With the mountains close at hand, and rodeo season in full swing, there is no shortage of things to do this summer. Whether you’re a sports fan, a home body, or a nature enthusiast we’ve got you covered. The staff at Lethbridge living have compiled this list of 70 things to do this summer in Southern Alberta.
1) There’s always something for anyone of any age at Casa, Lethbridge’s own interdisciplinary arts centre. Explore creatively this summer with one of its classes or workshops! Not feeling creative? Take in a show or visit an exhibit.
2) Road Trip: If you are out by Fort Macleod, take the highway #785 northwest for about 15 minutes and you will find yourself at one of the world’s oldest most well-preserved heritage sites: Head-Smashed-In Buffalo Jump. More than 6,000 years old, this UNESCO site is ranked among the Egyptian pyramids and Galapagos Islands, and it is right in our backyard!
3) If you’re a local history buff, you’ll want to check out the exhibits at The Galt Museum & Archives located just off Scenic Drive in Lethbridge. Alongside various events and workshops held throughout the summer, the museum has thousands of artifacts that tell the tales of old Lethbridge. If you are not into history, but love the view of the coulees, play a game of chess on the outdoor board!
4) Road Trip: Looking for a weekend getaway? Visit Waterton Lakes National Park! Go swimming and kayaking one day, then visit The Prince of Wales Hotel or one of the many other historical sites! Finish off the day with a couple cool and creamy scoops from one of the ice cream parlours.
5) The weather in Southern Alberta can be crazy! Good thing Lethbridge is set up with outdoor pools and spray parks, as well as indoor aquatic opportunities for those cool afternoons in August. Henderson Lake Pool is celebrating its reopening this season with many new features fit for all ages.
6) Lethbridge has access to all sorts of hiking trails. Take a walk on one of the paths down by the Helen Schuler Nature Centre, or book a tour. There is plenty of wildlife to see, vegetation to learn about, and fresh air to take in! Explore its exhibits, or get involved in one of its summer activities. Fun for the whole family!
7) Road Trip: Cardston! Visit the “Heart of the Southwest” and explore Southern Alberta history with the Card Pioneer Home, Carriage House Theatre, Courthouse Museum, Fay Wray Fountain, Cardston Temple, and Remington Carriage Museum. Or join them for Alberta Open Farm Days August 20 & 21 and learn more about our agricultural industry.
8) Don’t forget Lethbridge has its own share of river bottom parks. Hike around Alexander Wilderness Park, Pavan Park, Botterill Bottom Park, Indian Battle Park, Lethbridge Nature Reserve, Bull Trail Park, Cottonwood Park, Elizabeth Hall Wetlands, or Popson Park. You can even take the puppy for an off-leash adventure at the Scenic Drive Dog run, or let him have a swim at Peenaquim Park!
9) Road Trip: Alberta is a beauty! Pack up the car and spend the day or go camping at one of our serene Alberta parks. Visit www.albertaparks.ca and try a site you’ve never visited before!
10) Lethbridge is host to three Farmers Markets this year. If you are on the lookout for homemade goods, fresh produce and unique crafts, then this is your one stop shop! Check out Festival Square downtown Wednesdays, U of L Atrium Thursdays, and Exhibition Park Saturdays.
11) Road Trip: Tour Highway 2 north towards Calgary. Stop in Claresholm and visit the Claresholm Museum and Harvard Memorial and have a picnic at Clear Lake. Then journey to Nanton and do some antiquing and exploring at one of the many shops. Get your sugar fix at the Candy Store and then head over to the Bomber Command Museum or the Canadian Grain Elevator Discovery Centre to learn more about Southern Alberta history.
12) Road trip: On your way out to Highway 2, stop in Fort Macleod, the only Designated Historic Area in Alberta. Learn more about the presence of the North West Mounted Police in our region and take in the NWMP Musical Ride at the Fort Museum. Take a walk down Main Street and view the preserved buildings still standing from 1910.
13) Barbecue time! Get your grill on this summer and experiment with new recipes for sauces, marinades and rubs. Impress your friends and have them over for cold cocktails on the deck while you wow them with your new skills! You can even experiment with tinfoil dinners, perfect for those weekends in the woods.
