20 Best Things to Do in Calgary This July

This month, have some western-themed fun at the Calgary Stampede, go rafting down the Bow River, see a production of Aladdin and more.

Broadway Across Canada brings the musical Aladdin to Calgary this month. Photo by Deenvan Meer, courtesy of Broadway Across Canada.

Try fun ice cream creations during YYC Summer Scoop Fest

When: June 30 to July 7

There’s no better time to go for ice cream than during YYC Summer Scoop Fest, a food festival that invites anyone with a sweet tooth to try featured ice creams at 17 participating cafés and ice cream shops. Each time the featured flavour is sold, $1 to $3 will go towards supporting Calgary Meals on Wheels.

Read more: All the Ice Cream Treats You Can Try During YYC Summer Scoop Fest

Multiple locations, yycscoopfest.com

 

Build your own hot pot at Spice and Aroma

Hot pot is always a great lunch or dinner option, but being able to build your own hot pot with all your favourite toppings and proteins? That’s extra special, and it’s an experience you can try at Spice and Aroma. With this system, which has diners paying by food weight, you choose the ingredients, soup base, spice level and meat, and then the restaurant brings out the finished soup for you to enjoy.

Unit 5, 2111 Centre St. N.W., 403-769-9009, @spicenaroma.calgary

 

Go see a film shot in Alberta at Fort Calgary

When: July 7 and 28

Fort Calgary has launched a new movie series focused around westerns that were filmed in Alberta. Catch a screening of The Revenant on July 7 and Brokeback Mountain on July 28, which will both have a local expert in attendance to provide a brief talk at the start of the film. Your $15 ticket comes with popcorn, and you can also purchase drinks and candy. There will also be two screenings in August.

750 9 Ave. S.E., 403-290-1875, fortcalgary.com

 

Take part in a virtual, western-themed run

When: July 7 to 16

This month, Run Calgary is hosting the Flapjack 15, a virtual, western-themed run/walk that takes place over the 10 days of Stampede. Supporting Youth Centres of Calgary, the race can be run whenever you want during those dates and participants will get cool swag like western-themed race bibs and technical shirts.

runyyc.ca

 

Visit Glenbow’s new Gathie Falk exhibition

 

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A post shared by Glenbow Museum (@glenbowmuseum)

When: On now until October 15

The latest free exhibition at Glenbow at the Edison, Revelations is an in-depth exploration of Canadian artist Gathie Falk’s work. Expect to see pieces spanning more than 50 years, from stacks of colourful fruit to botanical canvas pieces.

Glenbow at the Edison, second floor, 150 9 Ave. S.W., glenbow.org

 

Have a blast at the Calgary Stampede

When: July 7 to 16

The Calgary Stampede is back! Whether you attend for the rodeo events, the midway games, the animals, the music, the food or all of the above, there’s no shortage of things to do over the 10-day festival.

calgarystampede.com

 

Watch emerging artists perform a Shakespeare comedy

When: July 14 to August 6

Shakespeare on the Go returns for just over three weeks this summer with a cast of emerging artists performing a Shakespearean classic in various spaces around the city. This year’s chosen Shakespeare play is a comedy, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, and you can see a full performance schedule online.

Multiple locations, theatrecalgary.com

 

Have fun at an Alberta amusement Park

Spending the day at an amusement or water park is a classic summer activity. And luckily, there are at least five parks within a short drive of Calgary that promise plenty of fun. Whether you’re looking to cool down in a wave pool or spend the day riding roller coasters, these indoor and outdoor options are sure to please.

Read more: 5 Amusement and Water Parks Within Three Hours of Calgary

 

Spend the day by the pool at Hotel Arts

Sometimes, you just need a pool day. When that day comes, head to Hotel Arts to lounge beside its outdoor pool while snacking on buttermilk fried chicken thighs, flatbreads or chorizo cheese fundido. Non-hotel guests can reserve a pool spot through OpenTable any day of the week (there may be a $20 pool usage fee).

