Fun Things to See and Do at Beakerhead

by - Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Beakerhead is an annual festival that celebrates the marriage of art, science, and engineering. Learn, play, and be inspired by various displays and workshops throughout Calgary. Beakerhead's 60+ events/programs run from September 13-17, 2017 and most events are free!

The Baby Bunnies ("Nibbles") are back at Beakerhead 2017!

How To Do Beakerhead

As the exhibits are spread out around the city, the best way to experience Beakerhead is by bike. If you don't have a bike, East Village / River Walk and Stephen Avenue have the most exhibits in a smaller area, and are accessible by public transit.

Beakerhead 2016 Tentacles Exhibit in Inglewood
Beakerhead has some suggested bike/walking routes here. The Snakes and Ladders course takes you to "14 sites connected by a common theme: the ups and downs of the journey of invention" and is a fun way to visit several sites. It would make a fun date night or family outing! Start the Snakes and Ladders course at SAIT/ACAD, then go to Kensington, Stephen Ave, Centre Street Bridge, East Village, and Victoria Park.

While nights tend to be busy at Beakerhead art installations, seeing them lit up is an amazing spectacle. Don't miss the 168 foot long Serpent Mother fire show each night! Beakernight, on September 16, is the biggest event of the 5-day festival at Fort Calgary and East Village River Walk. Admission is by donation. See details here.

Beakerhead 2016
Visiting with kids? Explore Beakerhead during the day if you are attending with young children. Weekday afternoons are fairly quiet so you won't have to line up to see stuff. The lights and loud music at night can be overwhelming to sensitive kids.

Featured Free Exhibits

Here are a few must-see exhibits at Beakerhead 2017. See the complete program schedule on Beakerhead's website here. There are 60+ exhibits and programs!

Monstrous Adventure Playground: Build your own playground and don't worry about the mess!
When: Sept 16, 12 pm - 4 pm
Where: Shaw Millennium Park 1220 - 9 Ave SW

Serpent Mother: This fiery spectacle is 168 feet long and boasts 40 pillars of fire.
When: Sept 13-15 at 8 pm and 9:30 pm; Sept 16 at 8 pm, 9 pm, and 10 pm.
Where: Fort Calgary 750 9 Ave SE


Serpent Mother Fire Show
Four to Six: Human sized hamster wheel (ages 10 & up), science buskers, machines, and more! My kids had a lot of fun with all the hands-on stuff here!
When: Sept 13-15, 4-6 pm
Where: Stephen Avenue

Giant hamster wheel

Pedal power meter

Popup DIY playground

Giant goop tub - do you dare to walk on this suspension?
Nibbles: Giant inflatable, illuminated bunnies! Pat their heads and see what happens!
When: Sept 13-17
Where: Enoch Park 314 12 Ave SE

The baby bunnies are back!
Nest: Do dragons or dinosaurs lurk behind the construction barriers? (A quick stop between Nibbles and Stephen Avenue.)
When: Sept 13-17
Where: Victoria Park 201 10 Ave SE

We didn't see anything but heard a lot of roaring!
Loop: Your movements will cause fairy tale images to appear in this cylindrical musical installation!
When: Sept 13-17
Where: 4 St SW between 20 Ave and Elbow Drive SW

Impulse: These 15 giant teeter totters with lights and sounds are fun for all ages!
When: Sept 13-17
Where: East Village River Walk (6 Ave & 6 St SE)

Giant teeter totters!

Bow Wave: Illuminated wavelike shapes light up the beach along the Bow River (best seen after dark).
When: Sept 13-16, 5- 11:00 pm; Sept 17, 10 am - 6:00 pmWhere: South side of Bow River, on east side of Centre Street Bridge

Bow Wave
Nucleation: 5,000 balloons spilling (artfully) out of a building!
When: Sept 13-17
Where: Legion No. 1, 116 - 7 Avenue SE

Nucleation
Happy beakerheading! Which exhibits are you most excited about this year?

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