25 Best Things to Do in Calgary This October

This month, ride a robot roller coaster, try a giant claw crane game, attend a 12-hour horror movie marathon and more.

Installation view, Jennifer Marman and Daniel Borins. Balancing Act, 2023. June 2 - July 21, 2023, Cristin Tierney Gallery. Photo by Adam Reich.

Check out thousands of carved pumpkins at Pumpkins After Dark

When: September 22 to October 31

These are not your average jack-o’-lanterns. At Pumpkins After Dark, you’ll see more than 10,000 pumpkins with incredible carvings. Walk through the experience to see all the displays, enjoy some treats and check out live pumpkins carving demonstrations.

Read more: Check Out More Than 10,000 Hand-Carved Pumpkins at Pumpkins After Dark

88 Canada Olympic Rd. S.W., pumpkinsafterdark.com


See Vertigo Theatre’s adaptation of the gothic horror story The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde

When: September 30 to October 29

Vertigo Theatre takes on a gothic classic this month with its adaptation of Robert Louis Stevenson’s The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde. Running from September 30 to October 29, the play’s small-but-mighty four-person cast transports audiences to London as they bring Dr. Henry Jekyll and Edward Hyde’s struggle of good versus evil to the stage.

The Playhouse, 115 9 Ave. S.E., vertigotheatre.com


Sample soups at the Soupalicious fundraising event

When: October 1

A celebration of harvest season and delicious soup, this fundraiser supports Highfield Farm programs and development. Local farmers and chefs have teamed up to offer more than a dozen soups to sample, which guests can then vote on. Plus, you can go on self-guided walking tours of Highfield Farm, do a tractor ride, listen to live music and more. Tickets come with three soup samples, and extra soup tickets are available for $2 each.

Highfield Regenerative Farm, 1920 Highfield Cres. S.E., highfieldfarm.ca


Play chess at Aggüdo Coffee in Kensington

When: Mondays (October 3, 10, 17, 24 and 31)

If you love playing chess, check out the Monday chess nights at Aggüdo Coffee in Kensington. The event runs from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. each week and is a great way to get in a game over a delicious coffee and pastry.

6, 338 10 St. N.W., 403-690-3773, aggudoroasters.com


Ride a robot roller coaster at Telus Spark


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Telus Spark has a thrilling new addition in the form of Ro5ie, a robot roller coaster with five different levels set up in the science centre’s lobby. This is the first roller coaster of its kind in Canada, so be sure to check it out. Ro5ie tickets are not included with general admission.

220 St. George’s Dr. N.E., 403-817-6800, sparkscience.ca


Sign up for a theatre-meets-shopping experience by Swallow-a-Bicycle Theatre

When: October 5 to 14

Swallow-a-Bicyle Theatre’s latest production, Clothing, is a unique event that combines theatre and a shopping trip. The participatory experience invites 10 guests per session to sign up for a fashion journey where they’ll get to fill out a survey about their style and complete tasks to create an outfit. The event explores our relationship with clothing, how we express ourselves and fashion ethics.

Good Thrift, 149 5 Ave. S.E., swallowabicycle.com


Eat at a pop-up restaurant specializing in wagyu beef

When: October 6 to 28 on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays

The team behind Modern Steak and Modern Ocean have launched a new pop-up restaurant called Modern Wagyu. Taking place inside the Stephen Avenue location of Modern Steak, the pop-up offers five- and eight-course tasting menus all centered around wagyu beef. Make a reservation to snag a spot from Thursdays to Saturdays in October.

Second floor, Modern Steak Stephen Avenue, 100 8 Ave. S.E., 403-244-3600, modernwagyu.com


Go on a hike to see the larch trees change colour

Thanks to the larch trees, it’s one of the best times to go for a hike in the mountains. Here are some trails you can take to see the leaves changing colours.

Read more: 3 Fall Hikes Near Calgary to See the Larch Trees Changing Colour


Check out structures made from non-perishable food items

When: On display from October 6 to 19

The Calgary Food Bank is holding Canstruction this month, an event that sees cool structures created out of non-perishable food items that later go to the food bank. This year’s structures will be built and judged on October 5, and you can see them on display in downtown Calgary for two weeks.

Eau Claire Tower, 600 3 Ave. S.W., calgaryfoodbank.com


Eat some vegan dim sum and hot pot at Homey Cafe


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Starting October 1, you can enjoy vegan hot pot and dim sum at Homey Cafe in northeast Calgary. Pop in for a bite and pick up some vegan grocery items to enjoy at home later, too.

19, 1410 40 Ave. N.E., @homeycafeyyc 


Meet soccer stars at the Allstate Soccer Show

When: October 8

Calling all soccer fans! The Allstate Soccer Show is your chance to meet some of your favourite players, hear athlete panel discussions, win prizes and more. There will be some major athletes in attendance, including stars from Canada Soccer’s Women’s National Team like Christine Sinclair, Janine Beckie and Quinn.

BMO Centre, Stampede Park, soccershow.ca


Spend your lunch break at a performance of Lunchbox Theatre’s The Dark Lady

When: October 10 to 29

Who is the “Dark Lady” that Shakespeare describes in his sonnets? Lunchbox Theatre and The Shakespeare Company aim to explore just that in their co-production of The Dark Lady by Jessica B. Hill. This is only the second-ever production of The Dark Lady, which imagines the titular character as Emilia Bassano, the first published female poet-musician in England.

