You don’t have to break to bank to experience some of Calgary’s best attractions!
Here are 10 activities to do this weekend in Calgary for under $20
1. Calgary Tower
The iconic Calgary Tower opened in 1968 and is a staggering 191 meters high (about 627 feet). But don’t worry, you won’t have to climb its 762 steps — two 25-passenger, high-speed elevators soar to the top in 62 seconds. Once there, stand on the glass floor observation terrace for a bird’s eye view of the Rocky Mountains and iconic Calgary landmarks. An audio guide is available in 7 different languages (English, French, Mandarin, Spanish, Japanese, Korean and German) and will explain interesting trivia about some of the notable art and architecture in your view.
Admission: General (ages 13-64) $18, Senior $16, Child (4-12) $9, children three and under are admitted for free! www.calgarytower.com
2. Loose Moose Theatre
Located on the second floor of the Crossroads Market in the historic Inglewood neighbourhood, this Theatre company presents weekly improvised comedy shows. Their Maestro Improv show on Friday nights at 8 p.m. features elimination rounds, where audience members rate performers chosen at random until one performer wins the ‘maestro improviser’ title, going on to direct shows during Gorilla Theatre on Saturday nights. Every show is different, but they’re always very funny.
Tickets: General admission $15, Student $12. www.loosemoose.com
3. TELUS Spark, Calgary Science Centre
The science centre houses five exhibit galleries, movies, planetarium shows in Calgary’s only HD Digital Dome Theatre, interactive activities in the Creative Kids Museum, live science demonstrations, and more. The new Brainasium outdoor park features an interactive play area where children learn momentum and teamwork on the five ton spinning rock, explore simple physics on the teeter-totter built for 6, slide their hands along the musical railing and climb the netting tower to the 63 foot slide (the largest stainless steel slide in Canada). Adults and children alike will have fun visiting travelling exhibitions and building structures with real tools at the Open Studio Drop-In Workshops. The second Thursday night of every month is Adults Only Night, where the venue is open only to adults to enjoy unique programming, an open bar, workshops and presentations, and kid-free play.
Admission: Adult $19.95, Senior $17.95, Youth (13-17) $15.95, Child (3-12) $12.95, Children three and under are admitted free! www.sparkscience.ca
4. Heritage Park Historical Village
This living history museum features more than 180 attractions and exhibits that re-create Western Canadian history from the 1860s to the 1950s. Interact with costumed interpreters, explore pioneer homes and businesses, ride a steam train, board a paddlewheeler on the Glenmore Reservoir, try antique rides and games, and enjoy Western Canadian cuisine at Selkirk Grille. While the park is open seasonally May through October, year-round daily attractions include dining at Selkirk Grille and Railway Café, exploring Haskayne Mercantile Block — a collection of one-of-a-kind boutiques and an antique shop — the Big Rock Interpretive Brewery, and the Gasoline Alley Museum of vintage cars. Access to Heritage Town Square (located before the gates) is free.
Park admission: Adult $26.25*, Senior (65+) $20.50, Youth (7-14) $18.75, Child ($13.50). www.heritagepark.ca
(*Adult admission during the summer season is more than $20, but overall most of their other offerings are under $20. And, even at $26.25, it’s still very much worth a visit.)
5. Olympic Oval
The world-class, high performance atmosphere of the Olympic Oval skating rink is not just for professional athletes. Located at the University of Calgary, the 450 meter oval ice surface is open to the public, with equipment rentals available at the Skate Shop. The facility also houses artwork that fosters a connection between artists and athletes, it’s worth checking out.
Admission: Adult $7, Youth & Senior (55+) $4.75, Family $18.50, Special needs (with assistant) $5. Children five and under are admitted free! www.oval.ucalgary.ca
6. The Military Museum of Calgary
Uncover the triumphs, misfortunes and sacrifices of the Canadian Forces at the second largest military museum in Canada. Their eight museums and galleries include the Army, Naval, and Air Force Museums of Alberta. Walk through a World War I trench, enter the wheelhouse of a World War II ship model, and visit exhibits at The Founders’ Gallery.
Admission: Adult $15, Seniors, Students & Youth $5, Children 7 and under, along with Military Veterans, are admitted for free! www.themilitarymuseums.ca
7. City of Calgary Leisure Centres
Get active at The City of Calgary’s two leisure centres. Admission includes access to the wave pool and slides, fitness centre, gymnasiums, exercise and aquafit classes, as well as scheduled public skating and shinny hockey. The recreation areas also each have their own unique qualities, the 5.5 acre Village Square Leisure Centre, located in the northeast, boasts its own safari-themed waterpark, while the Southland Leisure Centre, located in the southwest, spans 227,000 square feet and its pool features a rope swing.
Admission: Adult $12.50, Child/Youth (age 7-17) and Seniors $6.25, Preschooler (age 2-6) $3.10, Toddlers two and under are admitted free. www.calgary.ca
8. Fort Calgary
The North West Mounted Police built this National Historic Site in 1875. Located on a 40 acre riverside park where the Bow and Elbow Rivers meet, Fort Calgary features exhibits, an interpretive centre, and recreations of the fort’s 1875 palisade and 1888 barracks. Learn stories about Calgary’s past, try on an authentic RCMP uniform, stand behind bars in the jail cell, treat yourself to vintage goodies at the Museum Shop, and visit their Community Garden.
Admission: Adult $12, Seniors & Students $11, Youth (7-17) $7, Children (3-6) $5, Toddlers 2 and under are admitted free. www.fortcalgary.com
9. Butterfield Acres
Enjoy an authentic farm experience from April to October at Butterfield Acres, located on Rocky Ridge Road. Toddlers can play at the Nursery Rhyme Park, while children can enjoy public pony rides and tractor pulled wagon rides through woodlands and over hilltops. Pet and feed old farm friends and new baby arrivals at the Farm Corral, from chicks and bunnies to piglets and donkeys, you can even learn how to milk a goat!
Admission: Adult $14.99, Senior $13.99, Children $12.99. www.butterfieldacres.com
10. Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame
Located at Canada Olympic Park, this attraction showcases the stories and memorabilia of Canada’s sporting legends. Interactive exhibits include shadow boxing with world heavyweight champion Lennox Lewis, 3D hockey and baseball, simulated rowing, wheelchair racing, and more.
Admission: General $12, Seniors $10, Youth (4-18) $8, Children 3 and under are admitted free! www.sportshall.ca