It is a bit difficult to picture that anything can be free and fun in the oil-rich Calgary which also happens to be the capital of Alberta Province. Calgary, which is one of the cities of the prairies in Canada has lots of fun activities, festivals and places that can be visited for free. We shall examine the top 10 free things to do in Calgary whether you are alone or with your family.
1. Attend the Canada day celebrations
Will you be in Calgary on the first of July? If your answer is yes, congratulations! You get to attend the Canada day celebration in Calgary. Canada day was formerly known as Dominion Day. It is the celebration of the Confederation of Canada, the day New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Ontario and Quebec stared self-governance. There are lots of block parties, dance, parades, and shows all over Calgary on July first. A perfect climax to your Canada day celebration is watching fireworks go off around 11 pm at Center street.
2. Visit Calgary’s Central Library
Calgary’s central library is one of the new additions to Calgary. The Library is an architectural masterpiece. You can book a guided tour of the library for a little stipend or simply wander around on your own. The library has four levels for you to explore. It features a public art segment, Children’s area and books across all genres.
3. Attend the Calgary Stampede
You can attend some events at the famous Calgary Stampede for free. The Calgary Stampede is usually a ten-day event and about four days are usually free. The Parade day which is usually the first Friday of the program, the family day which is usually the first Sunday, the Kids’ day and the Seniors’ day is usually free. This year’s Calgary Stampede will hold from Friday, 5th of July to Sunday, 14th of July. Do not forget to sample the free breakfast pancakes at the stampede.
4. Thursday night visit to the Glenbow Museum
Glenbow Museum opens its door to people for free every Thursday at 5 pm. The museum has an impressive collection of Western Canadian artwork and culture, visiting installations and exhibits. The best part of this museum is that the exhibits are forever changing so you will not get tired of visiting the museum multiple times.
5. Join a free Yoga class in the Park
You can join the free yoga class at Stanley’s park every Sunday at 1 pm between the month of May to October. It is the time when the weather is mild and the grasses are green. This yoga is organized by Outdoor yoga Calgary and its open to everyone. All you need do is come with your kit and join the class. You have to take advantage of the Calgary summer before it fades into winter again.
6. Gatecrash a street festival
People of Calgary know how to kick their feet up and throw street festivals just to spice things up. If there happens to be a festival on the street during your visit, don’t sit inside expecting an invite, join in the fun. You will get to interact with the locals and perhaps forge new relationships. People of Calgary take great joy in celebrating things both big and small, so enjoy!
7. Watch Shakespeare on the river banks
Graduate students at the Calgary art school often perform Shakespeare play on the river banks at Prince’s Island Park. You can watch your favorite Shakespeare plays for free during summer when the snow has melted and the grass is a lush green. Why not pack a picnic, head out to the Prince’s Island Park to enjoy the Shakespeare show while you and your family munch on your sandwich. You can stick around to enjoy the beautiful Calgary sunset before heading back home.
8. Biking around Calgary
Can you ride a bicycle? Do you own a bicycle? Then let’s go bike riding. Calgary has an amazing network of bikeway in Canada. What better activity to do on a bright mild-weather day than ride around the beautiful city of Calgary. You can download a map of the extensive bikeway and map out your travel route. You can make stops in parks or ride over to China town to experience Chinese culture in Calgary. There is an added advantage of the workout bicycle riding will give you. You will burn all those extra calories in a fun way.
9. Watch the Northern Light
The Northern Lights is one of the most beautiful views you will ever see. The northern light or an aurora is a natural beautiful multi-colored light seen on the sky especially in high latitude regions such as Calgary. To have the best views of the Northern Lights head out to Horse-hoe canyon, Lake Minnewanka or drive about 45 minutes until you are away from the bright city lights so that you can fully appreciate one of nature’s beauty.
10. Enjoy Calgary nightlife at Inglewood night market
You do not have to buy a thing from the Inglewood night market. There is plenty of free fun stuff to do at the market. This market is held every second Friday in the month of June to September. Let the cool weather calm your spirit while you wander around the market. There are free music concerts, dancers showing off their skills and tricksters showing off the acts. You can complete this experience by buying street food from one of the numerous stands around the market.
Other activities you can partake in for free in Calgary include jogging in one of the numerous parks around Canada, visit the Inglewood bird sanctuary to see the over two hundred species of birds they’ve there and visit the Devonian gardens to see over five hundred trees resident in the gardens. You can also go window shopping in the shopping malls around Calgary, remember to drop your credit card at home lest you end up swiping the card numerous times.
Updated: June 22, 2019