Here is a list of 100+ things to do in and around Calgary this 2021 summer including hikes, guided tours, festivals and other fun adventures. Whether you are looking for family or adult activities, you are sure to find something in this list.
I. Summer Festivals and Events
- From great music acts to a brand-new Evening Show for 2021 complete with jaw-dropping pyrotechnics to cap off the night, there are plenty of things to do at this year’s Calgary Stampede. July 9 to 18 @ Stampede Grounds
- Go for a night time of fun shopping with friends and family. Shop local, get handmade crafts to vintage clothing, antiques & collectibles, artisan eats & more st Calgary Night Markets! Various Dates @ Various Venues.
- Enjoy a movie or a circus performance at the B!G ART Drive-In. With special FX, large-format concert sound and lighting, and live-action actors, B!G ART Drive-In will deliver an interactive cinematic experience. Throughout summer at Telus Spark.
Chill under the big Alberta sky at the picturesque Prince’s Island Park and revel in live concerts with a diverse collection of enticing Canadian artists. Featuring performances by Lido Pimienta, Dan Mangan, Jim Cuddy, Cowboy Junkies, Charlotte Cardin, Whitehorse, and many more! Prep your blankets and tarps and get ready to groove at Summer Serenades! July 22nd to 28th, 2021 @ Prince’s Island Park, Calgary
- Join for live concerts by Men Without Hats, Wannabe: A Spice Girls Tribute, Platinum Blonde, Streetheart and Headpins and many more at Grey Eagle Drive-In.
- Wagonstage Children’s Theatre by University of Calgary’s School of Creative and Performing Arts will be presenting Bev the Beaver, an outdoor summer theatre show at containR Art Park throughout the summer.
- Cool of with YYC Summer Cool-er and relish cool summer drinks throughout summer.
- Pull up your bootstraps and saddle up! Badlands Music Festival returns with an incredible lineup star-studded acts and be back celebrating with you all under the Badlands Tent. July 8th – 18th, 2021 @ Knoxville’s Tent – 840 – 9th Avenue SW, Calgary
- Listen to the music of 24 talented musicians performing in different sessions in captivating songwriters’ circles. Singers will share their original music and the stories behind their songs during The Blue Jay Sessions: Summer Nights. July 7 to 10, 2021 @ Ill-Fated Kustoms in the Manchester Industrial area
- Visit Deerfoot City during #YYCBlockParty, the second annual art installation and play space that includes a 215ft road mural, patio space and outdoor games like basketball, ping pong, tetherball and more. You won’t want to miss out on this interactive and immersive outdoor experience with free and fun programs happening all summer long.
- Give fishing a try on Alberta’s water bodies with open fishing seasons (not in national parks) on July 3 & 4 2021, when fishing license is not required.
- Join for YYCSeek. This week-long scavenger hunt will bring adventure and fun as you and your team scour central Calgary for answers!
Immerse yourself in Van Gogh’s artwork like you’ve never seen it before. Beyond Van Gogh: An Immersive Experience will be in Calgary for a limited engagement. Don’t miss this stunning journey into the world of Vincent Van Gogh! Wednesdays to Sundays, July 30 to August 29 @ BMO Centre at Stampede Park
The International Fireworks Festival illuminates the sky with a colliding orchestra of light and sound. 2021 features presentations produced by world-class pyro musical artists hailing from China, India, Japan and the Philippines, culminating with GlobalFest’s own spectacular Finale presentation. August 13 to 28, 2021 @ Elliston Park, Calgary
- Visit Fort Calgary for 9 holes of mini golf and a personalized 1oz Grey Goose Vodka Soda Cocktail. It’s a refreshing way to play a round this summer. August 13 – 22, 2021.
- Enjoy uncensored, unexpected, unforgettable theatre during Calgary Fringe Festival. Fringes are uncensored, non-juried theatre festivals that are focused on creativity, performance, expression, and pushing boundaries. July 30 to August 7, 2021
- Ye Men of Calgary!
Hit ’em again, ye men of Calgary
Get on the ball and let’s go marching down the field
While there’s a goal in sight, play on with all your might
‘Til the victory’s won, get in and fight, fight, fight! Show them you are behind them and cheer the loudest when Red and White win the day! Calgary Stampeders Home Games!
- Stop in at Alberta’s farms and ranches for a visit and see demonstrations, and learn more about the farmers who grow their food. August 14 & 15, 2021 @ Across Alberta
- See the finest vehicles in Canada during Driven. Saturday July 24th, 2021 @ Southcentre Mall.
