Summers in Calgary are short but sweet. Here are 10 of the best activities to do in Calgary in the summer time.
1. Raft or kayak the Bow. While you probably wouldn’t be working up a sweat other than from the heat, rafting the bow is one of the most popular and looked forward to pastimes. It’s great for people watching and goes at a pace slow enough so you don’t have to worry much about steering and can just relax and fast enough that there’s changing scenery to keep looking at. Just remember to wear a life jacket (law and safety reasons) and apply lots of sunscreen. While rafting the bow used to be somewhat of a production if you didn’t have a raft with the pickup and dropoff, Paddle Station now rents rafts and kayaks riverside so you can just walk up and disembark when you’re done.
2. Bike or run the Glenmore Reservoir. The roughly 15km loop has lots of places to stop so even small kids can do it. There are plenty of paved paths, though you can also find plenty of dirt trails or wander down and walk on the rocks by the water. With the dam set to undergo construction in the fall it’ll be your last chance for a few years to head over the bridge.
3. Pretend you’re at a beach at Sikome Lake. So if we’re being honest here, the beach isn’t very good. It’s a small manmade lake that you have to pay to go into. So why include it on here? It’s the closest thing to a beach that Calgary has that the public can access and sand and summer kind of just go together. If you haven’t been in more than a couple years, they’ve made some nice alterations, though you also have to pay to go in now.
4. Go ice skating. While this may seem like an odd thing to do in the summertime, remember we’re in Canada. Hockey and figure skating are huge and many houses and places don’t have air conditioning. It’s great to be able to enjoy some really strong ac and get some exercise without getting too hot. It’s the first year that we can remember that the Olympic Oval is open and there are many other rinks around the city open as well. If you go in July the rinks will be nice and quiet as well.
5. Go mountain biking. It’s awesome to be able to mountain bike right in the city you live in. After a lot of work by some community members/volunteers Fish Creek’s new mountain bike skills park is open. COP/Winsport also has great trails to ride.
6. Canoe the reservoir. It’s kinda cool to canoe on the water you’re going to be drinking. If that’s not a selling point for you it’s one of the largest places you can canoe in Calgary so you aren’t stuck going around in circles.
7. Go to the mountains. While we tried to keep this within Calgary, a favorite pastime of Calgarians is heading into the mountains. Everyone needs to take a trip to the mountains, we live so close to them. With the new On-It shuttle from Calgary to Canmore and Banff, it’s easy for people who don’t have a car to get there too.
8. Rollerblade the downtown paths. The downtown paths are paved and free of large hills which make the paths great for rollerblading. It’s a great path to enjoy both river and cityscape and If you go on the weekends you’ll usually find an assortment of buskers performing along the way. You can also hit up a free skills session and group roll with Shoptask on Sunday nights. If you don’t have rollerblades, the downtown paths are also great for other methods of transportation.
9. Workout at East Village. Take your workout outdoors for free. Lunchtime workouts are on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays and include yoga, Hiit and barre at the EV Experience Centre deck. East Village Junction has free workouts or runs on Friday, Saturday and Sunday.
10. Skyline Luge Their website claims that Calgary’s is the longest luge track in the world. We have no idea whether this is true or just marketing hype, but it is definitively a lot of fun. Imagine go carting downhill.