Looking for the best things to do in Calgary? The city was long known for its two industries cowboys and oil. Outside of the Calgary Stampede and steakhouses, there wasn’t much to the city, but that has changed a lot over the years. There’s a lot of innovation in the city, with a plethora of activities, shops, breweries, museums, and restaurants.
The Canadian Rockies may be Alberta’s largest draw for tourists, but Calgary feels a like destination that should not be overlooked. Canada’s fourth-largest metropolitan area packs a whole lotta punch for visitors. Whether it’s winter or summer, there’s always something going on in Alberta’s largest city.
Of course, it helps that the city is just 80km east of the Rockies and the buzzing city provides access easy access to Banff and Canmore, so it makes a great place to spend a bit of time before or after your mountain adventure. Read on to find the fun things to do in Calgary!
FAQs About Calgary
History of Calgary
Before we dig into the best things to do in Calgary, let’s discuss the history. Indigenous peoples have a long history in Western Canada. Calgary sits on the traditional territories of the Niitsitapi (Blackfoot) and the people of the Treaty 7 Region. Treaty 7 includes the Piikuni, the Kainai, the Tsuut’ina, Siksika and the Stoney Nakoda First Nations.
Calgary began as Fort Brisebois, a North-West Mounted Police fort, before its name was changed to Calgary. Its location was determined due to the Bow and Elbow Rivers meeting. The town of Calgary was incorporated in 1884 and grew to a city one decade later in 1894. Much of the growth during this period is attributed to the Canadian Pacific Railway connecting Calgary with Eastern Canada.
Guy Weadick hosted the first Calgary Stampede only 18 years after the city was incorporated and it continues to this day. The next boom for Calgary came with the Southern Alberta oil strikes in 1914, 1920, and 1947. This made Calgary the fastest-growing city in Canada during the ’50s. Those two facets shaped Calgary and are still tied to its culture given its moniker of Cow-Town.
A noticeable shift happened after 1988 when Calgary hosted the Winter Olympic Games. It exposed the city to an international audience and spurred tourism in towns such as Canmore. Tourism has now become a central part of the Alberta economy, and the city sees millions of visitors each year.
Facts About Calgary
- Calgary is credited as the birthplace of the Caeser. There’s a lot of great Canadian food and drink. Canada’s cocktail got its start in the city and was invented by Walter Chell in 1969. If you’ve never had a caeser, it’s a delicious mix of Clamato juice and vodka.
- Calgary sees more sunshine than any other major Canadian City, 333 days a year of clear skies.
- The city is home to 1.4 million people and it is the third most diverse city in Canada with more than 120 languages spoken in the city. This is awesome for foodies as you find some amazing cuisines from around the world.
- Calgary has been named multiple times as one of the most livable cities in the world. This is according to the Global Liveability Ranking, which Calgary made the top 10 list from 2015 to 2019.
- The city lies 1,048 m (3,438 feet) above sea level, the highest major Canadian city. This plays a large role in Caglary’s dry climate.
The Best Things to Do in Calgary
Head To The Top Of The Calgary Tower
- Location: 101 9 Ave SW (GPS)
- Cost: Tours for $4
- Insider Tip: If you’re not afraid of heights, don’t miss the glass floor exhibit!
Calgary Tower has a lot to offer, so it was a natural addition to the list of best things to do in Calgary. The tower itself provides the best views of any building in the city, and once inside the tower, the multimedia tour includes a virtual presentation that delves into Calgary’s location – from its skyscrapers to its Rocky Mountain range, and everything in between.
The virtual windows show the (actual) views of the city, but as a touchscreen where certain points can be opened for more information. See something cool on your viewfinder? You can tap it for details on the venue, its history, and any hot tips.
Travel Back In Time At The Heritage Park Historical Village
- Location: 1900 Heritage Dr SW (GPS)
- Cost: $26.50 admission fee
- Insider Tip: Only open on the weekends, so be prepared for crowds. Calgary gets extremely cold in the winter, so many amenities run only from May until October; be sure to check in advance.
We have to admit; the Heritage Park Historical Village tagline was what got us: “How The West Was Once.” That pretty much sums it up: a comprehensive and in-depth look at the earliest days of when Calgary was a settlement before it developed into the bustling metropolis that it is today.
This is your opportunity to step back in time and see the raw beauty of Western Canada in its earliest stages. The park covers nearly 130 acres and examines centuries of history across 200 attractions, including a recreated historical village with a functioning steam train, printing press, and blacksmith, and fun attractions like a bakery and ice cream shop.
Don’t miss the Fur Trading & First Nations Encampment, a recreated meeting place for explorers, original peoples, fur traders, and all those who passed through this part of Canada in the country’s earliest decades.
- Location: 220 St Georges Dr NE (GPS)
- Cost: $26 entrance
- Insider Tip: Don’t miss the upstairs exhibits on the human body.
