50 things to do in Calgary this fall

Dec 19 2017, 2:37 am

Here are some of the top events to check out in Calgary this fall.

For a complete list of events, check out our Calgary Buzz events calendar.

Free things to do

Image: Crafting via Shutterstock

Image: Crafting via Shutterstock

Heritage Inn International Balloon Festival

  • What: A host to 27 international balloons from Belgium, UK, USA and Canada. The balloons will compete by navigating from one place to the next. The event will also feature Night Glow where the balloons will be lit up for viewing.
  • Where: 1104 11 Ave SE, High River
  • When: Wednesday, September 23 to Sunday, September 27, 2015

Alberta Culture Days

  • What: An annual Pan-Canadian movement to raise awareness, participation, and engagement of all Canadians in arts and cultural life. There will be many free family events taking place over the three-day event, including rock concerts, dance demonstrations, historic exhibits, film screenings and more.
  • Where: Various
  • When: Friday, September 25 to  Sunday, September 27

Etsy: Made in Canada

  • What: Support the local community of handmade and vintage sellers at this pop-up market.
  • Where: Golden Acre Garden Sentre – 620 Goddard Ave. NE, Calgary
  • When: Saturday, September 26 at 9 a.m. to 5p.m.

2015 Molson Canadian NHL Face-Off

  • What: Season-opening outdoor hockey, music festival and viewing party.
  • Where: Fort Calgary – 750 9th Ave SE
  • When: Wednesday, October 7 at 3 p.m.; Flames vs. Canucks broadcast at 8pm

 Volunteer at a Food Bank for Thanksgiving

  • What: Help the community by volunteering at the Calgary Food Bank.
  • Where: 5000 11 St SE, Calgary

 Thrill The World Calgary

  • What: If you have ever wanted to be in a ‘giant flash mob’ than this is your chance to shine. Thrill Calgary is a non-profit which promotes Calgarians to get up and active.
  • Where: Southcentre Mall – 100 Anderson Road SE, Calgary
  • When: Saturday, October 24 at 2 p.m.­­­

 Nanton Light’s The Way

  • What: Distinctly Nanton Market is out in the country and is great if you are looking for unique gifts for your holiday shopping.
  • Where: Downtown Nanton
  • When: Friday, November 27 to Sunday, November 29 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Oktoberfest Events

The German folk festival brings out the best in people. Revel in good times with good food, beer and of course people. Here is our link to the best Oktoberfest events in Calgary 2015.

Top Food and Drink Festivals This Fall

Alberta Beer Week

  • What: Celebrate fresh local beer hosted by the Alberta Small Brewers Association.
  • Where: Various locations
  • When: Friday, September 25 to Saturday, October 3

YYC Pizza Week

  • What: Over 40 pizza restaurants in Calgary will be competing in a 10 day pizza battle, putting their pizzas in one of three categories; thin, thick, or unique.
  • Where: Participating restaurants
  • When: Friday, September 25 to Monday, October 5

 Rocky Mountain Wine & Food Festival

  • What: Indulge yourself at the 18th annual Calgary Rocky Mountain Wine & Food Festival. There will be over 200 exhibitors featuring the latest adult beverage products and local menu items.
  • Where: Stampede Park BMO Centre, Halls D & E – 20 Roundup Way SW, Calgary
  • When: Friday, October 16 from 5 to 10 p.m. and Saturday, October 17 , noon to 4 p.m. and 6 to 10 p.m.
  • Cost: $25 to $39

 Restaurants For Change

  • What: In one night, 13 cities and 50 restaurants will participate in Restaurants For Change with the goal to support the right to healthy food for all Canadians. Show your support by making a reservation at a participating restaurant.
  • Where: Various participating restaurants
  • When: Saturday, October 21

Festivals and Other Events

ILLUMINASIA garden and lantern festival

  • What: Come see authentic Chinese lanterns that will light up the zoo. There will also be authentic Chinese, Japanese and Indian entertainment and programs.
  • Where: Calgary Zoo – 1300 Zoo road NE, Calgary
  • When: Thursday, September 17 to Sunday, November 1; 7 to 10 p.m. (Thursday to Saturday) and 6 to 9 p.m. (Sunday)
  • Cost: $24 for adults and $18 for children

