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It’s going to be a hot weekend in Calgary, but luckily there are plenty of things to do around the city right now, whether you want to escape the heat or embrace it.
Shop local at night markets in two of Calgary’s coolest neighbourhoods, check out a digital immersion gallery, do a pub crawl with your dog, or hit some balls at a boozy mini golf event, and much more.
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Here are 21 things to do in Calgary this weekend.
What: The Southern Alberta Music Festival will feature 13 local artists over the course of two days at Aspen Crossing, a campground, event venue, and heritage railway attraction an hour’s drive from Calgary.
The festival is headlined by Trevor Panczak, Jake Mathews, and Drew Gregory, and you’ll find a variety of food trucks at this festival, plus beer gardens with an afterparty featuring Blue Suede. There’s even a free pancake breakfast on Saturday morning.
When: August 13 and 14
Time: 7 to 11 pm on August 13 and 9:30 am to 11 pm on August 14
Where: Aspen Crossing (AB-Highway 24, Mossleigh, Alberta)
Tickets: $80 for two-day general admission, or $40 for Friday and $60 for Saturday
Snag a comic during Free Comic Book Day
What: It’s one of the biggest days of the year for comic book fans, and many Calgary stores are taking part in Free Comic Book Day. During this single-day event, comic book specialty shops worldwide give away books at zero cost to anyone who comes into participating locations.
Different stores will have their own policies on which free book you’ll receive, but you’ll go home with at least one comic if you enter a store celebrating the day. Check out our list of YYC locations taking part in the event.
When: August 14
Time: Store operating hours; varies by location
Where: Six participating locations in Calgary
Check out the first-ever 4th Street Night Market
What: New this year, the 4th Street Market gives Calgarians a chance to shop local and reconnect with the community against the stunning backdrop of the Elbow River. The inaugural event this weekend will be a vibrant, street-style market featuring local artists, makers, and vendors, along with food trucks and live music and entertainment.
When: August 14 and September 4
Time: 4 to 10 pm
Where: 4th Street and Elbow Drive SW
Cost: Free admission; varies by purchase
Historic Fire Hall No. 1 Courtyard Summer Performances
What: The courtyard of a historic Calgary fire hall has been transformed into a fun and creative gathering space, acting as the perfect backdrop for Instagram photos and meeting up with friends this summer. The space also features live performances every Saturday evening, and you can watch Lennon First Rider dance and listen to tunes from Jamie Allanach and Michela Sheedy this weekend.
When: Saturdays from August 7 to September 25
Time: 5 to 7 pm
Where: Historic Fall Hall No. 1 (140 6th Avenue SE, Calgary)
What: Breweries, wineries, and distilleries across Calgary are taking part in a Sunday afternoon pup-crawl this weekend. Bring your dog to one of the participating locations (all with dog friendly patios!) to enjoy the sunshine, and shop local while you’re at it: each beverage spot will also be hosting a local pet-goods producer, so you can spoil your four-legged friend.
When: August 15
Time: noon to 4 pm
Where: 13 participating breweries across Calgary
Cost: Varies by purchase
Beyond Van Gogh Calgary exhibit
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 unique 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, beginning August 21, Saturdays 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
What: Boozy mini putt at a cool venue? Count us in! Join Grey Goose at Fort Calgary this month for nine holes of mini golf with a personalized vodka cocktail.
When: August 13 to 22
Time: Time slots available between 3 and 8:30 pm on August 13, and 11:30 am to 8:30 pm all other dates
Where: Fort Calgary (750 9th Avenue SE, Calgary)
King Eddy’s Homegrown Country Series
What: The King Eddy’s summer music series serves as a gathering for the Alberta country music community and spotlights some of the province’s most sought-after artists. This weekend, catch James Murdoch of Canadian country music group The Dungarees at the historic venue.
The King Eddy will also be serving up a selection of local brews, custom cocktails, comfort food classics, and shareable bites, including vegetarian options.
When: August 14
Time: 8 pm (with Happy Hour pricing on from 4:30 to 6:30 pm)
Where: The King Eddy (438 9th Avenue SE)
Cost: No cover charge; first-come-first-served seating for all shows
What: Experience an evening of music, wine, and food at Ill-Fated Kustoms’ unique Calgary venue. Jazz singer Ellen Doty will be performing a mix of original music and classics, and will be joined by folk singer Wyatt C. Louis. A full bar will be available, and guests can also purchase classy snacks like charcuterie, olives, and dips to round out their evening.
When: August 13
Time: 7 pm
Where: Ill-Fated Kustoms (5327 3rd Street SE)
What: Shop local at the Inglewood Night Market this month. This modern market boasts locally sourced and handmade vendors selling a range of goods, from handmade crafts and vintage clothing to antiques and collectibles, artisan eats, and more. Food trucks and live music add to the fun of the evening too.
When: August 13
Time: 4 to 11 pm
Where: 10th Avenue and 10th Street SE in Inglewood
Cost: Free to attend, varies by purchase
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
Take in a live show at the Grey Eagle Drive-In
What: Join the Grey Eagle Resort & Casino at southern Alberta’s largest drive-in venue to watch a live concert. This week features Platinum Blonde in an outdoor general admission show, where you can stand, roam, or enjoy the concert from your lawn chair in the drive-in lot.
When: August 13
Time: 8 pm
Where: Grey Eagle Resort and Casino (3777 Grey Eagle Drive, Calgary)
Rockin’ the Jukebox at Jubilations Dinner Theatre
What: Join Jubilations for dinner and a show! Rockin’ the Jukebox tells the story of local teens in the sleepy town of Lakewood who are literally dying of boredom until one day they wander into an old boarded-up diner and find a strange-looking device…
A three-course meal is paired with the show, and you can expect lasting memories from this dinner theatre.
When: Wednesday through Sunday until August 14
Time: 6:15 pm Wednesday through Saturday, and 5 pm on Sundays
Where: Jubilations Dinner Theatre (1002 37th Street SW)
Cost: Tickets from $69.95
Visit Canada’s first permanent digital immersion gallery at TELUS Spark Science Centre: Every Second exhibit
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 five events are sure to surprise and delight locals.
When: August 13 and 15
Time: 9 to 10 pm on August 13 and 12:30 to 2:30 pm on August 15
Where: VivianeArt (1018 9th Avenue SE) on August 13, and The Rise on St. Patrick’s Island (Zoo Road NE) on August 15
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
What: Free pop-up art activations will run each weekend in Kensington Village until November, bringing Calgarians a chance to enjoy live music, performers, art, and much more throughout the neighbourhood. This weekend, catch singer-songwriter, Justine Vandergrift in the heart of the neighbourhood.
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)
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
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.
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 weekend’s offerings include Friday the 13th and Mad Max: Fury Road.
While you’re there, be sure to stop into the Rocket Fuel Cafe for some astronaut ice cream.
When: August 13, and 14
Time: Varies by show
Where: TELUS Spark Science Centre (220 St. George’s Drive NE, Calgary)
Cost: Varies by show
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)