25 Best Things to Do in Calgary This October

This month, go to a Halloween movie marathon, enjoy a Downton Abbey-inspired afternoon tea and visit the giant panda cubs at the Calgary Zoo one last time.

Visit the giant panda cubs at the Calgary Zoo one last time this month. Photograph by Alana Willerton

Enjoy some afternoon tea (Downton Abbey-style) at Hawthorn

When: Saturdays and Sundays until October 27

Embrace your inner Mary Crawley, Lord Grantham or Dowager Countess of Grantham (aka Violet “Granny” Crawley) with some afternoon tea at Hawthorn this month. Created to coincide with the release of the new Downton Abbey feature film, the tea service includes a selection of the Fairmont Palliser’s teas, finger sandwiches, chocolate truffles, scones and more. The Downton Abbey afternoon tea series is available from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays.

Hawthorn, 133 9 Ave. S.W., 403-260-1219, hawthorndiningroom.ca

 

Play volleyball, soccer or ultimate frisbee at a 12,000-square-foot indoor beach

Going to the beach isn’t just a summer activity anymore. The Beach YYC makes it possible to have fun in the sand all year round at its indoor beach facility. Stop by during one of the designated drop-in times to play recreational sports like volleyball, soccer, ultimate Frisbee, dodgeball or spikeball on the 12,000-square foot sand beach.

3030, 2600 Portland St. S.E. 403-475-4031, thebeachyyc.ca

 

Learn how to make cocktails at a local cocktail bar and lounge

When: October 1

It’s safe to say that Shelter, a local cocktail bar and lounge in Victoria Park, knows a thing or two about making a great drink. Thankfully, they pass down their knowledge to the rest of us at their monthly $65 cocktail classes. Attendees get three cocktails and bar snacks, plus they can take part in a class cocktail contest, learn drink techniques and more. The classes run at 5:30 p.m. and 8 p.m. on each class date, so pick one and get stirring.

Shelter, 1210 1 St. S.W., 403-233-7730, shelteryyc.com

 

Visit the White Rabbit Shop inside nvrlnd. Boutique

When: October 2 to 26

Local jewellery and apothecary brand Le Lou Ula is launching a special project this month. From October 2 to 26, they’ll be set up in the nvrlnd. Boutique in Ramsay with more than 30 artisans like Dina Syrowitz Ceramics, Pranic Forest, Tender Living Farm and more as part of the White Rabbit Shop. Stop by to shop the selection of ethically made products.

nvrlnd. Boutique, 1048 21 Ave. S.E., instagram.com

 

Go for a walk around the Beltline to check out 16 gorgeous new murals

 

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The Beltline Urban Mural Project outdid itself this past summer, adding 16 new public murals to the 15 it has already commissioned over the last two years. This year’s murals were created by a mix of artists based in Calgary, Montreal, Toronto, San Francisco, Barcelona and more. BUMP makes it easy to explore all 31 murals thanks to a printable map that you can download off its website.

yycbump.ca

 

Visit the Calgary Zoo’s giant pandas cubs one last time before they leave

When: October 4 to 6

Calgarians were very excited last year when four giant pandas — Da Mao, Er Shun, Jia Panpan and Jia Yueyue — arrived for a multi-year stay at the Calgary Zoo. Unfortunately, the two cubs will soon be leaving for China’s Giant Panda Research Base, but not before the zoo holds a weekend of fun activities to say goodbye. From October 4 to 6, come to the zoo between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. for special activities like lawn games, panda storytime, a photo booth, $10 face painting and more.

Calgary Zoo, calgaryzoo.com

 

Have a laugh at a live comedy performance

If you’re not happy about the impending cold weather, you might need to visit one of Calgary’s several comedy venues for a laugh this month. There’s something in the city that will tickle everyone’s funny bone, whether you’re into improv or want to hear a well-known comedy star.

Read more: Where to See a Comedy Show in Calgary

 

Get scared at a new Halloween and horror convention

When: October 11 to 14

The team behind ScreamFest is bringing a jam-packed weekend of thrills, scares and more to Calgary. Hex: Halloween & Entertainment Expo is a four-day convention celebrating everything horror, Halloween and sci-fi related. Expect a film festival, more than a dozen seminars and demonstrations, carnival games and appearances by celebrities like Meat Loaf, Jake Busey, the cast of Nightmare on Elm Street and more. And while Calgary’s regular ScreamFest event ended last year, they’re bringing it back for this weekend with six haunted houses, a zombie house and rides.

