Summer doesn’t have to break the bank. Finding things to do in Calgary during the summer that don’t come with a hefty price tag can help to leave more money in the budget for weekend trips, back to school and the expense that comes with raising children. Here are some of our favorite free activities for kids + families in Calgary.
Free Summer Kids Activities in Calgary
1. See how many sculptures you can take in during the Artwalk downtown
2. Go to Story time at Pottery Barn Kids
3. See a FREE Drive in Movie
4. On the first Tuesday of the month, visit the Lego store to get your free mini build. Come early, starting at four there are limited vouchers given out for the mini build.
5. Learn to make movies by storyboarding ideas, shooting video and creating an original soundtrack, or make interactive books during the free summer camp at Apple stores, for children 8-12.
6. Roar, stomp and snack during a Dinosaur Picnic on July 31, Ages 3-5.
8. Visit the local Ivivva store on Sunday mornings at 10 am to take part in an hour-long free yoga or dance class for kids. Call your local store for details, find a location.
9. Take part in the monthly Kids Club workshops at Home Depot and build something, for free.
10. Cool off indoors at the Indoor South Centre Roar Play Park
11. Attend the opening of Parkdale Plaza
12. Watch the Stampede Parade
13. Take part in the free and fun programming to support nature and kids learning through the summer in programs like ‘What bird is that?’ and ‘Wetland Bug Safari’ at Ralph Klein Park
14. Day Trip to Discovery Canyon in Red Deer and bring a tube for some little kid and tween fun down the short course, if you bring along your own tube, it’s free!
15. Get entertained on Stephen Avenue Walk with live performances, buskers, music,
16. Check out the Calgary Latin Festival
17. Cool off at TD Devonian Gardens
18. Get familiar with Grain at the Grain Academy and Museum
19. Check out the Kid Zone and watch Dragon Boats at the Calgary Dragon boat festival
20. Take part in the Calgary Public Library summer reading challenge for the chance to read more, get access to ebooks and win prizes
21. How cool is this one? Take part in a pop up picnic and have the chance to get in a fun (and huge celebration). There are dates throughout the summer, with a new location every time.
22. Day trip to Sylvan Lake and catch an outdoor movie while you’re there
23. Take part in free activities at Fluor Rope Square
24. Check out one of the many Geocaching spots around the city
25. Watch a hilarious English bulldog race at Pet-a-palooza
26. Join a Park Stay and Play or Park and Play at a local playground for free, supervised summer fun that encourages kids to get active and play while being led by a director
27. Learn how to Juggle from the Magic Studio, ages 8-10
28. Wander through Griffith Woods and wade in the water to cool off
29. Get a feel for New Orleans in the Marda Gras Festival
30. Play in the Kidz Zone and get entertained by Performers at the Fringe Festival
31. Take in the free entertainment at the Inglewood Sun Fest (August 1)
32. Search for beavers at Beaver Dam Flats
33. Watch a demonstration of classic Japanese Fairy tales at the Calgary Japanese Festival
34. Walk through the Interpretive Trails at Pearce Estate Park
35. See floating lanterns at the Floating Lantern Memorial Event
36. Sign up for the Kids Bowl Free program and kids can take part in two games of free bowling, every single day, through the summer months
37. Stop at Save on Foods, grab a lunch time snack from the deli and head to one of the local spray parks to cool off
38. Get a workout with the kids and climb the hills at Nose Hill Park. At only fifteen minutes from downtown, it’s an easy way to run off some energy and explore during summer months.
39. Plan a playground hop and check out one of the top ten playgrounds in Calgary
40. Take a Junior Chef class at Williams Sonoma. Classes take place every Saturday morning and are for kids 5-12.
41. Play some keys on the street piano on Stephen Avenue, or stop off for a listen
42. Take part in one of the free summer camps through the city of Calgary, or the drop in days
43. Read and do Dr. Suess and other classics as you craft and wade at Riley Park on Saturdays between 11am and 3pm
44. Create your own light show with the Chinook Arc light installation