary

The BEACON (Courtesy of Calgary Municipal Land Corporation)

What: Standing just shy of 15 feet tall, The BEACON is a giant pillar of light made from over 60,000 one-litre water totes and a series of interactive choreographed light, sound, and video shows, all imagined, designed, and built by local art collective B!G ART. The BEACON features 12 seemingly normal doors – but, when opened, 10 of the doors are mapped in a choreographed light, sound, and video show – a portal to another place in time and space.

When: On daily through February 27
Time: 10 am to 10 pm
Where: Adjacent to Enoch Park at 12th Avenue and Macleod Trail SE
Cost: Free

Spend Family Day at Studio Bell with the Dueling Piano Kings


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A post shared by National Music Centre (@nmc_canada)

What: Studio Bell is opening its doors with free admission on February 21 for a special Family Day event with the Dueling Piano Kings. Gather your friends and fam for a day of fun, interactive activities, and connecting through music. Dueling Piano Kings is a highly interactive all-request piano show, and these two piano players can play any song you want to hear, from classic rock and retro tunes to the latest Top 40 music.

Studio Bell visitors can also explore vibration, volume, and how we put energy into instruments through a hands-on Instrument Petting Zoo. Catch a Kimball Theatre Organ demo, or dive into The Eh! Game, a self-guided trivia exercise where you’ll work as a team with your family to answer a variety of questions and riddles about Canada’s music story.

When: February 21
Time: 10 am to 5 pm
Where: Studio Bell (850 4th Street SE, Calgary)
Cost: Free

Spend a truly Canadian Day at the Beltline Bonspiel

What: Head to the Lougheed House this Saturday for an afternoon of winter fun. There will be awesome live music, fire pits, craft beer from Last Best Brewing and Distilling and Inner City Brewing Company, and delicious bites from local food trucks. And, of course, the main event will be Calgary teams curl and compete for the Brewery Trophy.

When: February 19
Time: 11 am to 5 pm
Where: Lougheed House (707 13th Avenue SW, Calgary)
Cost: Free to attend

Shop local at the Little Modern Marker: WINTER edition

What: Support over 80 local and small shops at Little Modern Market’s winter edition this Saturday. The market creates a space for community, collaboration, and, of course, shopping incredible YYC businesses, and has partnered with Telus Spark (buy-one-get-one-free entry), District Fitness (one free month of online classes), and Envy Beauty Lab (Envy Beauty Passport filled with discounts) along with an in-market giveaway valued at over $2,000 to thank shoppers for coming by. The market will also have Calgary Heritage Roasting Co. onsite serving up fresh coffee, plus FREE balloon animals and glitter tattoos for the little ones.

When: February 19
Time: 9:30 am to 3:30 pm
Where: ATCO Park Commons Building (5302 Forand Street SW, Calgary)
Cost: $5 entry

Join the spirit of the Games with Eighty-Eight Brewing Co.‘s Olympic Torch run

What: The ’88 Sports Club is hosting an Olympic Torch run on February 19. Get your vintage running gear on and get ready for an afternoon of running, beer, and snacks. There will be distances and paces for all runners, and everyone is welcome.

When: February 19
Time: Noon to 2 pm
Where: Starting at Eighty-Eight Brewing Co. (2600 Portland Street SE, Calgary)
Cost: Free to join the run

Get cultured through your ears with New Works Calgary: Winter Soundwalks


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What: This free “sound walk” with New Works Calgary will take you on a deep dive into Calgary Chinatown’s rich culture via your ears. Join classically-trained flutist Jiajia Li for a stroll through Chinatown and see beyond the iconic architecture of the Calgary Chinese Cultural Centre, the delicious restaurants, and countless bubble tea shops.

