Beach Day

Sikome Lake
Beach Day

You’ve visited the baby elephant, checked out the candy shop at Heritage Park and rode the rollercoaster at Calaway. Now what? With over six weeks of summer to go, fight the ‘mommy, we’re bored’ blues with a day at the beach.

Tucked away in a corner of SE Calgary is tiny man-made Sikome Lake. Surrounded by Fish Creek Provincial Park, it’s the perfect venue to visit on a hot summer afternoon.

Sikome Lake is essentially an outdoor swimming pool with a sand bottom. It is filled at the beginning of June each year and the maximum depth at lake-center is a mere seven feet. The lake is staffed with lifeguards from 10 am to 8 pm daily (although children 12 and under must be accompanied by an adult) and concession stands sell the traditional ice cream and chips on busy days (when visitors number over 50).

The sand is groomed daily by park staff and the water is clean, crisp and cool—but not cold thanks to the shallow depth and summer sun. There are three playgrounds surrounding the man-made lake for a range of ages. Inflatable toys and boats are permitted on the water but Sikome Lake is not designed for fishing or canoeing in a hard bottom boat (trust us, once you visit you’ll know why). Recent upgrades include a chain-link fence designed to keep kids in and wildlife out.

If you’re planning a picnic lunch, bring lawn chairs and a blanket as there are no picnic tables or fire pits on site. You can bring your own portable gas grill (no charcoal briquettes) to cook-up hotdogs for the kids. Or, walk a few hundred meters to Hulls Woods where you’ll find traditional picnic site amenities. Look for Wednesday evening entertainment at the Hulls Wood Amphitheatre from Faces of Fire, a Parks Canada award-winning family theatre company.

There is ample parking both at Sikome Lake and Hulls Wood. Leave Fido at home though, as dogs are not allowed to dive in. Bikes and rollerblades are also not permitted in the fenced area around the lake. However, biking, fishing and hiking are all popular activities at Fish Creek Park.

No more boredom blues now. A visit to Sikome Lake is an outing worthy of the summer circuit with relief from the heat your kids will embrace.

Tested by Heather J., Calgary
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First published 2008.07.17

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