Family fun in Alberta in 48 hours or less

Family fun in Alberta in 48 hours or less

The Greatest Show on Earth

Family Friendly, Don’t-Miss Highlights of the Calgary Stampede

Credit: Calgary Stampede

The Calgary Stampede, known as “The Greatest Outdoor Show on Earth,” is a world-renowned event that transforms Calgary into a vibrant celebration of Western heritage and culture. Held annually in July (July 5-14 this year), this ten-day extravaganza attracts visitors from all over the world with its thrilling rodeo events, lively parades, family-friendly attractions, and spectacular evening shows. Whether you’re a first-time visitor or a seasoned attendee, here’s a look at the highlights and major events that make the Calgary Stampede an unforgettable experience.

The Stampede Parade

The Stampede kicks off with a grand parade featuring colorful floats, marching bands, horse-drawn carriages, and cultural performers. It’s a must-see event that sets the tone for the festivities.

Rodeo Events

The heart of the Stampede is its world-class rodeo, where top cowboys and cowgirls compete in thrilling events like bull riding, barrel racing, and steer wrestling. It’s a showcase of incredible skill and bravery.

Chuckwagon Races

Witness the excitement of the Rangeland Derby, where teams of horses and drivers race around the track in a fast-paced, edge-of-your-seat event. The Chuckwagon Races are a Stampede tradition that can’t be missed.

Grandstand Show

Each night, the Stampede Grandstand comes alive with a spectacular show featuring music, dance, acrobatics, and fireworks. This high-energy performance is a highlight of the Stampede experience.

Credit: Travel Alberta / Youn Park

Midway Attractions

The Midway offers a variety of rides, games, and food stalls. From thrilling roller coasters to classic carnival games, there’s something for everyone in the family to enjoy.

Agriculture Competitions

Dozens of agriculture-based competitions happen every day, including a Heavy Horse Show, a Tractor Pull, Team Cattle Penning, the World Stock Dog Competition, a Cutting Horse competition, auctions, and much more.

Dog Bowl Show

An absolute family must-see.  The Dog Bowl presented by Haribo brings The Canine Stars to Stampede Park, an elite troupe of highly-trained pupper athletes who are paws-down the most lovable performers around. From agility poles and dock-diving, to frisbee and freestyle dancing, this action-packed show is sure to impress the whole family.

Credit: Calgary Stampede

Western Oasis

Escape the hustle and bustle of the Midway and explore the tranquil Western Oasis. This area features beautiful gardens, art exhibits, and live music, offering a relaxing retreat within the Stampede grounds.

Kids’ Zone

Designed specifically for younger visitors, the Kids’ Zone offers a variety of activities and entertainment, including crafts, games, and interactive exhibits.  Featuring a colouring wall, and a PAW Patrol meet-and-greet.

Shopping and Food Markets

Browse a wide selection of unique souvenirs, local crafts, and delicious food options. The Stampede Market is a great place to find a memento of your visit and sample diverse culinary delights.  It also offers entertainment. 

Credit: Travel Alberta / Youn Park

Tips for Visiting the Calgary Stampede

  • Arrive Early: Beat the crowds by arriving at events early.
  • Stay Hydrated: Bring water bottles and stay hydrated, especially in the summer heat.
  • Wear Comfortable Shoes: You’ll be walking a lot, so wear comfortable footwear.
  • Plan Ahead: Check the schedule and plan your day to maximize your experience.
  • Use Public Transit: Parking can be challenging; consider using public transit or the Stampede Shuttle.

Why Families Should Visit

The Calgary Stampede offers a unique blend of entertainment, culture, and adventure, making it an ideal destination for families. From the excitement of the rodeo to the fun of the Midway and the educational exhibits in the Agriculture Zone, there’s something to captivate every member of the family. Plus, the Stampede’s emphasis on Western heritage provides a rich cultural experience that both kids and adults will find enriching.

How to Book

Tickets for the Calgary Stampede events, including Stampede Superpasses, can be purchased online through the official Calgary Stampede website.


The Calgary Stampede is a highlight of the summer in Alberta, offering a wide range of activities and events that create lasting memories for families. Plan your visit to ensure you experience all the excitement and wonder this iconic event has to offer!

Credit: Calgary Stampede