It’s springtime in Calgary, and you know what that means: the Calgary Stampede is just around the corner. The Calgary Stampede takes place across the entire city this year from July 6 – 15th, and you can already feel the town starting to buzz. Billed as “The Greatest Outdoor Show on Earth” for a reason, the Calgary Stampede is not just midways and rodeos – but a 10-day celebration of all things Alberta, including live performances by Blue Rodeo, Colter Wall, Whitehorse, Lindi Ortega and Mike Plume.
With festival headquarters stationed at Stampede Park in the heart of the city, it’s easy to get anywhere around you and experience all that Calgary and its surroundings have to offer whether you have a car, enjoy the increased public transit services, or are navigating the city by bike. Here is a shortlist of things to do while you’re visiting Alberta for the Calgary Stampede.
1) Experience The Thrill of Axe Throwing at BATL Calgary
Almost 3 years ago Backyard Axe Throwing League Calgary opened up shop in the North East and has been bringing the urban sport of axe throwing to not just Airdrie, Chestermere, Calgary, and the surrounding area but with guests coming from all over Alberta and Western Canada. Located near Sunridge Mall at Deerfoot Trail and 16th Ave. NE, BATL Calgary offers the best indoor axe throwing experience – pioneered by us at the Backyard Axe Throwing League back in 2006.
When visiting the Calgary Stampede, you can visit BATL Calgary for our public walk-in axe throwing each weekend, or book your own private event. We’re capable of hosting groups anywhere from 2-150, and each private event booking includes one on one guidance from our resident axe gurus (they’ll have you sticking bulls eyes in no time) before launching you into a round-robin tournament followed by a single-elimination playoff. Private events run 2-2.5 hours, which create the perfect diversion from a hectic day at the Stampede. BATL Calgary also has a fully licensed bar and kitchen for you and your guests to nibble on artisanal cuisine and quench your thirst on our local beer, wine, and cooler offerings. Find out more about BATL Calgary here, and experience the unique thrill of axe throwing while visiting this year’s Calgary Stampede.
If you live in Calgary and you’re looking for more axe throwing you can join BATL’s axe throwing weekly league! With no experience necessary you’ll compete individually while receiving tips from our friendly coaches – and plenty of time to hang out between throwing. To learn more and to join a league click here.
2) Visit The Rockies
The Calgary Stampede is an extremely busy festival, with people rambling around the city of Calgary virtually 24 hours a day during the entire span of the event. If you need a dose peace, quiet, and nature, Alberta has got you covered. Take a short drive west down the Trans Canada Highway and you’ll be smack dab in the middle of the Canadian Rockies. Banff National Park is a mere hour and a half drive from Calgary and provides a beautiful contrast to the chaos of the Calgary Stampede – home to Lake Louise, Moraine Lake, Sunshine Village, and a major destination for outdoor sports such as hiking, skiing, and biking.
3) Visit The Calgary Tower
Right in the heart of downtown, and a mere 15-minute drive from BATL, you will find the Calgary Tower. Originally known as the Husky Tower, the Calgary Tower is celebrating its 50th birthday this year and is a defining feature of the Calgary skyline. Located 191 meters (626 feet) in the sky, the Tower not only offers a stunning 360° view of the Stampede, it also dishes up views of the Rocky Mountains, the prairies, the foothills, and offers fine dining at Sky360 – the Tower’s own upscale eatery. Make sure you take some time out of the hectic Stampede schedule to visit this must-see tourist destination.
4) Sample Calgary’s Food Scene
It’s not just deep-fried foods and BBQ dished up at the Calgary Stampede. Though carnival fare is a staple of this festival, the town itself is budding into its own culinary destination in Western Canada. Chris Lorenz, the man behind the menu in the kitchen for BATL Calgary, recently joined the ream at Diner Deluxe offering refined fair at Aspen Landing in the Southwest of Calgary. If you’re looking for something a little more casual, head on down to 17th Ave SW and visit Tubby Dog for gourmet hot dogs, cold beer, and retro arcade games. If you’re leaving BATL and in the Northeast, head down to Barlow Trail and 32nd Ave NE for an array of multicultural food options.
5) Experience Shakespeare by the Bow
10 days of parties can take a toll on your body, so perhaps you’d like to spend a relaxing night in watching a historical drama. Skip the Netflix in the hotel and head over Prince’s Island Park and catch a live version of Shakespeare’s The Tempest under the starry skies. Plays happen every evening from Wednesday to Sunday during the Calgary Stampede and are pay what you can.
No matter how you choose to spend your time, you can be sure that a trip to this year’s Calgary Stampede will be an action-packed adventure with a little bit for everyone. Stampers, it’s time to Join the BATL at the Backyard Axe Throwing League Calgary.