Thanksgiving at Heritage Park

  • What: The park will be closing soon for the year so come and enjoy a Thanksgiving meal and themed activities like pumpkin baking demonstrations, crafts, and more. If you come before 10:30 a.m. they will be serving pancakes to the first 500 guests at Gunn’s Dairy Barn.
  • Where: Heritage Park – 1900 Heritage Dr SW, Calgary
  • When: Saturday, October 10 to Monday, October 12 from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.
  • Cost: $26 for adult general admission, $13 for child (3 to 6), $19 for youth (7 to 14) and $20 for senior

Calgary International Burlesque Festival

  • What: This three day festival has something exciting to do every night. Friday night features Kitten N’ Lou, Saturday Night Cabaret features Judith Stein and Sunday brunch finishes with up coming stars from far and wide.
  • Where: Various
  • When: Friday, October 16 to Sunday, October 18
  • Cost: Ticket prices vary

Arts & Theatre Action This Fall

 Calgary International Film Festival

  • What: A 12 day showcase of 200 multi-genre films from Canada and over 40 other countries. The evening will host gala events, screening, award ceremonies and more.
  • Where: 207, 214 11 Ave S, Calgary
  • When: Wednesday, September 23 to Sunday, October 4
  • Cost: Varies

 The Wedding Singer

  • What: Watch this play at Stage West about a rock star wannabe in New Jersey, Robbie Hart. He is the life of the party until his wife decides to leave him at the alter, he then goes to make other peoples weddings as miserable as his own.
  • Where: Stage West Calgary – 727 42 Ave SE, Calgary
  • When: Friday, September 4 to Sunday, November 8; 6 p.m. (Tuesdays to Saturdays) and 10:30 a.m. and 5 p.m. (Sundays)
  • Cost: Varies

Calgary International Flamenco Festival

  • What: A week of presenting international and local Flamenco featuring Flamenco star, Karen Lugo.
  • Where: University Theatre – 230 University Court NW and
    University Way NW, Calgary
  • When: Sunday, September 27 to Saturday, October 3

YYC Comedy Festival

  • What: Laugh out loud at this festival full of comedians such as Mary Walsh, Mike Wilmot, Emo Philips and many more.
  • Where: Various venues
  • When: Thursday, October 12 to Tuesday, October 17
  • Cost: Free to $50

 80’s Solid Gold 2: A Musical Revue

  • What: This play with your dinner is about the influential wave of pop and rock in one show featuring stars like Micheal Jackson and Janet Jackson.
  • Where: Stage West Calgary – 727 42 Ave SE, Calgary
  • When: Friday, November 13 to Sunday, February 7
  • Cost: Various

Concerts and Parties

 50 Days YYC

  • What: Calgary’s newest and longest local music festival where there is a new artist at a new venue everyday for 50 days.
  • Where: Various Locations
  • When: Now through to Saturday, October 3
  • Cost: Ticket prices vary

Arrival Festival

  • What: Listen and party to ALESSO, Audien, and more for the Thanksgiving long weekend. Must be 18 years or older to attend.
  • Where: BMO Centre, Stampede Park, 20 Roundup Way, Calgary
  • When: Friday, October 9 from 8 p.m. to 2 a.m.
  • Cost: From $80

6th Annual Cemetery of Sound w/ Steve Aoki & Adventure Club

  • What: DJs Steve Aoki, Adventure Club and Oliver Heldens will be putting on amazing beat dropping music. Must be 18 or older to attend.
  • Where: BMO Centre; 20 Roundup Way SE, Calgary
  • When: Friday, October 30 and 31 at 8 p.m. to 2 a.m.
  • Cost: Starting at $99

Halloween in Calgary

From haunted houses to ghost tours and parties, we got you covered for all your Halloween needs. We’ll have a full guide to Halloween in Calgary coming out shortly.

