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Here are 17 free things to do in Calgary this spring

If you choose to attend events outside of your home, adhere to COVID-19 health and safety measures, including appropriate physical distancing, wearing masks, and frequent hand washing, as recommended by health officials. If you are sick, please stay home.

Spring finally seems to be around the corner in Calgary, and it’s time to get out of that hibernation and take advantage of some of the many things to do in town this season.

There are tons of events and cool things to try right now in YYC, whether you’re looking to go outside, try a unique activity, explore a new place, or attend a virtual event from the comfort of your couch.

While it’s easy to spend big bucks on activities after a winter at home, there are tons of ways to make the most of the warm weather on a budget.

We’ve put together a list of free things to do in Calgary so you can enjoy those sunny spring days without breaking the bank.

The Kensington Market

What: Support local businesses and celebrate the arrival of spring with this monthly market that features wonderfully unique finds from a variety of vendors.

When: 10th of April
Time: 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Where: The car park next to Kensington Tim Horton (1204 Kensington Road NW)

Arts Commons presents National Geographic Live

What: Arts Commons is taking its 10th annual National Geographic Live series online this year.

In these live streams, viewers hear from virtual speakers doing this Transport them to extraordinary places, challenge perceptions with amazing stories and watch natural phenomena from around the world through breathtaking events Photography.

When: April 12, May 10 and June 7
Time: 19 o’clock
Where: On-line
Tickets: Free of charge, required with prior registration

Visit Devonian Gardens

What: Feel like you are in a tropical paradise in downtown Calgary at Devonian Gardens. Stroll the promenade, admire the plants and ponds, and grab a bite at the food court.

When: Every day
Time: Monday to Saturday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sundays from 12 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Where: 4th floor of the CORE Mall (400-317 7th Avenue SW)

Intersection market

What: This is not your traditional farmers market. In addition to fresh produce and local dishes, buyers will find comics, jewelry, vintage items, a hair salon, and much more at the Crossroads Market.

When: Weekly from Friday to Sunday
Time: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Where: 1235 26th Avenue SE

Look at the high park

What: The High Park offers views of the city center, adorable fairy lights, colorful picnic tables and funny signs to take pictures of – on a parking garage in the Beltline. Take a spring picnic six stories up street level and snap some cool pictures while you’re at it.

When: Open daily
Time: 7 a.m. to 11 p.m.
Where: The top level of Center City Parkade at 340 10th Avenue SW

Calgary Farmers’ Market

What: The Calgary Farmers’ Market offers farm-fresh produce, hot and delicious baked goods, and locally made handicrafts. Pet products, coffee and tea, and flowers can also be purchased.

When: Weekly Thursday through Sunday
Time: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Where: 510 77th Avenue SE

Wordfest’s Imagine On Air broadcast channel

What: Wordfest’s Broadcasting Channel has “the best writers, greatest thinkers, and sparkling creators” gathered in one virtual place to pique your curiosity. Join these great minds for a live chat and get inspired.

When: March 23, 25 and 30, April 6, 8, 15, 20, 22 and 29 and May 4
Time: 19 o’clock
Where: Broadcast on wordfest.com

Snap photos in PARK PARK

What: PARK PARK took a municipal parking lot in Inglewood and turned it into a modern game room. Visitors will find life-size symbols of a tree, phone, picnic table, bicycle, book, and more. Each of these colorful icons also has a useful built-in function related to what they represent. Take a look at these curiosities and be amazed.

When: Open daily
Where: CPA Lot 43 (880 11th Street SE)

Bridgeland Arctic Adventure

What: Participants can choose their own adventure in the Bridgeland neighborhood – from a full, self-guided course to a scavenger hunt. Then head to the Bridgeland Distillery for a drink at the ice bar and relax by the fire pits.

When: Now through March 31st
Self-guided (the ice bar is open from Friday to Sunday from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m.)
Where: For details of the entire Bridgeland community, see the map
Costs: Free unless you buy a drink from the ice bar

Check out art installations at Southcentre Mall and #ChooseToChallenge

What: In celebration of International Women’s Day this month, Southcentre Mall invited three emerging artists to create murals for shoppers to enjoy. There is an interactive graphic design on the back of each mural that celebrates three women entrepreneurs of the mall for a total of six Instagrammable backgrounds.

When: Now through March 31st
Time: Mall opening times (Monday to Saturday from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Sundays from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.)
Where: Southcentre Mall (100 Anderson Rd SE) and virtual

Visit the National Music Center’s Amplify platform

What: Amplify serves as an extension of the NMC’s on-site programming via an online hub detailing the sounds and stories of music in Canada. Take a virtual tour of the museum, browse through articles from the extensive collection of historical musical instruments, devices and memorabilia and learn more about the power of music for healing and wellbeing.

When: At any time
Where: Online, from the comfort of your home

Watch a tournament at Calgary’s Curling Canada Bubble

What: The Curling Canada curling bladder is currently taking place at WinSport’s Markin McPhail Center in Calgary. There are still four tournaments to watch until May. Get the action on TSN and cheer for the athletes in this truly Canadian sport.

When: Now until March 25th (Home Hardware Canadian Mixed Doubles Championships), April 2nd to 11th (World Curling Championships for men), April 14th to 18th (Grand Slam of Curling) and April 30th to May 9th ( World Women’s Curling Championship)
Time: Broadcast schedule available here
Where: Broadcast on TSN and Sportsnet

Visit a sculpture covered in flowers and snakes in the Esker Project Space

What: While we wait for the Esker Foundation’s main gallery to reopen, the project room window brings some art into our lives while providing a concept for thought. Visible from the street, “The Garden” is a clay sculpture that combines elements of nature with the human form and was created by ceramic artist Yvonne Kustec.

When: Now through June 6th
Where: The Esker Foundation project room window (1011 9th Avenue SE)

Spark Science from Home

What: The TELUS Spark Science Center offers a variety of fun and educational options online, from virtual programs and home dome films to cereal science and a collection of experiments and activities.

When: The programming varies, find out more on their website
Where: From the comfort of your home
Costs: Varies depending on the program

Explore fandoms and win prizes during the Calgary Library’s four-month reading challenge and the Calgary Expo

What: The Calgary Public Library and the Calgary Comic & Entertainment Expo have teamed up to host a reading challenge. Over the next few months, children and adults alike can take on both the reading and creative challenges to win one of 25 prizes.

When: Now through May 15th
Where: Somewhere
Costs: Free with your Calgary Library ID

Glenbow from home

What: Take a virtual tour of Glenbow’s extensive collection and galleries with changing exhibits and allow yourself to be cultivated without leaving home.

When: At any time
Where: Online, available from Glenbow’s website

Virtual concert series by the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra: City Spaces

What: While their concert hall remains closed, the CPO has taken his show on the streets and is playing in these free new virtual performances from iconic Calgary spaces. City Spaces bring music to audiences from places that include the top of a modern skyscraper, the interior of a brutalist gallery, and the grand ballroom of a historic hotel.

When: April 3rd and 17th
Time: 19:30 o’clock
Where: Take a virtual look at the performances broadcast by the Fairmont Palliser and Contemporary Calgary

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