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20 Things To Do In Calgary If You’re Broke AF

20 Things To Do In Calgary If You’re Broke AF

Ah, the very wonders of being a university student. Such wonders include making new friends and making a good long term investment in your education. Nonetheless, as always, there are strings attached, government loans and repayments come after graduation. Of course, it is obvious that not every student is alike and that there are denizens of us who are broke. Nonetheless, we as students, are required to have fun and what not. As a result, here is a list of 20 things to do in Calgary while you’re broke AF to help you.

1. Visit a workshop or catch up on some reading at the Calgary Public Library.

For all the bookworms and students in Calgary, the Central Public Library has a large collection of books to suit your needs with 5 large floors filled with them! In addition, the library is a great place to volunteer, study, and socialise. For example, a student can volunteer and teach seniors how to use technology, help teens learn how to code, and assist the library in hosting other events.

They offer workshops which range from resume writing to career info sessions and a whole variety other ones too. It also a great place for a young children and adults alike to participate in the many programs which the library has to offer. For adults, there is a book club and for kids, there are various information sessions what not. Thus, if you want expand your horizons, make new friends, and have get volunteer experience, the library is for you!



2. Join a writing circle at Loft 112.

Loft 112 is a literary space and central to Calgary’s art scene. Those who enjoy writing, spoken word poetry, and tea and biscuits, or just about anyone else are welcome here. They host writer’s circles for both young and old alike and it is a great place for people to start or improve on their creative writing.


Join either circle and you can possibly get some of your work published under their new press and earn a little pocket money as well. However, there is more to it than creative writing. The Loft also hosts different events which include galleries, poetry slams, and sessions with various writers-in-residence. It also does not cost so much either! So, any student or anyone else can come!




3. Visit any one of the six floors at the TFDL (Taylor Family Digital Library).

Like the Calgary Public library, TFDL offers a variety of study space. However, unlike the other library, it has 6 floors filled with books! The first floor is home to a variety of computers and plenty of workrooms which can be booked for group work. On the third floor, one can use the many gaming rigs and play League of Legends and what not. Finally, on the sixth floor, this is the quietest study space one can encounter. Thus, it is heaven for both bookworm and regular students alike!


4. Attend “Thursden” on Thursdays at The Den!

For those who wish to have a rowdy but cheap time, look no further than the U of C’s bar, the Den. Every Thursday, it hosts an event called Thursden, where you can get some great food and drinks from there. However, remember to drink safely!



5. Scope out the best clubs at Clubs Week at the U of C.

U of C, at the beginning of each semester, has an expo for showing what types of clubs it has. It is a great place where a variety of clubs are showcased. Even the odd and unexpected can be found there as well! For example, there is an even a Pokémon Go and a Charades club. As a result, there is a variety of clubs to choose from. Even better, the benefits of joining one of the clubs will get you a discount at Bound and Copied and the Stör.



6. Buy discounted textbooks and literature at Bound and Copied.

This is a great place to buy used textbooks and different types of literature for a cheap price. It is also one of the many places where you can get free textbooks and binders, especially, if they are not required to be used anymore! One can also sell their unwanted textbooks as well!



7. Volunteer around the U of C.

If a student is bored, they can always volunteer with their university. The U of C is not an exception, as there are plenty of opportunities for volunteering. A few programs include volunteering at the Q Center, for the breakfast program, the lost and found, what not. In addition, one can join a club and become an executive of it too. Even for a broke student, it is time well spent, and indeed a long term investment.



8. Take a walk through the Core Mall in Calgary.

There is nothing like walking around downtown Calgary. One can explore the sights it has to offer. From modern day buildings to some old ones such as the Grain Exchange building, one experiences how young yet how exuberant Calgary is. One of the greatest sights is the Core Mall which is located on 7th avenue. It is one Calgary’s greatest and largest malls; it is also home to an indoor park which located on the upper level. Thus, one can see indoor gardens, plenty of koi, and play the piano as well. One cannot forget Kensington, for it is home to a variety of local shops where one can find unique goods which cannot be found elsewhere.


9. Grab a light snack and coffee at Tim Hortons.

One cannot be Canadian without having a Tim Hortons nearby. For it is the staple of any Canadian city or town and it is one of symbols of pride. From the famous Timbits to the Ice Cappucino and its coffee, it is indubitably Canadian! One can find a variety of decent doughnuts and sandwiches as well. These can range from paninis and regular sandwiches and what not. In addition, the price of the food is affordable and again ubiquitously Canadian!



