Free (or low budget) things to do for fun in the city of Calgary!
For the first Thursday of every month it's free to visit Contemporary Calgary. Can't wait for next month? It's only $10 entry.
The National Music Centre (Studio Bell) asks that you provide a suggested donation of $21.50 per adult, but they will accept any donation amount without questions for entry.
There are a number of free admission trivia nights that occur on an ongoing basis. Check my website calendar for upcoming dates.
The city of Calgary offers free cemetery tours (with registration) during the warmer weather months. These are usually on Sunday afternoons and can be found on my website calendar. (These almost always book up because they are small tours.)
Not only do you get cool views from High Park, it's also super instagrammable with individual "sets" designed for photographing. Great place for an urban picnic.
If you haven't yet been to the "Bow Head" you should definitely stop by. While this isn't public art (it was privately commissioned) it's still open to the public to see at anytime of day (just don't climb on it because building security will stop you).
Summer in Calgary means a number of fun outdoor night markets to choose from. When the temperatures drop these move indoors and may require small payments. See my website calendar for upcoming night markets.
What's better than a yoga class? A FREE yoga class. These are obviously only in the summer months. See my website calendar for upcoming sessions (usually held on weekends).
This stunning piece of architecture is completely free to visit! (Just make sure you're quiet, it is a library after all.) You can also book a tour.
An oldie but a goodie. The Devonian Gardens are a downtown staple. They are open to the public during The Core mall hours.
It's free to visit the Esker Art museum year round. It's a small gallery downtown that regularly updates their exhibits.
The nice people of Walk-the-YYC offer free walking tours in Inglewood and Downtown. They are pay-what-you can as it's suggested you tip your guide.
Over 270 species of birds have been spotted at Inglewood Bird Sancturary. It's completely free to visit. (Note that bikes and dogs aren't permitted.)
St. Patrick's Island is a cool park detached from downtown Calgary by river. Nice views and pathways and a great place for a picnic or grab an ice cream cone nearby and go for a walk.
The Reader Rock Garden is a historical site and is filled with various flowers and unique plants. It is a free-to-visit public park (no dogs permitted though).
Stephen avenue is a well-photographed area of Calgary. It's filled with bars, restaurants and shopping.
Olympic Plaza is a neat area downtown. In the winter you can skate and in the summer it's a little water park. It was built for the '88 Olympics.
While Glenbow Museum is currently closed for renovations (it's gonna be big!). You can still visit temporary exhibits at the Edison. Admission is free!
Theatre Calgary puts on live Shakespeare plays each summer by the Bow River (hence the name). These are free to attend but they are very popular so I recommend you go early and set up your spot (blanket, snacks etc.).
The Peace Bridge, is just a cool bridge. It's something Calgary is known for and a hot spot for tourists. If you've never been, you should check it out!
Calgary's downtown skyscrapers are connected via a network of above ground "tunnels" or pathways between buildings. They are called the "Plus 15's" because they are 15 feet above the street. They allow office workers to travel easily between buildings during the winter months. While the network is designed for the corporate world, anyone can use them. You'll get an insider look into buildings, shopping, and lots of places to eat. You can use a map to find your way or you can just wander and see what you find! Note that some paths will close after business hours.
17th avenue is one of Calgary's biggest tourist attractions and its free to visit! There are lots of shops and restaurants along the way should you want to spend some money. Or grab an ice cream cone or slurpee and just enjoy the walk!
Calgary has a number of outdoor skating rinks you can visit for free. There are also 2 ice trails you can skate!
The Lougheed House is a historic site and was built in 1891. Get a tour of the building for donation of $8.50. I recommend visiting in the summer so you can also check out the gardens.
East Village created the winter Hygge Hut with the Danish concept of Hygge in mind. This Scandinavian word is a mood focused on being cozy, content and well. Expect a firepit, soft lighting and seating to enjoy a hot drink. (Winter months only).
Each winter Winsport opens up their 8 lane tube park. A regular ticket is $27, but you can grab one for only $16 on Fridays.
It's completely free to hit up one of Calgary's toboggan spots! Check out this list here to find a hill near you.
It's only $4 per hour per person to play board games at Hexegon cafe. Enjoy coffee, desserts, beer, wine or cocktails while you play!
Throughout the year Cineplex will offer $2.99 movies on Saturday mornings. Selection is limited (it's usually a couple family friendly options). Check here to see what's upcoming.
Go to the Saddledome for less! Tickets to a Hitmen game start at $16 (Calgary's Junior Hockey League).
From mid-June to the Fall you can visit several spray parks around the city.
Can't say I've visited, but this could be a good activity especially if you have kids. Find more info here.
Bowness Boathouse offers affordable ways to float. Try a pedal boat, kayak or canoe ($20 for 30 min).
Wednesdays at Greta Bar it's all you can game for a flat rate of $20.
Go for a ride down The Bow River! Bring your own tube to go for free or rent one from Lazy Day Raft Rentals starting at $19.
See an Okotoks Dawgs game! Tickets starting at $10. Definitely worth the short drive out of Calgary.