When: February 20
Time: 3 to 4 pm
Where: Calgary Chinatown (exact location TBA)
Cost: Free

Get topsy-turvy at The Alice: An Immersive Cocktail Experience

The Alice: An Immersive Cocktail Experience

Courtesy of The Alice: An Immersive Cocktail Experience

What: If you’ve ever dreamed of drinking tea with Alice in Wonderland characters, munching on an “Eat Me” cake, and playing croquet with flamingos, here’s your chance. Create your own liquid concoctions under the watchful eye of the Mad Hatter at The Alice: Immersive Cocktail Experience. Dive through the looking glass and solve riddles and challenges just like Alice to unlock all the ingredients needed to create your enchanted teapot cocktails.

When: January 27 to April 10
Where: SunnyCider (#1 – 3300 14th Avenue NE, Calgary)
Price: $47 per person; available here

Check out 16 augmented reality art and music exhibits at Northern Reflections

things to do calgary


What: Northern Reflections, a mash-up of music, art, and technology, is returning to Calgary for its second year, and it’s expanding. Murals and music combine with an augmented reality app to create a one-of-a-kind art experience in Calgary, with a self-guided tour throughout businesses in Inglewood and East Village.

When: January 28 to February 27
Where: Select businesses in East Village and Inglewood, Calgary
Cost: Free; download the Augle app to watch these displays come to life

Go skating on two new ice rinks at Southcentre Mall

calgary family day

Top Deck (Courtesy of Southcentre Mall)

What: Now you can shop till you drop and go skating all in one visit to the mall, with the addition of new ice rinks at Southcentre in Calgary. Top Deck, a community initiative supporting Big Brothers Big Sisters of Calgary and Area, features two outdoor skating rinks located on the upper level of the parkade at the east end of Southcentre Mall.

The rinks are open for both public and private use, and Calgarians can enjoy leisure skating on one rink or play hockey on the second rink for some true Canadian fun. It’s important to note that all skaters are required to pre-book their visits online, and, as Calgary’s weather can be unpredictable, we suggest checking out Top Deck’s webpage for the current status of the rinks.

When: February 3 until the end of the winter season
Time: Public skating Thursdays and Fridays from 3 to 7 pm and Saturdays and Sundays from 11 am to 7 pm. Private bookings are available Monday through Wednesday from 8 am to 8 pm
Where: Upper level of the parkade at the east end of Southcentre Mall, next to Decathlon (100 Anderson Road SE, Calgary)
Cost: Public skate for a minimum $2 donation to Big Brothers Big Sisters of Calgary and Area, or $100 for a private group booking

Take in the University of Calgary’s virtual Black History Month events

University of Calgary (events.ucalgary.ca)

What: Celebrate and learn during Black History Month with five events through the University of Calgary’s Faculty of Arts. These free, online talks span anti-Black racism to Black excellence and offer an opportunity to hear from a number of thoughtful speakers.

When: Select dates from February 2 to March 3
Time: Varies by event
Where: Online here
Cost: Free

Warm-up your winter with Chinook Blast

calgary family day

Sonic Illumination (Chinook Blast)

What: Chinook Blast has returned for its second year, celebrating winter in the heart of the city with the best of Calgary’s art, music, theatre, sport, and recreation scene on display. Chinook Blast 2022’s anchoring events include the Block Heater music festival, Glow Festival, an awe-inspiring winter festival with lights and more, and the Ethnik Festival of Arts & Culture, in addition to free public programming at the Chinook Blast Hub, centrally located around Calgary Downtown’s Olympic Plaza.

When: February 4 to 27
Time: Varies by programming
Where: In and around downtown Calgary, with the Chinook Blast Hub centrally located around Olympic Plaza (228 8th Avenue SE, Calgary)
Cost: FREE public programming at the Chinook Blast Hub; other costs vary by event

Sip delicious cocoa for a good cause during YYC Hot Chocolate Fest

calgary family day


What: YYC Hot Chocolate Fest is officially back for another celebration of all things sugary sweet, during which participating cafes, restaurants, and chocolatiers will compete to be crowned YYC’s Best Hot Chocolate. A portion from every cup sold during YYC Hot Chocolate Fest supports Calgary Meals on Wheels.

