19 things to do in Calgary this week: August 16 to 22

Aug 16 2021, 12:12 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.

August might be halfway over, but there are still plenty of things to do in Calgary right now to enjoy some summer fun before the cooler weather hits.

Whether you want to be indoors or outdoors, alone or with a group, there’s sure to be something on our list to fit your interests. Check out a digital immersion gallery, hit some balls at a boozy mini golf pop-up, groove to some live music, take your date to a drive-in movie, and much, much more.

Here are 19 of the best things to do in and around Calgary this week.

“Ooh” and “ahh” over a spectacular fireworks show at GlobalFest


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What: “Alberta’s most explosive festival” is back this month, featuring a delicious selection of international food booths, performances by cultural dance and musical troupes, and, of course, spectacular fireworks shows.

While the night market, cultural pavilions, and other activations won’t be part of the event this year, each of the five nights of fireworks offers audiences 40% more space than in past years, and the whole park has been licensed to allow guests of legal age to enjoy alcoholic beverages right from their seating area.

When: August 19 to 28
Where: Elliston Park, Calgary (1827 68th Street SE)
Cost: $21 (or $46 for VIP tickets)

Summer Sizzler Dance Party

What: Join Stay Vigilant Productions at Civic Tavern for their first live event since the onset of the pandemic, with DJs spinning house and dance tunes on the back patio all night long and Banded Peak Brewing hosting a pop-up bar in the backyard.

When: August 21
Time: 5 to 11 pm
Where: Civic Tavern (213 12th Avenue SW)
Cost: $10

Goat Yoga at Granary Road Market


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What: Get your zen on in a whole new way while doing yoga with goats at Granary Road. Afterwards, check out the local market, or bring the kids to play in the Learning Park.

When: August 21 and 22
Time: One-hour classes starting at 11 am and noon
Where: Granary Road Market (226066 112th Street W, Foothills No. 31)
Cost: $20

Historic Fire Hall No. 1’s Courtyard Summer Performances

What: The courtyard of a historic Calgary fire hall has been transformed into a fun and creative gathering space, acting as a vibrant backdrop for Instagram photos or a picnic with friends. The space also features live performances every Saturday, and it’s the perfect spot to spend a summer evening.

When: Gathering space open daily, with performances on Saturdays from August 7 to September 25
Time: Saturday performances from 5 to 7 pm
Where: Historic Fall Hall No. 1 (140 6th Avenue SE, Calgary)
Cost: Free

Calgary Zoo: FOCUSED

What: The FOCUSED photography event allows shutterbugs exclusive access to the Canadian Wilds exhibit after closing to the public for the day. This is your chance to snap some pictures of the animals and the zoo grounds in the evening light without other guests ending up in the frame.

When: August 17
Time: 6 to 8 pm
Where: The Calgary Zoo
Cost: $50 (includes day admission after 1 pm), or $30 for Calgary Zoo members

Beyond Van Gogh Calgary exhibit

things to do Calgary

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What: The Beyond Van Gogh digital immersion gallery features over 300 iconic works by the painter and takes visitors into a three-dimensional world to explore art in a completely new way.

If you’re up for an even more unique experience, check out one of their weekly yoga classes, offered every Thursday at 8:30 am and Saturday at 8 am.

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

Music in the Park at Heritage Park Historical Village

What: Each Wednesday throughout the summer, head over to Heritage Park for some live tunes. This week, catch Canadian group tThe Rojo’s playing outlaw country, classic rock, blues, and reggae tunes.

When: August 18
Time: 6 to 8 pm
Where: Didsbury Bandstand inside the Historical Village (1900 Heritage Drive SW)
Cost: Free

The Smooth Putt – Grey Goose Mini Golf

things to do Calgary

Courtesy of The Smooth Putt – Grey Goose Vodka

What: Boozy mini putt at a cool venue? Count us in! Join Grey Goose at Fort Calgary this month for nine holes of French-inspired mini golf, with a personalized vodka cocktail included in the ticket price.

When: August 13 to 22
Time: 11:30 am to 8:30 pm
Where: Fort Calgary (750 9th Avenue SE, Calgary)
Cost: $21

ShakesGo performances

What: The annual “Shakespeare by the Bow” show that Calgarians know and love is going on the road this summer with “Shakespeare on the Go.” Performances 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: Varies by day; visit schedule for details
Where: Varies by performance
Cost: By donation

Visit Canada’s first permanent digital immersion gallery at TELUS Spark Science Centre

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 – reserve 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)

Arts Commons’ ArtsXpeditions

What: ArtsXpeditions is back and bigger than ever this year. Pop-up shows bring music, dance, and performance art to community spaces, and this weekend’s six events are sure to surprise and delight locals.

When: August 18, 20, 21, and 22
Time: Varies by performance; see schedule here
Where: Varies by performance
Cost: Free

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

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 “Gram Garden,” 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

Kensington weekend pop-ups

What: Free pop-up art 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.

When: Every Saturday from June through November
Time: 12:30 to 2:30 pm
Where: Kensington Village
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 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

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 week’s offerings include the Lego Movie 2 and The Matrix.

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

When: August 19 and 21
Time: Varies by show
Where: TELUS Spark Science Centre (220 St. George’s Drive NE, Calgary)
Cost: Varies by show

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

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

Heritage Park Ghost Tours

What: Visit Heritage Park after dark for a guided ghost tour through the abandoned streets of its Historical Village. Hear spooky stories and learn a little bit about Calgary’s haunted past during a 90-minute walking tour, covering approximately 2 km of the park.

When: August 19
Time: Tours beginning at 7 and 9 pm
Where: Heritage Park Historical Village (1900 Heritage Drive SW)
Cost: $22.95

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