One of the outcomes of the pandemic is families focusing on getting outdoors more; going for hikes, bike rides, exploring Kananaskis or even exploring their own neighborhoods. But sometimes parents need something to be organized for them. It’s exhausting raising kids, figuring out how to work from home, and being a 24/7 event planner. Thankfully, many venues and events around Calgary have begun to reopen, incorporating strict cleaning and physical distancing measures for the safety of everyone. Here are just a few that (as of publication - we don’t want to get ahead of ourselves) are open and available for families to explore.
Studio Bell. Music lovers rejoice! Studio Bell reopened on August 15. To celebrate, the first four weekends of Studio Bell’s reopening are free but tickets must be reserved in advance online. Adjusting for COVID- 19 regulations, Studio Bell offers a self-guided experience that takes you through the history of music in Canada. You can also watch some socially distanced instrument show-and-tells, as well as science and sound demos. As per The City of Calgary’s guidelines, masks are mandatory in Studio Bell. For more information, visit studiobell.ca.
Iron Horse Park. A little-known gem choo-choos around a miniature version of Canada just north of the city limits in Airdrie. Iron Horse Park is a ride-on, 1.6-kilometre interpretive journey on a one-eighth scale locomotive that families are sure to enjoy. Each ride is $3 per person, and don’t be surprised when the kids ask for a second trip! Masks are required for anyone 14 and up. For more information, visit ironhorsepark.net.
Royal Tyrrell Museum. The famous dinosaur museum in Drumheller has reopened with timed-ticket admission to allow for capacity control. While the hands-on exhibits remain closed, the thrill for most families has always been the impressive fossils; many of which were found right in Alberta. Admission for children six and under is free. Purchase your timed ticket online. For more information, visit tyrrellmuseum.com.
Wagonstage Children's Theatre: Summer of COVID-19. Families are invited to the Wagonstage Children’s Theatre every Thursday and Sunday until August 30. Enjoy a performance that will bring a smile to your face as you experience a live performance and take in the fresh air. Pre-registration is required. For more information, visit the Facebook page.
Calaway Park. It wouldn’t feel like a Calgary summer without a trip to Calaway Park. Families were welcomed back as of July 17, and there are new sanitation measures in place including wiping down each attraction between guests. Some of the rides for older kids do remain closed, so be sure to look at their website for status updates if you have kids over the age of seven who won’t be happy without getting that adrenaline rush. Reservations are required to enter the park, and some rides require masks. For more information, visit calawaypark.com.
Splash Parks. The City of Calgary has permitted four splash parks to open around the city for free dog days of summer fun. Bowness Park, Prairie Winds Park, Rotary Park, and South Glenmore Park (Variety Park) are all ready and available to socially distance at. Check out The City’s website for status updates and closing dates, calgary.ca.
Hangar Flight Museum. It’s hard not to get excited about planes when you have a collection of epic aircraft in front of you. The Hangar Flight Museum showcases rare and historically significant military and civilian aircraft, along with the people who designed and flew them. Tickets are only available online to ensure their maximum capacity of 24 people is not exceeded at any time. Masks are required indoors as mandated by The City. For more information, visit thehangarmuseum.ca.
Block Party - Art on the Boulevard. Introduce the family to some culture at Block Party - Art on the Boulevard; on now until September 26. Deerfoot City has transformed their outdoor space to accommodate an art installation and patio created by four local artists. The whole exhibition meets guidelines for spacing and cleaning protocols. Food vendors and outdoor lawn games are also available. For more information, visit deerfootcity.com/events-promotions/block-party-art-on-the-boulevard.
Calgary Farmyard. Have you seen the amazing pictures of the new Calgary Farmyard maze online? This 12-acre corn maze consists of two phases and is the largest in Southern Alberta. If getting lost in corn doesn’t sound appealing to you, there are over 30 other activities for families to do. Sanitization stations are available around the farm. Summer hours are Wednesday to Sunday, 10:30am to 4pm, but you can visit right through to the Fall with augmented hours. For more information, visit calgaryfarmyard.com.
TELUS Spark. Family-favorite TELUS Spark has reopened by adapting their exhibits and creating new experiences to allow for provincial regulations to be followed. While indoor hands-on exhibits are off limits, guests can take in a brand-new art installation, digital experience, and Superpower Dogs Dome Movie, as well as the return of Body Worlds: Animal Inside Out. Masks are required for guests over the age of two, and water bottles are recommended as fountains in the facility are closed. For more information, visit sparkscience.ca.
Granary Road. Granary Road is open for business, including the Play & Learn park and Farmer’s Market areas. If bringing small children, look for signs around the park indicating cleaning closures for each exhibit so you can plan your day. New additions to the park include a super cute goat bridge (yes, with real goats) and cropland duck races for the kids to participate in. For more information, visit granaryroad.com.
Calgary Zoo. The giant pandas might be preparing for their journey home, but the Calgary Zoo is prepared to welcome back families. See gorillas, meerkats (my kids’ favorite), and all the other amazing animals around the expansive facility. Indoor and outdoor viewing is open, as are the playgrounds throughout the zoo. Timed tickets are required for entrance, and face masks are mandatory inside buildings (and recommended elsewhere for everyone two years old and up). For more information, visit calgaryzoo.com.
Cobb's Adventure Park. Families can explore the grounds including the animal areas, mazes and puzzles, tractor ride, mini golf, and pedal carts. Date and time specific tickets can be purchased online. From September 1 to November 1, Fall hours are in place, so check out their website for details before visiting, cobbsadventurepark.com.
Downhill Karting. WinSport might be quieter than normal but it’s not completely closed. Get a thrill while navigating 1.8 kilometres of fun with Downhill Karting on the Skyline Luge track! There are height restrictions for kids to ride alone, but smaller children can ride with a family member or cohort adult. All guests are required to book a session time online to ensure a contactless experience. For more information, visit downhillkarting.ca.
Genevieve is a mom of two, works in marketing, and writes in her (very minimal) free time. Follow her funny mom alter-ego on Instagram @CryItOutMom.
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