15 things to do in Calgary over Victoria Day weekend

May 21 2021, 6:56 pm

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. If you are sick, please stay home.

Victoria Day weekend is upon us, marking the unofficial kick-off of summer in Calgary.

Most years, “May two-four” typically brings the start of camping season, pool parties, and backyard barbecues for many Albertans. While things may look a little different this year due to the pandemic, there are still tons of ways to celebrate the holiday, so grab a family member or cohort buddy, mask up, and get out there.

Here are a few of the best things to do over the Victoria Day weekend in Calgary.

Have an old-fashioned weekend at Heritage Park Historical Village


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What: Join Heritage Park for their opening weekend as they kick off the 2021 season. Explore the historical village, ride the train, check out the new Prospect Ridge area, sail on the Glenmore Reservoir by paddlewheel boat, and take part in all of their other safe, outdoor experiences.

When: May 22 to 24
Time: 10 am to 5 pm
Where: Heritage Park (1900 Heritage Drive SW)
Cost: $24.95, and $12.95 for the kids

Enjoy a staycation with dinner and a movie at Hotel Arts

What: Escape for a night with an in-room dinner and a movie at Hotel Arts. The package comes with a night’s stay in the hotel’s luxury accommodations, a gourmet in-room dinner for two, a bottle of wine, two craft sodas, truffled parmesan popcorn and other movie snacks, and a $25 credit towards your in-room movie.

When: Available daily
Where: Hotel Arts (119 12th Avenue SW)
Cost: Package starts at $275

Visit with kangaroos at Cobb’s Adventure Park‘s opening weekend

What:¬†Check out a kangaroo petting zoo, zoom around in pedal carts, take a tractor ride, whiz down giant slides, play blacklight mini gold, or try one of Cobb’s many other outdoor activities. Their summer season kicks off this weekend.

When: May 22 to 24
Time: 11 am to 5 pm
Where: Cobb’s Adventure Park (1500 84th Street NE)
Cost: Tickets are $19.75 when purchased online

Go on a spring walk

What: Calgary is home to some incredible parks and pathways, creating the perfect backdrop for a lovely springtime walk. Head outside to get some fresh air and exercise while enjoying some of the city’s gorgeous green space. Check out our list of the best places to walk this spring.

Grab a TUBBY ON THE GO kit


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What:¬†Pick up a TUBBY ON THE GO kit from Calgary’s beloved hot dog restaurant. The kit contains everything you need for a backyard barbecue or picnic in the park, with a biodegradable, one-time-use CasusGrill, a four-pack of Tubby Dog’s Ukey sausages, four hot dog buns, one jar of house-made Tubby Dog mustard, four twinkies for dessert, two beers from Annex Ale, plus tongs, napkins, and paper trays.

When: Available now
Where: Tubby Dog (1022 17th Avenue SW)
Cost: $50 +GST

Book exclusive hydrotherapy access at Kananaskis Nordic Spa

What: Kananaskis Nordic Spa is taking bookings for private access to their hydrotherapy facility, which includes use of the hydrotherapy pools, steam room, and sauna, plus the spa’s locker rooms and showers. For those who haven’t experience it before, hydrotherapy is the Nordic-inspired cycle of alternating between hot, warm, and cold baths, followed by periods of rest.

Anyone can book the spa from Monday to Thursday, with access limited to hotel guests with reservations at Pomeroy Kananaskis Mountain Lodge and Crosswaters Resort from Friday to Sunday.

When: Now until May 31
Time: Two-hour time slots are granted per group throughout the day.
Where: Kananaskis Nordic Spa (1 Centennial Drive, Kananaskis, Alberta)
Cost: $499 total for up to 4 guests. (Additional household members can join in on the booking for $119 per person, up to 10 people.)

Visit a sculpture covered with flowers and snakes in this Inglewood window


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What:¬†While we wait for the Esker Foundation‚Äôs main gallery to reopen, their Project Space window brings some art into our lives while simultaneously providing a concept to contemplate. Visible from street level, ‚ÄúThe Garden‚ÄĚ is a clay sculpture¬†combining elements of nature with the human form, created by ceramic artist Yvonne Kustec.

