Fall is a fabulous time for family outings both in and around Calgary. Here’s a look at some autumn-inspired events, plus affordable weekend getaways.
Heritage Park Ghost Tours
After stocking up on fresh produce at amazing prices, you can stay and enjoy a full day at Heritage Park. But if weekdays suit you better, bookmark September 12, 19 and 26 so you and your little ones can participate in family-friendly Ghost Tours, suitable for all ages.
Visit Waterton Lakes National Park
We know how busy the mountains west of Calgary can get, but venture south and it’s an entirely different story. Waterston is a gem of a resort town and boasts way more affordable accommodation than what we’re used to seeing in Banff or Canmore. (They’re currently experiencing their lowest accommodate rates in a decade which translates to room discounts!) Families can take a boat tour, stroll around the lake or rent an adorable quad bike from Pat’s. For hiking, Bertha Falls is a 5 km jaunt with a trailhead beginning in the townsite. There’s also a fantastic newish playground with a spray park in town (tote a towel!). As you enter the Park, don’t forget to drive through the Bison Paddock to view a wild herd up close and personal.
Multicultural Fall Festival
Part of Alberta Culture Days, this September 28 to 30 event is an excellent introduction as to how different nations around the world celebrate their Autumnal Harvest Season. Taking place at the Calgary Chinese Cultural Centre and other venues around the city, littles can learn about giant panda bears, tea culture and button making. Join in lantern-making contests, origami classes and a bracelet making workshop at the Alberta College of Art + Design.
A mash-up of science, engineering, and art, Beakerhead is one of Calgary’s best festivals for families. The five-day September spectacle is loaded with interactive street art, feats of engineering, larger-than-life theatre, and spectacular performances. You’ll find three full blocks of open-air experimentation on Stephen Avenue September 19 to 21. Or, head to Riverwalk along the Bow River to explore a string of free encounters and installations. There are loads of workshops to sign up for, but you’ll want to do that sooner rather than later, as the more popular ones tend to sell out.
Get fall photos done
Fall is a fabulous time to get family photographs done. The leaves are in their prime at the end of September, there are no bugs and the weather is usually picture perfect. As a bonus, you can use your snaps for your holiday cards and nail that item off your to-do list well before the holiday season erupts. Here are eight of our favourite spots to stage a photo shoot in the Calgary.
Hike Sunshine Meadows
Banff is still super busy in early autumn, but not at its ski hills! Head to Sunshine Village for an easy family hike even toddlers can do. Sunshine Meadows was ranked Canada’s number one hike by Lonely Planet. Take the Gondola up to the Village Friday to Monday or a shuttle bus Tuesday to Thursday. From there, you can hop on a chairlift for epic views of the Continental Divide or stroll around the Village, popping into one of their dining establishments for lunch. You better hurry though. Fall operations close September 23.