Only have a couple of days to spend in Calgary with your family? Here are my suggestions for the two attractions you must do with little kids in Calgary!
A couple of years ago I attended an Epicure conference in Calgary. Since we are from Saskatchewan and it’s an easy drive for us to get there. So we decided to head down a couple of days early for a family vacation.
Since we only had a couple of days before my conference started we wanted to make the most of our time and have some fun with the kids.
First stop: Calaway Park
This is a fantastic place to go with small children! There are some bigger rides that we didn’t get a chance to go on because our kids were too small at the time. But there was more than enough to keep us busy!
There were so many great rides for small children. The kids loved riding the Rocky Mountain Railroad. My son got to be in the driver’s seat and steer the wheel. He thought that was so cool! The views were great on this little ride as well!
Gorgeous scenery from the Rocky Mountain Railroad
Mike and Gemma went on the swings. Rhys was too small which was fine with me, then I didn’t have to go on this ride! haha I think Mike was more scared than Gemma!
Eggs rideWe loved that they almost always had a mini version of the “big kid” rides! our kids were quite small at the time so we skipped a lot of those bigger rides.
We also went on Splash Mountain, however I was too busy having fun to take pictures! My youngest (4 at the time) was absolutely terrified! lol We may have scarred him for life from roller coaster type rides. Especially ones with water involved. Oops! I’m not one to ride many rides, but I found Splash Mountain super fun!
I would estimate we spent around 2 hours at Calaway Park, and we managed to do a LOT! We went on a weekday so I’m not sure how busy/lined up the rides are on the weekend, but I highly recommend going on a weekday.
We hardly had to wait in line for any of the rides, and the food booths were quiet as well so we had no problems grabbing something to eat.
If you are heading to Calgary with small children, Calaway Park is the place to go! There were a couple of bigger rides like the big bumper cars and roller coaster. But it’s certainly not a big “adventure” park and I don’t think teenagers would enjoy it as much. I recommend going when they’re younger as it seems to be geared towards the younger kids.
Our kids were 4 and 6 at the time and I think I would like to take them again when they’re a bit older to do some of the bigger rides.
Second stop: Calgary Zoo
This was our second time to the Calgary Zoo and it never disapoints!
There are 5 main “parks” within the zoo.
- Canadian Wilds
- Destination Africa
- Dorothy Harvie Gardens
- Prehistoric Park
Again, our kids were quite small at the time so I would recommend trying to choose just 3-4 parks or break up your zoo visit into two days. It can get to be a LOT of walking for littles. Definitely bring a stroller even if your kids are sort of past that stage.
The first time we went we skipped the Canadian Wilds (as we thought it would be quite similar to our local zoo. Boy were we wrong!) and the Prehistoric Park (because they kids were scared of the dinos!).
The second time though, we managed to touch on each park. We went quicker through the Africa, the gardens and the Eurasia parks as we remembered them fairly well from the time before. Then spent more time in the Canadian Wilds and PrehistoricPark.
At one point it had started to rain pretty hard so we snuck into the first building we could find. It was the Karsten Discovery Centre where they had different presentations and such. They also has some infographics on the wall explaining the impact of the floods in June 2013.
It was amazing how much they were still suffering and trying to rebuild and fund ongoing projects after that devastating flood. We had just been there two weeks before it happened in 2013. My sister and her family were planning on visiting the zoo three weeks after us and they never did get to go because it was shut down.
For ways that you can help give back to this amazing zoo, click here.
The Calgary Zoo is a place we could go back to time and time again. We never feel like we have enough time. I think as the kids get older we can spend more and more time there.
The kids really loved Prehistoric Park this time around. They loved pushing the buttons and watching the dinosaurs move and make noises. However I didn’t get very many pictures of that area. If your kid is into dinos, then this is the place for you!
I’d say you’d need at least 4-6 hours to really see everything there is to see. Make sure you plan your time accordingly as we had planned to spend more time here the day before but it closed rather early (5 p.m.) That’s why we ended up at Calaway Park first.
This was also the day that Mike and the kids were driving home and stopping at Drumheller on the way. So needless to say we ran out of time again and weren’t able to do all that we wanted.
After Mike and the kids went home I headed to my Epicure conference which was fabulous as always!
My team and I spent a bit of time chilling out on a pedestrian street in downtown Calgary. The rest of the time was spent learning everything we needed to know to grow our business! I can’t wait to go again when it’s in the west.
Head over to Family Travel for more of our adventures!
Comment below and tell me what your favourite things are to do in Calgary with young kids. It’s a bit of a drive but we love to explore Calgary and are hoping to go back again soon. 🙂