Our summers in Calgary are so short — we need to enjoy the outdoor weather as much as possible! One of the greatest things about the Calgary summer is the opportunity to enjoy great entertainment outdoors, entertainment al fresco. Here are some popular free (or budget-friendly!) outdoor events that take place in Calgary over the summer season.

Heritage Park’s Music in the Plaza series offers free concerts every Wednesday from July 5 – August 30, 2023, from 6 – 9 pm. Catch music from a variety of genres in the plaza in front of the park gates. Bring a picnic, pick one from the Railway Café, or book a table at a Selkirk Grill patio. Performances are free of charge and take place before the Park gate in the Engineered Air Bandstand.

An annual Calgary summer tradition is Theatre Calgary’s Shakespeare by the Bow in the natural amphitheatre in Prince’s Island Park. In 2023, this tradition is Shakespeare on the Go and it travels all over the city, bringing one of Bard’s popular works to life. This year’s production is A Midsummer Night’s Dream. It will run on select dates from July 14 – August 6, 2023. This is a pay-what-you-will production that features local and up-and-coming actors and technicians.

Every Thursday at noon, from July 27, 2023, to September 21, 2023, (except August 31, 2023) head to Olympic Plaza for Arts Commons Presents ArtXpeditions Circle Stage. You’ll enjoy live music to energize your day in a wide range of genres and styles. and these free performances will feature local performers.

The Wagonstage Theatre is also presenting a free outdoor show at various times and locations all over the city from June 24 – August 25, 2023. This year’s production is The Little Forest. Four siblings in a treeless neighbourhood embark on a mission to bring nature back to life. Join them on their journey of planting dreams, overcoming obstacles, and working together to transform the world. The show is suitable for all ages.

Periodically throughout the summer season, you’ll find family-friendly outdoor movies. Some do cost money, but some are free. These are a fun way to curl up with your family under the stars!

And for the last of the warm weather, as summer’s rays fade into fall, the Honens Festival presents open-air concerts. On September 9, 2023, bring your sunglasses and a picnic blanket to soak up the warmth of the September sun at Central Memorial Park, from 2 – 3:30 pm for a special open-air family concert.

Of course, these inexpensive options only scratch the surface of great outdoor entertainment in Calgary! Take a look at all of the other amazing outdoor festivals that happen in Calgary over the summer and get out there to enjoy your summer weather while it lasts! Before you know it, we’ll be donning our sweaters and buying those pumpkin spice lattes.