101 things to do in and around Calgary before you die

Apr 3 2017, 2:42 am

Calgary is a special place. We live in a young, vibrant city with miles of walking and cycling paths, cultural diversity, and an ever-growing food scene.

So to make sure you see, experience and do as much as you can in and near our great city, we’ve created the perfect list for you to check off before you die (and or leave Calgary).

1. Take a dog for a walk in Nose Hill Park

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2. Ride the mechanical bull at Ranchmans

3. Drink on a patio on 17th Ave during a chinook

4. See the wild horses in the Rocky Mountain foothills

5. Have a caesar where it was invented (previously known as the Calgary Inn, currently the Westin Calgary on 4th Avenue SW)

6. Enjoy a traditional Alberta steak at Caesar’s Steakhouse

7. Watch the world go by while eating at Sky 360 in Calgary Tower

8. Walk the grounds, try weird food & partake in the rides at the Calgary Stampede Midway

The Greatest Outdoor Show On Earth @aircanadaA post shared by Lil Bit of Stardust (@equidem) on

9. Bobsled at Canada Olympic Park

10. Take a day trip to Drumheller to see the hoodoos and Royal Tyrrell Museum

11. Learn about Calgary’s ghostly history with a walking ghost tour

12. Check out a brewery tour at one of Calgary’s iconic breweries Big Rock Brewery, Village Brewery or Wild Rose Brewery (or any of the newer craft beer breweries popping up!)

13. Dive into Western Canada’s history at Heritage Park Historical Village. Make sure you visit during the holidays!

14. Bike the path around the Glenmore Reservoir

15. Float down the Bow & Elbow rivers on a hot summer day – don’t forget your life jacket!

16. Zip line off the ski jump at Calgary Olympic Park – 500 metres long with a vertical drop of 100 metres!

17. Watch the Masters horse jumping tournament at Spruce Meadows

18. Drink an infamous Shaft cocktail at The Living Room – what could go wrong?!

19. Spend your Saturday jogging, dog walking, biking or rollerblading the Calgary Greenway – once complete it will be the worlds longest bike pathway

20. Pack up a picnic basket and enjoy the rays at Prince’s Island Park. You can even catch a play during the summer with Shakespeare by the Bow.

21. Visit Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame

22. Join the penguins for a waddle at the Calgary Zoo Penguin Walk

23. Enjoy the views from the Peace Bridge

24. Shopping in Inglewood, Calgary’s oldest neighbourhood

25. Visit and shop at the iconic Calgary Farmers Market

26. Lilac Festival the first Sunday of June – 500+ vendors and 6 stages with 30+ performances

27. A must of music lovers! Partake in the tunes at the Calgary Folk Music Festival.

28. Fly fishing on the Bow River – there is excellent fishing on our river. Catch a brown or rainbow trout!

29. Pay a visit to the Theatre Junction Grand to catch a local show, a true piece of history in our city!

30. Immerse yourself in the thrill of the GMC Rangeland Derby at Calgary Stampede

31. Partake in one of Alberta’s oldest pastimes – the world’s richest tournament-style Calgary Stampede Rodeo!

Now that’s what we call a hat trick.

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32. Pull a full day shift in the Cowboy’s Party Tent during Stampede week

33. Rides and family fun at Calaway Park

34. Join a game or league of lawn bowling at Calgary Lawn Bowling Club

35. Host a friends & family BBQ at Stanley Park and enjoy swimming in the Elbow River

36. Get scared at Canada’s largest halloween event at C.O.P – Scream Fest!

37. Win at Punk Rock Bingo on a Tuesday at The Ship & Anchor

38. Enjoy an after work beer on the National 8th rooftop patio

39. See all 56 art sculptures in the Calgary Downtown art guide!

40. Experience the lively vibe & sing-a-long at Singapore Sam’s after 2am

41. Take in the view at McHugh Bluff’s look-off while sipping a Peter’s Drive-In milkshake

42. Enjoy a delicious hungover breakfast at the hard-to-get-into OEB in Bridgeland and Downtown.

43. Munch down on a classic Smoked Meat Sandwich from Myhre’s or Avenue Deli

44. Sing your heart out  int sync with the duelling pianos at Aussie Rules

45. Spend an afternoon learn about what our veterans accomplished at the second largest Military Museum in Canada

46. Discover what makes this world so incredible at Telus Spark

47. Chase your buddy down with a paintball gun at Bragg Creek Paintball

48. Try out your motocross skills at Wild Rose MX Park – friendly for all ages!

49. Dance to the tunes of Broken Toyz on a Tuesday at Morgan’s Pub

50. Relax (or party) poolside at Hotel Arts

51. Soak in the rays and enjoy the water at Sandy Beach

52. Indulge in a cheddar and truffle fondue at The Living Room

53. Fly down the hill on a toboggan at St. Andrews Heights toboggan hill

54. Go skating at the Bowness Park Lagoon or in Downtown at Olympic Plaza

55. Find one of Calgary secret bars – Betty Lou’s LibraryModel Citizen or Frenchie Wine Bar

56. Taste ‘H-beer’ while watching a Calgary Flames game

You can find me in the dome 🍺

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57. Take the family to Prairie Winds Water Park (disclosure: parts of the park are currently under redevelopment)