Since the weather in Calgary can be unpleasantly cold (particularly in the dead of winter), there are a lot of indoor things to do in Calgary that will make you feel like you’ve made the most of your day without needing to suffer in subfreezing temperatures.
The Telus Spark is an indoor science museum with exhibits, interactive displays, and a dome theatre showing planetarium shows and educational movies. This is a great all-ages option and an ideal way to spend your day, whether you’re traveling with kids or in a group of adults. This is one of the best things to do in Calgary in the winter.
Visit Fort Calgary
- Location: 750 9 Ave SE (GPS)
- Cost: $12
- Insider Tip: The Sunday brunch at 10 am is a huge hit—don’t miss it!
It seems there’s no shortage of history in Alberta because here’s another historical attraction that ranks pretty high on our list of things to do in Calgary. Fort Calgary was initially constructed to control the highly illegal U.S. whiskey trade and to clear the way for the incoming Canadian Pacific Railway.
Today, you can walk through recreated houses (including a Métis hunting cabin) and immerse yourself in the visions of the past, and a protective structure that set the foundation for communities to grow and thrive in Western Canada.
Visit Head-Smashed-In Buffalo Jump
- Location: Highway #785, Fort MacLeod (GPS)
- Cost: Adult $15, Senior: $13, Youth: $10, Family: $40
The site is not in Calgary but 2 hours south in Fort Macleod. Still, it provides a beautiful landscape as it lies in the foothills of the Rockies. Due to its unique geography, the aboriginal people would drive buffalo herds over the 11-meter cliff as a means of hunting.
The Blackfoot people are most well known for their ties to the bison and are responsible for the famous “Buffalo Jump.” Head-Smashed-In Buffalo Jump is a UNESCO World Heritage Site that aims to preserve the plains buffalo culture that has existed for 6,000 years.
The bison were an essential part of the Blackfoot people’s culture and a wonderful way to get a better understanding of the region. It’s a must-visit for anyone living in Alberta and a wonderful stop for anyone.
Wander Through Devonian Gardens
- Location: CORE Shopping Centre, 333 7 Avenue SW, 4th floor (GPS)
- Cost: free
- Insider Tip: There are sometimes yoga classes happening here, so check in with the mall schedule to find out if there’s a class on soon.
You’d never know you were inside a shopping mall; instead, you might think you’re in an enormous exotic greenhouse. It is completely encased in glass and features a koi pond, a living wall, and several fountains.
There are sprawling tropical plants and a distinct sense of being in an exotic greenhouse abroad, while actually in a Western metropolis. It’s even kid-friendly, with a children’s play area + climbing playground to keep rambunctious kids busy for a while.
This is a great spot to relax in the afternoon between other sightseeing activities; there’s even a full-service restaurant if you need a little fuel for the rest of your day.
Go For A Walk In Nose Hill Park
- Location: 5620 14 St NW (GPS)
- Insider Tip: Steer clear of coyotes; while they are generally not aggressive, they are also not timid and should not be encouraged, challenged, or engaged in any way.
Just northwest of the city of Calgary is a beautiful expanse of grassland. Nose Hill Park covers 11 kilometers of ground, with several hiking trails for the outdoor adventurer in us all. While the park is relatively flat (Calgary is technically in the Canadian prairies even though it is a more westerly city), there is still a massive abundance of wildlife and flora to observe.
Look out for small rodents like voles, ground squirrels, gophers, porcupines, and hawks that prey on them from above. There is a lot of deer in the area as well, so you may make a few friends on your hike!
Learn About Dinosaurs At The Royal Tyrrell Museum
- Location: 1500 N Dinosaur Trail, Drumheller (GPS)
- Price: Adult $21, Senior: $14, Youth: $10, Family: $50
- Website: Link
If you’re a fan of dinosaurs and paleontology then the Royal Tyrell Museum is a must-visit. It’s arguably one the greatest places on earth to see fossils of dinosaurs. Any enthusiast of dinosaurs should consider this a site of pilgrimage.
It’s an hour and a half drive from Calgary and a way to spend a day or even two. It’s also well worth exploring the town of Drumheller and the surrounding badlands. The museum features 30 of the most complete dinosaur skeletons in the world and a wealth of exhibits.
It’s a wonderful museum for the whole family thanks to its interactive exhibits and experts happy to answer questions. It allows you to travel back in time millions of years and learn about a world before humans.
Timed tickets are in effect so it’s best to buy your tickets in advance for a smooth visit. Walk-up tickets are sold, but entry is not guaranteed.
Play In Bowness Park
- Location: 8900 48 Ave NW (GPS)
- Insider Tip: Rent paddle boats in the summer, or go cross country skiing in the winter!
Being in Canada, it’s no surprise that there are many national parks & outdoor activities on the list of things to do in Calgary. Bowness Park is one of these, located in the northwest corner of the city and sprawling across 30 hectares.
This is also a perfect year-round place to be for the different activities available no matter the weather. In the summer, it’s a popular place for swimming, boating, and picnicking on the banks. In the winter, the lagoon & canal freeze over and are open for ice skating.