BMO Centre, Stampede Park, 20 Roundup Way S.E., hex.ca

 

Check out the new bocce ball courts at Craft Beer Market’s renovated downtown location

When: Re-opens on September 30

 

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Craft Beer Market’s downtown location has been closed for the last several weeks while it underwent a renovation. But it’ll be better than ever when it re-opens on September 30 — expect bocce ball courts, cornhole games, a cocktail camper and more. Plus stay tuned for a new rooftop patio that will be opening next year.

345 10 AVe. S.W., 403-514-2337, craftbeermarket.ca

 

Get inspired by authors from around the world at Wordfest

When: October 14 to 23

Wordfest returns for a 24th year this month with another batch of inspiring authors. This time around, the festival will feature more than 70 authors and boasts a wide range of programming. Expect talks about new literary works, a literary death match, showcases focused on graphic novels, Canadian fiction and contemporary Indigenous writing and more.

Various locations, wordfest.com

 

Pick up some baked goods from one of Calgary’s awesome Asian bakeries

The next time you’re craving some baking, swing by one of the many Asian bakeries in Calgary. Depending on the spot, you’ll find tasty treats like pineapple buns, egg tarts, cream buns, snow cookie choux and more.

Read more: 10 Asian Bakeries You Should Visit in Calgary

 

Get your hair, nails and brows done at a new beauty boutique

Hair, nails, brows — you can take care of it all at the newly opened Esmé Beauty Boutique in Ramsay. The space is home to Bowie Hair Salon and the second locations for both Esmé Beauty & Floral Bar and Laura Brows. When you’re done your appointment, pop next door to Calgary Heritage Roasting Company for a coffee for the road.

Unit 9, 2010 11 St. S.E., esmebeautiful.com

 

Watch Iceland, a one-act play about capitalism

When: October 15 to November 2

The second show of Theatre Calgary’s 2019-20 season, Iceland tackles the topic of capitalism in the form of a one-act play. Note that there is a pay-what-you-can matinee on October 19, pre-show snacks on October 22 and an ASL interpreted performance on October 30.

Arts Commons, Max Bell Theatre, 205 8 Ave. S.E., theatrecalgary.com

 

Take a cake decorating class at Cakeify Studio

 

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Wish you could create beautiful cakes like the ones you see in bakeries? Hone your skills at the new DIY cake decorating studio that opened in Bridgeland in August. This month, Cakeify studio is offering classes where you can learn how to do fault line cakes, unicorn fondant cake, buttercream cupcake piping and more.

607 Meredith Rd. N.E., 403-454-7885, cakeifystudio.com

 

Dress up in a Halloween costume and run for a good cause

When: Halloween Howl Fun Run and Walk is on October 19; Dash of Doom is on October 26

Don your Halloween costume and running shoes for two costumed races in Calgary this month. The first is the Halloween Howl Fun Run and Walk on October 19, where you can dress up for the three-, five- and 10-kilometre races in support of the Alberta Diabetes Association. Or, you can partake in the Dash of Doom race on October 26, which is a costumed race for humans and their dogs. Dash of Doom, which raises funds for the Alberta Animal Rescue Crew Society, has a one-kilometre kids run, a five-kilometre walk/run and a 10-kilometre run.

Halloween Howl Fun Run and Walk, Eau Claire Market, albertadiabetesfoundation.com; Dash of Doom, Eau Claire Market, runcalgary.com

 

Go skateboarding at The Compound YYC

If it’s getting too cold for you to skateboard outdoors, head to this indoor skateboarding facility. The Compound YYC spans more than 6,000-square-feet and features everything from a six-foot halfpipe to a street section. Take advantage of the $10 drop-in hours offered at various times almost every day of the week, or ask about private skate lessons.