14) We wouldn’t be Southern Alberta without fairs, festivals and rodeos! Check out our events calendar and join the celebration in a county near you! Or make a tour of it and see how many events you and the family can fit in this summer. Want to stay in town? Whoop-Up days will be back in August!
15) Tee time! Dust off the clubs and head out to one of Lethbridge’s golf courses. Family fun? Try an outdoor mini golf course, or a disk golf course – Lethbridge has those too! To see a complete listing and map of courses in southern Alberta visit: www.lethbridgeliving.com
16) Head downtown and visit the Southern Alberta Art Gallery (SAAG) and view exhibits by local, national and international artists! If you have creative kids, enroll them in one of the SAAG’s summer programs.
17) Cheers 4 Lethbridge! Have you earned your “4” pin yet? This campaign is about making Lethbridge a wonderful place for all to live. Think of four things you can do for the YQL community. You can even get friends, families and neighbours to join in!
18) Plan a neighbourhood barbecue or event and get to know people in your community better. You never know what you might learn from a stranger!
19) From Taiko Drumming performances to moonlight viewings to the serenity of nature, Nikka Yuko Japanese Gardens offers a little something for everyone. Enjoy a beautiful cultural experience on the corner of 9th Avenue and Mayor Magrath Drive South.
20) The Alberta Birds of Prey Foundation is Alberta’s first private licenced raptor rescue! Located just outside Coaldale, AB there is much to do, see and learn! Take part in the Hawk Walk or look around in the Natural History Building.
21) Lethbridge’s downtown core has many historical buildings, restaurants and unique shops to see and explore. Take a walk through Galt Gardens and visit the spray park, or take advantage of First Friday sales, menus and events – all downtown!
22) Road Trip: Southern Alberta photography tour! There are lots of abandoned buildings, old cemeteries and iconic landmarks in our beautiful province. Get a group together and tour around the southern prairies for the perfect photo opportunity. Make a scrapbook or tell a story. You can even turn your camera adventure into a scavenger hunt or bingo game!
23) It wouldn’t be summer without some skate park action! Ollie onto the SLP Skate Park at Henderson Lake or 360 into the Dave Elton Skate Park on the north side. There is even a BMX track attached to Dave Elton Park – if you have the wheels, Lethbridge has the track!
24) Looking to get into canning this year? Visit: www.pickyourown.org and find ways to pick your own produce this summer. From berries to lettuce, this is a great tool for finding the fresh goods you need for your recipes!
25) Lethbridge is home to a few community gardens. Find out how you can get involved and outdoors growing your own veggies and herbs!
26) Road Trip: Crowsnest Pass! Made up of five small towns threaded along Highway 3 west, The Pass is home to a vast array of mountain trails, river adventures and wildlife escapades! Visit the Bellevue Underground Mine, Crowsnest Museum and Archives, Crowsnest Pass Public Art Gallery, Frank Slide Interpretive Centre and so much more.
27) Road Trip: Ever been to the Little Ghost Town on the Prairie? Visit Del Bonita as you head down to the United States this summer and experience some good old fashioned history!
28) Cool down with a tasty frozen treat that you made yourself! Experiment with frozen yogurts and juices to make the perfect icy dessert for those summer afternoons when you can’t escape the heat.
29) Volunteer! Local non-profit organizations are always busy during the summer months with events and programming. From building houses to helping stray animals, there are volunteer opportunities for enthusiasts of all kinds in our community. Visit www.volunteerlethbridge.com for the opportunity that suits you!
30) Looking ahead this summer? Look up instead! The Perseids Meteor Shower will be most visible between 11 p.m. and 4:30 a.m. August 12 & 13! Grab a blanket, a coffee and your telescope and head out of the city for some late-night sky gazing.
31) Road Trip: Picture Butte! See muskrats through the Walk on the Wild Side Trail, do some golfing at the resort, or join in for Jamboree Days the third weekend in August!
32) Visit one of the most iconic pieces of southern Alberta history: Fort Whoop-Up. Learn more about the life and times of the Mounties and plains tribes who lived here long ago and experience the antiquity of the fort through the many exhibits and tours it has to offer.
33) Summer marks the perfect time for outdoor sporting events. Check out the Southern Alberta Summer Games, Alberta Summer Games, Fun City Sliders, Care for Kids Golf Tournament and more. See our events calendar and get active with friends, family and community this year!
