20 Best Things to Do in Calgary This August (While Social Distancing)

This month, rent an e-bike to ride along the Bow River, learn how to make your own beer and tune in for a virtual zero waste festival.

Photograph courtesy of Hotel Arts.

Rent an e-bike from Bow Cycle’s new location along the Bow River

Local bike shop Bow Cycle has opened a second location in East Village along the Bow River. This new location specializes in e-bikes, which are available for sale, and offers both urban bikes and e-bikes for rent so you can take advantage of the RiverWalk pathways and nearby cycle tracks. You can rent a bike for two hours at a time online for $39.

632 Confluence Way S.E, 403-265-5422, bowcycleebikes.com


Search for clues and complete challenges during a Locked Zoo experience

When: July 31 and August 1, 12 and 13

Imagine a locked room experience, only outdoors, untimed and at the zoo. That’s pretty much what you can expect at Calgary Zoo’s “Locked Zoo” events where guests search for clues to complete challenges while exploring the zoo grounds. The Locked Zoo experience on July 31 is family-friendly for ages 14+, while the rest are adults-only.
210 St. George’s Dr. N.E., calgaryzoo.com


Have a socially distant picnic or barbecue

There are at least 20 great places to host a picnic or barbecue this summer, whether you make a trip out to the mountains or simply venture out to your favourite Calgary park.

Read more: 20 Best Places For a Picnic or Barbecue in Calgary and the Mountains


Celebrate the province’s food scene during Alberta on the Plate

When: August 7 to 16

Farmers, producers, restaurants — they all play an important part in Alberta’s food industry. This month, you can celebrate and support them during Alberta on the Plate, a food festival that highlights the products of local farms and producers with prix-fixe dinners available for dine-in and takeaway at local restaurants. Nearly two dozen Calgary restaurants are participating and will reveal their festival menus starting at the beginning of August.



Check out a giant street mural, picnic tables, benches and wall murals painted by local artists at Deerfoot City


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When: July 15 to September 26

Head to Deerfoot City before September 26 to see one of PARK’s latest projects, #YYCBlockParty, in all its colourful glory. The project features a 200-foot street mural by Rhys Farrell, wall murals by Leetia Lyons, painted picnic tables by Sydonne Warren and painted benches by Rachel Ziriada and Mikhail Miller of NASARIMBA. There are also outdoor lawn games for you to enjoy.

Deerfoot City, 901 64 Ave. N.E., ourparkonline.com


Try some gin or spiced sugarcane spirit from a new local distillery

A new local distillery has officially arrived in northeast Calgary. Broken Spirits Distillery has launched with two spirits — a spiced sugarcane spirit and a gin — that you can enjoy in its taproom now. The cocktail menu includes drinks like a lavender martini, the Spiced & Stormy and the Busted Mule.

4, 3320 14 Ave. N.E., brokenspirits.ca


Dance to Latin music or read at an open mic night outside

When: Open Mic Nights take place every Tuesday, while Latin Music Nights take place every Wednesday.

ContainR by Springboard Performance is hosting several weekly events this summer. On Tuesdays, you can swing by for open mic night from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m., while Wednesdays are Latin music nights where you can dance from 6:30 p.m. to 9 p.m.

1020 2 Ave. N.W., facebook.com


Drive to a nearby Alberta town for a day trip

Due to travel restrictions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s safe to safe to say that this will be the summer of Alberta road trips for many Calgarians looking for a change of scenery close to home. Thankfully, Alberta is full of interesting small towns that are worth visiting, several of which are a mere three-hour drive or less away.

Read more: 15 Day Trips to Alberta Small Towns Within Three(ish) Hours of Calgary


Order a cup of coffee from the new Aggüdo Coffee in downtown Calgary


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This new coffee shop opened in downtown Calgary in June. Aggüdo offers a range of hot and cold drinks featuring organic Ethiopian coffee, as well as snacks like teff injera rolls and baked goods. Grab a seat on the patio to enjoy the scenic view of Olympic Plaza with your order.

113, 237 8 Ave. S.E., 403-690-3773, aggudocoffee.com


Go hiking in Kananaskis Country

Escape the city with a visit to Kananaskis Country to try one of the several great hikes with lakes that the area offers. From Galatea Creek Trail to Grassi Lakes, there are plenty of picturesque options.