The Studio, 161, 115 9 Ave. S.E., lunchboxtheatre.com


Get early-bird tickets to Avenue‘s 2023 Top 40 Under 40 Party

Every year, Avenue celebrates some of Calgary’s most innovative and interesting Calgarians at its Top 40 Under 40 party. This year, the event takes place on November 2, and tickets are available now. If you purchase an early-bird ticket before October 2, you can get some special perks, too.

Read more: Get Your Early-Bird Tickets to Avenue’s 2023 Top 40 Under 40 Party


Hear from celebrated authors at Imaginairium by Wordfest

When: October 11 to 15

Imaginairium by Wordfest is back, and the literary festival promises plenty of interesting conversations with celebrated authors over the five-day event. This year’s author lineup includes names like Susan Casey, Ashley Audrain, Brent Butt, Emma Donoghue, Anne Berest and more.

Multiple locations, wordfest.com


Try mochi doughnuts from Sweet Rice


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There’s a new spot to satisfy your sweet tooth in Calgary. Sweet Rice specializes in mochi doughnuts and you can officially order a half-dozen or dozen box of them in flavours like strawberry sprinkle, ube coconut, mango float and maple dip.

4204 12 St. N.E., 825-437-4237, @sweetriceyyc


Eat and drink at the Rocky Mountain Wine & Food Festival

When: October 13 and 14

Full of wine, beer, spirits and a mix of sweet and savoury snacks, the Rocky Mountain Wine & Food Festival is just as fun and delicious as it sounds. Back for its 26th year, this event at the BMO Centre draws foodies from around the city and beyond. This year’s lineup of vendors includes Japanese desserts from Pablo Cheese Tart, beers from local breweries like Citizen Brewing Company, spirits from Two Rivers Distillery and more. Along with an admission ticket, guests will need to purchase sampling coupons at the festival.

BMO Centre, Stampede Park, rockymountainwine.com


Attend the new Beltline Community Fridge and Pantry Launch

When: Launches October 14

A new community fridge and pantry is launching in the Beltline and you can check out the launch event on October 14 at 1 p.m. There will be snacks, music and family-friendly activities. Food donations will also be accepted.

221 12 Ave. S.W., @beltlinefridge


Try a giant claw crane game at a new Contemporary Calgary exhibition

When: October 19, 2023 to March 17, 2024

It’s not very often that art gallery attendees get to be part of the art they’re witnessing, but that’s certainly the case at Three Dimensions, a multidisciplinary exhibition by Jennifer Marman and Daniel Borins on display at Contemporary Calgary starting October 19. The exhibition offers three installations that encourage viewer participation: Balancing Act, with a large-scale claw crane game that participants control to create sculptures of their own; ABCD, which explores realities with mediums like virtual reality and artificial intelligence; and THX2020, which uses an interactive headset, narrative video and paintings. However you take part, this interactive installation promises a fascinating exploration of culture, reality and the digital age.

701 11 St. S.W., 403-770-1350, contemporarycalgary.com


Watch a movie at the Calgary Arab Film Nights Festival

When: October 20 to 22

This year marks the 11th anniversary of the Calgary Arab Film Nights Festival. Held at Globe Cinema, the festival features a full weekend of films that include documentaries, dramas, comedies and short films.

Globe Cinema, 617 8 Ave. S.W., calgaryarabartssociety.ca


Cheer on the Calgary Flames at a home game


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When: Home games on October 2, 11, 24 and 26

The Calgary Flames are officially back for another season of hockey. The team plays in Calgary four times in October (October 2, 11, 24 and 26), so snag tickets now if you want to see them on home turf. Alternatively, if you love a good ol’ Battle of Alberta, you can see them take on the Oilers on TV on October 4 and 29.

Scotiabank Saddledome, nhl.com


Watch a fairy tale ballet set in the Canadian Rockies

When: October 26 to 28

A classic fairy tale comes to life in Alberta Ballet’s rendition of The Sleeping Beauty. In an inspired local touch, this production transports beloved fairy tale characters to a Canadian Rockies setting, and it’s all set to the incredible score by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky. Don’t miss the short yet sweet Calgary run of this production.

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


Go out for wings with some friends

It’s never a bad night for wings, and thankfully, there are places where you can get a deal on them every day of the week in Calgary. Here’s a look at where to go for wings with your friends the next time you have a craving for them.

Read more: Where to Find Wing Specials Every Day of the Week


Check out Workshop Theatre’s adaptation of Dracula

When: October 27 to November 4

Workshop Theatre’s upcoming adaptation of Bram Stoker’s Dracula might just be the perfect Halloween theatre experience. The company’s 2023-24 season opener follows the infamous Count Dracula and the London residents he pursues.

Pumphouse Theatre, 2140 Pumphouse Ave. S.W., workshoptheatre.ca


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

When: October 28

Love scary movies? This year, get in the Halloween spirit by watching them all night during the Calgary Underground Film Festival’s 12-hour Halloween Horror Movie Marathon. The movie night at Globe Cinema features seven horror films that start playing at 7 p.m. on October 28 and run until 7 a.m. the next day. There will be a costume contest, you can buy concession food all night and there will be a free breakfast in the morning.

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


Cheer on the players at the 2023 World Ringette Championships

When: October 29 to November 4

Later this month, talented ringette players from around the world will assemble in Calgary for the 2023 World Ringette Championships. Calgary’s role as host city is particularly exciting given that 2023 marks the 60th anniversary of the ice sport’s invention. Get your tickets to watch teams battle it out for the title of World Champions at WinSport’s Markin MacPhail Centre.

Markin MacPhail Centre, 151 Canada Olympic Rd. S.W., worldringettechampionship.com

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

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