There’s a lot to see and do in Calgary, but attractions can add up. Fortunately there’s a lot of cheap things to do in Calgary. And if getting your heart rate up is what you’re after, you’ve come to the right place. From ripping it along an 80 km/hr rollercoaster to whizzing down the world’s longest luge track, there’s no end to the thrills in Calgary.
Updated April 2020. This post may include affiliate links. If you make a purchase via one of these links, I may receive a small commission at no extra cost to you.
Cheap things to do in Calgary
I’ve rounded up the best Calgary attractions for sport and adrenaline fanatics, plus I’ll share how to score significant discounts at each of them. All that’s required from your end is a hearty dose of confidence and a sense of adventure. Here’s a look at some fun and cheap things to do in Calgary for both adults and kids.
Try the Skyline Luge
You don’t have to wait for winter to get your adrenaline going. Calgary sports the world’s longest luge track and you can even barrel down it during the summer months! Skyline Luge is a wheeled gravity ride, but what’s cool about this attraction is you have full control over the speed.
Basically it’s downhill karting, but not like a go-kart. Your ride doesn’t look at all like a car. See what these gents are racing on below.
Gravity plus downhill trajectory makes the 1.8 km long purpose-built track super fun, as does the 50 spine tingling twists and turns you’ll be faced with.
But if you’re not into extreme speed, simply use the controls to slow yourself down. Kids 110cm tall and over six-years old can ride on their own.
You’ll definitely want more than one ride though. Luckily, they’re sold in packs of two, three, four or five. Personally five is a bit much for me, but at three rides I think I mastered it, so I recommend getting a ticket for that amount.
Savings Tip: Download this coupon from Calgary Attractions.
Visit Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame
There’s more to Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame than learning about the role models who’ve developed and championed Canadian sport. (You can also see the two horses and two boats that’ve also been inducted into Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame!)
Interactive exhibits like the Media Room allow you to try your hand (and voice!) at being a sports announcer and broadcaster.
Remember Eddie the Eagle from when Calgary hosted the 1988 Winter Olympics? Get a taste for what it’s like soaring through the air like an eagle at the interactive ski jump. This summer, the PyeongChang exhibit showcases five Olympic and four Paralympic athletes.
Want to save money? Visit Calgary Attractions to score 50% off tickets to Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame.
Calaway Park Rides
If you’ve got a need for speed, there are a ton of Calaway Park rides that’ll fit the bill. Vortex Rollercoaster at reaches 80 km an hour in just three seconds! It’s just one of their 32 family rides that range from super mild for toddlers to heart in your throat scream-fests.
Then there’s Sky Wynder which delivers a one-two punch. First, you get epic views of the Rockies while you’re raised up along the 40 ft column. Don’t get too comfortable, though! Within seconds it feels like the ground gives way as you spiral down the column again and again.
Calaway Park coupons: Score 40% off the ticket price for up to four people here.
Calgary Stampede Zip Line
From steer wrestling to saddle bronc, there ain’t no shortage of thrills you can witness at the Calgary Stampede. Amp up the fear factor on North America’s tallest and longest multi-point zip line.
Suspended 140 ft. above Stampede Park during the 10-day extravaganza, you’ll whiz across a distance equivalent to four football fields, taking in the entire Calgary Stampede Midway from end-to-end.
After clamouring up 14 storeys to the first zip line platform, thrill seekers get harassed in to fly up to 50 km/hr to the second platform. From there, you’ll shoot across in an entirely different direction.
Pro tip: Scarf back your midway treats after, not before your ride.
(Stampede takes place over 10 days, always beginning on the first Friday in July – unless that first Friday is Independence Day.)
Tourists, locals, anybody can download discounts to these and a host of other Calgary attractions. Simply visit Calgary Attractions to print or download your coupons. Be sure to share the news with your friends. Nobody ought to pay full price when they don’t have to, right?
Cheap hotels Calgary
There are plenty of cheap hotels in Calgary and many of them are situated just outside of the downtown core. The ones in the north are an easy drive to Calaway Park, the zoo or Telus Spark, while those in south Calgary are ideal for visiting Spruce Meadows, Granary Road, Southcentre Mall or CF Chinook Centre.
Situated near the University and McMahon Stadium, Aloft offers affordable rooms, an indoor pool a lounge with a pool table and the infamous W XYZ® bar.
Holiday Inn Express & Suites Macleod Trail South is only a 20-minute drive from downtown, but is very close to Spruce Meadows and Granary Road. Take advantage of their complimentary hot breakfast, heated indoor pool, waterslide and hot tub.
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What’s your favourite tourist attraction to get your adrenaline going?