34) Summer does not always have to be all fun and games. Have a garage sale and clean some of the clutter out of your garage, shed or basement. More interested in scouting out garage sales for those hard-to-find unique items? Check out this map of various garage sales happening in Lethbridge right now!
35) Southern Alberta communities offer great live music in the summertime. Not to mention a couple of great outdoor festivals like the South Country Fair and Centric Festival. See our events calendar for more details on exciting musical acts that will have you singing and humming all summer long!
36) Are the little ones getting bored already? Check out the full listing of summer day camps and programs at: www.lethbridgeliving.com. There is something for every youngster with any interest on this list!
37) DIY projects can be a lot of fun. Get the whole family involved and build a new fence in your backyard, repair your deck, or design a clubhouse! You can even use recycled materials to build planters or do some landscaping. Pinterest is always great for inspiration!
38) Road Trip: Pincher Creek! With parks, trails and other outdoor facilities, you can stretch your legs and take in the scenery. If you’re looking to learn something new about agriculture in Southern Alberta visit the Kootenai Brown Pioneer Village.
39) Sometimes it’s nice not to make plans. Get some cold sodas or beers from the store, plan a meal of cold cuts, cheese and fresh veggies and chill out in the backyard. Relax, take a sip and enjoy the sounds of the city.
40) Geocaching is a great way to explore the area you live. Visit www.geocaching.com and find the hidden caches in a location near you!
41) Get into shape this summer and try making a hobby of it. Jog every morning before the sun gets too toasty or start going on evening walks with the family. Start by setting small goals and see how long you can keep the momentum going! Visit www.activelethbridge.ca for a list of ideas and activities that promote healthy and active living.
42) Already in shape and looking for that extra challenge? Join a marathon or a local run. Often you can compete for charity! Visit www.lethbridgeliving.com to view the upcoming marathons and races in southern Alberta this summer.
43) We all know Lethbridge as the windy city…wait – that means kite flying! You can look for ideas and designs online to make your own. Go out for an afternoon adventure and pack a lunch. Maybe check out a park you’ve never been to before.
44) Kids feeling entrepreneurial? Help them start a lemonade stand! Never underestimate the power of thirst during the hot summer days.
45) Road Trip: Taber! Visit the Taber Irrigation Impact Museum and see their collections and historical exhibits, or head out for western Canada’s largest free family festival, Taber Corn Fest, August 26 – 27!
46) Lethbridge now has six outdoor gyms to offer its residents! Get in shape and enjoy the great outdoors with this equipment that is free to use! For more information visit: http://www.lethbridge.ca.
47) Road Trip: Magrath! Check out the Magrath Museum, The Galt Canal Nature Trail, golfing and more in the Garden City of Southern Alberta. http://www.magrath.ca/visitors/things-to-do
48) See what the Lethbridge Public Library branches have to offer! You can get a library card and escape out of doors for some summer reading, or you could check out some of the summer programs for youth! The whole family can find something unique to their interests at the library. http://www.lethlib.ca/
49) Wildlife scavenger hunt! Make up a list of local animals and creepy crawlies you can find in the coulees, wetlands and even your backyard!
50) Road trip: Stirling! Did you know that Stirling is one of three communities in Canada to be designated as a National Historic Site? Visit the Galt Historic Railway Park, Michelson Farmstead or join in the walking tour and explore another piece of Canadian history. http://stirling.ca/visit/attractions
51) Road Trip: Warner! Stay in the RV Park and visit the Devil’s Coulee Dinosaur Museum showcasing a dinosaur egg finding! http://www.warner.ca/visitors
52) Grab a big blanket, your favourite eats and some good company. Head to one of the parks near your home for a picnic! See what the community is up to as you take in some fresh air.
53) When was the last time you went to a live theatre performance? Check out Romeo & Juliet this year with Shakespeare in the Park at Galt Gardens! https://www.facebook.com/LethbridgeShakespearePerformanceSociety/
54) Outdoor sports can be a great way to get fresh air and exercise at the same time! Organize a group of friends for a roller hockey game, or play tennis and badminton on the courts at Kinsmen Park! If you get enough people involved you could even organize a tournament!
