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Calgary things to do – catch some summer fun

panoramic view of Calgary - photo credit - Tourism Calgary

Are you looking for Calgary things to do for summer fun? 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 Calgary things to do.

Tourism Calgary’s Visit Calgary  is a wonderful starting place and website for exploring the attractions and places to stay in Calgary.

Things to do for families

If you are coming as a family with small children I would suggest both Heritage Park and The Calgary Zoo as things they would enjoy greatly. I spent oodles of time there when my son was little. It was magical.

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.

The Calgary Zoo is hosting Panda bears as part of the Canada China Year of Tourism and they will stay here, every so cutely eating bamboo leaves for the next five years. We are all thrilled and this makes a trip to the zoo an absolute must.  The Science Centre – Telus Spark is in the same parking lot so you may want to please older children on the same outing. Older children 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 – small children to teens to curious adults really enjoy the Royal Tyrell (dinosaur) museum. It’s about 75 minutes east from Calgary.

Things to do for culture and arts buffs

For history and architecture buffs, there is a great attraction 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 of mine for gaining insight into Calgary’s history and culture. For the summer of 2018, you’ll find Alex Janvier’s work on exhibit. He is a member of Canada’s Aboriginal “Group of Seven” and his work has been featured in the National Art Gallery in Ottawa. 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.

Active things to do

Sporty types will love our former Canada Olympic Park. It is called Winsport now and they are the home of the National Sports Hall of Fame. The luge is a rush. Mountain biking trails and lessons are available.

Calgary is a cyclists haven. We have close to 1000 kms of bike and walking paths and there are great inner city hikes.

A favourite place to picnic and hike is the Weasel Head Flats with 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.

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 way cool. Not a DIY rafter? Our friends at 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 can highly recommend it.

Music lovers things to do

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

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. We offer a guided food tour and Sunday Brunch there each week. Tickets for that experience and all our tours are available through our calendar on this site.

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 through our food and our people. 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. We feel that while you may come to Calgary thinking it’s Cowtown, experience it with us and you’ll leave thinking it is Canada’s Chowtown!