25 Best Things To Do In August
Watch an outdoor movie in Kensington, visit the newly arrived lemurs at the Calgary Zoo and stuff your face at Taste of Calgary.
Photograph courtesy of The Brewer's Apprentice
August is the last full month of summer, and Calgary is making sure that there are plenty of ways to take advantage of it. Outdoor neighbourhood festivals, theatre performances, food trucks and fireworks are just a few of the ways to have fun in the city this month.
Here are our 25 suggestions for a great August.
On Saturday, August 5, take to the streets of Inglewood for some fun in the sun during the annual Inglewood Sunfest. The summer festival will take place on Inglewood's main street from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., and will feature live music, street performers and children's activities. While you can shop the neighbourhood's stores during the event, Sunfest will also have more than 200 vendors selling food, crafts and more.
For the third summer in a row, you can watch a free outdoor movie in Kensington during the Kensington Summertime Outdoor Movie Series in August. A different film will be screened each week in the parking lot next to Purr, and there will be free hot chocolate and ice tea. Screenings include The Breakfast Club on August 5, Ghostbusters on August 12, Pretty Woman on August 19 and Jaws on August 26. All screenings start at 9 p.m.
Calgary Parking Authority Lot 57, 1210 Kensington Rd. N.W., visitkensington.com
On August 26, the streets will be filled with colourful costumes as the Carifest parade travels from Olympic Plaza to Shaw Millennium Park at 9:30 a.m. Once there, guests can get their fill of tasty Caribbean fare and listen to live Caribbean entertainment in the park.
Millenium Park, 1220 9 Ave. S.W., facebook.com
K.d. lang, one of Canada's most beloved musical figures, is at the heart of the National Music Centre's newest temporary exhibition. Big, Big Love: k.d. lang on Stage launched on July 11 and focuses on the Edmonton-born singer's musical achievements over the years. The exhibit features more than 20 artifacts related to lang, including costumes and instruments she's used. The exhibit is located on Studio Bell's fifth floor and runs until June 1, 2018.
You may not have been able to make it to the Tour de France this year, but you can still experience the excitement of a cycling race during Tour de Bowness (August 5 to 7). Over the course of the three-day event, there will be a road race in Cochrane, a 1-kilometre hill climb that is 141-feet steep and a speed race (called a Criterium) on the streets in Bowness. These events are fast paced and exciting, so be prepared to cheer.
Locations vary, tourdebowness.com
A clown performance of Shakespeare's Macbeth, a Legally Blonde musical, late night cabaret — you'll have your pick of theatre shows during the annual Calgary Fringe Festival. Running from August 4 to 12, this year's festival offers more than 40 different theatre performances, most of which take place at venues in Inglewood. While some of the performers are local, others have traveled from across Canada (and other fringe festivals) to perform at Calgary's event.
Various locations, calgaryfringe.ca
Country Thunder made its Alberta debut in Calgary last year, and now, the country music festival is back for more on August 18 and 20. Some of country's biggest names will be performing at this year's festival, including Terri Clark, Blake Shelton, Brad Paisley, Old Dominion and more. So grab your cowboy hat and boots and prepare to dance the weekend away.
Cocktail enthusiasts will be in heaven during the new Peeled cocktail festival (August 12 to 14). Purchase a Peeled Passport to get featured cocktails at more than a dozen local bars such as Bank & Baron Pub, Proof, The Derrick and Last Best for $9. There will also be festival seminars and workshops on how to make Old Fashioned cocktails and how to stock a home bar.
Celebrate Taste of Calgary's 20th anniversary by stuffing your face in its honour. The annual foodie festival, which runs from August 10 to 13, highlights a wide range of cuisines available in Calgary. This year, there will be food and/or drinks from eateries such as Minas Brazilian Steakhouse, The Dumpling Lab, Pure Contemporary Vietnamese Kitchen, Blanco Cantina, Pza Parlour, Grate & Barrel and more. While entrance to the festival is free, you have to buy $1 sampling tickets to try the food. There will also be a music stage with performances throughout the day and a foodie stage with special food and cooking related events.
Ever wonder where your food comes from? You can find out during Alberta Open Farm Days on August 19 and 20. That's when you can visit participating Alberta farms and ranches such as Fallentimber Meadery, Aspen Ranch, Riverbend Gardens, Harrold Family Farm and more. Meet the families that grow your food, watch a farm demonstration or take part in a culinary experience.
Various locations, albertafarmdays.com
Grab your growler and head to The Brewer's Apprentice, a new growler fill and tasting room in East Village. There, you'll have your choice of 48 Canadian beers on tap, many of which are from Alberta. While the selection rotates, current beer selections include The All-Night Vanilla Cappuccino Porter from Calgary's Cold Garden Beverage Company, Lemon Gin Saison from Vancouver's Bridge Brewing and Scona Gold from Edmonton's Alley Kat Brewing Company. The Brewer's Apprentice also offers bottled craft beer and bottles of wine. While you can't sit down for a drink here, The Brewer's Apprentice does have a private tasting room where tasting events will be held.