Pumpkin Festivals

Autumn Pumpkin Festival

  • What: Hosting a wide variety of pumpkins and activities you won’t want to miss out on this fun pumpkin adventure.
  • Where: Calgary Corn Maze – 284022 Township Road 224, Rockyview
  • When: Saturday, September 26 to Sunday, October 25, every weekend from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
  • Cost: $14 for adults, and free for children 2 and under

 Haunted Pumpkin Festival

  • What: An autumn outing to this pumpkin patch is the perfect way to get into the fall season. There will be fun haunted houses, corn mazes, a petting farm, shootin’ Gallery and more.
  • Where: Prairie Gardens – 56311 Lily Lake Road, Bon Accord
  • When: September 26 and 27 and every weekend in October from October 3 to November 1  from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.
  • Cost: Starting from $9.50

 Cobb’s Corn Maze and Family Fun Park

  • What: Ever wanted to go to a corn maze when its dark outside? Well bring a flashlight and come to Freak Fridays and Flashlight Nights and find your way through the various corn mazes.
  • Where: Cobb’s Corn Maze and Family Fun Park – 1500 84 St NE, Calgary
  • When: Friday, October 2, 9, 16, 23, 30 from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m.
  • Cost: Adults $13, Children $12, 3 years old and under free

 Harvest Pumpkin Hunts at Butterfield Acres Farm

  • What: Perfect for the 8 and under crowd as there will be a wagon ride, animals, and your child will get to decorate a kid-sized pumpkin that they can take home at the end of the day. Remember to wear something orange to celebrate the fall season.
  • Where: Butterfield Acres Farm; 254077 Rocky Ridge Road
  • When: October 3, 4, 10, 11, 17, 18, 24, 25, 31 from 10:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.
  • Cost: $15 for adults,  $13 for children

Kayben’s Pumpkin Days Dress Up Day

  • What: Dress up in your favourite costume, win prizes and have fun with the whole family.
  • Where: Kayben Farms; 314064 32 St. E
  • When: October 31 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
  • Cost: $13 for adult or $35 per family, and free for children 2 and under

Getting Ready for Christmas

 Moscow Ballet’s Great Russian Nutcracker

  • What: The Moscow Ballet’s Great Russian Nutcracker features talented dancers, playful puppets and the unmatched splendor of hand crafted sets and costumes.
  • Where: Jack Singer Concert Hall, Arts Commons – 205 8 Ave SE, Calgary
  • When: Saturday, November 21 at 3 p.m.
  • Cost: Starting at $45

A Christmas Carol

  • What: Theater Calgary will be putting on A Christmas Carol, where Stephen Hair will be putting on his 22nd year as Ebenezer Scrooge. Try to book as early as possible because last years shows were all sold out.
  • Where: Max Bell Theatre, Arts Commons, 205 8 Ave. SE, Calgary
  • When: Thursday, November 26 to Thursday, December 24
  • Cost: Prices vary

 Christmas at the Opera

  • What: With only five performances this is a must see annual holiday tradition. Calgary Opera Emerging Artists present a Showcase production with chamber orchestra of the one-act opera, The Enchanted Child paired with magical melange of carols.
  • Where: Arrata Opera Centre, 1315 7 St. SW
  • When: Thursday, December 3 to Sunday, December 6
  • Cost: Varies

Christmas Markets

Millarville Christmas Market

  • What: Enjoy fabulous days of lights, food, hay rides, crafts and many seasonal vendors.
  • Where: Millarville Racing and Agricultural Society, 306097 192 St., Millarville
  • When: Friday, November 6 from 12 p.m. to 8 p.m. to Sunday, November 8 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. (Saturday and Sunday)
    Cost: $5

Oktotoks Christmas Festival

  • What: Attracting thousands of visitors, this festival hosts over 100 artisan vendors, vintage Santa photos, Santa’s workshop and live caroling by the Foothills Philharmonic Chorus.
  • Where: Foothills Centennial Centre – 204 Community Way, Okotoks
  • When: Friday, November 6 from 4 p.m. to 9 p.m. (Friday) to Sunday, November 8 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. (Saturday and Sunday)
  • Cost: $5