- Summer Jazz Festival by Jazz YYC brings jazz music to mainstage venues with late night concerts, jams, free public workshops, and the signature JazzWalk this August. August 19 to 22, 2021
- This free, fun-filled, family-friendly festival is not to be missed! On Sunday, August 8th, the streets of Marda Loop will come alive for the 35th time with this New Orleans themed festival.
- Visit the Priddis & Millarville Fair – one of the last great Country Fairs in Canada. August 21 & 22, 2021
- Join formural tours and artist events as a flurry of new murals are being painted during Bump Festival. In August. Exact dates TBA.
- See hundreds of stunning handmade quilts of all shapes, sizes and techniques adorning Heritage Park during the annual Quilt Festival.
- Show your Pride! Calgary Pride 2021 will take place with both in-person and virtual programming. B!G Pride 2021 will also have your favourite community hosted #OurPride events back in an exciting way. August 27th – September 6th, 2021 @ Various Venues
- Experience Serbian hospitality for an entire weekend filled with fun activities for the whole family! September 4th and 5th, 2021 @ 16025 243 Ave E, De Winton
- Cheer the best athletes from the world’s top show jumping nations compete for top prize money and international acclaim during the Spruce Meadows National. September 1 to 5 @ Spruce Meadows.
- Do some yoga in the park. June 13th – October 31st 2021 @ Mahogany and Stanley Park.
— For more events and festivals:
II. Activities within the City of Calgary
- Visit Studio Bell for free in July. Music lovers can choose their own musical adventure through a self-guided tour or catch instrument show-and-tells, science and sound demos, and performances on fan favourite, the Kimball Theatre Organ.
- Be active at Canada Olympic Park. From mountain biking, zipline, mini golf, and more, there are plenty for all ages/ability levels.
- Go whitewater paddling or river surfing in Calgary’s Bow River at Harvie Passage. Please note that this is for experienced paddlers only. South channel beach is good fun for families. But you should be mindful of the river and please do keep in mind all advisories.
- Taste wine and hang out with baby kangaroos… what could possibly be better? Or visit Cobb’s Corn Maze & Family Fun Park during day time for family fun time!
- Go on an art tour of Calgary and out these 25 public art features! You can see many of them from your car or on a walk around the city.
Take a trip down the Bow River or Elbow River. You can rent kayak/rafts from Paddle Station or Lazy Raft Rentals and make your way down the river and finish your journey at St. Patricks Island or Princes Island Park.
- Get lost in the maze that is 10+ acres in size with the corn reaching a peak height of 10 feet.
Climb aboard your Luge cart that features brakes and steering system and have a unique experience as gravity takes you down to the bottom of the hill over an 1800 metres purpose-built track.
- See how far you can see from top of the Calgary Tower!
- Take in some of the great views of Calgary from various lookout points! Calgary’s location in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains offers a unique opportunity for some great scenic lookouts. Whether it’s rolling farmlands to the east or majestic mountains to the west, Calgary has the scenic lookout you are craving. Not to mention, there are some pretty spectacular city views right in the middle.
- Discover Canada’s military history at The Military Museums.
- Re-discover Calgary on the bike or on electric scooters.
- Explore Beaver Dam Flats, a habitat for many birds, insects, and other wildlife. Be sure to keep an eye out for something new every time you go. Bring your bike or take a walk through this beautiful area.
Set sail for a scenic summer cruise on Calgary’s only paddlewheel boat and enjoy the breathtaking views of the Glenmore Reservoir & the majestic Rocky Mountains.
- Visit Weaselhead flats, along the Elbow river west of the Glenmore reservoir, is sure to delight birders of any level. From American Robins to a Pine Grosbeak, you’re sure to see something new.
- Go paddling in a pedal boat at Bowness Park!
- Learn all about urban beekeeping with MOB Honey’s workshops at The Hive in East Village. You’ll get a tour of the five beehives along Riverfront Lane and get up close and personal with thousands of honey bees who live there!
- Have you explored Fish Creek Provincial Park? The park has more than 80 kilometres of pathways – 30 km paved & 50 km of shale.
- Learn more about Alberta’s history at Canada’s largest living history museum by number of exhibits.
- Check out Calgary’s Skyline from Nose Hill Park!
- Spend a summer afternoon on the beautiful urban island oasis, that is St Patrick’s Island.
