Oh, Calgary! When you think of Calgary, immediate images of the Winter Olympics and everything sporty and snowy spring to mind. Of course, Calgary is a top winter sports destination, but this beautiful Alberta city has much more to offer for the family than just skiing and snowboarding. Check out these great things to do with kids in Calgary.
- StoryBook Theatre. (www.storybooktheatre.org) This theatre has been entertaining kids for over thirty years, and is also one of the largest community theatre groups in Calgary. You can see original and classic plays in a family-friendly atmosphere at its two locations (presentations for this year include Anne of Green Gables, The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, Little Women, Munsch Ado About Nothing, and Pinkalicious…and that’s just between February and March!). The Theatre also hosts drama workshops and theatre camps. Check out the theatre’s website for dates, prices, and locations.
- Fort Calgary. (www.fortcalgary.com) Before Calgary was a city, it was the MP’s outpost in Alberta, and a fort! Now, you and the kids can tour the fort, which is located just east of downtown Calgary on a 40-acre parcel of land. Browse the museum and exhibits, buy beautiful handcrafted items in the gift shop, eat at the on-site restaurant, and learn about Calgary’s history. Also, Fort Calgary hosts numerous events on holidays such as Canada Day, Mountie Day, and Heritage Day, besides Winter Carnival, Spring Fever, Artisan’s Fair, and Alberta Arts Day. Check the website for dates, hours of operation, and prices.
- The Calgary Zoo. (www.calgaryzoo.com) The Calgary Zoo is one of Canada’s oldest zoos, hearkening back to 1912! Now, it is home to hundreds of plant and animal species, with a special emphasis on raising environmental awareness and promoting conservation, especially in Canadian species. The Zoo has dozens of programs and special events every year, and has something for every age group. Check the zoo website for admission, event dates, and hours of operation.
- Kayben Farms and the Sunshine Adventure Park. (www.kayben.com) Just ten short minutes outside of Calgary proper, in the small town of Okotoks, lies Kayben Farms. This beautiful 12+ acre site boasts a wide array of fun things to do, see, and eat for the entire family. You can pick your own produce, buy locally-grown items, visit the working farm, and eat a great, locally-sourced farm-fresh meal. The Sunshine Adventure Park is great outdoor fun: tons of themed playground equipment, a Berry Bounce, a climbing wall, pedal-karts, acres of walking trails, and much more. Check the website for events, hours, pricing, and more information.
- Calaway Park. (www.calawaypark.com) Calaway Park is Western Canada’s largest outdoor family amusement park. Open year-round (check the website for prices, hours, and special events), it is fantastic fun for all ages, with rides, attractions, and choreographed entertainment, plus great stuff to eat and things to buy.
- Heritage Park. (www.heritagepark.ca) This is Canada’s largest living history museum; the historical village, museum, and exhibits are both entertaining and educational for the entire fam. See “how the West was once,” ride the steam train, browse the shops in Heritage Square, and play games in the midway. There’s lots of great food, special events and exhibits all year long, and plenty of culture and fun. Check the Heritage Park website for hours of operation, costs, and a schedule of events.
- Telus Science Centre. (www.sparkscience.ca) The new Telus Spark Science Centre is an amazing place that will fascinate the science geeks and novices alike. This brand-new, beautiful facility bills itself as a “place for people of all ages and abilities to let go and embrace the desire to explore and discover science, technology and art in new and amazing ways.” Exhibits and attractions ranging from the environment, earth science, technology, and astronomy; the Creative Kids Museum allows the young ones to interact and experiment and watch science in action, all in a fun setting. Call ahead or visit the Centre’s website for more information, including cost, hours of operations, and events.