If you've been meaning to try out a new restaurant this summer, do it during Summer Feast. From August 11 to 20, local restaurants around the city will be offering three-course, prix fixe lunches or dinners for only $15 to $35 each during this new dining event. The prix fixe menus will be available at 13 Calgary restaurants, including The Nash, Foreign Concept, The Guild, Klein Harris, Pigeonhole and more.
Get down to some blues music during the Calgary International Blues Festival (July 31 to August 6). At this year's festival, guests can attend a blues guitar workshop, learn about the of blues at the National Music Centre's King Eddy or catch musical performances by artists such as like Amos Garrett, the Billy Joe Green Band, Bob Hall, Angel Forrest and more. The festival will also have a beer tent, food trucks and an arts market.
Calgary's Heritage Day Festival is celebrating its ruby anniversary this year — that's 40 years! Mark this milestone by heading down to Olympic Plaza on Monday, August 7, where there will be face painting, live music, ethnic foods, multicultural performances and more from noon to 6 p.m.
Olympic Plaza, 228 8 Ave. S.E., facebook.com
Eating tasty food truck fare along the Bow River — what could be more Calgary? From August 18 to 20, head to the Riverwalk Plaza in East Village to fill your belly during Taste the Trucks. Back for a seventh year, the event will have more than 20 food trucks to choose from, plus live music, giveaways and Village Brewery beer. Admission is $5.
In July, Alberta's first Presotea cafe opened on 17 Ave. S.W. The Taiwan-based chain, which has more than 30 locations across Canada and many more across the world, offers tea and fruit juice drinks, tea lattes, milk tea and coffee drinks such as americanos, cappucinos, nitrogen coffee and more. But what sets them apart is that they brew their tea for the drinks using an espresso machine. Some of the most popular tea and juice drinks include Sky (blueberry tea, aloe vera and basil seeds), Summer Fruit Tea (fruit tea, coconut jelly and basil seeds) and the Passionfruit Kick (passionfruit juice, lime juice, aloe vera and basil seeds).
Dragon boat racing is a Chinese sport that dates back 2,000 years, and you can watch it in person during the Calgary Dragon Boat Race & Festival at North Glenmore Park. From August 12 to 13, there will be dozens of long, colourful boats with dragon heads streaking across the Glenmore Reservoir. More than 50 boat teams have registered to race this year. The free festival will also have food trucks, cultural presentations, an area for children, live music, beer gardens and more.
From August 25 to September 4, don some rainbow-coloured apparel to celebrate diversity, equality and the LGBTQ community during the annual Calgary Pride Festival. Now in its 27th year, the festival is an inclusive event filled with live music performances, talks and more. Don't miss the parade on September 3, which will run through downtown Calgary before culminating with a giant outdoor celebration on Prince's Island Park for the rest of the afternoon.
Show your community spirit by spending some time at the Marda Gras Street Festival in Marda Loop on Sunday, August 13. The one-day event, which runs from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., will have tons of activities for the entire family to enjoy. Listen to live music, catch the pet pageant on the main stage, shop from local vendors or peruse the classic cars being showcased in the Show and Shine.
After more than a year of anticipation, craft nacho and salad restaurant Madison's 12|12 has finally opened in Inglewood. The restaurant has a lovely south-facing patio, so grab a seat on it before digging into one of the salad or nacho dishes. Try the Angry Hawaiian, which is nachos topped with ham and pineapple, or the ahi tuna nachos.
Swimming in an outdoor pool or frolicking in a local spray park is a quintessential summer activity. There are more than a dozen sprinkled across the city, and most of them will remain open until September 4. So check out these outdoor swimming pools and spray parks while you still can.
Fireworks aren't just for Canada Day and New Year's Eve. During GlobalFest, Calgary's culture and fireworks festival, you can catch six astonishing fireworks displays over Elliston Park between August 15 to 26. While the fireworks teams normally represent a range of countries, all of this year's teams are Canadian and represent the West, the prairies, Ontario, Quebec and the Atlantic (there's also a finale display).
Yoga isn't just for adults anymore — now, kids can get in on the action too at Calgary's Wymbin Yoga. Located below Junction 9 Yoga & Pilates in Inglewood, the new 3,000-square-foot yoga studio focuses on kids, youth and families. That means it offers classes, workshops, Friday night yoga parties, children's camps and more specifically catered to them. Parents can either sign up to do a class with their child, or drop them off before heading to a class upstairs or going to run some errands.
On July 5th, the Calgary Zoo welcomed some new furry friends with the opening of its new Land of Lemurs exhibit. Guests can actually enter the lemur habitat to watch and walk amongst the Madagascar primates, which include black-and-white ruffed lemurs, ring-tailed lemurs and red-fronted lemurs.
Previously held beside the Simmons Building in East Village, the Opera in the Village event is moving its giant white performance tent to ENMAX Park this year. The Calgary Opera will be staging Roger & Hammerstein's 1949 musical South Pacific from August 10 to 13 and 17 to 20, as well as a one-hour, family friendly production of Cinderella on the Saturday and Sunday of both weekends. The event will also feature a market tent with 20 vendors, food trucks and local music performances.
Enmax Park, calgaryopera.com