**Editor’s note: At the time of writing, city playgrounds in Calgary are open. Check here for current updates: calgary.ca/CSPS/Parks
Summer in Calgary means more time to get out of the house and explore. If you’re looking for a great way to keep your kiddos entertained in the great outdoors, there are some pretty incredible playgrounds scattered across all four quadrants of the city. We’ve rounded up a list of eleven of the best playgrounds in Calgary to get your kids climbing, sliding and swinging all around town!
Telus Spark – Brainasium and Junkyard Playground
220 St Georges Dr NE
Although it does require admission to get in, the Brainasium and brand new Junkyard Playground at Telus Spark couldn’t be left off of this list. As Calgary’s largest outdoor playground, there’s no shortage of things to explore. It’s been proven that play involving some level of risk is important for brain development, and the Junkyard Playground provides a variety of conditions that allow kids to use their imaginations to build, create and play while allowing for the chance of minor risk.
“Loose Parts” play provides kids with the opportunity to dream up the endless possibilities for different non-play objects, and free play gives kids the chance to play in a safe environment that is free from the direct observation they’re typically used to. This gives little brains the opportunity to really dive into the play environment without concern of judgement (or the need to show off for anyone watching) which inevitably builds their independence. While parents are invited to be in proximity of the Junkyard Playground, they are asked to give their kiddos space to play, while a trained facilitator will be nearby to promote safety and exploration.
Prairie Winds Playground
233 Castleridge Blvd NE
We recently visited the Prairie Winds Playground and both our 1.5 and 3.5-year-old LOVED it. The spray park was the first thing that caught their attention, and while it was closed during our visit, the lazy river/wading pool is now officially open for the season. The nature-inspired playground had two fun concrete slides that were built into the ground, making them perfect for little ones (although there were plenty of big kids having a great time on them, too!) The definite highlight of this park was the zipline. There is also a second, accessible playground within walking distance, as well as a giant hill perfect for rolling down and tons of space to picnic.
4900 Monserrat Drive NW
Shouldice Park is an incredible, highly accessible 15,000 square foot facility with a huge ramp system that invites all kids to come and play. There are tons of features that kids will love including a double swing, saucer swings, accessible swings, and regular swings (including baby swings). There are plenty of places to climb, bounce, and spin, in addition to a designated toddler playground which provides younger kiddos with a spot to play that’s the perfect mix of challenge and fun. If you’re looking for a spot to have a bite to eat, there are bookable picnic sites available as well as lots of picnic tables and a washroom.
Symons Valley Parkway at 14 St NW
If you’re looking for a park with tons of fun features (including a zipline), you won’t want to miss a visit to this new playground in the North end of Calgary. The roller slide and rock climbing walls will definitely be a hit with adventure-seeking kiddos, and older kids will love challenging themselves on the different rope climbers. There’s also a saucer swing and a basketball court nearby.
Confederation Park Natural Playground
905 30 Ave NW
The playground at Confederation Park has a beautiful, natural feel, with many structures made out of wood. If your kids are like mine, the first thing they’ll want to try out is the giant tube slide, followed closely by the water pump in the sand area. I love the in-ground double slide because it’s easy for my youngest to climb to the top with no worry of her falling off a ladder. The swing set has a saucer swing, regular swings and a baby swing. This park is great for kids of different ages and ability levels, and there’s lots of shade and seating for parents. This is a great place to spend the better part of an evening or afternoon, as there are picnic grills, a water fountain and washrooms nearby.
Crescent Heights Park Playground
3rd St and 11 Ave NW
If your kids like themed playgrounds, this one in Crescent Heights has a cute forest/tree theme (which matches nicely with the trees around the park that provide plenty of shade). There are lots of things to climb, as well as a twisty slide, insect-themed bouncers and swings (including baby swings).
Belmont Mounds of Fun Playground
South of 22X, Off Belmont Drive SE
This colourful playground on the south end of Calgary is sure to grab your kiddos’ attention, particularly if they love to climb. On top of the big, bright hills are tons of fun structures to climb onto, over and across. Big and little kids will both love scaling structures made for different ability levels. Because it’s a relatively new park, there’s not a ton of trees to provide shade, so that’s definitely something to keep in mind when visiting (slather on the sunscreen and don’t forget your hats!)
East Village Crossroads Playground
7 Ave and 6 St SE
This playground is close to Fort Calgary and St. Patrick’s Island and has a totally eye-catching design. With a mix of wooden and bright red metal structures, the park definitely stands out as something different than a typical playground. The roller slide is tons of fun for kids of all ages, and the wooden climbing structure is great for older kiddos perfecting their climbing and balancing skills.
South Glenmore Park
90 Ave & 24 Street SW
The obvious draw to South Glenmore Park is the spray park, but there are also two really great playgrounds just a few steps away! Our kids love climbing on the spinning globe climber, the roller slide, and of course, the saucer swing. There are also tons of slides, a giant multi-kid spinner (today’s version of the merry-go-round), and a highly accessible play structure for kids with mobility concerns.
Walden Grove Playground
Walgrove Boulevard and Walgrove Gardens SE
Walden Grove is another Calgary park with a zip line – an attraction that’s always a huge draw for kids who are a little bit older. For kids like mine who love to slide, there are tons of slides of different heights to try out, including a small double slide for younger kids who always want to race.
Currie Barracks Airport Playground
2953 Battleford Ave SW
The airport-themed playground at Currie Barracks is one of our kids’ favourites. The airplane-themed climber at the end of the rubberized runway is great for imaginative play, and the huge metal slide at the top of the “control tower” will definitely have your kids racing to the top! The saucer swings and airplane bouncers are also a ton of fun.
What are your favourite playgrounds to visit in Calgary? Are there some that didn’t make the list that should be added? We’d love to hear them in the comments!