75 Free Family Summer Activities in Calgary
Searching for free events, festivals or free places to visit and things to do this summer in Calgary? Here is a list FREE family activities for every day this summer in and around Calgary. Have the best Calgary stay-cation, and have a blast credit card free! This list is for adults too. Other than few child specific activities/playgrounds, most events are fun for all ages.
- Events and attractions listed are free or PWYC (donation). Few day trips are also included.
How to use this article:
- Festivals that span 2 – 3 days are listed under the date that has free programming or on any of the free festival days.
- Free attractions and things to do, that are not date bound /time limited are mentioned under random dates (these can be done any date of your choosing).
Music in the Park
Enjoy live music with family and friends in beautiful parks around the city.
Visit National Parks!
There are 6 National Parks (Waterton, Elk Island, Banff, Jasper, Yoho, Kootenay)within 4 hours of Calgary. Have a blast this summer (2017)!
Friday, June 30, 2017
- Spruce Meadows Pan American
Visit Spruce Meadows, to see Pan American tournament that feature riders from throughout North America.
June 28 – July 3, 2017 @ Spruce Meadows, 18011 Spruce Meadows Way SW, Calgary
- Hope 150
Come hear Calgary bands New Law & Anchored, comedian Matt Falk, Jean Luc from The Kry, and Christian rappers, Fresh I.E. & Manafest.
June 30 – July 1, 2017 @Shaw Millennium Park, Calgary
Saturday, July 1, 2017
Canada Day Celebrations
Best way to start summer? Celebrate Canada’s 150th birthday and enjoy the spectacular fireworks that brighten the night sky.
Sunday, July 2, 2017
Diamonds in the Rough Family Music Festival
Head to Black Diamond to enjoy two days of fun ,family, music- showcasing musicians & songwriters and so much more! Celebrate Canada’s birthday and take in this incredible two day music festival. Over 50 artists will be performing.
July 1 – 2, 2017 @ 611 3rd Street SW, Black Diamond.
Monday, July 3, 2017
Downtown Calgary Tour
Explore Calgary’s downtown by going on a free walking tour. Details
@ Calgary Downtown
Tuesday, July 4, 2017
Greenway150 Summer Challenge
Take up the Summer 150K Challenge! Run, walk, bike or rollerblade) the Rotary/Mattamy Greenway that links parks, natural areas, greenspaces, river valleys and citizens. The Greenway is a 138km urban pathway system that encircles the entire City of Calgary.
Any Day at the trail.
Wednesday, July 5, 2017
St Patrick’s Island Park
Visit Calgary’s 31 acre Island Oasis! Have a go at the play ground, a fun time at the pebble beach and explore the naturalized wetland as you stroll the park enjoying the artworks!
Calgary Public Library holds Tot Storytime @ Confluence Plaza on Wednesdays | 10:30 AM – 11:30 AM
Enjoy local musicians on Saturdays | 02:00 PM – 04:00 PM in summer, exact location in the park varies.
St Patrick’s Island Park, 1300 Zoo Rd. N.E.
Thursday, July 6, 2017
Free Youth Activities at Bass Pro Shops
Visit Bass Pro Shops Calgary and take part in free families activities and interactive workshops on Bird Watching, Fishing, Archery, Hiking, and more!
Every Thursday, Saturday & Sunday,
June 24 – Sunday July 23 @
Bass Pro Shops Calgary, CrossIron Mills Mall
Friday, July 7, 2017
Stampede Parade Day
Enjoy Calgary’s Parade that showcases more than 150 western-themed entries, including 30 marching bands, 40 floats, 750 horses and 4,000 people. Go straight from the Parade to the Park and receive FREE admission until 1:30 p.m.
Friday, July 7, 2017 | 08:55 AM
@ Downtown Calgary
Free Admission to Stampede from 11:00 AM – 1:30 PM
Saturday, July 8, 2017
- Cranston’s Annual Stampede Breakfast
Join us as we celebrate Calgary’s Stampede with Cranston flair. Line dancers, face painters, petting zoo, activities for kids and grown ups, and of course pancakes, butter, syrup and our raved about sausages! Don’t miss out on Cranston’s biggest event of the year!