There is also a miniature railway that runs seasonally through the park, in case you want to breeze through and see all the sights at once.
Inglewood Bird Sanctuary & Nature Centre
- Location: 2425 9 Ave SE (GPS)
- Cost: free
- Insider Tip: The sanctuary and park are open, but the Nature Centre will be closed until September 2020 for renovations.
The Inglewood Bird Sanctuary is a great way to spend a day, particularly if you time it right. The sanctuary is a spot for migratory birds to rest their wings awhile before setting off on the next leg of their journey (so certain times of the year are better for sightings of specific species). Over 270 species have been reported here since the sanctuary’s inception in the 50 years the land has been open to the public.
Located along the Bow River, you’re likely to see much more than just feathery friends: deer, beavers, marmots, and other kinds of land mammals are often seen too. In particular, watch out for Canadian geese—they may be beautiful to look at, but they have a reputation as some seriously mean birds, and their tongues have teeth, so the bite is painful. Keep a safe distance from these critters!
Shop At The Crossroads Market
- Location: 1235 26 Ave SE (GPS)
- Insider Tip: Hit up The Perogy Guy for some of the tastiest pierogies you’ll ever have.
Think of Crossroads Market as a farmers’ flea market. Housed inside a huge warehouse that seems to go on forever, the market focuses on produce, meats, and freshly baked goods from both Alberta and neighboring British Columbia.
There are a wide array of merchants to create an experience that is immersive, diverse, and inclusive—and many of the merchants have been selling their wares at Crossroads since 1987, the market’s first year in operation.
Have a Browse in Inglewood
- Location: Inglewood (GPS)
- Insider Tip: Mondays are a dead day when almost all stores are closed, so make other plans for this day.
If you’re in the mood for a little shopping, Inglewood has you covered. From edgy and contemporary women’s fashion to top-quality consignment, menswear, and even bridal attire, this is a fashion and style hotspot in the city in one of the city’s coolest neighborhoods. There’s even a gift shop located inside an old refurbished barn, where all goods sold are made locally by independent artisans.
Catch A Flames Game
- Location: 555 Saddledome Rise SE (GPS)
- Cost: range from $30 to over $100
- Insider Tip: The Flames will soon be getting a new stadium, so these could be the final days of the Saddledome Flames games.
If there’s one thing Canada takes seriously, it’s hockey. Between seven teams in the National Hockey League and a fierce sense of pride and competition, there’s no better Canadian experience than going to an NHL game.
Calgary is home to the Calgary Flames; if you’re fortunate, you’ll get to see a game against another Canadian team—where the lighthearted rivalry really comes out.
Explore The Glenbow Museum
- Location: 130 9 Ave SE (GPS)
- Cost: $18
- Insider Tip: Go on a Thursday evening for free admission!
The Glenbow Museum is the resident art & history museum in Calgary and is particularly noted for its extensive archival collection. Think comprehensive factual information on people, families, organizations, and businesses in Western Canada, and hundreds of hours of film archives and sound bytes.
The museum constantly has several exhibits taking place at any given time, with many of them running for a full calendar year. The Miners & Minerals exhibit is currently among the most popular, examining geology not just from Western Canada, but worldwide – including some interactive usage of a blacklight to view substance composition.
Eat Your Way & Shop Through Chinatown
- Location: (GPS)
Calgary’s a diverse city and you’ll find authentic food along with products from around Asia. The city’s Chinatown is located just outside of downtown, so it’s easy to access if you’re staying in the city center.
The business district operates as a hub for a number of Asian communities in the city and you’ll find an interesting products and shops. We love it for the excellent food! The most notable restaurants are Pho Hoai Vietnamese Noodle House and the Moon Korean BBQ, it’s easy to figure what they serve by their names.
St Patrick’s Island
- Location: Bow River (GPS)
- Insider Tip: This is snow-friendly; don’t let the cold temperatures sway you away from visiting.
You can think of St Patrick’s Island as a massive public backyard, but more so than just your average public park. Spanning 31 acres, St Patrick’s Island is a perfect middle ground between urbanism and nature, where different elements come together to form something unifying, fun, and community-driven.
Things like public art, playgrounds, a wetland sector with a boardwalk, a fishing cove, and wooded sections with winding pathways all make up a part of this enormous urbanized parkland.
Glow Downtown Winter Lights Festival
- Location: several key points in the core of downtown
- Insider Tip: It is an alcohol-free event, so don’t expect drinks.
This is one of the best things to do in Calgary during the holidays. Since the weather can get pretty intensely cold, there’s probably not much that would make it worthwhile being outside: except maybe this. The GLOW Downtown Winter Lights Festival is largely what it sounds like – a festival spanning several days dedicated entirely to lighting up the dark winter days with colorful lights & vibrant energy.
From art installations using light as part of the piece to an all-invited public dance party, this is definitely one of the more unique ways to see the city at night.