- Tee off at Calgary’s golf courses.
- Show off your skating skills at Shaw Millennium Park.
- Bird watch at Inglewood Bird Sanctuary.
- Head from the Cougar Ridge community into Paskapoo on your mountain bike or on foot (just know there are a lot of bikers). This 3.4 kilometer loop will take you through some great greenery and unpaved paths. Take a walk on the wild side with this stunning trail.
- Have a cold one at Calgary’s breweries.
- Learn more about aviation history and evolution of flight and climb aboard historic aircrafts at The Hangar Flight Museum.
- Go on a DIY tour of downtown Calgary.
- Get a picnic basket from Calgary restaurants and enjoy a picnic at the Park. Whether you want to relax on the grass with friends or enjoy a unique festive occasion, you can also choose between various event and culinary teams that will help you to create the outdoor event of your dreams.
Treat yourselves to great views and great food. From great food to great views, these Calgary restaurants have great patios to spend a sunny summer day.
- Taste something new at Calgary’s Farmers’ Markets!
- Explore Douglas Fir Trail that meanders through densely wooded escarpment with dramatic views of the Bow River Valley and then enjoy a picnic at Edworthy Park!
- Discover food from around the world right here in Calgary.
Enjoy the thrill of the amusement rides and have carefree fun at Calaway Park.
- Sandy Beach has kilometers of small areas near the river that you can enjoy with your family, or large grassy areas for physically distant picnics. Bring your dog to the off leash area, or enjoy the varied biking paths in this beautiful park. 4500 14a St SW, Calgary
- Run, walk or rollerblade 150kms of the Calgary’s Pathways.
- Stroll through the splendid Beaulieu Gardens, situated on the 2.8 acre Lougheed estate.
- Take a stroll along the RiverWalk to the confluence of the Bow and Elbow Rivers.
- Beat the heat and enjoy the summer weather in Calgary by visiting one of Calgary’s many wading pools, and spray parks.
- Beat the heat with a Calgary made ice cream.
See all the animals at the Calgary Zoo or go back in time to when dinosaurs reigned supreme as its newest exhibit, “Dinosaurs: Awakened“. If you are looking to play an outdoor-only escape game, then join for Locked Zoo, a game that will have you using your wits and getting your steps in, while solving challenging puzzles with a team of clever friends.
- Plan a date at Reader Rock Garden, enjoy a stroll amongst the designated provincial historic site and historic garden – one of the city’s most unique cultural landscapes (open dawn to dusk). Have lunch at Reader Rock Cafe .
- Go hiking along Glenmore Reservoir Trail. It’s good for all skill levels and there are a lot of variations available to you. It’s 15.4 kilometres long, and it’s a great way to feel like you’re out of the city. Keep an eye out for chickadees and other bird friends.
- Enjoy a walk along the spectacular 1300 feet Wall Garden of The Botanical Gardens of Silver Springs.
- Enjoy an evening at the Rec Room!The Rec Room brings together fun dining experiences with amusement and gaming all under one roof.
- Experience great views of the Bow Riverfrom Dale Hodges Park. This park is the starting point for many walking paths along the Bow River escarpment. This former gravel pit has been transformed into a scenic area offering Paved paths and boardwalks meander through the park, which connects to nearby Bowmont Park.
- Enjoy a date night at one of Calgary’s romantic restaurants!
- Let yourself be guided through a tranquil wetland in the middle of the city at Pearce Estate. A signed interpretive trail guides you through a constructed wetland filled with native plants and animals. The signs tell how the wetland came to be and describes the wildlife seen around you.
- One of Western Canada’s largest museums, the Glenbow Museum has over a million objects spread across 20 galleries.
- Find your wall at the Calgary Climbing Centre.
- Shop till you drop at Inglewood!
- Head to Carburn Park and take a trip around the pond! This loop is 2.4 kilometers long and takes you around three man made ponds. It’s a beautiful walk that also takes you by the Bow River. Bring your binoculars for some bird watching.
- Enrich your brain with a visit to Telus Spark.
- Are you a puzzle master? Many Escape Rooms within the city like Confined Escape Rooms are open! See whether you can escape the confines within the prescribed time.
- Mountain views, city views, a waterfall, and many paths for walking are all features of Ralph Klein Park in Calgary. The Ralph Klein park was named after Calgary’s former mayor, and is a recent addition to the park system of Calgary, having only been opened to the public in 2011. Artwork by artist Beverly Pepper can be found in the park, so bring your camera.
