As the largest city in Canada’s province of Alberta, Calgary has a lot of awesome things to do and see. Even though it’s a large city, Calgary – affectionately known as ‘Cowtown’ – is still a small western town at heart. Take a look at the top things to experience in Calgary.
Top 10 Things to Do and See in Calgary
The Calgary Stampede began in 1912 as a competition to celebrate the romance and culture of Canada’s dying Old West. Every July, Calgary continues to host this authentic western celebration.
The Calgary Stampede features other events in addition to the 10-Day Stampede main event, like the cutting horse competition, a food and wine festival, and a tattoo and arts festival.
The Stampede not only showcases Calgary’s history but also the city’s modern multicultural community.
Home to almost 800 animals, the Calgary Zoo has habitats spanning the Canadian Wilds, Destination Africa, Eurasia, Penguin Plunge, a conservatory and gardens, and a Prehistoric Park that lets you travel back in time and see what the area would have looked like when dinosaurs roamed the earth, complete with life-sized dinosaur models.
Calgary Zoo has been consistently recognized as one of the top and most respected zoos in the world.
Calaway Park is Western Canada’s largest outdoor family amusement park.
The park keeps both children and adults entertained with 32 rides, 24 food locations, 23 games, live original stage productions produced in-house, and a 3D theater.
And after a long day of fun in the park, you can stay the night at the Calaway RV Park and Campgrounds. Calaway Park’s season opens for the summer in late May, and they are open for fun seven days a week.
WinSport’s Canada Olympic Park
In 1988, Calgary played host to the Winter Olympics, making it the first Canadian city to host any Winter Olympic Games. Now the Canada Olympic park is home to WinSport, a year-round playground for kids of all ages.
In the winter, the park has classic winter sports like skiing, snowboarding, bobsleigh rides, and luge rides. And the fun doesn’t stop during the summer; you can mountain bike, mini golf, experience summer bobsleighing, and try out North America’s fastest zipline.
WinSport also offers lessons for most sports so that you can train like an Olympic athlete.
Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame
Also located at WinSport, Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame has 12 galleries with over 52 interactive stations and over 95,000 sports artifacts.
The hall of fame features 605+ inducted sports legends spanning across 65 different sports. The Sports Hall of Fame moved to Calgary in 2008 and has made its home in a 40,000 square foot facility ever since.
There is no better place to learn about Canada’s sporting traditions and history and experience Canadian national pride.
The Hangar Flight Museum
Soar through Canada’s aviation history at The Hangar Flight Museum (formerly the Aero Space Museum of Calgary).
Housed in a hangar that was built for the British Commonwealth Air Training Plan (BCATP) and that was the drill hall for #37 Secondary Flight Training School during World War II, the Hangar Flight Museum has a wide variety of civilian and military aircraft on display. You can get a look at relics ranging from Canada’s first powered aircraft to the “Queen of the Sky” Lancaster.
No aviation fanatic will want to miss out on this experience!
In 1875, the North West Mounted Police built a fort at the junction of the Bow and Elbow Rivers, laying the foundation for the city of Calgary.
Today a National Historical Site, Fort Calgary takes you back in time to learn the stories of Calgary’s past at the Interpretive Center, try on authentic mounted police tunics, and spend some time in the old jail.
You can then stroll down the RiverWalk to where the Bow and Elbow Rivers meet and see where it all began.
The Glenbow Museum combines history, art, and pop culture for exhibits that everyone can enjoy. Glenbow’s mission is to provide a space where more people can experience more art and culture more often.
The museum’s permanent exhibitions provide visitors a glimpse of Alberta and Western Canada’s history as well as glimpses of world cultures. Glenbow Museum has the largest art collection in Western Canada and hosts a range of world-renowned traveling exhibitions.
The museum definitely succeeds in providing more art and culture.
Designed with the curious in mind, TELUS Spark is Calgary’s Science Center where anyone with a sense of wonder and a questioning nature can discover and explore science, engineering, art, and math.
The museum provides live science demonstrations and workshops that change daily. You can catch a live planetarium show or movie in the Dome Theatre, or if you really want to have some fun, climb the three story tower and take the slide back down, all the while learning about gravity.
There is always something to peak your curiosity at TELUS Spark.
Built as part of the city’s centennial celebration, Calgary Tower is a 525 foot-tall tower with an observation deck and revolving restaurant. High above the city, and 1228 meters above sea level, you can take in 360-degree views, dine at Sky 360, and traverse a glass floor skywalk.
Calgary Tower offers the best view of Calgary with a panoramic of the downtown skyline, the Rocky Mountains, the foothills, and the prairies. On the complimentary tour, you’ll learn about Calgary’s history and landmarks.
Since every city should be viewed from above and not just at street level, the Calgary Tower is a must-visit.
More Things To Do in Calgary
Make your trip to Calgary absolutely unforgettable! Check out these helpful tips for visiting Calgary.
Ready to visit Calgary, Canada? Plan your trip with these tips.
- Book your flight: Find the cheapest flights using Skyscanner, my favorite flight search engine.
- Find Accommodation: You can find top hotels in Calgary using Hotels.com.
- Get a Guide Book: Check out the guide book from Lonely Planet for in depth info about traveling to Canada.
What are your favorite things to do in Calgary, Canada? Let me know in the comments!