Saturday, July 8, 2017 | 9:00 AM– 12:00 PM
@ 11 Cranarch Road SE, Calgary
- Go Fishing
Go fishing with family and friends! No license required. Albertans and visitors are invited to give fishing a try on water bodies with open fishing seasons. Keep in mind that fishing regulations still apply.
July 8 & 9, 2017 @Alberta Waters (not in national parks)
Sunday, July 9, 2017
Calgary Stampede Cenovus Family Day
Calgary Stampede has plenty of fun family events for kids – from midway to captivating shows that will get the whole family smiling. Interact with big and small farm animals and learn all about the western agriculture lifestyle. Events include Kids Pedal Tractor pull, magic shows, Dora the explorer, Spiderman, Peking Acrobats, and more!
Free Admission between 8:00 AM–Noon.
FREE breakfast for the first 25,000 guests.
Free Admission for kids under 12 who are accompanied by adults on Wednesday, July 12 | 7:00 AM – 9:00 AM
@ Stampede park, Calgary
Monday, July 10, 2017
Stampede Fun Downtown
Visit downtown Calgary and enjoy free Fluor Rope Square’s Stampede-style entertainment includes marching bands, dancers, singers, fiddlers, friendly mascots plus so much more!
July 8, 10 – 15, 2017 | 09:00 AM – 01:15 PM
@ Olympic Plaza and along Stephen Avenue.
Tuesday, July 11, 2017
Fish Creek Provincial Park
Visit Fish Creek Provincial Park, go on hikes and explore the largest urban park in Canada. Enjoy Artisan Gardens where Alberta’s history, nature and art is honoured in a very unique and culturally significant fashion with First Nations history, family and the natural environment.
Open at 8:00 a.m. every day of the year and open during day light hours.
@ Fish Creek Provincial Park, 13931 Woodpath Rd SW, Calgary
Wednesday, July 12, 2017
Inglewood Bird Sanctuary
Visit Inglewood Bird Sanctuary Nature Centre and learn about local wildlife. Have a pleasant stroll along the almost two kilometres of trails through open grasslands and forests and spot migratory birds.
Trails open Year round, dawn to dusk
@ Inglewood Bird Sanctuary, 2425 9 Ave S.E.,Calgary
Thursday, July 13, 2017
Shakespeare by the Bow
Grab a blanket, a picnic, and take in one of Shakespeare’s greatest plays by Theatre Calgary’s emerging artists. PWYC.
June 20 – August 27, 2017 | 07:00 PM
@ Prince’s Island Park
Friday, July 14, 2017
Enjoy Turkish culture, food, music & more!
July 13-16, 2017
@ Eau Claire festival Plaza, 200 Barclay Parade SW, Calgary
Saturday, July 15, 2017
- Parks Day Celebration
Participating provincial parks across Alberta will host fun activities for the whole family. Enter a sandcastle-building competition, learn about bear safety, go on a scavenger hunt, enjoy a campfire or just connect with nature.
July 15, 2017
@Various Provincial Parks, Alberta
Celebrate Alberta’s Natural Provincial Parks and Learn about Protecting our Watersheds at Parks Day & Creekfest! Take part in concert and song writing workshop by Juno-award winning Peter Puffin’s Whale Tales will return to Fish Creek to host a concert and song writing workshop, go for guided historical walk of the historical Glennfield area and more!
Saturday, July 15, 2017 | 11:00 AM – 04:00 PM
@ The Glennfied area, Fish Creek Provincial Park
Sunday, July 16, 2017
en Blanc à Vélo – Picnic in White
Join Cyclepalooza for an afternoon bike picnic in style. Dress in your Sunday best white, gather your friends together, organize your delicious picnic, and ride to an inner city park for the afternoon. There will belive jazz music to provide scene-appropriate soundtrack for the afternoon, and who knows, maybe even a dance or two!
Meet at 12:00 PM at the Simmons Building in the East Village and ride together at 12:30 PM to the Central Memorial Park with all of our picnic essentials on board.
