One in a series of articles about Canadian destinations.
The Canadian city of Calgary is situated in the southern part of the province of Alberta and is known as the gateway to the Rocky Mountains. It is a place that owes a lot to the discovery of oil, but it is now a popular destination for people from across North America who are looking to take advantage of the stunning scenery and thriving outdoor life. There is no shortage of things to do when visiting the city, and in this article we will take a look at five of the best family orientated attractions that Calgary has to offer.
The Calgary Zoo boasts a diverse collection of wildlife from all parts of the globe including the Canadian wilds, Australia and Africa. It is a zoo that offers much more than just the chance to look at animals, and there are many activities and programs that are suitable for preschoolers and older children alike. A devastating 2013 destroyed two buildings and required the relocation of many animals, but the Calgary Zoo is back and remains one of the favorite ones in North America.
Eau Claire Market
Standing alongside the Bow River, the Eau Claire Market is a popular destination for residents of Calgary as well as for visitors and tourists. The Eau Claire area is home to a large market that has plenty of shops, as well as a large play area for children, and a movie theater. Located in Calgary’s downtown, the market remains open as it undergoes a major transformation that will add a hotel, condominiums, an office building and additional retail shops.
The Calgary Stampede has been hailed as the biggest and best outdoor show in Canada — possibly the world — and for good reason. The Stampede lasts for a week, and takes place annually in July; if you are in town during this time then you are in for a real treat. There is plenty to see and experience with a traditional fair and five stages where you can expect to watch more than 300 performers during the week. The crowds are often big, so it is a good idea to make use of the extensive public transportation to and from the site as parking can be problematic.
Located in the vibrant downtown area, the Calgary Tower will allow you to experience seeing the city from up high and through 360 degrees, as well as give you a distant glimpse of the nearby Rocky Mountains. Its observation desk is the highest of its kind in the world and a complimentary guided tour is available. While at the top, you can also dine at one of two fine restaurants.
Calaway Park is an amusement park situated just six miles outside of the city, but for thrill seekers of all ages it is a must see attraction. The park boasts more than 30 rides, and there are also plenty of games to play and stage shows to watch. If your visit to Calgary takes you there by way of an RV or a camper, onsite camping with 104 sites is available. Reservations are strongly suggested!
Calgary summers are warm with temperatures routinely in the low to mid 80s throughout June, July and August. It is one of the least humid cities in all of Canada too, with at least 332 days of sun each year. Travel there in the winter and the city gets 50 inches of snow, a fraction what the nearby mountains get, an ideal and easily accessible place to enjoy days on end of winter skiing.
See Also — 5 Edmonton Destinations You Must Visit