840 26 Ave. S.E., 403-807-7630, thecompoundyyc.com

 

Watch the world premiere of a ballet about Frankenstein

When: October 23 to 26

It’s been two centuries since English author Mary Shelley introduced the world to Dr. Frankenstein and his monster. Now, they’re at the heart of Alberta Ballet’s latest production. Choreographed by Alberta Ballet’s artistic director Jean Grand-Maître, the world premiere of Frankenstein goes above and beyond with a multi-media set, projections and two styles of ballet to create a gory, impactful production.

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

 

Order a pint of cider inside Uncommon Cider’s bright pink taproom

 

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The Barley Belt officially has its first cidery. Uncommon Cider’s bright pink taproom is open Thursday to Sunday and while it doesn’t have a ton of seating, it does have tasty locally made cider, a fun vibe and a ping pong table. If you visit soon, be sure to try the YYC Cider made with fruit from last year’s local fruit drive.

Uncommon Cider, 3921 Manchester Rd. S.E., uncommoncider.com

 

Watch the original Ghostbusters film with live music accompaniment

When: October 25 to 26

Excited that the new 2020 Ghostbusters film is currently being filmed in Calgary? This month, re-visit the original 1984 version at the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra’s Ghostbusters in Concert event. The CPO will perform live while the movie plays and there will be a special Halloween party following the production on Friday, October 25.

Jack Singer Concert Hall, 403-571-0849, calgaryphil.com

 

Get ready to be scared at a new production by a horror-focused theatre company

When: October 25 to 26

If there was ever a month to check out a show by Calgary’s only horror-focused theatre company, it’s this month. Staged at the Lougheed House in the Beltline, Theatre Bsmt’s The Hallowed House explores the topic of sin and lets guests “choose [their] own scare.”

The Lougheed House, 707 13 Ave. S.W., theatrebsmt.ca

 

Pick up some tasty snacks at Avenue’s annual 25 Best Things to Eat Pop-up Market

When: October 26

Every year, Avenue releases a list of the 25 best things to eat in Calgary. On October 26, you can purchase some of the picks from the 2019 list at our second annual 25 Best Things to Eat Pop-up Market. This year’s list of vendors hasn’t been revealed yet, so stay tuned. Admission is free.

Inglewood Community Hall, 1740 24 Ave. S.E., facebook.com

 

Go shopping at a new low waste store in Mission

 

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More and more shops focused around reducing waste are opening in Calgary and Without Co., a new low waste shop in Mission, is the latest one. Swing by to pick up some shampoo bars, beeswax wrap, reusable bags, bamboo toothbrushes or fill bottles with bulk shampoo, conditioner, soap and more.

103, 2115 4 St. S.W., withoutco.com

 

Spend all night watching Halloween movies at a 12-hour movie marathon

When: October 26

Love scary movies? Kick-off your Halloween festivities by watching them all night during the Calgary Underground Film Festival’s 12-hour Halloween Movie Marathon. The movie night will feature seven horror films that will play from October 26 at 7 p.m. to October 27 at 7 a.m. There will be plenty of snacks and drinks throughout the night: guests can access the bar until 2 a.m., order snacks from the concession stand all night and, if you stay until the end of the marathon, there will be a free breakfast at 7 a.m. And be sure to dress up, because there will also be a midnight costume contest.

Globe Cinema, 617 8 Ave. S.W., calgaryundergroundfilm.org

 

Cheer on Calgary’s professional soccer team at the CPL finals

When: October 26 and November 2

Calgary’s new professional soccer team has made the city proud, winning 19 of 30 games in its first year (so far). Now, the Cavalry FC are guaranteed a spot in the Canadian Premier League Finals, which will take place on October 26 and November 2. Snag your tickets now and get ready to cheer as the team vies for gold.

cavalryfc.canpl.ca

 

Spend Halloween going on a ghost walk through Inglewood

When: October 31 (also other days in October)

Too old for trick-or-treating? On October 31, you can still get in on the Halloween fun by going on a walk through Inglewood with Calgary Ghost Tours. With a lantern in hand, your guide will lead you through the neighbourhood while sharing stories about the area’s history and ghosts. The Halloween walks run at 7 p.m. and 8 p.m. that night.

Walk begins at Rosso, 1402 9 Ave. S.E., calgaryghostwalks.com

 

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