Saying “Neigh” to Stampede this year? Check out these 10 Fun and (mostly) Free Activities and Events Instead!

The Calgary Stampede is in town until July 16, but if you’re looking to avoid the large crowds on the midway, check out these ten free (or relatively cheap) non-Stampede-related activities and events happening this month!

  1. Have a picnic at Prince’s Island Park
    Bring your friends, a blanket, and some snacks for a picnic in the sun at Prince’s Island Park! There are plenty of places to sit – take a walk by the river afterward or zoom around on some e-scooters.
  1. Play frisbee at Riley Park
    Grab a frisbee and a friend to toss it to at Riley Park! Make sure to stop and smell the flowers, which are in full bloom this time of year. If you get toasty, dip your toes in the Riley Park Wading Pool.
  1. See a performance by Theatre Calgary: Shakespeare on the Go (formerly known as Shakespeare by the Bow) 
    Enjoy A Midsummer Night’s Dream by Shakespeare on the Go at a variety of venues around Calgary from July 14 to August 6 – for free!
  1. Discover Downtown Calgary: A Smartphone Audio Walking Tour
    Learn more about Calgary’s downtown area and buildings with this walking tour! Tickets are less than $8 and include over 30 points of interest. The tour also includes a trivia game that you can play at certain locations on your phone! Prefer a no-cost, self-guided tour? Try the +15 network in Downtown Calgary! 
  1. Float the Bow
    Floating down the Bow River takes around 2-4 hours depending on river flow. Check out Lazy Day Raft Rentals if you’re in need of a raft (includes lifejackets, paddles, and a safety kit). If you go with friends, this can be a fun activity that is under $25!
  1. Rent a kayak and paddle around the Glenmore Reservoir
    If you’re looking for more activities on the water, take a paddle in a kayak around the Glenmore Reservoir! Kayak rentals from Glenmore Sailing School start at $15/hour and include a lifejacket. Rentals are done on a first come, first served basis.
  1. Fiestaval Latino Festival
    July 21 – 23 | Calgary Olympic Plaza | Free Admission

    Come and enjoy the 3 hottest days of the summer during Fiestaval, a free and family-oriented, multicultural arts and entertainment festival highlighting the Latin American Culture. 
  1. Afro-Caribbean Food Festival
    July 22 & 23 | Celebration Square (C-Square) | Free Admission

    A celebration of the Caribbean, Africa, and everything in between through food, culture, and music. Visit the Afro-Caribbean Food Festival from 11:00 am – 8:00 pm on July 22 and 10:00 am – 4:00 pm on July 23.
  1. Inglewood Sunfest
    July 29 | 11:00 am – 7:00 pm | 9th Ave SE, between 11th and 14th Streets

    Shop from local vendors, have fun in the sun, see street shows, listen to music, and more at the 2023 Inglewood Sunfest!
  1. Attend Calgary’s Night Markets

    Kensington Night Market
    July 13 – September 7 | Lot 57, 1210 Kensington Rd NW

    Inglewood Night Market 2023
    July 14 – September 15 | 10 Ave & 10 Street SE

    Crescent Heights Night Market
    July 19 – August 30 | Edmonton Trail & 16th Ave NE

    4th Street Night Market
    July 22 – September 16 | 4th Street @ Elbow Drive SW

    Night Market at University District
    July 26 – September 27 | University District’s Central Plaza, 4019 University Ave NW

    Calgary Night Market
    July 28 – August 18 | Bridgeland Riverside Community Association, 917 Centre Ave NE