Granary Road Active Learning Center
- Location: 226066 112 Street West, Foothills No. 31 (GPS)
- Cost: $15
- Insider Tip: There’s a kid-friendly zip line here, perfect for kids who want to try something a little more exhilarating in a safer, smaller-scale environment.
There’s a lot going on at this park, but all of it is pretty cool. The Granary Road Active Learning Center might not have the most inviting name, but it’s the kind of place that it’s not possible to drive past it without stopping. Giant playgrounds with interactive trivia and brain game features are the core of this center, with each “area” providing informative information.
The chicken coop area delves into the anatomy of an egg and how they come to be, while the human-sized beehive area looks at bees, pollination, and their importance to the ecosystem (what better way to understand bees than to live like one for an hour or two?)
The other sections include orchards, lily ponds, a bat cave, a life-sized anthill that kids can crawl inside, and so much more. Each section provides an in-depth look at the science, anatomy, and ecological importance of these tiny nature systems, giving kids a glimpse into the role played by these seemingly inconsequential ecosystems.
Attend the Calgary Stampede
One of the best things to do in Calgary is attend the world-famous Calgary Stampede. Every two weeks in July, visitors from all over the world come to enjoy a party in Calgary. Think rodeo events, concerts, amusement rides, fair food, local brews, and so much more.
We loved our first stampede and partied for two whole days this past summer. It gets busier and wilder on the weekends, so if you want to experience the whole atmosphere, it’s best on Saturday and Sunday. But every day of the week packs a whole plethora of fun!
Studio Bell, home of the National Music Centre is a non-profit museum and performance venue. It’s a must for any music lover as the museum has plenty of interactive exhibits and hosts the Canadian Music Hall of Fame.
You can check their website to see what is going on, but it’s also fun to go to Studio Bell and check out the impressive architecture! It’s one of the best things to do in Calgary and it’s easy to understand why with an extraordinary attention to detail and design.
The building and museum are located in downtown Calgary so it’s an easy walk from a hotel if you’re staying in the city center.
Shop Along 17th Ave & The Entertainment District
Calgary has a its fair share of trendy spots, and Calgary’s 17th Ave is home to some of the cities best restuarants, bars, shops, and cafes. You can find everything along the street from record shops and florists to popular shops like West Elm or Frank & Oak. The street has something that will fit any personality or desire.
Pedal Pub Tour
Ever wanted to ride a cycle around a major city with friends while drinking fresh cold beer? Us too! Well, the good news is you can do this on Calgary’s Pedal Pub. Pedal Pub is a fun, safe, and eco-friendly way to spend a day out on the town. It’s one of the best things to do in Calgary in the summer months!
Ski and Snowboard at WinSport
- Location: 88 Canada Olympic Rd SW (GPS)
One of the best things to do in Calgary in the winter is ski at WinSport. You don’t have to venture all the way to Lake Louise, Nakiska, or Sunshine in order to ski. WinSport is located in Calgary and hosted events for the 1988 Winter Olympics. It’s not as extensive of a ski resort as what you’ll find in Banff, but it does boast an impressive park and night skiing.
WinSport also has an affordable ski school for those who are looking to learn how to ski or snowboard. It’s a great option that doesn’t feel intimidating or expensive.
WinSport isn’t limited to skiing either as the facility features a hockey rink and tube park. In the summer months, they also have a zip line course, mini-golf, and mountain biking. Their indoor venue hosts a number of events throughout the year.
Get Up Close With Animals At The Calgary Zoo
- Location: 210 St. George’s Drive NE (GPS)
- Admission: Adult: $29.95, Senior (60+): $27.95, Child/Youth (3-15): $19.95
After a year of our lives on safari in Africa, it’s safe to say we aren’t zoo people anymore. However, Calgary’s Zoo is an outstanding zoo and a wonderful family attraction. That means you can come here with the family to see lions, giraffes, gorillas, lemurs, penguins, and many birds of prey.
Not only will you get a chance to see animals from around the world, but many of Alberta’s native species as well. We’ve spent years on the trails and exploring more remote sections of the Rockies to only seen one wolf during that time. So for many it’s an important moment to learn about the importance of conservation of species such as the grey wolf, grizzly bear, and bison with a close encounter.
Although the animals at the zoo may not be in the wild, the Calgary Zoo is famous for reintroducing species back into their natural habitats. The Zoo, through the Wilder Institute is able to help preserve species such as the Whooping Crane, Vancouver Island Marmot, and Burrowing Owl.
Admire Local Craftsmanship At Alberta Craft Gallery
- Address: 1721 29 Ave SW 280, SPACE, Calgary (GPS)
- Hours: Wednesday – Friday: 11am – 5pm, Saturday: 10am – 5pm
- Cost of Admission: Free
The Alberta Craft Gallery is an organization dedicated to supporting First Nation, Inuit, and Metis art forms that are a vital part of Alberta’s culture and history. The organization owns and operates two galleries and shops – one in Calgary and one in Edmonton. It is considered the largest public gallery in Alberta dedicated to exhibiting, supporting, and promoting craft arts.
