Stay Cool in Calgary: Top 9 Summer Spots and Activities

Ishaan Bhasin
11 Min Read

When the summer heat hits Calgary, finding ways to stay cool becomes a top priority.

Luckily, this vibrant city offers a variety of activities and places where you can beat the heat and enjoy the season to its fullest. From splashing around in outdoor pools to exploring air-conditioned cinemas, Calgary has something for everyone looking to escape the summer sun. Whether you’re a local resident or a visitor, discovering the best ways to stay cool can make your summer experience more enjoyable. In this guide, we’ll explore the top activities and spots in Calgary that will help you stay refreshed and comfortable during the hottest months.

Whether you prefer relaxing by the water, enjoying indoor attractions, or finding a shady park to unwind, we’ve got you covered. Get ready to dive into a list of cool things to do that will make your summer in Calgary a breeze. So grab your sunscreen, put on your shades, and let’s explore the best ways to keep cool in Calgary this summer!

1. Go to a Swimming Pool

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For a refreshing way to beat the summer heat in Calgary, head over to the Southland Leisure Centre or Village Square Leisure Centre.

Both spots offer a fantastic way to cool down while having a blast.

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The Southland Leisure Centre, located in the southwest community of Palliser, has something for everyone. Its full-size gymnasiums are perfect for those who love basketball, pickleball, or badminton. The rubberized floors make it a comfortable and safe place to play.

But the real highlight is the aquatic area. You can swim laps, enjoy a leisurely dip, or splash around with your family. The centre is open to all ages, making it a perfect spot for family fun.

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On the other hand, Village Square Leisure Centre is an adventure on its own. Known for its amazing water park, it features a thrilling wave pool and exciting water slides that even venture outside the building. This unique setup is sure to give you a fun and memorable experience.

Beyond the water activities, Village Square also boasts a steam room, hot tub, diving tank, and even a rock climbing wall for those who prefer to stay dry. It's a one-stop destination for both wet and dry fun.

2. Chill in the Movies

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One of the best ways to stay cool in Calgary during the summer is to chill out at the movies.

With an abundance of cinemas offering top-notch experiences, it's the perfect way to escape the heat and enjoy some entertainment.

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Cinemas in Calgary are equipped with the latest high-tech equipment and screens, ensuring a superb viewing experience

Many theaters offer VIP suites, providing an extra layer of comfort and luxury. Imagine sinking into a plush leather seat, the air conditioning keeping you cool, as you enjoy the latest blockbuster or an indie film. The sound systems are state-of-the-art, making sure you’re fully immersed in the movie.

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For those looking to elevate their movie-going experience, check out theaters with reserved seating and dine-in options.

You can order snacks, meals, and drinks straight to your seat, making the whole experience feel special and convenient. Some popular spots to catch a flick include Cineplex Odeon and Landmark Cinemas, known for their comfortable seating and variety of film options.

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3. Enjoy Beach or Lake

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Looking to beat the heat while enjoying some outdoor fun? Head to Sandy Beach Park or Sikome Lake in Calgary.

Both spots offer fantastic ways to cool down and relax during the summer months.

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Sandy Beach Park, sprawling over 33 hectares along the Elbow River, is a lovely spot for a refreshing day out. With access to the river for rafting, it's perfect for those who enjoy a bit of adventure.

The park also features a playground for kids, picnic shelters, and even a dog park, making it a great spot for the whole family, including your furry friends. Spend the day lounging on the sandy shores or splashing around in the river, and let the serene surroundings melt your stress away.

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Sikome Lake, on the other hand, is a unique man-made beach located in Fish Creek Provincial Park. The lake is filled with fresh water from three wells, and an on-site water treatment plant ensures the water quality is safe for swimming.

With sandy shores and plenty of space to spread out, Sikome Lake is an ideal place to swim, sunbathe, and enjoy a beach day without leaving the city. There are also amenities like picnic areas and changing facilities, making it convenient for a full day of fun.

4. Enjoy Ice Cream Making Class

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Cool off this summer with a deliciously fun ice cream-making class at Made by Marcus in Calgary. This isn’t just about creating a tasty treat; it’s a journey into the art and science behind ice cream, led by the owner and founder, Marcus Purtzki.

With a background in food science and nutrition from UBC, Marcus blends culinary artistry with scientific precision to craft unforgettable flavors.

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During the 1.5-hour workshop, you’ll dive into the secrets of creating exceptional ice cream. Marcus will guide you through the process, from understanding the balance of sweet, salty, sour, bitter, and umami to the hands-on experience of making your own unique flavor.

Use house-made ingredients like caramels, fudges, crunches, and toffees to concoct a signature flavor that’s all your own.

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Not only will you leave with newfound knowledge and skills, but you’ll also take home four pints of your personalized ice cream. This ensures your taste adventure continues beyond the class. Plus, you get a 15% discount on in-store purchases for the day, letting you stock up on more of your favorite treats.

For those seeking a more intimate experience, private classes for groups of 12 are available on weekdays. These exclusive sessions offer a unique and engaging way to spend time with friends or family while learning something new.

Location: Made By Marcus - Google Maps

5. Hike to a refreshing Waterfall

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For a refreshing way to enjoy Calgary's natural beauty, hiking to Elbow Falls or Troll Falls is a must.

Both trails offer a cool escape from the summer heat with their stunning waterfalls and scenic routes.

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Elbow Falls, located along the Elbow River west of Bragg Creek, is a picturesque spot perfect for a family outing. The short hike to the falls is easy and suitable for all ages, making it a great option for a relaxing day trip.