58. Get lost in the corn maze at Calgary Corn Maze & Fun Farm

59. Find a bench & people watch on Stephen Avenue

60. Taste test some of the world’s best beers at Calgary BeerFest & Calgary OktoberFest

61. Bowling & partying (at the same time!) at National on 10th Avenue

62. Spend date night at the Calgary Zoo Lights during holiday season

63. Experience what happens when science, art and engineering collide at Beakerhead

64. Check out the live music at The Blues Can in Inglewood

65. Join the party on the Red Mile during Flames playoff run

66. Enjoy a unique milkshake at Re:Grub Burger Bar

67. Catch the epic fireworks display at the Stampede Grandstand Show

68. Experience real farm life at Butterfield Acres

69. Eat, eat and eat more at one of Calgary’s many Food Truck Festivals

70. Rollerblade old school style at Lloyds Roller Rink

71. Explore and discover the endless ethnic delicacies Chinatown has to offer

72. Hunt down as many Stampede Pancake Breakfast’s as possible in 10 days

73. Cheer for the Stampeders at McMahon Stadium

74. Drool over the hand made ice cream from Village Ice Cream

75. Check out Shakers Family Fun Centre to play laser tag, climb a rock wall, put 18-holes of mini golf and race go karts.

76. Watch a hilarious parody at Jubilations Dinner Theatre

77. Take in a speed skating competition at the Olympic Oval

78. Enjoy an outdoor light show every August when GlobalFest comes around

79. View our beautiful city from a different perspective. Take a helicopter ride with Mountain View Helicopters

80. Not into choppers or aircraft? Try a hot air balloon ride with Sundance Balloons

81. Have brunch at Bow Valley Ranche & follow it up with a walk in Fish Creek Park

82. Eat your brown bagged lunch at Devonian Gardens in the Core Shopping Centre (reopening in phases in 2017)

83. Experience Western Canada’s art and culture at the Glenbow Museum

84. Rent kayaks and pedal boats at Bowness Park

#calgary #bowness #park #bownesspark #pedalo #bowriverA post shared by Yu (@chienyu._.chen) on

85. Eat your way through the Big Taste Foodie Festival over 10 days of 3 and 5 course fixed meals at Calgary’s best restaurants

86. Have dinner at the historic Ranchmens’ Club

87. Visit a working ranch and national historic site Bar U Ranch

88. Pop into the newly opened Studio Bell National Music Centre and explore five floors of exhibitions

89. Meet the pack of wolfdogs at Yamnuska Wolfdog Sanctuary

90. Check out the World Heritage Site of Head-Smashed-Into Buffalo Jump to experience a hunting method used by Alberta’s native people for centuries

91. Take in and support the Calgary Pride Week events such as the parade and Pride In The Park

92. Feel the eclectic and young vibes of the Sled Island Festival

93. Watch a Roughnecks Lacrosse game in the lower bowl of the Saddledome

GOAL!!!!!!! #calgaryroughnecks #gonecksgo #saddledome

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94. Catch a show at the historic and iconic Palace Theatre

95. Skateboard at Canada’s largest free outdoor skatepark at Shaw Millennium Park

96. Immerse yourself in the culture and beauty of dance with Canada’s second largest ballet company, Alberta Ballet

97. Taste all 100 beer on tap at Craft Beer Market

98. Who needs the ocean to try sailing? Take sailing lessons on the Glenmore Reservoir!

99. Have a cup of coffee with the regular group of customers at Caffe Beano

100. Tubing at Canada Olympic Park is the perfect activity for a winter afternoon

101. Build your own epic sandwich at Lazy Loaf and Kettle Cafe


We definitely missed some with so much to do in and around our city. Comment below to add your favourites!

And don’t worry, we haven’t included anything in the Rocky Mountains for a reason. You’ll have to wait for another article for that list of must dos.

Kaila HoarKaila Hoar

+ Listed
+ Calgarians