Whether you're discovering Calgary for the first time with your family, or you already live here and you're desperate to come up with ideas, we've got a list of foolproof solutions for your family. They are all easy to find, very friendly for all aged kids, great memories to make, and will certainly kill a lot of time along the way. The city has thousands of families just like you who want something to do, and here are just a few of the family-friendly activities around Calgary.
Granary Road is located in the rolling hills just west and south of the city. You'll find this place to be more than you'd expect as you drive in. But as you wander the market; explore the gardens, and see the games out back, you're going to all love it.
Granary Road offers a year-round farmers market with incredible local food like pizza and ice cream. They have an active learning park out back with a giant spider. Arachnophobes might want to skip this one. They have a petting zoo for the kids, a fully-stocked restaurant and bar up top, and different activities and events throughout the year. Check back often as Granary Road is always coming up with new things to do.
During the summer, Spruce Meadows is hopping. Excuse the pun, but you'll find that there is rarely a weekend when something isn't offered at this world-class show jumping site. It's not just the horses that are the centre of attention here. You'll find dog shows, Christmas lights, markets, fall festivals, and more. You can even bring carrots and apples to feed the horses stabled here. Every year, the main attraction is the Masters, a horse-jumping event that brings in competitors and an audience from around the world. Entry is very cheap (often free!) and spots are always open for your family to marvel at what's going on next at Spruce Meadows.
Just offshore from Glenmore Reservoir, Heritage Park is more than a blast from the past. It's a completely immersive experience for the whole family. It's rides and games and shops and museums, and a touch of the history thrown in around every corner.
Heritage Park features Gasoline Alley, a collection of some of the cars and vehicles of the past century, and an incredible insight into how people used to live and move. Book your tickets online and plan for a full day of fun at this historical town.
Fish Creek Park
If you aren't willing to part with a ton of cash to entertain the kids, don't forget that a river and a bunch of rocks will keep your children busy for hours. That's what Fish Creek Park is for. It's a safe and fun place for your kids to experience nature, go biking, take a walk, or find some new unexplored path with signs that a beaver was just there last night.
Fish Creek Park spans over 19 kms from east to west and has more trails than you could ever hope to cover in a decade of living here. Leave screens at home as you allow your kids to remember the fun of collecting interesting pebbles and sticks. You'd be surprised how easy it is to keep them occupied.
Royal Tyrrell Museum
Take a day trip outside of Calgary to Drumheller, Alberta's Dinosaur Provincial Park. It's an experience that the whole family won't soon forget. The museum houses an impressive number of fossils, bones and full-size skeletons of the massive dinosaurs that once roamed these plains.
It's awe-inspiring to look up at the skull of a Tyrannosaurus Rex and marvel that it once stood where you are standing right now. The Royal Tyrrell Museum has delighted kids for generations and it will not fail to win the approval of your family. It almost makes them asking Are we there yet?" a hundred times on the way worth it for the silent look they have when they first see the dinosaurs here.
C'mon Mom and Dad. How could you forget that the Calgary Zoo is open 365 days a year, rain or shine to welcome you? The zoo is an incredible place that sees over 300,000 yearly visitors walk through the gates.
The zoo houses dozens of animals, both exotic and domestic in natural habitats that allow you to see what they look like in their normal environments. This includes reptiles, alligators, hippos, giraffes, and the cute penguin exhibit. Your kids will rush from exhibit to exhibit to see what they can see. You'll adore the layout of the zoo and the natural green spaces to sit down and enjoy your lunch.
Is it summer? Is the sun shining? That's all the excuse you'll need to take your kids just west of the city on Highway 1 to Calaway Park. This theme park includes rides and games that are certain to thrill all ages, even the parents. The park is open during the spring-fall season and always has more fun in store.
You can always cool down on the hot days with a log ride as well as challenge yourself to take a double-loop roller coaster ride. Only, not after you just ate that corn dog. There are also shows and musical events to enjoy throughout the day, so plan to take breaks with the entertainment available to you.
Southland/Northland Leisure Centres
Is it rainy? Well, that's not going to dampen your spirits if you visit one of these leisure centres in Calgary. The leisure centre is a pool with slides and areas for the whole family to love. The active times are posted so keep those in mind before you come. Everything is designed for maximum fun as you ride the slide and jump on the mats. Tucker those kids out as you let run wild even if the weather isn't so accommodating.
Calgary's families live in a city that has plenty on offer for them. This city is big enough to have multiple opportunities to get out and have some fun, as long as you know where to look. Even in the coldest wintery days, you can still book a family-friendly activity that everyone will love.