25 Best Things to Do in Calgary This August
This month, navigate a 10-acre corn maze, go to an outdoor movie screening and check out colourful murals at a new festival.
Country Thunder runs from August 17 to 19.
photograph by jenn pierce
When: July 26, August 2, 9, 16, 23 and 30
This summer, take a midday break at McDougall Centre and check out a free concert over lunch. CKUA Radio and the Government of Alberta are partnering up for a summer concert series that will feature a different music performance every Thursday until August 30th. Depending on the week, you could be watching and listening to Alberta artists like Kat Stevens, Scott Cook, Ryland Moranz, Elk Run & Riot and more.
McDougall Centre, 455 6 St. S.W., alberta.ca
When: July 27 to August 12
Calgary arts collective Wreck City recently hosted a five-week residency program for 21 artists. Now, from July 27 to August 12, you can check out the resulting artworks. This Wreck City exhibit is spread out over four venues in southwest Calgary and the pieces are site-specific. Try to visit them all to get the full scope of the project.
2240 33 Ave. S.W., 908 17 Ave. S.W., 812A 16 Ave. S.W. and 706 7 Ave. S.W., wreckcity.ca
Several new eateries have popped up in Crescent Heights recently, including Tokyo Street Market. As its name suggests, this new eatery is inspired by Tokyo street markets and the fare you'd find there. The food menu features $5 ramen, yakitori, oden, gyoza and takoyaki. Before you leave, be sure to peruse the wall of Japanese snacks for some Pocky, chips or drinks for home.
922 Centre St. N.E., 403-452-3794, tokyostreetmarket.com
photograph by jessica zutz
When: July 27 to August 6
Learn more about Calgary's storied history during Historic Calgary Week. Now in its 28th year, this year's festival runs from July 27 to August 6 and is themed around "The Power of Partnerships." Check out more than 70 events including Union Cemetery tours, neighbourhood walks through Mayland Heights and Chinatown, beginner workshops about researching your genealogy, talks and more.
Various locations, historiccalgaryweek.com
When: August 1, 8, 15, 22 and 29
Master the art of salsa dancing (or at least, give it a try) during Sunnyside Salsa Wednesdays at containR by Springboard Performance. Every Wednesday during the month of August, Free Spirit Dance will be at the shipping countainer art park in Sunnyside giving salsa lessons to beginners while Studio Creole provides the music. The lessons are free.
containR, 1020 2 Ave. N.W., facebook.com
When: August 1, 8, 15 and 22
Few things say "summer" like an outdoor movie screening. Spruce Meadows brings back its popular outdoor movie series for a second year this month. So far, it's been decided that The Lion King will be screened on August 1, Ferris Bueller's Day Off will be screened on August 8 and Avengers: Infinity War will be screened on August 15. There is live music before each screening and snacks like popcorn, candy, coffee, wine, beer, burgers and more available for purchase.
Spruce Meadows, 18011 Spruce Meadows Way S.W., sprucemeadows.com
When: August 2, 9, 16, 23 and 30
In August, dine alfresco every Thursday as Calgary food trucks assemble in Hillhurst for Market Collective's newest initiative, The Food Realm. They'll be set up in front of Blank Page Studio and there will be music to enjoy while you eat with your friends and family. Dogs are welcome.
Blank Page Studio, 1221 Kensington Rd. N.W., marketcollective.ca
The Calgary Stampede may be over for another year, but that doesn't mean the rodeo fun is done. This month, there are at least seven small-town rodeos going on across Alberta that will feature barrel racing, bull riding, team roping and more. Visit the Strathmore Stampede from August 3 to 6, the Calgary Police Rodeo on August 11 or the Okotoks Pro Rodeo from August 24 to 26.
Read more: 19 Small-Town Summer Rodeos in Alberta
photograph by alana willerton
There's no denying the popularity of Made By Marcus — the local ice cream shop often has a line up out the door during the summer. So ice cream fans will be happy to hear that Made By Marcus has officially opened the doors to its new second location in West Hillhurst. The best thing about this new location is that it offers way more flavours — 24, to be exact. Choose from signature flavours like whisky hazelnut praline, seasonal flavours like coffee churro or try a vegan flavour like coconut mango.
221 19 St. N.W., madebymarcus.ca
When: August 4
Inglewood comes alive with music and family-friendly activities during this summer celebration. Head to Inglewood Sunfest to shop from more than 200 local vendors, watch live performances or check out a classic car show in the southeast neighbourhood. The festival runs from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.
When: August 9 to 11
The public events at Rothney Astrophysical Observatory are a fantastic way for Calgarians to gain a better understanding of the sky. During its Milky Way Nights this month, you can see an especially cool sight: the Perseids Meteor Shower. From August 9 to 11, the observatory will be open from 10 p.m. to 2 a.m. to give the public a glimpse at the meteor shower using telescopes.
Rothney Astrophysical Observatory, Priddis, 403-931-2366, ucalgary.ca
When: August 9 to 12
Stuff your face at the 22nd annual Taste of Calgary. With $1 tasting tickets in hand, attendees make their way around the Eau Claire Festival Plaza to try bites of food from dozens of local restaurants including One18 Empire, The Curry Leaf, Pig & Duke and more. The weekend food festival also features live music performances and a beer garden.
