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Calgary in Summer is exciting, exhilarating, and electrifying. Don’t believe us? After reading this blog, you will talk about all the fun things to do in Calgary during the summer. There are plenty of outdoor and indoor summer adventures lined up for you, from river surfing to hiking. Get ready to soak up some sun and have all the fun with your friends and family in Calgary. 

Like in most Canadian cities, summer is indeed short. All the more reason why you must make the most of this weather. We have gathered some exciting ideas to help you plan your summer getaway to Calgary. Although you have a plethora of options, we have carefully curated our top picks of things to do in Calgary during summer. How many do you think can be crossed off your list? Let’s get started. 

Summer fun in Calgary

Go Hiking

Whether you are looking to go on inner-city hikes or foothill excursions, Calgary has several options for you. The downtown hike is a tourist favourite. Start from the Peace Bridge and head east. Grab a brunch at the River Cafe on the island and then proceed with your hike parallel to the Bow River, and then continue all the way to Fort Calgary. Remember to take coffee breaks and Cinnamon bun bites along the way. Another inner-city hike you’ll enjoy is by the Inglewood Bird Sanctuary & Nature Centre. During this hike, you’ll also get to explore the Inglewood neighbourhood. A Westside hike between the Bow River and the Bowness Park is a must-do. This tranquil location with scenic views is perfect for a short hike. 

Explore the biking trails

Enjoy the breathtaking views of Calgary on your bike. As one of the extensive urban pathway and bikeway networks in North America, their bike trails offer the most scenic tour of the city. You are sure to love exploring the Glenmore Reservoir, Bowness Park, and downtown Calgary on your bike. 

Enjoy river rafting

Are you looking for some water adventure? How about river rafting in the beautiful Bow river? This is sure to be the experience of your lifetime. Enjoy the epic views of the downtown skyline and experience this summertime favourite activity in Calgary. 

Picnic time

Calgary has the best picnic spots that are perfect for both locals and tourists. Bowness Park, Carburn Park, North Glenmore Park, St. Patrick’s Island, and Prince’s Island Park are some great spots to enjoy an outdoor picnic lunch with your loved ones. It’s time to kick back and relax under the sun while enjoying the stunning views. 

Try river surfing 

If you enjoy water sports and adventure, you must try river surfing in Calgary. As one of the top things to do in Calgary, river surfing is your ultimate water adventure. Every summer, you’ll see a wave of tourists and travelers hitting Calgary and Kananaskis. This is one of the world’s hottest emerging sports that give you a sense of conquering the fierce waves. The Mountain Wave at Lower Kananaskis River is one of the top spots to enjoy this adventure in summer. 

Attend fun musical festivals

Prince’s island park is a hot spot for fun musical events in Calgary. In June, Calgary Ukrainian Festival and 4th Street Lilac Festival happen here. The Calgary Ukrainian Festival will delight you with traditional Ukrainian cuisine and drinks. 

In July, Mexifest, Folk Music Festival, Fiestaval Latin Festival, and Arab Festival occur here. Some of these are free events and allow you to enjoy multicultural arts, music, and dance performances by local and international artists. 

If you are visiting Calgary in August, Tour de Bowness Street Festival, Marda Grass Street Festival, and Expo Latino happen during this time. 

Try zip lining 

Ready to get your adrenaline pumping? This summer, go ziplining in Canada Olympic Park, North America’s fastest zipline and enjoy the speed rush from up top. Zip away on this 500 meters long zipline at a speed of 140km/h. Nothing can top this thrilling experience while you are in Calgary. 

Don’t miss the Stampede Rodeo.

Many travelers flock to Calgary for this one event, Stampede Rodeo. As Earth’s most incredible outdoor show, Calgary Stampede is a 10-day long annual rodeo and festival. Slated in for July, this festival hosts a variety of events. There are many events to witness from parades to stage shows, concerts to agricultural competitions in these ten days. 

Shakespeare’s play in Prince’s Island Park 

Graduated drama students gather by the Bow river every summer and perform the famous Shakespeare plays five times a week. For literature fans, these plays are a pure treat to the soul. Some well-laid-out performances and pay-what-you-choose options make it even more enjoyable. 

Enjoy fishing during Alberta Free Fishing weekend. 

The first week of July is celebrated as Alberta Free Fishing weekend, which means you don’t need to buy a sportfishing license. Get your best catch from the well-stocked waterbodies, including brook trout, brown trout, cutthroat trout, rainbow trout, and tiger trout.  

Central Library one of the free things to do in Calgary
Central Library, Calgary. Image Credits : Jeff Whyte/Shutterstock

Free things to do in Calgary

There are free attractions, tours, parks, water adventures, and everyone loves a free, fun summer activity in Calgary. Here are some ideas of free things to do in Calgary during summer. 

  1. Visit Devonian gardens, a botanical garden with over 500 trees, numerous varieties of plants, gorgeous fountains, fishponds, and even a 900 square foot living wall. 
  2. Be a bookworm at the Central Library and explore four floors of literary finds. They also offer free tours that let you admire the stunning architecture of this building. 
  3. Take a tour of the contemporary art gallery, Esker Foundation, located in the lovely neighbourhood of Inglewood. 
  4. Spruce Medows is a world-class horse jumping venue. They offer free admission to witness the indoor tournaments and add up to perfect summer activity.  
  5. Walk the YYC is another unique tour that lets you experience the best of the city on foot. You also don’t have to break a bank to enjoy their fun and featured tours. Instead, you can choose to pay what you like. From haunted Cowtown to historic Stephen Ave, there are some spectacular and spooktacular tours to experience.  
  6. Discover Fish Creek Provincial Park, the largest urban park in North America, for free. You could choose to walk, hike, or bike to explore this beautiful provincial park. 

Festivals, tours, provincial parks, historic buildings, and stunning architecture, this beautiful city of Alberta has tons to offer. So, take advantage of the sunny weather and set out on an adventure to Calgary. Don’t forget to create a bucket list of things to do in Calgary and check them off while you are there. 

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