Explore Calgary: Top 10 Things to Do, See, and Eat.

Calgary Skyline

By Ashley Simpson, Marketing Coordinator

As the weather starts to warm up (for now), we may as well enjoy it while we can. Being new to the city, I am always looking for new and interesting things to do and explore. Here’s my Top 10 Things to Do in Calgary, ranging from shopping to festivals to family-friendly:

10. Glenbow Museum: The Glenbow Museum is still on my to-do list, however I wanted to share it anyways. They have a huge variety of art, artifacts, and exhibits, so the whole family can visit. Some current exhibits include Art of Asia, Corb Lund’s Alberta, Historical Art of North America, and Treasures of the Mineral World. Check out The Glenbow Museum website for more information.

9. Telus Spark: The “New” Science Centre in Calgary isn’t just for the kids now! Although it is a great place to go on the weekend, with tons of live science demonstrations to entertain the younger ones, Spark now has an Adults Only night. The second Thursday of the month features a new themed event from 6 pm to 10 pm. Coming up on Valentine’s Day is “Your Brain on Love”, where you can discover all things related to human emotion. For other upcoming events, visit Telus Spark.

8. Stephen Avenue: If you love to shop and eat, this is a great little street to visit. Although the patios aren’t open quite yet, it’s also a great place to sit outside and relax. There is a bit of everything along this street, with boutiques, galleries, pubs, and department store shopping, to name a few. It is also a nice walk on a sunny afternoon just to enjoy the outdoors.

7. Chinatown: As Chinese New Year is coming up (February 10 welcomes the year of the snake), check out downtown Chinatown, where you can find many delicious and exotic goodies. Sit down for a meal of Dim Sum or browse the shops filled with Asian furniture, art, and dishes.

6. Prince’s Island Park: With warm weather expected over the next few days, what a better opportunity than to spend it at the park. If you go after dusk, the park looks very bright and festive with all the lights lit up. End the evening on a romantic note by stopping at the River Cafe for a glass of wine and some of their homemade chocolate truffles.

5. 17th Avenue: Another great street to wander down in the sort-of-warm weather. There is a bit more variety along this street for restaurants and shopping. The eclectic Rubaiyat has stunning jewelry, art, and ceramics to suit any style or occasion. For a more lively atmosphere, check out Jamesons Pub, where you catch some NHL hockey or grab some drinks with friends.

4. Phil & Sebastian: Being a coffee-aholic, I am in love with the locally-owned Phil & Sebastian Coffee Roasters. Their limited menu (compared to the typical coffee shop) is no cause for concern! Every drink they make, down to a single cup of coffee is hand crafted to delicious perfection (try an iced dulce latte with a scone). I can’t wait to sign up for their latte art class, where you learn the tricks of the trade for making beautiful foamy designs.

3. Calgary Winter Festival: I am very excited for this event, as I love getting outside in the winter (as long as it’s not -30..). In commemoration of the 1988 Olympics, the festival features fun things to do around the city, many with no entry fee. With skating, games, hot chocolate, and crafts, there is fun for every age. Although it is a couple of weeks away, it should be a great event unless another blizzard rolls in.

2. Village Ice Cream: I mentioned Village Ice Cream in another post (click here to read), but it’s just so darn good I need to bring it up again. Last week their new flavour was caramel popcorn ice cream…sounds unusual, but it was amazing. I love the creativity they have with flavours and they aren’t afraid to try something out of the box (like Cardamom ice cream). They also make everything in shop from scratch, so you know it’s fresh! I recommend you try a sample of everything before you make a decision. It is never too cold for ice cream.

And my #1 thing to do in Calgary is……

1. Calgary Farmer’s Market: Cedarglen’s Head Office is so lucky to be just a block away from the Farmer’s Market. Open Thursday to Sunday from 9am to 5pm, it is a great place to go for lunch or a quick snack. There is also an abundance of local and organic produce and meats to take home for your weekend meals. A must try would be the Hungarian Chimney Cake; it’s made of potato dough and wrapped around a spindle and baked in the oven, then coated in cinnamon sugar, coconut, or nuts. Delicious. Another favorite of mine is Le Petit Mousse, a french stand that makes sweet crepes and savory galettes. Le Petit Mousee won last year’s award for best use of market ingredients, and I am not surprised. Everything is fresh, and the process is intriguing to watch. Perfect for breakfast, lunch, or dinner.

Hope this gave you some good ideas. Let me know in the comments below if you have more things you just love to do in Calgary!

-Ashley

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