14 things to do in Calgary this Thanksgiving long weekend: October 8 to 11

Oct 8 2021, 6:01 pm

Alberta has declared a state of public health emergency due to the COVID-19 pandemic. 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. Additionally, be aware that many businesses and events may be participating in the Restrictions Exemption Program and will require proof of vaccine or a negative, privately paid COVID-19 test. If you are sick, please stay home.

The Thanksgiving long weekend is here, and we’re grateful for all the fun things to do to in Calgary this season.

Thanksgiving is on Monday, giving us an extra day to explore YYC this weekend. Plus, it’s all about being thankful for the people and things you have in your life, so plan a group outing with family or friends to check out all the events the city has to offer.

Here are 14 of the best things to do in and around Calgary this Thanksgiving long weekend.

Prairie Grid Market


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Eat North (@eatnorth)

Show your love for all things local at the Prairie Grid Market, a pop-up event coming to Calgary this weekend. The marketplace features Prairie-based food and drink makers, along with local music and art.

In addition to the market itself, the weekend will also host two adjacent events, with a chef’s dinner at 6:30 pm on Friday, October 8, and an “after-hours” food trivia night on Saturday evening, hosted by drag queen Ivy League.

When: October 9 and 10
Time: 9 am to 6 pm on October 9, and 10 am to 4 pm on October 10
Where: Carter Cadillac (649 Heritage Drive SE)
Tickets: Free; timed entry tickets required for admission

Live music at Koi

What: Enjoy some of Koi’s delicious Asian-fusion dishes and creative cocktails alongside live music from The Bronze Medalists and Elise Boulanger this Saturday evening.

When: October 9
Time: Elise Boulanger from 7 to 9 pm, The Bronze Medalists at 9:30 pm
Where: Koi (#100 – 1011 1st Street SW)

Stage West Theatre Restaurant’s Feelin’ Groovy

What: Feelin’ Groovy – The Best of Folk Rock features tributes to some of the most influential singer/songwriters, including Joni Mitchell, Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young, and many more. Plus, enjoy some amazing eats from Stage West’s huge buffet along with your entertainment.

When: August 27 to November 14
Time: Varies by date
Where: Stage West Theatre Restaurant (727 42nd Avenue SE)
Cost: $86.10 for regularly priced tickets, with special rates available on select dates

Halloweekends at Calaway Park


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Calaway Park (@calawaypark)

What: Get in the spooky spirit during Calaway Park’s final Halloweekends event this season. The amusement park has set up “Hallotown” in one section of the venue, which is home to haunted scenes, magical meet and greets, photo ops, and even a parade. Guests are encouraged to dress in costumes and enjoy a day of fall fun.

When: October 9 to 11
Time: 11 am to 5 pm
Where: Calaway Park (245033 Range Road 33, Calgary)
Cost: Included with admission ($47.95 for those age 3 to 49)

Harvest Lights at the Calgary Farmyard

What: Celebrate fall at the corn maze! Calgary Farmyard has all of its activities open for Harvest Lights, and the entire farm will be lit up in a fantastic display, with the exception of the corn maze. The maze will be kept dark as an added challenge for guests to find their way through using flashlights. You can also snap photos with pumpkins, or purchase some to bring home.

When: Fridays and Saturdays from September 17 to October 31
Time: 5:30 to 9:30 pm
Where: Calgary Farmyard (284022 Township Road 224)
Cost: $19.95 if purchased online in advance, $22.95 at the gate

Pumpkins After Dark

What: Pumpkins After Dark features over 6,000 hand-carved pumpkins in a walk-through nighttime experience that’s fun for all ages. Pumpkin sculptures and displays include everything from classic Halloween characters to dragons and dinosaurs to movie and pop culture icons, and there’ll also be food trucks, hot chocolate and coffee, pumpkin carving demonstrations, Monster Mini Golf, and pumpkins and merchandise up for sale to bring a part of the Halloween magic home with you.

When: Thursday through Sunday from September 23 to October 31
Time: 6 to 10:45 pm
Where: Husky Gardens at WinSport’s Canada Olympic Park (88 Canada Olympic Road SW)
Tickets: Available online now for $19.95 for adults and $17.95 for children, with kids three and under free (must be purchased in advance, no on-site ticket sales)

Get immersed in art at Beyond Van Gogh

What: Catch the immersive Beyond Van Gogh experience on October 8 before it disappears for a brief hiatus. The exhibit features over 300 iconic works by the painter and taking visitors into a three-dimensional world to explore art in a completely unique way. Beyond Van Gogh will return on October 23 for an additional month.

Guests can also get their zen on with a yoga class right inside the exhibit, hosted by Mountain Home Yoga every Thursday, Friday, and Saturday morning.

When: September 18 to October 8, October 23 to November 28
Time: Timed tickets available from 10 am to 9 pm daily, with yoga classes at 8:30 am every Thursday, Friday, and Saturday
Where: The BMO Centre on Stampede Park (20 Roundup Way SE)
Tickets: Starting at $33.99 for adults, available now


Screamfest is known for its terrifying haunted houses, zombies, creepy clowns, and “murderers,” along with other chills and thrills. As the event’s website promises, “you will scream.” Ticketholders will enjoy six different haunted houses, with everything from the Grim Reaper to zombies and clowns ready to scare guests silly. There are also carnival games and axe throwing on the Midway of Mayhem, a coffin ride, food trucks, a beer lounge, and more.

When: October 8 and 9, October 15 and 16, October 22 and 23, and October 28 to 31
Time: 7 pm to midnight
Where: Stampede Park Grandstand, 3rd Street SE, Calgary
Tickets: Starting at $25; available now

Kensington weekend pop-ups

What: Free pop-up art and music activations will run each weekend in Kensington Village until November, bringing Calgarians a chance to enjoy live music, performers, and much more throughout the neighbourhood. This weekend, catch Calgary musician Emily Triggs, whose tunes are influenced by the Deep South, through Texas blues, strains from the Appalachian Mountains, and early years in French Canada.

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

Banff Pride

What: Head out to the Rockies to celebrate Banff Pride this October! This year, Banff Pride has its biggest event schedule ever, with highlights including Canadian drag queen Brooke Lynn Hytes performing at the kickoff party and brunch at the Fairmont Banff Springs, a Rainbow Walk and Flag Raising, a Pride Run, Beers for Queers Open Mic Night, and much more.

Additionally, more than 15 Banff restaurants and bars have Pride-themed cocktails and desserts available in support of LGBTQ2+ organizations, so get out there and eat and drink for a good cause.

When: October 3 to 11
Where: Varies by event; see schedule for details
Cost: Varies by event

Check out the CIFRS Truth and Reconciliation Indigenous Art Exhibit at Southcentre Mall

What: Aligning with the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation, Southcentre Mall has partnered up with the Colouring It Forward Reconciliation Society to launch a special art exhibit. The display features work by 17 Indigenous artists from across western Canada and incorporates thoughtful recommendations about how people can take steps to foster reconciliation in their own communities.

When: September 1 to October 11
Time: The art exhibition is accessible during mall hours (10 am to 8 Monday through Saturday, and 11 am to 6 pm on Sundays and holidays
Where: Southcentre Mall (100 Anderson Road SE)
Cost: Free

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 31
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

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

What: An interim exhibit, located inside 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
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

Get into Studio Bell for free

What: Studio Bell, home of the National Music Centre, is celebrating its 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

Elle McLeanElle McLean

+ Listed