Monday, July 17, 2017
Late Spring to Fall
@ Elbow Falls Provincial Recreation Area, Kananaskis Improvement District
Tuesday, July 18, 2017
Free programs at your local library
Calagry Public Library offer plenty of free, fun summer programs from magic shows to movies. Check your local library for more details.
OR Borrow a musical instrument from the library for free and learn how to play it through You-tube videos.
@ Your local library
Sun Life Financial Musical Instrument Lending Library at Memorial Park Library
Wednesday, July 19, 2017
Beat the heat and enjoy the summer weather in Calgary by visiting one of Calgary’s many wading pools, and spray parks.
@ Bowness Park – 8900 48 Ave. N.W. – Opening mid summer
Riley Park – 800 12 St. N.W.
Canmore Park – 19 St. & Chicoutimi Dr. N.W.
Eau Claire Plaza/Barclay Mall – 3 St. & Riverfront Ave. S.W
Rotary Park – 617 1 St. N.E.
South Glenmore Park (Variety Park) – 90 Ave. & 24 St. S.W.
Valleyview Park – 28 St. & 30 Ave. S.E.
Thursday, July 20, 2017
- Free Evening Discover Centre Admission
Explore through the hands-on, engaging exhibits and get hooked on Alberta’s fishes downstairs in the aquariums!
Thursday, July 20th & August 17th, 2017 | 5:00 PM – 8:00PM
@ Bow Habitat Station – 1440 17A Street SE, Calgary
- Milky Way Nights
View planetary nebula, globular clusters and distant galaxies and enjoy an educational sky tour. By Donation.
July 20, 21, 22, 2017 & August 17, 18, 19, 2017
Gates open: 10:00 PM to 2:00 AM
@ Rothney Astrophysical Observatory
Friday, July 21, 2017
Pierce Estate Wetlands
Experience nature in the city and walk along the interpretive trail that guides you through a constructed wetland filled with native plants and animals.
Year round | 05:00 AM -11:00 PM
@ 1440 17A St. S.E, Calgary
Saturday, July 22, 2017
- Chestermere Water Festival
Join for Chestermere’s annual festival on the lake! Activities that day include: Wakeboard competition, Kids fun zone, Artisan market, Lake Tours, and more! The day ends with the music of this year’s headliner Drew Gregory and the breathtaking fireworks display on Chestermere Lake!
Saturday, July 22, 2017 | 9:00 AM – 10:30 PM
@ John Peake Park, 100 John Morris Way, Chestermere
- Taste of Okotoks
This pedestrian-friendly event boasts live music, great food from local restaurants, boutique shopping and a street market featuring a wide array of local artisan wares from MarketSquare.
Saturday, July 22, 2017 | 11:00 AM – 4:00 PM
@ Downtown Okotoks
Sunday, July 23, 2017
Enjoy Latin arts and family entertainment at this multicultural festival that showcases Latin American Culture.
July 21 – 23, 2017 | 11:00 AM – 11:00 PM
@ Calgary Olympic Plaza
Monday, July 24, 2017
Visit Calgary’s fascinating and ever-changing Chinatown to learn about the first Chinese pioneers who arrived in Calgary, as early as 1883, after the CP railway was completed. Explore the sights and sounds of the bustling markets and see the Chinese Cultural Centre that is styled after the Temple of Heaven in Beijing.
Year round @ 197 First Street, SW Calgary
Tuesday, July 25, 2017
Wetland Bug Safari
Explore Canada’s largest man-made wetland and join for Calgary Parks’ educational program that provides up-close view of the amazing critters that live below the surface. .
Year round, Hours Vary.
Calgary Parks Program on Tuesdays and Thursdays | 10:00 AM – noon & 1:30 AM – 3:30 PM
@ Ralph Klein Park, 12350 84 St. S.E.
Wednesday, July 26, 2017
Glenbow Ranch Provincial Park
Explore scenic landscapes through the expansive trail system of the park that stretches the Bow River.
@ 255001 Glenbow Rd, Cochrane.
Thursday, July 27, 2017
Grain Academy Museum
Learn how food gets transported from farms to supermarkets! Learn how grain elevators of the past worked, gain an overall understanding of the grain handling system, storage and food transportation industries at this educational grain museum.