When: February 1 to 28
Where: Participating locations across Calgary
Cost: Varies by location

Take part in FREE Black History Month events with Calgary Public Library

What: Calgary Public Library is running a number of free online events in recognition of Black History Month. Watch a screening of the John Ware Reclaimed documentary, learn about African history and Black settlers, and much more.

When: February 19, 24, and 28
Time: Varies by date
Where: Online
Cost: Free; register for sessions using your library card

Watch “Olympics in the Taproom” at Eighty-Eight Brewing

What: Throughout the Beijing Winter Olympics, Eighty-Eight Brewing is going back to its ’88 Calgary Olympic roots. The taproom is decked out in ’88 Olympic memorabilia, and the brewery will be showing its favourite Olympic events live and on replay in the taproom. Plus, Eighty-Eight will be putting its award-winning ales on special every time Canada wins a medal!

When: February 4 to 20
Time: Brewery hours (3 to 9 pm Tuesday through Thursday, noon to 10 pm on Fridays and Saturdays, and noon to 6 pm on Sundays)
Where: Eighty-Eight Brewing (#1070 – 2600 Portland Street SE, Calgary)
Cost: Varies by purchase

Check out a live theatre performance with Disney’s Descendants: The Musical


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A post shared by StoryBook Theatre (@storybookyyc)

What: Based on the popular Disney Channel Original Movies, Disney’s Descendants: The Musical is a brand-new musical comedy featuring the beloved characters and hit songs from the films. StoryBook Theatre will be presenting the show live on stage, with 50% capacity, as well as virtually on-demand.

When: February 17 to March 20
Time: Tuesdays to Saturdays at 7 pm, and Saturdays and Sundays at 2 pm
Where: Beddington Theatre Arts Centre (375 Bermuda Drive NW, Calgary) and on-demand virtually
Cost: General admission is $27 for children, $32 for adults

Watch the adorable Penguin Walk at the Calgary Zoo

calgary family day

King Penguin Walk/Calgary Zoo

What: Head to the Calgary Zoo throughout the winter months and watch the king penguin colony as they waddle their way through the zoo, starting at 10 am daily (weather dependent). The Penguin Walk is an extremely rare chance to observe these adorable animals in a new way and for the penguins to exercise their brains and bodies during the winter months.

When: Beginning January 11 and through the winter months
Time: Daily at 10:30 am (weather permitting – cancellation updates will be posted to the zoo’s website and social media channels)
Where: Walk begins at the Penguin Plunge habitat at the Wilder Institute/Calgary Zoo (210 St. George’s Drive NE, Calgary)
Cost: Included with general admission ($29.95 for adults and $19.95 for children age three to 15)

Meet someone new at 17th Ave’s massive “Get Off The Apps And Onto The Ave” singles event


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What: If you’re tired of swiping right, swiping left, going on first dates that never lead to a second, getting ghosted, and spending countless hours online trying to find that special someone, then Calgary’s biggest singles event is for you. The Get off the Apps And Onto the Ave campaign starts on January 7 and runs until February 28, with a huge calendar of events designed to help singles meet other singles, all hosted in various venues along the 17th Avenue Retail & Entertainment District.

When: January 7 to February 28
Time: Varies by event
Where: Various businesses along 17th Avenue SW, Calgary
Cost: Varies by event

Take in the Banff Gondola’s immersive Nightrise exhibit

calgary family day

Pursuit (banffjaspercollection.com)

What: Pursuit’s latest experience, Nightrise, combines multimedia, storytelling, and nature at the Banff Gondola for a multi-sensory journey like no other. The event will bring light and sound together to share a new and inspiring perspective in the heart of the Rockies. At Sulphur Mountain’s peak, guests can explore the many levels of the summit building and enjoy Rockies-inspired eats and drinks. Outside on the viewing decks, discover wonders that only emerge as the night begins to rise.

When: On now until April 14
Time: Gondola upload time slots between 5:10 and 8:10 pm
Where: Banff Gondola (100 Mountain Avenue, Banff)
Cost: Starting at $56 for adults and $28 for children (age six to 15)

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