Cooler temperatures, beautiful colours and lots of events: fall is the season to get out and explore.
Use this checklist to make sure you’re hitting the fall highlights throughout Calgary. The checklist offers ideas for making the most of this season in Calgary’s downtown but also in each Calgary quadrant.
Take the checklist with you and check off the ideas as you do them.
What: Calgary Pride Parade
When: Sep. 3
Where: Along 6 Ave. SW, calgarypride.ca
Show your support for Calgary’s LGBTQ community and attend this annual parade where more than 150 colourful floats take over 6th Avenue. Head to Prince’s Island Park afterward for the free Pride in the Park festival.
What: Calgary International Film Festival
When: Sept. 20 to Oct. 1
Where: Multiple venues, calgaryfilm.com
It’s twelve days of movies in every genre imaginable, from over 40 countries. If you’re unsure where to start, attend the pre-festival Trailer Party on September 8.
When: Sep. 28
Where: Arts Commons, timeraiser.ca
At Timeraiser you’re essentially shopping for a non-profit you want to support and will then bid on original artwork with volunteer hours for that non-profit, rather than with cash.
What: Sky 360
Where: 101 9 Ave. SW, sky360.ca
Admire the whole city as you dine on food made with fresh, local ingredients.
Where: Prince’s Island Park
Take a stroll through this downtown park and admire the changing leaves. Park at the Calgary Curling Club, walk over the Bow River Pathway bridge and stroll through the park. Turn around at the Peace Bridge and walk back along the Bow River Pathway.
What: Take an outdoor safety course
Where: University of Calgary Outdoor Centre, 2500 University Dr. NW, ucalgary.ca
Be prepared for the upcoming ski season and take a safety course from the U of C Outdoor Centre. There are courses on how to survive in the wilderness, how to handle backcountry emergencies and rescuing someone from a crevasse.
What: Gallery House Concerts Society
When: Sep. 10 and Oct. 2
Where: 14 St. and 64 Ave. NW, galleryhouseconcerts.com
This might be the most intimate concert you ever go to. The shows, all organized by the non-profit Gallery House Concerts Society, take place in the living room of a home in North Haven. This fall, Claire Ness and Zachary Lucky are performing.
What: Seasons of Bowness Park
Where: 8906 48 Ave. NW, seasonsofbownesspark.ca
Admire the fall colours from this park located in the heart of Bowness Park. If you’re here before September 10, rent a boat from the Boathouse to take out on the Bowness Lagoon after your meal.
What: A Stampeders game
When: Final home game is Nov. 3
Where: McMahon Stadium, stampeders.com
Drink beer and cheer for the Stamps. Be sure to wear red.
Where: Nose Hill Park
Not only will you see a lot of golden leaves up here, but you get great views of the skyline too. Stick to the paved paths or try the trails.
What: Circle the Wagons
When: Sep. 9
Where: Currie Park, circlethewagons.ca
There are more than 13 food trucks selling tasty dishes at this fall foodie festival, but there are also music performances, circus acts and a forest hammock lounge.
What: WinSport Free Fall
Where: 88 Olympic Way SW, winsport.ca
This is a must-try fall activity. The Free Fall is opened for the first time on August 13 and is a lot like bungee jumping. Jump from the eight-storey platform and experience a thrilling adrenaline rush. It’s open throughout September.
What: Fish Creek Provincial Park
You could spend hours exploring this huge urban park. If you’re walking mostly to see the fall colours, head to the west end of the park as you’ll find a lot of poplars here.
What: Heritage Park
Where: 1900 Heritage Dr. SW, heritagepark.ca
Don’t just go for the vintage rides. Shop for baked goods and candy too.
What: Adults Only Night at Telus Spark
When: Sept. 14 and Oct. 12
Where: 220 St. George’s Dr. NE, sparkscience.ca
Drink a beer and learn something new on the second Thursday of every month. The themes for the Adults Only Nights in September and October are hacking and crime and punishment.
What: Bottomlands Park
Walk through the natural areas here and maybe bring along items for a picnic if it’s a warmer fall day.
What: Lina’s Italian Market and Café
Where: 2202 Centre St. NE, linasmarket.com
On a chilly fall day, there’s not a lot more comforting than a bowl of pasta. Visit Lina’s Italian Market and Café to buy ingredients to make your own Italian dinner and treat yourself to a cappuccino from the café before you go.
When: Sept. 16
Where: Fort Calgary and East Village River Walk, beakerhead.com
Beakerhead takes over the city from September 3 to 17, but if you’re only going to make it to one event, go to Beakernight. It’s a big nighttime celebration where you’ll see various installations and performances that are part art and part science.
What: East Side Studio Crawl
When: Sept. 16
Where: Multiple venues, burnsvisualarts.com
Take a walk through Inglewood and Ramsay to five different locations to see inside the creative spaces of 80 emerging local artists.
What: A Festival Hall concert
When: First concert is Sep. 21
Where: Festival Hall, 1215 10 Ave. SE, calgaryfolkfest.com
If you loved Folk Fest, you don’t have to wait until next summer for another folk music experience. Festival Hall hosts concerts throughout the fall. Amy Helm, Elliott Brood and Lisa LeBlanc are all performing in September, while big names like Martha Wainwright perform later in the fall.
When: Sep. 22 and 23
Where: Big Four Building, albertabeerfestivals.com
Okay, this festival is mostly about the beer but there’s also great food to pair with your drinks. There’s also Bavarian music, dancers and games.
What: A Hitmen game
When: First home game is Sep. 23
Where: Scotiabank Saddledome, hitmenhockey.com
Fall is the start of hockey season. As well as cheering on the Flames, be sure to support Calgary’s WHL team.
What: Calgary New and Used Ski Sale
When: Oct. 18 to 22
Where: Max Bell Centre, skisale.ca
Ski season is just around the corner. Drop off equipment you’re hoping to sell from October 18 to 19, and shop for new and used gear from October 20 to 22.
By Elisabeth Kellisdottir