Year Round – Tuesday to Friday from 10:00AM to 4:00PM
@ Plus 15 (2nd Level), BMO Centre, 20 Roundup Way SE, Calgary.
Friday, July 28, 2017
Historic Calgary Week
Enjoy neighbourhood concerts, walks, talks, and explore museums, heritage buildings, cemeteries, parks, libraries and archives and celebrate the rich history, culture and community of Calgary and area during Historic Calgary Week.
Friday, July 28 until Monday, August 7.
@ Various venues, Calgary
Saturday, July 29, 2017
Enjoy West Coast’s largest outdoor pet festival. With events including: Dock Dogs Canada, “Running of the bulls” hilarious 20 ft French and English bull dog races, and more!
July 29 & 30, 2017 | 10:00 AM – 04:00 PM
Eau Claire, 200 Barclay Parade SW, Calgary
- River Walk
Join Kathy Coutts of the Okotoks Museum and Archives for a free guided tour of the Sheep River.
July 29, 2017 | 2:00 PM @
Okotoks Museum and Archives, 49 North Railway Street
Sunday, July 30, 2017
Kensington’s Diagon Alley
Explore Kensington community, when it transforms into a wizarding world full of brilliant oddities.
July 30, 2017 | 10:00 AM to 5:30 PM
Kensington Rd and 10th Street NW, Calgary
Monday, July 31, 2017
The Big Rock
Visit the largest glacial erratic near Okotoks – 16,500-tonne quartzite boulder, known as the Big Rock.
@ Near Okotoks.
Tuesday, August 1, 2017
Stephen Avenue Walk #IAMDOWNTOWN Summer Stage
June through September, enjoy free music at Stephen Avenue summer stage!
Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays and some Saturdays | 12:00 PM to 1:00 PM
Monday Blues” series, curated by Calgary International Blues Fest: Mondays | 12:00 PM to 1:00 PM
Wednesday, August 2, 2017
Explore Contemporary Art Galleries
Visit Calgary’s art museums and enjoy the creative imaginations and clever interpretations of the world around you!
@ Contemporary Calgary, Esker Foundation Contemporary Art Gallery
Thursday, August 3, 2017
Visit Glenbow Museum and learn about the history of Alberta, and Western Canada.
Free Admission from 5:00 PM – 9:00 PM on the first Thursday of every month.
@ Glenbow Museum, 130 9 Ave SE, Calgary
Friday, August 4, 2017
Snow White And The Seven Dwarfs.
Get to Old Towne Plaza for awesome family theatre.
July 27, 28,29 & August 3, 4, 5 | 7:30 PM
July 29, 30 & August 5, 6 | 2:00 PM
@ Okotoks Olde Towne Plaza, Okotoks
Saturday, August 5, 2017
- Inglewood Sunfest
Have a gala time at this feisty summer festival in the heart of Inglewood.
Saturday, August, 2017 | 10:00 AM – 05:00 PM
@ Main street Inglewood, Calgary
- Franco Fest
Experience Francophone cultures from around the world.
Saturday, August 5, 2017 | 11:00 AM – 09:00 PM
@ Murdock Park, Calgary
Sunday, August 6, 2017
Botanical Gardens of Silver Springs
Explore this 20,000 square feet of gardens created and maintained by community volunteers.
Spring to Fall | Dawn to Dusk
@ north east corner of Silver Springs, Calgary
Monday, August 7, 2017
Heritage Day Festival
Explore the Indian Village, get face painted into a lion, jump in a bouncy castle, frolic in the water, try a new dish, or simply soak up the sun in front of the stage and enjoy the folk performances
Monday, August 7th | 12:00 PM -6:00 PM
@ Olympic Plaza, 228 8 Ave SE, Calgar
Tuesday, August 8, 2017
Peter Lougheed Provincial Park
Visit one of the best provincial parks in Canada and enjoy wildlife, and revel in the spectacular views of Canadian rockies with out the crowds.
@ Peter Lougheed Provincial Park – Various
Wednesday, August 9, 2017
Ann and Sandy Cross Conservation Area
Enjoy unspoiled wilderness with kids and spot Acmon Blue butterflies, Sora and other native wildlife as you hike self-guided interpretive trails at Ann & Sandy Cross Conservation Area.
