August 15-18

1. Grand Opening of the Brainasium; Friday, Aug. 15, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. At Telus Spark.

The new outdoor park at Telus Spark is officially unveiled this morning. Kids can have fun—a six-person seesaw, a 63-foot-long (19-metre) slide and whisper dishes—while learning about acoustics, the body and gravity.

The Brainasium is included with the price of admission: adults, $19.95; seniors, 17.95; youth (13-17), $15.95; children (3-12), $12.95; kids under three, free. Tickets can be purchased online.

If you can’t make the opening, don’t despair; the Brainasium is a permanent feature of the museum. You might also consider going down on Sunday when you can combine a visit to the outdoor park with a Digital Media Studio Workshop. Sunday’s session (it’s open to kids nine and older) covers basis soldering skills.

2. Priddis & Millarville Fair; Saturday, Aug. 16, 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.

The 108th annual fair includes the awarding of ribbons in categories like woodworking, flowers, field work and home cooking. All these are open to junior competitors, but if you’re kids are city slickers, they might be more interested in the petting zoo and Kids’ World.

There will also be an antique-car show, a costume competition for horses and ice-cream-making demonstrations. The Farmers’ Market is open, but you might wait to see how you make out in the pie auction (beginning at 2:45 p.m.) before you do your shopping.

Admission is $5; kids eight and under get in free. (Dogs are not welcome.) More information can be found here.

3. Hansel & Gretel; Saturday, Aug. 16 and Sunday, Aug. 17, 3 p.m. Big top in the East Village.

Calgary Opera’s adaptation of the fairy tale is part of the company’s Opera in the Village. The 60-minute show features performers from Calgary Opera’s Emerging Artists Program and takes place in the big tent in the East Village. That tent doesn’t look like a gingerbread house, but with a breeze coming off the river, it won’t be hot as an oven, either.

The show repeats Saturday, Aug. 23.For tickets and more information, visit Calgary Opera’s website.

4. Adventure Under the Stars; Saturday, Aug. 16, 9:30 p.m. Shaw Amphitheatre at the Banff Centre

When the skies darken, the Banff Centre screens some favourites from the Mountain Film Festival as part of its Summer Arts Festival. The offerings include North of the Sun, which won the 2013 grand prize. The film was made by two friends who decided to live for nine months on an island off the northern coast of Norway. They wiled away their days by surfing and, when winter hit, snowboarding and shivering.

Check out the trailer above, and remember that you, too, might start to shiver when the sun sets behind the mountains. Bring a blanket.

Gates are at 8:30 p.m. Tickets are $12 (children, $6; kids under two get in free) and are available online.

5. Lantern Tours; Saturday, August 16, 7 p.m. and 8 p.m. At Cave and Basin National Historic Site

If you’re going to Banff to take in Adventure Under the Stars, why not squeeze in an eerie tour of the Cave and Basin before the show? The tours take about 30 minutes and lanterns are supplied. All you need bring are sensible shoes and a taste for adventure.

The fee is $7.30 per person. Advance booking is recommended. Call 403-845-3524.

The tours continue Saturdays until Sept. 6. More information is available here.

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