14 Summer Date Ideas in Calgary
1. Shakespeare by the Bow
Honestly, Calgary’s Shakespeare by the Bow is amazing and fun for everyone. I happen to be a particular fan of making a date out of it, but it’s definitely family friendly as well (especially the daytime showings on weekends).
2. Bike ride brewery tour
Bae and I have yet to do this, but it is on the list for this summer! I love the idea of cycling around while getting our drink on, and Calgary has gotten so much more bike-friendly in recent years - not to mention, overrun with micro breweries.
Inglewood is an awesome option for your tour, boasting quite a number of breweries in close proximity. Check out Cold Garden ($5 pints!), High Line, Revival Brewcade (it's a brewery and an arcade, opening soon), and Dandy Brewing Company...you won't even have time to get winded between stops.
Of course, you could do some combination of a bunch and see how far you get.
3. Float the river
Floating the river is a Calgary staple, I think made more so by the fact that the window of time when the river is exactly the right lazy speed and the weather is perfectly hot, is seemingly smaller every year. Not to fear - August is the perfect time and it's almost here. Bonus? It’s free!*
*Delicious beverages and an Uber back to your vehicle not included ;-) - just keep it subtle cuz the cops patrol and I can't be held responsible for your choices.
4. Pick a section of the city and explore
My boo and I love doing this. We’ll pick Stephen Ave, Inglewood, Kensington, or 17th Ave and just see what we can find in each location. Check out restaurants, lounges, art installations, museums, breweries, shopping, used stores - really anything that piques your interest! Do a little wander and just see what you find.
(Would you be interested in more specific date ideas for each area? If so, let me know in the comments below!)
5. Head up the Calgary Tower for sunset
Going up the tower is kinda fun at anytime, but it’s especially beautiful for the sunset, making it an iconic kind of Calgary date. Bonus? There tends to be less families/young children later in the evening so it’s often quiet and the romance feels built-in.
As an added perk, you could dress cute, make a reservation, and do a nice dinner (or just a cocktail if you’re on a budget!) at the Sky 360 Restaurant and Lounge.
6. Pack a picnic
Calgary has a bazillion parks, honestly. We are so lucky and there’s tons of little spots you can find up and down the river where no one else is. Pack some snacks, a blanket, books, paints, etc and spend the day.
Make out in semi-public (but like, still secluded, you guys - keep it reasonable ;-) ) You will feel so chillaxed and it’s so romantic.
7. Go to a festival
Calgary Folk Fest is happening this weekend, a personal fave. But let’s be real - there are so many events and festivals packed into our precious few summer months that you could basically pick any weekend of the summer and find something with a quick Facebook or Google search. Sled Island is another fave for me - especially shows outdoors at Olympic Plaza!
8. Studio Bell
Studio Bell’s National Music Centre is actually pretty cool! They - awesomely - did some $10 date nights in the summer (there’s one left, this August 14th from 5-8pm), making it a great budget idea as well.
Depending on how you’re feeling that night, you could skip right across the street afterward for a pint and some live music at the newly reopened King Eddy. Not feeling that? Just head a couple blocks toward the river and sit on the roof of the Simmons building or stroll along the boardwalk with a Phil and Sebastian coffee.
9. Garage sale or flea market shop
I know, most people would lean towards the Farmer’s Market, and that’s a total fave of mine too. But on the weekends, those tend to be really busy and it’s not the same as treasure hunting.
There’s something so fun about wandering around with your person and finding things that make you giggle, looking for little treasures, buying each other a silly trinket, or if you live together, looking for a project piece - something you can refurbish together, maybe!
I personally love the Sunday flea market at the HSCA and find Hillhurst/Sunnyside a particularly fun area to wander looking for yard sales. Also, and maybe this is weird, but check the alleys! There's tons of cool art and graffiti in this neighbourhood and loads of people leave cool stuff out in the alleys, too, free to takers.
Not every date has to be the most glamorous, am I right?!
10. Two words. ICE CREAM.
I don’t know how it happened or, like, why (Calgary is a frozen tundra 9 months of the year, you guys, what are we doing?) but it’s like ice cream heaven in this city all of a sudden.
You’ve got the constantly rotating soft-serve at Luke’s Drug Mart. There’s the cult following of both hard and soft-serve options and unique flavours at Made by Marcus. And for those strictly hard ice cream fans there’s Village Ice Cream or the iconic My Favorite Ice Cream Shoppe.
*Update: Scrollio is apparently amazing, including vegan options. Check out their facebook - the S'mores dish looks amazing!
11. The Glenbow Museum
Because sometimes you just need air conditioning, amiright?
It doesn’t matter the day of the week or the time of the day, the Glenbow just always has something worth seeing. They get great new exhibitions all the time, and their regular exhibitions will teach you so much about the history of Canada.
Plus, every first Thursday of the month (5-9pm) is free (by donation) which is a great way to go more often and on a budget! Also keep an eye out for their launch parties - a bit more pricey, but fancy and fun.
12. Get tickets to the ballet. Or the opera. Or an (outdoor) concert.
My personal preference is the ballet, but here again, the choices abound and you can find something at most price points. It’s a great excuse to get a little dolled up and pairs very nicely with my next suggestion…
13. Check out a speakeasy
Make a reservation, get a password, get led into a secret room...it’s a little goofy and a lot of fun. Plus, the cocktails and decor tend to be off the hook. I’d tell you our favourite but then the secret would be out…
(Ok but sssshhh, it’s called Betty Lou’s Library and it’s perfectly old-fashioned - pull out some of your thrifted vintage finds and really get into it!).
14. Try frisbee golf
It's free to play (buy some pick up discs for cheap, or grab a heavy frisbee to play with if you're not fussed about perfection), it's outdoors, it's exercise, and it's way more fun than I initially thought it would be!
A simple way to spend a few hours...makes for a great combo date alongside idea #10 up there ;-)
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