Year round | 4:00 AM to 11:00 PM
@ South of Calgary – Hwy 22x at 160th Street.
Thursday, August 10, 2017
Opera in the Village
The 10 day festival also includes free outdoor activities including amazing entertainment from some of Calgary’s best community groups, food trucks, roving performers, beautiful arias sung by alumni of Calgary Opera’s Emerging Artist Development program and more.
August 10 to 20, 2017
@ ENMAX Park, Elbow River Pathway, Calgary
Friday, August 11, 2017
Taste of Calgary
Enjoy a taste of Calgary’s best musical acts during Taste of Calgary.
August 10-13, 2017
@ Eau Claire, 200 Barkley Parade S.W. Calgary
Saturday, August 12, 2017
Calgary Japanese “Omatsuri” Festival
Experience Japanese costumes, Ikebana flower arranging, song and dance, martial arts demonstrations, and more during Japanese “Omatsuri” Festival.
August 12th 2017 | 11:00 AM – 6:00 PM
@ Max Bell Centre, 1001 Barlow Trail SE, Calgary
Sunday, August 13, 2017
- Calgary Dragon Boat Festival
Cheer on the racers, enjoy kids zone, multi-cultural entertainment, live band and more during Dragon Boat Festival Calgary.
August 12 – 13 2017
@ North Glenmore Park, Calgary.
- Marda Gras Street Festival
Enjoy the sights and sounds of New Orleans; purple, green and gold pageantry; a variety of high quality cultural performers, dance groups and musicians; outdoor activities; and a wide variety of delicious cuisine!
Sunday, August 13, 2017 | 10:00 AM – 05:00 PM
@ Marda Loop – 33rd and 34th Avenues SW, Calgary
- Okotoks Show & Shine
See cool cars at the 9th annual Olde Towne Okotoks Show & Shine.
Sunday, August 13, 2017 | 10:00 AM – 04:00 PM
@ Olde Towne, Okotoks
Monday, August 14, 2017
Go on this perfect family hike in Canmore! Appreciate the spectacular turquoise lakes surrounded by snow peaked mountains.
Late Spring to Fall
@ Trailhead begins on Spray Lakes Road, just 2 kms past the Nordic Centre on the left, down a hill.
Tuesday, August 15, 2017
Visit this Lake situated in High River and see hundreds of bird species, native plants and mammals in their natural setting.
@ Frank Lake Conservation Area, High River
Wednesday, August 16, 2017
RCMP Police Dog Service Training Centre
Visit the RCMP dog training facility and see public demonstrations that showcase the skills of police dogs.
Public demonstrations are conducted every Wednesday afternoon between Victoria Day and Labour Day | 02:00 PM – 02:45 PM
@ RCMP Police Dog Service Training Centre, Hwy 2, Innisfail
Thursday, August 17, 2017
Olds College Botanic Gardens and Treatment Wetlands
See flowering trees and shrubs, fabulous displays of annuals, Herb Garden and AAS Selection Display Gardens, swaths of summer flowers and more as you tour the exquisite gardens.
April to October | Dawn to Dusk
@ Olds College, 4500 50 St, Olds
Friday, August 18, 2017
Test your skating skills at Calgary’s Skate parks or at North America’s largest outdoor skatepark, Shaw Millennium Park – This skate park has something for every ability level of the skater, from beginner to expert.
Late Spring To Fall
@ Various Skate Parks, Calgary
Saturday, August 19, 2017
Pop Up in the Park
Visit Okotoks and enjoy local talent with fantastic stage performances.
Saturday, August 19, 2017 | 12:00 PM – 03:00 PM
@ Downtown Okotoks
Sunday, August 20, 2017
Open Farm Days
Alberta Open Farm Days is about farmers and ranchers inviting their urban and rural neighbours to stop in for a visit to share stories, see demonstrations, and learn more about the farmers who grow their food.
August 19 & 20, 2017
@ Participating Farms, Alberta
Monday, August 21, 2017
Reader Rock Garden
Visit Calgary’s most unique cultural landscapes that is also a designated provincial historic site featuring the restored Reader house , rock pathways, bridges, benches and beautiful flowers.