Read more: 4 Great Hikes with Lakes in Kananaskis Country


Make your own beer at Shield to Field Brew Co

Ever wish you could make your own beer? Well, now you can at Shield to Field Brew Co. Sign up for an Intro to Brewing class that will take you through the whole process right up to canning and labeling the finished product. In the end, you’ll leave with around 45 to 48 cans of your own signature beer to enjoy at home.

Bay 5, 920 28 St. N.E., 587-999-2413, shieldtofield.com


Grab a bite from one of Calgary’s many great South Asian restaurants

Calgary is home to many South Asian restaurants that are well worth a visit the next time you’re looking to dine out or order takeout for home. From the Kashmiri Rogan Josh Goat Curry at La Jawab to Zaika Biryani House‘s Chicken Biryani, here’s what you should order at seven of them.

Read more: 7 Great South Asian Restaurants in Calgary and What to Order at Them


Spend a few hours lounging by Hotel Arts’ outdoor pool


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While most of Calgary’s public outdoor pools are not opening this summer, Hotel Arts offers another great option if you’re looking to lounge by the water or swim. The pool, which underwent a renovation last year, is now open with social distancing measures in place and a maximum capacity of 20 guests. Non-hotel guests can drop-in for two hours for $20 while hotel guests can reserve a three-hour visit. There’s also a poolside menu offering lunch, dinner and drinks from Yellow Door Bistro.

Hotel Arts, 119 12 Ave. S.W., 403-266-4611, hotelarts.ca


Buy a non-medical face mask from a local business

Starting on August 1, a new bylaw will make it mandatory to wear a face mask inside public spaces in Calgary. If you still need a reusable, non-medical face mask, there are several Calgary businesses that have pivoted to make and sell them.

Read more: Calgary Businesses Making Non-Medical Face Masks


Dine at Paper Lantern, one of Chinatown’s newest restaurants

Spend your next night out at this new subterranean Vietnamese tropical bar in Chinatown. Paper Lantern’s food menu features dishes like caramelized pork belly skewers, mango salad and chicken roti Vietnamese subs all made from family recipes, while the cocktails are carefully crafted with house-made syrups and a special ice program.

115 2 Ave. S.E., 403-457-7765, paperlantern.ca


Attend a drive-in event at Telus Spark

When: TedxYYC event on August 20. Other dates TBA.

There’s a new drive-in experience coming to Calgary this month. The Big Art Drive-In will be hosting drive-in events (including movies) at Telus Spark soon. More details will be revealed on August 5, but so far it’s been announced that one of the events will be a TedxYYC talk on August 20.

Telus Spark, bigartdrivein.com


Fill up on tasty carnival treats at the new Carnival Cafe


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Stampede season may be over, but you can still get your fill of midway favourites at the newly opened Carnival Cafe. The menu is focused around tons of sweet and savoury carnival treats, including a doughnut burger, corn dogs, deep fried pickles, mini doughnuts, deep fried Oreos, snow cones and more.

2650 36 St. S.E., 403-305-1292, carnivalcafe.ca


Enjoy a pint on the patio of a local brewery

There’s nothing quite like enjoying a pint of locally made beer on a patio in the summer. Thankfully, many of Calgary’s breweries offer great patios where you can do just that.

Read more: 10 Calgary Breweries with Great Patios


Learn about sustainability at a virtual zero waste festival

When: August 27 to 30

Plastic-Free YYC’s Zero Waste Festival is going virtual this month. Scheduled events include workshops on making your own body spray and scrub, sessions on shopping ethically and zero waste innovation, and keynotes by Auri Jackson, Zero Waste Chef and Zero Waste Daniel. Some sessions are free (or by donation), or you can pay $20 for an all-access pass to all festival sessions.



Pick some fresh Saskatoon berries or sour cherries at Saskatoon Farm

This month, you can pick your own fresh berries at Saskatoon Farm’s 50 acres of u-pick fields. Guests can pick Saskatoon berries starting July 30, while sour cherries will be ready in August. Each bucket of berries you pick costs $16, plus there’s a $2 admission fee.

Saskatoon Farm, 403-938-6245, saskatoonfarm.com

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