Calgary is one of the most family-friendly cities in Canada. Finding the best things to do in Calgary isn’t hard. With a top notch zoo, historical village, amusement park and loads of other kid approved attractions, your issue won’t ever be finding something to do with your kids.
Updated April 2020. This post may include affiliate links. If you make a purchase via one of these links, I may receive a small commission at no extra cost to you.
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Things to do in Calgary with kids
When trying to figure out what things you want to do in Calgary with your kids, you’ve got to make tough choices. The challenge most visiting families face is figuring out how to fit it all in. Here’s a look at the most fun and interesting things to do in Calgary with kids, plus I’ve got the low down on how to score discounts at ALL these attractions.
Visit Bow Habitat Station
Did you know there are six different aquatic ecosystems found across Alberta? From northern lakes to prairie marshes, families can explore them all at Bow Habitat Station without stepping outside.
Upstairs in the Discovery Centre, it’s all about what’s happening above the water; while downstairs showcases what’s happening below. It’s a great way to teach kids about our water and ecosystems without seeming to school them, if you know what I mean.
For those who love the idea of teaching their kids how to fish, but haven’t quite gotten around to it, you’re in luck! Bow Habitat often offers Learn to Fish Clinics that teach tykes six-years and up. Those aged 4-6-years can take a one-hour junior fish clinic.
Bow Habitat station is situated on 15-hectares of natural trails within Calgary’s Pearce Estate Park. During your visit, be sure to budget time for a stroll or bike ride along its leafy paths.
Discounts at Bow Habitat Station: Score 20% off four individual Discovery Centre admissions from Calgary Attractions.
Calgary Amusement Park
Calaway Park is western Canada’s largest amusement park and is situated a ten-minute drive from northwest Calgary. For wee ones, there’s rides that accommodate their height and sense of excitement. The older set can amp up their visit with rollercoaster rides and free fall drops.
This amusement park has a one-pay gate. Your admission includes parking, unlimited rides, live stage shows, plus access to their 3D theatre. Every season Calaway Park writes, produces, and choreographs two new live stage shows little ones love.
Calaway Park coupons: Four people can receive up to 40% off tickets.
Camping at Calaway Park
Like Camping? Please the troops by booking in for a night (or more!) at Calaway Park RV Park and Campground. This campground has over 100 sites, with lots of options for tents, power and full service.
Best is, they have several overnight packages that include complimentary day passes to the amusement park.
Aggie Days Calgary
Though the Calgary Stampede takes place but once a year, there’s a ton of family programming happening at Stampede Park all year long. Aggie Days takes place in Calgary each spring. This free family event is ideal for city slickers who want to expose their children to the food chain and farming ways of life.
Start off your visit meandering through the Ag Zone at Stampede Park, meeting and cuddling all sorts of cute critters. After petting pigs and watching baby chicks hatch, kiddos can milk a cow (animatronic) or try their hand at driving a tractor – which remains parked, but they’ll get a kick out of it nevertheless.
Our family is also a fan of the Fall Fair that takes place at the end of September – also at Stampede Park. At it, they jazz up the traditional Stampede breakfast with pumpkin spice (take that Starbucks!), plus free entertainment, music and a market featuring local artisans.
Calgary Zoo Animals
One of the top zoos in Canada, the Calgary Zoo is a Canadian leader in wildlife conservation and is involved in several conservation research programs around the world. Considered one of the best zoos in North America, over 1000 animals from 119 species call this tranquil spot home.
Some of the more popular animals to visit at the Calgary Zoo include: tigers, giraffes, gorillas, camels, penguins, lemurs and hippos. Our family’s favourite area is the Canadian Wilds, where you can get up close and personal with bears, bison, wolves, cougar and caribou (reindeer to some, but not accurate:).
For something really special, book in for one of their specialty breakfasts. While you tuck into pancakes and eggs, interpreters wow wee ones with all kinds of neat trivia facts about some of the most intriguing animals in the zoo.
Keep in mind, everyday there are special activities going on that offer a rare glimpse into the animal kingdom. These activities include: cougar, red panda and gorilla feedings, plus grizzly bear training. They do the training, not you. Thank goodness!
Calgary Zoo Coupons: Click here here to receive a promo code for 10% off admissions.
Granary Road Calgary
What’s great about Granary Road, Calgary’s newest family attraction, is that your kids can play outside all day on active learning play stations like cork-screw slides, a triple decker obstacle course, mazes and tons of climbing apparatuses that work those large motor skills.
All the larger than life animals and plants kids come across at Granary Road are totally climb-able and encourage imaginative play. And did you know they’ve got an amazing petting zoo with llamas and several new baby goats to meet and greet?
Hungry? Inside the granary-styled main building are 40 market vendors dishing up some of the city’s best bites. There’s a local butcher, baker (no candlestick maker), but an ice cream parlour and pizzeria also keep the hunger pangs at bay.
Calgary Hotels with Pool
The #1 family hotel request is having a pool on-site. The only hotel in Calgary with an outdoor pool is Hotel Arts. It’s a spruced up property just south of downtown that’s within easy walking distance of the Calgary Stampede. In winter the hotel has this special cover that goes overtop the pool area, so you can swim all year long.
If you’re interested in visiting Granary Park it makes sense to stay in south Calgary. Delta Calgary South not only has an indoor pool, but it sports the Big Gusher. This 130 ft heated, indoor water slide is located inside the Atrium. Filled with lush, tropical greenery it provides a welcome respite from city stressors.
If you want to stay near the airport (and have quick highway access to the Zoo and Telus Spark), consider the Best Western Port O’ Call. Not many hotels boast an 8,000 sq ft water park with twin water slides churning out 300 feet of pure adrenaline. One slides a 360 degree curve, while the second flume in more gentle and more suited for wee ones.
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