After the winter months on the prairies most people welcome the spring and summer, although with the help of the chinooks (some say global warming ;-)) we were lucky to have a very mild winter. Calgarians have an array of different places to visit come spring and summer. If you are new to Calgary, visiting Calgary or want to make the most of a "staycation" I suggest you check out these great areas.
South Glenmore Park / Reservoir – On a budget
- With over bike and walking trails circling Glenmore reservoir you can keep fit, and enjoy the outdoors. If you have children they will play the day away in the new splash park. Often you will find adults and children racing remote-controlled boats from the docks, families biking and running the paths and people out sailing. You may also run into wildlife.
- Heritage Park is located close to South Glenmore Park, off Heritage Drive and 14th St SW. Within Heritage park you will find the old village of early settlers, an old fashioned amusement park with rides from the early 1900's, wagon rides, a steam engine that circles the park and an old steamboat that circles through Glenmore reservoir; just to name a few. Be sure to stop at the Candy shop on Main Street. Official Summer Opening May 21, 2016.
- A great stop with the new interactive dinosaur park, penguin exhibit and the baby gorillas; the Calgary zoo will keep you busy all day. Calgary zoo takes you through North America with bears, mountain goats, and elk. Next stop Africa, where I could spend quite a while watching the hippo entertain the crowd. Keep your eyes open for the baby giraffe as well. Eurasia and Asia are also great stops – you won't be disappointed. The carousel, kids parks and train rides or kid favorites. For parents with little ones – you can rent wagons at the north entrance. Check out the Calgary Zoo website for coupons.
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- Heading west on the Trans Canada Highway towards Banff you will find Calaway Park. Of course every child loves an amusement park whether its for the games, rides or cotton candy! Calaway Park offers all three. I find that the park caters best to young to middle-aged children (3 – 13); there is not a plethora of "big kid rides" although the roller coaster is pretty good and the log ride is always fun. The park reminds me of The Flintstones Bedrock from when I was growing up. If you want to check it out even once, they usually sell pre-season passes, sometime around May Long for less than it will cost you to go one time as a family of four.
- Calgary is a diverse, multi-cultural city offering an array of different and unique festivals all summer. Some of the best festivals are free admission offering live entertainment, unique artisans, local artists, handmade goods, street performers and more. Off the top of my head I would recommend the following few
- Lilac Festival – June 5, 2016
- International Children's Festival – May 25 – 26, 2016
- Reggae Fest – August 18 – 20, 2016
- Taste of Calgary – August 11 – 14, 2016
on a budget
- I highly recommend this very eclectic Farmers Market. Located off of Blackfoot Trail its open Thursday – Sunday 9 am – 5 pm, the Calgary Farmers market offers fresh organic vegetables, meats, and fruit. There are various vendors offering natural goods, handmade goods and more. With a food court located on the south end of the market and buskers throughout, you will be sure to enjoy yourself. I recommend going early in the morning as this market becomes very busy by noon.
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