When visiting the gallery, you not only get to witness local artists’ incredible contemporary and traditional craftsmanship, but you can also purchase many of these items including handcrafted pottery, traditional jewelry, blown and fused glass art, woodwork, furniture, and other home accessories.
Immerse Yourself in A Unique Historical Experience At The Lougheed House
- Address: 707 13 Ave SW, Calgary (GPS)
- Hours: Friday- Sunday 11:30 am – 3:00 pm
- Cost of Admission: Adults – $8.50, Seniors (65+) – $6.50, Youth (7 – 17) – $6.50, Family – $25
Child (6 and under) – Free
Located in the center of Calgary, the Lougheed House is a historic sandstone prairie mansion that was once the home of the influential Lougheed family. Today, the Victorian home and its surrounding lands are a national and provincial historic site and an innate part of Calgary’s history and evolution.
Visitors can explore the house and its many exhibits which have been preserved and restored to their original look and feel. You can also take a stroll through the Beaulieu Gardens surrounding the home, admiring the many heritage plants and the kempt vegetable garden.
Pay A Visit to the Remington Carriage Museum
- Address: 623 Main St, Cardston (GPS)
- Hours: Tuesday – Sunday from 9:00 am – 4:00pm
- Cost of Admission: Adults (18-64) $15, Seniors (65+) $11, Youth (7-17) $9, Child (0-6) Free
Family (2 Adults and Youths up to a maximum of 8) $40
With a collection of over 330 horse-drawn vehicles, numerous interactive displays, and a fully operational horse carriage restoration shop, Remington Carriage Museum is simply one-of-a-kind.
The museum is dedicated to preserving the history and significance of horse-drawn transportation in North America and offers plenty of fun activities for the entire family.
It is located in the small Alberta town of Cardston, about a 2 hr drive from Calgary.
Kindle Your Love of Nature & Trains at Aspen Crossing
- Address: PM82+WH, AB-24, Mossleigh (GPS)
- Hours: Check-in time: 3:00 pm – Check-out time: 12:00 pm
- Cost of Admission: For bookings, click here.
About an hour’s drive from downtown Calgary lies one of Alberta’s most popular RV camping and glamping destinations – Aspen Crossing. This unique destination combines camping, fine dining, and train-themed excursions for an experience unlike any other.
Dine on an 18th-century rail car that was once the Canadian Prime Minister’s private car or book a campsite to spend the weekend hiking, biking, and shopping amidst stunning views of Alberta’s prairie lands.
Pet Adorable Farm Animals at Butterfield Acres Children’s Farm
- Address: 254077 Rocky Ridge Rd NW, Calgary (GPS)
- Hours: Visits July & August 10:00am – 4:00pm daily
- Cost of Admission: Children (walking to 17 yrs) $15.99, Seniors (over 65) $16.99, Adults $17.99
There is no activity more fun for kids than being on a farm surrounded by adorable animals and plenty of family-friendly entertainment. That’s exactly what you get at Butterfield Acres Children’s Farm.
Open from April to October the farm offers a variety of programs, day camps, a petting zoo, and special farm activities that are certain to put a smile on all faces, regardless of age. If you are looking for a fun-filled activity for toddlers, Butterfield Acres Children’s Farm should be at the top of your list!
Family Friendly Entertainment at Calaway Park
- Address: 245033 Range Rd 33, Calgary (GPS)
- Hours: For operation hours per season, check it here.
- Cost of Admission: Regular (3-49 years) $51.95+GST, Fifty Plus (50 years & up) $41.95+GST, Children 2 and under Free, After 2pm$35.95+GST
Just on the outskirts of Calgary, in the foothills of the Rockies, lies one of Alberta’s most popular amusement parks – Calaway Park. Home to over 30+ family-friendly thrill-seeking rides and many other attractions, Calaway Park is all about family fun!
Only open during the summer months, from May until about the end of August, the park also features an RV campground, a retail shop, food outlets, live shows, and a 3D theatre to keep you and your family entertained for hours on end.
Adrenaline-Fueled Action at Calgary’s Downhill Karting
- Address: Winsport Canada Olympic Park, 88 Canada Olympic Road SW, Calgary (GPS)
- Cost of Admission: Per adventure ticket prices, check here.
One of the most thrilling things to do in Calgary during the summer months is to go downhill karting at the Skyline Luge. Here, you can hop into a purpose-built go-kart that relies on gravity alone to propel you to the finish line.
With over 50 turns on a 1,800 meter-long track, this challenging karting track is loads of fun for people of all ages. To get to the racetrack on top of the hill you must ride a chairlift which is also a lot of fun!
Take To The Skies At The Hangar Flight Museum
- Address: 4629 McCall Way NE, Calgary (GPS)
- Hours: Tuesday – Sunday: 10:00 am- 4:00 pm
- Cost of Admission: For ticket prices, check it here.