Eau Claire Festival Plaza, Barclay Parade and 3 St. S.W., tasteofcalgary.com
When: August 9 to 18
What's better than a three-course meal at a great local restaurant? Getting it for only $20 to $45 during Summer Feast, the prix fixe event returning for a second year from August 9th to 18th. During the event, 15 Calgary restaurants will be offering special three-course meals for excellent prices. Try the pork shoulder cubano during lunch at Brasserie Kensington, bacon-wrapped pork loin during supper at Buffo or hand-rolled cavatelli during supper at Pigeonhole.
Locations vary, summerfeast.ca
When: August 11
Japanese food and sake tastings, a performance by famous Taiko drummer Eitetsu Hayashi, martial arts demonstrations, beer gardens — experience all this and more at this year's Calgary Japanese Festival "Omatsuri." Now in its eighth year, the one-day festival is a great way to learn more about Japanese culture in a family-friendly setting. Stop by between 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Max Bell Centre, 1001 Barlow Tr. S.E., calgaryjapanesefestival.com
When: Corn maze opens July 28; Sweet Summer Corn Fest on August 11
Think you have a good sense of direction? Put it to the test at the Calgary Corn Maze & Fun Farm, which opens its 2018 corn maze on July 28th. It's more than 10-acres and was designed to look like Superman from above. Once you've escaped, check out the mini golf course and low ropes course at the Fun Farm and meet some animals at the petting zoo. For some extra fun, visit during the Sweet Summer Corn Fest on August 11. There will be family-friendly activities like corn decorating and pony rides, a corn husking competition and everyone will leave with a free cob of corn.
284022 Township Rd. 224, Rocky View, 403-648-2719, calgarycornmaze.com
When: August 11 to 12
At the Calgary Dragon Boat Race & Festival, teams of 26 paddle across the water at North Glenmore Park in boats that feature a colourful dragon head and tail on either end. Thousands of Calgarians turn out every year for this outdoor festival, which also features beer gardens, performances, children’s activities and more.
North Glenmore Park, 7305 Crowchild Tr. S.W., calgarydragonboatsociety.com
When: August 16
The Calgary Zoo is holding a special night just for adults this month. Your $50 ticket gets you a drink ticket, snacks like brisket sliders and loaded baked potatos, games and a film screening of the 2014 film Guardians of the Galaxy. The adult night runs from 6 p.m. to 11 p.m., though you can come early and spend time in the zoo starting at 4 p.m.
Calgary Zoo, 210 St. George's Dr. N.E., 403-232-9300, calgaryzoo.com
When: August 16 to 25
Fireworks aren’t just for Canada Day and New Year’s Eve. During GlobalFest, Elliston Park will be lit up with five firework shows (each one on a different night) by teams representing countries like the Ukraine, Spain, the Philippines, China and Canada. There will also be a night market, cultural pavilions, live music and more to explore in the evenings. Don't miss the festival's annual citizenship ceremony on August 21st at 6:30 p.m. either.
Elliston Park, globalfest.ca
photograph by jenn pierce
When: August 17 to 19
Grab your cowboy hat and head to Prairie Winds Park for the third foot-stompin’ edition of Country Thunder. Country music superstars Dierks Bentley, Toby Keith and Eric Church are headlining the annual outdoor music festival, which features 15 total performances. You'll also hear from artists like Dean Brody, Jess Moskaluke and Chad Brownlee.
Prairie Winds Park, 223 Castleridge Blvd. N.E., countrythunder.com
Calgary's great summer weather won't stick around forever, so make the most of it by trying one of the many water activities available in and around our city. There are at least 21 activities you can try, ranging from stand-up paddle board yoga to river surfing to renting a raft and floating down the Bow River.
When: August 24 to September 3
Don some rainbow apparel for the annual Calgary Pride Festival. Now in its 28th year, this year's festival features several events including talks, a Pride Pinball Party and a food event featuring local chefs and drag queens and kings. Don't miss the Calgary Pride Parade at 11 a.m. on September 2, which will run through downtown Calgary and finish with live music, drinks and children's activities in Prince's Island Park for the rest of the afternoon.
When: August 25
Think it's hot to run during the day? The Calgary edition of the Ultra Night Run could be the perfect solution. The event takes place (you guessed it) at night, with runners donning LED headlights before taking off on a course lit up by neon lights. A beer garden with live music awaits when runners finish the race. Participate in the timed 10-kilometre run that starts at 9:05 p.m. or the timed 5-kilometre run or walk that starts at 9:15 p.m.
South Glenmore Park, 8415 24 St. S.W., ultranightrun.ca
The King Edward Hotel (aka the King Eddy) has nearly a century of history to its name. It's been closed for the last several years, but now, the iconic building in East Village has been restored and officially re-opened on July 20th. Open for lunch, brunch and dinner, the King Eddy's restaurant and bar features Southern-inspired fare like hush puppies, hot fried chicken sandwiches, shrimp po'boys, seafood gumbo and more. It's also a live music venue, so keep an eye out for upcoming concerts.
438 9 Ave. S.E., kingeddy.ca
When: August 30 to September 1
Last year, Calgary's Beltline area was graced with four new colourful murals thanks to the Beltline Neighbourhood Association's Beltline Urban Murals Project (BUMP). This year, 12 more new murals will join them, and you can check them out during the inaugural BUMP Festival. Make plans to go on one of the mural tours to see how the new murals are progressing and check out the festival's alley party.
When: until September 2
As a young Canadian radio DJ, Red Robinson helped bring 1950s rock ‘n’ roll music to the masses. Red Rock Diner, Stage West’s final production of the season, looks at his career against the story of five teenagers growing up with hit songs like “Jailhouse Rock” and “Diana.”
Stage West Theatre Restaurant, 727 42 Ave. S.E., stagewestcalgary.com