Calgary’s changing season might be the perfect time to be out and about in the city— it’s easy to fall in love with YYC every time autumn hits.
The return of flannels, cider, and campfires (when permitted) are celebrated by many, and we find ourselves firmly in the camp of Calgarians waiting for the perfect pumpkin-patch photo-opp.
Beyond the thirst for pumpkin-spice flavored everything and the seasonal urge to cocoon in oversized sweaters, fall in Calgary comes with a huge roster of activities and events for almost every taste (pumpkin spice or not).
Here are some of our favourite things to do come fall in Northwest Calgary.
1. GET FIT FOR A CAUSE
Credit: Dino Dash - Calgary Sun
Forget worrying about a beach body — the pursuit of wellness doesn’t need to end when summer does. Instead of hanging up your runners for the season, consider participating in one of NW Calgary’s many cause-based races. It’s a great way to bring fitness and community-giving together in a single activity.
Across the street from University District, University of Calgary is giving runners the chance to stretch their legs and benefit student athletes. The 2017 Dino Dash takes place on Saturday September 9, with proceeds helping fund University of Calgary’s varsity track and field and cross-country teams. Since 2004, the race has raised $60,000 to help student athletes fund scholarships, uniforms and more. The course is flat and it offers an easy, smooth, seemingly quick run for those opposed to hilly treks. If this wasn’t enough to convince you, all participants go home with a tech T-shirt and a dino-inspired medal. To find out more about start times and how to sign up for the 5 and 10 kilometre races, check here.
Our neighbour, Ronald McDonald House, will be hosting their own Rock the House Run on Sunday, September 17th, to fundraise for a very worthy cause. The cost to participate is between $20-$55 and registration fees will benefit families of patients at the Alberta Children’s Hospital by helping them stay together at Ronald McDonald House. Runners can choose to participate in a 1, 5 or 10 kilometre race lined with with live music, street performers and dancers along the way. Find out more about the race and how to sign up here.
On Sunday, September 24, RBC Race for the Kids will host runners and walkers of all ages and abilities for a 1k Kids Dash or scenic 5k Family Fun Run, with proceeds benefitting specialized programs for teens and children with mental health needs across the community. The all-ages event welcomes all to participate, offering a post-race pancake breakfast at Heritage Park Historical Village —an ideal way to round out a September focused on fitness and philanthrophy.
2. TAKE THE CITY IN
Admiring the city’s changing colours is a great reason to step outside this autumn, and Calgary’s Northwest offers no shortage of picture-perfect places for taking it all in.
NW Calgary’s Baker Park, is made up of 12 beautiful acres of sprawling paths, grassy patches and numerous recreational areas prime for autumn strolls, with informational maps and monuments scattered throughout. As a bonus, the park offers prime views of Bowness Park from across the Bow River, giving explorers a great view of changing leaves on the water.
For an impressive look at the changing seasons, head up to McHugh Bluff, located on Crescent Road NW. With a lengthy set of stairs leading up to the treed bluff, this spot offers a considerable climb rewarded by sights of the city’s skyline—the perfect spot to catch an autumn sunrise or sunset. We recommend a visit earlier in the fall before the stairs ice over and potentially get too slippery for the trek.
3. HAND-PICK YOUR PUMPKIN
Would any fall be truly complete without a pumpkin-hunt and a resulting photo-opp? NW Calgary’s Butterfield Acres offers a host of autumn-loving activities on weekends throughout October, including hay rides, petting zoos and of course, pumpkin-patch visits. As tickets go quickly, we recommend purchasing them online ahead of time here.
Ahead of the October pumpkin-rush, Butterfield Acres is open for drop in visits during September from 10am - 2pm Monday-Friday and 10am- 4pm on weekends.
4. CATCH A LIVE SHOW
There’s never been a better time than fall to support the arts here in YYC!
The Northwest is home to the Southern Alberta Jubilee Auditorium, and countless opportunities to see live acts, plays and concerts that come through Calgary. This fall, keep an eye out for acts like Foreigner, Tegan and Sara and Jersey Boys. From September 26-October 1, you can also catch The Sound of Music.
From October 16-21, the YYC Comedy Festival will be on to provide laughs in venues across the city, including multiple places within the Northwest like Kensington’s Plaza Theater and Oak Tree Tavern. Find the festival schedule and venues here.
5. GO ANTIQUING
Are you settling into a new home or just in search of some new-to-you decor inspiration?
Look no further than The Hillhurst Community Market—the ideal place for those in search of one-of-a-kind vintage treasures. From classic record-collections to antique china and vintage-era homewares, the market offers something for everyone and has forever changing inventory thanks to its many vendors, ensuring that no two trips will ever be the same.
6. TAKE A CLASS
Even if your school days are behind you, it’s always a good time to learn something new.
Whether fashion, fitness or food-based, a class is a great way to enrich your everyday. Taking a aclass offers a chance to build new skills, make new friends, and discover new interests.
Fitness-enthusiasts have the opportunity to partake in a host of active classes in the Northwest, and can take it a step further by joining Sewletics — a class that offers students the chance to sew their own athletic-wear, including yoga pants, tank tops, and sports bras. Offered at Crescent Heights High School in NW Calgary, the class runs from October 18-November 22.
For those looking to put their culinary chops to the test and learn to make a meal guaranteed to impress dinner guests, we recommend Cuisine et Chateau in Kensington. With classes for all abilities, would-be chefs can choose between hands-on classes where students are guided as they make their own three course meal, and hand-off classes that are less interactive and more about showcasing food and wine. Kensington’s The Spice Chicaoffers a stress-free cooking class that will take you far from Calgary to destinations like Mexico, Japan, Italy and beyond. Photo-friendly classes take place at Raw Canvas in Kensington where you can also sign up for paint nights.