Calgary Things to Do Tips by madamx Top 5 Page for this destination
Calgary Things to Do: 297 reviews and 441 photos
75 million years ago, this area was a lush, tropical environment, and attracted a large number of dinosaurs. The conditions here were also perfect for the preservation of their remains, and for forming large deposits of coal, gas, and oil.
The great rivers that flowed through the area at that time, deposited large amounts of mud and silt. The water from retreating glaciers eventually carved these deposits into beautiful rock formations and exposed colorful layers of silt. To date, about 150 complete skeletal dinosaur remains have been discovered, along with other valuable fossils.
There are self-guided hikes through the area, an interpretive centre, and campgrounds. The Royal Tyrrell Museum also runs a field Station here, with limited hours of public access.
The park has campgrounds, or you can find lodging in the town of Brooks, 30 min. south.
Address: Near Patricia, Alberta
Directions: Take HIghway 1 east, until you reach Highway 36, then turn left. Follow 36 north until Highway 544. Turn right, follow 544 east, until you see the turnoff for Patricia. Go through the town of Patricia, and follow the signs to the park.
Calgary has the largest urban pathway system in North America. There is 500km of paved pathway, plus 260 km of on-street bikeways. The pathways are for all uses -- walking, running, cycling, rollerblading--even skiing during a sudden snowstorm. Off-street pathways are only open to non-motorized traffic.
The paths are everywhere -- if you drive around the suburbs, you'll see glimpses of pathway through greenbelts and parks. In the downtown area, the most popular pathway area is probably Eau Claire Market/Prince's Island, extending down to the Zoo and Fort Calgary.
If you are ambitious, you can circle the city on a bike using the pathway system, it is an approximately 70 km ride.
Directions: You can get your pathway map at any Calgary Co-op grocery store or Canadian Tire hardware store, they are approximately $2.00 each.
polar bear cub orphans
The Calgary Zoo is one of the best zoos in North America. Recently, they have opened up their Destination Africa exhibit , moving towards their goal of creating geographical regions within the zoo, with the appropriate animals.
The zoo has botanical gardens, as well as activities and educational programs, so it is a year-round destination.
Address: 1300 Zoo Road NE
Directions: Near downtown Calgary; take Memorial Drive east, and watch for the exit just past 4th Avenue. Follow the signs.
Other Contact: www.calgaryzoo.org
Phone: (403) 232-9300
Quilled Blackfoot Shirt, 19th Century
This is Western Canada's largest museum, boasting 28,000 items in it's art collection and has one of Canada's largest non-governmental archives.
I found that the native artifact collection is most impressive, and the kids will love the replica of a pioneer cabin, as well as a tipi.
It does have rotating exhibitions as well, the most recent one being on Rodin.
Saturdays and Sundays are great for familes and kids of all ages, as the museum has an educational room where you can further explore the current major exhibit in a fun way. For example, the Rodin exhibit allowed you to make your own prints and wire sculptures. There are books and videos for adults or older kids.
I would plan to spend a large part of the day here if you want to explore the museum plus participate in the family acitivities. Wonderful way to occupy your time if it's rainy or too cold for outdoor activities.
Address: 130 9th Ave SE
Directions: Located off Stephen Avenue Mall in downtown Calgary.
Besides the "big one" (Calgary Stampede), there are other festivals all summer long.
The Lilac Festival is held near the end of May. What started out to be a local street festival has blossomed (heh heh) into a major Calgary festival. The festival is held on Fourth Street SW, and consists of food stalls, artisan stalls, and musical entertainment www.4streetcalgary.com/lilacfestival/)
Carifest Is held in early June, and 5 days are devoted to sun and fun and the Caribbean (www.carifest.ca)
The Calgary Jazz Fesitval Is held in June, and brings in some pretty big names like Jane Bunett and Branford Marsalis (www.jazzfestivalcalgary.ca)
The Calgary Folk Festival Is held near the end of July, and is growing by leaps and bounds. 2003 featured Elvis Costello, Kathleen Edwards, Daniel Lanois, Ani Difranco and Michelle Shocked (www.calgaryfolkfest.com)
The Calgary Blues and Roots Festival is held at the end of August and features some of the best blues musicians around, such as Otis Rush and Buckwheat Zydeco (www.bluesandroots.com)
The Royal Tyrrell Museum was established in 1985 as a world-class paleontology museum and research facility, located near the town of Drumheller, about 1 1/2 hours northeast of Calgary.
There are many exhibits of restored skeletal dinosaur remains and the museum also runs a variety of programs; you can go to a quarry and actually assist in excavating dinosaur bones. This place is worth the drive out from Calgary, and if you have children, they'll be entertained for hours.
If you wish to do the museum and Dinosaur Provincial Park (next tip), allow at least two days.
Directions:Take Highway 2 north of Calgary until Highway 72. Head east on 72, which will turn into Highway 9. Follow Highway 9 east, then north through Drumheller, and you will hit Midland Provincial Park. You will see a turn-off for Highway 838 on your left. Head west on 838, and you'll see the museum
Address: Highway 838, Midland Provincial Park
Phone: (403) 823-7707
If you are driving into Calgary from the west, you'll be able to see the 90m ski jump at Canada Olympic Park.
Directions: In Northwest Calgary, just off the Trans Canada Highway.
Calgary is approx 40 minutes from some of the most beautiful scenery in the world. Kananaskis Provincial Park ( 40 min), Banff National Park (60 min), Yoho National Park (2 hours) and Kootenay National Park (2 hours) are all easily accessible from Calgary. Even if you have only a couple of hours, you can still drive out into the mountains and breathe in the fresh air and take in the scenery.
Directions: Head west on Highway 1, otherwise known as the Trans-Canada Highway
The Devonian Gardens, one of the world's largest indoor parks, offers respite from the hustle and bustle of downtown Calgary. During lunch hour, you'll see office workers staking their spots in lush surroundings.
The gardens are completely indoors, enclosed by glass, and covers three levels. Besides strolling through the garden, there are pools of fish and turtles that you can feed (feed disepenser machines are nearby, cost is about $1.00)
The floral displays are changed about 18 times a year, to coincide with the changes of seasons and holidays. It's the perfect place to go in the dead of winter and dream about summer. You can also catch free musical performances and plays during the lunch hour as well.
Directions: The gardens are located at 8th Ave. and 3rd St. SW
Phone: (403) 268-3830
If you are interested in the legacy of the 1988 Winter Olympics, you can do a tour of the past olympic venues in the city.
The Olympic Oval Located in the University of Calgary, the oval was the first covered speed skating oval built in North America. It is still internationally renowned for it's training facilities, and many elite athletes from around the world come here to compete and train. If you've never seen a speed skating oval before, it's quite an impressive sight. (2500 University Drive NW, phone 220-7890 -- www.oval.ucalgary.ca)
Canada Olympic Park This area was formerly a small skiing hill, called Paskapoo. When Calgary won it's bid for the 1988 Winter Olympics, the place was redesigned to be the venue for ski jumping and bobsled/luge. There is a museum/interpretive centre, the 90 metre ski tower, and a chance to actually ride a bobsled with some fellow tourists. A hair-raising experience, I am told -- haven't worked up th courage yet to attempt it. The ride costs around $30.00. Tours are held on a regular basis, and skiing is available in the winter, with mountain biking in the summer. (88 Canada Olympic Road SW, phone 247-5452--www.canadaolympicpark.ca)
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