When: Now through June 6
Where: Esker Foundation’s Project Space window (1011 9th Avenue SE)
Cost: Free

JazzYYC: International Jazz Days Festival

What: Join JazzYYC for their second virtual International Jazz Days Festival. The event features artists from Calgary and across Canada in a series of online tutorials and performances.

When: Now through May 27
Time: New videos released at 6 pm on Thursdays and 7 pm on Fridays
Where: Online
Cost: Free

Watch a movie at the Grey Eagle Drive-In

What: Join the Grey Eagle Resort & Casino at southern Alberta’s largest drive-in venue, and catch one of their many screenings this weekend. Movies include Lilo & Stitch, Zombieland, Frozen 2, Raya and the Last Dragon, The Lorax, Scarface, Trolls World Tour, and The Usual Suspects.

When: May 21 to 24
Time: Showtimes vary by movie ‚Äď visit website for schedule)
Where: Grey Eagle Resort and Casino (3777 Grey Eagle Drive, Calgary)
Cost:¬†Most movies are $40 per vehicle ‚Äď view website for more details and to purchase tickets

Celebrate anime and pop culture during Otafest

What: Otafest is a popular annual event for Calgary’s anime and pop culture enthusiasts, and the 2021 edition of the festival will be live-streamed through Twitch. The stream will feature celebrities like Sonia Blade, Erica Lindbeck, Yama no Oto, and more. The event will also include a virtual exhibitor hall and even an island on Animal Crossing that fans can visit.

When: May 22
Time: 10:15 am to 11:45 pm
Where: Online via Twitch

Tee-off at one of the world’s best courses from Hotel Arts’ Golf Studios


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What: Choose from simulations of more than 20 of the world’s best courses, including Pebble Beach, Oakmont, and Valderrama, and tee-off from your own private Golf Studio in downtown Calgary. Players can enjoy their own stocked carts with food and beverage service from Hotel Arts’ Clubhouse during the game.

When: Open daily
Time: Book one-, two-, three-, or four-hour time slots from 8 am to 9 pm
Where: Hotel Arts
Cost: Starting at $50 for 55 minutes

Try a city-wide scavenger hunt

What: Calgary’s Parks Foundation has teamed up with PlayCity to bring the Hide & Seek challenge to YYC. Hide & Seek is the perfect way to get outside and explore the city’s outdoor spaces and win prizes. A new postcard is hidden bi-weekly in a park somewhere in the city, and you can download the PlayCity app to find exclusive hints about the card’s location.

When: Parks and green spaces through Calgary
Where: Bi-weekly starting May 8, and running through the spring and summer months
Cost: Free

Catch a drive-in movie at Canyon Meadows Cinemas


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What:¬†Calgary‚Äôs favourite ‚Äúcheap theatre‚ÄĚ has pivoted amidst public health restrictions, turning their parking lot into a drive-in theatre. This weekend, Canyon Meadows Cinemas is presenting several screenings of¬†The Princess Bride.

When: May 21 and 22
Time: 9:20 pm and 11:55 pm on Friday, and 9:20 pm on Saturday
Where: Canyon Meadows Cinemas parking lot (13226 Macleod Trail)
Cost: $35 per vehicle (purchase tickets via the Canyon Meadows Cinemas app)

Watch an online performance by StoryBook Theatre

What: StoryBook Theatre presents The Smartest Girl in the World as an online production. The story follows a pair of siblings as they attempt to help their immigrant parents escape a tough, uncertain reality.

When: Fridays to Sundays from May 21 to June 13
Time: Your choice of several time slots
Cost: Viewing codes are $32 each

Explore the Calgary Zoo after hours during ZooNights


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What: Enjoy extended hours at the Calgary Zoo this weekend. The zoo will be open until 8 pm during ZooNights to allow guests extra time to visit their favourite animals and explore the gardens and grounds.

When: May 21 and 22
Time: 5 to 8 pm
Where: The Calgary Zoo (210 St. George’s Drive NE)
Cost: $24.95 for adults and $14.95 for children

Elle McLeanElle McLean

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