Located at the south end of the Calgary International Airport, the Hangar Flight Museum is a dream destination for all you aerophiles out there. The museum hosts a collection of antique planes, helicopters, engines, and other unique aviation artifacts deep-rooted in Canadian history.
Whether you have dreams of becoming a pilot and taking to the skies or are simply interested in all things aviation, the Hangar Flight Museum is a must-see destination!
Explore Marine Life At Bow Habitat Station
- Address: 1440 17a St SE, Calgary (GPS)
- Hours: Tuesday-Saturday: 10:00 am – 4:00 pm
- Cost of Admission: Adult (18-64) $10.00, Senior (65+) $8.00, Student (18+ with ID) $8.00,
Youth (4-17) $6.00, Children (3 and under) Free*, Family (up to 2 adults and 4 youth) $30.00.
The Bow Habitat Station is located just east of downtown Calgary. This facility is part of Alberta Environment and Parks and features a Discovery Centre, the Sam Livingston Fish Hatchery, the Pearce Estate Park Interpretive Wetland, and a Trout Pond where kids can enjoy catch-and-release fishing.
The discovery center houses exhibits of flora, fauna, and fish that are found all over Alberta and even has 20 aquariums home to unique Albertan fish species. The hatchery can also be explored via a guided tour that explains the process and significance of fish stocking in Alberta.
Finally, the Interpretative Wetlands offers visitors a chance to explore 15 hectares of natural trails and a chance to spot a variety of urban wildlife.
Enjoy Golfing at Word Class Golf Courses In Calgary
- Address: 919 50 Ave SW, Calgary (GPS)
- Hours: Monday – Sunday: 7:00 am – 2:00 am
Whether you are a beginner, amateur, or professional golfer, Calgary is one of the best places in Alberta to enjoy a round of golf, solo or with friends. There are many golf courses to choose from whether you are looking for a casual nine-hole course or a more challenging 18-hole course to test your skills.
The most popular golf courses include Calgary Golf & Country Club, Heritage Pointe Golf Course, Blue Devil Golf Club, and Calgary Elks Lodge & Golf Club. However, these are just a mere fraction of the choices you have available!
Test Your Cycling Skills At B-Line Indoor Bike Park
- Address: 401 33 St NE #6, Calgary (GPS)
- Hours: Monday -Thursday 3:00 pm-10:00 pm, Friday & Saturday 10:00am-10:00pm,
Sunday 10:00 am-8:00 pm
- Cost of Admission: For ticket information, click here.
Want to test your BMX and bicycling skills even when it’s freezing outside? The B-Line Indoor Bike Park is open year-round and offers a 60,000-square-foot facility where bikers of all ages and skill levels can have a blast riding their bikes and pulling off stunts and tricks!
You can bring your own bike or rent one from the shop. The shop also rents out helmets and knee pads as well as some packaged snacks to keep your energy levels in check.
White Water Raft Near Calgary
- Address: Kananaskis White Water Rafting- Exshaw, AB (GPS)
- Hours: Monday – Sunday: 10:30 am –7:30 pm
Just 45 minutes away from Calgary in Kananaskis lies the white-water rapids of the Kananaskis River and Horseshoe Canyon that promise an adrenaline-pumping adventure suitable for all skill levels.
The rapids of the Kananaskis River are perfect for beginners and families thanks to its mellow Class ii and Class iii rapids. Those seeking more of a challenge and bigger thrills can take on the Class lV rapids of Horseshoe Canyon with a cliff jump to boot.
Win Big At Cowboys Casino
- Address: 421 12 Ave SE, Calgary (GPS)
- Hours: Monday – Sunday: 10:30 am – 5:00 am
- Cost of Admission: Per event ticket prices, check here.
One of Calgary’s most popular late-night entertainment destinations has to be Cowboys Casino right by Victoria Park close to downtown Calgary. The Casino offers numerous slot machines, table games, a newly renovated Sports Lounge, and a 24-hour poker room.
However, that’s not all. Apart from the casino entertainment, you can also enjoy delicious pub food and drinks at Melrose, the Centre Bar & Eatery, or Hitman’s Bar. You can also choose to dance the night away with your boots on at the Cowboys Night Club, one of Calgary’s most popular clubbing destinations!
Party The Night Away at Calgary’s Vibrant Nightclubs
- Address: Back Alley Calgary- 4630 Macleod Trail, Calgary (GPS)
- Hours: Friday & Saturday: 9:00 pm – 2:00 am
Calgary has a hip and happening nightlife scene and if that’s what you are in the mood for, well you are spoiled for choice. Whether it is live music you seek, dancing, raves, or even country music, Calgary’s nightclubs have you covered. During the Calgary Stampede, most of Calgary’s nightclubs are jam-packed with visitors and no matter which nightclub you opt for you are bound to have a blast!