Crestmont Christmas Market

  •  What: Three-days of  holiday shopping with wonderful and unique businesses and artisans.
  • Where: Crestmont Residents Hall – 12400 Crestmont Blvd SW, Calgary
  • When: Friday, November 13 from 3 to 8 p.m. to Sunday, November 15  from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. (Saturday and Sunday)
  • Cost: Free. Donations to the Food Bank are welcome

 Spruce Meadows International Christmas Market

  • What: Held over three weekends this market hosts more than 250 vendors spreading Christmas with hand-crafted gifts, stress-free shopping and a festive environment.
  • Where: Spruce Meadows, 18011 Spruce Meadows Way SW
  • When: Friday, November 13 to Sunday, November 29 (Only from Friday to Sunday); 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. (Friday), 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. (Saturday), 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. (Sunday)
  • Cost: $10

 Banff Christmas Market

  • What: Experience a unique kind of shopping with unique fashions, and handcrafted gifts as well as live entertainment and good food.
  • Where: 100 Sundance Road, Banff
  • When: Friday, November 20 to Sunday November 22; 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. (Friday), 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. (Saturday), 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. (Sunday)

 Once Upon a Christmas

  • What: Feel enchanted by Christmas at this event by going on a wagon ride, sing carols, visit Santa Clause and participate in the holiday activities.
  • Where: Heritage Park – 1900 Heritage Dr. SW
  • When: Weekends from Saturday, November 21 to Sunday, December 20 from 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.
  • Cost: $26 for adult general admission, $13 for child (3 to 6), $21 for senior (65 and up), $19 for youth (7 to 14) and free for children 3 and under

 The Ranch Christmas Market

  • What: Enjoy shopping for unique things for the holidays. This Christmas market is perfect for gifts and for yourself.
  • Where: Symons Valley Ranch – 14555 Symons Valley Rd NW
  • When: Friday, November 27 to Sunday, November 29 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
  • Cost: $5

Christmas Artisan & Craft Sales

 Chestermere Christmas Craft Sale

  • What: Come to Chestermere to enjoy a day of shopping, this year they are utilizing more space and are offering free door prizes of “CrazyBucks”, which is worth $25 for any of the vendors on the day of the event.
  • Where: Chestermere Regional Recreation Centre – 201 W Chestermere Dr., Chestermere
  • When: Saturday, November 7 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
    Cost: Free admission with Food Bank donation

Bowness Christmas Craft Sale

  • What: It’s the 4th annual Christmas Craft Sale on November 7 and some of the vendors include, woodworking, glassblowing, crochet, baked goods, jewelry and more.
  • Where: Bowness Community Centre – 7904 23 Ave. NW
  • When: Saturday, November 7 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
  • Cost: Free

Springbank Christmas Artisan and Craft Sale

  • What: Enjoy your Christmas shopping here as there are many handmade things that can be found from quilts to teddy bears.
  • Where: Springbank Community High School – 32226 Springbank Rd
  • When: Saturday, November 7 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday, November 8 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
  • Cost: Free

 Fort Calgary Annual Artisan’s Fair

  • What: Fort Calgary will be hosting its annual Artisan Fair, where rooms and floors will be set up with local arts and crafts tables to get you into the holiday season. A fresh made lunch at the counter will also be offered.
  • Where: Fort Calgary – 750 9 Ave. SE
  • When: Friday, November 11 from 11:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.
  • Cost: Free admission with food donation

 Canmore Christmas Artisan’s Market

  • What: With over 80 artists, artisans and makers of fine foods, you are guaranteed to find that special something you are looking for.
  • Where: Canmore Collegiate High School – 1800 8 Ave, Canmore
  • When: Saturday, November 14 and Sunday, November 15 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
  • Cost: $3

 Bragg Creek Artisan’s Christmas Sale

  • What: Celebrating their 39th year there will be over 65 local artists exhibiting their original fine art and unique handcrafts including pottery, jewelry, paintings, woodwork, fiber arts, country crafts and more.
  • Where: Bragg Creek Centre – 23 White Ave, Brag Creek
  • When: Saturday, November 14 and Sunday, November 15 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
  • Cost: Free

