Indoors or out, there’s family fun to be found in Calgary!
Once a sleepy town, the oil boom speared the initial growth of Calgary into the vibrant city it is today. But Calgary still retains its western friendliness and welcome, and marries city sophistication with plenty of family-friendly venues and activities.
The city has a large number of urban parks with extensive multi-use path systems for walking, biking and inline skating. Canada Olympic Park hosted events for the 1988 Olympics, and today is a venue for year-round activities. In winter, ski, snowboard or be piloted down the bobsled run by a professional driver in a 60-second thrill ride! In summer, explore the bike trails or try the exciting zip-line.
See over 1000 animals at the Calgary Zoo, where your family can meander through the gorilla rainforest or see hippos swim; get up close to a grizzly bear or explore six acres of botanical gardens and the magical butterfly habitat. The zoo has a playground area for the kids, train rides for tots, and a fun carousel.
Heritage Park Historical Village is Canada’s largest living-history museum — and it is packed with activities for families. Your kids can discover how the west used to be as they ride on a wagon or the thundering steam train, or step aboard a paddlewheeler. History is brought to life all around, with period-costumed townsfolk throughout the historical village.
The iconic Calgary Stampede dominates 10 days in July with all things cowboy! From the chuckwagon races to the grandstand shows, there’s plenty of kid-approved excitement. The rodeo is legendary, with events in bull riding, barrel racing, roping… and little buckaroos entertaining the crowd with mutton-busting. Wander through the agriculture tents or catch some thrills on the midway. Your family can step back in time with a visit to the Indian Village to see the cultural practices traditional to the Plains Indians. Country music stars entertain at the music festival and special children’s areas and events are scattered throughout the Stampede grounds.
April through October, your kids can experience farm fun at Butterfield Acres, mingling with the baby animals, taking a pony or tractor ride and even learning how to milk a goat!
Creative Kids Museum is a truly special place for hands-on activities for children under nine years old. Among the features: a sensory-rich crawling track for babies, a climbing structure designed for little ones, and a water play area. Kids can create art and display it on the museum’s art tree, or join in a theatre production on stage or behind the scenes. It’s a place to create and explore.
Concerts and shows specifically for children are always on the menu in Calgary. Loose Moose Theatre and Storybook Theatre present theatre and music suitable for the entire family in a uniquely accessible and participatory style. The presentations are based on children’s stories and brought to life on stage.
Calgary boasts a large public library network with 17 branches. It’s home to numerous theatre companies and hosts annual festivals that include the Calgary International Film Festival, the Folk Music Festival, Funny Fest Calgary Comic Festival, the Lilac Festival and the Greek Festival. Museums are located throughout the city, with one of the most interesting for the younger set right in Canada Olympic Park: the Canadian Olympic Hall of Fame & Museum.
For sports-loving families, there are home teams to root for and games to attend, with the NHL’s Calgary Flames and the CFL’s Calgary Stampeders.
In Calgary, there’s plenty of family fun every day and in every season!