Buy Organic Produce at Local Farmers’ Markets
- Address: Calgary’s Farmers’ Markets South(GPS)
- Hours: Wednesday – Sunday: 9:00 am – 5:00 pm
Most cities and towns in Canada have maybe one or two local farmers’ markets, but Calgary has six! So, there is no excuse or reason for you not to purchase farm-to-table products that are locally sourced and made with love.
The two main farmers’ markets within the city include Calgary’s Farmers’ Markets South and West. Both these indoor markets feature numerous vendors selling all sorts of locally produced wares.
Enjoy Craft Beer at Calgary International Beerfest
Calgary in many ways is a city of festivals. All year round you have festivities and events that range from live music concerts to major events that bring in hundreds of thousands of visitors such as the Calgary Stampede and the Calgary Pride. However, if you are a fan of beer, and find yourself in Calgary during the first week of May, make sure you buy tickets for the annual Calgary International Beerfest.
The festival brings the beer world together as you get to taste and enjoy hundreds of different kinds of craft beer from world-renowned breweries from around the world.
Prince’s Island Park
- Address: 698 Eau Claire Ave SW, Calgary (GPS)
- Hours: Monday – Sunday: 5:00 am – 11:00 pm
Prince’s Island Park located in the heart of downtown Calgary offers the perfect way to connect with nature without leaving the city. The highlight of the park is the Chevron Learning Pathway which is a trail that winds through a wetland area constructed by the city.
The park also hosts plenty of festivals and events including the famous Calgary Folk Festival and the Canada Day Celebration Festival.
Other features of the park include picnic tables, hiking trails, native flower gardens, washrooms, a children’s playground, and the River Cafe where you can enjoy a delightful meal amidst an urban oasis.
Calgary Chinese Cultural Centre Museum
- Address: 197 1 St SW, Calgary (GPS)
- Hours: Monday – Sunday: 10:00 am – 4:30 pm
Looking for something unique and interesting to do during your stay in Calgary? Pay a visit to the Calgary Chinese Cultural Centre Museum to learn about the history and contributions of the growing Chinese community and culture in Canada. The Museum features an award-winning exhibit hall that showcases many rare replicas of Chinese artifacts including full-sized horses, a royal chariot, and life-sized terra-cotta soldiers.
The museum also features many different types of Chinese arts and crafts that pay tribute to Chinese ingenuity and influence in Canada and Calgary in particular.
Boating & More at Glenmore Reservoir
- Address: Calgary, AB, Canada (GPS)
You will be surprised, perhaps to learn that it can get HOT in Calgary in the summer months. To beat the heat, drive down to the Glenmore Reservoir, a large dam on the Elbow River in the southwest region of Calgary. Here, you can take to the water in canoes, rowing boats, and sailing boats thanks to a dock and launch ramps. Boat rentals are also available.
Apart from boating, Glenmore Reservoir offers plenty of other activities as well. Anglers will enjoy tossing a line in the dam’s deep waters to fish for pike, trout, yellow perch, and mountain whitefish. At South Glenmore Park you can also find picnic tables, tennis courts, and playgrounds.
You can also choose to bike or hike the 13 km trail that loops around Calgary’s largest water body, allowing you to fully explore the area and enjoy its natural beauty.
Sikome Aquatic Facility
- Address: 22 Sikome Cir SE, Calgary (GPS)
Sikome Aquatic Facility or Sikome Lake is about a 20-minute drive from downtown Calgary. This is also a man-made lake that lies in the southeastern part of Calgary in Fish Creek Provincial Park. The best part about Sikome Lake is that it has a beach, and the water is shallow and warm to swim in. This is the perfect destination for a beach day with the family or friends!
The lake is only open to the public from June to September and visitors will find a few amenities here such as washrooms, change rooms, concession stands, and even a small playground.
Go Biking In Calgary
- Address: Bowmont Park (GPS)
- Hours: 24hours
One of the best ways to explore Calgary is on a bicycle. The city has plenty of biking trails that wind through urban patches as well as parks, lakes, and wetlands. Some of the most popular biking trails include the loop around Glenmore Reservoir, or a ride alongside the Elbow River that cuts through the heart of the city allowing you to enjoy Calgary’s skyline views and urban infrastructure.
You will also find biking trails in Riley Park, Nose Hill Park, Fish Creek Park, Bowmont Park, Bowness Park, and Eau Claire Park. Trails vary in length and difficulty so find one that suits your style and skill level.
Fly Fishing in Calgary
- Address: Banff, AB (GPS)
Fly fishing is another popular activity not just for Calgarians but all who visit this neck of the woods. There are plenty of famous trails that anglers will thoroughly enjoy including the Bow River Trail where you can fly fish for rainbow, brown, and bull trout as well as pike and mountain white fish to name but a few of the species that live in these waters. The Prairie Float trail is another great fly-fishing spot just south of Calgary.
You can also choose to fish in many of the mountain streams in and around Calgary to hone your skills and catch some prized trophies to share with friends.
