If you’re looking for something fun to keep your family busy outside in Calgary, why not head out for a family photo shoot? With tons of amazing murals, sculptures and natural wonders to explore, there’s no shortage of amazing spots for the perfect photo op in YYC.
- Fish Creek Park | instagram.com
Did you know that Fish Creek Park covers over 13 square kilometres and is more than three times the size of Vancouver’s Stanley Park? It’s no wonder that Fish Creek is a popular spot for Calgarians to visit during all seasons of the year, and there are lots of spots within the park to stop and snap the perfect picture. Make sure to add the stunning Ice Caves (near Bow Valley Ranche) to the top of your list if you’re visiting during the winter months.
- Scotman’s Hill | instagram.com
Scotsman’s Hill is an iconic location to capture a photo of your family. With Calgary landmarks such as the Saddledome and the Calgary Tower in the background, nothing screams “Proud Calgarian” quite like a shot from this popular spot. Located in the community of Ramsay, it’s an incredible vantage point to snap a picture of your family during a sunset or Stampede fireworks.
- Princes Island Park, 698 Eau Claire Ave SW | instagram.com
Prince’s Island Park is an island in the middle of the Bow River that offers great views of the downtown core while being surrounded by the beauty of nature. In the summer, capture photos of your family splashing in the river, or get an incredible shot on the Chevron Learning Pathway, which crosses through a constructed wetland.
- The Botanical Gardens of Silver Springs, 37 Silver Springs Dr NW | instagram.com
This one-of-a-kind garden is open year-round from dusk until dawn and is the perfect spot for a family photo. Admittedly, the vibrant colours of blooming flowers and greenery are best seen in warmer months (and the changing leaves are breathtaking in autumn), but great photo ops can be found in winter, too. The fourteen separate gardens each have unique features including flowers, edible fruit trees, rock gardens, a labyrinth and more!
- Rundle Ruins, 632 13 Ave SE | instagram.com
Did you know that the Rundle Ruins are actually what remains of Calgary’s first major hospital, built in 1899? In 1908, a third general hospital was added to the city, and the Rundle hospital became a site for the chronically ill. In 1956, the hospital was converted into a senior’s residence, run by the United Church of Calgary, and was known as The Rundle Lodge. In 1971, The Metropolitan Foundation of Calgary acquired the property, and 2 short years later, it was demolished. These sandstone ruins are the perfect spot to capture a great family photo as well as some of Calgary’s history.
- High Park, 340 10 Ave SW | instagram.com
More than just your average parkade, High Park is a rooftop park located in the Beltline, just waiting for your family to set up their tripod! This bright and colourful space is magical at dusk, lit up by string lights hung over the sign panels with fun phrases like “This Makes Me Happy”. When you’re finished exploring Park Park, make sure to check out some of the incredible murals that make up BUMP (Beltline Urban Murals Project).
- The Beltline | yycbump.ca
The Beltline is home to some of Calgary’s most breathtaking murals. Since 2017, artists like Katie Green, Kevin Ledo, Kevin Cardinal, TheKidBelo, Sarah Slaughter and more have been bringing their talent and creativity to the walls of buildings in Calgary’s Beltline. Not only are these open air art installations a great place to stop and stare, but they make an awesome photo backdrop, as well.
- Park Park, 9th Avenue and 11th Street SE| instagram.com
Located in Inglewood, Park Park is a fun space sponsored by the Calgary Parking Authority. It’s a multi-use lot for people to play, gather, and get the perfect photo. If pictures filled with bright colours and fun structures are up your alley (or should we say, parking lot?), you’ll love this totally Instagrammable spot!
- East Village | instagram.com
Historical brick buildings, colourful murals, inspiring art installations and the beauty of nature are just some of the things you’ll find wandering through Calgary’s East Village. Regardless of what your photo aesthetic is, you’re guaranteed to find a gorgeous backdrop for a range of family photo styles in the East Village.
- Central Library, 800 3 St SE | instagram.com
The stunning architecture of Calgary’s Central Library makes it a breathtaking spot for photos of your fam outside (the library itself is temporary closed, but is doing curbside book pick up) . The building’s design has won a multitude of awards, including a 2020 Architecture Award from the American Institute of Architects and was named Azure Magazine’s Best Canadian Architecture of the Decade, just to name a few. So, yeah. We’d say it’s pretty deserving of a photo op!
- Wonderland Sculpture, 110 6 Ave SE | instagram.com
Since it was unveiled in 2013, I have always lovingly referred to this bent wire sculpture in front of the Bow building as “The Big Head”. This 12-metre high installation can be explored and photographed from all angles, including inside (just don’t try to climb it!) You’ll have to visit it at different times during the day, too – it’s beautiful lit up by the sun, but also pretty incredible when it’s illuminated after dark.What are your favourite spots to take photos around the city? We’d love to hear your recommendations in the comments!
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