55) Road Trip: 10 things to do in Raymond! They’ve even made a website to make things easier for you. From golfing and camping to heritage buildings, Raymond offers activities of all shapes and sizes for the young and young at heart. http://www.10thingsraymond.ca/main
56) The Oldman River offers Lethbridge and area residents the opportunity for good, old-fashioned river floating! Blow up the inner tube, lather on the sunscreen and pack some cold water. Lethbridge has more than a few locations where floating can ensue! You can float all the way from Popson Park to Pavan Park, or do the shorter float and ride the current from Botterill Bottom Park to Peenaquim Park. Pack some shoes so you can walk along the shore to avoid the weir, and don’t forget your lifejackets! Check out this map and plan your route: http://gis.lethbridge.ca/lethexplorer/index.html?config=config-trails.xml
57) Road Trip: Nobleford! Grab the clubs and head to Keho Golf Course & Campground or visit the Nobleford Area Museum if you’re looking to learn more about Southern Alberta! Don’t forget to cool off at the spray park! http://nobleford.ca/recreation-culture/summer-fun/
58) Lethbridge has an extensive automobile racing history! Go out and about for Street Machine Weekend July 8 – 10 this summer, and check out the cool classics as they rev up their speed. In the meantime, see the “Waving the Checkered Flag” article in our July/August Issue of Lethbridge Living: Lethbridgeliving.com
59) It wouldn’t be summer in Lethbridge without Whoop-up Days – would it? As always there’s lots do, see and eat! Check out the events section of our website to see what and when! http://lethbridgeliving.com/component/ohanah/whoop-up-days-5?Itemid=
60) Go to your favourite outdoor spot and get out the canvas and brushes. Paint what you see, feel or smell and use your creativity to get in touch with nature! Or you can take your guitar or ukulele down to the river bottom and let the sounds of nature inspire your next composition.
61) Take a walk around Henderson Lake. Make it your goal to go all the way around, or cross the bridge at the halfway mark and watch the wildlife from one of the park benches. Fish for pike or hop in a canoe and go for a row on the lake. http://www.lethbridge.ca/Things-To-Do/Parks/Pages/Henderson-Lake-Park.aspx
62) The Brewery Gardens celebrates the High Level Bridge which had its birthday June 22. Located on 1st Avenue South, you can drive by during a scenic car ride, park and visit the Tourist Information Centre or check out Lethbridge’s time capsule location! Perfect for a moment of beauty, or a great photograph. http://www.lethbridge.ca/Things-To-Do/Parks/Pages/Brewery-Gardens.aspx
63) Learn a few new songs and check one of Lethbridge’s Open Mic venues. Amp up your performance and collaborate with a friend or two. You can also join the Buskers Association and play outside to enjoy the summer air and earn some cash at the same time! http://www.artslethbridge.org/members/music
64) Even if you don’t have a deck or patio, set up a table in the backyard and plan family game night outside! Enjoy the fresh air and healthy competition, perfect for summer weeknights.
65) Camp in the backyard if you can’t make it out of town this summer. Turn your yard into an oasis, complete with tent, campfire, s’mores and fresh air! Try turning your cell phone off for a few hours and see how peaceful it can be right here in the city. Make sure there isn’t a fire ban in effect first!
66) Watch the prairie sun set the sky on fire with your partner in crime as you enjoy your favourite frozen treat together.
67) Where can you go, only a few minutes outside town, that offers beaches, canoeing, power boating, wind surfing, fishing, camping and much more? Park Lake! Proving you don’t have to go far to find serenity in nature. http://www.albertaparks.ca/park-lake/
68) If you love puzzles AND you love exercise, then the Lethbridge Cornmaze is for you! Opening July 29, 2016 you can give the brain a workout and then hangout at the petting zoo and feed the donkeys and the llamas! http://www.lethbridgecornmaze.com/index.html
69) Step out of your comfort zone and try five things on this list you would NEVER normally try. You might find yourself surprised at the new hobby you want to take on, or the serene outdoor spot you didn’t know existed. You might even meet new friends!
70) Create your own spray park and water war with sprinklers, water guns, balloons, bubbles and whatever else you can find! Don’t forget the sunscreen!
71) Do you have an idea to add? Email [email protected] and we’ll add it to our online list! Also, take a look at the Your Path Summer Fun article in our May/June issue! https://www.joomag.com/magazine/lethbridge-living