Saturday, May 14, 2011

50 Awesome Things To Do in Calgary

I moved to Calgary almost 6 years ago. I was originally supposed to be here for nine months. After my nine month timeline passed, I never set another one. I visited the city was I was 14 and fell in love with it then. When I moved here, I made it a point to do most of the touristy things because I wasn't sure how long I would be staying. The longer I lived here, I got off the beaten path and found some things that not every Calgarian might have done. I'm sure I left a lot of things off this list. I would love to know how many things on this list you have completed.

Please feel free to comment or email me and we can add to it. Calgary is a great city. Get out and enjoy it!

50 Awesome Things To Do in Calgary

1. Watch a Battle of Alberta (Flames vs Oilers) at the Saddledome.
2. Go to one of the many World Cup sporting events that come to Calgary. Speed Skating, bobsled, luge, skiing, etc… brings the best athletes in the world for their respective sport and it is often very cheap or even free to attend.
3. Take a cooking class at the Cookbook Company. Lots of classes for every style of food you can think of.
#5. Bobsled at COP
4.  Get an Alley Burger from Charcut.
5.  Do the bobsled run at COP. Expensive, but worth every thrilling, ridiculously fast second.
6. Take a walk through Princes Island Park
7.  Go watch some great music at the Ironwood. Many times I’ve never heard of the people playing there, but I always leave with one of their CD’s.
8. Get dressed up, go for a nice dinner and then to the CPO. You'll feel fancy.
9. Spend a summer afternoon rafting down the Bow River.
10. Go see your favourite musical act at the Saddledome. Top acts are always coming to town. Splurge a little bit and get floor seats. It makes for a much better concert experience.
11. Skate at Bowness Park in the winter.
12. Have a few too many drinks and go two stepping at Nashville North during Stampede.
13. Go to a pancake breakfast.
14. Watch the Chuck wagon races and make sure you stay for the Grandstand show! The Grandstand show is my favourite part of Stampede.
15. Go for a walk/run/bike/roller blade on one of Calgary’s almost 1000kms of paved pathways. I like to start west and head towards downtown on Memorial Drive and watch the skyline get closer and closer.
16.  Go to Banff, but don’t just do a day trip. Stay over-night. See a concert at the Banff Center for the Arts. Go to one of the many nice restaurants for dinner. Relax in your hotel’s outdoor hot tub.
#18 Scotchman's Hill
17. Zip line at COP.
18. Go to Scotchman’s Hill and admire the view of Calgary’s skyline
19. Have a coffee (I prefer lattes) and a scone at Bumpy’s
20. Go to Calgary Roughneck’s Lacrosse game. It’s a much different sporting experience than any hockey game you’ve been too.
21. Drink a “heroin” beer at the Saddledome. There is something about that draft.
22. Use the C-train. Get to know the routes. You don’t have to drive everywhere in this city. It’s sometimes the quickest way to your destination, especially in the winter
23. Watch at Stamps game on a warm summers night at McMahon.
24. BBQ a Spolumbo’s sausage in the summer.
25. Learn how to line dance at Ranchman’s.
26. Have some Pho at one of Calgary’s many amazing Vietnamese restaurants. It's the cheapest, most filling lunch in town.
27. In the winter, play some shinny at one of Calgary’s many outdoor rinks.
28. Eat a shawarma at Jimmy’s A&A Deli. They are the best in town.
29. Cross-country ski at the Nordic Centre in Canmore.
#31, Skate on Lake Louise
30.Overdose on mini donuts during Stampede.
31. Skate on Lake Louise in the winter, and canoe there in the summer.
32.Take a day off and go skiing at Sunshine or Lake Louise.  It’s a lot less busy on a weekday. You pretty much have the hill to yourself.
33. Eat some fresh Taber corn in the late summer. It’s the best corn you will ever have.
34. Buy some local produce/meats/crafts, etc… at the farmers markets. Calgary Farmer’s Market and Kingsland Farmers Market are two of the best.
35. Check out the Olympic museum at COP. It’s a nice way to spend a few hours.
36. Skate at the Olympic Oval. There is public skating everyday and it is considered to be the best ice in the world.
37. Go for a drive and visit Drumheller.
38. Take in one of the many cool exhibits at the Glenbow Museum.
39.  Eat a steak at one of Calgary’s many Chophouse’s. Alberta beef served at its best.
#41, Visit a Corn Maze
40.  Admire the view from the top of the Calgary Tower. Just before dusk is a nice time. There is still day light but the lights of the city are just coming on.
41.  Go to a corn maze south of the city in the fall. It’s a lovely way to spend a Sunday afternoon.
42.  Stroll through Nose Hill Park.
43.  Eat a Crave Cupcake. Cravolicious is my favourite. Chocolate with blue icing.
44.  Spend a day at the Calgary Folk Festival. You’ll discover all kinds of world class talent that you’ve probably never heard of before.
45. Go to a Calgary Vipers Baseball game.
46.  Enjoy a cold drink on a hot summers day on one of the many patio’s on 17th Ave. Why not Melrose in the heart of the Red Mile? Maybe have a Big Rock Beer? They brew them here in Calgary.
47.  Get some gelato at Amato Gelato in Kensington. Delicious homemade Italian ice cream.
48. Join a sporting league. The Calgary Sport and Social Club has many different leagues of all different sports from beginner to advanced. It's also a great way to meet new people.
49.  Golf at one of the many golf courses in and around the city. The City of Calgary owns 6 different courses in every quadrant and it is the most affordable way to golf in the city.
50. Visit the Calgary Zoo. There are over 1000 animals from all over the world. Zoo Lights over the holidays is a nice night out. Buy a copy of hot chocolate and stroll through the zoo and admire the over 1 million lights.


  1. Great post! That's a killer list of ideas of fun things for getting down in Cowtown. Well done, my friend!

  2. Awwww but you never ate at THE BLUEDOG CAFE in
    COCHRANE!!! This is a must for all!! Live entertainment Wed. - Sat. and Excellent Food!!!

  3. loved your touching article on Ceilidh. We had our own Ceilidh for 18 years and the eulogy brought back many fond memories and tears.You really portrayed how important animals are to a family and how they bring everyone together.I believe that every child who wants one should have a pet- they teach you how to love.So sorry your Ceilidh has moved on and I know you'll always have the memories to cherish.kindest regards ,Patsy

  4. Peter's Drive-In should be on here!
    Also, for those not concerned about gaining 10 lbs, eat something crazy at Tubby Dog

  5. Lists like these are great, thanks Adam - going to share this for sure! Cheers

  6. Thanks for your list!! Going to do one of them as I show the city to a new person in town... And he's my date! It's a great list!! I'm happy to say that I have been here for almost two years and done some of them. But it's always good to learn about more :)

  7. Not quite sure that Banff, Lake Louise, Sunshine Village, Drumheller or Canmore qualify as "things to do in Calgary".

    If you remove the food items and event-specific items, there isn't a great deal left. All this list really does is confirm that Calgary is quite dull and boring compared to other cities!

  8. Great post! Check out these Top 5 Things to do in Calgary Canada during Winter!

    Happy Travels Everyone!


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