Families quickly jump back into routines and schedules as children are back into the full swing of school. The casual days of summer are gone, and once again, evenings quickly fill with an assortment of extra-curricular activities. By the time the weekend arrives, everyone is ready for some downtime and fun!
Summer may be officially over, but Albertans are finding ways to spend as much time outdoors as possible before the snowstorms and cold hit. The autumn season offers stunning scenery as the surrounding foliage changes colour in the mountains and around Calgary. Autumn is a great time to take advantage of walking and biking trails as they quiet down after the rush of summer explorers or to take in one of Calgary’s fall festivals that bring excitement and anticipation of Thanksgiving and Halloween.
These fall festivals in Calgary are an excellent opportunity to spend time outdoors, enjoy some of our last warm days, and transition from a carefree summer to getting back into a routine.
Harvest Lights Festival
Weekends till October 31
Enjoy activities such as petting farmyard animals, riding on ponies, tractor rides, games, and more under the lit-up dark skies of fall. Calgary’s Farmyard turns a visit to the farm into a magical night-time experience with thousands of lights. Even though the farm will be well-illuminated, the corn maze will not, so you will want to bring a flashlight if you wish to weave your way through the twists and turns of the maze and find the exit!
Harvest Pumpkin Fest
Weekends till October 31
Take in the stunning colours of fall at Butterfield Acres, where kids can run free and burn off energy as they search for the perfect pumpkin. Take a wagon ride through the backlands (home to over 200 scarecrows – can you spot them all?), pet the farm animals, and enjoy pony rides. With a background of vibrant fall colours, the festival offers many terrific photo opportunities for your annual family picture or the classic photo memory of the kids perched on hay bales surrounded by pumpkins. Finish the day around a crackling fire pit with gooey s’mores and a warm cup of apple cider or hot cocoa!
Rocky Mountain Food & Wine Festival
October 14 & 15
After a two-year pause due to the pandemic, one of Calgary’s top food events is back! This year the Food and Wine Festival is celebrating its 25th anniversary. Sample the tastes and flavours of dishes from some of Calgary’s top restaurants, as well as an assortment of wines, spirits and beer. Always a good time, this buzzing event at the Stampede Grounds is the perfect date night out or a fun evening with friends.
Calgary Tattoo and Arts Festival
October 14 – 16
Tattoo enthusiasts and art lovers will have the opportunity to meet some of the best international tattoo artists from around the world and some of Calgary’s local artists. With music, entertainment, food, retail exhibits and contests, this is a fun weekend to explore your tattoo aspirations, whether you are looking to head into the career field of becoming a tattoo artist or looking for an inspirational piece of art to add to your body. There will be opportunities to get a tattoo for anyone ready to roll up their sleeve!
Legacy Village Market Fest
Take the kids down to this fun, family-friendly event with live music, food trucks, bouncy castles and vendors that is a good time guaranteed for all ages. Put your baking skills to the test and enter the pumpkin pie contest, or save your pumpkin for the pumpkin carving contest. Get your creative juices flowing with a recycled Halloween costume contest!
October 22 & 23
Not to be missed, this weekend festival hosted by Granary Road is an annual favourite among Calgarians and enjoyed by all ages. Enjoy the crisp autumn air with warm apple cider and tasty treats, pumpkin picking, fall decor, wagon rides, games, music, and more. Dress up in your best Halloween outfit for a chance to win the costume contest, or enter the fourth annual “Pumpkin Chunkin” contest, where contestants each build their own catapult and race to see who can launch their pumpkin the farthest!
Festival of Crafts
November 3 – 6
If you are a lover of arts and crafts or have an appreciation for handmade items, you will not want to miss this popular annual festival that features the work of artists, designers and artisans from coast-to-coast. Taking place at the BMO Centre (Stampede Grounds), Calgarians have an opportunity to shop locally and start early on Christmas gift shopping, all while meeting the artists behind the products and hearing their stories.
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