Life in Calgary is starting to open up. As our family activities have revolved around parks, backyard fires, biking, and other outdoor fun for so long, it’s almost disconcerting remembering what the “old” normal looks like! That brings up the question everyone is asking: what will this summer hold?

One thing we know for sure: summer is relatively short in Calgary, so it’s important to pack as much as you can into the two short months when the kids are out of school and the parents (hopefully) have a little extra time to go out there and play! We put together a list of our favourite summer fun activities that help to make Calgary such a special city. How many can you cross off your list before the Labour Day long weekend is finished?

Fun Things to Do During Summer 2021 in Calgary:

  1. Sing happy birthday to your country this Canada Day. You’ll find a mix of in-person and virtual events.
  2. Take a vacation or a weekend to Lethbridge and discover all that the city and area have to offer.
  3. Go fishing without needing to buy a licence on the Alberta Free Fishing weekend. It’s the first weekend in July.
  4. Don’t put away that cowboy hat! Stampede 2021 may be different, but they are creating a way for you to join the fun.
  5. Not into heading downtown? Find a Stampede Breakfast near you!
  6. Find a last-minute summer camp for your kids to love.
  7. Have some fun on the rails with family-friendly train excursions at Aspen Crossing.
  8. Visit the Bow Habitat Station Discovery Centre, try the Catch-and-Release Fishing or sign up for a Learn to Fish Clinic.
  9. Introduce young music fans to new music with the Summer Serenades concert series from the Calgary Folk Music Festival in July.
  10. Get to know some animals at the Calgary Zoo. Ask a zookeeper what your favourite animals’ names are and some other fun facts about them. And be sure to head to the Canadian Wilds to see Bugtopia, the amazing new playground!
  11. Take in an outdoor theatre production with Wagonstage Children’s Theatre.
  12. Challenge the kids to 18 holes of mini golf at WinSport.
  13. While you’re there, go on a Skyline Luge adventure at Winsport. (Book 2 runs – they say once is never enough!)
  14. Plan a day trip to Discovery Canyon in Red Deer for a natural water playground.
  15. Camp in comfort in a Parks Canada Otentik (a cross between a tent and a cabin), available in Alberta at Banff and Lake Louise National Parks. (But note that these fill up very quickly. You usually have to plan way ahead.)
  16. Or, try to book a night at the Charmed Family Resort Playhouses for a magical getaway. (If you can’t, plan for next summer!)
  17. Spend a day go-carting at Speeders Indoor ProKarts.
  18. Discover Heritage Park again this summer! Ride the SS Moyie, buy a treat, and see Prospect Ridge, the new natural resources exhibition.
  19. Visit the goats and bunnies at Butterfield Acres.
  20. Pack a picnic and spend an entire day cooling off at your local wading pool or spray park.
  21. Visit the city’s Farmers Markets and make a feast out of your fresh finds.
  22. Take the teens on an amazing adventure to the Via Ferrata at Mt Norquay.
  23. Try to hit as many of Calgary’s food trucks as you can. Keep notes and get everyone in your family to vote for their favourite at the end of the summer.
  24. Spend a rainy day indoors exploring the Devonian Gardens.
  25. Road trip it out to one of the city’s outlying ranches and take a family trail ride.

  26. Take a family bike ride through part of the city’s 960 km of bike paths and check out the parks on your way through!
  27. If a bike path isn’t enough, find a bike park or pump track near you!
  28. Bring your family down to the Inglewood Bird Sanctuary for interactive, self-guided programming for all ages.
  29. Hike to the Lake Agnes Tea House at Lake Louise and snack on scones and strawberry tea.
  30. Spend a night in a tent! Overnight it at a nearby campground or check out other family-favourite campgrounds in southern Alberta. (Or stay in your backyard, because campground showers are closed in 2021, and that is a step too far.)
  31. Go back in time and explore what upscale Calgary was like in the olden days with a tour of the Lougheed House.
  32. Skate safe! Let your kids try out skateboarding.
  33. TELUS Spark is reopening on June 18 and will include new adventures, plus old favourites like the Brainasium and the Creative Kids Museum.
  34. Keep your eyes peeled for show ‘n’ shines both in the city and in surrounding communities, like the one in Bearspaw on July 24. Both kids and parents love looking at classic cars!
  35. Frolic with the bunny sculptures at Edgepark Ravine.
  36. Check out Archery Games Calgary: an amazing place to learn and practice your archery skills!
  37. Head out to the Leighton Art Centre (just southwest of Calgary) to get artsy in a peaceful setting.
  38. How much ice cream can you eat in one summer? Walk or bike to your favourite place as an after-dinner treat.
  39. Spend a day exploring the cool shops, walks, and yummy restaurants in Canmore.
  40. Visit Calgary’s beautiful home of the National Music Centre: Studio Bell. (Weekends in July are FREE!)
  41. Swap a gently used book at a Little Free Library. They are scattered all over Calgary.
  42. Or, take advantage of your public library! Sign your kids up online for the Ultimate Summer Challenge at the Calgary Public Library and you could even win prizes.
  43. No matter the weather – try some mini-golf or bowling at Century Sports.
  44. Be a Sunday driver and take a relaxing cruise down the Cowboy Trail. Be sure to stop in Black Diamond for a fun meal or treat at Marv’s Classic Soda Shop.
  45. Reserve a picnic area and have a family party at one of Calgary’s public parks.
  46. Stand on the glass floor of the Calgary Tower and feel like you’re floating above the city. Or falling onto it, if you suffer from vertigo!
  47. Play a game of frisbee/disc golf at the David Richardson Memorial Disc Golf Park in the NW or one of the many other locations in Calgary.
  48. Rainy day? Check out Sky Castle — Calgary’s newest indoor play place.
  49. Ride a C-Train line from one end to the other with a transit-obsessed toddler.
  50. Discover Beyond Van Gogh: The Immersive Experience for a full-sensory art experience.