Once you reach the falls, you’ll be greeted by the sight and sound of water cascading over the rocks. There are plenty of spots to sit, relax, and enjoy the cool mist from the falls. It's a serene spot to unwind, have a picnic, and soak in the natural beauty of the area.

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Troll Falls, another gem in Kananaskis Country, is a popular year-round destination for Calgarians. The hike to Troll Falls is relatively easy, taking you through lush forests and along a well-marked trail. The sound of the falls grows louder as you approach, and soon you’ll find yourself at the base of the enchanting waterfall.

Small pools of water and the surrounding greenery make it a perfect place to cool off. Keep an eye out for local wildlife and enjoy the beautiful views along the way.

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6. Cool down by Calgary's Fountains

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Calgary offers a unique and artistic way to cool down during the summer with its creatively designed public water fountains.

These fountains are not just about quenching your thirst; they are interactive art installations that encourage community engagement and celebrate our relationship with water.

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Designed by WATERSHED+ lead artist Sans façon, the Fire Hydrant Water Fountain Project transforms ordinary water fountains into artistic experiences.

There are three distinct fountains: “Strangers”, “Family,” and “Group,” each designed to foster different social interactions around the simple act of drinking water.

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“Strangers” invites two individuals to drink face-to-face, breaking down social barriers and increasing awareness of one another. It’s a fascinating way to engage with someone you might not otherwise interact with, even if just for a brief moment.

“Family” features bubblers at varying heights, reminiscent of a family portrait, making it accessible for all ages. It's a great spot for families to gather and refresh together, symbolizing unity and togetherness.

7. Raft & Kayak Down the Bow River

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Experience Calgary from a unique perspective by rafting or kayaking down the Bow River.

Ranked as the city’s top outdoor activity, a trip with Lazy Day Floats promises a memorable and refreshing summer adventure. Whether you opt for BowTubes, Kayaks, or BowYaks, you’re set for a fantastic float.

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At Lazy Day Floats, they believe in taking it easy, encouraging you to #BeLazy and savor a full day on the river at your own pace. Most trips last between 2 to 4 hours, but your booking is valid for the entire day.

This flexibility lets you enjoy the stunning scenery of Calgary and the gentle flow of the Bow River without any rush.

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Rentals come fully equipped with pre-inflated rafts, paddles, and a safety kit, including a whistle, rope, and bailing bucket. Just bring sun protection, snacks, water, and sturdy water shoes or sneakers—leave the flip-flops at home for this one.

Getting started is simple. Choose your preferred vessel and decide if you need shuttle service. Book a date and time, available seven days a week with extended hours for sunset floats. Pick up your gear at their shop or the West Baker Park Boat Ramp, and you're ready to hit the water.

Location: Lazy Day Raft Rentals - Google Maps

8. Try Pedal Boats

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For a delightful and refreshing summer activity in Calgary, take a pedal boat adventure at Bower Ponds Recreation.

This experience is perfect for those wanting to soak up the sun, explore serene waters, and spend quality time with loved ones.

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Pedal boating at Bower Ponds captures the essence of summer. Feel the gentle breeze as you navigate the tranquil pond, surrounded by lush greenery.

It's a great way to escape the everyday hustle and unwind in nature's beauty.

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For group outings, Bower Ponds offers special rates. Whether it's a birthday celebration, team outing, or corporate event, booking in advance allows you to enjoy a memorable day on the water at an affordable price.

After your pedal boat adventure, visit the café to satisfy your hunger or quench your thirst. Enjoy soft serve ice cream, snacks, and cold drinks on the patio, all while taking in the picturesque views of the park.

 Location: Bower Ponds Recreation - Google Maps

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9. Take Gelato Tour and Tasting Experience

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Explore the sweet side of Calgary with the Righteous Gelato Tour and Tasting Experience. This unique adventure offers an insider’s look at the craft behind some of the city’s most delectable gelato.

Your journey begins with a behind-the-scenes tour of Righteous Gelato’s facilities. Here, you'll learn about the company’s rich history and the cultural ethos that drives their passion for gelato. See firsthand how premium ingredients are carefully selected and blended to create the creamy, flavorful treats that define Righteous Gelato.

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The highlight of the tour is the tasting flight, where you get to sample six different gelato flavors of your choice. Whether you prefer classic flavors or want to try something new and innovative, the extensive gelato case has something to tantalize every palate.

From rich chocolate to refreshing fruit sorbets, each scoop is a testament to the meticulous craftsmanship that goes into every batch.

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Inclusivity and safety are top priorities at Righteous Gelato. They ensure their products are free from common allergens like gluten, dairy, egg, soy, and GMOs.

The team is rigorously trained in allergen management, and strict cleaning procedures are in place to prevent cross-contamination, making it a safe and enjoyable experience for everyone.

Location: Righteous Gelato - Google Maps

To Sum It All Up

And there you have it! Whether you’re diving into Calgary’s refreshing rivers, chilling at a cool park, indulging in sweet treats, or exploring the city’s unique public art, there are plenty of ways to stay cool this summer.

Calgary offers a fantastic mix of outdoor adventures and relaxing spots that cater to everyone’s tastes. So grab your sunscreen, gather your friends and family, and make the most of these hot summer days with these fun activities. Enjoy your summer in Calgary, stay cool, and have an absolute blast!

Ishaan Bhasin
Ishaan Bhasin
Content Writer

After graduating, Ishaan started his career as a freelance writer, working on various projects that allowed him to explore different writing styles and topics. Now, as a content writer at ActiviFinder, he focuses on capturing the essence of Canadian lifestyle and adventures. When he's not writing, Ishaan loves to go on hikes and play the guitar.

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