- Take a Horse Riding lesson from Horsin’ Around in Calgary.
- Inclement weather? Have at Calgary’s indoor amusement centres.
- Get reading with Calgary Public Library. Calgary Public Library holds plenty of fun outdoor events during summer.
III. Day trips from Calgary
- Head to Kananaskis Country and discover amazing summer activities available in our backyard! Remember to buy your conservation pass.
- Make as many day trips as you want to take-in all that Banff National Park offers.
- Discover the amazing, underground world of caves on this half-day, small-group guided cave explorer tour with all equipment included during Canmore Caving Explorer Tour.
- Visit the Alice Sanctuary,home to rescued cows, pigs, goats, turkeys and other farm animals – and each has a special story.
- Explore Canmore!
- Discover Calgary region’s only Dark Sky Preserve — Ann and Sandy Cross Conservation Area!
- Explore Kananaskis’ own Ghost town. Kovach was a tiny town where the workers and their families from the coal mine once lived.
- Hitch a wagon, rope a steer, saddle a horse, and enjoy campfire stories surrounded by the largest collection of historical ranch buildings in Canada at Bar U Ranch National Historic Site.
- Hike to the waterfalls near Calgary.
- Take the Bee Basics tour at Chinook Honey Company!
- Bring friends and family with you to enjoy the GOOD things in life including an over the top Active Learning Park with a 4 storey Ant Farm full of slides and climbers, a Petting Zoo with kissing Alpaca, crazy fun Ziplines and more!
- Drive to the Drumheller for an enjoyable day trip.
- Prepare for a real rustic Alberta mountain adventure at Boundary Ranch! Discover the breathtaking scenery of the Kananaskis Valley on horseback along the 1-hour Buffalo Loop.
- Go on a guided Kananaskis River Rafting Adventure with Chinook Rafting. This excursion is an ideal introduction to the thrill of whitewater rafting, and is great for families or groups on the class 1-3 rapids.
- Visit Leighton Art Centre. The historic education centre is set on 80 acres of breathtaking rural scenery just 20 minutes from south Calgary.
Explore acres of amazing machines, learn fascinating coal mining history, and experience incredible Badlands landscapes at Atlas Coal Mine.
- Visit Nanton! From the towering grain elevators to antique shopping, to embracing the classic architecture of Main Street, to Nanton’s two museums, you will be able to truly get a sense of southern Alberta’s history.
- Pick your own Saskatoon, Sour Cherries, and Currants at Saskatoon Farm.
- Kootenay National Park is within two hours of drive. Plan your trip!
- With six unique totem poles standing in the park, Gwacheon Park is a unique landmark for Airdrie. Visit Gwacheon Park and other attractions in Airdrie!
- Visit the largest glacial erratic near Okotoks, 16,500-tonne quartzite boulder is the world’s largest known glacial erratic. Enjoy a geography lesson and tell your child the Blackfoot story about the reason for the large split down the middle.
- Explore hoodoos and badlands of Alberta.
- Enjoy the beautiful sand beach (at Anniversary Park), swimming, windsurfing, fishing, boating, skating, lakeside promenades, rolling grass hills, picnic spaces and more at Chestermere Lake, located half an hour from downtown Calgary.
- Explore scenic landscapes, explore the expansive trail system, or take part in public programs that offer a range of educational and recreational opportunities, including family programs and golf cart tours at Glenbow Ranch Provincial Park located on the northwest corner of the city (Haskayne Park) and stretching 14 km along the Bow River to Cochrane.
- See flowering trees and shrubs, fabulous displays of annuals, Herb Garden and AAS Selection Display Gardens, swaths of spring bulbs and more as you tour the exquisite gardens created by Old College ground staff.
- Cross the Blackshale Suspension Bridge in Peter Lougheed Provincial Park!View this post on Instagram
- Visit Southwest Alberta.
- Choose from any of the 25-daytrips given here and have a fabulous staycation in Calgary.
- Go on a scenic drive. Whether you choose to drive Highway 22 or drive up to Edmonton via Drumheller, there are plenty of options for a scenic trip.
- Nestled in some of our province’s most scenic regions are fruit groves, honey farms, and U-Vin establishments who all offer something a little different. Visit a winery.
- Whether you want to camp within the City or want to plan a fun getaway near by there are plenty of options in and around the city.