Christmas Art Market & Craft Show

  • What:  Explore Calgary’s premier art and craft sale and is designed for Christmas gift giving. Over 200 professional artisans from across Canada will be present, offering diversity and an amazing selection.
  • Where: TELUS Convention Centre – 136 8 Ave SE
  • When: Thursday, November 19 to Sunday, November 22; 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. (Thursday and Friday), 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. (Saturday), and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. (Sunday)
  • Cost: $10

 Cranston Annual Christmas Bazaar

  • What: Enjoy the 5th annual Christmas Bazaar featuring variety of vendors from homemade crafts, local artists, home based businesses and more.
  • Where: Century Hall – 11 Cranarch Road SE
  • When: Saturday, November 21 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
  • Cost: Free

Festival of Crafts

  • What: One of the biggest holiday handcrafted shopping events in Canada will be showcasing over 250 vendors with some of Canada’s most talented artists, artisans and designers.
  • Where: BMO Centre, Stampede Park
  • When: Thursday, November 26 to Sunday, November 29; 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. (Thursday and Friday), 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. (Saturday), 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. (Sunday)
  • Cost: $7

 Market Collective

  • What: Find handmade and local artisan gifts at this festive market.
  • Where: Chinese Cultural Centre – 197 1 St. SW
  • When: Friday, November 27 to Sunday, December 13 (Friday’s, Saturday’s & Sunday’s); 4 p.m. to 9 p.m. (Friday), 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. (Saturday and Sunday)
  • Cost: $5

 Bearspaw Christmas Market

  • What: Get a free draw for Crazy Bucks, shop for gifts and have fun at the Crazy4Crafts Bearspaw Christmas Craft Sale at Rockpointe Church.
  • Where: RockPoint Church – Bearspaw Site, 255024 Lochend Rd., NW
  • When: Saturday, November 28 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
  • Cost: Free with Food Bank donation

Stay in Shape and Enter a Race

  • September 26 – MEC Calgary Race Six (5K, 10K, 15K)
  • September 26 – Run For Calgary (5K, 10K, Other)
  • September 27 – Calgary Heartbeat Run (5K, 10K, Other)
  • October 2 – Ambulance Chasers Charity Run (5K, 10K)
  • October 3 – Harvest Half Marathon (Half-Marathon)
  • October 3 – CRR River Park Classic XC (8K, Other)
  • October 3 – Spruce Meadows Oktoberfest Run (5K, 10K)
  • October 3 – MEC Calgary Fall Trail Run (8K, Other)
  • October 4 – CIBC Run For The Cure Calgary (5K, Fundraiser)
  • October 11 – Grizzly Bear Ultra Marathon (Ultra)
  • October 11 – Investors Group Alzheimer Walk & Run (5k, 10K, Fundraiser)
  • October 17 – Robert Hamilton Memorial Race (Other)
  • October 17 – Banff Ekiden Relay (Other)
  • October 18 – MEC Calgary Race Seven (5K, 10k, Half-Marathon, Marathon)
  • October 18 – CRR Confederation Park XC Relay (Other)
  • October 24 – Zombie Invasion Run (5K)
  • October 25 – Kathy’s Run for Pancreatic Cancer Calgary (5K, 10K, Half-Marathon)
  • October 25 – Halloween Howl Calgary (5K, 10K)
  • November 7 – Recovery Run (5K, 10K)
  • November 7 – CRR Okotoks XC (8K, Other)
  • November 7 – Stoked Oats 5L (5K)
  • November 14 – Sight Night Calgary (8K, Other)
  • November 15 – Last Chance Half-Marathon (Half-Marathon)
  • November 21 – CRR Edworthy XC (8K, Other)
  • December 4 – Spruce Meadows Dashing Through The Glow (5K, 10K)
  • December 12 – CRR Silver Springs XC (8K, Other)
  • December 12 – Run Santa Run (5K, 10K)


DH Calgary StaffDH Calgary Staff

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