With beautiful weather finally hanging around in Calgary, you’re probably looking for as many excuses to get outside to enjoy it as you can. There are tons of great things to do outside to make the most of our gorgeous summer weather. Here are 14 fun ways to spend the day (or night) outside in Calgary!
1. Hang out at some of Calgary’s awesome spray parks and wading pools.
Calgary has an awesome selection of spray parks and wading pools all around town. Whether you’re looking for a lazy river to float along in a tube, a shallow pool to splash around in, or a park full of wet and wild obstacles, there’s no shortage of great places to visit! Don’t forget to bring along some snacks, sunscreen, and an umbrella for some shade so you can set yourself up for an entire afternoon or evening of fun! savvymom.ca
2. Discover some of the best playgrounds around town.
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You probably have a favourite neighbourhood playground that your kids love to frequent, but if you’re in search of something new, why not go playground hopping to discover some of the unique parks scattered throughout Calgary? We recently visited the Belmont Mounds Of Fun park in the deep south, and our kiddos had a blast climbing, sliding, and running up and down the colourful hills. Features like ziplines, roller slides, double swings and more are waiting at playgrounds all over town if you just know where to look! savvymom.ca
3. Grab a raft and a lifejacket and go for a float down the river.
It’s no secret that Calgarians love enjoying fun-filled floats down the Elbow and Bow Rivers. If you haven’t spent a day on the water yet, what are you waiting for? The Elbow River is perfect for floaters looking for a slower pace and more shallow water, making it ideal for families and first-time floaters. If you’re in search of something a little more fast-paced, the Bow River tends to be deeper and faster flowing. The most important thing to remember is that safety for this activity is crucial, and use of life jackets is strictly enforced, so be sure to find one that fits everyone on your boat well before heading out. If you don’t have your own raft or life jacket, businesses like Lazy Day Raft Rentals have equipment available to rent for the day. For tips such as where to launch your boat and what to bring, visit the link above!
4. Bike or hike along one of the fantastic pathways in the city.
Did you know that the City of Calgary has nearly 800 km of pathways that connect along the Bow & Elbow Rivers, Fish Creek Provincial Park, Nose Creek, West Nose Creek, the Western Irrigation District Canal and the perimeter of Glenmore Reservoir? This is in addition to almost 300 km of on-street bikeways and bicycle tracks! There are so many fantastic paths to explore, many of which have amenities like playgrounds, wetlands, interpretive centres, restaurants and more along the way. Additionally, the Rotary/Mattamy Greenway is a 138 km urban pathway system that passes through 55 Calgarian communities and circles the entire city. This pathway is perfect for commuting and recreation. Our family’s favourite place to visit for a walk and a picnic is Fish Creek Park, but we are constantly on the hunt for new spots to explore.
5. Visit Canada Olympic Park and race to the bottom of the track at Skyline Luge.
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For anyone in your family who has the need for speed, Skyline Luge has the perfect way to spend a day in the sun with their downhill karts. With over a downhill track that’s over 1800 metres and includes more than 50 twists and turns, everyone in your family who’s brave enough to hop onto a kart is guaranteed to have the ride of their life! Family packages can be purchased to save a bit on admission and children under 110 cm tall who are able to walk are permitted to ride tandem with a rider over 20 years old for $3.
6. Adrenaline junkies can try out the summer bobsleigh, free fall, or monster zipline at Winsport.
If you’ve ever wondered what it’s like to ride as part of a bobsled team, try your hand at bungee jumping, or zoom down the ski jumps at Canada Olympic Park, this is your chance to find out! Did you know that there is a giant zipline at the top of the ski jump tower at COP, and it’s actually North America’s fastest zipline? If hopping in a bobsled that goes up to speeds of 80 kilometres per hour is more your cup of tea, a professional pilot is ready to take you for a ride you won’t soon forget. There’s even the option to take an 8 storey free fall, which is the perfect mix between sky diving and bungee jumping. If you’re like me who likes things at a bit slower pace though, you’ll probably skip all three and head to the mini golf course instead!
7. Dive into one of Calgary’s outdoor pools before they close in September!
Nothing says summer fun like splashing around in an outdoor pool. With 7 different options available in the southeast, southwest and northwest, you’ll definitely want to make your way to at least one before they close for the season at the beginning of September!
8. Get lost in a maze, play with animals, and bounce your heart out at one of the fun farms just outside of town.
Kayben Farms, Cobbs Adventure Park and Calgary Corn Maze are all fantastic places to visit for a day that everyone in the family will love. Whether you want to visit cute and cuddly animals like goats, sheep, alpacas and kangaroos, bounce around on a giant inflatable, zip down a slide, or get lost in a maze, each of these parks has tons of fun activities in store for littles and bigs alike.
9. Rent a pedal boat, canoe, or kayak at Bowness Park.
Whether you’d like to get out on the water for a half-hour, hour, or over two hours, kayaks, canoes and pedal boats are available to rent at Bowness Park for as long as you want. After you’ve had your fill of fun on the lagoon, you’ll definitely want to go for a spin on the mini train – an adorable little CP Replica passenger train that everyone in the family can jump on for a ride for $5 (kids under 2 are free)! Bowness Park also has a wading pool and lots of space for an afternoon or evening picnic.
10. Take a Captain’s Cruise on the paddlewheel boat at Heritage Park.
Heritage Park is a great place to spend a day in the past with your family. Experience life as it was 100 years ago as you visit historic homesteads, the antique midway, and more. Best of all, the paddlewheel boat is back this year, ready to take park visitors on a 25-minute ride around the Glenmore Reservoir, and rides are included with park admission.
11. Jump in a Go-Kart at Shaker’s Fun Centre.
Shakers Fun Centre has the only two outdoor Go-Kart tracks in Calgary, with one track suitable for drivers 58″ and up, and the other track for kids 40 to 58″ tall. Day passes and individual rides can both be purchased, depending on how many laps you’re in the mood for. If you’re looking for other fun things to do after a ride in the karts, Shakers also has mini golf, mini bowling, an inflatable village, a climbing wall, laser tag, and an arcade.
12. Watch a movie under the stars.
There’s something seriously magical about watching movies outside, and there are a few more opportunities to catch some great ones before the end of August. Spruce Meadows has two more nights of “Movies at the Meadows”, with Captain Marvel playing on Thursday, August 8, and Aladdin showing on Saturday, August 10 with viewing available on “The Rise” which is a natural amphitheatre. Admission to the “Movie on the Rise” is totally free! Doors at Spruce Meadows open at 7:30 and the movies begin around 9:30. Food trucks and live entertainment will be on site to keep you busy while waiting for the movie to begin! Admission is $20 per carload.
13. Check out a street festival!
There are still plenty of street festivals to check out before the summer closes out. Yummy food, street performers, local vendors, live music and stage performances await at Marda Gras, the Chinatown Street Festival, Sandstock, and the Calgary Fringe Festival. Visit the links above to find out more about each festival.
14. Marvel at the night sky at the Rothney Astrophysical Observatory.
There are some pretty incredible things to see while looking through a telescope into outer space. From August 22-24 from 10 pm to 2 am, visitors are invited to join astronomers at the observatory for their Milky Way Nights, where you’ll be able to view Jupiter’s moons, Saturn’s rings, a variety of constellations, planetary nebula and globular clusters. If you think this experience sounds like it’s out of this world, you’re totally right!
How do you like to spend your days outside in Calgary? Did we miss anything that should have made the list? We’d love to hear them in the comments!