10. Cook your favorite Pinterest recipe at home.

There is nothing like relaxing or lazing around home. One can cook their own food, one can sleep wherever they want, and study whenever they want. For there is nothing like being at home and enjoying a decent conversation with your family and friends. For it is simply home, simple, but close and dear to your heart.



11. Try your hand at bowling near Chinook Mall.

Near Chinook mall, one can go to the Chinook Bowladrome! It is home to 32 bowling lanes and it is conveniently located near a Joeys. One can experience the simple wonders of bowling there! One of Calgary’s notable malls, it is home to plenty of stores, and an impressive array of restaurants too. Thus, students, broke or not, can still walk around.


12. Play a game of local basketball hoop!

Depending on where you live, there is nothing like playing a good game of basketball in your local community! Whether it be playing with friends, family, or simply yourself, one can be at ease and have fun.



13. Take a run through Nose Hill Park.

There is nothing like running around the community. You can feel the air rush through your hair and feel its coldness on your skin! For it’s a great activity that is suitable for both the outdoors and the indoors. In addition, you are not only getting a workout, but you are investing in your health as well! Another one of Calgary’s notable sights is Nose Hill Park. A reserve for animals and it is a spot for running and what not. It is conveniently located near Edgemont and it is home two local convenience stores. Thus, if a student is exhausted and needs to grab a quick bite, they can go to those stores.


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14. Join the Debate Society of the U of C.

Bored and what not? A broke student could enjoy a debate or two during their spare time. Especially, if they are at the U of C, it would not be a bad choice to join the Debate club. Anyone could learn how to debate and it would be immensely useful. It would also be productive use of time and a good investment on the student’s part. As result, one could join the U of C’s debate club, for the price of their membership is not bad either. The benefits of joining the club is that ones learn how to communicate effectively and more or less win an argument against someone else, whether it be friend or foe! So, for the broke and bored student, there is nothing to lose!


15. Climb the 762 steps to the top of the Calgary Tower.

Don’t worry- you don’t have to climb the 762 steps if you really don’t want to, you can take a speed elevator, but either way making it to the top of the Calgary Tower is something you definitely don’t want to miss! You can see a view of the Rocky Mountains and famous Calgary landmarks for under $20.



16. Grab an ice cream at Menchies.

Another one of many restaurants in Calgary, however, it is not like any other places! It is a located near Northland Mall and Sir Winston Churchill High School. Unlike other restaurants, it serves a variety of ice cream and related treats. They are fully customizable and can be tailored to suit the customer’s taste. They are priced moderately and are affordable.



17. Enjoy some famous onion rings and milk shakes at Peter’s Drive-In.

Located on 16th Avenue, Peter’s Drive is a restaurant unique to only Calgary and Red Deer. This old drive-in restaurant is renowned for its onion rings and milkshakes. High school students from all around Calgary gather around in order to buy such delicacies. The milkshakes, in particular, are large in size and modest in price as well. The same could be said about their onion rings as well. Thus as a result, if a student wants quick bite at a modest price, then one should visit Peter’s!



18. Purchase some used games at EB Games.

A student, broke or not, cannot be complete without a gaming system. EB Games is notable for its variety of video games and its selection of refurbished electronics. Broke students can purchase used games and still enjoy themselves, while saving money at the same time.


19. Eat a croissant and drink a cup of coffee for only $1 at the French Centre.

For those French speakers and Francophiles, the U of C has the French center. It is a place where beginners and seasoned veterans alike practice their French. The staff there are kind and are willing to help you improve your speaking, writing, and listening. In addition, it hosts events such Café Croissant, where one can have a croissant and a cup of coffee for $1. It also hosts another event where one watch movies in French.



20. Grab discounted snacks and original chocolates from Stör.

Last but not least, for those attending the U of C, the Stör is the local, but reliable convenience store. Located in MacEwan Hall, it carries different brands of specialty chocolates and certain types of drinks where one cannot find elsewhere. It also carries your common brands of chocolate, chips, and energy drinks, and what not. If one has a club membership card, they can get a 15% discount as well. It is even open until night time as well! Thus, for those students who need a quick snack, come over and buy a chocolate or two!



What are some of your favorite things to do in Calgary when you’re broke AF? Comment below and share this article with friends!

Featured image source: CBC,
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