New Things to Do in Calgary This Summer That Are Extraordinary
Some take place under the cover of night, others are up in the air and one is a really long path that takes you to places you have heard of but probably never been. All of them are new in 2017.
Rocky Mountain Flying Trapeze is the only trapeze in Calgary and you can try it this summer.
Photograph by Karin Olafson
The outdoor trapeze opened this past May in the Wild Wild West Event Centre (close to Calaway Park). After some training on the ground, you climb to the platform (strapped into a safety harness), jump off and fly. Depending on how fearless and flexible you are, you can work your way up to being caught by an instructor and doing flips. Drop-in Open Fly costs $15 for one turn and $5 for each turn after that. The two-hour introductory class is $45.
Wild Wild West Event Centre, 67 Commercial Crt., rockymountaintrapeze.ca
[Update: Granary Road has delayed its opening one week. Opening day is June 29]
Granary Road opens on June 29 just south of Calgary, and is a huge entertainment, dining and market attraction. The public market has high-end vendors like Salt Cellar and The Chocolate Lab Artisan Chocolates. There’s also a bistro, bakery and bar at Granary Road. The site gets fanciful in its active learning park where the bouncy lily pads are. Spread over 36 acres, the park is a collection of themed play areas mostly for kids. They can walk among gigantic mushrooms (think Honey I Shrunk the Kids), zipline into a giant pear, climb a web of ropes up to an animatronic wolf spider, climb a four-storey vertical obstacle course and navigate a labyrinth blindfolded. The public market, bistro, bakery and bar are all free admission. The active learning park is $14 for children between the ages of three to 14, $17 for those who are 15 and older and $15 for seniors (60 and older).
226034 112 St. W., granaryroad.com
This network of paths and bikeways totals 138-kilometres and circles the city. It's one of the largest urban pathways in the world and will really introduce you to how big Calgary is. You can cruise through Cranston and Copperfield on the pathway, loop up to Coral Springs and Saddleridge, go through Sage Hill and Tuscany and south through Christie Park, Cedarbrae and Sundance. Along the way, stop at Cityscape Music Park to play instruments, the TransCanada Outdoor Fitness Park in Mahogany to climb huge rocks and the Tourmaline Outdoor Fitness Park in Point McKay to tune up your bike at the repair stop. This year, Parks Foundation Calgary has launched a summer challenge to walk, run, cycle or skate 150 kilometer on the pathway. Keep track of your progress and be entered to win weekly prizes.
On September 13 and 27, the Outdoor Centre is hosting its first-ever LED Light Up Kayaking events. It takes place at Bowness Park and no previous kayaking experience is necessary. The pros will teach you the basics and take you around the ponds and canals of the park in illuminated boats. The cost is $70 per person.
Bowness Park, 8900 48 Ave. N.W., ucalgary.ca
An activity like archery tag needs space, and this facility has 116 acres divided into 22 playing fields with obstacles like buses, castles, bunkers and towns. Capture the Flag Paintball and Airsoft lives up to its name by offering paintball and airsoft, but this is the first year it is offering archery tag. For $27, you get a bow and five arrows, a protective mask, camouflage, all you can eat hot dogs and unlimited play time.
72032 North, Range Road 40, Cochrane, capturetheflag.com
Rath Bicycle is a family business that started restoring vintage bikes out of a garage. This summer, it is a resident at the new EV Junction in East Village, a pop-up retail park made up of retrofitted shipping containers. Rath is renting vintage bicycles by the hour or day out of its pod. Cycling the RiverWalk isn’t a new activity, but getting to do it in a fully restored old-timey bike is.
EV Junction, corner of 4 Street and 8 Ave. S.E., 403-617-5627, rathbicycle.com
In addition to its regular programming of As You Like It on Prince’s Island Park from June 20 to August 27, Shakespeare by the Bow is doing outdoor evening shows on St. Patrick’s Island from July 25 to 30. The St. Patrick's Island show is Victors, Villians and Vixens and is a collection of scenes from various Shakespeare plays. The show is created and directed by local Shakespeare aficionado Haysam Kadri. The show is free.