  51. Get friendly with some farm animals and find your way out of the corn maze at the Calgary Farmyard.
  52. Try geocaching! (Warning, you may become addicted!)
  53. Visit the dinosaurs and hike through the terrain at the Royal Tyrrell Museum in Drumheller.
  54. Drive out to the Alberta badlands at Dinosaur Provincial Park and sketch the scenery. Writing-on-Stone Provincial Park, also filled with hoodoos, is a 3 or 4-hour drive from Calgary, but well worth the weekend trip.
  55. Tackle your fear of heights and take a walk on the Glacier Skywalk near the Columbia Icefields. (Check out the Icefields while you’re there!)
  56. Pay tribute to those who served our country (and see some really cool gear) at Calgary’s The Military Museums.
  57. Our city is full of miniature golf courses! Set up a tournament for your family and see who has the best putting skills!
  58. Which Calgary park has the best picnic spots? Visit as many as you can and get your family to vote for their favourite. Then spread the word to your extended family and friends!
  59. Indulge in your kitschy side and drive out to Torrington to see the Gopher Hole Museum (Open July 1).
  60. Try a 5K fun run or walk. You’ll be amazed at how far and fast even little kids can go when they get into it.
  61. Indulge yourself in a day at the movies. Choose an age-appropriate flick that everyone will like and treat the family to a huge bucket of popcorn. Try the Landmark Cinemas Sunday Funday.
  62. Discover Chinatown! Go for a walk around the neighbourhood, see the sights, and find some terrific Asian restaurants.
  63. Enjoy a cool dip at one of the city’s outdoor pools.
  64. See if you can spot some beavers or other wildlife at The Weaselhead.
  65. Head to Cochrane for the Cochrane Food Fest and taste local.
  66. Ever wanted to pet a wallaby? Of course, you have! And now you can at Cobb’s Adventure Park.
  67. Go for a family adventure in the Rockies. Or plan a hike and roast some marshmallows at Kananaskis’ Elbow Falls. Don’t forget to pack a picnic!
  68. Take a relaxing stroll along the RiverWalk and then grab a snack in the East Village.
  69. Drive south to historic Nanton, for a visit to the Bomber Command Museum. Keep the kids happy on the drive back with some treats from The Candy Store.
  70. Fort Calgary is opening on August 6. Discover Calgary’s beginnings.
  71. Head up to Sunshine Village and take a hike through Sunshine Meadows.
  72. Looking to add even more fun to a staycation? Check into one of the many Calgary hotels with waterslides!
  73. Develop your appreciation for music at one of Heritage Park’s free Music in the Plaza concerts.
  74. Stay tuned for Shakespeare on the Go! (Shakespeare by the Bow is literally taking the show on the road.)
  75. Choose a neighbourhood you’ve never been to before and take a stroll through it to discover new shops, restaurants, and playgrounds.

  76. Find ways to Beat the Heat!
  77. Take a nice, slow (and safe) raft ride down the Elbow River. Or go bigger on the Bow.
  78. Indulge in your kitschy side and drive out to Torrington to see the Gopher Hole Museum.
  79. Hopefully, we can catch a Stampeders Football Game this August.
  80. Pack a lunch and hit the trails for one of these great family-friendly urban hikes.
  81. Visit Granary Road. (There’s special pricing this year!) Enjoy shopping, dining, playing, learning and making connections (of the culinary & community varieties). You can read about our visit to the Active Learning Park here.
  82. Search for the ugly old troll under the bridge at Troll Falls in Kananaskis or check out the Blackshale Suspension Bridge.
  83. Skip rocks at Forget-me-not Pond.
  84. Play in the park, have a picnic and enjoy the urban beauty at Prince’s Island Park.
  85. Discover more about the land and the people at the Glenbow Museum.
  86. Pick your own saskatoons at Solstice Berry Farm. Bring them home and make a yummy dessert with your kids.
  87. Immerse yourself in aircraft history at the Hangar Flight Museum.
  88. Visit the natural playground at Ralph Klein Park. If you time it right, you can pick a few crab apples while you’re there.
  89. Visit Glenbow Ranch Provincial Park, bring your bikes, or go for a hike.
  90. Hit the links! Introduce your kids to the game of golf at one of these Family-Friendly Golf Courses or try out a City of Calgary Take a Kid to the Course Day.
  91. The Calgary Farmers Market is opening a west location next year, but you can get a sneak peak this summer.
  92. Discover a new favourite candy with our favourite local Candy Store Guide.
  93. Plan an evening under the stars at an outdoor movie. (Don’t forget the bug spray!)
  94. Book a visit to solve a mystery at YouthLink Calgary Police Interpretive Centre.
  95. GlobalFest brings Calgary the BEST fireworks! Enjoy the fireworks and the OneWorld festival late in August.
  96. Find the best playground in the city!
  97. Or find a FREE playground program!
  98. Go back in time and witness history with the Summer Skirmish at The Military Museums.
  99. The Calgary classic Shakespeare by the Bow has become Shakespeare on the GO this year! Catch a show near you.
  100. Calaway Park is bringing you COVID-safe amusement park fun. Enjoy a day outside, a few rides, and maybe some cotton candy or mini donuts!