119 12 Ave. S.W., freestylesocialclub.ca

 

Go rafting, stand-up paddle boarding or kayaking down the Bow River

Few things say summer in Calgary like floating down the river, and you can do that with Paddle Station’s help. Choose your preferred water vessel, make a booking and head to the Shouldice Park paddle station to start your journey down the river to St. Patrick’s Island. The best part is that there’s no fussing with equipment at the end — the Paddle Station crew handles it all when you’re done.

paddlestation.ca

 

Experience a whole new world during a musical production of Aladdin

When: July 18 to 23

Get ready for a magical evening with Aladdin, Jasmine and Genie in Broadway Across Canada’s production of the beloved Broadway musical, Aladdin. Don’t worry about using up one of your wishes — tickets are still available to all eight Calgary performances.

Southern Alberta Jubilee Auditorium, 1415 14 Ave. N.W., calgary.broadway.com

 

Spend a day in Olympic Plaza at Fiestaval

When: July 21 to 23

Celebrate Latin culture at this annual three-day festival in Olympic Plaza. Along with 30 food vendors, there will be beer gardens, a market and tons of exciting performances by dance groups, artists and musicians.

Olympic Plaza, 228 8 Ave. S.E., fiestaval.ca

 

Chow down on a burger from the newly opened Class Clown Hamburgers

Located in Burger Inn’s former location, this new hamburger joint beckons with its ’80s-style decor and tasty eats featuring Alberta beef and brisket that’s ground-in-house daily. The sizeable burger creations come in flavours like Donald McRonald (with two patties, American cheese, mustard, ketchup, onion and pickles) and Hot Diggity Tonk (with two patties, cheddar, jalapeños, grilled onion, barbecue sauce and bacon). There are also a few chicken or fish burgers, as well as snacks like Nashville hot corn dogs and super fries.

106, 1711 4 St. S.W., classclown.ca

 

Shop for tasty treats at Avenue‘s Best Things to Eat and Drink Market

When: July 22

Every year, Avenue highlights some of the best things to eat and drink in the city. On July 22 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., you can shop for many of those products all in one spot at the Best Things to Eat and Drink Market, which is returning for the first time since the pandemic. Expect more than 20 local vendors selling ghee, spirits, spices, baked goods and more.

Read more: All the Vendors Coming to Avenue’s 2023 Best Things to Eat and Drink Market

Rangeview Drive S.E.

 

Enjoy a River Café picnic basket in Prince’s Island Park

What could be more summery than a picnic along the river? River Café helps make that experience easy to accomplish with its summer picnic baskets that you can pre-order online. Get one of the set baskets for two, or mix-and-match dishes like Gull Valley tomato salad, smoked salmon sandwiches, baked goods and more. Once you have your basket in hand, enjoy it in River Café’s picnic garden at the restaurant or find a spot further within Prince’s Island Park.

25 Prince’s Island Park, 403-261-7670, river-cafe.com

 

Check out the Afro Caribbean Food Festival

When: July 22 and 23

Bring your family or friends down to East Village for a fun and tasty day at the Afro Caribbean Food Festival. Expect musical performances, food from vendors like Ubuntu Pies, Boba Babes and Flavours Restaurant, family-friendly activities and more.

C-Square, 508 7 Ave. S.E., acfoodfestival.com

 

Go roller skating at Deerfoot City

When: On now until September 10

Returning for a fourth year, Block Party brings a colourful experience for the whole family to Deerfoot City. Along with local art and lawn games to check out, guests can rent roller skates (proceeds support Kids Up Front) or bring their own skates for some fun on the roller rink. There are even drop-in roller skate lessons for adults and kids.

The Boulevard at Deerfoot City, deerfootcity.com

 

Make your own mini doughnuts at home

If you find yourself missing the hustle and bustle of Stampede once it’s over, fear not — you can still make one of its most beloved treats at home with some friends or family.

Read more: How to Make Homemade Mini-Doughnuts

 

Listen to your favourite artists at the Calgary Folk Music Festival

When: July 27 to 30

During the last weekend of July, Prince’s Island Park is lit up with music and community during the Calgary Folk Music Festival. This year’s line-up includes headliners like Emmylou Harris, Jeff Tweedy, Digable Planets, Tanya Tucker and more. Single-day tickets and four-day passes are available.

Prince’s Island Park, calgaryfolkfest.com

 

Head to the Rockies for a hike

Love summer hiking, but don’t love the crowds? We’ve got you covered with this list of half-day, full-day and multi-day hikes to help you experience the great outdoors without the summer crowds.

Read more: Top Trails in the Rockies for Avoiding the Summer Hiking Crowds

Want more suggestions for the best things to do in Calgary? Sign up for our Weekender Newsletter.

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