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Updated by Colleen Lanin on Dec 03, 2016
Headline for Top 5 Attractions for Families in Calgary
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Top 5 Attractions for Families in Calgary

Home of one arguably the greatest outdoor shows on Earth, the Calgary Stampede, and a mere one-hour drive east of the Rocky Mountains, Calgary has long attracted tourists. Cowtown is Canada’s oil and gas headquarters and many families are fortunate to tag along on a business trip or make a pit stop here en route to Banff National Park. But my hometown can hold it’s own as a city break destination. It’s an ideal place for active families—especially during the shoulder season before the mountains are warm enou


Science Centre

Igniting children’s imaginations, TELUS Spark is Canada’s newest science centre. The facility offers hands-on activities for kids of all ages, including teens. The tricked-out toddler area sports a physics station, tables for water play, and a massive indoor play structure. Other galleries offer interactive exhibits so older innovators can have a go starting a canyon at an erosion table or building toys in the Open Studio.

Calgary Zoo

With a wide variety of wildlife from Africa, Australia and the Canadian wilds, the Calgary Zoo ranks among the best zoos in the country. Offering preschool programs and behind the scenesopportunities for every age group, your brood can do so much more than simply observe the animals. There’s a large cafe onsite, but many families pack a picnic lunch and sit along the river. Be sure to check out Penguin Plunge, a polar paradise that’s home to four different penguin species.


While no longer the tallest building in Canada (or Calgary for that matter), you can’t miss going to the top of the Calgary Tower. Here, you’ll get a bird’s eye view of the city’s landmarks from the Observation Deck, where a glass floor makes it seem oh-so-scary. From there, head over to The CORE, a downtown shopping center that houses Devonian Gardens, a tropical home to over 500 trees and shrubs. The gardens have a fantastic indoor playground and lots of room for burning off energy.


We all know if mama ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy and mama loves a bargain. Alberta is the only province in Canada with no provincial sales tax. You’ll still have to pay the five percent Canadian goods and services tax (GST), but your purchases will be much cheaper here than anywhere else in the country. Calgary has several fantastic malls. Chinook Centre has over 200 stores and an IMAX movie theater; meanwhile Market Mall offers pleasant shopping options and sports a toddler play zone. Near the airport, Cross Iron Mills is the city’s outlet mall where you can find Bass Pro Shops, an impressive store-cum-wildlife-exhibit.

Flanking the Bow River, the Eau Claire market is where urbanites go to recharge. Inside the market are several funky shops, a large indoor playground and a movie theater. Outside, street performers provide entertainment as kids plunge into the splash park or attempt to play with the ducklings and Canadian geese. Journey across the bridge into Prince’s Island Park, where you’ll find a large playground and River Cafe, one of the city’s best child-friendly restaurants.Have you ever visited Calgary? Share your thoughts or questions in the comments below!