Summer Fun Things To Do in Calgary
Looking for Summer Fun Things To Do in Calgary?
I’m Karen Anderson, the President and CEO of Alberta Food Tours. I’ve lived in Calgary since 1984 and it’s my pleasure to share all my favourite things to do in Calgary in summer.
Our partner Tourism Calgary’s Visit Calgary is a wonderful starting place. The website shares everything you need for exploring attractions and places to stay in Calgary.
Things to do in Calgary for families
If you are coming as a family with small children I would suggest both Heritage Park and The Calgary Zoo. I spent oodles of time there when my son was little. It was magical.
Plan to spend a whole day at Heritage Park, if you go. There’s so much to do with train rides, boat rides, restaurants, stories and a fun bunch of rides for small children. You can picnic if you don’t want to spend park prices on food. But, do plan a trip to the bakery for an old-fashioned cinnamon bun or gingerbread cookie. They are the best.
The Calgary Zoo is hosting Panda bears and they will stay here, every so cutely eating bamboo leaves, for five years. We are all thrilled and this makes a trip to the zoo an absolute must. Also check out the famous Penguin Walk.
The Science Centre – Telus Spark is in the same parking lot if you want to please older children on the same outing. Teens will also love the thrill of spending a day at Calaway Amusement Park. Tip: check online for deals or Calgary Coop grocery stores often have deals.
If you can squeeze in a drive to Drumheller, children of all ages enjoy the Royal Tyrell (dinosaur) museum. It’s about 75 minutes east from Calgary. Tip: Be sure to stop at Horseshoe Canyon for some great Badlands photo opps!
Things to do for culture and arts buffs
For history and architecture buffs, there is a great activity you can do called Calgary Walks. The tours are only two hours long, are offered multiple times per day and are a great way to learn about the history, public art and architecture in downtown Calgary.
The Glenbow Museum is another favourite for gaining insight into Calgary’s history and culture. The Glenbow’s permanent exhibit on the Mavericks of Alberta helps people understand the pioneering spirit it took to settle this area. There is also a special exhibit on the famous five women who won the right for women to be considered persons in the British North America Act. There is a special exhibit at Heritage Park about them as well.
Art lovers will enjoy a visit to Esker Foundation in Inglewood or a walk through the eight private galleries on 11th Avenue SW. Visit Contemporary Calgary for the latest on that scene.
If you love public and street art, Calgary is a veritable feast for your appetite. Check out BUMP for self-guided walks or this post of my favourite Calgary Public Art.
Active things to do in Calgary
Sporty types will love our former Canada Olympic Park. It’s now called Winsport. They are the home of the National Sports Hall of Fame. The luge is a rush. Mountain biking trails and lessons are available. And there’s a super fun Zip Line experience.
Calgary is a cyclists haven. We have over 1000 kilometres of bike and walking paths. And, there are dozens of great inner city hikes.
A favourite place to cycle, hike and/or picnic is Weasel Head Flats. The area here has over 237 Hectares of preserved lands and hiking trails in Glenmore Park.
There’s also a fun River Valley Segway tour for the adventurous who’d like to see a lot in a short time. And in summer it’s easy to find electric scooters throughout the city.
If you really want to hang with the locals on a hot summer day, rent a rubber raft from the University of Calgary’s outdoor education department and join the throngs who spend the day floating down the Bow River. You’ll be waaaaay cool.
Not a DIY rafter? Let Calgary River Experience do all the heavy lifting and you can sit back and soak up the scenery. Our team did this for our summer outing in 2017. I highly recommend it.
Music lovers things to do in Calgary
Music lovers can rejoice in Calgary. The National Music Centre is world class. There’s an amazing collection of keyboard instruments gifted from the Cantos foundation including one of Elton John’s pianos. You can check out the food offerings on their rooftop patio and stroll Calgary’s newly christened Music Mile in the evening to see what bands are playing.
Food lovers things to do in Calgary
For food lovers, The Calgary Farmers’ Market is a lovely place to spend a morning. It is open Thursdays through Sundays from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
While AFT usually has several guided tours per week, since the pandemic started in 2020, we’ve switched to offering Self-Guided Food Tours on our Alberta Food Finder app.
We wouldn’t want you to leave Calgary without eating, enjoying and exploring with us. Everything we do is aimed at helping you connect with our authentic culture. We want you to remember Calgary as more than a few good meals. We want you to savour your experience and come back to us time and again. While you may come to Calgary thinking it’s Cowtown, experience it with us and you’ll leave thinking it is Canada’s Chowtown!