@ 325 25 Ave. S.E., Calgary
Tuesday, August 22, 2017
Explore Calgary’s Parks
Calgary is home to some of the great parks including Bowness Park,Carburn Park, Elliston Regional Park, Edworthy Park, Glenmore Parks, and Stanley Park. Explore the walking trails, amble along the river paths, read a book, and picnic at the park.
@ Various Calgary Parks
Wednesday, August 23, 2017
Explore Calgary through Calgary’s extensive bike paths – North America’s most extensive urban pathway and bikeway network. Biking is a great activity to do with kids.
Late Spring to Fall
@ choose the river path you want to follow.
Thursday, August 24, 2017
Explore the Renaissance Revival architectural style building in the middle of modern downtown Calgary.
Tuesday to Friday : 8:30 AM – 4:30 PM on Alberta Govt Work days.
@ McDougall Centre, 455 6th St SW, Calgary
Thursday, August 25, 2017
City of Calgary Community Summer Programs
City of Calgary Community Summer Programs offers plenty of free activities throughout the summer days including Live entertainment, face painting, bouncy castles, climbing walls, games, snacks and more!
Various Dates in Summer
@ Various locations, Calgary
Saturday, August 26, 2017
Enjoy food, arts and culture of the Caribbean.
- Okotoks Chilifest
Take part in western themed activities, live music and entertainment during Okotoks Chilifest. Spice up your weekend with children’s activities, live music, and an outdoor artisan street market!
Ssturay, August 26, 2017 | 11:00AM to 4:00PM
@ Downtown Okotoks
August 26, 2017
@ Shaw Millenium Park, Calgary.
Sunday, August 27, 2017
Lougheed House Gardens
Take a tour of the Lougheed House Gardens.
Any Day round the year | 7:00 AM until sundown.
@ Lougheed House, Calgary
Monday, August 28, 2017
Learn about great Calgarians and their fascinating stories through free guided walking tours of Calgary’s cemetries.
From Spring to Fall
@ St Mary’s Cemetery, Union Cemetery and Burnsland Cemetery.
Tuesday, August 29, 2017
Learn about coins
See the Numismatics Collection – one of the most important numismatic collections in Canada at Nickle Galleries.
Year round. In summer – Tuesday through Friday, 10:00 AM – 5:00 PM
@ Taylor Family Digital Library on the University of Calgary
Wednesday, August 30, 2017
Enjoy a fun scavenger hunt across Calgary, find hidden geo caches and discover unique geographical features!
Round the year
@ Various locations, Calgary
Thursday, August 31, 2017
Name the artwork!
Explore City of Calgary’s Public Art collection by going on an artwork tour!
Friday, September 1, 2017
See show jumping tournament at Spruce Meadows featuring competitors from North, Central and South America.
August 30 to September 2, 2017
@ Spruce Meadows, Calgary
Saturday, September 2, 2017
Revel in the sights and sounds of traditional Filipino festivities, and celebrations showcasing the art, food and culture of Philippines.
September 1, 2017
@ Olympic Plaza, Calgary
Sunday, September 3, 2017
- BBQ on the Bow
Enjoy live concerts and learn how to make that perfect BBQ during cooking demos at BBQ on the Bow.
September 2 & 3, 2017
@ Montgomery Community Centre, 5003 16th Avenue NW, Calgary
- Pride Parade & Pride in the Park
Join for one of Calgary’s largest FREE outdoor cultural celebrations, immediately following the Pride Parade. Enjoy live music on the main stage, activities for youth and children in the family zone, a cold beer or refreshing cocktail in the Village Brewery Beer Gardens, or get better acquainted with the local community as your browse the marketplace.
September 3, 2017 12:00 PM – 6:00 PM
@ Prince’s island Park
Monday, September 4, 2017
A Last Summer Hurrah at the Beach!
Pack the kids and a picnic basket, and head to Sylvan Lake to enjoy the last days of summer holidays at one of the best lakes in Alberta.
Summer @ Sylvan Lake, Alberta