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The last weekend of August is somehow already upon us, but there’s still plenty to do in Calgary as we soak up the summer before it disappears.
Celebrate Calgary’s Pride Festival, visit the Military Museums to watch 2,000 years of warfare come to life, take your date to a drive-in movie, catch live music at western Canada’s largest EDM festival, grab drinks at an Instagrammable cocktail bar, and much more.
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Here are 21 things to do in and around Calgary this weekend to enjoy some end-of-summer fun.
Wild About Art at the Calgary Zoo
What: Wild About Art is the zoo’s first-ever wine and art adults-only night. At this unique tasting event, you’ll find unique art in all forms, from painting, sculpture, and chalk to photography, music and performance, matched up with animals around the zoo. Guests will also find beverage tasting and art-inspired food stations throughout the venue.
When: August 27
Time: 5 to 9 pm
Where: The Calgary Zoo (210 St. George’s Drive NE)
Cost: $65, or $100 for VIP tickets
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 The Prairie States mixing the cadence and rhythms of ’60s soul and ’70s rock with modern country.
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 28
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: Enjoy local brews and eats for a good cause at Barley & Smoke. The event acts as a fundraiser for Kids Cancer Care, along with being a competition between some of Calgary’s best restaurants and breweries for the titles of Best Beer, Best Ribs, Best Hand-Held, and Best Food and Beer Pairing, with the audience casting their votes to determine the winners. Sample bites and beers from over 18 local food and beverage establishments at this Saturday afternoon event at Enmax Park.
When: August 28
Time: 4 to 9 pm
Where: Enmax Park (Elbow River Pathway and MacDonald Avenue SE)
Cost: Tickets available from $75
Celebrate Calgary’s Pride Festival
What: The Calgary Pride Festival runs from August 27 to September 6 this year, and there are lots of ways to celebrate and show your support across the city. Calgary Pride has paired up with B!G ART to bring this year’s festival to the TELUS Spark Drive-In, online, and in communities around Calgary.
Calgary Pride 2021 features a variety of LGBTQ2S+ artists, online Pride Cast podcast-style episodes every Friday throughout August, and five days of in-person and live-streamed entertainment at the B!G ART Drive-In, all leading up to Parade Day at the Drive-In on September 5.
When: August 27 to September 6
Time: Varies by event
Where: The B!G ART Drive-In (located at the TELUS Spark Centre at 220 St George’s Drive NE), online, and around Calgary
Cost: Varies by event; tickets can be found online
What: Join the Military Museums for 2,000 years of warfare come to life. Watch re-enactments and demonstrations, such as Viking raids, medieval duels, gladiatorial combat, musketry, and more. There will also be plenty of other things to check out, including period costumes and uniforms, food trucks, spots to take family photos, replica camps, and a vintage military vehicle parade.
When: August 28 and 29
Time: 9 am to 6 pm
Where: The Military Museums (4520 Crowchild Trail SW)
Cost: $5 for adults, $2 for children and youth
What: Western Canada’s largest EDM event returns to Calgary this summer with a special edition of Chasing Summer. Family Reunion Festival headliners include Zeds Dead, Kaskade, Nghtmre, Adventure Club, and DJ Diesel (aka Shaquille O’Neill), plus many more over two days at Shaw Millennium Park.
When: August 27 and 28
Where: Shaw Millennium Park (1220 9th Avenue SW, Calgary)
Tickets: Available online; single day general admission starts at $104.95
What: Keep the summer fun going at Deerfoot City. During their End of Summer Celebration, shoppers will find Block Party games, a cotton candy bar, three local vendor pop-up shops, back-to-school prizes, and more.
When: August 28 and 29
Time: 11 am to 5 pm
Where: Deerfoot City (901 64th Avenue NE)
Watch a live drag show while you brunch at Eggs, Henny!
What: Get in the Pride Festival spirit at this drag-show-meets-brunch event. The Eggs, Henny! brunches will take place at the unique venue and bar tucked inside Ill-Fated Kustoms, and will feature delicious brunch items, Empress Gin cocktails, and show-stopping performances by drag queens and local musicians.
When: August 28 and 29
Time: 11 am to 2 pm
Where: The Prairie Emporium (300 – 334 53rd Avenue SE)
Cost: $20 (food and drinks aren’t included in price)
Take in a live show with The Theory of Relativity at StoryBook Theatre
What: StoryBook Theatre’s The Theory of Relativity explores the inevitability and wonder of human connection through a seemingly unrelated collection of songs, scenes, and monologues. The show is performed live at Beddington Theatre Arts Centre, with audiences at limited assigned table seating, or you can watch from the comfort of your own couch with on-demand streaming beginning September 5.
When: Tuesdays to Saturdays from August 20 to September 5, and online on-demand from September 5 to 30
Time: 7 pm
Where: 375 Bermuda Drive NW, and streamed online
Cost: $32 for adults, $27 for children
“Ooh” and “ahh” over a spectacular fireworks show at GlobalFest
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.
When: August 19, 21, 24, 26, and 28 (weather dependent)
Where: Elliston Park, Calgary (1827 68th Street SE)
Cost: $21 (or $46 for VIP tickets)
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
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 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
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. This weekend, catch the sounds of Jenny Allen, based in traditional country/roots music.
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)
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
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 features 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)
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
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)
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 week’s offerings include Thor: Ragnarok, Avengers: Endgame, and Jurassic Park.
While you’re there, be sure to stop into the Rocket Fuel Cafe for some astronaut ice cream.
When: August 28 and 29
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: An 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
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)