Free Summer Activities In and Around Calgary


Unfortunately, COVID-19 derailed a lot of people's summer plans of hosting big get-togethers with friends and family, traveling to new areas, and even spending many afternoons at local rec centers. Even though it may seem like the possibilities for fun the sun is limited, we've compiled a list of free and low-cost activities in and around Calgary where you can maintain social distancing while exploring new and familiar places.

In Calgary:

  • You can try your luck at doing heelflips and kickflips at one of Calgary's local skateparks. Make sure to wear the correct protective gear and give enough space between you and the other skaters.

  • For a fun night out, you can put your Instagram skills to test by visiting the murals in Calgary's Beltline district. Known as "BUMP," the Beltline Urban Murals Project features work from artists like Cassie Suche, Katie Green, Luke Ramsey, and Mike Valcourt.

  • The city has many great spots for an urban hike. Whether it's the Valley Ridge Forest Hike along the Bow River or Waterfall Valley in Bowmont Park, it will feel like you're in the Rockies without leaving Calgary.

  • Calgary has over 800 km of bike pathways that will take you from the dense, urban core to the wide open parks and nature reserves. You can easily spend a day exploring the city from atop your bike. If you plan on spending the whole day outside, make sure to pack enough food, water, and sunscreen and wear appropriate clothing for the weather.

  • Make some delicious snacks and treats with your family to bring to a picnic in one of Calgary's parks. You can book a time slot through the City of Calgary's website where you'll have access to BBQ pits and stands, as well as picnic benches. After your picnic is done, you can take some time to walk around the park and explore the natural environment.

  • The City of Calgary has compiled a list of free activities that you and the whole family can take part in. Whether it's visiting a neighbour for a "Nice 2 Metre You" socially distanced get together outdoors or taking part in the "LEAD and Nature" youth leadership program, there's lots of ways you and your family can make some memories in the city this summer.

  • The City of Calgary is also offering it's annual recreation day camps for children and youth, but is offering them differently this year to maintain COVID-19 safety regulations.

Day Trips:

  • Kananaskis: There's a ton of trails right on Calgary's doorstep that can accommodate every level of hiking ability. What better way to social distance than in the fresh mountain air surrounded by the peaks and vistas of the Rocky Mountains?

Online:

  • The Calgary Public Library is hosting an Ultimate Summer Challenge. Kids and families can read and listen to books that cover science, technology, reading, engineering, arts, and mathematics (STREAM) through the Library's website all summer. Participants will use what they've read or heard to take part in virtual challenges. You can register from June 1 to August 31.

  • The Calgary Zoo is hosting its beloved summer camps via Virtual Zoo Camps online this summer. Online sessions can be either 45-minutes or 2-hours long and show behind-the-scenes and in-depth exclusive tours of the animals and their habitats. Sessions include a Q&A period with a Zoo Keeper, arts and crafts, as well as story time.

  • The Glenbow Museum is offering online access to many of its exhibits and featured artists through the program "Glenbow From Home." Each week has different activities and events that participants can attend from the comfort of their own home.

Keeping the learning going in Summer 2020 is going to be a little harder due to the on going health crisis, but there are still plenty of learning to be done in and around Calgary for free or cheap while social distancing, washing your hands for 20 seconds, and wearing face masks where social distancing isn't possible. If you want to learn more about the guidelines and how to follow them correctly, you can check out our blog post here.

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