Helicopter Ride Amidst the Rockies
- Address: Alpine Helicopters Inc.- 165 George Craig Blvd NE, Calgary (GPS)
- :Hours: Monday – Friday: 7:30 am – 4:00 pm, Saturday & Sunday: Closed
- Cost of Admission: For booking and reservations, click here.
Looking for a once-in-a-lifetime experience on your trip to Calgary? What about a helicopter ride that lets you explore the beauty of the Canadian Rockies from the air?
This is by far one of the most breathtaking ways to take in the magnificent scenery that lies just a stone’s throw away from Calgary.
Several adventure tour companies offer helicopter tours such as Alpine Helicopters in Canmore, Mountain View Helicopters, Rockies Heli Canada, and LR Helicopters to name a few. Shop around for the best deal and if you have the budget don’t miss out on this incredible opportunity!
Yamnuska Wolfdog Sanctuary
A fun thing to do in Calgary with the kids is visit the Wolfdog Sanctuary in nearby Cochrane. The Yamnuska Wolfdog Sanctuary, home to more than 35 wonderous wolfdogs, sits in the foothills of the Canadian Rocky Mountains and just 40 minutes from the city.
This sanctuary allows you to learn about and observe these beautiful wolfdogs and even interact with them by sharing treats and pats. If you’ve ever wanted to learn more about these impressive creatures a visit here is a must – and not one you can have in many places in the world!
Even though Calgary is the biggest city in Alberta with millions of residents, it doesn’t feel like a big city thanks to its many parks, water bodies, and charming country vibes. While exploring by bike is certainly fun, if you want to immerse yourself in the Calgary experience, nothing beats taking a hike on some of Calgary’s most popular hiking trails.
For one of the best outdoor hikes that everyone will enjoy, head on over to Johnston Canyon in Banff, where you can hike up to take in the views of two large waterfalls. Another easy hike is along the Troll Falls trail in Kananaskis Country, where you will also be greeted with views of an incredible waterfall at the end of your hike.
Day Trip to Canmore
Maybe we’re partial to our home, but we sure do love Canmore. Only an hour away from Calgary and anyone can find themselves in the middle of the Canadian Rockies. Most visitors bypass Canmore and head straight to Banff, but Canmore is well worth a visit.
Day Trip to Banff
You can do quite a bit on a day trip from Calgary to Banff. There are many things to do in Banff for outdoor lovers. Many people spend their entire vacation in Banff, but if you’re short on time at least try and allocate a day to Banff National Park.
There are great hikes for all levels, beautiful blue lakes, and Downtown Banff feels incredibly special in the winter.
When is the Best Time To Visit Calgary?
You can enjoy the city year-round, but it’s best to visit in the summer months. Summer runs from June to August with perfect warm weather and plenty of sunny days. Summer is fantastic with long summer days that give plenty of time to enjoy the summer festivals such as the Calgary Stampede. The Stampede happens every year, the second week of July.
Winter in Calgary can either be brutally cold or surprisingly mild thanks to the warm Chinook winds that blow off the mountains. It’s still an amazing time to visit the city and it does have great access to some world-class skiing in Banff.
Where To Eat In Calgary?
- Calcutta Cricket Club — The fares are a modern take on classic Indian dishes from the region. Fusion at its finest, you’ll find plenty of Indo-Chinese and Hakka flavors mixed in beloved and elevated street foods here.
- Bridgette Bar — Though billed as a bar, this is a chef driven space with shareable plates that offer appetizing allure all on their own. Brigette Bar is right at home in the heart of Calgary’s Design District, with one of the coolest decors in the city. The ambiance is mid century modern and a veritable haven of hip furnishings.
- Flores And Pine — It is a grillroom and gathering space that cooks up elevated comfort foods and modern classics in Calgary. The menu is seasonal and always inspired by sustainably sourced and fresh ingredients.
- Native Tonques — If you’re in the mood for Mexican, Native Tongues is a top notch choice in Cowtown. The tortillas are made in-house daily for both tacos guisados and tacos al carbon.
- Ten Foot Henry — Ten Foot Henry is named after an iconic comic book character from the 1930s. The giant wooden figure of Henry himself has lived all around art venues in Calgary for decades before finally landing at his ultimate homage right outside this very restaurant.
Where To Stay In Calgary?
- Delta Hotels by Marriott Calgary Downtown — This is our go to hotel when we’re staying in Calgary. It’s a beautiful modern hotel that is located in downtown Calgary. It’s convenient to Chinatown, the Bow River, and the downtown core. We also love the ability to earn Marriott Bonvoy points and rewards nights.
- Fairmont Palliser Hotel — Fairmont has an impressive portfolio of Canada’s most iconic hotels such as the Banff Springs, The Empress, and Le Château Frontenac. The Palliser is no exception and is the best hotel for luxury in Calgary.
- aLoft Calgary — This is a great option for a trendy hotel that is more affordable. We’ve stayed at a number of aLofts and they always offer a reliable level of service and comfort. The hotel offers a spa, fitness centre, pool, and bar.
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