Weekends are precious times for spending with family. If you have youngsters, you’ll appreciate how quickly children grow up. Here are some great ideas for making marvelous memories with your loved ones without breaking the bank.
Inglewood Bird Sanctuary and Nature Centre
This is a wonderful place to spend some family time. Would you believe the conservation area has been in operation since 1929, providing sanctuary to migratory birds and other wildlife? The park has 270 species of birds, 21 mammal species such as fox, coyotes, and deer as well as 347 plant species.
There’s no telling what you might discover during a day at Inglewood. Enjoy walking the trails and taking in educational events at the outdoor learning center. Your children will quickly develop a love of nature.
Prince’s Island Park
If you’re looking for an urban park experience, check out Prince’s Island Park. Here you’ll find a pathway that takes you through a wetland constructed to treat stormwater heading to the Bow River. You can learn about the environmental value of wetlands for water quality and providing a habitat for wildlife.
There are also playgrounds, water fountains, picnic areas, and various free or low-cost festivals and events throughout the year.
It’s never too early to introduce your children to live theatre. Spread a blanket by the Bow River and enjoy some family entertainment when colorfully-dressed actors take to the stage and present Shakespearean plays.
Shakespeare by the Bow is a Theatre Calgary program that mentors local actors. The nightly performances are free although donations are welcome.
If you’re searching for an indoor activity to get out of the summer heat, there’s nothing better than the Glenbow Museum. With over one million items on display, it’s one of the largest museums in this part of Canada.
The museum focuses on the history of Calgary and Alberta and on the Indigenous people who inhabited the plains of Northwest Alberta for thousands of years. Due to the sponsorship of the Calgary Downtown Association, the museum is free.
Guided Walking Tours of Calgary
How about trying a family and pet-friendly guided walking tour of the city? Getting some exercise and education at the same time is always a good thing. The tours are operated by Walk the YYC and are offered in any weather, so be prepared with proper clothing.
You can select from Sports History, Haunted Cowtown, Downtown North, and South and Historic Stephen Ave. These walks are conducted by volunteers so they’re free but a tip is always appreciated.
Nose Hill Park
Created in 1980, Nose Hill Park is 11 square km and that makes it one of the biggest city parks in all of North America. Interestingly, it’s home to a Siksikaitsitapi First Nations artifact. Maybe you’re lucky to live in one of the 12 residential neighborhoods nearby.
Take the family hiking or biking along the park’s trails and don’t forget to stop and marvel at the many magnificent views of the Rockies and downtown. Perhaps a fox or deer with making an appearance to excite the children.
Downtown Street Art
A day downtown exploring the many art installations is not underrated as a family activity. On Stephen Avenue and Prince’s Island, you’ll see many of these including beautiful murals and interesting sculptures.
This day out can be even more fun and economical. See if you can leave the car behind and save the expense of gas by using the free LRT downtown line.
Open Farm Days
On the other hand, if you’re ready for a short drive outside Calgary look up Open Farm Days. This is when you can visit a local farm to see how food is grown. This offers a rare learning opportunity for your children to wander by fields and orchards and see farm animals up close.
Your entire family will leave with a new appreciation for the role of farmers in keeping us fed and healthy.
These are just a few of the incredible family adventures available in our fair city. I’m glad to call Calgary my home and for the chance to help others settle here through my career in real estate.